Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DIY: A Pencil-Print Dress with a Peter Pan Collar, Simplicity 1419

Dear friends. I awoke this morning at 3am for some unknown reason (okay, known reason: the cat was hungry. And when the gentle face-pats morphed into to kitty-cat b$tch-slaps, I was awoken {side-eye to cat who could care less because SHE'S currently sleeping}.) After a cup of too-strong coffee and a thirty minute blank stare at the wall, I decided to make something of my morning (er, night? I mean, it was 3am, people. Well, technically, if you are following this story closely enough and decent at math, it was 3:30am. Give or take). I mean, the left sleeve on that dress wasn't going to stitch itself. Which I'd kinda been hoping for having only stitched one sleeve in that dress and leaving it that way for a handful of days. Which y'all were witness to if you follow me here.  
But, whateves. At around 7:23am, this bad boy was complete and I took a nap to celebrate. Because I'm a party animal. 
While I was taking my sewing class at Craft South a couple Thursdays ago, I spotted this fabric by Alexia Marcelle Abegg of Green Bee Design and knew I had to have it. In fact, I do believe the words, "Um-hum, Ima gonna git me some o' dat" came outs my mouth. The draw back to taking a sewing class in a textile shop is that, in-between instructional time, I'm all loading up on yardage, saying things like, "Just put it on my tab, hehe." It's kinda like having a liquor store in a bar. Get the patrons all intoxicated and loopy and then offer 'em a lil sumpin'-sumpin' for when they get home. I see what you've done there, Craft South. I see it...and I like it. 
I decided to marry the fabric to this sweet Simplicity Lisette pattern #1419. I'll admit: the only reason I picked up that pattern was for that sweet lil collar and key hole opening.  
Since I was coming off my high from making yet another dress from this pattern, I decided to experiment in a lil cross-pollenating of Simplicity #1419 with #8087. This is okay in sewing-land, right? Or is this totes looked down upon like when my neighbors stuck a hamster in their bunny crate in hopes that the two would mate and create a new breed. Please say it isn't that bad because my mom wouldn't let me hang out with those kids after that episode. 
If you're curious how one cross-pollenates two dress busts, um, it's super glamorous. I simply finished off the bodice of the Lisette then laid the cropped bodice of the other pattern on top and chopped away. I know all you sewists out there just fell on the floor and are having "but-you-can't-do-that" convulsions but, y'all. That's how this self-taught, not-super-great-at-this-stitching-thing girl operates! 
In other news, Dear Simplicity/Lisette/Whoever-Designed-This-Dress-Pattern: it woulda been real swell of you to tell me what I was to do with that lil button loop thingie whilst adding the collar and the facing. Because both the hubs and I looked at all the pretty pictures and read the wordy-words and never found a mere mention of said loop thingie. Therefore I was left to my own MacGyver-esque sewing devises. Which, if mentioned here, would only throw the sewists into another fit of convulsions. 
 A word about why I am addicted to the waistband of Simplicity #8087: it's slimming as hail! Also, please ignore the giant opening at the top of the dress. I've yet to add a hook and eye. Or velcro. Or tape. Hot glue would work in a pinch, I betcha. 
 A close-up because Peter Pan collarzzz. So cute! 
 When I shared the making of this dress on my Insta-gram Crackerz, a friend was all, "wow, you have a thing for pencils!" and I was like, what?! No I don't! Lemme just check my blog and see how many pencil-y things I've made...oh...snap. I DO have a pencil-problem!
Case in point: My Jeffery Campbell knock-offs
 And this pencil-y appliqu├ęd skirt

These two pencil-themed tops bright to you buy super pale and vein-y hands (like, ew. Why do my hands look like a skinned turkey? WHY?!)
That one time I had, like, two weeks of due to snow and stitched this colored pencil frock
 Or how about that one time I forgot I'm junior-sized in the bust department and made a big ole v-neck pencil-y number
Ugh. And this was just LAST WEEK, wasn't it?! Okay. So. I've got a problem. Just add it to my many, y'all. 
On a dif note, I hope y'all have a super duper fab-o fantastical Thanksgiving! Safe travels, happy dining and I'll chat with you soon. Toodles, turkeys! 
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

DIY: The Anna Maria Horner Full Circle Skirt

I present to you, along with my super cute circle skirt, the relaxed and happy face that only a week off can bring. That's right, y'all. One whole week of puttin' pie in my pie hole, craftin' it up, spending time with friends -n- fam and shopping. I've been feeling a little sluggish in both art teacherin' land and at home (you are currently in view of the ONLY non-unsightly spot in casa de Cassie) so I'm excited to have this week to relax and recharge. And to find a better means of getting that caffeine pumping in my veins on an average day. Are coffee eye-injections a thing yet? Cuz I'm ready to give it a go. 
While you google that, lemme share with you a sewing class I just completed over at a place that's just about as close to sewing heaven as Ima gonna get: Craft South. Y'all. If you are ever in Nashville-land, make sure you drop by this amazing place. I took a class there this summer and loved it and the instructor, Devon Iott, aka Miss Make
I've had a couple people ask me why I was taking a sewing class because some folk assume I know how to sew. And I kinda do...but I'm self taught which means in my stitching world, there's a whole lotta half-a##-ery. Watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and, in desperate times, even asking the hubs ("Like, you read this! DOES THIS EVEN MAKE SENSE?!") can only get you so far. Taking a class, especially from a teacher that is as good at explaining things as Devon, really makes a huge difference. 

So when I saw that Craft South was offering a two-day circle skirt sewing class with Devon as the instructor, y'all better believe I was all over that like whipped cream on pumpkin pie (in other news, the hubs insists on pronouncing the word pumpkin "punkin'". This kinda makes me wanna throat punch him. In a good way.)
FYI: circle skirt blog posts require a large amount of obnoxious-faced skirt twirling. Sorry not sorry, punkin'z.
For the class, we had to bring our own fabrics so I did a lil digging in my stash and found this awesomeness. I can't recall where I got it and the salvaged edge had no markings. I settled on this print because I thought it would be the best thing for a circle skirt. You've gotta be very aware when picking a print for this kind of skirt because if it's directional, it can look kinda weird when finished. Picking a random print is the best way to go, says me. I did stitch up a circle skirt this summer with a shower curtain which you can see here
The class was a two-parter/6-hour deal. For our first class, we cut out our pattern and all of the pieces. Turns out you need a boat load of fabric for a circle skirt. It even says that on the pattern envelope: Fabric Allotment: BOATLOAD. Thankfully, I had just enough. We also learned how to stitch in a lapped zipper which was 1. Super easy because Devon explained it so well and 2. Super cute! Way better than my zipper-install method which involves Scotch tape. Don't judge, y'all. I told you I'm self-taught and full of half-a##-ery!
During the second session, we created the waistband, attached that and hemmed the skirt. Which, by the way, if you've never hemmed a circle skirt, takes for freakin'-ever. But after that, it was complete! Me and the two other sweet ladies taking the class were so thrilled. We couldn't stop holding our skirts up to our waist and twirling!
In other not-related-to-the-skirt news, I had to cancel my travel plans this week. This sweet little girl had a spooky episode on Friday night that left us afraid to leave her alone. She seems back to normal and better now...but she did have us scared! 
We've had Asha since she was a kitten (her mama gave birth to her on our bed...my side, of course. That was a delightful moment, ahem.) She's 14 now which is hard to believe. She still thinks she's a kitten and so do we. If y'all have pets you know they are family. It's so hard to see them not their normal happy selves!
 I mean...
 Who else is gonna critique my outfit, right?!
Special thanks to Craft South and Devon Iott for the great sewing class, I can't wait for the next one!

I'll be back with y'all next week for my latest stitched dress-terpiece as well as some videos on teaching kiddos how to draw winter animals! 
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

DIY: Pencil Inspired Dress

Well, would you lookie here, I finished my Halloween costume! I know, I know, I'm a lil late to the party (wait, there was a party?And I wasn't invited?! Story of my life, y'all). But I actually like to think that Halloween and the wearing-of-costumes is something that should be celebrated all year long. Kinda like my birthday. Or that part in Christmas where people give me stuff. A daily birthday/present-opening/costume-wearing celebration would be fine by me. We'll call it "Everyday Give Cassie Stuff And Wear a Costume". Or something. It's a working title so I'm totes open to ideas.  
While you're shopping on Amazon for my prezzies (I created a wish list to make your life easier because I'm a considerate soul), lemme chat for a minute about this here dress. I got the idea into my head about a year ago to create this pencil-tasticness. I don't know if you are like this but when I get an idea, one of two things usually happens: I act on it right away, despite having a messy house, a missing cell phone, a mountain of other projects and probably a misplaced sandwich or three. OR, as in this case, I sit on the idea for a while, let it germinate (read: I procrastinate because figuring out making something is sometimes hard when you are thick between the ears) and then, one morning having woken up with a wild hair or three, decide to act on it with rick-rack-less abandon. 
Now for me, the best part of coming up with a new idea is shopping for the supplies. Which proved to be a pinch difficult in the case of this dress. My first order of business was finding big a## rickrack which, by the way, I DON'T recommend you do a google image search for. Ahem. I still wish I could have found an even bigger rack (double ahem) but this one did just fine. I also struggled finding a woodgrain fabric as I believe Kelly from the Deli was using it all for her runway collection (that joke was strictly for the PR fans out there. Holla!). Seriously tho, I ended up having to sacrifice a perfectly decentish wood grain skirt that I purchased from Target years ago. You can see it in it's former life in this post

Part of the inspo for this dress came from the pattern seen above. When I first used this pattern I thought the sleeves were just so crazy big like some sort of bat wings. I mean, I liked the dress and all but the sleeves were so stinkin' big that I kept seeing them out of the corner of my eye and smacking myself imagining there was something on me. Which FUR REALZ makes you look like a crazy person, slapping your own self silly. You can see that dress here.
(P.S. I'm totes awares that this here paragraph is centered while the others are not. Blogger has decided that despite my numerous edits and grumblings that this here para shall be centra-fied. So just deal, y'all.)
The hem of the skirt had to come up a lot to account for the fabric needed for the sleeves. I picked up a pink crinoline from Amazon to hide the fact that my skirt isn't art teacherin' length appropriate. As if ANY of my wardrobe is art teacherin' appropriate. 
And, like, I have no idea how it happened but this dress is one tight mother-lover. Well, I DO know what happened, I'm not detail oriented, totes screwed up my measurements and ended up with a dress so form fitting that I can only manage to squeak into a sports bra when wearing it. Not to mention that the only zipper I had on hand was one that is 18" which means I get to do my most embarrassing contortionist performance whilst getting dressed. There's a lotta of naughty words dropped putting this thing on as you can imagine.
While sewing away, I started toying around with one of the sleeves before sewing it in and thought, "this might be the wine talking but wouldn't this make a super awesome pencil-tastic hat?!" (note to self: the reason my measurements were prolly off...wine talking.)
Sewing that up wasn't too bad as I actually just used the sleeve pattern with some of the "lead" stitched to the top. The lead of the pencil is ACTUALLY yellow...til the hubs walked in and said, "shouldn't that pencil led be black?" and I was all, "UGH. WHERE WERE YOU 15 MINUTES AGO, BRUH?!" So for a quick fix I just wrapped this gray linen around the top. 
And there you have it! One ever-so slightly belated Halloween pencil-inspired costume complete! 

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #150

 Monday Selfies: So several of my classes are still deep in self-portrait land. To celebrate the occasion of drawing the best looking kids we know (ahem, ourselves), I wore this lovely sweater that a sweet friend gifted to me several years ago. As crazy as it sounds I'd only mustered up the courage to wear this bad boy THIS WEEK.  After removing the shoulder pads, that is. And I have no idea why! The kids loved it and it was a great topic of discussion. Silly me. sweater: Michael Simon, thanks, Ann!; dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; blue tights and hot pink fishnets: Target; shoes: Clarks

Well, here 'tis. The 150th What the Art Teacher Wore post. I really thought y'all were gonna throw me a surprise party with cuppie-cakes and those cans of "beans" where snakes pop out. Because those get me every.time. Actually I contemplated for a hot minute about doing something extra special here on el bloggo but then I started thinking about cuppie-cakes and snake-bean-can-thingies and got all sorts of distracted. Big surprise, amirite?

In other news, don't hate, but I have exactly 4.5 days until Thanksgiving Break! Which, for me, means a whole freakin' week off! Thankful? You betcha! Like, when I was a kid, we got Thursday and Friday off and it usually entailed makin' the rounds to the grandparentals house for weird a## food like congealed salad and mystery stuffing covered in even more mysterious gravy. {Shivers}. I don't miss the culinary disasters of those days. I do miss my grandparentals thou, hold the gravy. Really, grandma, I'm full. I honestly don't think I can spit anymore into my napkin. 

On that delightful note, I hope y'all have a fab-o week! Be sure to pop back by on Tuesday as I FINALLY finished my Halloween costume (shuddup). If you follow me here, you've seen glimpses of the pencil-tasticness that I managed to wrap up this weekend. Also I'll be back with a quick video tutorial on how to teach 3-D lettering to your under-10 kiddos. Until then, stay away from that mystery gravy, y'all! NO ONE HAS SEEN GRANDPA FOR DAYS. Just.Sayin.
 In case you need a closer look at the awesomeness. The kids loved the different images and, of course, it was a great segue into Pop Art. My third graders are currently creating superhero selfies and learning all about Lichtenstein, Warhol and Pop Art. 
 Of course, there's always that one rando class that's a millennia behind. Case in point: this fourth grade class wrapping up their It's Okay to be Different selfies (so I can finally work on that mural, y'all!). This artist told me, "I wanted my self portrait to have those eye-thingies like you have!" Eye-thingies, cat-eyes, you say tomato, I say shuddup. 
 Mad Mod Tuesday: This dress was a super big hit, y'all! I'm so glad I procrastinated cleaning the house for yet another day (er, week) to bust out this number. I do have to say that the kids were even more curious about the boots (we learned the monkey and the mashed potato to celebrate the awesomeness that is The Boots) and my tights. Most asked question of the day: Where did you find two-toned tights? Answer: I didn't. I'm actually wearing two pairs of tights and awkwardly tucking one leg. You see? It's really best you don't ask. dress: made by me, more here; boots: thrifted vintage
 Most of my younger artists wrapped up these selfies this week and we started hanging them in the halls. Don't tell but this one is secretly my fave. Lesson details here
 Onomatopeia Wednesday: The first phase of my third graders super hero selfies is that they have to come up with an onomatopoeia, draw it in block letters, 3-D-ize it and add it to an action-packed background. Teaching the under-10 set how to draw in 3-D is a challenge but I think I figured it out. Stay tuned for a video clip all about the process later next week. sweater: Target, last year; dress: Buffalo Exchange; tights and fishnets: Target; Frye boots: Journeys
 Sew Happy Thursday: My Thursdays are my busiest days class-wise. But, no bother, I had a sewing class at Craft South with Miss Make that I was super stoked about! We're working on a circle skirt with a lapped zip and I'm thrilled with how easy it is. Which is only the case because Devon is an excellent teacher. I'll be sure to share my circle skirt with you once it's complete. sweater: felted by me! More here; dress: anthro; necklace: The Paper Source
 Happy Mixed Pattern Friday!: Okay, don't judge but this week, I totally busted out my Christmas decor. I'm just so excited! I'm slowly weeding out my non-vintage dec for vintage and I'm so happy with how everything is looking. I'll be sure to share with y'all soon. I NEVER decorate for the holidays before Thanksgiving, just so you know. But the level of excitement just was too much for me not to bust out the Kitsch-mas! dress: Plato's Closet with leopard print added by me; belt and crinoline: Amazon; scarf: Charleston market
 Turns out someone else was equally excited about the vintage decor. Asha immediately made a bed for herself in front of the color wheel as soon as I set up the tree skirt. 
Fingers crossed she doesn't take out any of my Shiny Brites like she did last year. Behave, kitty! 
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