Saturday, May 8, 2010

And the last Wedding Story - Promise!

Well with less than a week before the wedding, I've finally decided on a gown to wear. I brought home 6, then 3 more - all of which were nice but nothing that grabbed me. The one I liked the best had small cap sleeves but I wanted some kind of covering for my arms. I thought of painting or dyeing some sheer silk but it was a hard color to match, but also the dress I really liked. So I decided to add 1 more thing on my long list of things to do - make a sheer shawl! I wanted to use acid dyes as they make such beautiful color on silk. Since the dress was a brownish-cranberryish-purple, I thought purple + yellow makes the prettiest brown. So I dove in mixing colors, testing on paper and then on sheer silk.
Close but not close enough.
And then I thought of silk paints. I have some Dye-na-Flow and it works great - no steaming, just set with an iron and it's easy to tell the color right away by testing on a small piece of silk.
I found Burnt Umber was close to the dress color but needed some toning down so I added Pewter and then to "purple" it up a little, added just a tad of purple.
Not too bad.
I used to do a lot of silk painting,  taught a beginners class for a while, but I've forgotten so much.  I did a big "no-no" - laying the fabric on a surface instead of elevating it to allow for a more even spreading of the paint. It looks good lying here but when I pulled it up, it was one big blotchy mess!
The silk on the left is the blotchy effect you get when you paint silk this way.
I was so disappointed as the color was a perfect match, but luckily I did write down the "recipe" for this mix. To elevate the silk, I used some saw horses from the basement, put a strip of plastic underneath the area where the silk was tacked and laid a big piece of plastic underneath the whole thing....
and worked like "crazy fast". One of the negatives in working with silk paints, as opposed to silk dyes, is that they set up more quickly, creating a hard edge. I mixed quite a bit of paint so I wouldn't have to stop in the middle, took a deep breath and painted like there was no tomorrow. I was nervous, this was my last "hemmed" silk blank, if this didn't work, I wouldn't have a shawl. I then watched it dry with fingers crossed.
The color came out nice and even. I pulled it off the horses and heat set it with an iron, then another soaking to soften it a bit.
And it matches, not perfect but close enough! My husband thinks I'm totally obsessive - I wonder why he would think that!
Signing off for now.


  1. It will totally be worth all the effort! It looks great with the dress!

  2. Great job and great tutorial for those of us who've never painted silk! Have fun at the wedding!