Wednesday, 28 January 2015

We're Getting Married #3 - The Dress

This post has been a long time coming - I have finally made the first baby steps in making a wedding dress. I hate to have ended up with these sneaky close up photos, but unfortunately at this point it's for the best!
There is by no means a set plan right now, but ideas are becoming more clearly formed, and after receiving a mannequin from my amazing mum for Christmas, I'm finally getting into the swing of just pinning things and seeing what happens.

Fabric wise, I am hoping to combine some gorgeous lace from White Tree Fabrics along with some amazing raw silk that I'm upcycling from an antique (completely over the top princess) wedding dress.
The silk hasn't aged particularly well so I'm currently in the midsts of experimenting in ways to revive it; Hydrogen Peroxide has been purchased, eek!

Style wise, I've been fighting with myself and the question of a short/long dress for the last month or so - it's so hard to decide!
I've found a few dress patterns that I plan to hack, and I've also just dug out an old dress with a very broken zipper that used to fit me like a glove. The plan is to take that apart and trace new pattern pieces from it for part of the dress, and then use the other dress patterns for other areas. Phewf!

It's made me feel surprisingly excited to re-read all of that, so hopefully excitement will continue to win out over fear and things will soon start to take shape.
Right now it's all about endless toiles using an old cotton curtain lining and a dashing net curtain - they make quite a team I can tell you :)

Friday, 16 January 2015

DIY: Upcycled Shibori Dress

I bought this cream dress from H&M years ago, but can only remember wearing it once because it turned out to be totally see through. It has been sat in my wardrobe ever since; I love the fit so I didn't want to get rid of it, but it's only now having had a new year clear out that I decided it was time to do something about it.

I've been wanting to try Shibori dyeing for a while now so this seemed like a good project to test it on. I didn't buy the proper dye, instead opting for a Dylon hand dye in black as I had some jeans to freshen up too - forever thinking thrifty! This worked out really well as the dye has faded in a few areas which gives a really nice effect - I think if I had gone with a blue or navy dye that it would have faded too much.

There are tons of different techniques for Shibori dyeing, but here's how I did it for this dress...

I laid out the dress flat, and then began concertina folding it lengthways. I folded the sleeves in first to make this easier.

Then I concertina folded it the other way, leaving me with a square of fabric. You will need two small pieces of wood to sandwich the fabric in - these blocks were left over shelves from an Ikea DVD shelf!

With the fabric sandwiched in between the wood blocks, I then used tons of elastic bands to secure it all.
After that it's just a case of following the instructions on the fabric dye that you are using and hoping for the best :)

I've always loved the process of fabric dyeing, and this was a particularly fun project to see develop. Plus, the dress is now perfectly wearable and not at all indecent - hoorah! Now I'm just wondering what I can dye next...

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Crafting: Taking on Upholstery - The Results

Firstly, happy new year! I won't reel off any cliches, but here's to an amazing year :)

It seems strange to be posting in the new year with an old project, but it's finally time to show off the big chair project that took up so much time in November/December.

You can see my previous posts about the chair here and here, but without further ado, here's that all important before and after shot and some pretty close ups... what do you think?!

Honestly, it's a little wonky, and there are some pretty amateurish areas that can be found on closer inspection, but I am so so chuffed with it!
It was such a fun project to work on - mostly because J and I worked together on it - and it's become a practical piece of furniture that we both love.
More importantly, Pixel adores it, and I was not kidding when I said previously that she never left it; as these photos prove. Honestly, she is as much a part of the chair as the piping!

If anyone reading this has ever considered reupholstering before, I say do it. It's daunting and fiddly, but it is a lot of fun too. It's such a good way to recycle and put your stamp on something and for me that ticks all the boxes.

Cost wise, I have no idea if we over paid for certain materials, but with the chair being free and the fabric won on eBay, I think it worked out pretty well. It's definitely tons cheaper than buying new (and way more satisfying) that's for sure!