Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Simple Shirts Were Transformed into Octo-Dress

My neighbor is awesome.

Let's just start there.

He gives me tons of clothing, old and new, to work with.

Have I told how much I love free fabric?

Well ...


Here is my pile of shirts I plan to work with to bring my design idea to life.

Here is my design idea.  I love sea creatures.  Octopus is high on my favorite list.  I really want to get an octopus tattoo on my arm.  This will have to suffice for now.
Octo-Dress Sketch:

Here is the pattern I will be working with.  I am using Pattern B.

I have worked with this pattern before with this dress.  The totally not me dress.  I struggled with this pattern the first time.  It is very time consuming and it requires a lot of fabric.  I'm still not a huge fan of the pattern.  I don't know if I will attempt another dress from it again.  I'm much happier with how this dress came out versus the previous one I linked.

I started by cutting out the midriff panel (outer fabric) from the blue.

Since I didn't have much blue, I used the white for the two (yes TWO) layers of lining.  So much darn lining in this dress!  I saved the little guitar image because I want to use it in another refashion someday.

Then I cut the rest of the pattern from all my white shirts.  Some of the shirts were heavier than others.  I tried to keep the heavy fabric on the outside and the lighter on the lining.  

I had to use a lighter weight shirts for the skirt because I had more of those than heavy weight fabric shirts and I needed them to match.

I was worried it would be see through, since there is no lining in the skirt (weird!  I added skirt lining to the other dress I made in this pattern).  It doesn't seem to be an issue, though.  Phew!

Now all my pieces are cut.  Time to start creating my screen print design.  

I had to get creative.  I knew I wanted to use nerf gun bullets dipped in Speedball screen printing ink, but I realized I would need to have a larger tentacle to give it the effect of an octopus arm wrapping around me.  It would need to go from big tentacles to small tentacles.

I used this little tool to carve out a tentacle from a wine cork.  Amazingly, it worked!

I used a foam block underneath my fabric to give it an even print and protect my work surface.

Nerf bullet in action.  I'm digging the effect.

You can see the wine cork print versus the nerf gun print here.  This was just a practice piece to make sure I could pull the effect off before I went for the real deal.

A couple finished pieces drying by the window.

I did each piece individually after being cut into their pattern pieces, so I had control over how the design would look on my body.  I wanted it to look like an octopus had wrapped it's arms around me in various areas.  Around the bust, leg, back, etc.

Here is the finished product.  It took a little tweaking to get the fit right.  

Overall, I am happy with how it came out.  I really like creating a print.  It's fun to have something totally unique.

I'm not totally happy with the back.  I had the same issue with the other dress.  I cut the zipper shorter, so it ended at the base of the midriff.  I think all the lining on top is heavy and the skirt is so light it makes the zipper do weird things.  It looks a bit better now that I cut it, but I still feel like it wants to lean to the side and pucker at the bottom.  Grrr. 

I tried my hardest to line up the side tentacles.  Close enough.

My favorite is the bodice.

I wish the blue shirt was a little more royal blue to match the ink, but I wanted to work with what material I had.  I think it still works?

And the bunchy back :(.  Does it look terrible?  

Overall I am very happy with my creation.  It might have been more successful had I chose a better pattern.  I'm glad I gave that pattern one more shot, though.  

Is this wearable?
Too artsy crafty?
or Octo-Awesome?