Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Graffiti Dress

The amount of graffiti to be found in the inner city is incredible. Everywhere you look, there's another tag spray painted onto a wall. A shame, I tells ya, it's a crying shame!

Some individuals don't confine themselves to walls, though. These so-called graffiti artists will spray anything in sight, including fabric. And then make dresses out of them!

At the ripe old age of 32, you really would think she would know better. Graffiti dress indeed!

Project Details
Fabric: 1.2 metres of black and white printed 100% cotton from Tessuti Fabrics, painted pink with Jones Tones Glossy paint from Lincraft
Notions: 1 metre white rayon lining, one 22 inch dress zip and a hook and eye
Let me tell you, this was one fun project! I'd seen the fabric at Tessuti and really wanted to make a dress out of it, but had made a solemn vow to myself that I wasn't allowed to make or buy anything in black, because I really wear too much of it, and frankly, I need a bit more colour in my wardrobe. But I did love that fabric. What to do, what to do?
Brainwave! I'll paint some colour on myself! So I trotted down to Lincraft, got myself some pink fabric paint and then once home I diluted the paint with a bit of water and then Grumbles and I got to work. It was soooooo much fun! (You can read about our painting adventures here) I simply grabbed some old paint brushes I had lying around, and once I had spread the fabric on the table, we just painted bits here and bits there as we felt like it. Then, once we tired of that, we started 'splodging' the paint on. Grumbles looked up at me delightedly at one stage, and as she brandished her brush around she exclaimed "This isn't how we usually make dresses, is it, Mummy?!"
No siree, we don't. But gee it was fun!
After we finished painting the fabric and then let it dry, I threw it in the washing machine at 30 C, and it came out perfectly. The colour didn't run or fade at all. Phew! Because I diluted the paint, it lost the 'glossy' look it would have it normally, which was good - it was a more matt effect that I was after.
Once again I've used Vogue 8511, and ended up with a vastly different sort of dress. I made this one shorter, and left out the lower back hem opening. I love wearing this dress: once again, it's super comfy to wear, but I feel pretty darn glam in it! And it is so easy to wear - apart from the belt it doesn't need any other accessories. Not with that fabric, anyway! I just throw it on, find some heels, and away I go.
Oooh, newsflash: Just as I've been typing this, Lisa from Tessuti rang and said that they have sold out of the fabric, but do have some similar ones in store, plus lots of fabulous cottons that would be perfect for a painting project like this. That's one of the best things about making your own clothes - you can customise them no end, and end up with something wonderfully unique and totally 'you'.

So: I love this pattern, I love this fabric, I love my brilliant brainwavey idea and I love love love my new dress. Rock on!


  1. Far out, it looks AMAZING! You are a very cool lady.

  2. Fabulous...what a work of art!

  3. I love this dress. Can you post a tute on how to paint the fabric?

  4. I'm loving your brainwave too. What a stylish lass you are!

  5. HOT STUFF!! The dress looks fabulous.
    I'm very jealous of your long legs ;)

  6. Fabulous dress, great way to work with your fabric.

  7. Ooo la la! It looks stunning on you. Its so clever!!

    (Now can I do my graffiti joke? Hey lady, your tag is showing)

  8. One word: brilliant!
    More words: visionary! Excellent work Jorth. It looks very retro 60s - imagine with long white boots! Excellent match with your pink shoes, too.

    What will you do next, we wonder?

  9. Found you by way of tessuti's web site. Awesome dress! Paints are the best way to customize fabrics, aren't they?

  10. Jessie7:25 am

    I stumbled across your blog thanks to tessuti and I'm definately glad that I have :)
    Your dress looks incredible and I love how you've painted it! Brilliant!

  11. WOW!
    So clever, you are. It looks great.

  12. I love your dress so much that I have been jolted out of my blogging stupor to comment on it!

  13. Fantastic blog xx

  14. Kim Hood8:08 pm

    Not thought of painting the 'almost perfect' fabric to make it just right - seeing your result I will now!
    Thanks for the idea.
    Your dress looks fabulous.

  15. LOVE the fabric and the dress, I would buy this fabric, and you made it yourself - superb!!

  16. holy graffiti, jorth, that is a new level of awesome.

  17. Oh my gosh! I LOVE your dress! The print is so chic. Now I see what you meant when you wrote on my post about the graffiti-painted dress I made...we're definitely thinking along parallels!
    So beautiful!

    P.S. I've added your blog to my reading list...it's great!

  18. AMAZING! Love that you painted the fabric to make it your own!

  19. This dress is just gorgeous.
    You rocked it !

  20. I saw your dress on PR--my, does it stand out! Your superbly creative, and it looks like it could be your own runway creation.

  21. i love your dress too! you are an inspiration :)

  22. Wow, you really rock that dress!! :D I think I am just the wrong side of 80's child to be able to get away with trying that myself. :p

  23. BIG love! That is fantastic!

    I've just stumbled upon your blog and it's a breath of fresh air - thankyou!

    Stylish sewing inspiration seems to be a bit of a rarity out there.


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