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Topic: Autumn Fairy Queen (with a tutorial!)  (Read 2246 times)
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Aislynn
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« on: November 01, 2011 07:48:41 AM »


(See the second post for a wings tutorial!)

This year I was on a super tight budget, so almost everything came out of my stash.  I used two yards of squidgy rayon knit for the long skirt.  I used a pencil skirt that fits perfectly as a pattern for the top half (I just laid the skirt down over the two layers of fabric and traced around the hips to about mid thigh length, adding a seam allowance) and just fanned out the bottom as wide as the fabric would let me.  Laid flat, the skirt looks a little bit like a mermaid fin, but with a perfectly rounded bottom.  The overskirt and the little sleeve ruffles are all made in a very similar fashion out of a dark synthetic chiffon.  First I cut circles (9” radius for the sleeve ruffles and I think an 18” radius for the skirt).  For the sleeves, in the center of my 9” circle, I cut a little 3” radius circle, and then cut the donut shape open.  It makes a perfect little circular ruffle.  I pleated the middle a couple of times, used a candle to lightly singe the exposed edges, and put double fold bias tape at the top.  For the skirt part, I did the exact same thing, except I offset the inside circle 6” to one side of the big circle, so that I could do the little high/low hem.  When I opened up the donut, I just tapered the corners off by eyeballing them.  There’s a tiny hook and eye on the bias tape to hold it closed.  Altogether, the two skirts and the little sleeve things maybe took three hours.  It was all really easy to do!  Absolutely everything for them came out of my stash.





The corset/bodice is the only piece that came from a pattern.  It used a yard of synthetic brocade, a yard of cotton duck for interlining, and a yard of brown cotton for lining.  It also used 2-1/4 yards of plastic boning.  I used McCalls 6343, and it was almost perfect!  I graded from a size 18 C cup in the bust and waist out to a size 22 at the hip, and it fits perfectly.  The only change I made was to omit the little lacing flaps.  I stitched the top and bottom seams the way the instructions said, but instead of trying to turn that whole monster, including the boning, through a 3” hole in the bottom seam, I left both sides open.  I shaved about ¼” off each side, and then used single fold bias tape to bind the edges.  I used 18 grommets, instead of 16, and just set them right into the edges of the corset itself.  These also came out of the stash, which is why they’re silver instead of gold.  This probably took about four or five hours, including all the cutting, pinning, sewing, and setting grommets.  The only other thing I did, after wearing it the first time, was remove the two pieces of boning in the side seams.  The plastic boning bent and dug into my sides painfully.  There are still four bones in it.



The crown was the first thing I made, because I got a wild hair to work with my hands one night.  This was my first time doing anything quite like this, and it took a bit of trial and error.  I just looked at some pictures for inspiration, and then winged it.  I spent $3 on the wire, on sale at Joann’s.  It probably took about two hours to make, while watching t.v.



I had the wire and the floral tape for the wings in my stash, and I knew pretty much what I was doing.  Normally, I’d bend all my wires, then wrap them in floral tape, then tape them all together.  This time, because the center loop that slips into the bodice is all intertwined, I did that part first, taped it, taped it all together, and then I figured out the wings.  I spazzed out no less than three times because of different glitches, but in the end, they work really well.  (One of those glitches included the finished wings being run over by a truck—it was windy Friday, and they got blown into the street!—but these pictures were taken after that, so you can see, there was practically no damage done, whew!)  I spent about $7 on vinyl and cellophane, and altogether, I probably spent about six hours making the wings.

Oh, and to boot, I used scraps from my cotton corset lining to do rag curls!

Final tally:

$10 + 16 hours + raiding the stash = one fairy, ready to fly



*I didn’t make the necklace or alter the shoes in any way, and the rose came from Ren Fest last year…everything else is 100% handmade.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011 08:31:23 AM by Aislynn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011 07:52:38 AM »

Materials you need for cellophane fairy wings

Galvanized Steel Wire  (I use 14 gauge, other folks use 12 or 16; what you need is based to a small extent on size, but mostly on personal preference)

Wire Cutters

Pliers

Work Gloves (these are optional; I don't use them, but you may want to)

Iron  (that you'd use with clothes; heat guns and heat embossers are also an option, if you have one or want to invest in one)

Newspaper/cheesecloth/towel  (Optional, I don't use it, but you may want to)

Floral Tape (this is found in the floral department of most craft stores and comes in many colors; other kinds of tape can be substituted--just keep in mind that it'll be visible!)

Craft Cellophane (look in the gift-wrap section of your craft or party stores, it's the sort of cellophane that you use for gift baskets)

Vinyl (this is optional, especially for sculpted frames; I highly recommend it for all wings, particularly open frames; gauge will depend on size and preference--I usually use the very thin kind and if I need to, I'll use two layers of it, thicker vinyl works just as well, though.  Experiment with small scale samples to see what you need and like.)  I buy this vinyl from fabric stores.  It's usually sold by the yard from long rolls, and may be labeled for or near tablecloth fabric.

Basting spray or white glue (optional, but recommended)

Hot glue gun (optional; depending on style)

Incense and holder (optional)

Candle

Ribbon or Elastic


Instructions:
Alright, let's get started.  Clear an area on the floor or a table that is the size of your wing frame, at least.  Draw a full scale pattern for your wires and lay it flat on your surface.  Using it as a guide, start bending your wires, doing them one at a time, taking your time.  Using pliers and patience, you can convince your wire to do many neat and unusual things, though it will prefer rounded shapes and curves.  Feel free to cut your wire to its rough length and get your major bends and curves in place first.  Then go back and smooth out your shapes and trim any ends you need.  Also, don't be afraid to change your design if you feel the need or want (the gauge of wire you use may alter the number of wires you use, or the size of wings you make).  If you need to, on your pattern trace each wire individually with a different color marker.  This will help clarify what shapes you need to make.  And above all, take your time!  Be patient, and if you get frustrated, walk away and come back in a bit.

This is half of my frame, finished, laying over my pattern, you can see that I tweaked some things.  (The little tiny spiral wires are just green floral wire.  I bent them and attached them with floral tape)



For this pair of wings, I actually twisted and shaped and connected the back center piece first, because I wanted it to all be intertwined.  Since I cover the wires with floral tape, this bit had to be done before I could do the rest of the wings.



After all of your wires are shaped the way you want them, start wrapping them with the floral tape.  This gives them a more grippy surface texture, makes them stronger, and helps keep them in place.  When you get to any ends, make sure the floral tape covers the pointy bits.



When you’re done wrapping, use the floral tape to connect the frame.  It seems really wimpy, but it’s actually all you need, and it creates a pretty solid join.



When you’re done, you should have a solid, complete frame, ready to cover.



To cover it, (I suck and forgot to take pictures of this stage, so I’m using some from a different pair, just ignore the green part in the middle), lay down a piece of cellophane that’s bigger than you want your finished wing.  Use the basting spray (workable fixative also works) lightly.  Lay down a piece of vinyl the same size as your cellophane.  Spray baste again.  Lay down your wing frame, and finish off with another piece of cellophane.  (If you’re using super thin vinyl, you can put another layer of vinyl before the last sheet of cellophane—make sure the cellophane is on the outside!)



Iron carefully!  I always just lay my iron, heated to a medium-low setting (meant for polyester) directly on the wing.  This is what creates the crinkly, insect-like look.  Make sure all the layers are thoroughly bonded.  Then trim away the excess cellophane and vinyl sandwich to your rough shape.



Once you’re at this point, trim in any points or scallops you want, then use a candle to lightly singe the edges.  This will help seal everything together.  You want to do this outside, or somewhere ventilated.

Once the edges are looking good, use the incense stick to poke holes through, if you want.  It can create a neat effect around the edges.

When you’re done, attach ribbon or elastic, and bend the wings out a little bit.  And you’re done!  Romp and prance like a fairy.


(Note, if the only thing connecting your two wings is a straight bar all the way across, they won't sit right on your back...you need to make an X shape, or a loop, or have two bars with a space between them.)

(Note 2, you may recognize some of this info and the last two pictures from the tutorial from Faerie Muse--I'm Faerie Muse!  I'm not stealing from anybody but myself...I've been meaning to put a version of the tutorial up on C-ster, and this seemed like a great time to do it!)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011 08:15:31 AM by Aislynn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011 07:54:38 AM »

Your wings are fabulous!!

Hard to believe that you got such a terrific outfit on so little money!  ha ha You did put a lot of hours in, but you look wonderful!

I also love your crown...
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011 09:41:50 AM »

Thanks!  I wore the crown around the house for two weeks after I made it.  DH kept waiting for me to forget and wear it out of the house!  It feels very regal indeed to do the dishes whilst wearing a crown.
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011 12:53:53 AM »

 Roll Eyes You look beautiful! the wings are amazing! I can't wait to try and make a pair, your tutorial is great! Thanks
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2011 05:24:24 AM »

Aw, thanks!  Even though they took the most time, the wings were the easiest part!
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