Who amongst us hasn’t been completely and utterly enamored with Padmé Amidala’s costumes? I’ve have to admit, they were one of the costumes that inspired me to get into costuming and keep upping my sewing skills so I can one day make things as wondrous and cool.
With Star Wars Celebration coming soon, I decided to finally dig into my stash and make some shit. First up was my vintage-inspired Star Wars beach set. Next? Why not revisit my most used pandemic sewing project and make it Padmé as fuck?
So I decided to use some blue stretch velvet I had and smock a ton of it to make a cocoon coat. My cocoon, or Poiret, coat is just fantastic for lounging around the house, throwing on before a video call or adding as a warm coverup for multi-weather days.
Padmé’s Episode Two costumes are some of my favorites, and when I realized I had the perfect fabric for a chill version of her iconic nightgown robe, I knew it was time. Using an old sofa cover (yep, you can get one yourself here), and a few episodes of Project Runway, I smocked along three sides of my fabric piece. Let’s get into this!
Note: This is *not* a tutorial for making the “screen accurate” version of this costume. I in no way intended to make something that requires potentially 25 yards of velvet, and to smock as well! That doesn’t sound like something I’d wanna relax in.
- 3-4 yards of velvet fabric
- 3-4 yards lining
- Fabric safe pen or chalk
First thing to know about smocking is that it will eat up your fabric, and it reduces your fabric length by 50%. The smocking pattern used on the movie goes by many names: lattice, North American, Canadian smocking.
- First: You make a grid across the areas you want to smock. You can find more on that grid here, but it’s essentially making dots 1-2 inches away and then drawing cascading, alternating lines that looks like rube goldberg machine. You can use fabric safe stuff to mark, but I 100% used a black Sharpie.
- Second: Get your thread ready. I used four-ply cotton thread that I waxed.
- Third: Work way down fabric and sew the dot to dot with lines between, then tie a knot. Sew to next dot (no line should be between the last stitch and this dot), stitch and tie knot, leaving thread loose. Repeat down lines.
First I decided what sections to smock. I did the top and sides, letting the bottom remain unsmocked for a nicer drape.
I very much went with the flow for this. I used the basic idea behind a Poiret coat to bring in two side to make sleeves. Basically, if you’ve ever worn a blanket as a cape, this is similar.
Hopefully the diagrams help. If you would prefer a pattern, check out my Poiret/cocoon coat post with info about the Folkwear 503 pattern.
For more on my thoughts on Padmé’s costumes, including info on the appropriative history behind some of these outfits, check out my video below:
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