Posts filed under DIY & Crafts

Gloom Installation

I'm finally posting about this! It was a school project from my art foundation course that I worked on last january. We had to make an installation that we would photograph for a fictional record cover (LP), and all text had to be incorporated into the installation. A lot of my fellow students worked with drawings and paintings, but that's not my strong point, nor do I have the most fun doing it, so I decided to work with textiles! Also, the band I picked is my best friends' band, so that made it more fun :)

The song I picked for the cover was inspired by Twin Peaks (my BFF and I are fans!), so I wanted the installation to mirror that. I would have liked to shoot in a bedroom, but we had to shoot at school, so I had to bring the bedroom to school, which I did like so:

This project was similar to the fashion photography course in that we had the same teacher and everything had to be made by us! So I used some wood, glue and cardboard to make a bedframe and wall.

Next I built a nightstand from an old winecrate my dad gave me (he likes wine so I make him give me the boxes :)), a board from the "leftovers" bin at the hardware store and 4 dowels. I spent forever staining and sealing them all, but I wanted to be able to use it after the shoot. I would make a tutorial but I think it kinda explains itself:

I wanted the nightstand to be the focus of the photograph and fill it with all the many things I associate with those teenage years and objects that allude to themes that are kind of universal in the process of growing up. All on one messy nightstand (cause mine was always messy...), like a shrine to adolescence.

And since, you know, Twin Peaks, I made this to be the centerpiece of the shrine:

Laura Palmer! Rose Petals! Hands with cigarettes! Glitter! Lipstick! So confusing! Aah the teen years... It's weird that I'm slightly nostalgic for a time in my life where I was very unhappy alot of the time and longed for it to be over. I think I might be nostalgic for the daydreams I had during that time, or for a false memory rather then what it was really like. Like how you always get really excited about summer approaching and all the things you'll do and feel in summer - complete freedom! - and when it's over you think "that was it? summers used to be so fun and exciting and just the best!" and it wasn't at all how you imagined it to be. But it never actually happened that way, that's just wishful remembering I guess? Or maybe that's just me. Anyway I'm rambling so back to the installation.

To spell out "GLOOM" (the name of the Band) I made knitted letters:

This is where I was at this point, I brought a ton of stuff (objects that somehow tied into the themes of adolescence: childhood, changing body, candy, death, sexuality, drugs, religion, beauty, womanhood, time, fashion etc.) in to style the scene:

Next I bought a blank Ikea lampshade, drew some of the lyrics onto it, cut them out and covered it in a flowery fabric...

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... printed out a flower pattern on multiple A4 sheets of paper and used them as wallpaper, embroidered lyrics on to a sweater and a pillow...

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... brought in pillows, blankets, carpets and turned my corner into a bedroom:

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And then we photographed it all!

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I you'd like to know more about how I made anything in the photos, let me know.

Posted on October 22, 2014 and filed under DIY & Crafts.

Amazonian Crown

I want to share some of my school projects on the blog, and I'll start with what I made in the second week (last august), which we spent in the metal workshop. The assignment was to make a trophy, whatever that means to us. I spent a long time figuring out what I wanted to make until it hit me: a battle-helmet-crown! Then I sketched my design, made a paper model (which was pretty much like pattern drafting), and transferred the paper pieces onto a flat sheet of steel.

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I worked with pretty much all the machines in the workshop. There was a saw for free hand cutting, a wheeling machine to "roll" the metal, there was one that helped you form "domes", welding equiptment and grinding machines (or are they called sanding machines?). They all look really scary at first, but we our teacher was great and by the end of the week I felt very comfortable using the machines. That was one of my favorite weeks, I had so much more fun than I'd expected!

I'm really happy with how the crown turned out :) On my last morning I also made some wrist protector/elbow stabber thingies and tried to make a metal bustier (wasn't enough time to properly work on that).

I'm planning on using that workshop again in a few weeks, when I have a 7-week module where I can work on my own project. I'd like to work on a collection using metal as a material (a leather/metal harness would be really cool!).

Posted on January 8, 2014 and filed under behind the scenes, DIY & Crafts, design school.

The Reaping Blouse - Finished!

I'm done! (confession: not really but who knows if I'll ever add those three buttons on the peplum...).

I took some pictures in my room this morning (I've been putting off taking pictures in the new apartment, but even though it's really rainy and dark today, they turned out ok! I just don't know how I'm going to photograph dresses yet...)

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Here you can see the shirring in the back! I started and ended 5cm in from the side seams.

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Of course Minkleton was very curious as to why there was this black box that makes weird noises on top of his scratching post.

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I really like this blouse! And I'm glad I did the buttons because I realized I don't need the top one I made (it's unbuttoned in the pictures). Even though it makes the blouse a little more "revealing" than the reaping dress in the movie, I think it fits my proportions better. Also, I've added "lower front waistline slightly" to the list of things to alter. I think making a peplum blouse as a muslin for a dress is really great, because you get to check the fit (or balance rather?) of the waistline as well (compared to making a muslin where you would elongate the bodice parts to be a "normal", tuck-in blouse).

PS: some cat pictures, because it's thursday! yay!

 "symmetric napping"

"symmetric napping"

 he's growing so fast! 

he's growing so fast! 

Posted on August 8, 2013 and filed under Sewing, DIY & Crafts.

Reaping Peplum Blouse (still WIP)

The wearable muslin is almost done! I hastily attached a hook and eye closure at the waist yesterday so I could wear it over my bustier, but I will finish it properly, I promise, buttons and all! Especially because I can't check the fit exactly if it isn't buttoned up.

Gaaahh, I'm typing this as I'm getting my roots re-done at the hairdresser. Oh how it burns! At least they got me a beer to dull the pain. Anyway, onward!

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What needs to be changed:

  • sleeve ease: these sleeves are really tight! It's ok once the blouse is on, but putting it on and taking it off is a hassle (you know when you have to fold your arms all the way back and make weird wriggling movements? not classy).
  • bodice back ease: I think that's another factor contributing to the hassle of putting on  / taking off, and as I'm shirring the back (still need to to that on the muslin!), I think I can get away with some more ease at the back.
  • bodice front ease: it's nothing extreme, but I might just add like 2 centimeters to the front (probably at center front and the side seams). But I'm not sure yet, maybe fixing the back bodice will be enough.
  • neckline detail: it's just a small detail, but you can see the shirring line droops slightly towards the armhole, I'm not sure I like that.
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I wonder if on the actual dress in the film, the neckline detail (gathering) is made by smocking the fabric, because on my muslin the folds look a lot "bigger" somehow. It might also just be the stiffness of the fabric, the fabric looks very drapey in the movie. What do you think? I don't know anything about smocking really, I've just seen close-ups of it and it looks really beautiful!

Hmm, I just looked at the dress from the film again, and I think I might just have to add more rows of shirring (5 instead of 3), and move the line of shirring up further. But for this blouse, I quite like it this way.

The peplum is a very short 3/4 circle skirt, pretty straightforward, hemmed with a narrow hem foot (another technique I first tried on the emerald slit dress!). The sleeves are actually unfinished, I just rolled them up so I could wear the blouse (sort of), but I like the rolled look! I took shortcuts on the seam finishes with this wearable muslin, I just sewed a straight stitch close to the edge of the seam allowances, but I think it'll work, the cotton fabric doesn't seem to unravel that easily.

Posted on August 6, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts, Sewing.

Reaping Dress - Wearable Muslin WIP

I've started on another dress - I know, I know, my mom used to tell me aaall the time "finish what you're doing before you start something new!", you tried mom but I guess my brain doesn't want to work that way! (but I did make a first, simple harness! that's a different post though) - and I'm not alone with this one! A quick google search will show you, that many sewing bloggers have taken inspiration from the first Hunger Games Movie, or to be more precise: the "Reaping" scene.

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sources: 1 // 2 

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source 3 

I first saw this dress on Gertie's Blog, before I even saw the movie. That's actually what made me want to see it. The appeal of the dress, I think, is how simple yet elegant it is. It looks like an old dress, just the way the fabric looks (so soft!), but the almost perfect fit makes it beautiful.

Well, after some "research" (googling the dress, looking at pictures and re-watching the scene to see the back) I made a sketch:

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Because I'm newly enthusiastic about shirring, I've decided to shir the waist at the back. And even though the original is probably just gathered at the neckline, I want to shirr that part too. Also, to make it easy to get into and out of, I want the button placket to extend all the way down the dress.
Before I started manipulating my bodice block, I sketched out the different steps I'd have to take. I find this really helps! I don't really reference it afterwards, but it just helps the thought process.

I spent about 3 hours total drafting the pattern (I always wonder why it takes so long? maybe listening to Harry Potter audiobooks slows me down...) today and started a wearable muslin. I plan to make it a peplum blouse.

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I'm really happy with how it's turning out! I can already tell that I'm going to have to add a little more ease, especially to the back bodice and sleeves to make it more comfortable, but I even like the blouse without the neckline shirring detail.

Would you be interested in seeing the drafting process? I used a mixture of dart-splitting (front and back bodice) and changing a dart to gathers (front bodice).
I'm curious how the back bodice manipulation will turn out, I split the back bodice dart into about 5 darts, spread evenly across the waistline seam to accomodate the shirring, to make sure the volume will be correctly distributed. I didn't find anything on this on the internet, so if it turns out well I might make a little "tutorial", what do you think?

By the way, as I'm working with this striped fabric, I've found I really like it and want to try something soon with interesting directional contrasts, something like this dress from the Vanity Fair "W.E." editorial (that Madonna movie I never saw):

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Isn't it gorgeous? Am I mad for wanting to sew something that's going to be a pain to match up at the seams? Maybe it's the kind of challenge I need right now, I've never worked with hard-to-match-at-the-seams fabric.

Posted on August 5, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts, inspiration, Sewing.