The pattern I chose to use was Butterick 4182. I decided to use view F with the spaghetti straps from view B, in two layers.
The bottom layer is muslin fabric leftover from the Coruscant nightdress. The top layer is that silky solid fabric from Joann Fabrics . For a re-do, I would use the proper chiffon.
I modified the bodice and amazed myself that it actually worked the way I'd hoped it would. It was almost too easy. I have a huge amount of muslin, so I cut out several of the #10 halter pieces to play around with. I only needed two. What I did was line up the side seams of piece #10 (halter) and piece #1 (regular) going on the assumption that they'd hit about the same place on the body. Then, I used the top seam line for piece #1 (regular) to draw a line across the #10 (halter) piece. The point of the skirt has to be maneuvered around a small curve, but once done, it looks right with the reference pictures. The actual bodice angles more sharply along the bottom of the breast than this pattern, but this was as close as I'd found when I decided to make this.
An observation: I've mentioned before that I'm short, only 5'2". Butterick has a line on this pattern to shorten it for petites. I did not use the line. I wanted to keep it long like the real gown. In other words, if you're tall, you'll probably have to lengthen to get the right length.
Observations on this from looking at Dressing A Galaxy, or rather using my magnifying glass to study the two pictures (p172 and 173). Approx. 15 designs on the gown body front and 2 on the bodice. I charted out flower placement for the front of the gown -- ignore the numbers. I'll wing it for the back once I have the finished front embroidery.
Now for the design. Kay_dee graciously shared three very hi-res pictures with me that she took when she visited the FIDM exhibit. (Thank you Kay_dee!) I could not have drawn a more accurate pattern without these. One picture is below. Kay_dee’s picture site and personal costume site. The first picture is from Kay_dee, the second is the flower design and scribbled color notations, and the last are flower design notes.
I stared at the pictures for a long time, coloring like a madwoman. The top flower would be the second flower in the center of the gown, the middle one the next and the bottom the next.
The previous design and the one I worked from has been deleted, as it's not as accurate as this version.
I bought clear Solvy lightweight stabilizer and traced the design onto it. The colors I chose were:
DMC embroidery floss --
5283 Metallic Silver
727 Very Light Topaz
3733 Dusty Rose
3807 Cornflower Blue
I did have floss picked out for a re-do, but since then I have discovered that I despise working with the rayon floss, so I’m back to looking at potential colors/floss.
When I did the test embroidery, I decided 2½" x 2½" was too big. Reduced it to 1½" square. Then I got working on it and decided I'd made it too small. I'll possibly try 2" or go back up to 2½" x 2½". I'll have to see if I come to it.
In this version decided not to continue the embroidery around the back.
I succumbed to temptation to make the robe:
I used 6 yards of royal blue 45" Jacquard in a check style print, the length cut in half, 3 and 3. I got that by taking my shoulder to floor measurement plus hem allowance and doubling that for the length I needed. I'm short, so I didn't need a lot.
The fabric had the Jacquard pattern folded to the outside, so I turned the right sides together, then sewed a seam down both long edges. I didn't want any folded edges but rather crisp seams. I did this on both long rectangles of fabric, making two rectangular tubes of 3' of length, then turned each right side out and pressed, making both inside and outside of the robe. All this does is make a self lining for the inside, with any rough edges encased.
I marked where the armholes and back 'V' needed to begin and sewed the seams -- Take one tube and use it for the left side of your body and the other for the right side. Treat the tube like two layers of a pattern piece one on top of the other. I marked and sewed the back 'V' first so the armholes would be uniform when I sewed the sides up. It's easiest to drape them on you, position them with arms slightly out and have another person put a mark on both tubes. Or a dressform works if you have one. Once the back seam is done, mark the armholes and sew the sides up.
On the armholes and front/neckline edges I stitched very close to the edge. Finally, I hemmed it.. This process took only a few hours.
The sleeves aren't as long as the real ones, nor do I have anything resembling a train to it. Long sleeves are a pain in my robes, as I've discovered a frustrating tendency to drag them in food, water, etc. No train because people step on it, not to mention our cat sits and lets me drag him. I chose this fabric mainly for the pretty color, but also the slight texture. I'm not going to start smocking things any time soon. I can imagine how heavy the real one was, since this one, containing nowhere near the smocked yardage, is fairly heavy.
For the trim I printed off one of the clearer pics on Padawan's Guide and drew it at the scale I needed on paper, then traced it onto heavy Solvy. It was embroidered over that onto tiny-holed black netting using DMC pearl cotton size 5 thread. The color was medium old gold (729). While the trim has a metallic look to me, I hated working with the metallic thread so used the other instead.
The trim wasn't hard to make. Working with the netting was frustrating, but once I found my scrolling embroidery hoop it went much quicker. The only real problem was getting the stitches dense enough that it wouldn't look sloppy, which just takes some trial and error. When the trim was done, I put a dab of Fray Check on the short ends -- just in case. For the netting still along the sides of the trim, I cut away most of the excess leaving about a half inch along the sides, then turned those sides under when sewing the trim to the robe. Invisible thread works nicely for sewing on trim.
Medium sized wood beads
blue, lt. green, red beads
lots of navy thread
I made the 2 caps, about ten rows or so, using the directions for the flat round peyote stitch (directions were taken from here: About.com , Beaded ball series, and beaded rocks). I spent a couple hours practicing the stitch before attempting the beaded balls.
Then I secured the caps on the ends (lots of navy thread to do this!), making sure the caps were sewn a little together to keep them from moving around on me too much, and continued beading around the wooden ball, increasing and decreasing as needed until I reached the other cap. Increasing and decreasing = adding or subtracting three here, one there, two there and finally covering the wood ball completely. I winged it on the red and green design -- it was hard getting it exact and lined up correctly.
The beaded balls aren't a hard thing to do once you get the hang of it, but rather time consuming. If I had to make more, I'd paint the wood balls navy before adding the beads.
Tassels are completed!
Disclaimer: Pictures are the property of the copyright holder. This site is non-profit, and is in no way affiliated with any of the copyright holders. No copyright infringement is intended - copyrighted images are being used for costume study.