Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Four Six Oh! One

Dan's school - Central Memorial High School, Calgary, is performing Les Miserables for it's final production in a few days. See the the write up in The Calgary Herald for details.  Dan is doing Lead Spot so will not have to wear a smelly (smells of coffee), dirty-looking, worn out shirt that I have been tasked with creating for the Prisoners in the opening scene.
Here is my recipe so far... I am taking the sample one to the wardrobe department head - Sheila- this morning for an OK. Yesterday she said that she couldn't leave the job with other Mums but she knows she can trust me.

I have just taken the trial shirt from the drier.  Here is the recipe I used to distress a shirt:-
1) cut off collar and cuffs and straighten curved edge to shirts.
2) attack shirt with lemon zest side of cheese grater (After one hour of this I had zested knuckles so gave up with that).
3) dye using what I could get from Fabricland.... all purpose Dylon nice colours - desert sand and pale grey... treat in pan, acid space-dye way.
4) Rinse and dry in drier.
5) dampen well and sit in washing up bowl.
6) mix cold water dye with salt and washing soda as colour and strong (decaffeinated! for no other reason than that's what I have in right now)  coffee (to take the edge off the blackness - I guessed).
7) scrunch up shirt in washing up bowl to form creases, pour on cold water dye in alternating colours.... to not cover shirt in new colour, but to give different areas of colour and emphasise creases and crumpled-ness of the shirt.
8) Leave for 1 hour.
9) spread out shirt on plastic surface, but still encourage colour to concentrate in creases and leave overnight (even I have to sleep).
10) Still wet in morning, so stick in drier.
11) Add marks with charcoal (from my living-room fireplace!)  perhaps stabilise these marks with a charcoal fixative (I have to try this yet).

I have to admit to being about to give up as I cradled my Lemon Zester peeled knuckles, carefully mopped spilt dye powder from around the studio and learnt from my daughter that she is sneezing blue mucus, after the dye spill, - she was off school with a cold yesterday.
Oh but the shirt looks nice now.
Only 8 more to do, at one a day they will be ready  well-after dress rehearsal!  Here comes Victoria Day!


arlee said...

OH that DOES look good--so to speak :)
Shall have to try the cheese grater--with suitable knuckle protection!

Karin Millson said...

I have discovered, after making another 4 bad shirts, that working with well-dampened fabric aids the speed of zesting and working with the shirt rolled into a ball to expose only the area one wants to zest protects the hands quite well. All the same, after 4 shirts today my finger ends need a rest although they are not grated they are worn.
Do you know that in Britain there is/was a City & Guilds course in making things that look aged, heirloom and distressed materials.

arlee said...

THAT would be a good workshop for me :}