It was, I'll admit, a damn close shave. I'd finished my vintage Simplicity 4491 dress, and then began to paint it. Recklessly I covered the dress - a dress I'd spent about three days making - in paint, beginning to get more and more worried as the white disappeared and the green took over.
As the dress dried on my mannequin I stood back to have a look. And then I said the "F" word over and over and over, because I had completely ruined the poor dress (fear not, Grumbles was happily at school, not sitting listening to her mother turn the air blue).
Instead of a soft white cotton delight, I now had in front of me some weird sort of stiff paint reptilian creation that would have even been looked at askance at a costume party. I could imagine the scene now - whispers of pity and confusion from behind covered mouths:
"What do you think she has come as?"
"Um, maybe a dead mermaid?"
"Nah, she's like some alligator-martian fusion, yeah?"
"My bet's on fungi!"
"But it's nice, don't you think, that some people try and make a costume? Even if it turns out like...um...that!"
Cue the laughter.
Dancing around in a strange tango of despair and rage at my own idiocy, I suddenly had a scathingly brilliant idea: maybe I could wash the dried paint stiffness out. So down I raced to the washing machine, threw it in at 50 C, then crossed my fingers and hoped the best.
Out the green thing came, and she was no longer the stiff creature from before. The hot water had washed off the excess paint, leaving only the stain that I had originally planned for. I could look back the sewing community in the eye because I finally had a wearable dress!
And even though it didn't quite go to plan, I'm really rather happy with the result. Sure, the paint is splotchy in parts, but I think it works in a 'cool art school' kinda way. I'm glad I shortened the dress, as it was a bit too "Posh Spice designer skirt" in the original length, and besides the short skirt works far better with the painted effect.
All in all I think we have a winner. The dark horse won the race, phew!
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 4491
Fabric: "Kiko" cotton print from Tessuti Fabrics
Notions: 18" zipper
Loved making this pattern. So easy, but then again I'm a sucker for anything with facings. Don't ask, I just like them put them in. Next time I'll have to make one with a fuller skirt. Very wearable, very paintable. Hah!