Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Dr. Who inspired Victorian Vest

My husband's birthday was coming up and I found out that Jo-Ann Fabrics has Dr. Who themed fabric.  In particular they have a cotton print of the 'Blue Box Exploding' painting that in the show was painted by Vincent van Gogh.  My husband loves Dr. Who, so I decided a Victorian style vest made of the this fabric would be a great gift.

First, I wanted some unique buttons to go with the vest that fit the theme.  I could not find any buttons I liked, so I decided to resin cast buttons. I copied images from the web of the Tardis, Weeping Angels, Cybermen and Daleks.  I then shrunk these down to a size that would fit in my resin molds. After printing, I cut out my images and sealed them with 3 coats (front and back) with Modge Podge to prevent the resin from staining the paper. 

Using Clear Cast Epoxy resin, I filled each well in the mold 1/2 full with clear resin.  I let the clear set for 4 hours or so.  Really I should have let the clear sit longer, but I did not want my husband to see his surprise so I rushed the process.  I then mixed a new batch or resin and colored it transparent blue.  I placed the images against the clear resin, which was still the consistency of gel, and poured the blue resin over the back of the images to fill the mold.  After 4 hours, the blue layer was gel like, so I pushed rings into the resin to make loops for the buttons.  Again, a bit longer would have been better, but I was trying to make the present a surprise.   If you look at the image to the left, you can see that the rings moved a bit since the resin needed to sit for longer before I added the rings.

I let the resin cure for 3 days and then popped the buttons out of the mold. There are some bubbles that were trapped, but over all they look pretty good.  I could have dipped the images in clear resin prior to adding to the back of the curing resin, which would have reduced the bubbles even further.  I then used a nail file to file the edges of each button.  I did this just to remove the slight lip that formed on the back of each button since I filled the molds pretty full.

The vest was made using the Simplicity 2895 Men's costume pattern. I have found this pattern fairly easy to work with and the vest looks nice over all.  I have made this pattern 3 times now and it is my go to pattern for a simple men's vest.  The vest is cotton and lined in thin cotton muslin, so it should be nice and cool for warm weather events.  I edged the entire vest with blue bias tape to add a bit more color. 

The only thing I don't like about this pattern is the welt pockets.  I hate sewing welt pockets, but they look so nice when they are finished. Also, my husband loves to wear pocket watches and the welt pockets are fabulous for wearing pocket watches. 

Actually the pockets sort of disappear on this fabric, as you can see to the left, the upper pocket is almost invisible. 

Here is the finished vest!  My husband was happy with it, so I count this a success!