Project Amidala

I am working on this:

Queen Amidala's pre-senate grey cocoon-kimono costume.  Star Wars. yo!
Queen Amidala’s pre-senate grey cocoon-kimono costume. Star Wars. yo!

This is for Stephanie, a dear friend and favorite collaborator.  So far, we’ve done…

Tudor (2004)
Tudor (2004)
Pompadour (2007)
Pompadour (2007)
A Spanish Duena of a somewhat mythical costume era (2008)
A Spanish Duena of a somewhat mythical costume era back when I apparently didn’t fess up to non-historical shennanigans (2008)
...and Das Uber-Bustle (2011)
…and Das Uber-Bustle (2011)

This one is going to be a bit different.  Like, no corset?  No support skirt?  No pool noodles?  Dear gawd, I might make a costume out of mostly fabric.  Fortunately, there’s that headdress to satisfy my need for strange solutions.  ;)

We’re not going for an exact replica.  For example, we’re using silver dupioni instead of the warm grey/rose cross in the original.  I’m stoked, because this is probably the biggest proportion challenge I’ve ever gotten.  Thank goodness for the Padwan’s Guide and the amazing photography gathered from the FIDM Star Wars exhibit.

Also thank goodness for another dear friend, Laura of Rocking the Frock.  See, it’s important as a costumer to have friends who are good at costume-y things that you suck at.  I suck at enbroidery.  Laura rocks at it.  Those sleeves have a lot of embroidery.  :/  We’ve arranged a small trade of services.  (And I am so grateful that this post is officially named in her honor!)

I was unable to find the cording of my dreams for her to use, and I’m not sure I understood what she said about bead sizes well enough to be confident I’d be buying the right thing, so I’ve been making cording.

Oooooh, shiny object!
Oooooh, shiny object!

It’s easy enough – it’s just a crochet chain with glass pearls in.  Pre-thread a few hundred pearls, chain 14 stitches, pull a pearl into the next stitch, repeat.  It’s oddly relaxing.

I don't know what size this hook actually is.  Size ridonkulous?  Seriously.
I don’t know what size this hook actually is. Size ridonkulous? Seriously.

It’s one of my great-grandmother’s old hooks.  She used to crochet lace.  It’s nice for them to be used again.  Ironically, I’m finding it easier to use this size than to use anything remotely normal.  Real size hooks, I can’t keep tension to save my life and my wrists threaten mutiny after about 20 stitches.  But this is nice.

I got a good 8 yards done on Thursday while supporting another teacher’s classes.  This kept me even more chilaxed than my knitting.  (I bring calming crafts when I support classes because my job is to work with the students who aren’t as quickly successful as their peers.  Needless to say, this doesn’t work out as well if they can tell I’m running out of nice.)

So, wait….  You hate embroidery, but you’re going to say that crocheting metallic thread is relaxing?  You’re gonna need to justify yourself, there, missa.

I can’t explain.

It’s more addictive than Bejeweled Blitz.

7 Comments

  1. OMG, Missa!!! I am sitting here at my desk absolutely STUNNED. You are MAKING the embroidery floss? By hand? With a miniscule crochet hook originally belonging to your great-grandmother? I mean, I know the lengths (lengths – 8 yards already???) you will go to in order to achieve/make/create a look you want – I mean, hello Pompadour and the yards and yards of frothy 3-tiered trim with pinking shears and tiny bows and poufs of lace in each scallop…but gold embroidery thread crocheted and beaded by hand??? I…I would have been happy with gold-cording-as-soutache from Joann’s!

    Both of you – thank you so, so much! My coworkers – they are going to make me their queen. In case you don’t know this, many of the wonderful people in my department (Yes, we’re nerds from Finance – why do you ask?) are dressing up as characters from Star Wars. But this will be so so beautiful – I cannot wait CANNOT WAIT to wear it!
    And just for some perspective, when Missa says it is a big proportion challenge (those are the kindest euphemistic words I’ve ever heard) she means it. Ms. Natalie Portman is a wee, elfin little thing, but I, in my bare feet am just on the shy side of 6’1″. And I have, you know, a bosom.

    In any case, I am so beyond thrilled to read this post. And I cannot wait to see the final result – I already know it will be a thrill to wear!!!

    My love and thanks to you both!!

    1. *laugh* I’ve wanted to use my great-gramma’s crochet hooks for something meaningful for a long time, gorgeous. This just felt like the right thing. Also, I’m dog-bird-house sitting and don’t have the network passwords. It is amazing how many hours are in the evening without the Googles and the Pinterest and the talking to another human being. I’m starting to remember how I used to get so much stuff done after work!

      I have more progress and pics to post, but, like, yeah…… Hopefully I will get to this weekend!

  2. Your history was incredibly helpful to me as I prepared a program for the Lehigh Valley Couturier Society! Thank you so much! I will certainly share your website and expertise with the ladies who sew! Best wishes, Elizabeth Quigley

  3. So, how’s it going, gorgeous Missa?
    (aaaaand this right here? This is exactly why I don’t play poker – I am horrible at restraining myself when gleefully happy.)

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