Saturday, 8 June 2013

Moxxi Part 3 - Jacket Continued - Stripes and Zipper!

My lonely sewing machine, finally back to work!
Today was a important day - my first time back to sewing after finishing our costumes! Nothing exciting, just sewing blackout lining into our bedroom curtains, but it took me a little while to feel like getting around to it after spending so many days in a row doing nothing else, but I watched me some Harry Potter, picked out some seams, cut, pinned, and finally sewed myself some blackout curtains.  It was an easy job, but it went well, and it felt good to have a little success! 

Gloss varnish, you sweet saviour you!
With the jacket outer all put together, shaped to the right shape, and fitting snugly, it was time to paint me some stripes!  It took a lot of experimentation (on fabric scraps, of course) to find a formula that would work for the stripes, giving a nice darker purple without overriding the pattern, bleeding, or turning the stripes black.  My first attempt involved a freakin' $8 bottle of purple fabric paint that (in spite of the "matte" on the bottle) was full of little purple sparkles.  Likely lovely on a shirt, not so much for adding dark purple stripes to a purple jacket.  I tried various mixtures of blue, red, and black fabric paint with more or less water, also fail, they all ran in spite of the painters tape there to seal them in. Finding fabric medium for acrylic paint helped, but still, even with acrylics, it was too thick, too dark - the secret ingredient? Gloss.

The desired effect
Materials needed:
-Blue acrylic paint
-Red acrylic paint
-Acrylic fabric medium
-Gloss varnish for acrylic paint
-Painter's tape (various sizes for convenience)
-Paint brushes, mixing tray, water tray
-Black fabric marker (for liner)
 And once all of that is dry...
-Separable purple dress weight zipper (I needed 14 inch)

So, ladies and gentlemen, the magic working formula was approximately 30% red acrylic paint, 30% blue acrylic paint, 25% fabric medium and 15% gloss.  My advice if you plan to try this at home, play around a little, see what works for your fabric (let it dry and all) and then when you're ready to paint, make a whole ton of it.  Seriously, a lot. You don't want to run out and end up changing the formula in the middle of painting your stripes!

It may not look pretty, but it worked!
To prep my jacket for painting (outer only) I started by ironing the jacket to make it nice and smooth.  Then I grabbed my laptop for all my reference photos, and went to work carefully taping out the areas I did not want painted - which made a stencil for the pattern as seen in game. Some of the stripes are pretty close together, so where the space was thinner than the tape, I ripped (or cut) tape in half and used that to make the right pattern.  I did my absolute best to make sure my tape strips are as straight as possible, and really pressed the tape into the fabric to make sure it sealed the paint in between the tape (not letting it bleed under).

So much purple paint - but so worth it!
Once all the tape was in place, I prepped my painting studio (read: balcony).  I spread a "doesn't matter if it gets soaked with paint" vynil tablecloth across my balcony table, and used little weights from my adjustable dumbell set to weigh down the corners.  In order to protect against bleed through, I placed the jacket over a dry cleaning bag on a hangar, and stuffed the sleeves with plastic bags. Finally, I mixed up a huge batch of my paint using my award winning formula! With everything in place it was time to paint. After working a nice thick layer of paint into the first stripe, I lifted a little bit of the tape from beside it to ensure that it was working right, and sure enough, perfect, straight, and just the right shade of purple - I was so stoked! So I went crazy and carried on with the rest, adding a second coat wherever it looked like it could use it then let it dry.
So perfect <3
Once the paint was well dried (I admit being a little impatient, but had to wait, wait, wait) I carefully peeled off the tape. It's best to peel away from the centre, as I learned, and I frayed a few edges where I wasn't careful. I couldn't be happier with how the stripes turned out! They're freakin' perfect (or as close to as possible) and looked just right to me - I recall doing a happy dance at this point!

With the outer all finished, I needed to take care of the design on the lining - specifically, on the tails. If you look closely, the under side of the tails has a diamond pattern on it, as though it's quilted. I REALLY didn't have the time by this point to sew it into place, so I drew it on all quick and sketchy-like with fabric marker, adding a little cell shading here and there as necessary. Easy peasy!  If I had had more time, I may have taken it a little farther, but in the pictures, the effect was just about perfect!

It turned out something like this!

With the inner and outer of the jacket ready to roll, I pinned the zipper with Fatima's assistance to ensure proper fit and function.  I had decided early on to not make the buttons "functional" as a zipper was sure to give a smoother, tighter closure than buttons could. I used a 14 inch dress weight separable zipper.

The toggle half was installed along the seam between the spare center flap and the front side panel, and the other half was pinned on the edge of the flap (It was actually sewed on along with the bias tape in the next step - we just pinned it at this point to make sure the fit was right). I guess I could have installed the toggle half during the original jacket construction, but I just sewed it on after the fact - it worked out just fine!

Next time bias tape, rick rack and coat hangars!  Stay tuned!

Moxxi tutorials so far:
Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Fabric Shopping and Starting the Jacket

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