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Circle Skirt and Belts

While I have been not been busy blogging lately I have been busy creating and producing.

CircleSkirtI finally finished the half circle skirt, not sure I will ever undertake a full circle skirt just because I will have to hem it and I am not skilled enough to ease the fullness of the hem with a sewing machine. I am pleased with the result. Initially when I cut it out and started sewing it, a year ago, I was a bit heavier so when I resumed assembly a month ago I had to do some refashioning. I folded over the waist band, which was quite wide, and added some elastic to the waist instead of putting in a zipper as I originally planned. The polka dot fabric was a bold print decision but I think with the right styling I can pull it off. It was a bit thin and see through under the white dots so I lined with with some white broadcloth.

BeltObiAnother project I finished this week was an obi belt. I decided to make this belt because I like the fashion of wide belts, however, I could not find a wide belt in the stores. I suspect they might have gone out of style, fortunately I do not care if they are over because I’m going to sport my obi belt regardless of the fashion. I got the pattern free from burda style and I got the fabric out of the clearance bin at walmart. I liked the fabric because it had a stripe woven into the fabric and it is a color that will go with many of the things in my closet. I put a piece of stiff canvas in between the two layers to give it some body. I also used grosgrain ribbon as the ties because making a tube with the fabric would have made thick ties which would be unflattering when tied. ObiI also altered the pattern a bit to make the belt longer. Following the pattern the belt only wrapped around the front half of my waist so there was only ribbon in the back. I did not care for this look so I made the belt longer to go all the way around my waist. This was a really quick and simple project. I plan to make at least two more of these belts, one with brown canvas and white burlap and potentially a belt buckle, another with two neckties from Goodwill.

Belt3The final project I completed this week was a chainmaille belt with two hop drops. All the parts of the belt are a half persian 3 in 1 weave using rings with a larger aspect ratio so that the chains would be more flexible and the weave would have a more open appearance. I got the inspiration for this belt from an episode of Glee where they performed Bon Jovi and their attire for the performance with black leather and chains. I think I achieved my goal, the belt is figure flattering and has an 80s quality to it. Belt

More Goodwill Finds and Dabbling in Textile Art

I’m not sure what I have been doing lately with dye and fabric paint can be considered art but I am slowly figuring it out. I have always been a bit intimidated by painting and dyeing which was unfounded, not because it is easy but because you can keep redoing and modifying your piece until it looks like you want. I know one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings has like seven hands where he kept repainting the hand. So I am working on dying some jersey knit that I got from the clearance bin at Walmart for 1.50 a yard, so not a huge loss if I ruin the fabric in the dying process. So far the result has not been what I wanted. I tried dying it a dark red color but it came out more wine color since I mixed bright red and dark brown. Then I tried adding stripes using tan dye a shibori technique from the rit dye website. It has not gone so well so not part of my fabric is just a darker hue of maroon. I think I am done trying to dye this fabric and I will proceed with making something with it, maybe a layered jersey pencil skirt. We will see how that turns out, it might just be 3.00 dollars lost. If nothing else it was worth three dollars to find out that I not an expert at dying fabric and to practice sewing knits with the sewing machine which I anticipate having a bit of a learning curve.

Ombre Dyed SkirtOn to talk about my successes of the last two weeks.  A moderate success was ombre dying a skirt I got at Goodwill. The color change is more subtle in the picture than it is in real life. I used a denim blue dye to ombre dye the skirt however it just tinted the fabric, which I anticipated because it is 60 percent polyester. I forgot to take pictures of the skirt before I proceeded with the dying process but it was a light grey-blue color with some spots that had faded to almost a yellow color. The faded spots are now gone and the color is a bit more vibrant than before. Dying this skirt was a risk because it is dry clean or hand wash only and 60 percent polyester both of which the rit dye website says should be avoided. But since I got the skirt for 3.75 at Goodwill if it was ruined in the process it would not be a huge monetary loss. Luckily I did not ruin the skirt; while, it did not turn out as ombre as I hoped, it is definitely something I will wear since I dyed it thus I consider it a moderate success.

Another finished project is galaxy painting a t-shirt I got at Walmart. Again I did not want to invest a lot of money into the shirt as I was unsure of the end result. I read several tutorials online about galaxy painting clothing. It seems that there are two approaches: fabric paint and fabric dye. I chose the fabric paint approach. Several tutorials talked about using acrylic paint and washing the clothing very carefully but I would rather invest a bit more in fabric paint than spend time hand washing a t-shirt. I bleached the shirt first with a half bleach and half water mixture in a spray bottle. It is important to spray the bleach and then wait for it to work otherwise it is possible to bleach the shirt way to much. It only took a few sprays. I washed and dried the shirt before I started painting. I started with the back and I used blue, black, gold, silver and a flesh tone color paint. Of course I also used white for the stars. I used some painting sponges to apply the paint. After I painted both sides of the shirt I washed and dried it. I was still not entirely pleased with the result so I applied more paint and painted the sides of the shirt. For the stars I put white paint on a paint brush and slung the paint so that the stars would be random. In a previous post I mentioned getting a black skirt from Goodwill that I was afraid to paint. But with the success of this shirt I think I will attempt to do that same to the skirt. However, I do not care for the texture of the fabric paint so I want to try the galaxy effect using rit dye and bleach. I will bleach it in two phases so that some of the bleached areas will be lighter than others and I will use blue and wine colored dye in spray bottles. For the stars I think I will try using a bleach pen. This project is far down the list though so it will be awhile before it shows up here. Before I undertake that project I need to finish many other projects that I have already begun.

I have been off my blog posting schedule. We were on vacation and we will be moving soon so I anticipate weekly postings being difficult to maintain. Although I hope that I will get some projects finished before we move.

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