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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:


Give the strip a bit of stretch:


And a bit more:


And more:


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


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


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.


Moving right along

23 Nov

Cut out the under dress in pale blue stretch mesh

No, the lengths are not quite equal. One day I will level them up ahead of time instead of after it is sewed together.

I also cut out the panels for the inner layer of underskirts and started experimenting with gathering.  Definitely needs 3 rows of  gathering stitches.  I put it on the red so you can see it better.

Here it is all gathered up:

After some steaming and trying pleats instead of gathering and a few other fiddly, interesting experiments, here it is inserted into the skirt kinda sorta the way it might eventually, possibly look.  This is the under layer, not the pretty, sparkly one that will sow in the end result.

Obviously the rest of the skirt will be poufy and also highly crinolined and the pick ups will pick up into the top, which is currently not on Miss Mitzie, but I think this will work.  I do have to make the panels much bigger at the top to get enough fullness and it will take a ridiculous amount of thread and gathering and futzing.  Grrr…. I once vowed to never gather another skirt and here I am doing it again!

Things are looking up!

16 Nov

Much better with the skirt under the top

Making this gown a faux top and skirt is going to work really well.  I can sew the skirt onto the under-dress the same way I do the crinolines.

draped in glory

On the right side of the screen is the glittery organza that will somehow peek out from under the skirt.  On the left is the chiffon I found at Dressew on Saturday for the floats.  A pretty nice match, I think.

No photos, please!

10 Nov

The skirts are together and pinned on to Miss Mitzie and it is not a pretty sight. Hence no photos today.  They drag down the nice diagonals on the top and will NOT go into nice, lush gathers when I try to do the pick ups.   Le sigh!

It seems like I might have to build the entire gown to see how it will look with the organza skirts under it, then decide on pick ups, cutaways or whatever.  I also think I may do the top and skirt separately a la attach them both to the under dress and see how that looks.

Grand Ball is this weekend.  Wish us luck!

New living room carpet?

6 Nov

Here is the bolt of fabric with the skirt pieces on it.

Laying out the skirts is always a bit of a management issue, but I didn’t want to unroll the whole bolt of fabric and then have to put it all back.  This worked out pretty well.  My knees will be sore by the time I get it all cut out and yes, there is a bunch of organza left to do, but it sure feels like it is moving along now!

This creates quite a full skirt, but I may still add some godets for more fullness at the bottom, as that seems to be the trend lately

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