I keep seeing more people online turning costumes into fashion, by making the recognizable features of pop culture on dresses: The Totoro dress. The Dalek dress. The Nightvale dress. The Marauders Map Dress.
I had the idea for a Ponyo dress. Not her exact outfit, which is easy enough to make (and would make a perfect future kid/mom cosplay set), but the art of Ponyo, or more specifically, the opening credits.
Warning: Long Post Ahead
I could just see the colors and shapes in my mind, flowing around a white A-line skirt. It would be insanely cool to do this kind of thing as a quilt or embroidery, but I do not have those skills.
I bought myself a set of 20 fabric markers from Walmart. I then had to find a reasonably priced white dress. This turned out to be much harder than anticipated. With it being fall when I decided to start looking, white sun dresses were pretty scarce. I had this idea in September 2014 and didn't find a dress until April 2015. I went with an Old Navy eyelet sundress because it was both relatively cheap and lined! I wasn't too thrilled with the eyelet design on the bodice and around the hem, but there was a large smooth area to work on the skirt. Turns out that the edging limited the area I would have to paint and contained my design nicely, so it ended up to be a big benefit.
Putting these scenes all together was a bit tough, so I first sketched out how I wanted it to go on the dress in pencil. I tried to have some large element to focus on, on each side of the dress.
|Kind of an idea. Didn't stick to it too close.|
|Kind of hard to see the pencil drawing.|
|Initial outlining. Can see a little of the pencil up top there.|
|More of the design outlined.|
|The back, with current lines.|
a) color in the whole dress like you would normally
b) try to open the markers, get the ink out and paint it on
c) go buy fabric dye and try to paint with that (unfeasible since I wanted to many colors)
d) find some other option for water color painting fabric that is permanent.
e) none of the above
|just coloring bled out a lot|
|Coloring lightly then using a damp brush in the center and letting it bleed to the middle.|
|no touching for first round of colors|
|this will take forever.|
|starting to come together|
|getting so close to done|
|just a little more to go.|
Once that was all done, I went back to the area along the top of the water and added a little blue outline that I blurred into the sky. It helped to transition the dress from the designs and colored areas back into the white of the bust. It was a mess in some places but looked ok I think.
|Hanging in front of the window. The light coming through makes it look cool!|
This is certainly now one of the longest projects I have worked on and is truly a one-of-a-kind dress. I plan to wear it out to conventions, I think, or Ghibli movies (should there be any more).
Time to complete: Concept: September 2014
Work started May 23, 2015 - finished June 20, 2015, about 65 hours