But currently, I've been looking for ways to further embellish my vests (the mosaic thing is turning out to be quite frustrating--more on that later) and I have a lot of lace at my disposal. I found a cheap source of Venetian lace that I had used in the past (www.cheaptrims.com), so I had a lot of it lying around. I started exploring ways to manipulate the lace on my vests...
And thus I found several sources that discussed hand dyeing lace. I have a collection of fabric paints already, so I decided to give it a shot. But my lace is black.
Hm. The tutorials that I had found had all talked about softly dyeing white lace with splashy tints of color. I couldn't do that...
So I decided to paint it with my opaque fabric paints instead. I'd done this before on a vest where I used the lace for epaulets on the shoulders. But I didn't really want to do that again because I was worried it would end up looking like something Steampunk. And while I love Steampunk, I wasn't looking to make anything for that style right now. I didn't want to do anything on the shoulders. I was looking for something more "straight on"--maybe a lapel floret or something.
To that end, I started tucking, gathering, pinching, pleating and generally mangling some lace samples I have. After a while, I found that I could make some form of jabot/necklace/necktie/bow tie that looked pretty good, but wasn't what I was looking for...
But I stayed the course, went with the creative flow, and had fun riffing. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, and when I shifted myself out of the way of self-editing, I struck on something that I really really liked.
Neck Lace. I dunno what else to call it. It's not jewelry. It's not a bow tie. It's not a jabot. It's almost all of those things. I don't know what it is. It's lace for the neck. Is this accessory something that I've not heard of before? Is there a name for it that I don't know?
I got really excited after the first one turned out okay, and I dove into several more... I've been experimenting all day with different painting patterns and colors, and ran to the fabric store to get some rhinestones to put on them. I started pulling out all my beads and chain rhinestones and got yards of organza ribbon and grosgrain and some more types of lace to play with and... Let's just say, I'm having fun with it!
I think I've found something that will be a good mid-range price item for me to sell at craft fairs and such with my other more expensive items. I've already discovered ways to dress them up by sewing on bugle beads and dangling things from them. The chain rhinestones dress it up for an elegant evening look. Or they could be killer club wear for the teen crowd worn with a simple a-line t-shirt. Depending on how much paint is applied or the type of beads or rhinestones, they also have a down-to-earth feel--almost "flower child" at heart. And they look good under a collar for a more office appropriate look. Or they could actually be a very fancy "Mad Hatter" jabot for the costume crowd that could be made to fit under a jacket or vest! I've already made quite a few of them, and will be posting them slowly on my Etsy and Artfire stores.
Has anyone else ever heard of this kind of thing? I know it's been thought of before--it has to have been. But I've been searching on Etsy and Google, and can't find anything like it. I'm not sure I'm using the right search terms. Anyone have any ideas? I'm sure there are traditional or period garments out there that have used these somehow... Am I missing them?
I'm heading back to my studio to do some more experimenting. Until next time, Live Life with Relish!