Friday, May 31, 2013

DIY FRIDAY: Patricia Michaels Fringe Dress Preview

photo curtesy of
I've been a long-time viewer of the show Project Runway. I started watching about Season 2 and from then on I watched religiously, including the spin-offs "Project Runway: Accessories" and "Project Runway: All Stars." I think my favorite designer of all time from that show is Austin Scarlett (I's a cliché answer!)

Anyway, I just finished up the most recent season not long ago and this is where my most recent DIY project was inspired. The photo above is a design by Patricia Michaels, the contemporary Native American designer who was runner up. When I first saw her audition designs I was a little skeptical, I'll admit. But I have to say I was awed by almost every single design she made. I wouldn't ever wear many of them, but they were so innovative and, at times, other-worldly that I couldn't help but be drawn in (the garment in the flower shop / hardware store episode was absolutely incredible). And I also appreciated her use of traditional techniques in modern design. While I think they picked the right designer to win that season of Project Runway, I also think her place as runner up was wholly deserved.

Perfection Fused Leather Champagne
$14.98 per yard
Moving on! So I saw this design and fell in love. I knew that I could easily replicate this since there are no seams, corners, zippers, etc. to mess around with. It's about as easy as a sewing project gets! My first task was to find the right fabric. My initial thought was to just buy fringe trim, but then I ran into the problem of not being able to find fringe in the right color, but more importantly, in the right lengths. So I scoured my usual spots: JoAnn's and and gathered up a few contenders. The first problem I ran into was finding a leather or leather substitute that wasn't super thick! Most of the leathers were upholstery-grade, so I knew sewing them would be quite difficult (I don't even have a leather needle). Then I came across the perfect fabric (see pic at right). It is currently backordered but I think it's worth the wait! (Also, be sure to look for coupons to! I got 10% off my entire order) I got two yards. It is so supple and soft, I won't even need a leather needle to sew multiple layers. The sheen (which you can see in below pics) is so beautiful.

The only difficulties I foresee with this DIY project is the MANUAL LABOR. This sounds silly, I know, it is a DIY project after all. But I have to measure and then hand cut each individual 1/4" strand of fringe! My sister suggested using a rotary blade, but I don't have one and I'm not sure it would really speed things up. I would still have to measure and cut each piece. I've cut about...60...maybe, so far, but I still have tons to do.

Below are just some pics that show the sheen and the details of the cut fringe I have so far.

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  1. I can't wait to see how this comes out! Particularly since the sparkliness is just in time for summer ^_^. Be sure to post a completed pic (or more ^_~) when you finish!!!!

    1. Yay! My first comment! Haha, good thing I have a nice sister. :D Yeah, I've just got to get over the fact that it will take a while to finish. I am a person of instant gratification...


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