Character: Padme Amidala (Pre-Senate Kimono)

From: Episode I, The Phantom Menace

Completed: March 2006

this costume experience. i like the way many aspects turned out, considering my budgetary and time constraints.

the grand total cost ended up being somewhere around $63. not bad, eh? although, theoretically, it's a bit above my goal.


this was a nightmare, to some degree. i made all the pieces seperately, which turned out to be a poor decision, because, at the last minute, it required alot of finesse to get things finished.

the 'hair fan' is just that. foam, covered in a stitched black poly cover, wrapped in synthetic brown hair. the metal bands are wire-mesh based, covered in clay, painted and varnished. they're held into the fan by extra-long straight pins

the side pieces were built up and molded to my head using model magic. by drying one layer at a time, i was able to achieve rock-hard results. there's actually three different items that create the sides: the base piece with the silver mottled pattern, the naboo symbol (attached to the base to create a neat raised effect), and the gold pieces, which were molded to the base with wiremesh, then covered in clay, painted and such, all seperately. everything was glued together.

the overall base of the headdress is a skullcap, custom fitted to allow for a headband, which secures the headdress to my hair. the visible parts of the skullcap (i.e., the very back and the very front) were covered in hand-tied wefts of brown synthetic hair.

the beading...yeah. that was fun. i'd had alot of iridescent and white seed beads of all sizes for ages, remnants of old jewelrymaking projects. i hated to toss them. they were one of the reasons i chose this costume, aside from the grey kimono fabric i already had..

thanks to some massive bead sales at Hobby Lobby, i was able to get the rest for cheap. i made the bead strands, fifty total, first. in varying lengths. the 'cap' of beads is in the front, and the back. the entire thing has a grosgrain ribbon base, fitted to my head with the skullcap on.

i had loads of fun carrying this bad boy around with me..working on it whenever i had time. f.y.i.- if you want to meet the world's weirdest drunks, work on this headdress while at a bar...then try to explain what you're doing to the drunks. it's loads o' fun! heh heh.

all in all, the headdress is pretty rockin' and only weighs about five pounds, which isn't bad. it's pretty comfy to wear, too.

as i become more skilled at molding and casting, i will more than likely dismantle it and resin cast it, keeping only the skullcap, hairfan, and beaded piece out of the original. we shall see, eh?

:: kimono ::

the second reason i chose this costume? the infamous remnants of the 2 bolt purchase of the dual sided-platinum bridal satin/steel grey taffeta fabric that i'd had for ages. no, really. years. yay for $1 a yard!

i altered a kimono pattern, and tweaked the sleeves and front to get them perfect. i'm quite proud of their accuracy, granted i look completely stupid in them.

the beading on the sleeves is actually embroidered in gold thread first, with small-sized pearls every inch on the curls. it's not very visible in pictures, but it's accurate, and goregeous. i still feel like i could have extended the swirl design to be wider, but, under the two-month time constraint i had, i did the most i could stomach before hitting full-on-panic mode.

:: undershirt ::

i took a hint from aSurlygirlie, who made this costume years ago, and used an old t-shirt as the base, stitching the two collars onto it. the fitted under sleeves are attachable to the t-shirt, and are made from the coordinating baby blue taffeta ($1 a yard-- oh yeeah!), and covered in a off-white crushed voile, courtesy of the remnant pile. they match the second skirt and the collar.

i had tinkered with the idea of not messing with the voile, out of pure frustration with this costume, but i'm glad i stuck it in. it turned out nicely, although photos don't really capture the textured details.

:: underskirts ::

the top skirt is the blue taffeta/voile. due to a lack of fabric, i could only extend it halfway. that means it requires some adjusting from time to time.

the bottom skirt is the same as the second collar: a deep burgundy/black weave taffeta base, covered in a layer of seafoam green chiffon, and plum chiffon (all $1 yard, you guessed it!). i ran out of time to pleat the underskirt, but it's on the laundry list of things to do someday.

::the face::

Kryolan Aquacolor 70 container. it definitely is easier to apply, and holds up to sweat better, but i'm still not completely happy with it. it's still splotchy.

i use the red maxfactor semipermanent lipstick for the reds, but it's difficult to get off after a full day of wear, so, you know, don't try that.

:: obi ::

i hate my current obi. the fabric's way too golden. i just couldn't find anything else-- no matter how hard i looked. i did, however, the the stiffness right, thanks to several layers of heavy-duty interfacing mingled with heat and bond.


the obi's constructed like a back-boned corset, with the back covered by a flap/fold. it's meant to press down the chest and, hey, boy does it ever. although, i have no doubt that if i had a much small er chest it would lie flat, and not get the middle pleat. i consider it a miracle i was able to compress my chest as much as i did with taping, and then the obi corset....and that i could still sit comfortably.

:: hairpiece ::

sadly i don't have pictures of this on my actual head with the beaded cowrie shell/ strands piece (which turned out lovely!).

after much searching i finally found a 35 inch long clip-on ponytail on eBay. styling it in the three tiers of braids was easy.

the beaded piece attached at the top very simply by using a stitched-on toupee clip.

source photo, and visual research done at, photos of my actual costume are coutesy of Eurobeat King, Lady Stoshia, and Kiantewench.