The previous post talked about a vintage kimono, hat and gloves that Rachel bought me. I decorated a skirt to match them and if you would like to see more pictures and read how I did it then read on. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
The skirt is very long and has a train. It is made of silk with net petticoats and lining underneath. I bought it in Florida at The Ralph Lauren outlet store in 2001 and I had always intended to paint it.
I keep an ironing board that is used only for stencilling upon. The top of the board was sprayed lightly with repositioning adhesive then the area of skirt that I intended to stencil was smoothed onto the slightly tacky surface. That held the fabric in place. One only needs a light dusting of spray, not enough to make the fabric sticky.
I knew that I wanted the wisteria to look as though one bloom was appearing from behind an other and that the leaves were layered. To do this one needs to make stencil masks. Firstly I stencilled the leaves onto stencil film and cut around the shapes with scissors. I made the cut shapes just a little larger than the stencilled ones. I did the same with the wisteria blooms.
A light spraying of the repositioning adhesive was applied to the back of the stencil then it was pressed into place. The masks were positioned over the stencil. The resulting gaps in the pattern will be filled with stencilled leaves once the blooms are completed.
First, I stencilled the stems. I used with an iridescent gold/green that Golden Paints had donated when I taught in America last year. It is a lovely colour and it matches some old brass buttons on a military jacket that I will occasionally wear with this skirt. Take a little paint onto your stencil brush then circle the paint firmly onto paper towel. This works the paint into the brush and allows the tips of the bristles to be damp rather than wet. Practice stencilling onto paper for a few minutes to ensure that the imprint is clean and dry. There should be no drying time and no fuzzy edges. If there is, then you are not working enough at the paper towel stage.
Use a gentle circling brush stroke to apply the paint through the stencil. If you want to protect any area of stencil from paint then use one of your masks. When the stems were finished I selected a handful of colours that matched the kimono. They were three shades of pink and a dirty blue. A bright clear pink was applied first to all of the bloom and then I randomly added the others colours on top of it. Deeper shades of colour were often reserved for the outer edges of flower shapes. A separate, dry stencil brush was needed for each colour.
This stencil includes a large flower and leaf and a smaller version of them. I used the smaller version next to the large and used the masks to give depth to the composition. One of the good things about testing new designs is that one can remedy faults. The detail on the small wisteria was too delicate. The paint could not get through the holes. This section will be redesigned.
After a while, I hung the skirt up so that I could see how the design was progressing. Eeeeek! All the stencilling had disappeared into the pleat at the back of the skirt. I rather liked this but the effect was too subtle for this particular outfit.
I put the skirt back onto the ironing board, protected the folds with stencil film then set about building the design on either side of the pleat. This was the result. I apologise that it is out of focus. I accidently binned an entire photo file and was left with the one that I intended to throw away! Still it gives the idea. The front of the skirt was stencilled in the same way and pictures of it appear in the previous post.