Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY: The Crazy Art Teacher

Gah, all too often I see these photos of myself and have Senior Class Photo Flashbacks. Hand on hip? Check. Smirky "I'm about to Take on the World" face? Check. Unfortunate hat choice? Hey! I'm a crazy art teacher, I'm entitled to a fashion faux pas! (okay, check).
 Yeah, yeah, I know. I've finally done it: I've crossed the threshold from quirky art teacher to full blown jean-jumper, thematic-sweater-vest, Keds-and-ankle-socks madness. You saw the warning signs what with the Painted Jean Dress, the Pencil and Notepad Skirt, not to mention the Pencil Shoes! But did you do anything about it? Did you step in, pull me aside, gently attempt to remove the rainbow hat from my head? Um, no. You didn't. So who's to blame here, people? I mean, really. I'd hold up a mirror but I don't think you'd be able to see it.
Although if we're really gonna point fingers, I gotta blame the librarians of the world and their Read Across America Week (hey, art teachers, we need an Art Across America Week! Let's start one, 'kay?). If you're not familiar, it's this week long thingie that involves reading (um, duh) and, for some reason, dressing silly. Crazy Hat Day just so happens to be one of those days.

Now the aforementioned Rainbow Hat I wore last year is a tough one to top but after sharing this Christian Dior palette hat last week, I got to thinkin': I can make this hat! Kinda!
I just so happened to have this hole-y (not to be confused with holy) beret in my stash of wacky hats that the kids wear when they pose for each other during impromptu drawing sessions (along with a sombrero, a knight's helmet and an ship captains hat. Ah, the treasures of a hoarder). I thought the creme color would make for the perfect background for my paint palette.
This was probably the easiest and fastest DIY to date. I just laid out wads of felt roving and proceeded to punch away. If you'd like more details on the whole felting process, you can read about my first venture into felting-land here. And then there's the felted Put a Bird on It sweater and an Anthropologie-inspired felted sweater here. I tol' you, I'm addicted. It's the whole stabbing and punching thing that I love. What?
Because I was stuck with the circular shape of the beret, I decided to "draw" the shape of the palette in black roving (not to mistaken for Cher's hair). You can see I drew all over my beret and then followed my line.
Have you seen this movie? Or, more accurately, have you ever seen such a beautiful woman? I can hardly focus on the plot because Faye Dunaway's gorgeousness just prevents it. Such a stunner.
As I was punching away on the finishing touches of my beret, it reminded me of Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Bonnie Parker. You know, that whole beret-wearing vintage look. And, since you weren't around to stop me, it was then I decided I needed an entire Bonnie and Clyde/Crazy Art Teacher outfit. 
"Hey! Bonnie! Over here! What do you think!? Can I join the Barrow Gang now or what? ...hello? Maybe I'll just come back when you're not holding a gun, ermkay?"

I started with this too-long/too-boring tweed skirt that'd been in my closet since...I dunno, my first year teaching? Which was like 15 years ago or something ridiculous like that. And that ain't nuthin cuz I still have my high school prom dresses and my first mail-order clothing purchase from ninth grade. I like to think of my closet as being akin to Hotel California. Clothing, you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave! (P.S. I've not forgotten my promised closet tour's coming).

After sketching out my tweedy art teacher skirt, I zipped over to the local craft place for sheets of colorful felt at $.34 a piece. After cutting them out, I used an applique stitch to add the "paper" to the crayon as well as those black designs that makes a Crayola crayon recognizable from it's lamer, waxier counterparts.
The finished crayons along with my original sketch.

You know I'm all about the applique. It was my Numero Uno fave way to reinvent an outfit until I discovered felting. Like I always tell ya, your machine can do this: set it to the zigzag setting, set the the zigs wide (I have a computerized sewing screen and I use the number 6) and the spacing close (I set my spacing at .5 which creates a solid line of zigs). This is the same method I used for my Pencil Skirt, my Rock Star Apron and, most recently, my Fulla Hot Air Dress.
Once the crayons were appliqued to the skirt, the felting began. If you are an art teacher then you know the study of lines is muy importante. I decided to have each crayon scrawl a different line onto my skirt. I think this will be fun to wear at the beginning of my line lessons. If you look closely, you'll see I drew the lines onto the skirt with white chalk.
I decided to only have lines at the bottom of the skirt on the backside. Cuz all ya'll know horizontal lines across the toshie woulda just been bad.
What do you wear with a crayon skirt? Why crayon shoes, of course!
AND there you have it. When I stepped out of my bathroom in this look the other day, hubs took two steps back and grabbed the door frame. I mistook this for a "whoa, mama" move. 

Me: Well! What do you think?
 El Hubbo: Is this what you've been working on?
Me: Yeah! What. Do. You. THINK?!
Hubs: Um. I don't think I like it.
Me: WHAT?! Look at this outfit, it's amazing! Why don't you like it?
Hubs: It looks like a costume.

Which is precisely what it is. The Crazy Art Teacher Costume. All yours for five easy payments of $19.95. Shipping and handling not included.


  1. You are amazing! I mean that in a good way. :D

    1. yes... I agree.. today 23rd of January I discovered you.. and I'm fascinated ... I hope this year I will be the art teacher in a school in texas.. and I would love to be so passionated for that as you are!! Ijust love your creativity!! God Bless you

  2. I agree! You are amazing with that sewing machine! Once you start felting you can't stop!!!! Crayons, palette, I love the entire outfit!!!! Keep on creating! :)

    1. Aw, thanks! I've learned that, when used incorrectly, you can do many a wacky things with a sewing machine ;)

  3. First time commenter, long time lurker, but just wanted to say that this is hilariously awesome. Like, seriously - you really look fabulous, I love it!

    1. Yay for first time commments! Thank you for reading and commenting, that means a lot to me :) Now as for encouraging my behavior... ;) Just kidding, I appreciate your kind words!

  4. Love your outfit!
    You are so's wonderful!

  5. Anonymous2/22/2013

    Hi Cassie, we liked your outfit so much, we just had to share your blog post!

    Maryellen, Arts & Activities Magazine

    1. Wow, that just made my day, thank you for letting me know :)

  6. OMG! LOVE!!!! I do custom shoes, so this is so me! I need to check your posting on felting. No clue how to do it.

    1. Oh, I've gotta check out your shoes!

  7. Do you still have the hat? I would love to purchase for a crazy hat day for my daughter. I am not as creative as you, amazing!

  8. look really cute miss


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