Anyway, I had to think of something to wear. Togas and bin bag outfits were presented as options but really this seemed hardly enough effort for such an occasion and I really wanted to come up with something more challenging and/or original.
Some conversations with friends later it was mentioned that duct tape suits were all the rage at american prom nights these days (still original though here in the Netherlands I think).
|This is not me or my suit by the way!!|
Now, it seems that multi coloured duct tape is not so easy to get hold of here in the Netherlands, so whatever I made would be limited to black and silver. After some deliberation, and for reasons best not gone into here, the choice was made to go for a stripey prison suit - how hard can that be, it's not as if prison tailoring is up to Saville Row standards :)
So a little research later (very little as it turns out) I come across this guide: http://www.ehow.com/how_5221730_make-duct-tape-suit.html
Naturally, I ignore the bit about getting measured and acquiring a pattern (I'll deal with those problems later) and skip right to the section on making duct tape fabric.
Yay, powertools! First thing to do is construct a large wooden frame on which to layout the duct tape. So off to the wood shop i go to get some 120cm lengths of 2x4 (or the dutch equivalent there of), a new vice and some screws :)
|Constructing a frame|
Now I need some duct tape. Like I said only black and silver available to me here so I get 4 rolls of each (turns out I only needed just over 2 of each but it doesn't hurt to have extra duct tape lying around).
So, next up taping strips of the duct tape across the frame. To make the stripes I laid down 2 lines of silver and then 2 lines of black, etc. Importantly, I start overlapping the end of the frame a good inch and each line overlaps the last by about half an inch.
|Tape, tape and more tape|
Eventually i'm finished with this (took a lot longer than building the frame) and I can cut the piece free and start again - I am going to need at least 2 pieces.
|2 completed pieces!|
Time to make some shorts and a jacket. As I said earlier, I eschewed the option of getting measured properly and getting a real pattern. Instead I grabbed an old pair of shorts, folded one piece of fabric into 4 and cut out the front and back pieces for my prison shorts.
|Cut out bits of shorts (don't let the perspective fool you, they are identical)|
Now to stick the shorts together using what else but duct tape - I used the black duct tape for all the sticking together and so ended up using quite a bit more of the black by the time I'd finished.
|Yay, shorts - but how do I get in them?|
I need a fly for my shorts so I can get in and out of them! Luckily I also bought some sticky backed velcro when I was shopping for hardware :) So out come the scissors to make a fly et voila...
|Velcro for the win!|
You may also note that I stuck on an extra belt type bit of duct tape fabric with more velcro to keep the shorts on tighter (this probably has a name in tailoring circles but i don't know what it is).
Now for the jacket. A t-shirt provided the template for this (you see no measuring required when you use your own clothes as templates). Again the second piece of fabric was folded in 4 and back and front sections were cut out without sleeves.
|Back and front jacket sections|
More black duct tape to stick these together.
|Not quite right :s|
Again we need a way to get into this thing - and that head hole looks way too small! Out come the scissors and velcro again. Another piece of fabric is stuck on to provide something to overlap the velcro.
|Ooh, starting to look like a jacket|
Now the sleeves, again the t-shirt is used as a pattern and black tape used to stick them on.
Not quite done yet. The neck still needs to be cut out a bit and really pockets would be useful. On top of this I need a prisoner number and of course a matching hat!!
|Complete suit but where's the number?!|
|Oh there it is - sticky label and letter stencil to the rescue|
So that's it - ready to party! And what do you know I win first prize too (as well as being called a show off :)
But seriously apart from the work (around 10 or 12 hours altogether) there is suffering involved - duct tape is not breathable!
And here's a bonus photo from the night...
|In action via blackberry|
Now, as I write this the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade is seriously kicking off on the canal outside so I think I may just have to go and bear witness to some other folk's insanity :)
Happy gay day!
(no i'm not wearing this again today as some had suggested)