A client has tasked me with adding new silicone elastic to the inside of the hoods on some aerial costumes. This eeensy strip just ain't gonna cut it no more!
Unfortunately, the only tan silicone elastic I could find at my fabric store was 1" wide. However, I was able to find 1/2" white silicone elastic and some Synthetic RIT Dye in the sand stone color.
Let the stovetop silicone elastic dye bath begin! Ignore my dirty stovetop please ;)
RIT DyeMore Synthetic 7oz bottle (Sand Stone color)
6 yards of 1/2" wide white silicone elastic
wooden or heavy plastic mixing spoon
1. Gather your materials.
2. Soak the elastic in a bowl of water. It's best for the elastic to be fully saturated before adding it to the dyebath.
3. Fill your pot with water and bring it to a boil. Make sure to use enough water so the elastic can move freely (you don't want that silicone sticking to the side of the pot). While waiting for it to boil move on to the next step.
4. Shake the bottle of RIT dye well before using!
5. Once the water is boiling add the RIT dye and white vinegar. I only poured about a quarter of the bottle of dye and maybe 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Stir this mixture well.
**Please note when using the Sand Stone dye - it looks army green when you're pouring it in the pot, but never fear! It creates a beautiful tan color in the end!
6. Since this was my first time dyeing with the Sand Stone color and dyeing silicone elastic I did a test dye first. I cut a small piece of the silicone elastic off and tossed it into the pot.
7. I continued stirring the pot while the small piece of elastic was in there. After a few minutes I fished it out and could see it was taking the dye. YAY! Success!
8. Add the rest of the elastic and continuously stir the pot.
9. Once the elastic has reached the desired color drain the water in the sink and rinse with cold water. (The RIT dye bottle suggests stirring for 30 minutes. The elastic took the color really quickly. I'd say the whole process took less than 15 minutes.)
10. After your elastic is properly rinsed squeeze out the excess water with a towel. Hang it to air dry and once it's dry you're good to go!
~Silicone elastic is expensive! I highly recommend doing a dye test first.
~Don't keep the elastic in the pot longer than you need to acquire the proper color. Elastic is basically rubber so it shouldn't be exposed to heat more than it needs to or it'll wear faster.
~Stir the pot as often as you can when the elastic is in it and make sure there's enough water for proper submergence. You don't want the silicone sticking to the side of the pot! This will also help the elastic to dye more evenly.
Good luck! Have fun! And any questions feel free to ask!
I've always loved huge, dramatic collars on clothing. I think they are great statement pieces in and of themselves. Circus Couture has always been a fantastic avenue for me to try something new and for this year I chose to do a big, statement collar.
I don't have many photos of the process, but below are the steps and materials I used. HUGE thanks to David Tapia for the construction advice.
50 yards Millinery Wire Heavy Weight (white) from Richard the Thread (I only used about half of this wire)
hand sewing needles
white strip LEDs
white taffeta fabric
white sequin mesh fabric
a lot of time and patience
Using the wire I shaped the collar on my dress form. (I used masking tape to hold where the wires joined as I created the shape.) This can be a frustrating process as you're constantly stepping back to see that the collar is not symmetrical and then reshaping it.
Once I got the shape the way I wanted it I wrapped all intersections of the millinery wire with floral wire. (I just put this over the masking tape.) Then I covered the floral wire with the floral tape so the sharp edges of the wires weren't poking through. I made sure to put a lot of masking tape, floral wire, and even more floral tape along the bottom where the collar rested on my model's neck so it'll be more comfortable.
Once the wire portion of the collar was strong and secure I draped buckram over it and hand-stitched the buckram to the collar. (I used silamide and stitched cross-stitches over the wire joins.) This is a very long process, but the more you stitch it the stronger the collar will be. I did NOT want this thing falling apart from being manhandled too much.
Once all the buckram was on (I added it to both sides of the millinery wire for extra durability) I applied the LED strips. Instead of gluing the strips to the buckram I chose to hand stitch them in with silamide. The LEDs continued from the front to the back of the collar so I ran the LED wires along the bottom edge of the collar. (Once the fabric is on this wire won't be noticeable at all.)
I then laid the white taffeta fabric over the collar to create a pattern which I then used to cut out the white sequin mesh fabric. I flat lined these two fabric pieces together before stitching the top of the collar by machine, flipped it right side out and inserted the collar. I then hand stitched the rest of the collar closed.
Originally I had sewn a pocked on the front of the collar for the LED battery pack so it wouldn't be seen behind my model's head. However, that made the weight of the collar too much and as it was only attached to the corset by straps. Instead I placed the battery pack for the collar in the back of the corset and had the wire wrap down her back.
Fashion & costumes.