For some unexplainable reason, this post has remained in draft form for almost 18 months. So here it is. No idea why I didn't post it!
I'm sure you have all been waiting for a progress report on that show shirt. If you couldn't tell from the peek at the crystals, I moved in a slightly different direction than I had been going with the diagonal designs. I moved on with the same combination of colors, still mostly black, but with color up towards the face. It will be symmetrical so that I can use the shirt for horsemanship, too. I also decided to be a little brave and try some Ultrasuede appliques. I had attempted this with the purple shirt and found it was a lot harder to double-layer them than I thought so they ended up as just simple straight V pieces on that one. Last year I discovered how easily they will cut and position themselves if you first use Steam-a-Seam Lite2. I was still not brave enough for anything but straight lines.
It wasn't until I started playing around with different brushes on photoshop that I started to really want a curlier applique and think it might be worth it to try again. I tried to use stencils and paint and that looked.... like total crap. I have been paying a lot of attention any time I get close to a high-end show outfit with appliques trying to see how they're done. So I got out the Ultrasuede, made stencils from the same photoshop brushes using a trusty laminator, and went to town. This is where I'm at:
I first tried a bunch of combinations on photoshop and then I cut a bunch of Ultrasuede pieces and played with them on the fabric, starting with the center front piece, which is in the photo. It's going to have a back zipper, rather than the front. I may regret this at a summer show when I miss being able to just unzip my jacket to catch a breeze, but it'll look cleaner. I don't know how many different combinations I went through before committing.
The crystals aren't attached yet. I'm having a slight technical difficulty and I may need to do some woodging (yes, that IS a technical term) to fix it... not sure how yet: the black fabric I'm using for the base doesn't seem to like the iron... which becomes a problem when you are IRONING FUSIBLE SH*T TO IT!!! Ooops. It's probably not going to affect the fit, only the fact that the brocade and the black are stitched together and the brocade is not shrinking with the black, hence the wrinkles in the photo. If I don't have the iron hot enough the appliques/crystals won't adhere. If the iron is too hot the fabric shrinks up badly. So I have to be very very careful, which will require me to have to use my little crystal setting tool instead of the whole iron so I have to apply the crystals one by one by one instead of in large iron-sized areas. That's going to be a day where I work in front of the TV.
Here's what I think it'll look like when I'm done, just slightly different appliques.