The White Sheet Project – Part 2
For the longest time I've wanted a garment made with impressionist artwork fabric, and you can get fabric with that exact thing on Spoonflower. You can find any fabric you can dream of on Spoonflower. The problem is I live in Australia and shipping is a nightmare on top of the already expensive fabric. Then, when my mind was supposed to be shutting down for that lovely thing called sleep, this idea popped into my head. What if I used diy fabric paint (acrylic paint, fabric fixative medium and water) to create a watery looking fabric and then attach 3D flowers to it, inspired by Monet's Water Lilies.
The skirt itself is just an asymmetrical circle skirt with an elastic waist band made from one of the white sheets. I used Dixie's quick graphic on how to do this and gave it a rolled hem. I know ideally you hem a circle skirtr after letting it hang, but as this was asymmetrical I figured it wouldn't matter and I wanted it to be painted as well.
I gave the skirt little twists and then gradually spray the first colour. After each colour I flattened the skirt out and changed the little twists. Apart from the first colour, all the colours I used were the same ones I mixed for my Ombre Dress (I painted them at the same time) and left it to dry on the grass. When it was dry I attached the waist band from thick elastic, I wish I had made this a bit tighter as it sits lower than I'd like.
I free handed a flower shape in a few sizes and went a bit mad tracing, cutting and fixing the edges (I used watereed down PVA glue). I used scraps of the white sheet and a bit of pink fabric I had (also an old sheet). I painted some white fabric buttons from my stash and put it all together in the hope that they looks a little like water lilies.
All up this skirt cost me $1.75 which was the cost of the elastic, everything else came from my stash and the white sheets of course. Not too bad, now on to the next garment.
White Sheet Project – Part 1
This is my first offical garment as part of the White Sheet Project. I made this maxi dress from the complete white flat sheet. The dress is a heavily modified version of this Style pattern I stole from my mum a while back. And in case you were wondering, why yes, I did included the pockets.
When I last made this (way before blogging) I realised just how much ease this thing had, so I removed a lot of it. I cut the dress pieces on the fold instead of the original design which had centre front and back seams. I used elastic at the neck and sleeves because I'm lazy and it was much easier than making ties.
Once the dress was mostly constructed, I start the spray painting. I only inserted the elastic in the neck before painting so it could hang up, but left it out of the sleeves. I'm trying to spend as little as possible and use what I've got for this project so the fabric spray paints I used were a mixture of acrylic paints (mixed up to my 4 desired colours), fabric fixative medium and water. I loaded the paint into an old spray bottle and started at the bottom. I discovered pretty early on that I required a lot more water than I thought I would to get the quantity and consistancy I needed to spray this dress. This actually made the paint sink into the fabric better.
I sprayed the four colours in the ombre gradient in bands up the dress until I had this. (You can see part 2 in the background).
Then I let it dry. The combination of the water in the paint and gravity caused the colours to blend into one another more than I had originally designed and the final effect is quiet blotchy and uneven, but I think it adds to the effect.
Once the paint was dry, I threw this in the tumble dryer for about a half an hour to try and set the paint. I stitched some elastic at the waist to draw the dress and and give some shape and definition to the dress even when worn without a belt and used my overlocker to give the bottom a rolled hem. The paint did give the fabric a crisper feel, but I'm hoping with a few washes, it will soften up. The paint also made this dress less see-through. Although I thought the bands of colour would be more pronounced, I really like they way my original design has been actualised. On to Part 2.
A couple of months ago, whilst I was cleaning and re-organising my linen press, I discovered I had more white flat sheets and pillow cases than we are really ever going to have cause to need. This linen overflow was the result of many years of buy cheaper poly cotton low thread count sheet sets. The fitted sheets ripped before too long, and were thrown out, leaving their flat sheets and pillow cases orphaned in my cupboard. We never really used the flat sheets, they just came in the sets and just sat there. To add
insult to injury fabric to project, one of my good cotton sateen fitted sheets tore just after I cleaned out the linen press, so I added that ripped sheet to the cause. I have thoroughly washed and dried all this linen in the beautiful sunshine.
- 8 White poly cotton pillow cases which are 45 cm x 72 cm
- 1 White poly cotton queen flat sheet approximately 2.3 m x 2.5 m
- 1 White poly cotton queen flat sheet reminant approximately 2.3 m x 1.5 m (after this sheet was liberated from the linen press, it was used to make muslins and lining of this dress and the lining of this coat.)
- 1 White cotton sateen queen fitted sheet, ripped measuring about 1.5 m x 2m ish
When looking at those numbers, that's quiet a lot of fabric. The poly cotton may not have been the best fabric choice for sheets, but not a bad choice for some light weight spring/summer garments. And so, “The White Sheet Project” was born. The aims of this challenge are threefold:
- In the spirit of “Make do and mend”, making garments out of something that I would have discarded
- Seeing how many items I can get out of all this fabric
- Coming up with new and different ways to embellish or change the plain white fabric
I have already started planning the garments I'm thinking of making, as seen in my previous post about croquis. The first garments I'll try and make are the maxi dress with the ombre fabric spray paint effect, asymmetrical circle skirt that has been hand printed, a version of the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook, a plain white tank top with scallop hem and maybe a white half slip to go under all these semi sheer garments. After these are done, I'll figure out what I can get out of whatever fabric is remaining, if any thing is left.
And so, with that in mind, let the challenge commence.