Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bits and Bobs

* Taylor of Dames a la Mode not only sells lovely repro jewelry but she also just opened La Mode Supplies, an etsy store selling vintage jewelry supplies.

* The amazingly talented embroiderer Michele Carragher (who did all the embellishment on the Game of Thrones costumes) now has a Facebook page where she's uploading high res images and talking more about her creative process.

* Katherine of the Fashionable Past has a nice write up on how to hem yourself with no helper or dress form.

* You probably know about the Historical Sew Fortnightly, but did you know there a challenge for the non-historical costumers as well?  Sheer Madness is a group for those crazy costumes that defy historical parameters, and they too have challenges (and prizes!)  Check out the sidebar on the website for the latest challenge or you can join the facebook page here.

* Messy Nessy Chic has an interesting article on Victorian bathing machines with lots of photos and illustrations of historic swimsuits.  Check it out here.

* There's a wonderful photo archive going around the net of Australian convicts from the 1920s.  Some of them are so swanky they look like they stepped out of Boardwalk Empire and other look like they're already in the midst of the Great Depression.  Regardless it's a wonderful source for those wanting to see what real people wore.

* American Duchess has another irresistible shoe in development - a repro of an Edwardian shoe from the Newport Historical society.  You can vote on the color you like best here.

* Speaking of clothing in development Lauren from Wearing History has announced that she will be producing a line of Ready-to-Wear vintage fashions!  She's started polling on her blog as to styles and garment types, so get your vote in now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Even more Game of Thrones Fabric Painting

I spent about 4 hours outside today working on my Cersei fabric and have a few more thoughts on using this kind of stencil that I thought might be useful to someone else.

3 yards done!
  •  A good rule for large motifs like this is 1 bottle of paint per yard - assuming you're using the Jacquard Lumiere paints as I was. 
  • Given that you may go through a lot of paint if you're creating yardage like I am, as opposed to just a border design, it's worth finding the cheapest source of paint and ordering a significant amount so you don't run out mid-project.  The cheapest source I've found is Blick Art Materials at $3.03 per bottle.  I'm lucky enough to have a Blick close to me, if you have to mail order it will cost you more.
  • This is NOT a project for the OCD crowd.  It's inevitable that some designs will look better than others, that there will be small mistakes and motifs with slightly more or less space between them.  If any of that bothers you this is not the project for you.
  • That said, measuring is really important.  When looking at the fabric as a whole small imperfections don't catch the eye much but large spaces do.  Make sure your motifs are spaced the same in all directions to get the most pleasing result.
  • The foam pouncers seem to work better but some brands worked better than others.  The 1 inch diameter Michael's brand one has worked the best for me
  • But paint tends to stay in the pouncer, so every once an a while squeeze the pouncer against your pallet to squeeze out the excess paint -- and make that bottle last longer!
  • Protect your work surface!  I have a very old vinyl table cloth I use for all my art projects, I covered my table with that and found much metallic paint had stained it when I was done.
  • Smooth your fabric and protective table cloth well.  Bumps and wrinkles can interrupt the design or worse, mess up the alignment of the motif. 
  • Since I'm working with so much fabric (over 6 yards) pinning the sections I'm NOT working with together has been really helpful to keep things neat.  Just be sure not to pin any layers together that are not completely dry.
  • While the Martha Stewart Silkscreen stencil I used seems very flimsy it's held up pretty well so far.  I've lost a few minor details but the design is so busy I'm okay with that. 
  • It has, however, completely lost the self adhesive property it started with.  Not too surprising given you have to wash it after each application.  I just hold the stencil steady with one hand while pouncing with the other.
I'm out of paint once again and am not sure I will do all 6 yards, but it's tempting to do more just to have extra of my very own fabric!

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Fabric Painting for Game of Thrones

cerseiSince it was a warm and sunny day I spent a bunch of time outside fabric painting again.  I got some nice cheap poly georgette in the LA Garment District the other day so I decided I would make Dany's Qarth gown, and if I look mutton-dressed-as-lamb so be it!  But the fabric needed to be sponged with gold paint to get the right look.  So I worked on that and some more stenciling of the Cersei gown fabric.  I used the Martha Stewart Silk Screen Stencil for the Paisleys on Cersei and natural sea sponges for the Qarth gown and the Lumiere Metallic fabric paints for both. I got about 50 inches of paisley fabric done, which took about 1.5 bottles of paint.

Here are some of my thoughts after doing this most of the afternoon:

Silk Screen Stencil: With this stencil is really is important to follow the directions and clean it well after each use.  Eventually the tiny holes in the silk get plugged with paint even with cleaning.  I'm thinking that I may need to buy another stencil because despite cleaning after each use I have dried paint in the edges and I'm losing detail as a result.  It's also important to use a medium pouncer, it's too easy to make mistakes with the really large one.  Smaller is slower but more controlled.  The pouncer doesn't need to be cleaned after each stencil BUT when you do clean it (every other or 3rd stencil) it's important that you let it dry almost completely, too much water in the pouncer = muddied design.

Look at how nice the one on the left is compared to the one on the right where I had too much water.


Sponging: Sponging is actually the opposite, to get the soft mottled effect I'm looking for the sponge needs to be pretty wet.  Wrung out but not all the way, then dipped into the paint, pressed onto the pallet a few times to get excess paint off then stamped onto the fabric.  Going over areas repeatedly with different levels of paint creates more depth.  I needed far less paint for the Qarth gown, I used one bottle for just over 5 yards.


Lumiere Metallic Paints: I really love these paints.  The bright gold is amazingly bright, almost looks like real metal in the sun.  The metallic rust is much darker, wouldn't be my favorite color if not for it being closest to that I'm looking for, but still nice.  Both add some stiffness to the fabric but really far less than many other fabric paints, and both have great coverage.

Goldfingers!  The paper plate I poured my paint into looked like a tiny shield when I was done, it shown so brightly.


Game of Thrones Costuming links

Obviously I'm obsessed...  :P  I blame my excitement last night's tonight's episode...

* Just in case you're a GoT costume fan and on FB - there's an active GoT costuming group there with lots of nice reference photos of the different characters.

* They were the ones who gave me the heads up about this interesting article by Hogan McLaughlin on Margaery's various outfits.

* After watching the videos and how to's on Michele Carrigher's website and seeing that much of her work is done separately from the costume construction and added later as an applique I feel even better about my plan for appliqueing the birds from the embroidered fabric I bought onto the costume.  The question is, for the aqua gown the birds are the main embroidered motifs and are relatively small, should I do the beading and couching of trim before or after construction?  Some has to be done after since it crosses construction lines.    I think I'll do most of the sleeve embellishment before at least...still working it all out obviously, but interested in any ideas on this or methods other people have used.

* Thanks to Katherine for the heads up on Italian mesh wire.  Michele Carrigher mentioned in on her website but I completely missed it.  This was the base for the big gold designs under the birds on Cersei's red gown.  It might also be the metal meshwork that can be seen with the dragonscale smocking on Dany's royal blue tunic.  Specialty Beads not only has the wire but also some really lovely Venetian glass beads that would be perfect for Dany's Qarth gown belt. 

* We're doing some spring cleaning and in the midst of a box of toys my kids were getting rid of I found this little guy - he's a "Terrordactyl"  kind of like a "Fur Real" pet only a dinosaur. 

Am I crazy to think he could painted and modded to be a decent (albeit somewhat cartoonish) baby dragon?  Added bonus (or fatal flaw?) he's animatronic and makes growling noises and snaps at people.

* Anyway, I loved that Katherine embroidered a bag with her house motto and thought it might be fun to see some links to houses/ sigils for others wanting to do a GoT costume that is NOT a specific character.   The wiki of fire and ice has a listing of all the major houses here and the minor ones here, most with their mottos and gif of their sigils.  There are also some nice large images of the standards from some of the houses here. 

* For those with a 3-D printer or access to one Thingverse has a bunch of the sigils for the houses as well, and said they'd be willing to add some of the minor houses to their collection as well. 

* On Spoonflower Mellymellow, who has the repro of the Marie Antoinette strawberries fabric, also has a repro of for Daenarys' Qarth gown fabric and Aimee has both the blue and the pink colorway of Dany's tunic fabric. Courtneyb2482 has a collection of fabrics with the HBO version of the sigils that might be fun to make small bags out of here.