Galactic Princess Costume: the Amidala-wannabe dress

Burda 1-2013-142Pretty, isn’t it?  This was a hoot to sew up.  I love sewing frosting and working with taffeta and chiffon and all things unnecessary to basic wardrobe survival. The pattern for the overdress is Burda 1/2013 #142.142_0113_b_amidala_dress_largeI used a poly black/white shot chiffon, black/white shot poly taffeta that reads like liquid silver and a poly silver shantung for the bodice lining and belt. I chose to add piping to the neck and arm edges because I just think it looks better than a simple turned edge.  You can see the poly shantung bodice lining below.Burda 1-2013-142 shoulder detailThe “epaulets” are remnant bits from DD1’s fish-scale skirt hand-stitched over the shoulder seams.  I must say, I like the sparkly bits.  And doesn’t that taffeta look amazing?  I changed the back to a corset lace-up style so that it can be worn without alteration if people grow.  The loops are self-fabric bias loops, and there’s a 4-inch wide modesty panel lying underneath, so lots of grow room in this garment.Burda 1-2013-142 laced backThe modesty panel is stitched directly to the underskirt along the bottom of the placket opening.  Burda had the skirt and lining cut as large rectangles.  I chose to shape them into very wide gores, with pleats to eliminate some bulk at the waist.  The pleats are then gathered into the waist.  I also cut the chiffon a slight bit shorter than the taffeta underskirt to prevent tripping and tearing of the fabric.  I think taffeta will wear harder than the chiffon through school halls and classrooms.  Here’s the back view with the belt.Burda 1-2013-142 backWhat fun, eh? The belt is a 12 x 32 inch long rectangle of poly shantung stitched into a tube and turned right side out and pressed. I used remnants from DD1’s fish-scale skirt, cut into strips and stitched down through all thicknesses. Very slowly stitched, I may add. Then I added the same silver trim from the blouse sleeves down the centre of the belt and finished it off with a heavy-duty velcro closure.Burda 1-2013-142 beltHere’s a pic of the blouse front with the self-fabric ties.  Perhaps they’re a bit long, but I prefer them to another texture (like cording). Burda 1-2013-142 frontIt keeps the focus on that belt.  Love the belt.  galactic princess costumeDD3 has already worn the ensemble around the house several times, and at one point walked into the kitchen without the blouse and a little black sweater over the dress.  “Look, mom!  It’s going to be perfect for Christmas Eve!”  It’s a good thing, since she’s outgrown Blue Christmas.

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Galactic Princess Costume: the blouse

DD3 wanted to really dress up for October 31st this year, which isn’t a big holiday in this house, but what do you say to school peer pressure?  Especially if sewing something fun like a costume is involved, right?  After much research through Mommy’s Pattern Stash, she chose an ensemble from Burda’s January 2013 carnival collection.   It’s actually a set of patterns to mimic clothing from Star Wars, but there’s no mention of Star Wars, probably for copyright reasons.  I frankenpatterned the little white Leia costume in the bottom right corner of the photo for DD2 last year.

The Galactic Princess costume consists of this Fairy Tale Blouse (Burda 1/2013 #118) with an overdress (post on overdress to follow later).    118a_0113_b_peasant_shirt_largeThe blouse is very straight forward to sew; it’s only three pieces.  And due to it’s loose fit, no fitting required.  How lovely is that!Burda 1-2013-118cI made a few changes to the instructions.  First, I made the ties from a long strip of bias fabric instead of purchased cord.  It doesn’t look like much in these pictures, but in the context of the costume, I thought the self-fabric tie would be a better choice than yet another texture thrown into the mix.

Second, I did not leave the edges raw.  I hauled out my overlocker (serger) and did a rolled hem on the neckline, sleeves and bottom edge.  And I used French seams for the construction.sleeve trimAnd third, I decided the looooooong trails of trim tied loosely around some nebulous wrist area of the arm as per Burda was ridiculous for an 11-year-old, especially since she will be wearing this to school and she’ll need to be working, not untangling herself from yards of trim trailing from her sleeves.  So I stitched the trim down on each edge, which left me a channel about 5/8″ wide.  sleeve trim facingI backed it with bias taffeta strips (no edge finishing required) and ran an elastic through the casing.  Et voilà!  Nicely gathered sleeves that won’t drag through school work.Burda 1-2013-118c sleeve

Frankenpattern: Princess Leia Costume

Leia costume with beltMy DD2 wanted to dress as Princess Leia this past October (yes, it’s taken me this long to blog about this) and since Carnivale is just around the corner, I thought I’d share my version of this famous outfit. 

My starting point was Burda 1/2013 #148, but I made a lot of changes. My fabric choice wasn’t jersey, like the original Leia costume, but white polycotton broadcloth because it was cheap.  Obviously it doesn’t have the drape of the jersey, and it’s a bit transparent, so I doubled it for the body of the dress.

First, I added width and length to fit DD2 with enough extra ease to fit over her clothes. I actually think I used Burda 4/2011 #135, a traced pattern from this tunic for the front and back because it would be faster than grading up the Leia costume, and added enough length to achieve a slight blousing effect over the belt.  I left a hemline slit at the side seams from the knees down to facilitate easy walking.Burda 1-2013-148 hemline slitI used the sleeve pattern from Burda’s Leia pattern.  It’s a nice shape.Burda 1-2013-148 Leia sleeveAnd for the collar I traced off the collar pattern from Vogue 8846 but only attached it from the back sleeve seam  of one sleeve across the front of the dress to the back seam of the other sleeve.Leia stand-up collarThe back of the collar was left unattached at the back with a velcro closing.Burda 1-2013-148 velcroI cut an over-sized hood, using Vogue 7110, and attached it to the back between the sleeves, turned down the seam allowances to make a casing and ran elastic through it all to facilitate easy dressing. This is the centre back of the dress with the hood up.Burda 1-2013-148 hood attachment The belt was a new adventure into leather land, having never sewn or cut leather in my life.  My husband had brought home a large upholstery-quality piece of black cowhide from a business colleague of his, and I thought it would be perfect…. Burda 1-2013-148 beltSo I used the Burda Leia pattern, spray painted it silver and added a little centre spot of copper paint.  Not very accurate from a costume point of view, but it did the job.  It fastens with velcro in the back.Leia leather belt velcro My favourite part is the hood.  BTW, frankenpatterning is great fun for someone draft-challenged (or draft lazy) like me.  Just pull all the pieces you’d like from 100 different patterns and see them work.Leia costume