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New Stuff...

August 15, 2009 by Paullell

 OK, so I was invited to bring my collection to House of Style Production's August 30th Denver event. So I've been working at getting some new stuff out before then (which is really killing my writing and curriculum development time, but what're ya going to do?).

 

I was asked to do some male apparel, which makes perfect sense, so this is my first bash at that, aside form a pair of briefs I made to test a new pattern I made, and some thinner material I've never used before (figured, I'd experiment with something small, waste less material if it went bad). So this is my first attempt at something major for the guys.

 

 

 

Thoughts? It's also my first attempt at any sort of applique, so there is that as well. :) 

 

Oh, and I need opinions on what else to put together for the show!! Here're a couple other pieces I did for it since the tutorial dress I posted here in my process series:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, someone had asked on one of my process posts, to see some shots of a 'case-wrapped' hem ( a term I like by the way. Hadn't thought of that one. :) ). So Here are a couple shots of what that looks like on the collar of the shirt:

  This is the collar/hem, at the seam, where the two ends joined together. Both from the outside, and the inside. When applying this piece, do the outside first, so you are sure you get it where you want it, visually, then do the inside so any issues, or inconsistencies are out of sight of casual observers.

The Process - Tools of the Trade

August 11, 2009 by Paullell

 Ok,

This is to be the last entry in my series on fabrication, unless there are specific requests for more/additional material. If you want to see something that I haven't covered, please let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1: Aluminum Ruler. I use this metal edge to make straight lines, and to guide my circular knives for straight cuts. I do NOT EVER use this ruler to measure with as it is not as accurate as my tri-scale. Two rules of ANY fabrication/construction project, 1) Measure twice, cut once, and 2) Always measure with the same ruler. About $2.00 US at local department store.

2: Tri-Scale. An old drafting scale that I have repurposed. Notice the marker lines to the right. They are there for my quick, visual reference for my three most-used measurements. They are: 5/15" (for seams), 3/8" (for material edges where I am going to apply wrap-around hems/trim), and 3/4" (for fold-over hems, and the width of wrap-around trim/hem strips). I do ALL of my measuring with this scale so it is all consistent, and I NEVER cut or make lines with this scale since it is plastic and the edge is a little chewed up. About $20.00 US at local art store.

3: Roller. This is used for pressing seams, hems, and other adhesive joints together. You have to use a lot of pressure, and go over the joints multiple times in order to insure a good seal before the adhesive begins to cure, then let it sit for at least 24 hours to let the curing process complete with minimal interruption/distress. I get these at the local hardware store, in the wallpaper department, where they are normal used to run the air bubbles out from behind wallpaper sheets. Same idea, different material. These cost me $1.89 US, and I go through one every 10-20 garments depending upon number of seams and gauge of material (the thicker the material the more pressure you need to apply). The failure point seems to be the little plastic retention clips you can see sticking out from the center of the drum. Any similar tool will work, provided the drum is very smooth (otherwise it can damage the material). The next closest I could find was a much heavier, and nicer tool for working with linoleum sheeting. It was just too big and unwieldy for me to be using on these little seams.

4: 45mm Fiskar roller knife. Very sharp, and good with corners that aren't too small/tight. Also, a roller knife is a good idea because it keeps your cuts uniform and reduces the jagged edges you can get trying to make long cuts with scissors. About $15 US at a local fabric store.

5: Felt fabric pen. Leaves visible marks that can be easily washed away, as long as they are cleaned up in 48 hours or so, water is sufficient. Longer than that and you'll need thinner, but it will still come off clean. About $4.00 US at local hobby/fabric store.

6: 12mm Fiskar roller knife. Again, very sharp, and excellent with smaller/tighter corners. About $8.00 US at local fabric store.

7: Insulin syringe. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I occasionally end up with air bubbles in my seams, usually the fold-over hems. This little guy, with the plunger removed, can be used to evacuate the air from bubbles, and not mark the material. I picked up a package of 20 of these guys at the local pharmacy for about $2.50 US.

8: X-Acto knife. Used for small, detailed, and very sharp, inside cuts, as well as some other tasks, such as picking debris out of wet adhesive, popping air bubbles in adhesive, and more. About $2.00 US at local department/hobby store.

9: Scissors. Very sharp, very new, not from the school supply aisle of the department store. Used for absolutely nothing but my latex work, the kids know I will throw them a beating for using my scissors for anything else. About $8.00 US at local craft store.

10: Used iTunes gift card with short edges cut off. This is used to apply adhesive to the material, and you want the corners t be sharp and square so that you can precisely control where the adhesive is going. Both the long and short edges can be used depending upon the size of the area you are working with. About $5,287.88 US (I'm pretty sure you can get them cheaper, but they sent me four of these when I bought my iMac and my wife's Macbook Pro, so after I emptied them buying movies and music, I repurposed them to this task).

11: Measuring tape. Just your average dress-maker's measuring tape. I use this to take measurements off models and my dress form, never for marking, laying out, or cutting material. I inherited this from my mom's sewing supplies so I have no real idea what they cost. I would guess around $5.00 US or so.

12: MJ Trends Ammonia-based Latex Adhesive. As discussed earlier, goes on white, dries clear. Dries more slowly than the other flavor, but cures faster. Does not cause material to curl up when applied, but may be weakened by long term exposure to water. About $9.00 US per liter.

13: MJ Trends silicone polish. Used to shine/polish all my stuff, as well as keeping it conditioned. About $9.00 US per liter.

14: MJ Trends Solvent-Based Latex Adhesive. As discussed earlier, goes on clear, dries very fast. Causes edges to curl up upon application, which can be a pain, but is manageable once you get the hang of it. Is supposed to be much more reliable after/during long-term exposure to water. About $10.00 a liter.

15: Clear Paint Thinner. Average, ordinary, paint thinner. Nothing special here. About $2.00 a liter at local department store.

16: Chest of drawers. This is where i keep all my tools and other odds and ends when not in use. In there now I have my grommets and grommet setting and die-cutting tools, rings, chain, snaps, and more. About $8.00 US at local department store.

Not pictured is my aluminum yard stick, again for use as a cutting guide, and for making long, straight lines. NEVER for measuring final cuts!!

Consumables include cotton balls, cotton swabs, post-it brand post-it notes, note paper, and a good, bright, white, overhead work light.

 

I think that's about it really. Any questions, please comment and let me know!

 

Thank you very much for tuning in, I appreciate it! And please, if you are into erotica and fiction, please check out my on-going story, Status Quo, in the Erotic Stories section of the site!

 

The Process - Wrapping it all up

August 09, 2009 by Paullell

 So, here I have included a couple images of the finished dress.

 

For the most part, I am pleased with the result here. We've got a design that can pass as fetish wear, but is still of a calm enough design that it could be used to a simple night out clubbing, or even dinner and a movie, without being too crazy.

 

My only real beef with the design is, as discussed earlier, the gathering at the collar/halter. It's a little rough when you look at it up close, but from even a couple feet away, it doesn't look bad. I put up a pic on my dA page and I've already gotten a couple very nice comments on it that suggest I am not alone in thinking so.

 

On a side note, I have been invited to bring my designs to the upcoming House of Style Productions - Denver shoot, where I will hopefully get to see it (and some other pieces) on real models. Then I'll be able to put up some other pics for you all to check out. :)

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

All that having been said, I promised a sort of wrap-up report of this project, so here are a few thoughts.

1- I really like how quickly the solvent-based adhesive dries. It can really speed along the project. I made a 16" skirt, with a zipper and a lined slit in the back in a few hours yesterday. No way I could have done that with the ammonia-based adhesive; drying times would have been just too long.

2- Having said the above, I really can't stand how the solvent-based adhesive causes the material to curl up when it is applied. The rolling action can wreak havoc with a project, with adhesive ending up in all the wrong places due to incidental contact, and it can also really mess up the intentional adhesive layout, creating rough spots, bubbles and undesired texture in your work. It can be worked around, and with practice maybe even worked around quite effectively (I got better as I moved through the project), but I would definitely NOT recommend that anyone just starting out use this adhesive. Start with the ammonia-based adhesive!!

3- The stretch-to-gather technique still needs a lot of work. Either I am stretching too much, or I really need to use a heavier gauge of material to stretch across thinner stuff. I'll play with it some more and let you know. :)

4- M&M's are like, the ULTIMATE chocolate candies! Like little self-contained packages of milk-chocolate goodness!

5- The use of a little creativity can really go a long way. I love the way the hook and the old hard drive spacer ring look on this dress. I think they really help the look , adding a sort of jewelry feel to it.

 

Next up, most likely Tuesday evening,  thorough look at the tools used to create this dress (and all my other projects)!

 

Comments, feedback, thoughts, and ideas are gladly accepted, please bring them on! :D

The Process - Cinching it all up

August 07, 2009 by Paullell

 OK, 

 

So after our last entry we had more or less finished the piece, with the exception of a couple odds and ends. The largest odd (or end, depending upon your perspective, I suppose) was something to do with that middle area of the dress's front. I wanted to add some more ripples/gathers to the garment, but I didn't want to go with the regular stretch/apply route that I used at the halter top. Partially because I think I need to vary the gauges of material more between pieces when doing that, and partly because I wanted to do something new, just because!

 

So, the first order of business was to decide on a shape, and where to put it. I decided to do a 'V' shaped, attached belt, and start its high ends at about the natural waist, then plunge the center down about 3-4 inches. To that end, I cut out a piece of material and hemmed the top and bottom. The hemming is important here because the top and bottom edges will both be visible to anyone looking, even casually, at the dress. Remember that it is a sort of applique, and will therefor draw people's attention. Also, I made sure that the piece was SMALLER than the front area of the dress that it was to be applied to, in this case by a good four (4) inches.

 

 Here it is before hemming.

 

 

 

 

 Here it is after hemming. Notice that in this case, due to the outside corners (at the bottom of the 'V'), I actually cut lines in (about 3/8" long, or the width of the hem itself) and then applied a little extra adhesive to get the free corners to lay over one another. This creates a stronger corner, and keeps the material from bunching up and doing other crazy stuff on the corners.

 

 

 Here I have lined out the basic shape of the belt piece, and cleaned (with the same thinner as before, but here I used cotton swabs to make sure I was getting the areas to be glued, very clean, and not wiping out my guide lines). I have boxed in seven (7) areas that are 1/2" wide and the height of the belt piece, in this case about 2 1/2". One of the areas is right in the center of the dress, with two more equally spaced between the center of that area and the outside edges of the dress, at the waist. The final two areas are right at the edges of the dress, and wrap around onto the back side.

 

 

 Here I have applied the adhesive. I have done the same layout process and applied adhesive on the back of the belt piece as well. Keep in mind that the belt piece is about four (4) inches shorter than the dress is wide at the waist. This means that equally spaced areas will force the dress to gather between joined areas, producing our desired ripples.

 

 Here is the waist piece, attached to the dress, with the gathers/ripples doing their thing. I like this look much more than the halter area, and may try to refine this a bit more in future. It seems a lot more relaxed, and it was MUCH easier to apply!

 

 This is the edge where the belt piece is attached. It's kind of difficult to make out fully, but you can make out the belt piece's edge wrapping around the hem of the dress and being secured inside. Again, I try to make the look as clean and finished as I can, which sometimes (usually in fact) uses a little more material and takes some extra time, but I like the results much better.

 

OK, that's it for the belt piece. I have finished up the dress, and snapped al of the pics I think I will need to finish out this series, which I am planning on being two more entries, one to show you the whole dress and talk a little about lessons learned, and what I liked and disliked about this build. After that I will show and talk about the tools I use during fabrication for those that are interested.

 

So, I'll see you next time. Thanks for tuning in again, and expect to see the final piece on Sunday sometime, followed by the tools segment probably on Tuesday! Please, leave questions and comments as you have them!

The Process - Halters, ruffles, and clasps, oh my!

July 31, 2009 by Paullell

 OK,

So we've covered quite a bit, and there isn't a whole lot of ground left to cover. The second to last addition that we are going to make to this dress is the finish to the halter top. This will consist of one more piece of latex, a longish strip (basic rectangle, nothing fancy) and a hook-and-eye style clasp made up of some spare bits I found laying around the house. 

 

The one thing we will be doing a little differently here, is adding some 'ruffles' or a form of rouching to the top. The technique for doing this is one I am still working on, and haven't quite figured out yet, as my pics will bear out below. But I am getting better. If YOU have any tips in this area, I will gladly accept them! :)

 

OK, so basics. We need to apply our adhesive to the back of the strip we've got for the halter, plus the two top pieces of the dress. Remember that after you do your hemming, you will need to apply adhesive to that as well, since this strip will be going over top of them.

 Here you can see the hem on one side (the right) and the strip we added in the 'v' between neck pieces (on the left). I've lain down adhesive on the top (pictured here at the bottom for the sake of keeping things as clear as mud, which is my custom :P ), both front and back of the dress.

 

 

Next, you want to run a couple lines for the ripples we are trying to add. The trick here is to make the piece you are adding (in this case, the halter strip) shorter than the piece it is covering. Then you want to stretch the strip as you apply it to the dress, so when it relaxes, it causes the dress to ruffle up, or become wavy.  In this instance, I lined the halter strip about 1 1/2" shorter than the neck piece. 

 You can sort of make out my lines here. THe strip on the left is the piece for the halter. On the right is the dress. As you can see, the top line is even with the edge of the dress, and the lower line is a bit shorter than the dress piece. We want to apply it with the top line right at the edge, and then stretch it until the bottom line is even with the lower edge. The trick here is to get a nice, even stretch. Make sure you aren't applying some of it and then stretching harder to make ends meet.

 

The next trick is to get this all pressed down and rolled out properly while it is still under tension, then do the back side with exactly the same amount of stretching!

 

 Here is the finished piece. As you can see, I got a few bubbles and weird spots, but on the whole it is getting very close to the desired result. I suspect that using a thinner latex for the body of the dress than what you are using for the halter piece might make all the difference in the world with this trick (now that I have some thinner material, I can give it a shot and see for sure).

 

 Here you can see both sides done. Not perfect, but it's coming along.

 

 

As for the clasp, this is pretty straight forward. Just put down some adhesive on one side of the halter (preferably the inside, so the outside/visible portion remains as clean looking as possible. Remember that you will be setting the ring and hook about halfway through the adhesive, so make sure you have enough in place to get a good, solid joint that will stand up to some pressure. I recommend between 3/4 and 1" on either side of the fastener (which means 1 1/2 and 2" total).

  Here is the completed hook-and-eye clasp. The ring is an O-Ring/spacer from between two hard drive platters (I had a hard drive crash and let one of the kids tear it apart, then snagged these O-Rings as they came out because they were pretty cool looking), and the hook came off some kind of bag or pack the kids had torn apart over the course of their play time. I snagged most of the hardware off it before the rest went to the trash.

 

OK, that's about it for this piece. The point here is to be creative. The material behaves completely differently than a regular, woven fabric, and if you let your imagination go a bit, you can come up with some great techniques and unique solutions!

 

Next up, we will be doing something with the waist-line of the dress, although I haven't quite decided on what I want to do yet, so whatever it is, it will probably be a little bit experimental. Thank you for tuning in again, and I look forward to seeing you next round!

The Process - Zipping and Hemming

July 25, 2009 by Paullell

 Hello again!

 

Gather 'round class and let us discuss the process of adding some hems and a zipper to our latex dress!

 

The hems are pretty straight forward. We've already got the adhesive in place, so now it's just a matter of folding the edge in on itself so that all of the adhesive is inside the fold, then press it down carefully, and slowly, to remove any air pockets you may have. 

Tip: Try not to stretch the material at this point as it will create wavy seams/hemlines and can even discolor the material (as it stretches, it gets thinner, which dilutes the color. 

After you get the edge done, run a roller over it, with significant pressure on it, to create a strong bond between the two surfaces. ( I am going to post an entry at the end of this series which will picture all of my tools and describe their function, so stay tuned for that).

Tip 2: If your hem ends at a seam line that you haven't put together yet, you don't want to finish the hem in that area until the seam is done. I use small squares of the plastic sheeting I described earlier to prevent these final bits from going together before I am ready.

 

 Here's a shot of a hemline that's been folded over and pressed.

 

 

 

 Here is an edge where the hem meets a future seam. You can see the plastic strip I've applied to keep things form going together without permission. :)

 

 

 

 And here is the seam below where the zipper will go. Again, you can see the plastic strip in the incomplete seam.

 

 

 

Next up, the zipper.

Now, as you'll recall from the first entry in this series, we'd already cut out the necessary material in order to accommodate the zipper, then we cleaned it, marked it, and applied the adhesive. So now we just need to put the adhesive to the zipper and put them together.

 

The only things you really need to watch here are that you get adhesive only in the areas of the zipper material that you are going to cover with the latex, and that you get enough adhesive into the nylon tape that it soaks through, and is tacky on the surface. Once that's done, then it's just applying it!

 

 Here the zipper has been set in the first side of the dress, notice that its top edge has gone under the still-incomplete hem line. The other side is applied the same way, and the center seam will have to be done at the same time.

 

 

 This is the zipper and center seam, as seen from the outside of the dress. At this point, you can finish the lower hem, over the seam, but you want to leave the upper hem unfinished for a little while longer, since we have one more piece to add yet.

 

 

 The piece we want to add is the smaller piece we put adhesive on earlier. This is the zipper lining and it's pretty straight forward to apply. Just make sure that the lining overlaps the zipper tape by at least 5/16 of an inch. This adds strength to the assembly and smoothes the lines a bit. Once this is in place, beneath the as yet unfinished upper hem, you can then finish said hem at last. Again, this gives the piece a more finished appearance, and adds strength to the garment as a whole.

 

 

 And now, the finished zipper, hem, and center seam, as seen from the outside!

The Process - Adhesive Abounds

July 20, 2009 by Paullell

 Heya!

 

I apologize for the delay in getting this update out, I had a very full weekend. 

 

OK then, on to the main event! Last round I talked about how I lay out the lines for where I am going to apply the adhesive to the material, so this round, it's all about putting the adhesive to the latex!

 

First off, equipment check:

A small square or rectangular (or some other shape if you prefer, but something with flat, not curved, sides is what you are looking for) container. I use disposable Zip-Loc © brand re-sealable containers, about 3 inches on a side.

A plastic applicator of some kind. Doesn't really matter what it is as long as it is fairly thin, stiff, and has square corners. I use an old iTunes gift card with the short edges cut off to square the corners. You could use an old credit card if you have one, and I initially purchased some disposable plastic putty/spackle knives for this purpose. I think I paid about $2US for three different sizes, but I like the card better. Play around with different stuff and decide what works best for you.

 

OK, now to the adhesive. I've used two flavors now, both from MJ Trends. They have one that is (I believe) ammonia based, and one that is solvent based. They have some different pros and cons that can greatly alter how, when, and where to use them.

The Ammonia based stuff is a milky white color when in liquid form, and dries to clear. It takes longer to set and the label says it 'may break down with long/repeated exposure to water'. I recommend this adhesive if you're just starting out, since it doesn't cause the curling of the latex material as you apply it, which is a hassle you don't want if you're just starting out.

The Solvent based stuff is much more like regular rubber cement, even with the same heavy chemical smell. This stuff dries in a big hurry, so if you are making something on the quick, this is definitely the way to go. It is reported to handle water exposure well, but also carries one major 'issue' that you need to be aware of. When you apply it, your material will almost instantly curl up on itself. It will straighten out again once the solvent evaporates from the solution and leaves the curing/cured cement in its wake, but it can be annoying while it's going on, especially because it can really mess up your glued areas, and potentially leave adhesive on surfaces where you don't want it.

 

Now that we've got our tools figured out, it's time to apply the adhesive to the latex! This part's pretty easy, just pour some of your chosen adhesive into your smaller container. Don't pour out a lot, since it begins to cure right away and you don't want to waste any more than you have to.

 

Next, dip the edge of your chosen applicator into the container to load the edge. Make sure you rock it back and forth a little to insure you aren't dragging any strings or ropes of glue behind you as you move the applicator to the work surface. Also, I tend to set my container with the back side propped up an inch or so. THis keeps the pool of liquid adhesive together, and at the bottom edge, ready to go when you need it.

 

Once your applicator is loaded, move to the work surface and, using soft, even, steady strokes, starting at your layout lines, and moving toward the edge of the material. As you approach the edge, lift the applicator up gently. The material will follow, but when you get to the edge, it will break free and return to the table with a nice, clean adhesive application. Now you just need to repeat this bit until you cover the entire marked area with a uniform layer of adhesive.

 

Important points here are to move as quickly as possible so that your pool of adhesive doesn't dry up on you, be careful not to drip as you move between the container and the work surface. Let the adhesive dry completely before you try to move on to the next step, but don't let it sit out too long after you apply it, or it will get covered in dust/fluff/debris, which will reduce, or eliminate the adhesive's ability to function properly.

 

I have several strips and pads of plastic sheeting that I use to cover the dried adhesive in order to prevent it picking up dust and what-not before I take next steps. The plastic sticks to the adhesive well enough that it doesn't fall off, but it also pulls off with ease when I am ready to move on.

 

OK, now the show portion of this evening's event:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some shots with the curled up edges caused by the application of the solvent-based adhesive:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And one with the plastic protectors in place:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, if you'd like to see some video of this being done, there are a couple tutorials available at MJTrends.com. 

The Process - Laying it all out

July 16, 2009 by Paullell

 OK,

 

So we've got our pieces all cut out (except for one, I'll get to that later, as I still haven't decided what to do with it yet), and cleaned up. Now, it's time to lay down some guidelines so we know where to put the adhesive in the next step. Not a lot to say about this really except about some of the materials I use. 

 

For a marking tool I use felt tip fabric pens. I found a store brand at Michael's, a local craft shop that costs about $4. They are purple and profess to evaporate, or at least loose their color over time, after application. I haven't seen this happen on latex as yet, so I suspect the pigment may be somehow absorbed into the material of regular fabrics. In any case, these marks remain on the latex pretty much indefinitely, unless you hit them with a little bit of water and some friction, in which case they disappear completely, which is exactly what we want.

 

For measuring out my marks, I use a regular ruler (with 1/32" granularity) on which I have marked a couple of very commonly used measurements with a permanent marker (my marks are ad 5/16", 3/8", and 3/4", explanations in a moment). With these marks on the ruler, I can quickly lay it on an edge, find my line, and make a mark, then move on to the next location.

 

I also have a few templates that I have cut from card stock for commonly used items, such as frogs, gathers, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

On the sides of the zipper cut-outs, I allowed 1/4" for the width of the zipper I intend to cover, plus 5/16" for the lining that will go over it (that's 9/16" total for those of you playing the home game), plus 3/4" and another 5/16" at the bottom for the same purposes. Now, don't forget to allow for a hem at the top of the zipper, which means you need to move the whole affair down an extra 1/8".

 

 This is the zipper lining. It is the height and width of the zipper, plus an additional  5/16" overhang on both long sides and the bottom. I've cut a line down the middle, offset about 1/4" from center. This flap is the actual lining for the zipper once it's all put together. I've drawn in lines 9/16" of an inch from each of the long edges and 1 1/16" from the bottom. This will allow adhesive to be placed all around the outsides for securing the zipper to the garment, but will leave the flap in the center open and able to act as a buffer between the zipper track and any sensitive body parts underneath.

 

 

 For everything else, things are pretty simple. On edges where I intend to hem the garment (I hem or trim any open edge. I do so because I think it helps add a more finished look to the garment, and because it definitely adds strength, and reduces the changes of tearing along edges.), I mark off 3/4" areas. On edges that will be joined to other material (i.e. seams), I mark off a 5/16" area.

 

 

My marking technique is pretty simple. Using the marked ruler I discussed earlier, I just place it on the edge of the material at 0, find my mark (5/16", 3/4", etc.) and make a mark on the material. I do this every inch or so, following the edge of the piece. Just following any curves in the material as I go, although I will move my marks closer together on the curves since they are a little more difficult to put adhesive on and more lines make it easier to do so.

 

That's pretty much it. The only other thing is that you need to have a good idea of what parts will go where, which sides of what edges will need adhesive, and whether they will be hems, seams, or something else.

 

So, please ask questions if you have them, and stay tuned for the next installment, Adhesive!

The Process - Cleaning it Up

July 14, 2009 by Paullell

 OK,

 

So, once you have your piece all cut out, it is time to clean the edges up in preparation for the application of adhesive. I have heard of a few different chemicals and processes being used for this. I have heard of using straight water, and even water with an (extremely) mild soap solution, and various types of paint thinner. 

 

If you look at the physics and chemistry of the process, the thinner makes more sense, since what you need to do is make sure that there are no chemicals or other impurities/particles attached to the latex in or around the areas you intend to apply adhesive. Now latex/rubber feels mostly smooth to the touch, but it is in fact covered with microscopic imperfections that, if you clean them out properly with a good solvent, will create an excellent surface upon which to give your adhesive, and thus, your seams, an extremely strong bond.

 

Personally, I use a simple, clear paint thinner for oil based paints. It costs right around $1US at my local department or home improvement store. I generally dispense a small quantity of the thinner into another container (any small, bowl shaped container should work just fine, although I use one that is re-sealable so I can make sure to get the most out of my thinner. I apply the thinner to the edges of the latex that are going to take adhesive, with a simple cotton ball. 

 

Things to consider here are that cotton balls come apart when pulled at, so keeping the cotton ball wet with thinner is necessary to prevent it coming apart and leaving strings of cotton all over your work surface and latex. Also, paint thinner is very good at breaking down all sorts of materials, including latex, so the less time you can have it in direct/repeated contact with the latex, the better. At first I tried wearing latex gloves while doing this bit, but the thinner quickly destroyed the thin latex of the gloves.

 

Next up is the fact that the thinner will cause the latex to curl up and form what looks like bubbles, this is normal and it will return to normal after the thinner has evaporated from the surface. You really must give the thinner time to evaporate completely, so you should wait at least a couple of hours before applying adhesive, failure to wait long enough can cause your adhesive to behave poorly, or not at all.

 

OK, so here are some images I took during the cleaning process:

 

  

 

 

These are examples of how the material will curl up when the thinner/solvent comes into contact with it. Remember, you need to clean up every surface where you intent to apply adhesive.

 

One final note on this (and the next) portion of the process. Get a good air filter/breather. The fumes that are given off by the thinner, and both varieties of adhesive, ARE NOT GOOD FOR BRAIN CELLS! Prolonged exposure can lead to all manner of biological problems, none of which I am qualified to describe to you in any detail, but I can assure you that they are most likely not pleasant, so spend the $40US and keep yourself alive and healthy! Just make sure it can handle ammonia, acetone, and other chemicals common to stripping paint!

 

OK, thats it for cleaning up your edges, next time I will talk about laying out your lines for where to apply your adhesive. Thank you for your time, and please, if you have comments, feedback, or suggestions, please post them for myself, and everyone else to benefit from! :)

The Process - Cutting it all out

July 12, 2009 by Paullell

 OK,

 

So I've been giving some thought to what I might contribute to this growing little community here. I don't really wander the 'net looking for fetish stuff, so I don't have much to report in that realm. And while I certainly have my thoughts on the subject, I'm not convinced (whether rightly or wrongly) that you all want to hear them!

 

So after some thought, I finally came to the conclusion that, with only a couple minor exceptions, there isn't much here in the way of the creative/creation process involved in creating latex garments. I've also been in a bit of a creative slump of late, in both my writing, and my fabrication, and now that I am coming around again, I thought I should get right on a project of some kind.

 

To that end, my wife pointed out a dress in a magazine that she likes, and I thought it would be a good item to get back on the horse with. Then I thought that someone here might be interested in the process used to create such things. I know a lot of you fabricate your own garments, and I really like most of what I have seen here, so please know that I am not trying to be so pretentious as to think I can tell anyone how to do this, but I have some experience, and I am always looking to improve myself.

 

So, I decided to post pics and details of my process here. If you can use something I am doing, then I invite you to do so! However, if you see something I am doing that is really strange, out of sorts, or completely wrong (from a technical standpoint), then I ask you to comment with what you are seeing, and what can be done to improve/change whatever it is!

 

That having been said, on to the project at hand! The dress my wife identified is a sort of simple, Marilyn Monroe style affair (you know the one...) with a halter top and loose, flowing skirt, down to mid/upper thigh area. I plan to use a repurposed clasp for the back of the halter, with an aluminum ring taken from an old hard drive that I let my youngest son disassemble and an aluminum positive-lock hook that came from I know not where (I found it on the carpet while walking through the living room on day, the ever-present danger of having kids curious kids about). There will be a back tip, 8" from the waist down, and a completely open back. The latex I've chosen is MJ Trends 0.4mm Metallic Blue.

 

Here are some pics of the rough pattern I cut:

In the top left corner you can see the ring and hook I intend to use for the clasp. To the right the latex strip for the collar and the zipper.

 

Here is the zipper next to the liner I cut to go over it inside the dress.

 

 

The left and right sides of what will be the back seam. The zipper is laid next to the piece and the lining has been done for both the cut-out and the gluing area.

 

 

The same shot, with the cut-out for the zipper having been made. The 8" zipper is again included for perspective.

 

And this one has the zipper sitting in the deeper of the cut-outs at approximately where it will be set. As you can see, there is material above it (approximately 3/8" to allow a hemmed edge to be put in that will cover both the zipper itself, as well as the zipper lining. I find this makes for a very nice, finished appearance, as well as enhancing the strength of the finished garment.

 

OK, well that's it for this installment! I hope it wasn't entirely useless. Next round will be the cleaning of the pieces, followed by laying out and applying the adhesive, then assembly. I will be trying a couple new techniques on this dress, so we'll have to see what happens (if it goes south, I will learn something, and if it works out, I will learn something), either way, it will be posted here!

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