Astro Turf Dress

I was cleaning out my garage making my craft zone and came across the Astro turf I had used in transforming my garden into a fairy garden when my daughter was in the school gala a few years ago. I decided that I was going to use some of it to make a dress. I have been asked why I would want this and when I will wear it. I have two answers I always respond… Why not? and Shopping in Asda.

There is several things I learned from working with astro turf. Thead will not hold it together the plastic backing will just sheer through the thread, the same also happens with embroidery thread at full thickness however this will only happen over time and wear. To hold the dress you need to use the full thickness embroidery thread but also some gardening wire to make small loops to reinforce the dress. This will help support the weight and hold it together.

I decided on a full circle skirt and a corset top. The skirt was simple string and chalk to draw a circle and cut it with a stanley knife. The top was a little more tricky. I cut a strip of grass then pinned it to my mannequin. I did 3 full length cuts, two to the front and one to the back, and two half length cuts to either side, I then pinned it to the mannequin to get the shape I needed.

I used the full thickness embroidery thread and wire to sew it together by hand and attached the skirt to the corset. For closure to the back I decided to keep it simple and punctured several holes and used some green rope I found in my garage.

Now that the main dress is assembled I moved onto decoration. Finally it’s time that hot glue will work so this was the easy part. I got a load of silk flowers from a local store. I used metal snipper to hit through them retaining a few centimeters of stalk. I added a little gue to where the flower met the stalk to make sure they wouldn’t pop off and pierced holes in the dress there i wanted to attach them and hot glued them into place.

I made sure that some of the stems also had foliage on them to add some leafs and buds mixing and matching them up to build on the flowers. I added a lot to the bust section and a few dotted around the skirt. Again making sure to add foliage in amongst the flowers and build up the chest with the same technique of adding glue to the snipped stems to secure the flowers and hot glued onto the dress.

Once I had added all the flowers to the chest and skirt it was complete.

The wings I used were XL kids fairy wings that I tied into the corset strapping at the back, this means it can be worn with or without the wings.

For the finishing touches Roslin put her craft skills to use and made me a fantastic hairband to go along with the dress.

The dress came in very handy for this years Gish and I managed to use in two different items.

The Wondersmith makes surprise, fantastical parties in the forests of Oregon, which we find lovely. Set up a surprise party for hikers at least ½ a mile from a rest area that’s clearly been created by forest-dwelling fairies and/or trolls (that’s you). Make sure it’s welcoming, and capture the moment you’re surprising them— both you and the hikers should be in the image. They must be real hikers and strangers to you—don’t bring in ringers, or you’ll anger the fairy queen.

SIDE-BY-SIDE. You know those garden gnomes that dotted your grandmother’s backyard? Well, it’s been a while and now they have fallen on hard times. They have turned to a life of crime and misanthropy. Their little gnome hearts are filled with despair, hatred, and regret. Show us the before and after.

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