Step 21: Sewing the silky under dress

The dress design morphed quite a bit. I initially had wanted to use pieces of brass in the top section, but everything I tried just plain didn't look right. I opted to go with silk fabric instead and picked up a variety of silk fabric that would complement the brass.

I started by cutting fabric and fitting it to the dress form. For me, a large part of designing with fabric is trial and error. I had picked up a few different variations and hues of silk and wanted to mix them up in an organic way, so just started cutting and sewing. The results are pictured.

The lining of the dress is form fitting and the outer layer of silk is sewn to it by hand. Silk ribbons provide the final touch and wrap around the entire dress.
<p>Wow, this is incredible! My only issue is with the fluffy chicken idea - I've had quite a few fluffy chickens, and they all have notoriously bad balance, so I can't help but imagine them falling over constantly, even at the movement of the cage from one of their peers falling over. Sure, it would be hillarious, but perhaps not as classy as the dress deserves.</p><p>Also, does the bird poo damage the cage???</p>
WOW! Your fine craftsmanship has inspired this 60 yr old grandpa. THANK YOU!!! <br>As I admired your bird cage dress, I peeked in the corners and was also impressed with: 1) the orangish &quot;flame dress,&quot; 2) the height of your ceilings, 3) the spaciousness of your warehouse. VERY INSPIRING. would you answer three questions: 1) do you live in this warehouse?, 2) would an electric spot welder have helped? and 3) could the entire dress be done in copper to make the soldering easier? Thank you again! ... Appreciatively, from dave in Austin, Texas
Hi and thank you kindly Dave. <br>To answer your questions, (1) yes, I lived in that warehouse for a few years. It was a great space - 'twas the refrigeration room of a former brewery in Los Angeles. <br>(2) A spot welder may have helped, I can't remember why I didn't try it - it may have been cost prohibitive? Or it may have left a mark on the external side of the brass, I honestly can't remember. But definitely worth testing. <br>(3) Copper could be an easier possibility. I wanted to use brass because of the color and sheen and because it has a different overall aesthetic. As hard as it is to work with, brass is definitely my favorite metal. Also, copper is significantly more malleably/bendy, which seems like it might provide some extra challenge when you're trying to maintain shapes. <br>Take care and if you end up making something, please let me know! <br>
Would seriously love to collaborate on a photoshoot with this! amazing.
Wow! This is amazing! Thanks for sharing all the very hard work and fun ible!
Thank you very much!
Your are welcome! I love this!
This is astounding. Well done.
Thank you!
That's incredible. Great idea and execution. :)
just saw this for the first time- soooooo painfully awe-inspiringly artistic neato-keen!<br>Have to admit I immediately thought finches (they can be a bit noisy too) or hummingbirds -but the fluffy chicken thing would be a treat!<br>Great to see this level of artistry here- have you sold it to a museum yet? What a fantastic WORK of art!<br>And kudos on the welding bit- I'll be taking a class this spring time permitting.<br>big happy appreciation for this i'ble!!
&nbsp;hey, my roommates and i love this thing!<br /> i was just browsing instructables at work, and happened to find this one. ironic, because we live in building 620 :)<br /> <br /> see you at artwalk!<br />
The ribbons express the curvaceousness of the weather rather well by pulling taught in certain areas. That's quite clever.<br />
Wow, this is the most amazing thing I&nbsp;have seen in a long, long time. The amount of time you must have spent on this is amazing! The intricate work, the wonderful out come, the oxy-acetylene torch, the coal mines!<br /> <br /> I&nbsp;am lost for words, you really know your stuff and are evidently truly devoted, well done! 5 stars! Favorited!<br />
if you made it from aluminum, thinned the metal strips and brought up the bottom, could you actually wear it? the possibilities *sigh*
Wow, this is incredibly awesome! You really don't do anything half-way. I like the chickens better, too. They're larger and have more character than doves. Maybe some really fluffy silkie chickens?
Agreed... a gaggle of chickens in there would be such fun. The dress is huge - it could feasibly fit ten or so large chickens in it comfortably... Glad you like it :)
I had a peacock but he died :( I'm going to buy a peacock and peahen, so I could walk around in my skirt and they would just sit there... they don't do much :). Awesome awesome instructable
Maybe you could have little peachicks running around! lol
OH COOL! I wish I had a peacock.. that would be cool..
How about wood ducks? The ones with the shiny fancy coloring. Although I don't know how they'd do in a cage rather than water, and I don't know where you'd get them. Pheasants or cockatiels? A large bird with a lot of color would look awesome, but chickens just seem... tame, I guess. This dress is amazing, by the way.
To me, the attraction of chickens is that they are big and loud. Maybe roosters, or very grouchy geese?
Guineas! If loud is what you want, that's what you'd put in there. They are about the loudest fowl known to creation. They never stop yammering!
has no purpose and hats y its awesom
its pretty
Beautiful! x
This is truly amazing. I can not think of any reason to ever make this myself, but, really, I am stunned.
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<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/15/birdcage-dress-by-yo.html">Boing Boing</a> just featured this!<br/><br/>Great work, i love how unique it is.<br/>
whats the final weight of this? Considering its all brass I'm guessing pretty flippen heavy lol. amazing visionary work though. looks like it really took some serious sweat and dedication to have it realized the way you wanted it. Also great work on the instructable itself, very well put together and photographed, made for an interesting read. I also can't help but think how amazing this would look with a nice heavy patina. Although I also can't reconcile that with what a crime it would be to leave this outside for the length of time it would take to develop it.
Thank you :) I need to do some receipt tallying to get an exact weight. I'll get back to you on that. I can absolutely say that it is quite heavy. It sits on fourteen small brass casters and they move decently, but it's still a lot of weight to push. If I had to guess I'd say maybe 50 lbs??... I agree, a patina could look amazing. The cleaning process is arduous, though, so I may hold off for a bit. I can, however, guarantee that it will see patina at some point...
wow. beautiful.
Thanks so much.
great job!! i love a woman who can weld.
Yeah nothing quite as sexy as a woman with a torch. Great job, very well done. Thanks for sharing.
Thankfully, Instructables is full of hot welders of all genders. I think welders are by definition hot? ;)<br/>Some of the women on the site <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Microwave-Transformer-Homemade-Welder/">build their own welders</a> too.<br/>
Ayup, welding is pretty hot by nature. Thanks guys :)
This is absolutely stunning! I've been wanting to make a chastity belt of sorts and your project is helping me with inspiration. :D
Thanks so much. Best of luck with your project!
Just one word...a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! thank you for sharing...
Thank you kindly :)
OH my god! I love you so much. For my year twelve fashion design final piece I intended on creating a crinoline! I cannot thank you enough for this resource. With your permission (With full credit of course) could I show this in my folio and use this as a guide to producing my own crinoline?
Thanks! You're welcome to use the piece as a reference. Keep in mind, though, that it is quite a diversion from a standard crinoline. Good luck with your project and keep me posted on your progress. I'm happy to help if you have questions.
What do you estimate was your overall cost for materials? I love the brass, and have been considering an inverted underwire dress for a steampunk costume.
I would say the brass alone was somewhere around $500. It's such a gorgeous metal, and even though it's challenging to work with, I'd recommend it. The end result makes it all worthwhile :)
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Ah, that's a great idea! I'll have to try one and see if it would work for brass... thanks!

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More by Kasey: How to make a brass bird cage dress in twenty-five easy steps How to make meatshorts for Dick Cheney.........or your friends Compubeaver --&gt; How to case mod a beaver - in 29 easy steps!
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