A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Join us for fun, contests and discussions on Craftster's Facebook page!
Total Members: 315,058
Currently Running With Scissors:
211 Guests and 7 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1] 2 3  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Take a page from my book...gown! BOOK NOW AVAILABLE!!  (Read 13837 times)
Tags for this thread: dress , novel , featured_project  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit
« on: October 16, 2009 05:30:39 AM »

Edited to add: The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet is now on sale! I don't want to break the community rules by linking to it here, but you can find it in your favorite online or brick-and-mortar bookstore.

As a writer living in Portland, OR, I always look forward to Wordstock, the city's largest annual book festival. One of the festival's highlights is the Text Ball, a literary-themed costume party thrown by the Independent Publishing Resource Center. Guests of this prom for word geeks are encouraged to attend "with text as part of their attire," and the theme for this year's ball was A Novel Idea.

As it happened, I had a three-inch-thick stack of my own "novel idea"--the second-pass pages from my upcoming historical novel, The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet. Second-pass pages are the final step before a book is bound into ARCs (sometimes called "uncorrected proofs" or "galleys") and sent out to reviewers. They have the layout and typeset of the finished book, but on unbound, single-sided printer pages.

I was watching Project Runway's paper dress challenge when it came to me--I should make my Text Ball costume out of the pages of my own book! It semed like a creative and fun way to promote the novel at the festival. I would invite people to pluck a page at random off my skirt to keep and read!

First I printed black-and-white images of the cover art onto the backs of the first-pass pages by running them face-down through my printer. Then I cut the pages down to the actual book-size, a bit smaller than the printouts.

I had the green velvet renaissance-style gown and lace-up bodice already (I used to perform twisting balloons at children's birthday parties, and have a ridiculous variety of odd costume pieces in the back of my closet, "just in case."). But how to attach them to the gown so they could be easily removed? The answer: six boxes of fancy brass paperclips and my trusty needle-and-thread.

Yep--I hand-sewed more than 250 paperclips  individually onto the dress, one-at-a-time. I also made a "fringe" around the bottom of the bodice, then stuck in overlapping layers of promotional postcards to give it the stiff shape of an Elizabethan farthingale, to match the book's Shakespearean theme.

The stick-on letters wouldn't stay stuck to the velvet bodice, so I sewed them down as well. Then I curled each page around a pencil-thick dowel to give it some shape and volume and began hanging them from the paperclips.

I finally finished the project with barely an hour to spare before the ball. (Where are Cinderelly's mice when you really need them, right!?)  Here's a pic of me modeling the final result:

Of course, I then had to remove and carefully pack the gown into trashbags to take it to the ball (well I certainly wasn't going to be able to drive in the thing, or even sit in a cab!). Here's me getting dressed in the parking lot of the venue, which on a cold and rather windy night was a barrel of laughs, let me tell you. I lost a page or two to sudden gusts. But at least it wasn't raining!

The dress was actually quite comfortable, and the pages held surprisingly well until they were plucked, though every time I moved I made a sound like an Aspen tree. I was even able to dance, though I felt a bit like Ginger Rogers in Top Hat when I did!

Best of all for a shy, introverted writer-type like me, I was able to promote my book without having to approach people--strangers came up to me and asked about it! Everyone wanted to pluck a page, and since each one was different, there was a fortune-cookie feel as well, with people asking each other "What didja get?" or saying "Ooh, mine's a sex scene!"

Here I am back home again at the end of the night, stripped of all my pages. But now that the hard part--sewing on all 250 paperclips!--is done, it would be a relatively simple matter to make new printouts and re-attach them for another event. I really enjoy these sorts of weird-materials costumes--I don't think I've had this much fun with a craft project since my Dollar Store Wedding Gown!

« Last Edit: January 27, 2010 03:16:36 PM by witwhitherwilt » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Craftito ergo sum...
Offline Offline

Posts: 2612
Joined: 15-Jan-2008

Do your dream

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009 05:45:19 AM »

Not only is the dress fantastic, you might just be one of the most interesting people I have every read about. I cant wait to get your book. Smiley
Bravo, on your dress and all of your other wonderful creative accomplishments.  Wink

I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant's faithful 100%. Horton
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009 06:22:54 AM »

What a fabulous idea! You are obviously very creative. I need to take a page from your book and follow my dream as well as you are yours. I hope your book is a success.

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition form mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
Tutorial Contributor

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

The artist formerly known as Noooitaremybirthday
Offline Offline

Posts: 2571
Joined: 12-Apr-2009

Pizza is knowledge

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009 07:36:50 AM »

That is such a great idea!!! Best of luck with your book!

Let's swap lil gelli prints or ATCs!

Instagram: @oops_icraftmypants (Possible swap spoilers.)
Etsy Shop
Rubber Stamps
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009 07:45:26 AM »

A novel idea and a beautiful dress!
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

There is no right or wrong, when it comes to making art. Making sure that you have fun is the most important part. -Mickey Mouse
Offline Offline

Posts: 6937
Joined: 01-Feb-2009

Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?

View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009 07:53:24 AM »

This is an amazing idea to get your book out there! The dress is absolutely beautiful too! I can't believe all the work you put into this, way to really chase your dreams! Hitting this Rocks!!
Offline Offline

Posts: 1909
Joined: 05-Aug-2006

art should not exist for the sake of itself

View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009 08:15:54 AM »

This is the most original idea I have seen made in a long time. Very functional and very beautiful. Make sure to let us know when someone calls you about it so we can be on the watch to buy!


Looking for dead pointe shoes.
Amigo of the Catigos
Offline Offline

Posts: 303
Joined: 09-May-2008


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009 10:14:11 AM »

What a great way to promote your book! Your book is now on my wishlist, lol.

my Wist
Offline Offline

Posts: 2544
Joined: 05-Aug-2006


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009 10:43:03 AM »

I'm with everyone else- this is so clever and original a way to get your book out there. The title alone makes me want to read it. Smiley

In the end, only kindness matters.
There's not much in this world that can't be improved by either chocolate, bacon or glitter.
Offline Offline

Posts: 6811
Joined: 10-Jun-2007

Dahlin, I'm so glamorous I cry glitter tears.

View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009 11:02:38 AM »

Wow!  I love how custom and perfectly appropriate for the situation this is!  And it looked great, too!  It KILLS me that we live in the same city, but I didn't get to see it live.  Arg!

My blog, Suddenly Surrounded by Taxidermy: http://suddenlytaxidermy.blogspot.com/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/themistresst

'16 FPs: 50
'17 FPs: 72
'18 FPs: 5.6
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Designated Cutting Boards
Tute Tuesday: Altered Journal Page
Magic and Luck

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2018, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.