South Wind Silk test piece

Hello! Back again after a fun weekend of ballet auditions! Congrats to all the talented young dancers that made Ballet Northwest’s company!! (Stephanie, Erin, Jacob, Elina) It was Elina’s first audition and she really enjoyed the entire process! Now the agonizing wait until Friday for roles!!

So part of my weekend included working a test piece of silk for my South Wind girls’ skirt. The skirt needs to be soft and flowy with a nice drape to it and Nancy wanted an ombre effect going from pink to gray. A wonderful silk painter (and acting coach), Stacy Ridgley, helped me get started!! Thank you Stacy!!

I worked with a silk double chiffon and Setasilk in Ebony and Raspberry. Steps to follow:

  • wet the silk and place in area for painting
  • shake the paint!!
  • apply either as drops directly from bottle or use a paintbrush
    • so my first attempt was directly from bottle: it was too intense for my skirt
    • second attempt: I used a paintbrush and had a little more control. I also added water to spots of color and it really helped “push” the blending down into the white areas.
  • for the paint to bleed into areas, have project angled slightly
  • to achieve concentrated areas of color, slightly scrunch silk in random places
  • let dry
  • set with hot iron for 5 minutes (cotton setting) *Stacy recommends a dedicated iron for this process so the paint doesn’t transfer to regular ironing!
  • wait 48 hours before washing and ironing out

I’m really happy with how the test piece turned out! Can’t wait to get the skirt finished!!

Silk Paint Prepping silk First color added Second color Finished piece

My sewing assistant keeping my scraps warm!

My sewing assistant keeping my scraps warm!


Introductions are in order!

“In October of 2014, Ballet Theatre of Washington will debut two new ballets: The Princess Who Couldn’t Dance & Peter and The Wolf. Both of the productions will be presented in one show that will be perfect for the family.” This is a direct quote from the website:

Ok, time for some introductions! Today you will meet characters (from my sketchbook): Elements

The elements:

  • Fairy of Happiness: Hooded cloak, silver bodice & romantic length tutu, large sparkly headpiece
  • Her two minions (they are actually called little fairies on the cast list): little tutus, little leos, little tiaras …. so cute and little!
  • Creek: Blue leos, Blue basques (waistband) with attached panels of blue and white
  • Sunbeams: Yellow leos, Yellow basques with yellow, gold and red panels
  • South Wind: Pink one-shouldered leo with attached silk chiffon skirt (soon to be hand painted by yours truly!) and White poet’s shirt with gray tights. (This is a pair dancing)
  • Sea Waves: White leos with an attached neckline representing sea foam (still working this out) and “water” leos used last year in Sorcerer’s Apprentice.


On my inspiration board I have the creek’s tutu panels (along with a court lady bodice). Since the fabric frays easily I have decided to edge them and give them a slight wavy finish. I do one “set” of 8 panels at a sitting and then move on to other work so I don’t go cross-eyed! I’ll try to figure out how to capture video on this edging for anyone interested.

My inspiration and work board

My inspiration and work board

That’s it for this post! Now it’s time for me to get busy!! Enjoy your day!

My sewing assistant keeping an eye on me!

My sewing assistant keeping an eye on me!