quilted petticoat

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Revenge of the Sith | Behind the Seams | The Peacock Gown

As the ensuing Clone Wars threaten the Republic in the opening of Episode III, Padmé is seen wearing the somber colors of mourning. Constrained by her hidden marriage, her costumes now adopt a Victorian silhouette. She is shrouded in petticoats and crinolines - fashions adopted to conceal her pregnancy - but the design also heralds the oppresion of the dark times on Coruscant, the coming of the Empire. All the costumes in which she is seen in public hang from the shoulders and are supported on what is essentially a simplified crinoline shape unerneath. Using steel rings in the petticoats and quilted petticoats to keep stiffness underneath allowed Trisha Biggar to use soft fabrics on the top, so there would still be a very soft, feminine feel to Padmé’s costumes.

The Peacock Gown consists of a glossy, high-collared underdress woven from a tightly pleated material which Biggar called “peacock fabric” because of the way it shifted colours according to different lighting conditions and Natalie Portman’s movement. In different lights, it looks both blue and rusty brown. The puff sleeves are drawn at the lower arm and have beads dangling from the cuff. Over this dress Padmé wears a long, brown, layered coat that is somewhat triangular from the front and has a cape that goes over her arms. Small tassels hung off each ending of the coat, which is decorated in its entirety in scrollwork done in ribbon.

Padmé’s headdress is an unique design, shaped like a rectangle with an in-facing scalloped front. The sides are done in a decorative yet simple style in a grayish metal with Padmé’s hair done in myriad tight ringlets resembling strings of beads. In order to create the thin, tight ringlets of the hairstyle which was heavily influenced by Ancient Egyptian female fashion, the hairdressing department had to carefully match swatches of real Russian hair to the actress’s hair color. The matches needed to be made under sunlight, as fluorescent lights don’t accurately reflect true color. What’s more, different colors of hair were mixed together to create realistic ringlets that looked natural. For the headpiece itself, Trisha Biggar had a pin she liked reproduced a dozen times. The reproductions were placed on hand-bent piano wire, then plated, and finally lined with leather.

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Embroidered petticoats.

Maybe we don’t need fully printed petticoats or quilted ones for a super fashionable and striking look: a nice fabric and a beautiful embroidery are a match made in heaven. I wish I knew how to embroider XD

  1. Silk petticoat embroidered with silk and metallic thread, and bobbin lace, ca. 1760, Portugal, LACMA.
  2. Cotton petticoat embroidered with copper and zinc sequins and gilded silver thread, late 18th Century, New Spain, National Museum of History, Mexico (bad photo obviously by me).
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Step One — A lady’s stockings reached just above the knee, and were black for day-time wear, and white or colored for evening. Stockings were held in place by garters. Over the stockings went a pair of drawers (which were two leg flaps sewn together at the waist and crotchless to make going to the bathroom easier). Layer one was finished with the addition of a knee-length chemise.

Step Two — A corset (or stays) strengthened with steel or whalebone served a dual purpose: it supported a woman’s breasts while pulling in her waist enough to keep it defined even after adding up to to five or six petticoats to give her skirt the mid-century bell-shape (the cage crinoline would later replace these petticoats). 

Step Three — A camisole went over the corset to protect the dress from sweat and oils. A final petticoat, a quilted or decorative petticoat went over the top of the other 4-5 petticoats.

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Made a few work in progress pictures of Dagmars outfit for bjdday! :D I only have one more panel to embroider on her coat, but this is half of the quilted petticoat she’s going to wear under her skirt. As in, you won’t even see it, eventually *cough* But I just love quilted petticoats, and I thought it would be a nice touch of femininity in the outfit, even if it is hidden.

Anyway, this is only half, obviously XD I just pinned it to her bloomers for some pictures. It’s made of cream cotton with a thin layer of wadding inbetween, and then the motives stitched in split stitch, using floche thread, and then some lattice embroidery and quilting in cotton quilting thread, and the flower in needlelace. There will be two more panels, and then a row of lace around the hem.