Hello all! Today I have a project that's a bit different (and a bit tighter than usual) to share with you. My friends have a costume party for their birthday every year and we all have to show up dressed as something beginning with the letters M, K, P, R or J. (The first letters of all the names of the birthday folk). Last year I made a leotard and tutu with a tenuous 'Prima Ballerina' link. This year I went more feisty. I went for Padme, after recently re-watching the Star Wars prequels and admiring her character. As per usual, I had a limited time and budget, which narrowed my costume choice down quite considerably. I went for Padme's battle outfit in Attack of the Clones which had some interesting details, but was still pretty achievable fabric-wise, drafting-wise and construction-wise.
When I met up with Claire, Vicki and Bea for fabric shopping in London I found this off-white lycra fabric that seemed perfect for the job. I think I bought 1.5m for £10. I also bought white strapping and a buckle for the belt, which I tea dyed later along with fabric scraps for the pouches so they'd match the more beige colour in the reference photos. The only other material I bought was duct tape for the armbands. The whole outfit cost less than £15 to make.
I found the Padawan's Guide an invaluable reference to see the costume close up and work out all the design features. I used my leotard block as a base and drew on the design lines. I then cut along all of those lines and the resulting pieces became my pattern pieces. The construction of the top was actually really straight forward. I expected to have trouble with all of the corners (all 6 of them) but they all went absolutely fine. The seam allowances were topstitched down with 2 rows of topstitching. The whole thing was a tad tight so I re-sewed all of the seam allowances as tiny as I could and then it fit fine. I do wish that I had done tiny French seams on the outside of all of the top panel seamlines just to make them a tad more pronounced. My only issue with this top is that the lycra is slightly too see through to wear without a bra, but there isn't enough of the back of the top to cover a bra with all of the rips. I tried lining the top with a beige double knit but that didn't do much. In the end I resorted to just sticking foam cups up there, but I'd quite like a less obvious solution.
For the back of the bodice I cut the rips whilst looking at the production photos. I wish I'd cut the lower rip a little wider so you could see more of the claw mark. I made myself a little lycra armband for the arm with no sleeve just less the width of the duct tape and I put the duct tape over the top so ripping it off after the party wouldn't be agony. (Shout-out to Paul for doing my armbands on the party night and to MK for felt-tipping in my wounds)
It turned out that the leggings were actually the tricky part. I made the mistake of cutting them with the stretch going upwards, instead of around the legs, which meant that I couldn't even get them over my calves, even with all the SA at a minimum 1/8".
I didn't have enough fabric to recut, so another solution had to be found. As there's 4 panels in each leg (I added in a centre front and back seam to each leg in accordance to the production photos) I took out one of the panels in each leg, cut a wider one and added that in the smaller panels place. The fit above the knee is now pretty good, but the adding in of a wider panel has completely distorted the legs so the seams twist around the leg instead of standing straight. I'd quite like to re-do the leggings with the stretch going in the right direction if I can get hold of some more fabric.
After various discussions about what I could add to my belt I kept it simple with a phone case on one side and a place to hold my gun in the other. Surprisingly at uni my stock of toy guns was non-existent so my brother kindly posted one of his nerf gun collection from home. Ideally I would have sprayed it silver, or found a slightly more streamlined model, but beggars can't be choosers. A drinks cup holder would have been great, but I feel would have caused more issues than solutions. The shoes are actually a new addition to the outfit. On the night I wore cream slipper socks because it was a house party and I didn't have anything else suitable. Obviously these shoes aren't perfect, but at least you can say that they co-ordinate, and they can be worn outside of the house.
So, that's my Padme costume. I actually love it to pieces. I think it looks really fierce, and it was a really fun challenge to construct.
Thanks so much for reading!