Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Finding Perfect

In my last blog post, I promised a separate post about the flowers I made for my masquerade dress. The flowers were actually one of the most challenging parts of the dress! I went through a lot of hair-pulling and brain-splitting to finally get what I wanted.

The dress below gave me a lot of inspiration for my dress – the angled hem of the top, the texture on the top, and the idea of vines and flowers. Of course, my dress ended up looking a lot different than this one, but it was a starting point.

I searched Pinterest and Google for fabric flower ideas and tried out several, but I didn't want the multiple petal look – I didn't want flowers sticking out all over my dress! I wanted more or less flat roses. In the end, I found some black and white outlined roses and printed them off in three different sizes to form layers. 

Now I had my template:

Here is the first flower I made with the template from scrap cloth, the successful result of hours of brainstorming!

Yay! I love it! But there was another problem – I didn't know what color to use. I originally thought I would use kind of a mauve pink and something gold. I bought the two fabrics you see below, but ended up not really being happy with the color combination. I couldn't find the exact pink I had in my head! And the gold wasn't right, either.

So on my birthday, the last day of February, I went fabric shopping again. This time, I was looking for blue fabric. I had seen a locket on Pinterest that was gold with dusky blue swirls, and I fell in love with the color combination.

I searched all over the fabric store, bringing bolts and rolls from one end to the other to compare. I found a metallic blue that I really liked, but it was too metallic and not blue enough. Much searching later, I found a purplish-blue sheer that, when double over on top of the metallic fabric, made the perfect color. That was one successful shopping trip! Happy Birthday to me! ;-)

Then I had to cut flowers...lots and lots of flowers. Two layers of sheer for every layer of metallic, and two or three of those layers for each flower. That makes six to nine layers each flower! And there were 27 flowers on the dress, not to mention the accessories! I don't even want to know how many layers that makes! The good news was that I was able to cut several flowers at once, especially out of the sheer. I just folded it over and over, pinned the paper pattern on, and cut the flowers out.

Once the flowers were cut, all that remained was to stack the layers on top of each other and sew them together. I sewed an 'x' in the middle of each flower and pulled the thread tight to give it a little ripple.

I am SO happy with how they turned out. All of that thinking and searching and hair-pulling was worth it! 

I did have one more problem: I wanted to leave the edges of the flowers raw for a more natural look, but the fabric, especially the sheer, unraveled rather quickly. I solved that by spraying each of the flowers with hairspray. I had already used hairspray on the glittery netting that I used on the dress to keep the glitter from falling off. I figured it could help keep the fabric flowers from unraveling, as well. I think it worked rather nicely! I also hair-sprayed the strips of fabric I had sewn onto the bottom of the dress to keep them from unraveling.

Of course, I only thought about hair-spraying the flowers after I had sewn them onto the dress. I did slide wax paper behind each flower as I sprayed, but hairspray still soaked into the dress, leaving slight blotches on the gold sheer. A search on Google told me that a little Shout cleaner should take the stains off easily. I put some Shout on a wet rag and rubbed it into each of the spots. When it dried the spots were gone! I didn't even have to rise it out! Hooray for a quick and easy fix!

Photo credit Patti Royer - thanks so much for taking all those pictures at the ball!

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