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Done enough to wear day!

14 Feb

Well, this gown and the yellow studio do not play well together, but here it is. There will be another float on my right elbow, proper hair (the real fake hair – this is the fake fake hair), makeup, earrings and, as always, a strong possibility of more rhinestones, but this is the general picture.

Fingers crossed for an injury free practice today, so there is a possibility of competition next weekend.

Decrystalization

5 Dec

Figuring out how to get rhinestones off an old gown is an interesting challenge.  There don’t seem to be any instructions anywhere on how to remove jewel glue and no ideas even for a solvent that would work.  The only person I knew who had tried to de-jewel a gown had soaked pieces of the dress in water and laboriously picked them off.  Sounds too hard to me!

But as I slowly cut the Disney Princess into strips of stones, I noticed that small stones would almost fall off if the fabric was pulled tightly. It only works well for stones under 20 ss. Larger ones will come off, but the foil backing almost always pulls away.  Fine if you want clear stones, but keeping the AB effect is nice.

So here is the strip of fabric with small stones:

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Give the strip a bit of stretch:

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And a bit more:

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And more:

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Be careful not to break it (but sometimes it will anyway):

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If you are lucky, the stones will just pop right off the fabric:

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But even if they don’t, you can now run a thumbnail along the strip and the rest will tumble off.

I did this in front of the TV with the strips in a giant plastic mixing bowl to catch the stones.  They do tend to fly around, so the bowl worked well as a catching device. Perfect for watching ballroom videos on YouTube.  I recommend some Strictly Come Dancing – the UK version (original) of Dancing With the Stars.

The process with larger stones will be coming along soon.

Farewell Disney Princess!

4 Oct

The Winter Sky dress, better known as Disney Princess, has sacrificed herself for the greater good.  The underskirts are detached, unruffled and crin removed to become the underpinning of Gown #10. Double digits!

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One white underskirt remains more or less intact, though closer inspection revealed a tear in a seam that needs repair. The crin should work just fine, but the heavily gathered effect made the old dress move awkwardly, so new pieces will be cut and sewed. Basically, the old underskirts are now just a source for fabric.

The crystals on the old dress will be harvested by a technique still to be discovered.  I will tackle that another time. The small blob of pink and white is thread that was pulled off the gathered top of the underskirts and the crin. That’s a lotta thread!

Seattle Star Ball 2014

7 Aug

It was a hot one.   Like really hot, hot, hot.   At least by our feeble West Coast standards.  It was the kind of hot that even though we were in a chilly air conditioned ballroom, the sweat from dancing was still damp after sitting in the chill for over an hour waiting for results.  For those unfamiliar with competition etiquette, it is considered bad form to change out of costume until after the awards are presented, so after basically sprinting indoors off and on for an hour or so, the ladies pull off their shoes, the guys rip off the soaking jackets and we wait.

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Then we get really, really cold and start putting (mostly wet) clothes back on and wait some more.

If we are really smart, we take photos before the results.  Especially wise when one is moving up a category for the first time!

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We did ok in spite of feeling a bit inadequately warmed up and Bill pulling a calf muscle part way through.  We were not a bit intimidated by the idea of a floor full of faster moving Novice and Pre-Champ dancers.  Perhaps we should have been….

Nevertheless, we came 5th in Senior II Open Novice Standard (not last!) and 6th in Senior I Open Novice Standard.  Last, but with just a few non-last place marks.  This is how one adjusts expectations when moving up.  LOL.  Third in  Senior I Gold Standard which was very close to a 2nd place.  The tie had to be broken by some magical algorithm that, as it is math, I won’t attempt to explain.

Then, we take photos:

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Hair – get the hair!

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My ballroom sister Candy, also with a new dress and fancy new hair.

And then the silly photos.

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The new gown performed really well and I am excited to get working on it again – finalize the way the floats connect, get some rhinestones on the skirt and a few other little details.  should be gorgeous-er in time for The Snowball Classic.

Oh – one more thing!  Since this gown has lovely flowers in the organza over skirt and the rhinestone flowers on the top look more like fireworks, I am naming this one The Butchart Gown after the fabulous Gardens that have amazing flowers and a breathtaking fireworks display every Saturday night throughout the summer.

Done enough to wear – magical day.

27 Jul

Finally at the DAY!  Done enough to wear.  If an emergency competition broke out tomorrow, it could be safely worn.  Of course there is still work to be done!  Of course some things are attached with safety pins!  But this is all par for the course.  It is a great feeling to imagine the dress as it will look out on the floor.

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We, the Design Helper and I, have gone with the wispy, feathery bits of floats that seem so popular now, plus some ribbons, which are fun

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I think perhaps a few more to add some volume are called for.  Will know better when we get some video of the dress in action at practice.

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More rhinestones are in the mail.  Will be adding more dark stones to the top to make a better contrast and something will be added to the skirt.  Not sure just what yet.

 

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Drat – still seeing the belt overlap.  Something will have to be done with that.

That’s it for the sneak peek!  Hope to dance this lovely dress in Seattle very soon:-)

A box of linen thread

18 Jul

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Who doesn’t need a 12 spool box of No. 35, 3 cord white Barbours Linen thread?  They are all intact so I couldn’t test it to see if it is even useable.  It is just so gosh-darned cool looking!

Lovely little dressform

16 Jul

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Such a little cutie, just sitting in the thrift shop and only $5.  It is a Perfect Fit Ajust-o-matic dress form made of heavy card stock.  If you zoom in you can see the little slots where you adjust for the Perfect Fit!

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Back view.  This lady was petite, but had a long waist and teeny, tiny hips.

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I desperately wanted to bring her home with me, but just could not justify the purchase.  Brilliant concept though, as it could have been flat packed, assembled by the owner and has quite a lot of adjustability.

My rule for such purchases is that if it is still there the next time I go in, I can buy it.  I somehow doubt she will still be there the next time I go a-thrifting, but you never know.

A Google search turned up an ad/article about the Adjust-o-matic.  Read all about her here.

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