Monday, August 12, 2013

DIY: Hokusai's The Great Wave Dress

 'kay, lemme first start by saying that I don't know what in the world kind of crazy blurry lame-o setting I put my camera on but I blame it entirely on these crazy blurry lame-o photos. And the crazy blurry lame-o photographer. Who just so happens to be me. 

That being said, look! I put a great big Hokusai wave on my dress! And take another look! At the entrance to the art room! Be sure to get a good hard look before that evil fun-hater the Fire Marshall comes and has a heart attack at all of the codes I'm breakin'. I mean, did you see the tree? And I've not even given you a complete tour of the place, complete with the hanging lanterns and wax paper umbrellas (tour post coming soon). I mean, seriously. If I don't cause the dude to go into early retirement then I'm just not doin' my job, says me. And my principal. But she says that too me all the time.
 I painted this Great Wave mural over 10 years ago for a bulletin board in my previous school. I can't believe that I actually managed to 1. not lose it; 2. not tear it up; 3. it just feels like there should be a 3 here even though I don't have a third point. I decided to hang it outside my art room because 1. there wasn't any more wall space in my classroom; 2. I was tired of seeing it rolled up and on the floor in my storage closet; 3. again, no third point but 3 was feeling left out.

 I thought the black backdrop would show off the painting a bit more than the cinder blocks. AND I also thought of the look it would put on ole Fun-hatin' Fire Marshall's face and was all, "YES, wall-to-wall paper it 'tis."
 Being the crazy person that I am, I got it in my head that I needed a dress to match our unit on Hokusai's The Great Wave. And wouldn't you know, that very day The Thrift Store Gods smiled on me and put this sweet white Target dress in my hands.
 From blah to Holy Crap, run for your lives, that wave is gonna swallow us whole!

 Just in case you wanna make a Great Wave Dress (and, like, duh, who doesn't?!), here's what I did: I began by laying out my dress and drawing my version of Hokusai's print in the size I thought would work on the dress. On the back of some wrapping paper. Because I didn't have anything else (BTW, if you are expecting a prezzie from me in the near future, be warned, it will be wrapped in a Kroger sack. I'm outta wrapping paper.)
 To create the two tones of blue in the big waves, I appliqued these teal pieces on top of the dark blue.
 I decided to use the white of the dress for the foamy part of the wave. Which meant I only had to create the blue portions of the water.
 Here you can see the white of the dress acting as the negative space. BTW, that's a kneaded eraser in the foreground. Not my chewing gum.
 Once a thousand of the world's most pokey-est of pins were put into place, the stitching commenced. Which, fyi, is no fun party when you are constantly being stabbed by said pokey-est of pins.
Once all the pieces were in place, I added the zigzag types of lines to create the waves and, viola! One Great Wave Dress complete!
Oh! By the way, I totally didn't forget about the giveaway (ha! yes, I did). So, don't you worry. I'll be announcing the winner soonish. Good news for all you slackers, there's still time to throw your name into the ring. Do it! You need crayon fabric in your life. Trust me. It makes a world of a difference (no it doesn't. Drinking does).

Chat soon, ya'll! I'm off to find out just why my photos are so crazy blurry lame-o. And possibly fire my photographer.

25 comments:

  1. You are so amazingly talented and funny! Both my girls totally want you to be their art teacher! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Oh my gosh I LOVE this dress! Especially with the little black jacket!

    I had a student teacher who taught a GREAT lesson on this painting, all about showing power and strength, and using size contrasts and directional line, etc.

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    1. Oh, I think I need to hear more about this!! Do you happen to have a blog post about it...? I might have to get you to email me some details when you have the time, sounds very cool.

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  3. Would you ever consider putting some of your dress creations on Etsy? I would LOVE to wear a masterpiece such as this in my art room...but I have no sewing skills to speak of.

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    1. I've not really thought about it...and I'm such a slow sewer I'd probably have to charge through the nose (ew, such a gross saying, sorry). But girl! C'mon! You can do this...just start very small. That's what I did :)

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    2. I try to do a little sewing...I can repair buttons, seams, and change hemlines. I read your entire blog, so I saw your journey! It was so inspirational! I hope to one day be able to make a dress from a pattern...but I'm not there yet! I was just wondering because I love the idea of owning a "Cassie Stephen's original" :)

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  4. This dress is awesome if i ever saw it!! Why could i not have a teacher like you ever??? My teachers wore sensible shoes, grey turtlenecks and never once threatened fire marshals ;) keep it up!

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    1. Well, I say if you've never made the fire marshal mad then you just aren't a very good teacher ;) Thank you for your kind words!

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  5. I think you are amazing. The mural along with the painted Windows and the tree, genius. You have created such an inspiring environment for children to learn about art in, I wish I was a pupil in your class. I'm a teacher in the UK and I teach primary which is 5 to 11 year olds. I wish you worked in my school, it would be so much fun. I love coming to your blog for ideas and inspiration that I can take into the classroom. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and for reading! That means a lot to me :)

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  6. OMG! I love this dress and that you used the white space doer the waves! Freakin brilliant!

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  7. This is so clever Cassie I love this dress

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  8. This dress is awesome. You're the queen of applique! :)

    ~Kristin

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  9. Love Hokusai, love your dress. My fire marshall is also very particular - I hope they let you slide for a while because it looks great.

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  10. Love,love,love!!! :)

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  11. I am a big fan of your DIY dresses and accessories as well as your beautiful art projects and artroom decor. This dress is phenomenal; I have appliqued on clothing in my long distance past and I know how much work it is.
    Stunned is what I am!

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  12. That is truly amazing and inspiring!!! I love your creations!

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  13. You're an artist, that's true. What a great idea to make a Great Wave Dress. I'm completely over the moon with it.

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  14. WOW girl. You're amazing. That dress is awesome and I love your Sound Machine idea for first day boring stuff. Brilliant.

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  15. OMG I use a little sound machine too. I got a particularly surly student to lighten up when I would walk past him and press the fart button. Your dress is off the hook AMAZING.

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  16. Anonymous9/25/2013

    Heat and Bond is your friend!! Iron on your appliques with no pins needed when stitching! :) This dress? Amazing!!!

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  17. hannah7/31/2015

    i thought you would appreciate this http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2015/07/31/mfa-hokusai-prom-dress/

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  18. If you are ready to part with this wave dress, I would love love love to buy it from you! Or rent it even! I’m in charge of our elementary school auction in Dallas, TX & our theme is Making Waves! This dress is perfection! I came across your blog post when searching for ideas of what to wear. Please consider ��

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)