I tried Rit Color Remover on the cape. It lightened the color significantly but didn't come close to removing it, and you can still see splatters galore. Sigh. It also removed some of the fabric paint, but the vast majority is still there and in great condition, which amused me. Jacquard paints are advertised as dry clean safe, but evidently they can survive multiple machine washes too. Interesting. Anyway...best bet is to just start over. Next time it's warm outside, I'm going to bust out my new good spray bottles and run some dye strip tests. My proposed methodology:
- Soak only part of each strip in soda ash. (This will let me see how far the dye gradient crawls up and whether it is wet enough to crawl up beyond the end of the soak. I'm not that well versed in the finer points of capillary action.)
- Mask off everything but the very deepest end of the gradient by holding/pinning plastic over the piece.
- Bring out a wet swatch of purple to match. Carefully spray the deepest end of the gradient with dye solution until the color matches.
- Let the dye react as long as it needs to (a few hours at least) and then wash out as usual.
This SHOULD give me a deep stripe of well-matched color that evenly fades upward. I don't see why it wouldn't. I may also try the method used by Erika Door: dipping shorter and shorter portions of fabric into progressively stronger dye solutions. Her gradients are quite beeYOOtiful. The problem is I don't know how to match the purple with that method, so I think the spraying will be more predictable, and if I'm not a tool and I don't splatter, I will at least get an even fade.
I also found some awesome fabric for Xiahou Dun Pants 2.0. I saw it online and discovered that JoAnn's had a sample in their home dec section, and it was PERFECT - dead-on yellow gold base color, matte finish, appropriate weight and hand for pants. I ordered it online because it's much cheaper there, and I also got a bunch of olive cotton twill for Rikku. I have this nutsy idea to make an olive princess-seamed vest with pockets (possibly with matched yellow and orange trim) and a big fat gold zipper that I can wear with the costume as a coverup in case I get cold, want to go to a restaurant, etc. Plus, I want to start playing with original concepts and stuff, and I think that would go and look nifty. I could even wear it as a regular garment.
I found a website that I should comment on later in more detail because I have some compliments and snerk that I would like share with the class. It's an Asian cosplay site with a fuckassload of Dynasty Warriors stuff. There are some bow down to worthy costumes, some costumes with inspirational aspects that gave me some great ideas and references for improving my own work...and there's also a lot of silliness that makes me want to whip out the cluebat. My complaints can be summed up as follows:
- The costumes in the DW reference art are mostly MATTE. Yes, even Zhang He's. Low-sheen material, like brocade for a garment with a very brocade-like pattern, can work. So can reasonably shiny details that are obviously supposed to catch the light. Cheap shit from the Halloween aisle that looks like mylar balloons, crushed velvet, and Richard Simmons' pants are not appropriate fodder for these outfits.
- All the details in the world won't do diddly for you if the costume is not fitted and proportioned properly and the fabric does not hang right. I would much rather see a simpler costume with the proper garment shape and fit than something with all manner of random detail and an overall effect that FAILS IT because the foundation isn't there.
- If you're a tiny girl attempting to crossplay a battle-scarred tank of a 30ish man...to quote Zeriel: Stop smiling. Look angry. Learn to hold a sword or leave it sheathed. And put the platform stompers away. (There is one excellent crossplay of this nature that I must post. The costume is fantastic and its wearer looks appropriately serious and somber, but alas, she still has platform stompers. Oh well, nothing is ever perfect.)