A couple months ago, I was asked to join a Mystery Challenge. Basically, a group of us crafty blogger ladies get together and exchange ideas for another to blog about. The theme of the challenge was “Moments and People Throughout History”, and I was given Madame Marie Tussaud. I scratched my head at first, thinking, ‘That name sounds so familiar’… and then it dawned on me, ‘She’s the wax museum lady!!!’ Madame Tussaud created wax figures in the late 1700’s, and her work is still on display today. Not to mention, the dozen or so branches of museums named in her honor.
Now, I am definitely no sculptor. So, I had to find a way to pay homage to her work and history in my own artistic way. I’m a fabric girl, so I definitely knew I wanted to sew something, but how could I involve the wax? And then it hit me (with a little help from my husband),– Batik!! If you’re not familiar, batik is a fabric dyeing technique. You apply wax to the fabric, dye it, and then remove the wax; leaving that part of the fabric uncolored. So, I did my research and got to work. (And I worked and worked and worked…. practicing the technique over and again until I got just the results I was looking for)
To start, I had my husband make me these wooden stamps. If you haven’t checked out his custom woodwork, I HIGHLY recommend you go look!! Ravenwoodgrips (You have to love a shameless plug ;) )
To melt the wax, I created a double broiler on the stove. I found that the hotter the wax got, the better results I got.
I simply dipped my stamp, and placed it where I wanted on the fabric. The wax dripped a little here and there, but I actually discovered that I really liked how my “mistakes” were looking. I ended up dripping wax all over the fabric on purpose, just to increase that look a bit.
***I pre-cut all of my pattern pieces to avoid having to stamp and dye a huge piece of fabric. It worked well, however, I didn’t fully think it through. For one thing, they shrunk just a bit in the hot dye. The other problem I ran into was that I couldn’t wash my pieces after I had dyed them without the edges fraying.
After everything was stamped and the wax dried, I placed it all in purple dye! (The girls old Easter buckets came in handy for this part!
And here we have my pieces drying after the dyeing was completed. We had days and days and days of rain here in Colorado, so I was unable to hang them outside. I improvised and laid them out on some towels– hey, gotta do what you gotta do!
Then came the tricky task of getting the wax OFF the fabric. First, I scraped as much of the wax off as I could (gently) with a plastic kitchen spatula. Then, I lined my ironing board with paper towels, laid the fabric on top, then covered that with more paper towels. I turned my iron on high heat, and ironed right on top of the paper towels. As the wax melted, the towels soaked it right up!
All that was left to do is sew! I used the new Mia pattern from Simple Life Pattern Co. Linnaea wanted a long dress that would make her feel like a princess, and this one fit the bill! (And it’s yet another pattern with OPTIONS! Go check it out!)
Now all that’s left to do is bombard you with pictures of my princess. I couldn’t pick just a few, so I’ll share a bunch…
I had so much fun with this challenge! I am already looking forward to joining the next one!
Follow along on the Mystery Challenge Tour, and read the other blog posts here—
5/25│ The Berry Bunch – Frank Lloyd Wright │ Sew Not Perfect – Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy
5/26│ Friends Stitched Together – Prohibition/Roaring 20’s │ HaCunha Matata – Jane Austin
5/27│ Zoe and Ted – Suffragetes
5/28│ House of Estrella – Woodstock/Fall of the Berlin Wall │ Pen Seb Rox – Piet Mondriaan
5/29│ Friends Stitched Together – Impressionist Movement │ Wining Wife – Judgement of Paris
5/30│ Super Stay at Home Mommy – Madame Tussaud │ Keep Calm and Carrion – Jackie Kennedy │ Gloria June – Florence Nightingale
5/31│ Sofilantjes – Andy Warhol │ Busy Little Bee – Marie Antoinette │ Amanda Rose –March 9, 1959 Barbie
6/1│ Pienkel – Bianca Jagger │ Huisje Boompje Boefjes – Anne Frank
6/2│ Taking it Up a Notch – Queen Victoria │ Amazing Adventures with Bubba and Bug –1964 New York World Fair │ Kelly’s Sewing Creations – Steampunk Mary Queen of Scots
6/3│ Mae & K – Tesla │ Pretty Little Blog – Moon Landing │ Knot Sew Normal – Lutie Eugenia Sterns
6/4│ Sew Starly – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II │ Hibbadoray – Amelia Earhart │ Sew Far North – Countess Markievicz (1868-1927)
6/5│ Made By Sara – John Dillinger/Roaring 20’s │ Create 3.5 – George Sand
6/6│ Country Bella – 1900’s World’s Fair/Art Nouveau │ Lulu and Celeste – Rosie the Riveter
6/7│Sew Domesticated – 1960’s/Civil Rights Movement │ Rebel and Malice – French Revolution/Joan of Arch │ The Fabric Hoarder – Gypsies