Don’t blink

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A few weeks ago I completed a weeping angel costume from the Dr Who TV series. This weekend I finally got some good pictures of it.

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The wings are felt, made the same way as my flower petal wings, and you’d never guess that their original color was oatmeal. I painted the heck out of them, which is hard with felt because it just sucks up paint like it was koolaid. The unexpected benefit is that the feathers are so stiff, you’d think I put fabric stiffener on them.

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The dress is plain muslin (unbleached, which is why I chose oatmeal felt for the wings, so everything would start out the same color), treated with Stiffy fabric stiffener, and then painted. The tricky thing was that the Stiffy goes limp when it gets wet, which makes painting it difficult. But I managed. Now that’s dry, the dress stands up by itself, even without a doll in it, which is kind of hilarious.

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The pedestal is something I had around the house. It was a plaster thing I bought at a craft store a gazillion years ago and painted. It was perfect for this shoot.

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The “wig” is what I’m least happy with. I sculpted it out of Model Magic, and somehow I seriously miscalculated the hairline. I was considering adding yarn hair at an early stage, so maybe I thought I was going to have yarn to cover the extra space. I have no idea. Oh well, it served well enough.

I’d probably sell this if someone made me an offer, but for now it’s going in the stash in case I need a creepy Halloween costume or something.


Green Wings

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If you’re familiar with my work, you may know that I make angel wings from silk flower petals and sell them in my Etsy shop.

Blue and purple angel wings

I’m pretty proud of these wings, but they have one limitation: they can only be so big, since I can only get silk mums up to a certain size. So when I needed to make an archangel costume for my 72cm boy, I had to figure out something different for the wings.

After a lot of consideration, I went to the thrift store and bought an old silk blouse for a dollar. I pinned the fabric down on a layer of wax paper on a pizza box (it was flat and stable and available) and treated the silk with fabric stiffener.

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Sorry the picture’s upside down; I barely remembered to take any pictures at all.

This had the unfortunate result of leaving spots on the back side of the fabric. I’m not sure if the spots are transferred wax from the wax paper or pooled fabric stiffener. Maybe I’ll use parchment paper next time.

Then I measured out about a million rectangles and marked them with my sewline pencil, which I love for marking fabric, and cut them out.

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After they were cut out, I folded them in half and creased them and cut them to shape. If I decide to do this some more, I’ll experiment with shaping the feathers as the stiffener dries. Flower petals are curled, both front to back and side to side, but these will have to do.

I made a felt-over-wire armature just like I do for my smaller wings, only I supersized it. I call this the “chicken wing” stage of the project.

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Then I glued the feathers on, one at a time, like usual, and applied ribbons to one side for a harness. I touched it over with gold paint to hide the spots. The stiffened silk took the paint really well. It would be a good surface for painting, if one were into that sort of thing, which this one isn’t.

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I think they came out pretty well. The treated silk is pretty much exactly like the faux flowers, though maybe a little finer and more transparent. The only problem was, as huge as these wings looked while I was working on them, they were just barely big enough not to look silly on my boy. Seventy-two centimeters is HUGE! These wings are big enough for a standard 60cm doll, I think, but I will have to try making some even bigger wings later, with a different technique. These feathers aren’t detailed enough to be much bigger than this.

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