Showing posts with label cat clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat clothing. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY: Black, White and (Now) Red All Over

 Emkay, this may sound strange coming from the crazy art teacher who wears sparkly fishnets to school, but I actually have a vague idea of what is inappropriate work attire. In fact, according to's 25 Things a Professional Woman Should Never Wear, I'm 74% professional. Ahem. Their list was pretty lame though. For starters, they are obviously early 21st century haters. I mean, what did Paris Hilton ever do to get this list-creator to diss the following:
  • Juicy Couture track suits and uggs. Seriously? Nobody is still wearing that except Pam Anderson. Hey, Pam Anderson, Bay Watch called. Oh no, wait, no they didn't. Because 2001 is over.
  •  Crocs and fanny packs. Wear this and not only will you no longer have a job but suddenly birth control is no longer necessary. Two birds, one stone.
  •  Wallet chain, torn jeans and clothes worn yesterday. Oh, I see. Now we're pickin' on the grunge era. Next you'll tell me flannel is out.
  • Flannel. What?!
  •  Face Tats. Seriously? Who has a face tat that isn't Mike Tyson? Although I was asked just the other day if my cat eyeliner was tattooed on. It isn't. Right now.
One thing on the list that I do agree with was not showing too much skin. So when I slipped on this dress I purchased from Modcloth not too long ago, I knew it didn't pass the tasteful test. Hello, pale mid-thigh! And I was super bummed because did you see that fabric? It features cats! In the news! Doing human stuff!

Being tallish, I've dealt with this too-short-attire problem before (junior high flashback: "Hey, Stephens, where's the flood?!"). My solution with dresses is adding a band of fabric on the bottom. My wingin' it way of doing this is to measure the width of one side of the bottom of the skirt, cut two pieces of fabric that width, sew those two pieces together thus creating a circle. That circle of fabric is then pinned to the hem of the dress, right sides together and sewn. I then hem the skirt. You can see more examples of that with my Hot Air Balloon dress and my Eiffel Tower dress.
Me, circa 2011. Back when I was still watching Baywatch reruns.
After adding the tomato red fabric to the bottom of the dress, I decided I needed more red to balance it out. That's when I had a flashback of this thrifted Target dress redo from a couple years ago. Here's what it looked like in it's original thrifted state:

Kinda nice because of the sweet bird fabric but mostly boring. After taking up the hem on this dress. I decided to add the bow and the little coral detailing at the shoulders. Recalling this redo, I decided to put a bow on Modcloth cat dress as well. Wanna put bows on things? Here's how it's done:
You begin by creating...what looks like a pair of little boys briefs. Ew, scroll down.
Ah, that's better. So, begin by deciding how wide you'd like your bow to be. Then double that. And add an inch. Decide the height of your bow and add an inch for hemming. Fold under 1/4" top and bottom and hem. Then create a circle by sewing right sides together.
Using needle and thread, create a hand basted stitch. Don't know what that is? It's a very wide stitch as seen above. That kind of stitch is good for gathering. The wrinkles in my fabric show how I've been practicing my gathering skillz. Once fabric is gathered to your liking, knot thread.
As you can see above, once that was complete, I added a folded in band of fabric for the loop around the middle of the bow. This was hand stitched (ugh, I hate hand stitching. What is this, 2001? Pam, gimme a hand here, would ya?!) and attached to the belt.
Oh, shoot, the belt. I forgot to take photos  of how that was created. Sorry. Here's the beginning stage. After pressing these folds down, I added a fusible stabilizer to give the belt some beef, folded it in half and stitched all the way around. Once the bow was hand stitched into place, I added a snap button closer.
Me in all my belted glory. With cats! In the news! Doing human things! Yes, like a good episode of Bay Watch, it bears repeating. 
Pretty sure a crinoline wouldn't make the list of appropriate attire. Nor the sparkly fishnets. But I never claimed to be 100% pro.
The rest of the outfit details: black top and necklace: Target; sparkly fishnets: TJMaxx; shoes: Dolls by Nina
And just in case you were wondering what professional fashon faux paus I did make, that'd be the following:
Oh well. Can't win 'em all. 

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #59

Feelin' Catty Monday: Aw, what am I talkin' about, I'm catty everyday! For the first time in my small-chested life, I actually got to use the phrase, "My eyes are up here," when I caught folks staring at my Nerdy Cat Sweater. It's the little things in life that give me joy. sweater: made by me, DIY here; dress: vintage, Four Sessions Vintage; tights: Target; shoes: Fluevog
You gotta be kitten me! You cat be serious. Have you seen these images of cats vastly improving masterpieces by your fave artists? If not, I'm feline like you go and check 'em out right here, right meow. 
 Hey, hep cats. I come to you with clay under my fingernails and visions of some of the cutest clay critters ever created by kids dancing in my head. Which is givin' me a migraine. But it's all worth it. After two weeks of hard work, my kindergarten through fourth grade students have each created an animal sculpture worthy of howls, meows and woofs. I'm so thankful for the many parents that volunteered in the art room to help make this project possible and to keep me sane. It takes a village. Well, to keep me sane, it takes a village, meds and adult bevvies. But I digress.

Since this was our last week to craft our animal sculptures, I decided to continue my all-animals dress code from last week. And since I outed myself as a crazy cat lady earlier this week, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave feline masterpieces. I do hope you enjoy and have a purrrrrr-fect week!
Tame Cat’s Optical Illusion, Tokuhiro Kawai, 2006, Oil on Canvas Kawai is a Tokyo-born surrealist artist who's painted several paintings of this Scottish Fold house cat. I am completely toying with the idea of creating a few paintings like these of dear ol' Asha. You can see more feline masterpieces by Kawai here.
Feline Footsie Tuesday: And on this day, I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of the adult artists in our school as they created their own gnome homes. I figured that while we had the clay out, why not allow everyone to join in on the fun? sweater: Old Navy, thrifted; dress and belt: Anthropologie; tights and necklace: Target: cat shoes: Modcloth
Okay, I do believe I could have totally created my own version of these kitten heels but I decided to birthday splurge on these instead. Seeing as how I saved a whopping $99.99 by creating this Modcloth sweater, I had a little money to burn.
Woman and siamese cat, Eileen Mayo, 1952 Aw, so sweet. When I try to do this with my cat, she will usually smack me with her tail a good couple of times before getting up and sitting on my hubs lap. This is then followed by her "um, we'd like some privacy, please" stare.
Birds of a Feather Wednesday: I actually wore one of my own belts created belts on this day. I don't know why I've stopped wearing them. But the bird seemed to work with the bird feathers in the pattern of this dress. sweater and necklace: vintage, thrifted; dress, tights, shoes: Anthropologie; belt: made by me
 Julie Manet With Cat, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1867, oil painting Not until I did some googling did I discover that Renoir has featured cats in many of his paintings. I've never been a huge fan of Renoir's work (his brush strokes are just too fuzzy and fluffy for me) but one look at that kitten's face and I might become a convert.

News Cat-astrouphe: What you are looking at is a DIY sneak-peak. No, I didn't make this dress (although I did later discover the fabric here and was bummed that I hadn't made the dress myself) but I did embellish it quite a bit. But you'll have to wait to hear about that. On this evening, a buddy and I attended an invite-only event at Anthropologie. There was music, drinks, snacks and plenty of good company. Ask your local Anthro to put you on their emailing list about special promotions. You'll love it. black top, necklace: Target; dress: originally Modcloth, DIY by me; sparkly fishnets: TJMaxx; shoes: Dolls by Nina
The kids were very intrigued by the print of this dress and loved seeing the images of the cats. However, my kindergarten students were completely confused. They thought I was actually wearing a dress made out of newspaper and several had to have a touchy-feely moment with the fabric (after a couple of "bad touches", ahem, I limited them to the fabric near the hem). There's also a dog version of this fabric found here.

I had a copy of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories growing up and I loved them. This illustration from The Cat that Walked by Himself was always one of my favorites. I'd love to have this print in my house.
Oh, hello, neighbor: Pretty sure the neighbors think I'm a freak show what with my tripod and goofball poses. sweater: from the Anthro shindig. Got it on super-duper sale and was able to use my birthday discount. If you're not familiar, if you sign up for an "anthro card" (not a credit card, just something they scan at each purchase so they can see just how completely addicted to their store you are), they'll send you a 15% off your total purchase card in the mail to be used during your birthday month. skirt: vintage, thrifted; fishnets: Marshalls; shoes: Dolls by Nina
Girl in a Field, Tsuguharu Foujita I discovered this artist in college and had several of his prints in my dorm room. I love his strange style of paintings that almost look like drawings; the similar doll-like features of the women in his paintings and, of course, the cats! His funny faced felines are featured in many of his paintings.
The artist himself sounds like fashionable funky dude. I read this about him: His hair was cut in the style of an Egyptian statue; he wore earrings, dressed in tunics and had a tattoo around his wrist. He even wore a lampshade sometimes rather than a hat! You can read more about Foujita and see more of his work here.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY: The Crazy Cat Lady Sweater

Cat-tastic Outfit Details: Cuz you know you want 'em. sweater: originally a Free People, felted by moi; dress: vintage, Four Seasons Vintage, Knoxville, TN; tights: I'm wearing two. Don't ask me how, you don't wanna know; shoes: thrifted, Nine West
I recently took an "Are You a Cat Person?" quiz and, by the looks of things, I betcha can guess the results. But c'mon! Tell me I'm not the only one who answered a resounding "yes!" to the following: 
  • You consider cat hair in your food an additional source of fiber (What? You can never get enough. Fiber that is. The hairballs kinda suck).
  • You sleep on the edge of your bed because you hate to disturb the cat sleeping in the middle looking so darn cute (Not only is cuteness a factor but you try moving 20 sleeping pounds. No small task).
  • You call home multiple times daily to ask your spouse what the cat is doing and to speak to her (Okay, this wasn't actually on the list but this is what my hubs does everyday during my summer vacation. Looks like I'm not the only one with a problem).

Sweater on the left available at Modcloth for $99.99 (really? How 'bout we just call it $100, ermkay?) and my felted personalized version on the right.

Since my students are currently creating dogs and cats outta clay, I just knew I had to have this sweater in my life. For educational purposes! For the children! For the love of all things cat-sy! But when I saw that totally ridic price tag, I was all "Edu-what? Children-shmildren! Cats, who gives a -- (cue tilted head, doe-eyed stare as seen below) Awwwww! Cats!" 

AND the DIY Crazy Cat Lady Sweater was born.
Now there's only one cat in my life and that's Asha. Her tale begins with her mom who we had originally adopted after she was abandoned at my apartment complex. Normally a calm and quiet cat, I was a little perplexed when one night she began howling like a crazy fool. Never having owned a cat before I had no idea she was in heat. I threw her outside and doncha know that little hussy came back knocked up. Hubs actually had to deliver Asha (on our bed, ahem) as she was born breach. She is currently our only cat and just about all we can handle.

I mean, just look at this nut. When she's not on some rickrack-chewing or stomping-on-my-crafts rampage...
...she's passed out drunk as a skunk. It's like living with Lindsay Lohan. But we loves her just the same.

Which is why I decided to create my own cat sweater dedicated to my dear sweet drunken Asha. Wanna do the same? Easy. Follow these steps:
  1. You are going to create a symmetrical drawing of your cat. Begin by folding a piece of 8 1/2' X 11" piece of paper in half. From here you could either trace an enlarged photo of your cat or draw a very basic version.
  2. Now here's a little trick to create a drawing that is perfectly symmetrical drawing. Fold the paper in half along the vertical crease. With the paper folded, scribble firmly on the backside of your drawing. 
  3. When you reopen your paper, you will see a ghost line of your drawing. My students use this technique in art all the time when wanting to create a symmetrical drawing quickly.

Originally my plan was to place this drawing under the sweater and trace it. Yeah, that didn't work. The sweater is completely opaque. So then my thought was to use one of those pattern cutting tools that looks like a pizza cutter with teeth. I thought I'd trace my lines with that tool, place the drawing on my sweater and use chalk to "pounce" in the lines. Erm, no go. The chalk just vanished into the knit of the sweater. These failures lead to Plan C (for "C"rap, now what?!):
Cut the drawing into pieces and outline in wool yarn.
This worked swimmingly. I simply outlined the components of the design (cat head, glasses, ears, etc) and filled them in with felt. Almost like Paint-by-Number. Here, lemme show you...

On the left, you can see I've cut out the glasses and I've outlined them in dark brown wool yarn. Only 100% wool yarn can be used when needle felting. This same technique was used when felting the inside of the glasses.
Not being able to draw on the sweater was annoying. But drawing with the yarn really helped. And the good news is that yarn can be pulled right out of the sweater in case a mistake is made.
Creepy kitty face.

Outline in yarn, fill in with roving, lather, rinse, repeat (okay, minus those last three, we're not wet felting here). If you are new to the idea of needle felting, you can read about my first attempt, complete with slightly clearer directions, here. Follow that up with my downhill slide into felting madness: Put a Bird on It Sweater, Floral Applique Sweater and my Crazy Art Teacher Skirt.

Once I decided I wanted to create an Ashie sweater, I snapped this photo of her so I could see her coloring and details as I worked. She doesn't usually have such a freaky face unless she's staring at birds or other lil critters. In this instance it happened to be a giant spider hanging just above my head. Yeah, thanks for the warning, fuzzy butt.
 My feeble attempt to emulate the bow-and-glasses look. Somehow, it's just not the same.
Looking back over the "Are You a Cat Person" quiz, I never once saw the statement: 
  • You unapologetically spend a good portion of your birthday weekend needle felting a picture of your cat onto your clothing. Which you wear proudly to work. Where small children praise you for your craftsmanship while adults smile and pretend they aren't planning an emergency intervention for your insane cat lady soul at the next faculty meeting. 
I mean, who wouldn't check "yes!" in that box, am I right people? 
Erm, hello?

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