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Topic: Trip to the Mermaid Parade (a two-wheeled seafaring homage to Georges Melies)  (Read 3182 times)
Tags for this thread: mermaid , hat , victorian , umbrella , boat , decoupage , feather , flower , paint , category_featured_project  Add new tag
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« on: June 23, 2014 07:54:12 AM »

This past Saturday was Coney Island's Mermaid Parade, the world's largest art parade.  Making a costume and marching in it was on my friend Marisa and my NYC bucket lists, and she thought of a great theme--a tribute to Georges Melies's early silent film Trip to the Moonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JDaOOw0MEE and (homage within a homage) the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight Tonight" music videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOG3eus4ZSo.  We decided to decorate our bikes, and the source material inspired several fun props and Victorian touches.  Probably the best "action shot" of us both during the parade:

It was a round of firsts for me when making the costume, as well as airing out old techniques that I haven't used in years.  Starting with the skirt:

I'd deconstructed dozens of t-shirts in my Great T-Shirt De-Stash and had a bunch of white sleeves and backs that I dyed to my preferred color scheme (first time dyeing!).  I used Rit Scarlet and Dark Green liquid, and Denim Blue powder (I also added a bit of the blue powder to the other colors to make them more violet/teal...didn't work QUITE as well as I planned but I think ultimately made the colors "go together" more).  I made templates for the large and small "scales", and did the bottom "fins" in a "scrap skirthttps://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=347925.msg4054137#msg4054137" style.  I also played around with some freeform stitching in gold thread and added a few sequins (more firsts).  Closeup:

Making the hat was by far my favorite.  I used this tutorial https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=417848.0#axzz32SQshfgb for the structure, which I hot glued and covered in newsprint with Mod Podge.  I wanted to color it green and keep the print visible but I wasn't sure how to without dissolving the Podge (watercolor? marker?).  Then I remembered I had some gift wrap tissue paper with a musical score printed on it, which fit the theme much better.  I watercolored it green and Podged it to the hat, which I hot glued to a headband I'd covered with lace trim, then added a net and shells I'd painted gold (which came off a clearance windchime from Rite-aid), some peacock feathers (arranged like the ones on the woman's hat in Tonight Tonight), and fake flowers.

Progress shot:


I am seriously in love with that hat.

I adapted the top from the bodice of a Vogue V8556 pattern and sewed on gold-painted shells, starfish, and more fake flowers:

One of the signature images of both shorts is the "man in the moon," which I painted onto an umbrella (their weapon of choice to defeat the moon goblins).

We made a deliciously fat octopus out of garbage bags, stuffed with plastic bags and newsprint, held together with lots of duct tape, painted with spray paint (which doesn't play well with garbage bags--a lot of it flaked off after the first application) and tempera paint (which worked better).  He fit well on my bike rack.

I painted the S. S. Melies from Tonight Tonight on cardboard and affixed it to my front wheels with zip ties, and attached waves to my pedals--they moved back and forth when I pedaled, which was a cool effect.

Marisa made her tail out of cardboard and bungee-corded it to her rack (in Tonight Tonight, King Neptune floats by in a flat, cardboard-looking tail).

It was quite an undertaking but well worth the effort, and we got a lot of beautiful photos from the day. Thanks for looking Smiley
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014 04:55:22 AM by mcsladek » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014 08:28:00 AM »


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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014 08:58:15 AM »

This is fantastic! I love your costume!

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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014 09:08:07 AM »

Oh my goodness! Could this be any more adorable?

« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014 03:03:12 AM »

This rocks!  Absolutely fantastic!  So many fabulous touches!  I love how the waves move against the ship too.

I'm going to go and listen to lots of Smashing Pumpkins now!  Cheesy


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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014 07:11:02 AM »

Super dooper awesome. I should make myself a skirt like that. Very much adore the references, though that video scared the crap out of my in like 6th grade! The moving waves are super cool.

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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014 04:41:35 PM »

Oh, my gosh, this is fantastic! Homage to Georges Mlis? Best. Love it! You both look fantastic!

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