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!


  1. Anonymous9/07/2013

    Jackson Pollock is my favourite modern artist. I love your dress - so perfect!

  2. Great sewing! Jackson would love it, I'm sure. I think you ought to go with his inspiration and start numbering your art dresses this year. So I think that'll be eight more to go, Teach, but who's counting?

    Now when you get your crinoline, just do what we did back in the day and dip that whole big thing into a basin of liquid starch. It will practically walk to school without you.

    That end-of-the-day art table just says it all.

  3. love the dress, these colors look great on you.

    The wrinkles do not detract from the beauty of the dress, imo.

    The wrinkling is propably not caused by the interfacing (unless you ironed in those wrinkles on the backside by accidentaly ironing the interfacing while it creased.) To me it looks like a slight fit issue: The band looks a little bit big on you. The weight of the skirt then pulls it in wrinkles. on a next version, if you take in the sides of the waistband a little bit (maybe a little bit more at the waist then at your ribcage or hips) I think the wrinkles will dissappear.

    1. AH!! Thank you! Thinking about it, I believe you are correct. I appreciate the advide :)

  4. I've had that same problem with iron-on interfacing. I've learned never to use it with solid color fabrics because after it's washed, it always gets those wrinkles. I think some of the adhesive fails, but on printed fabrics, you can't really see it. It probably depends on the brand/quality of the interfacing, (with some working better than others), but when I interface solid fabrics, I just use sew-on interfacing to avoid that problem.

  5. Putting white cotton fabric on the tables before they paint is an awesome idea! I love how the placemats look all splattered and randomly painted after a few projects! I'm in the process of cutting up last years painting placemats for projects this year! Love the dress as always! Random comment here... at the end of last year i tried your awesome tree weaving lesson with my 3d grades but had them create a pointillism landscape for them. Huge hit! They loved it and it was just the perfect amount of weaving before they lost interest! ( I love to weave but I'm the gets bored after a few rows! ) The 4th and 5th grades were jealous! I ended up adapting it for them! Thanks for the great lesson! :)

  6. love the fabric! where did you get it or do you know who the maker is?

    1. Fabric is from think it's by Timeless Treasures, something called Splatter-something. I'll look at the salvaged edge and get back to you :)

  7. You continue to amaze me! Love the artist-dress-match plan! What other artists do you plan to honor with your sewing creativity?


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