I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂

 

00

Making a book dress & meeting Maisie Williams

Meeting Maisie Williams

I’ve been busy making a fairytale dress from a stack of unwanted books for the Bookbarn out-of-print fashion show. It’s going to be judged on Friday by Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in Game of Thrones) We met her at the dress rehearsal and she was lovely.
This is all about how I made this paper dress…..

I heard about the fashion show and it sounded like really good fun. I’d been working pretty hard to build up Oshun stock for stack of books for making a paper dressfestival season and thought I’d treat myself to a couple of weeks off work to have a go at making a fairytale dress from paper. Every person or team picked out a domino from a bag, which matched to a number on a bookshelf with stacks of books for us to take home. We were also allowed to choose any three books from the bookshop. This was the most difficult thing – it was impossible not to get distracted! There are so many books! Seriously, it’s worth visiting only to be amazed at how many books they have. Not only that, they only cost £1 each. Along with the books we were given, we also bought several others.

I already knew I was going to make something with a fairytale princess feel, so I looked for books about castles and found three that were ideal.

I got started straight away and made a base for the dress from cotton. (I bought a whole roll for £5 in a Dunelm Mill sale about 12 years ago, but have hardly used it because the pattern is pretty horrible! I can’t resist a bargain.) I also spent several evenings, whilst watching telly, folding many many Making a book dressmany many pieces of paper – fan-style, like all the ones I did as a kid. I’d been given several natural history books, so I had lots of pages with green, so I used these to make the bustle and train to go at the back of the dress, with the plan that it would stand out because the rest of it would be black and white.

These fans were a complete pain (literally) to sew onto the cotton. I pierced each one with a ball-ended pin, which helped to get the needle through the thick paper, but some needed some extra force. (For some reason, I found the best tool for the job was a metal sink plug!) It took three full days to sew the whole bustle. I was so bored of it by the end. All of radio 4’s comedy programmes on i-player kept me going. Then I stapled the fans together so there weren’t gaps.

Usually I use net or stiff fabric to give volume and full-ness to a skirt, so the best equivalent I could think of doing, was forming a cone shape with the paper and making a row of them so it would look a bit like a wide frill. These I stapled onto the fabric. Right, I’m rambling on, so I’ll go through the rest of the process as quickly as I can. Next, I glued some of the black and white pages of stately homes and castles together to form a long line of them. Then I used a fancy decorating edging punch along the edge and glued it on over the how to make a dress from bookscone frills. For the sides I used pages from an older book to cut petal shapes with pinking shears and inked all the edges with green ink so they stand out from each other. I overlapped them and glued them on, along with smaller ones for the final layer at the front of the skirt.

I’d used thick sturdy elastic in the waistband, but the paper still pulled the skirt down. I didn’t want any embarrassing accidents on the catwalk, so I added fabric braces to be sure that didn’t happen! And onto the bodice…

It’s one thing to make a fabric pattern to fit your model, but it’s something else when there’s paper stuck to it! The softer, older paper was torn up and glued over most of it, but inspired by medieval dresses, I decided to try something different on the front section. I cut up strips of the newer black and white paper and wove them together (again, harking back to Infant school days). I cut off the spines of 4 books and sewed them on like boning of a corset. Ribbon loops were sewn on at the back so it could be laced up.

paperdress1

Paper dress

Final touches were flowers across the neckline and under the bust, which I was able to cut two at a time in my clever Spellbinders die-cutting gizmo.

Lots of layering and scrunching and a paper fastener to hold them all together. Around the waist I made another kind of flowers with the help of you-tube. Cut into spirals and twisted with tweezers and glued intohow to make a dress with books place. Little curled strands of white paper were an added touch. More fancy hole punching on the shoulder straps and the frill at the bottom. The final embellishment were die-cut butterflies which I glued on here and there on the cone frills. Lastly, I glued lots of pages to the inside of the skirt, as due to the high-low design, that horrible print on the fabric was visible.

And that’s it. Phew! I really enjoyed the process, and it felt quite indulgent spending time having fun cutting, twisting, weaving, twirling and gluing paper. I’ll admit, I was glad when it was finished though!

So last night was the dress rehearsal for the fashion show and I got to see the other entries. Everyone had come up with some brilliant ideas. One had lots of big, cleverly folded flowers and was called The Hanging Gardens of Babylon; another was a cute child’s princess skirt; another had intricate snowflake-style cutting; one was entirely woven; another had origami dresses on it and another had paper incorporated into a cool punky skirt and corset. Everything’s going to look fabulous on the night and now I’m really looking forward to it.

If you are interested in purchasing the book dress, it is for sale at Threads of a Fairytale. It would be a perfect World Book Day costume!

Art and Craft, Threads of a Fairytale,
00no comment

Other posts you may like:

camera choices for bloggers
Finding the perfect camera system for youtubers, vloggers, bloggers & photographers.
June 17, 2019
Are you a blogger, photographer and vlogger? The big camera question! Do you, or do you not carry two cameras around with you at all times? Are you struggling with choosing which camera you need? I love photography and want to take with me a decent dslr to shoot in raw with a choice of lenses and allow me to take creative photos for my personal enjoyment as well as for my blog. However, I also vlog most of my life for my YouTube channel, and need to carry a camera for that as well. Can we combine them both? What should we do?
review of things are what you make of them by adam j. kurtz
A review of ‘Things are what you make of them’ – Life advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz
March 21, 2018
Rain kindly bought this book for me for Mothers’ Day, and I’ve since managed to fit in the odd five minutes here and there to read it. That’s one good thing about Things Are What You Make Of Them – it doesn’t take long to read! Oh that makes me sound like I don’t like it, which isn’t true. It’s a book for the current generation who take their entertainment and information in snippets; in bite-size chunks of Instagram stories. There are even perforated edges so you can choose your favourite little pages of words of wisdom to put up on your copper magnet board next to the foiled print that says Eat Sleep Create….
jealousy of bloggers
An admission of jealousy of other bloggers
June 15, 2017
Have you ever noticed how it’s generally successful people who advise you not to compare yourself with others? I hear it a lot lately and it’s really annoying me! When I hear someone with a hundred and seventy thousand Instagram followers and a blog with an income good enough to support their family, spout quotes on their popular podcast such as “Comparison is the thief of joy”, do I think, Oh yes, that’s really good advice, thank you for that? No I do not. I swear out loud and stick two fingers up at my computer. I hesitated as to whether to share this horrible, ugly side of my personality here, but then I thought, Sod It, no-one’s reading this anyway(!)….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.