Saturday, September 17, 2022

Hot Glue Cool Corsets

After nearly 10 years of producing content on my blog, it is difficult to create something original and current. For this project, I began by revisiting the corset. But it all seemed deja vu. So I went back to the drawing board and decided it was time to do something more "21st century" with the idea. In my effort to come up with something, my attention was diverted to a photo of a model wearing clear plexiglas jewelry. Unfortunately, the only method to replicate versions of it is by using resin...a highly toxic chemical requiring LOTS of ventilation. I turned to hot glue, thinking that would be a cheap and easy way to get the look..... But no matter what I tried...everything came out with a milky translucence. AND....working with the hot glue gun was not as simple as I though. Very, very messy. I put the glue gun down. But still, there was something that kept me picking it back up. It wasn't until I made the first corset with it. There, in front of my eyes, I had created a 21st century version of a turn of the last century looking Art Nouveau bustier for my doll. 

At first, though, it seemed like a one-trick pony. I could make bracelets and necklaces...but at the end of the day....it all had the same look. I felt it still wasn't enough for me to post it as a project. So, just before abandoning this "new medium," I pulled out my pack of foiling papers to see what would happen. Oh my goodness.... I love foiling on various materials as it stands. But when combined with hot glue...it looks just like metal. As you can imagine, I had FUN. 

MATERIALS


For this project you will need a low temp hot glue gun, a package of glue sticks and a few sheets of craft foil. You want the low temp glue which is less dangerous should your fingers come in contact with the glue (which it probably will). And besides..this is pretty cheap. When buying glue sticks, just make sure they are the right size. (Probably mini-sticks).  The most common ones are a translucent white, though other colors exist. The sheets of craft foil is usually sold in packs and comes in gold, silver and copper, though you might find other colors. 

COOL CORSETS

Let's get started....

1. I have a separate body which serves as a mannequin, and whether or not you are doing the same thing, you must protect that body (or that of the doll) with aluminum foil
2. Apply a little bit of vaseline or hand lotion so that later, when you need to pull it away from the glue, it will release more easily.
3. After the glue gun is loaded, plugged in and the  glue has started to melt, make swirls, globs at random. The reason you are doing this directly on the form is so that, once cool, what you create is in the same curved shape as the doll body.
4. Keep in mind, you will want to leave some holes in your design. It will look more like Art Nouveau AND..in the back, it will allow you to thread some ribbon through to use as a closure.
5. After the glue has cooled, begin peeling away the foil from the back.
6. If it rips in areas, or you discover the holes are too big, you can always come back with the gun and either fill in the gaps or use the side of the nozzle to melt and connect specific areas.
7. And so here is my completed bustier.
8. I used a thin ribbon to thread in the holes at the back.
It's not Couturier Iris Van Herpen, but it certain fits in with the modern concept of Haute Couture!
Here, the hot glue corset is layered over the strapless top of this Jouy cloth dress.

The hot glue corset adds another dimension to an existing look. You can also use a colored glue stick instead of the white.


In this version... I created the same corset as the one above. But this time I made a bib out of the hot glue. You proceed the same way as you did for the corset, except you'll need to line the area around the neck of the doll with aluminum foil before applying the glue. 
The back of the neck and the center back waist provide points where you can attach a ribbon for closure.
I've used white for my corset and necklace, but feel free to play with colors. What I do not recommend is painting the underside of these accessories. You don't want to stain the doll with paint!

HOT EFFECTS
Hot glue + craft foil equals melted metal effects! Once I figured this out, I decided to make something "Very Versace." Gold on black. 
1. First of all, make the corset of your choice. For this I have used a black cotton. But any fabric is fine.
2. The hot glue is applied directly to the fabric. I would recommend cutting the foil into small squares and working in small areas instead of trying to cover too much at the same time. The glue cools down really quickly!
3. As soon as you apply the glue to the garment, lay the square of foil directly on top (dull silver side down onto the glue) and press.
4. The carefully peel the foil away. Top to bottom is mostly best!
5. Keep going until you have covered the entire bustier. 
6. On mine, the glue shows, so I went back with paint. However, the next time I do this, I will use a black glue stick instead of white! Or...there is a metallic filled glue pen  that supposedly looks just like shiny metal which should also be interesting to use.
7. In keeping with the spirit of Versace, I attached gold chain which drapes over the bust. After sewing the chain to each side point of the bustier, I hid those points with a little glue and foil!
My finished result...Very Versace! 


Then I wondered, what it would look like if I were to do a hot glue foil on a metallic leather....

The result was a shiny areas over a "hammered" metal look.

This was so much fun. You can do this on any material. The blobs of irregular shaped "metal" almost resembles jewelry. On this tweed top, I randomly applied both silver and gold globs


And just as I thought I was finished with this project, the idea came to me....what happens if you apply dots of glue/foil to, say...sequins!

It looks like paillettes mixed in with your sequins. Quite interesting!


Let's Talk Accessories...

Unless it is the bib that you want, the process is simple. 
1. Apply the glue directly to the dull silver side of the foil in the pattern of your choice and let dry.
2. Peel the glue away from the foil
3. Wrap one point with a little wire then hang from another bit of wire.

I created the belt the same way. Determine the width of the doll's hips. The create your design with the glue directly onto the surface of the foil.
When cool, peel away from the foil. 

I use ribbon to tie the two ends together. Belt can be work with the opening in the front, side or back.

The bracelet is a little more tricky. I did try to do this flat then glue the two edges together. But when it has cooled, the glue doesn't have all that much give. You would have to melt areas of it so that it bends around the doll's arm. Or...


I found a wooden dowel or pencil roughly the same diameter as the doll's arm. 
1. Cover the dowel with aluminum foil and rub a little bit of lotion or vaseline onto the surface for quick release when you are finished. Apply the glue all around.
2. Remove from the dowel. If it breaks in areas, don't worry. You can always come back with your gun and melt those broken areas back together or add more globs of hot glue.
3. One more thing... You can always press in beads, rhinestones or whatever while the glue is still warm. On the middle cuff, I pressed in some frosted beads.

And yes...you can always use a little foil to get the look of a metal bracelet!



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Saturday, August 6, 2022

Dolls Eye View: Paris Fall/Winter 2022 Couture

It has been a long, hot summer and for the most part, I've given my crew some time off. This has given us time to really contemplate the future of fashion. Although the fashion world had already began its centurion transformation (social, cultural, sexual and physical diversity)  a number of years ago, the arrival of Covid pandemic accelerated the obvious changes. With the exception of a handful of couturiers: Armani, Gaultier in particular, come to mind--the old guard has pretty much disappeared and a new generation of designers proposing new aesthetics and design theory have stepped forward onto the world stage. 

I've been involved in fashion since the age of 16, when I picked up my first piece of fabric and attempted to make a party dress for myself. My history, my culture, my professional experiences are all heavily ensconced in 20th century century aesthetics...which was a much different time than today. Some dolly clothing designers prefer the well manicured look of the first half of last century, 1950's and early 60's, in particular. As you've noticed, I am a big fan of the 1980's-'90s when trends were a mix of glamour and textile exploration. But today's designers seem to be searching for an identity..something to define and reflect the current world status--which frankly--is in a state of chaos. There is talk of fashion in the Metaverse...a platform of an imaginary world filled with NFTs and imaginary fashion products for digital avatars that cost real money (bitcoin, of course). None of this I fully understand and none of this brings any joy to my dolls who only exist to wear beautiful clothes.

And so... Perhaps now with the return of in-person catwalk shows, designers will set their sights on clothes us non-Metaverse folks can relate to and might even want to wear in the real world. For the Fall 2022 edition of Paris Haute Couture, the girls looked past all of the concept costumes and took a good look at all of the shows. They came away with two strong themes: Winter Garden and Old Hollywood. 

Winter Garden

I was in the process of researching a blog post using one of my favorite themes: Late Summer Blooms. But the Fall Couture Collections simplified that task with look that were inspired by floral gardens....roses in particular!

This looks more like a spring dress but I suppose it is always warm somewhere in the world.... Here, the concept is simple and one we've done before. We created a simple bodice/skirt dress out of pink chiffon and added a silk flower to the top. You could always make the rose petals yourself, but with these hot temperatures, we took the easy way out and used a silk rose from the Dollar Store.

We weren't wild about this look at first glance. Then we thought about the possibilities. The construction of the original is quite interesting. However the end result was a bit too kitsch for Belle's taste. Instead, we chose a silk rose with looser petals and felt it made for a much more vibrant cover-up. This began with a simple cape made from polyester organza, over which we hand stitched on several whole roses. The petals are more bouncy and the total look more fun than the original. I can imagine making another our of say, a black satin rose for a black tie event!

This is the same principal as the pink dress but using a more compact red rose on the bodice. 

My girls have so many black dresses. So for this one, which uses a black rose, we decided to do this in navy velvet. Again, the choice of flower will impact the style. I could not find satin roses at my craft store this time of year, so I opted for a flower with looser petals. These are really simple looks you can quickly and easily create!
And so...we arrive in at the holidays when our garden is frozen over and the snow seems to sparkle like glitter.... Of course the fabric of the original is everything! Unfortunately we didn't have access to anything like it, so we started out with a simple bodice/skirt dress cut from gold lame. Then....we brought out the Christmas decorations and carefully sewed a few stalks onto the dress itself. The trick here is to know when to stop before the doll resembles a miniature Christmas tree herself! 

Old Hollywood

These are glamorous looks from a bygone era of film stars. Celebrities dressed up as queens and princesses. 

Kym's dress is a simple, strapless flared gown. Taffeta is ideal for this look. Though Kym's dress was cut from a silk faille fabric....heavy, thick and difficult. But I wanted a certain look so I suffered through it. The stole is organic. It is a tube that I have gathered and pinched at random to get this scrunchy effect. 
Honestly...I hated the original dress. The draping technique is amateurish for a couture house and the fabric looks as if it came from one of those emergency aluminum foil blankets you find in a first aid kit. I love silver fabric, so I went ahead a draped a movie star dress out of it. 
There is nothing new about this dress. But it is very classy and my girl, Dorian insisted I make it for her. This is a stretch rayon with gathers on one side at the waist and a train attached to the one shoulder. 
Confession here...I had a small piece of this "3D" sequin fabric and a few strands of oversized paillettes that I've been dying to find a use for. It is not exactly the same as the Alexandre Vaultier gown, but rather, inspired by it. I made Iman's dress in two pieces...top and skirt. The paillettes are really not in scale but works here because I stitched them to the hem of the skirt and sleeves. 
And so our Hollywood story comes to an end with a dress and over sized stole made from black synthetic taffeta. 
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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Frou Frou!!!!


In the absence of any real inspiration, we once again, retreated to our dolly textile archives and revisited another fun technique: frayed edges. We combined with an earlier theme: denim to come up with something we thought would be fun for summer. So get your dollies ready for some south of the border fun! One-two-cha cha cha!!!!

You can fray almost everything, but I love recycling old garments so once again, I cut up an old pair of my dad's jeans. The denim is thick but after years of washing, the fabric is now soft and supple. Normally you need a holding stitch to stop the fray, but denim doesn't unravel so much, especially the way we intend to use it. 

Caught Up In the Fray!

The garments we use as a base are very simple, very basic. Again, the embellishments here is the real story! This is time intensive, so pick a lazy day when you have lots of free time on your hands to create your trims and embellishments. 

Before you begin....With denim, there are two colors of threads in the weave. My light blue remnant has blue running vertically (aka: the warp) and white running horizontally (aka: the weft). You will need to chose which color you want for your fringe.
1. Start by measuring and cutting even strips of denim. In this case each strip is !-1/4" (3cm) wide. 
2.Cut as many strips as you will need depending on how many rows of fringe you will need.
3. Begin fraying each side of the strip you have just cut. Though optional (you can use a pin) a seam ripper is helpful in pulling away the cross threads. 
4. Once the cross threads are pulled up, I remove them by pulling them away with my fingers.
5. You will do this on both sides of the strip. I then fold the strip over so that the fringe at the bottom of one edge meets the top of the fringe on the opposite.



6. Make your basic garment. Pictured here is the basic straight skirt. 
7. Begin in the back at the bottom, pinning the middle (or fold line) in place. Then stitch by hand. Let the center of each strip overlap in the back. With so much going on, texture wise, those frayed edges adds to the movement. 
8. Fold over and press.
9. Repeat until you have just the look you want. 

For my first skirt, I added the fringe from the hem to the waistband. I didn't measure the placement of each row because I wanted a an irregular alignment. However, if you want something more uniform, you can always measure and mark the placement line for each row of fringe.

What is that she's wearing at the top? I started to make a simple tank top but decided to go all the way with my Spanish them by creating a simple camisole with fringe at the top and bottom. If you fray the edges as I have, the end result will be very irregular. You can visually correct that by adding a layer or two of fringe, tacked to the inside of the camisole. Take a look at our initial post on fringing HERE. She's also wearing a swing jacket with denim "roses" at the cuffs, as a corsage on one shoulder and "rose" bottoms down the front. The next project show you how...

Rose Garden
I made another camisole, this time with removal "rose" puff sleeves. The sleeves are actually small tube with several clusters sewn on. 
1. Cut a small square of denim to fit the doll's arm. Fray each end. A single, underarm seam is all that is needed.
2.Cut circles. They don't have to be perfect. In fact the imperfection will make them more interesting.When you begin to fray the edges you will discover that where there are curves, it won't fray as easily. That is ok. You just want to fluff up the edges enough to soften the cut edge.
3. Fold each circle into quarters. 
4. Pin then sew the first one on the sleeve at the point.
5. Take another frayed circle. Fold into quarters and sew the midpoint to the midpoint of the previous circle.
6. Continue adding these quartered circles until there are enough to cover the sleeve.
If you want, you can tack each sleeve to the camisole where it meets under the arms, or treat them as removable sleeves.


And now...getting back to that jacket...This is a basic jacket with straight sleeves, each trimmed with these poufs of denim roses. I used smaller circles to create the buttons. 

Feather Weight

I found this on the craft pages of Pinterest and thought they were so interesting. These are fabric feathers! Again, they are made by removing enough of the cross threads to create the illusion of feathers. Before you start, you will need to figure out which direction each color thread moves in and which color you want for the feathers. I chose the cross thread (white) which I felt had a softer, fluffier look.


1. I roughly cut leaf shapes out of the denim. 
2. With my seam ripper, I begin lifting away the cross threads. 
3. On each side remove the cross threads. With my smaller "feathers" I can remove them simply with my fingers. 
4. Work from one side to the other side, pulling the cross threads away until you arrive with a strip down the middle that is about 1/8" (3mm). 
5. If you want an even look to your feathers, you can always trim them into the exact shape you want.
6. Now that I have a variety of feathers, I can begin to embellish my garment.
1. And so I begin with a basic sheath dress
2. I pin on feathers until I have just the look I want. 
3. Hand stitch each one partially down the middle (about 1/3-1/2 the length of each feather) so that they can "flutter."
And voila....my completed dress. I made "gloves" to match out of longer tubes of denim where the edges are frayed.

And here's what it looks like from each angle.

Fancy Pants
Of course I could have stopped there, but by now, you know me.... I could have made a gown and added feathers but instead, I decided on a pair of "cha cha" bell bottom pants, instead. 
Again, I started out with a basic, bell bottom hiphuggers that I frayed at the hemline. It doesn't matter if it is uneven because the feathers will cover everything.. I made enough feathers to achieve just the look I wanted. For her top, it is a basic bodice with a square neckline. I made small "feathers" to add to the hem of the sleeves, which repeat the design of the pants.

Okay, let's hear it.....One...two...cha cha cha!!!!!


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Unless otherwise noted, all images and text of this blog are the copyrighted property of Fashion Doll Stylist 2022. We are independent and not part of any other group or website no matter where this post or its elements appear on the internet or social media. Please request permission before reproducing any parts of this post. And please, always credit us.