Posts Tagged ‘costume’

Enameling class 20101023

My grandfather did some enameling and had an oven and supplies in his shop.  Now that he’s gone, no one knows how to use it!  So, I signed up for a class at the OSU craft center.  I’m mostly planning on enameling things for costumes and props etc.

I enjoyed cutting the copper out most, but the enameling is fun.  I only finished one thing, but we’re getting together next weekend and I’ll post finished pictures afterwards.


All cut out!


Adding texture to trees


“Too much”?

So, a friend asked me if I thought I took on too many projects.  I immediately thought of the 40+ projects logged in my project list and answered with an emphatic “YES!”  She asked how I could change that … and I was confounded.  Why would I want to do that?  I figured, so long as I got some things done, it was ok…  I still don’t see this as a major problem. Even when I’ve decided to go to Washington tomorrow to buy a used industrial serger.

And even when I went and got an old treadle table so I could use my Elna Grasshopper with the burnt out motor.  grasshopper

And especially when the treadle table is pretty cool, but really decrepit and in need of repairs…

So, that’s at least three new projects.  It’s a good thing I haven’t officially finished the “Optimize the Craft Room” project, because I’m going to have to do some fancy rearranging to get both of those things in there and would have to consider that a ‘new’ project, too…

Silk painting 092810

I fixed the dyes this evening and they are now drying in preparation for the final ironing before wearing. Or something. Still not sure what to do with them. But it’s interesting how the color intensity decreased a bit upon drying. And I may I have waited too long to use the salt – I noticed very little effect.

My favorite part of my favorite scarf (mostly just cause of the colors) although the interesting pattern from the squirt bottle diffused and is no longer noticeable:


I think the swirls in this one are super awesome!

And here’s a little bit of the salt effect:

PS: Got my servo! If I’m not feeling too icky tomorrow, I may play with it a bit! Woohoo!!

Silk painting 092610

So, I think I’ve finally caught up on all the things I’ve finished so far that I wanted to share with the world.  Now, what I’ve really been wanting to do, which is post as I’m working on projects. Yay!  So, here’s one that came out of nowhere…

My boyfriend arrived home one evening last week with a silk painting kit. I’d never contemplated silk painting, but now I needed to. As soon as possible. So, today I worked through the kit. The kit came with two long silk scarves and I believe his mom put in two silk handkerchiefs.

Since the mordant could only be mixed up once, I felt like I had to paint all the items to fix at the same time.  I decided to paint flowers on the handkerchiefs, but the paint spreads much more than I thought it would, even as it continues to dry.



For the really long scarves, I decided to play with the spreading. Since the scarves were laying on plastic bags, the way the dye spread was pretty cool. On the stripy scarf, I sprinkled rock salt, which is supposed to marbalize the dye as it dries. On the blotchy scarf (my favorite so far), I experimented with scrunching up the plastic and a water spray bottle.


Now, I have to wait 24 hrs for them to dry. I’ll iron them (to heat set the dye) and then swish them around in a mordant. Let them dry and then iron again and they should be rather pretty.

… I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them, though…  But silk painting was fun! I can’t claim that I’m an incredible artist w/lifelike representations, but its hard to make anything ugly with such pretty colors!

I’ve seen instructions on how to paint on a frame, which would eliminate some of the spreading artifacts. And there were instructions on how to use a resist to keep colors from combining. So, I think this is a technique I’ll be able to use in future costumes.

1950’s red dress

Saddly, I have already altered this dress once to fit my smaller size and need to do it AGAIN! SHEESH!

But, it’s pretty awesome. This is the first dress I made using my duct-tape body double and it fit perfectly (at the time).  Since then, I’ve donated the double to Fat Fancy (an awesome resale store in Portland) and am waiting until I get to my “optimal” weight and can maintain that for a while before I build another one…

SO! Here are some finished pictures of it!

Here I am in my Red Dress!

with apron

Spur-of-the-moment Fairy Costume

This was a fun, spontaneous costume! The girl I made it for had a beautiful leather mask with opalescent colors to it, so we went down to the local fabric store and picked out fabric.  She wasn’t really interested in flowers, or butterflies, or ruffles, lace, etc. So, to give the costume some vibrancy we seleceted three fabrics which I pieced together before sewing the garment. She loved it!


Putting the fabric together to make each pattern piece


Putting the garment together


I like how this shot shows all the layers

I am officially a fan-girl

I am generally not interested in celebrities.  I’ve gone to a couple shows or conventions and have only been somewhat entertained by the ones I’ve seen, yet not interested in meeting them or anything.

Today, I went and visited a friend from the now defunct Portland TechShop, Kathy, and we were catching up on random sewing and life news.  Just as I was leaving, I mentioned that I was still working on my steampunk script and amature movie with the intention of sewing many Victorian costumes and cool steampunk gadgets and she says to me “You should go see my friends work. Her name is Paloma….”  and my entire torso spasms in a visceral reaction that I was not at all prepared for. “No, Kathy, you don’t know Paloma…” and we say in near unison “Soledad.”  FRITO!!

I confess to Kathy that I LOVE her work.  I had known that she worked on Coraline, but I figured she’d only be staying up here for a while and then going back to California, but Kathy says she lives here in town and described her living room and shoe collection.  How can that be? I found it particularly funny, because a major reason why I started going to the TechShop was to be able to use the machines to make costumes as elaborate and multi-media as hers…  sculpting wooden blocks for leather forming, metal bending/cutting/casting tools, the hack space for electrified parts and pieces… And to only now find out that Kathy knows her? Wow!  But, I immediately begin to talk down to myself.  “She’s so creative and actually paid for her creative work and pretty, what would you possible have in common with her to maintain more than one, awkward conversation?”  I rally, and defend myself: “I’m creative, too, in my own way! And I am really nice!”, but really… neither parts of my brain were convinced.

I discovered Ms. Soledad’s work through Dr. Steel’s website where I bookmarked her last June and check in on her webpage every once in a while, wistfully prodding myself to do GET TO WORK!