Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY: Antiquing a Modern Body Form Tutorial (making your mannequin look French Vintage)

     Here is a great DIY Tutorial for Antiquing Body Forms! 
What you will need:

  1. freezer paper
  2. printer
  3. metal spoon (eating utensil size)
  4. printer paper
  5. Walnut Antiquing ink
  6. painters tape
  7. sponge
  8. old white cloth
  9. cloth style body form 
  10. Graphics (links on where to find them in this tutorial) 

Most of us in the business are constantly looking for ways to improve our seller photographs. I wanted to upgrade in a BIG way, but without killing my pocket. I began by endlessly searching the internet for Antique Female Body Forms, and quickly realized they were pretty costly! Being the thrifty shopper that I am, I figured there HAD to be a way to take my modern form and make her look antique. I had purchased a female body form and stand from eBay a while back. She was looking a little worn, so I figured she would be the perfect trial.
First, I purchased Walnut Ink Antiquing Solution online. I was not sure how far it would stretch, so I purchased two. It turns out, a little goes a long way with this stuff!
It's important to protect your work-space and walls when using this product. It is ink and it WILL stain. 

Next, I grabbed an old cloth and dampened it (not saturated). I began spraying the antiquing ink over my body form and then blending it in with the damp cloth. 
Repeating all over the form until I reached my desired result. 


For those of you not interested in adding French Typography, you could end your antiquing process here. Just make sure she dries all the way (give it a good 12 hours to be sure) before you dress her, or before you move on to the graphics. This is an example of what your form will look like dressed:
This Gown part of a Peignoir set currently on sale!

Next up... the French Lettering / Graphics

 I was able to find some pretty good DIY tutorials on Typography Transfer from The Graphics Fairy. For this project, I used the freezer paper method. I also added some of my own steps via trial and error. Graphics Fairy also has some free mirror image French Graphics you can use. You will need to use mirror image for direct fabric transfer of letters and numbers. For those of you with a printer that you can set to mirror image, it's even easier!  You can create your own lettering in word, use the font style you wish and print it on mirror image setting. This makes it easier for you to size your graphic as well. Otherwise, the Graphics Fairy will hook you up with what you need.

First, I took a damp sponge (again not overly saturated or the printer ink will run) and wet the area where I wanted the graphic. I especially like this method as it adds a small water stain to the form, creating more of an aged antique look. Later, I also added some water stains in various spots for character. 

Next, Grab a sheet of your printer paper and your freezer paper. Glue the printer paper to the non wax side of your freezer paper. You can use an adhesive spray or a glue stick (I used a glue stick). Be sure they adhere (with no crinkles) and dry. This is an important step so your freezer paper does not get stuck in the printer. (don't skip it)
Cut the adhered papers to the size of your printer paper
And now you are ready to print! Remember to used mirror image typography for words or numbers. In one area I decided to purposely have my letters backwards for a unique touch. I used black ink, but I have heard red, blue and green can also be used. Place the paper in your printer so that it will print on the wax side and print!
You may quickly cut away the excess paper being mindful not to touch the wet ink. Very quickly and lightly tape the paper in place (ink side down) over your wet spot. Again, being mindful not to touch the ink. Then rub over the ink with the back of a spoon going in one direction. Use firm and even pressure.
Lift the paper to reveal your graphic! The sponged wet spots will dry and graphic is meant to have a faded / worn look. Repeat process on your form where you would like other graphics. Let the form dry all the way before dressing her. (Photos below are before form had dried)


Your Finished Product will look like this!

 Even more stunning dressed!
Until next time,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Obsession with Linens of the Past (Vintage Lingerie)

My love with Vintage Lingerie began by mistake. It was mostly fueled by my constant need to be a thrifty shopper. Always searching for a bargain, I could often be found browsing clothing isles of local Thrift Stores. One Bright Summer day (approximately 12 years ago), I mistakenly glanced at a stunning nightgown set in the unmentionables section. It was an area, that up until that moment, I had snubbed. Something about used undergarments made me cringe, but not on that day... 

I had never seen such a magnificent piece of workmanship! A two-piece robe and gown, in all black with layer after layer of semi-sheer chiffon.  The fabric was flowing and swooping and I was in awe. It suited my darker side as well as my new found girly one. She was not even in my own size, and I quickly placed her in my cart for purchase. I just HAD to know more about this. The tag looked dated, that much I knew...but how old? What was this interesting fabric? I didn't know it at the time, but I held in my hands a Vintage Peignoir Masterpiece made by Gotham Lingerie. Thus, my passion for Vintage Fabric was born. I started collecting peignoir sets, stunning gowns and delicate slips from any era I could get my hands on. This grew into a love of many other Vintage clothing and accessories, but my primary love will always be the frilly unmentionables.

Names like Kayser, Gotham, and Pandora where becoming popular to me. I would research a new find, and the company who made it, till no end. Eventually my collection grew so large, that I had to start letting go of my beauties. This is when I learned that I was not the only person in love with vintage unmentionables. There was quite a market for finds such as mine... Thus giving birth to my now ten year strong online selling adventure

I've Photographed many lovely pieces over the years.  Finding it easier to let go of a piece if I had a picture to remember it by. What once was a collection of hundreds, has now dimmed down to three that I prize as my own (including the first Gotham Beauty I found years ago). The rest are either on sale or have been sold. I still search the racks for these precious gems weekly,  only now with the intent to find them a loving home other than my own. I consider it preservation of an age where beauty was classy. Something we don't see very often today.

My Photography skills have improved greatly over the years, but even my early photos are still near and dear to me. Behold some of my early collection Photos:

1950's Kayser Chiffon Peignoir Set

1960's Pandora 2 piece Double Chiffon Peignoir & Negligee

More recently, I have found myself wanting to truly preserve these gems by increasing my photography talents. Creating a photograph that is as much adored as the product itself.

1950's Beau Monde Nightgown by Max Schwartz 

Sometimes playing around with the same photograph, but creating different outcomes...

The Plain Jane

My Hippie Side

 In future posts, I will explore my photography as well as prop evolution. Perhaps share a crafty tip or two on taking modern dress forms, and antiquing them. As well as introduce my love affair with vintage accessories, and my family's Antique Furniture Restoration Business

Until we meet again,


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