1 Cindi Bisson McGee - Behind These Eyes : Dress Details - A Closer Look at CHA Crafty Couture Gown

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dress Details - A Closer Look at CHA Crafty Couture Gown

Roses in the Garden was the theme I chose for my gown this year.   From there I challenged myself to create a gown that was primarily made from repurposed materials, at a minimal cost, with hand made embellishments.   Little did I know that "challenge" would end up being a key word throughout this adventure.  From creating the dress without a true dressmaker's dummy to ensure it would fit the needed measurements (hey, I got creative  - meet "Beatrice" my personal mannequin), to transporting the gown to Chicago, to attempting to repair the extensive damage that occurred in transit on the hotel room floor, I persevered.  The result was this gown and coordinating pieces I think Mother Nature would be proud to have her daughter wear to the prom or a special event. 

A perfect color match!
The bodice was made from newspaper panels, layered with Plaid Mod Podge to seal and add structure.  The inside was lined with pink Duck Tape to add sturdiness.  After a layer of white paint was added, I began hand painting the freestyle climbing roses using blended shades of Plaid’s acrylic paints.  The colors of the roses themselves perfectly matched the colors of the actual climbing roses I have in my own garden.    When I was finished layering the roses, I enhanced each rose and leaf with Jacquard Lumiere 3-D Metallic Dimensional Paint & Adhesive for added shimmer and depth.   A light coat of Plaid Martha Stewart Sugar Cube paint added a tiny bit of sparkle all over to the finished painted bodice.   Makin’s Clay leaves were made with a push mold and added to the top and bottom edges.   The bodice was closed in the back and held in place on the mannequin using Velcro Brand Adhesive strips.

For the trellis skirt, individual strips of layered newspaper were Mod Podged, then woven to create the desired effect.   The trellis was spray painted with white paint.   The skirt liner was created from an old repurposed white sheet, and green floral organza material from a clearance rack at a fabric store.   The skirt was held closed, and held on the mannequin, with Velcro.

The vines for the climbing roses were made with jute rope and jute string painted with Krylon spray paint.    The vines were woven through the trellis skirt and hot glued in place.  Push molded Makin’s Clay leaves were mounted using Beacon Adhesives Felt Glue.   The individual roses were created from custom mixed shades of Makin’s Clay.  Each rose and rose bud is made from numerous tiny hand made petals, layered to create a cluster to mimic the actual tiny climbing roses in my garden.  Once dry, each rose was lightly accented with Lumiere 3-D paint for a bit of shimmer.  The complete roses were mounted to the vines and stems using Beacon Adhesive. 

Rubber stamped butterflies, embossed on vellum, were painted with USArtquest Pearl-Ex watercolor paints, then embellished with Darice beads using Judikins Diamond Glaze as an adhesive and sealant.   Diamond Glaze was also used to lightly coat the wings of each butterfly.  The butterflies were added as accents to the front of the top of the bodice, and on the trellis. 

The small clutch purse was also made from Mod Podged newspaper, lined with pink Duck Tape.  It was painted in the same manner as the bodice and has the same clay leaf accents.

The coordinating shoes began with an old pair of silver shoes.  Several coats of white paint altered them to a more subtle background for painted rose accents and clay rose accents.  In the trend of colorful soles, the bottoms were painted with the same yellow as the roses on the gown. The painted shoes were also given a coat of the Plaid Martha Stewart Sugar Cube paint for a tiny bit of sparkle. 

Laslty, here's a shot of the gown before I disassembled it into pieces for transportation to Chicago..... luckily I packed a fully stocked repair kit so I was able to apply some triage techniques before it hit the CHA Showroom floor!

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes information on what went into the creation of my gown.  I can tell you first hand that all the gowns on display were amazing - I can only imagine the time and effort that went into each one and would love to hear the stories behind each creation in the Summer 2012 Crafty Couture display!

Until next time, happy crafting and remember to "Dare to be Different!"
- Cindi


Candice Windham said...

Our dresses should have been displayed side by side. They look so cool together. I love your and especially appreciate the time and technique that went into the roses and leaves on the skirt. You da bomb!

Candice Windham said...

Oops! That should be yours!

Dawn's Craft Place said...

I know this was beautiful, I enjoyed seeing it in person...thanks for sharing the background info sweetie.

Pearl Maple said...

Well done, love all the color and details you have woven into your creation.

The dress forms are one of my favorite parts of the show.