Saturday, March 10, 2012

DIY: Late for a Very Important Date

I think I was asked, "Excuse me, but do you have the time?" about a dozen times when I wore this dress. Yeah, I do, it's time for you to get a watch, fool! Don't ask me why that question requires a Mr. T-esque response. It just does.
Lemme tell you, this DIY dress has been a wee bit of a headache. It began with this uber short dress that I snagged from the resale shop Plato's Closet. Don't ask me what I was thinking when I bought it. I mean, the thing is short. It would require me to shave my legs above the knee and, well, that just ain't happening. So this too-short dress was doomed to the back of my closet along with my high school prom dresses. Yes, I still have them. Hoarding is a disease, people. I can't help it.
I've always loved Alice in Wonderland, especially the freaked out, late-for-a-date white rabbit.
The inspiration for this dress came from the little rabbit above. I've had this idea of printing my own fabric for a while so when I couldn't find any pocket watch themed fabric online, I decided to create my own. I used a piece of 3" X 6" Soft-Kut and some carving tools that I happened to have at the house (because I'm a hoarder, remember?) However, if you don't have such things at your very well-organized and unhoarder-esque pad, then I suggest you drop by your local hobby/craft shop and snag you some.
Erm, yeah. So after just finishing a big printmaking unit with my fourth grade students in which we discussed how with printing, everything is in reverse, guess who forgot when carving the numbers on the clock? Originally, the right side had the III carved into it when it should have had a VIII. Headache #1.
Even after messing up the numbers on the pocket watch, I was still determined to roll with it. I convinced myself that I'd hand paint the correct numbers on the clock later. Oh the lies I tell myself.

I decided to use black fabric paint to print the block. That turned out to be Headache #2. The paint was too runny and printed terribly. The details of the clock were lost among big blobs of black paint. So I did a little research online and found that some folks had better luck printing on fabric with oil based inks. I ordered some immediately from amazon.com which proved to be Headache #3. The order did not ship directly from amazon but one of their suppliers who decided to take two weeks to ship the ink. My recommendation? Buy directly from an art supplier online.

The good news is that the ink printed beautifully on the fabric. I  let it dry for over 24 hours before sewing it to the bottom of my dress as the oil dried very slowly. And don't even ask me how I plan to wash the dress (dry cleaning? spot washing?) as I'm sure that will prove to be Headache #4.

To complete my White Rabbit dress theme, I decided to order these tights from this super amazing tights shop on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TejaJamilla.The seller is very sweet and always quick to respond to emails. I have another pair of her tights in my collection, a super cute pair tights that you can see here: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-i-wore-this-week-not-that-i.html
Finally, I decided to change out the buttons to match the hem. They were originally some plastic blue buttons. I used one of those make-em-yourself button makers and used the same mustard fabric from the bottom of the dress. And, of course, I had to wear one of my white rabbit belt buckles. I even managed to find this piece of vintage fabric in my stash that brought all of the colors of my look together (according to me, anyway). So being a hoarder has some benefits. Now, don't forget to reset your clocks!

7 comments:

  1. I love this dress! And it's even more special because you printed the fabric yourself, what a brilliant idea. I think it's beautiful and you look great in it :)

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  2. Congratulations for your endurance or persistence(Sorry, I don't know what word goes better, but I hope you know what I mean)! That's the only way creative ideas are brought to reality. I love your hour dress and the matching tights. Fabulous!

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  3. Love it! Very cute idea. Sometimes it's good to be a hoarder.

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  4. Despite all your headaches it turned out awesome! Great job! I love Alice too by the way :)

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  5. Lovely clothes and pictures! I love the theme, so cute :)

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  6. That is simply amazing. You're like Ms. Frizzle! I also love Alice in Wonderland. There's just something so wonderfully curious and haunting about it.

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  7. amazing tights.i like tights over fishnet ;)

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)