Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sparkles Galore

I needed to find a dress to wear in the show at the end of the month. We had fairly loose guidelines to follow, basically a straight dress, any colour pretty much (except for fluorescent) with sparkly bits and preferably pattern or fringe across the hips to accentuate any shimmying. I had a bit of a look around but didn't see anything that would fit the brief. I started trawling through trademe and found a few possibilities but generally anything remotely suitable was going to be far too small… I’m no waif!

I began to resign myself to making a dress and decorating it and then I found a compromise... a plain dark blue stretch velvet dress in the right sort of style... I was a bit hesitant about the sizing but after confirming the measurements I started bidding. I won the auction in the finish and I could hardly have made it for the $20 I paid for it.

When it arrived in the post I tried it on immediately. The fit was snug but it was perfect for the show! Now for the fun part… the sparkly bits!

In my treasure cupboard I had some purple beads I’d bought I Bali quite a long time ago… they’d be perfect for making fringing from and although I wasn’t entirely thrilled at the idea of threading them all they really were the perfect colour. I also had some pre-strung gold sequins but I felt I also needed sequins that would pick up the blue of the dress as well as the purple from the beads… I knew just the colour I wanted… a paua, or oil slick colour would do me. I went down to get some at John’s Place Emporium. I found exactly what I was after straight away but you can’t go into that shop without looking around at the other goodies… and thank goodness I did! I found pre-strung beads in the exact colour I had at home… if I bought those then I could save myself hours of painstaking work. I knew that it was going to end up costing a lot more but given that life has been so busy lately, time could become an issue. I didn’t want to have to rush through this and be disappointed with the results. I could also supplement it with the beads at home… at the end of the day I was still going to pay less than I would for a ready made outfit, and it would be unique, one of a kind!

With the decision made I scurried out with my goodies and went home to get started. I had been thinking about the pattern I wanted and had decided to keep it fairly simple with clean curves and the fringing. I was about to started sketching outlines with chalk when I realised that I probably should do this while I had it on so that I could take the stretch into account … along with my curves! So there I was standing in front of a mirror drawing on myself … or rather on the dress with chalk! Then the stitching began in earnest… first the lines of sequins then the beading… oh how I thanked myself for using the pre-strung stuff… no threading, no chance of beads coming undone… just stitch it on! Because of the stretch in the material I had to ensure anything stitched on allowed for this so it was all done with the dress stretched over an embroidery hoop.

I couldn't tell you how long I've spent on it so far but at least now it is now at the stage where if I don't do any more it will be fine for the show. I'm picking it's more than likely I will add more at some point however I'm aware that I could over do it and it will end up with too much on it so for now I'm letting it rest awhile. I am very pleased... it actually looks better once it's on!

I took it along to class last week and everyone wanted to see it on so I ended up wearing it for the whole class... I love it! The fringing sits in just the right place and moves beautifully when I dance! I can't wait to wear it in the show!

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