Showing posts with label art dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art dress. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY: Back to Art Teacherin' Dress

Hey there, friends! After a week hiatus, I'll be back with you on Wednesday, August 9th at 8pm CST on Facebook LIVE! We'll be talking about all things Back to School: Rules, Routines and Life After Summer Vacation (sigh). I'll also be hosting a giveaway and sharing some fun news. So be sure and drop by right here (liking/following the page will insure that I pop up in your feed). 

For the last couple of years, I've been making Back to Art Teacherin' Dresses. I thought it was something I'd just recently started doing...but it turns out that this is an ongoing thang. At a school PD today a buddy asked, "How many dresses do you think you have, Stephens?" I didn't have an answer. I'd prob be embarrassed to admit just how many stinkin' dresses I have. I started purchasing vintage dresses many moons ago at thrift and resale shops. When I learned how to sew about 5 years ago, I just added more dresses to the collection...without doing any weeding. I just can't bare to part with a good ole fit and flair number, y'all. 
My very first Back to Art Teacherin' dress was this number. I rarely wear it now as, in my increasingly tacky eyes, it's a bit boring. From there, I've been hooked on creating a dress that helps me get pumped and excited about the new school year. I can't go out and buy back to school clothes as my overflowing closet is evidence that this gal don't need no more garb. However, I can shop for some super cute fabric and make a dress of my own, right? 
Feast your eyes on this mega-goodness. I'm gonna be honest, I'm starting to become a little bit disenchanted with the usual fabric options. Most fabric patterns are cute...but small. Since sewing with the big and bold patterns from IKEA, I've been on the hunt for more Large Marge prints. So I hopped over to Spoonflower and used the search bar to look for a pencil print. And that's when I found this mega-goodness
 Here's a short clip of me twirling in slow mo and fast mo (is that a thing? Who is this Moe and why is he so fast and slow?!). When wearing a circle skirt, it is the law that one must twirl no fewer than 29 times, hourly. Look, I don't write the rules, I just follow 'em. 
Having a deadline, like Meet the Teacher Night, gave me the inspiration to burn the midnight oil (and the early morning, em, oil? Grease? What do they burn in the early morning? Whatever it is, it stinks) and finish this bad boy. Let's face it, that print makes the dress. I LOVE the retro look of it!
It's the best twirling dress this side of the Mississippi. 
Some of my other Back to Art Teacherin' dresses include this number created from fabric found in JoAnn's discount area. I loved it for it's marker-scribble feel. This dress made me happy with the print but I feel like I'm about to fly away with those sleeve things. I don't wear this one very often as I don't find the bodice as flattering as I would have liked. But this van Gogh-inspired dress has all of my fave features: a fitted bodice, a giant waist band and BOWZ. Cuz I like big bows and I cannot lie. 
Everyone has their own way about getting excited about their "jobs" (can we really call art teacherin' a "job"?! I mean, it's like the best thing ever AND they pay us!). My way is sewing up a fun dress. Your way might be decorating your art room, painting your nails in a rainbow pattern, creating a sign for your art room. Whatever it is, dive in! Do it! It will make you happy and, as we all know, Happy Art Teacher, Happy Life...or something like that.
In short, you do you...and bring that what you be doin' to your art room. I promise you that it will not only inspire your young artists but those around you as well. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

DIY: A Marker-Tastic Art Teacherin' Dress

 I dunno if you've noticed or not but things have gotten quite a bit...stitchy around here. I've moved into week two of Snow Daze (fingers crossed we return tomorrow, y'all) which means I've had extra time for the important things in life:

House cleaning? Negative. 
Dress-Making? Affirmative. 

It's called priorities, y'all. And I've gots 'em.
By the way, can I make a confession that's not really a confession because I betcha have figured it out already: I'm breathing down the neck of 40 and I still like to play dress up. Is that awkward? Should I seek out a support group? I'm guessing it will be the most superbly dressed support group in all the land, riiiiight? Who's hosting the first meeting, y'all and will there be cookies and grape-flavored adult drank? Count me in.
 No, you aren't experiencing deja vu. Yes, you've seen this dress pattern three times. Ahem. Remember when I done tole you last week I was making three dresses outta this pattern? There was this Mondrian number, this colored pencil piece and now whatcha got here. Do I have to tell ya that I totes dig this dress pattern? I mean, it has everything I love in a dress: a form-fittin' bodice, a fat flouncy skirt and, of course, a big ole bow. Puurrr-fectimacation.
So when I shop for fabrics, I usually buy first, think later. My hands move much faster than my brain when it comes to swiping that credit card through the lil reader. My hands are all, "hurry before that sluggish gray mass between her ears finds out we just dropped coin on even more fabric!" I usually walk outta the fabric store like I'm waking up from a dream. "Whuh just happened and who just stuck three yards of marker fabric in my bag?" Meanwhile my hands are all high-fiving each other (which looks quite ridiculous to be standing in the parking lot of a craft store clapping at your confused self, but, such is my life).

I actually scored that sweet marker fabric from here. Sadly, they are all out of the green but do have some lovely orange on super sale. The chevron came from a local shop but I did find a similar one here for you. 
 If this looks a pinch familiar that's cuz I totally used a gray version in my pencil dress. I just love this print so! You can find this orange goodness here
After throwing all of these prints together, I realize I look a lil bit like a can of Mountain Dew meets Orange Crush. Which I see no problem with atall. But I am from the South so you know that stuff is our equivalent to water. If you think I'm fibbin', go google yourself "Mountain Dew Mouth" and tell me I'm lying. Go on. I'll wait.

 Nuther refill of Dew-Crush anyone? No? How bout just a cuppa sugar with a splash of syrup and drizzle of honey. Something to dip your Moonpie in, y'all. 
 I'll have you know that this here is the only dress outta the three where I didn't screw up the pleats. And there were only, like 9 pleats, y'all. Le sigh. 
To finish off my Dew-Crush-tasticness, I decided to wear this palette hat I felted ages ago. It was just a thrifted find that I gave a lil make over to. That craft was super simple. You can go here for all the gory deets. 

In my pics you totes can't see my shoes but here they are! I painted these ages ago and they are starting to show some wear. Mostly cuz I painted them with acrylic and I shoulda gone with some sort of leather paint. You can check these out along with some other wacky painted footwear here
 And there you have it, another freaking dress thanks to my Snow Days/Sew Days. If you aren't a stitcher and have found these posts not your cup of tea, my sincerest apologies. I do hope to be back to art teacherin' sometime this decade. In the meantime, I've got a house to not clean and another dress to complete! Later, y'all!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY: A Kandinsky-Inspired Dress, Part 2

'Kay, so when I decide to quit art teacherin' and become a Big Time News Anchor, this will be my promo shot. My tag line will be sumpin like, "Cassie Stephens...where there's news, she'll find it (especially if it's celebrity gossip as she's exceptionally shallow). Where there's sports, she'll report it (for example, the fine sport of sniffing out sales at Anthropologie). And where there's unfortunate fashion choices, She'll. Be. There." Eh, whatevers. Maybe I'll just stick to art teacherin'. 
I may or may not be a totes glutton for punishment. Just when I was No Where NEAR the finish line with my first Kandinsky frock, I up and started a second one. You know, because needle felting for hours on end totally wasn't to blame of the pain in my neck (erm, no, that'd be the hubs) and the  reason I couldn't turn my head without rotating my whole body. You know, classic Terminator style. Every time I turned in such a way in art class, I'd widen my eyes and say in my worst Austrian accent, "I'll be back." To which my humorless students just replied, "huh?!" It's so sad when a comic genius like myself goes unappreciated on a daily basis. But I digress.
In case you missed it, that's last week's Kandinsky can-can on the left. Both were made from Target dresses. I scooped up the white one from the clearance rack along with the hot pink belt. The LBD was a thrift store/Target label find. Personally, I'm more of a fitted bodice, puffy skirt kind of girl so I like the fit and finish of the one on the left better. Howevers, I do love how they look side by side, such a contrast of crazy.

I mightah mentioned that Kandinsky is coming to our local art museum The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Where I will be taking some kids field trippin and where I will be wearing one of these crazies. Or both. Every good field trip deserves an outfit change, amiright? "Excuse me, Mrs. Museum Docent, mind if I leave you with all 80 of these angelic children whilst I slip into Kandinsky Can-can Number 2? And by "Number 2", I don't mean I'll be, like, number 2-ing, I'm just going to change. Into my second dress. OH FORGET WHAT I JUST SAID...[slow turn of entire body toward docent] I'LL. BE. BACK."

To which the docent will laugh uproariously because she will have a perfectly wonderful sense of humor. Unlike some under-10-ers I know. Humph.
Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913. While I was working on this dress, I definitely had a "favorite square". I'm in love with the one in the second row, second from the left. That sea foam-y turquoise color is my fave...as you can tell from the painting in the background behind these snapshots. Is there one that you are drawn to? 

So in my sewing room, I actually have a stash of thrifted clothing that is just waiting to be DIY'ed. Some of it is tattered and some of it is boring (by my tacky standards). And I can't seem to part with 'em because for me, they're like blank canvases. Which makes me sound artsy and uppity when I'm really closer to fartsy and shluppity (I've no idea what that means and yet it describes me perfectly). What I'm trying to say is that I'm a hoarder with benefits. The benefit being that when I get an wild and wacky idea, I usually have the crapola on hand to make it happen. 
Like this Lil Black Dress. Or Lil BLANK Dress as I like to call it. It's a funky little number with a peebled pleather neck and cap sleeve and a rectangular panel of fabric down the front. I'd originally bought it cuz I thought it looked classy. And then promptly never wore it because, well, it looked classy. When I pulled it outta the hoarder heap, I realized that the rectangular line of fabric down the front would be just the place for me to felt those concentric circles. Which, by the way, I'm hoping come across as concentric circles and not a dress of colorful nipples. Pretty please lie to me and tell me it doesn't. Puh-leeeeeease!
To start the dress, I did a lil bit of math to make it so my dress was divided into equalish squares. Then I proceeded to watch back-to-back episodes of old Project Runways and felted away. Okay, I guess I should go into a pinch more detail. I use wool roving and place a cushion inside my dress. With my little needle felting tool, I commence stabbing the roving until it came through to the other side of the fabric.
Once that color was felted in place, more was added and felted. If you're kinda new to this blog, I'm not trying to be vague about this process...it's just that I do it a lot. And I've blogged about it a lot. And made a handful of short video clips. I've also made One Million felted sweaters, dresses, even a hat. If you troll this blog for a hot minute, you'll find a million plus. 
Do ya see how simple this is? Even still, because of the translucentness (look! I invented a word!) of the roving, I did have to layer the crap outta it thus taking forever. Like everything I do. I function at a drunken and demented snail's pace, so there's that. 
Yay! Rainbow Brite Areola!
Oh, look, here you can see that faux leather detail at the top. I like that it gives the dress a tough edge.   
And there you have it! I'm saving this number not only for the art museum but also for Dot Day week. Fingers crossed I'll have at least one kid remember what a concentric circle is! Otherwise, I'LL BE BACK to teaching it. Again. 

Later, cats!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

DIY: A Splatter-Paintin'/Jackson Pollock-y Hybrid Dress

Oh mah goodness, the dress that's been haunting my sewing room for ages is finally complete! Paired with my DIY palette hair clip and some sparkly flats from Anthropologie.
I'll have you know that I'm one of those super duper annoying people that tells the same joke over and over. AND, if you don't laugh the first time, Ima gonna assume it's not because you don't find me highly entertaining, it's just that your ears are broken and you're kinda dumb. Therefore, said not-worthy-of-a-laugh joke will be repeated, this time only louder and slower for your listening (dis)pleasure.
Dudes, when am I gonna learn to work this lil point-n-shoot camera of mine correctly? I mean, this photo's got more grain that a bowl of FiberOne.
Case in point: When I wore this dress on our final day of Painting Processes in the art room. Details of that Super Happy Fun Insanity to come but until then, lemme break it down for ya: 20 children + paint + instruments of mass painting destruction = one awesomely painted mess.  So my repeated joke of choice to anyone who happened to venture into the art room mid-madness? 

"My dress was actually white this morning!"

When my hilarity was met with a blank stare, I restated my standup routine this time explaining my joke. Because that always helps:

"You know. It was white. And then it got paint on it. [unchanged blank stare = digging myself into an even bigger unfunny joke hole] Because, with all the glue huffing, the kids went kinda bonkers, tied me down and splattered paint all over me."

And just when I think I mighta gotten through to Super-Slow-Joke-Getter, some kid'll blow it and shout across the room, "Nuh huh! We don't even know how to tie!"

While I'm pretty pleased with the fit and finish, I'm not loving the wrinkled look of the red midriff. Whassup? I'm guessin my interfacing should not have been an adhesive one. My thought is that the adhesive is causing the midriff to wrinkle. What do you think, sewing sistahs?

Yeah. So I guess I won't be quittin' my day job and takin' my standup out on the road. Cuz knowing my luck, I'd have my students in the audience razzing me the whole time. Which is kinda like my everyday life. Seriously! In fact, just yesterday when I said, "Okay, kids, it's time to start cleaning up." One of my fourth graders raised his hand and said:

"Mrs. Stephens, we don't clean on Fridays. We have the day off. Sorry."

I. Get. No. Respect.
Le sigh. Let's chat about this new dress o' mine shall we? Before I fall into a deep dark nobody-likes-me/everybody-hates-me/why-don't-I-just-eat-dirt depression. I got the notion that I needed some Back-to-School dresses and scooped several yards of this splattery fabric a month ago. I quickly began working on the bodice using this well-loved Simplicity pattern of mine.

Then I decided to break up all that splattery goodness a bit. For this idea, I used the wide waist band from my vintage Simplicity pattern. After the bodice was complete, I seriously had 6 yards of the fabric left. Just enough to try my hand at my very first circle skirt with that vintage Butterick pattern on the right. With the use of three patterns, it's like a ménage à trois dress. But without the awkward sleeping arrangement.
Can you believe the size of this thing?! I loved that I didn't have to mess with any gathering business as I've done with so many other dresses...until I had to hem this beast. And I wasn't about to do that by hand. Are you kidding me? I ran that thing through my machine as fast as I could and it still took me up to an hour to complete.
I'm thinking I need a brand new, extra fluffy crinoline to showcase the endless yards of splattery goodness, don't you think?

Because this fabric totally has a Jackson Pollock thing happening, I got this crazy notion to create a dress for each of our Artists of the Month. If you recall, I created this little number when the kids were learning about Hokusai last month and now I've got this Pollock-y frock complete. The only prob? Andy Warhol is our featured artist this month! Which means I've got some work to do...but at least I've got Pollock ready when his month comes up. My goal by the end of the school year is to have created 10 artist-themed dresses. Wish me luck, ya'll.
Oh! And those Painting Processes I was telling you about? Well, here's what the art room tables looked like before...
...and by the end of the day. Take a close look at that once-white table covering. Looks just like the fabric of my dress, doncha think? Next time, I'm just throwing some white cotton cloth on the tables, ya'll.
At the rate the kids are going, I'll have enough fabric to create several of these Splatter-Paintin'/Jackson Pollock-y dresses. Stay tuned for more details of our Painting Processes in the art room. Until then, have a fantasticly splatterific week!





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