April 23, 2011

Lisa: 2010 ornament: Dita's Sleep Mask

As you probably know, Sarah hosts a Christmas ornament exchange every year. I know she still has some to show from this latest exchange, but take my word for it--the ornaments are just getting more and more awesome and we have so much fun coming up with something and then seeing what everybody else has made. Before I let it get too much later in the year, I wanted to show those of you who weren't in my swap group what I ended up making this time.

Preface: it probably doesn't mean anything to anyone but me, but for each swap I try to make an ornament that represents something that has been influencing me in the last year--either in subject matter or in technique. The first year we did the exchange, I had recently discovered knitting and was getting excited about the crafting potential there, so instead of glass balls I made little balls of yarn, each topped with a tiny pair of knitting needles and the beginnings of a miniature scarf. Our second year, there had been a LOT of discussion about zombie apocalypse preparedness plans, and I planned to buy Blake largely zombie-themed presents. A zombie ornament seemed like the next logical step. For 2009, I got obsessed with amigurumi and nerd culture, and crocheted tiny Cthulhus for everyone.

In 2010, I started getting more into vintage beauty, burlesque, and specifically the incredible Dita Von Teese. I drove away the few male readers we had left babbling on about it, and the rest of my free time sewing dresses from vintage patterns. Sarah and I and some of our girlfriends also had fun checking out a local burlesque troupe, the Voodoo Darlings. And don't tell her parents, but a certain like-minded friend and I actually went to see Dita perform at the Crazy Horse in Las Vegas. So fun.

But I digress. When it came time to decide what to make for the 2010 exchange, I couldn't stop thinking about an image Dita had posted on her twitter feed, featuring her beautiful self holding up a glamorous Moschino sleep mask over her eyes. I decided (because I am possibly cracked) that miniature versions of the sleep mask would make awesome Christmas ornaments. The fact that I had a lot of the fabrics I needed already on hand made it an even more attractive option, since we were pretty broke at the end of the year.

I copied the shape of the mask and the style of the lashes and writing as best I could, swapping out "Dita for Moschino" with the more fitting phrase "All I Want for Christmas." I'm sure these details were hand-embroidered on the original, but in my slacker way I substituted carefully-trimmed printable iron-ons. I decided to line the back of the mask (which you can't see in either Dita's photo or the photo of my finished product) with a dark red satin, and I stitched in little loops of black satin ribbon on each side to accommodate either ornament hooks or a longer ribbon (for practical use by the very small-headed).

Once I had the system down and the materials in hand, I decided to make a few full-size sleep masks as well, as Christmas gifts for some of my friends. The larger version has sewn-in long ribbon tails instead of the little loops. I hope Dita would approve!

Posted by lisa at April 23, 2011 04:36 PM
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