Haven't posted on here in quite a while - (Sorry!) But I've made a lot of new things in the past year, so I'll be happy to start sharing again! I made this dress from vinyl records that were donated from a local music store. This is the first time working with this material for me, so I would LOVE any additional suggestions for cutting it!
The first thing I did was take a stack of records that I thought worthy of cutting up with metal shears. I made a smaller circle template that would fit six cutouts from each large vinyl record, and marked them with a sharpie, and cut them out. *Note*...this was tedious and the plastic was very sharp on the edges, and some of the records were so old and brittle that they shattered when I tried to cut them.
For the top "corset" part, I took the circles and softened them with a heat gun before layering them into a torso shape, and melted them together. I used quite a bit of hot glue on the back to reinforce the joints, and attached a soft cup bra into the inside to keep it from irritating whomever is wearing it. I also used some pleather along the top and bottom edges, and for the strap and the sides where it laces together.
On the bottom skirt part, the circles are joined together with metal jump-rings that I formed from electric fence wire (I bought a spool of it at the local hardware store. I use this for a lot of things that require sturdy wire!). Using the jump rings, the skirt is able to move and act a bit more like fabric.
The blue underskirt is made from woven plastic that came from our neighbor's trampoline. They were throwing away the trampoline 'cause it got mangled in a windstorm, but the plastic was in good shape still.
There is a video (or two?) floating around of this being worn by my model...we had a big fashion show this past weekend where I live, so there are also lots of photos out there on Facebook now! I'll try to post a link to the video below, my part of the runway show starts at around the 3:47 mark .
OH YEAH ... and the silver necklace is made from pop tabs and silver plastic. I'll try to write a post about that one later on! (PS: The second photo was taken by myself, and the first photo was taken by Andrew Kung.)
I haven't posted any of my new projects in QUITE some time, so I thought I'd give an update:
Models: Hannah Kellogg, Carol Czirr Russell. Photo by Andrew Kung.
Models: Kelly Green Crume, Jenny Blair. Photo by Andrew Kung. Additional gown by Soreyda Begley.
The first photo has two outfits...the white tutu is made from plastic grocery bags, with a tube top from a green mesh corn bag/sack. I also made a white tulle underskirt to help the skirt keep a nice poufy shape. I have a newly-discovered *love* for tutus, and will continue to make them here and there out of miscellaneous items! The grocery bags are fused together using a clothes iron. I also made a matching bag from more of the same green cornsacks, which I'll have to photograph eventually...
The blue strapless gown is made from a fleece travel-blanket (the bottom of the dress still has the pocket and handle attached where the blanket would fold into itself). The design for this one was based on a bridesmaids dress that I still have hanging around my house. I traced the basic shapes that made up the pieces of the bridesmaids dress, and made it a bit longer and a bit bigger in the bust than I would have for myself. I'm really happy with how the bottom turned out, but I will have to research a bit more on how to do attach the lining properly to the zipper area.
The second photo is of a gown that was made from a camping tent - a neighbor was going to throw it out because the poles were broken. I did use a pattern for this dress, and it is lined with a simple white bedsheet. It is super-comfortable, too! For the straps, I used the tie-down toggles/cord and left them extra long, so you can wrap them around your arms if you want On me, the dress sweeps the ground, but these proffessional models are WAY taller than myself ... so I'll have to keep that in mind for my future projects!
I made this Link plushie for my step-son ... made him from scratch, and I kinda regret not drafting a pattern while I was making him. The hair was the hardest part, I sort of started at his bottom-right "sideburn" and attached along the hairline from right to left, twisting and forming the fabric a little bit as I went until I reached the left side. I cut the piece of fabric bigger than I knew I would need, and snipped off what I needed as I attached it. From the side view, you can see that the back part of his hair is actually just the entire back circle of the head piece.
The hat has several pieces of velcro attached to it so you can remove it and replace it exactly as it should be. The hat is basically a cone that I scrunched/folded strategically to make it shaped correctly.
The tunic and belt are also separate pieces that you can remove. The shirt has a zipper in back and the belt has a piece of elastic so you can slip it off. OH YEAH! And the sword is removable. I just made his little fingers into a circle that fits the sword handle (hilt? Is that what it's called?) snug-ly.
I'm going to actually make him separate little boots to slip on over the old ones. The fabric I used originally is not staying together at the seam, so I'll probably have to take extreme measures and hot-glue the seam. So I'll be making better, more detailed boots eventually.
Made this one about a year or two ago, and just now dug it out to photograph and put a sleeve on the back. Just thought I'd share with you all
I'm pretty sure I was inspired by the song "Swimming Horses" by Siouxsie & the Banshees... It's about 30 inches square, a good size for a wee one to snuggle underneath.
The darkest brown on the horse is a "fake leather" fabric, and the hair is a coppery silk. The rest is cotton, on which I used shibori techniques and Procion MX dyes. I used fleece for the back, and did some free-motion quilting in the water.
I also hand-stitched my name on the front using multi-colored thread, which was fun, but also very time-consuming. The way it did it: (I hope this makes sense!) * BEFORE I quilted the three layers together, I decided I'd stitch this to show on the front of the quilt only, in the bottom corner. * I signed my name in pen on a scrap of tracing paper, so I could flip it over and still see the words. * I taped the paper in it's reversed form to the BACK of the quilt top. Now I'm looking at my name, in mirror-image, on the backside of where I want it to be. * Then using a needle and thread, I pierced the paper with backstitches, tracing my signature--still in reverse, but flipping occasionally to check that I've filled in everything. * When you layer your quilt, the messier, underside of your signature will be on the inside of it, completely hidden.
Doing the signature this way, I didn't have to draw/write on the face of the quilt, but the signature still looks like my handwriting. I can never get the machine to do free-motion with tiny words like that, and it never looks like I "wrote" it...I simply don't do cursive
The binding...oh my gosh...I had NO idea how long it would take to hand-stitch that thing when I started it! I probably spent 4 hours stitching the binding to the back with minimum showage. <--(In my vocabulary, I suppose that's a legitimate word today.)
My mom has been saving Birdseed bags and Dogfood bags for me to make these...they're definitely a conversation-starter! I use scrap fabrics to line them, usually a thicker dark fabric if I've got it, or felt might even work. The red "Old Roy" bag has black corduroy on the inside and the handles are made from clear aquarium tubing. I made myself a blue one with a cell-phone pocket on the side, and it's now my favorite bag!
The pattern was traced from a "market bag" that I bought years ago when I was in Mexico...I really like the rounded-bottom shape. It's only three pieces sewn together (the bottom and sides are one long rectangle), plus the lining. I posted a blog a week or so ago which has a few more photos of different variation, plus additional info on how I attach the handles--- http://www.twistedtextiles.com/2008/06/20/now-with-new-shapes-and-colors/
I'm a bit addicted to making these ...I've got two others started, and I'm trying to find some cat food bags to try next Of course, I sometimes really have to scrub the bags to get the oils off them...most pet foods have some terrible stuff in it
I usually don't make stuffed animals, but I had an urge to see if I could makeup a pattern for one, so I did His lil' antlers are pose-able, and I decided to give him "anime" eyes. I can't think of an appropriate name for him (at least I think it's a "him") ... Any suggestions?
(my step-daughter poses for a picture with him)
I was mainly testing out the "free-motion" quilting function on my new sewing machine to see how it works. I used green sweatshirt and teeshirt material, with some lavender silk for his belly. I'd like to take some photos with a lighter background, though. He's huge and cuddly, and I love how he has "paws" for feet
I always make my husband a pair of slippers for Christmas...(yes, I am *quite* behind this year 'cause it's now May and I'm finally getting around to it )... I didn't really make these from scratch, but instead bought the gray flannel slippers at Target and embellished them with cross-stitched skulls and clay "buttons" :
I made the buttons from epoxy clay and sewed them on...but I also ended up super-gluing the backs, too---I was so nervous about them coming off since they would probably be banged around and stepped on a lot!
Well, where do I begin?---Since this is technically a sculpture (while still being crafty...) I'll post it *here*! Here's my favorite extreme closeup:
It's a teapot that I've made out of teabags. (And yes, the lid comes off so you can store stuff in there!! yay!) I've colored the teabags with green leather dye, and have done some hand-embroidery on the lid (elephants).
I started out by making a pattern piece for the body of the teapot; it's made from about seven pieces which form the main part of the body...think "beachball" like the kind that have red and blue and white parts attached to make a sphere. I layered the teabags onto cloth, then dyed certain parts green after it was all sewn together (I decided to leave the top ones white/natural. The spout took a little bit of trial and error to get the shape of the cone right, but I really like how it looks like an elephant "snout" XD
I considered several different ways of doing the handle, but opted for one that was like a "fin"...it really completes the elephant theme because to me it looks like an ear. I added copper wire to match the copper embroidery thread that I used for the elephants and flowers on the lid. Here's an above shot:
I left all the teabag tags on when I sewed them to the base, so they flare out at the bottom. If you wear the teapot on your head, the tags swing down in front of your face---because yes...It does make an interesting hat... I've already tried it
It's made from the protective film that covers Plexiglass when you buy it new. The plastic for the dress is not fused (although I do that regularly also), but is pieced together from 12 inch squares...that's how I salvaged the plastic, it was already cut that way. I deviated from the pattern in several places, including the bottom white/clear band of plastic (it's a large piece of plastic that covered our new mattress when we bought it). I had to find a different way of doing/undoing the top because a zipper was out of the question! So I sewed a few snaps. The dress is actually 3 pieces...the jacket and two skirts. Oh, and the corset. But that was another project that I'll have to post separately
(And of course, my husband and I had to have a photo-shoot with awesome hair-do's, makeup, and the whole shebang!)
*edit* Ooops...maybe I should have listed this in the "reconstructed" section? Not sure We always have so many of these bottles at our house! And since I have to peel off the labels before I take them to the recycling center, I noticed that there was a cool pattern underneath the label. (...can anyone recognize what kind of beverage bottle this is from?)
It's from the VitaminWater drinks they have at every Kroger store (at least in the part of the U.S. where I live).
I used a stencil-cutter (a cheap ten dollar one, it can also be used for wood-burning) to cut off the ends of the bottle and then cut out the oval design. The lines were already there...so I just followed them. The edges aren't sharp since they're melted. The centers (the parts that are now missing) also have a nice raised-dot pattern that I have used for another bracelet---I'll have to take a photo of that one, too.
I used a ruler to mark dots every half inch along both edges, and used the stencil-cutter to melt small holes. I then threaded the holes with very thin copper wire and clear glass beads (the wire stays put so you can keep the "scalloped" look that I have here---just press your thumbnail against the wire to make the curves after you've threaded and secured all the beads).
My hands are fairly small, so they had no problem fitting through the bracelet, and it's very flexible so I would imagine that others could fit into it as well. Of course, if you look around you could probably find many other types of beverage bottles with interesting "pre-drawn" patterns on them I just especially liked the very clear plastic on this one...it goes with everything that way. It is fairly "chunky" in the way it fits, (I would guess it's about 5 inches in length) but since it's clear it doesn't look (or feel) bulky.
This one went so well (it's super easy!) that now I'm on the lookout for colored plastic bottles. Maybe the green from sprite or mountain dew?---but yuck, someone else will have to drink the dew for me