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Unread 03-12-2014, 12:40 PM   #1
Enacragus
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Fabric spray paint my Elsa dress?

So I'm working on my Elsa ice dress from Frozen, and I've always been slightly dissatisfied with the color. There were just NO fabrics that were the right color and material. All light blues in the right fabrics had a tint of green to them, making them more aqua or light teal. The color I picked it a lighter blue, but not as light as I would like it.

I bought some white fabric spray paint, and I'm considering trying to apply it. When looking at the pictures, I see that the bottom of her dress is slightly darker blue, so maybe it would be neat and more accurate to lightly use spray paint to make a gradient, leaving the bottom of the dress the original blue that it was bought as.

There are a few issues I'm having, though:

1. The main dress is pretty much done, except for the sequins on the torso. So laying it out to spray paint it wouldn't work. To get an even job, I would most likely have to keep it on the dress form and circle around it. Any tips on the right method to do this?

2. Since I will most likely be keeping it on the dress form as I spray it, what do I wrap the dress form in to keep the paint from seeping through and ruining the dress form? When I tested a piece of fabric with the spray paint with a cardboard backing behind it, it was pretty much glued to the cardboard when it dried. How do I protected my dress form?

3. When the test piece of fabric dried, it was a bit stiffer than the fabric was before. I still want this dress to be loose and flowy like it is now, not 'frozen' with paint (lol I'm witty). Is there a correct method to keep it from getting stiff? Or is there a way I can soften the fabric again after spray painting it?

4. Overall, does this sound like a good idea at all, both logically and aesthetically?

If anyone can answer any of my questions, direct me to tutorials, or just help me in any way, I would REALLY appreciate it! Thank you!
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Unread 03-14-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enacragus View Post
1. The main dress is pretty much done, except for the sequins on the torso. So laying it out to spray paint it wouldn't work. To get an even job, I would most likely have to keep it on the dress form and circle around it. Any tips on the right method to do this?
No, you've already described what you'd need to do. I'm not sure how to elaborate on "walk around the object in a circle". I mean, you need to protect any surfaces you don't want to paint, be it the floor, walls, or other parts of the costume that you need to mask off.

Quote:
2. Since I will most likely be keeping it on the dress form as I spray it, what do I wrap the dress form in to keep the paint from seeping through and ruining the dress form? When I tested a piece of fabric with the spray paint with a cardboard backing behind it, it was pretty much glued to the cardboard when it dried. How do I protected my dress form?
Plastic. You could use lots of Seran Wrap, you could cut up trash bags, you could get plastic drop-cloths from a beauty supply store. Seran Wrap or other cling wrap would allow you to get the tightest wrap around the dress form with probably the least amount of bulk. If your dress is very fitted, you might not be able to get it on the form if the plastic wrapping is too bulky.

Quote:
3. When the test piece of fabric dried, it was a bit stiffer than the fabric was before. I still want this dress to be loose and flowy like it is now, not 'frozen' with paint (lol I'm witty). Is there a correct method to keep it from getting stiff? Or is there a way I can soften the fabric again after spray painting it?
There is absolutely nothing you can do. That's just what happens when you apply paint to fabric. Even with fabric paint, there will always be some kind of change in the drape and hand. The best you could do is dilute the paint so it doesn't get as stiff, but that also means you won't be getting as strong of a color.

If you were trying to change the hue or go darker, then I'd recommend just using a flowable paint...but that's not an option in this case. White flowable paint is transparent and not really discernable on anything; it's just used to mix into other paint colors to lighten or mute them. To get white, you're stuck using a heavier, opaque paint, which means your fabric will become stiffer and crustier.

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4. Overall, does this sound like a good idea at all, both logically and aesthetically?
It depends. If you want to do this, you are making a compromise. You can stick with the drape and flow you have now but be what you perceive as the wrong color, or you can affect the color, but lose the drape and pretty much otherwise ruin the properties of the fabric.

I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on accuracy, all I know is that this character is supposed to be an ice sorceress. You could run with it in a way that looks like it's iced, but if this dress is supposed to be very flowy and drapey, you're going to lose some (or all) of that.

This may be Captain Hindsight after the fact, but if you really want to be accurate in both color and drape, and you just aren't satisfied with what you find in stores, your only other alternative is to buy fabric in white that has the right feel/drape and do a custom dye job. But, whether your dissatisfaction drives you to completely remake the costume, and whether a remake is feasible in terms of time or money, is a whole other issue.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #3
Eldi
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Do you have any pictures of the dress as it is now? I'd be really disinclined to use fabric paint unless the color was way off, because the texture of fabric paint is just so icky... but I'm really picky about fabric sheen/texture, moreso than color, so it depends what your priorities are
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Unread 03-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
Enacragus
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Here's a picture. Ignore the crappy cloak bit hanging off of it, that idea was terrible and redone. It looks a little brighter in better lighting, but that's the general color. There's also a bit more work done on it, but this is just a picture for the sake of the color.




If there's no way to soften the fabric after spray paint dye, then I'm probably just not going to do it... I will keep in mind the seran wrap thing for applying the sequin-ish things I'm doing.

I would have done a custom dye job if my Nana were still around... She was really good at dyeing things. I'm absolutely terrible at it. I always mess it up in some way.

I'll just add some of the glitter spray so that when the light hits it, it looks lighter.
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Unread 03-15-2014, 01:37 AM   #5
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I was dissatisfied with ym first Elsa fabric (thought it was too aqua) and after changing several times have actually gone with it since when I watched the film the 2nd and 3rd time, I noticed that her dress is like five different shades of blue depending on the scene. So if it's more about accuracy rather than what you like, I wouldn't worry a lot... however if you really want to do it I would say the same. Cling film/Saran wrap. You could also try unfastening the dress and lifting it a little every so often as it dries to stop it from sticking
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Unread 03-15-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
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In the overall sense that maybe adding white paint to a blue fabric might make it lighter blue? No, your final question is the only one I need to answer. It's not a good idea. It will not remain soft and flowy no matter what you do, there is no special treatment or technique to prevent it. Even spray-on paint is still paint, it's not dye. It doesn't behave the same.

If you can't be happy with the blue you have, the only solution is to start over and, like others have said, either start with white and custom-dye the whole thing, or add a gradient IF your current fabric is dye-able. I'll be doing this costume for a client later this year and every single reference picture she's sent me is a different shade of blue, so I really can't even tell what shade is "correct." It's more a matter of what you're satisfied with, and what you can do if you can't just live with it. There are no quick solutions, even if a dye job can be fairly quick.
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