Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY: A Kandinsky-Inspired Dress, Part 2

'Kay, so when I decide to quit art teacherin' and become a Big Time News Anchor, this will be my promo shot. My tag line will be sumpin like, "Cassie Stephens...where there's news, she'll find it (especially if it's celebrity gossip as she's exceptionally shallow). Where there's sports, she'll report it (for example, the fine sport of sniffing out sales at Anthropologie). And where there's unfortunate fashion choices, She'll. Be. There." Eh, whatevers. Maybe I'll just stick to art teacherin'. 
I may or may not be a totes glutton for punishment. Just when I was No Where NEAR the finish line with my first Kandinsky frock, I up and started a second one. You know, because needle felting for hours on end totally wasn't to blame of the pain in my neck (erm, no, that'd be the hubs) and the  reason I couldn't turn my head without rotating my whole body. You know, classic Terminator style. Every time I turned in such a way in art class, I'd widen my eyes and say in my worst Austrian accent, "I'll be back." To which my humorless students just replied, "huh?!" It's so sad when a comic genius like myself goes unappreciated on a daily basis. But I digress.
In case you missed it, that's last week's Kandinsky can-can on the left. Both were made from Target dresses. I scooped up the white one from the clearance rack along with the hot pink belt. The LBD was a thrift store/Target label find. Personally, I'm more of a fitted bodice, puffy skirt kind of girl so I like the fit and finish of the one on the left better. Howevers, I do love how they look side by side, such a contrast of crazy.

I mightah mentioned that Kandinsky is coming to our local art museum The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Where I will be taking some kids field trippin and where I will be wearing one of these crazies. Or both. Every good field trip deserves an outfit change, amiright? "Excuse me, Mrs. Museum Docent, mind if I leave you with all 80 of these angelic children whilst I slip into Kandinsky Can-can Number 2? And by "Number 2", I don't mean I'll be, like, number 2-ing, I'm just going to change. Into my second dress. OH FORGET WHAT I JUST SAID...[slow turn of entire body toward docent] I'LL. BE. BACK."

To which the docent will laugh uproariously because she will have a perfectly wonderful sense of humor. Unlike some under-10-ers I know. Humph.
Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913. While I was working on this dress, I definitely had a "favorite square". I'm in love with the one in the second row, second from the left. That sea foam-y turquoise color is my fave...as you can tell from the painting in the background behind these snapshots. Is there one that you are drawn to? 

So in my sewing room, I actually have a stash of thrifted clothing that is just waiting to be DIY'ed. Some of it is tattered and some of it is boring (by my tacky standards). And I can't seem to part with 'em because for me, they're like blank canvases. Which makes me sound artsy and uppity when I'm really closer to fartsy and shluppity (I've no idea what that means and yet it describes me perfectly). What I'm trying to say is that I'm a hoarder with benefits. The benefit being that when I get an wild and wacky idea, I usually have the crapola on hand to make it happen. 
Like this Lil Black Dress. Or Lil BLANK Dress as I like to call it. It's a funky little number with a peebled pleather neck and cap sleeve and a rectangular panel of fabric down the front. I'd originally bought it cuz I thought it looked classy. And then promptly never wore it because, well, it looked classy. When I pulled it outta the hoarder heap, I realized that the rectangular line of fabric down the front would be just the place for me to felt those concentric circles. Which, by the way, I'm hoping come across as concentric circles and not a dress of colorful nipples. Pretty please lie to me and tell me it doesn't. Puh-leeeeeease!
To start the dress, I did a lil bit of math to make it so my dress was divided into equalish squares. Then I proceeded to watch back-to-back episodes of old Project Runways and felted away. Okay, I guess I should go into a pinch more detail. I use wool roving and place a cushion inside my dress. With my little needle felting tool, I commence stabbing the roving until it came through to the other side of the fabric.
Once that color was felted in place, more was added and felted. If you're kinda new to this blog, I'm not trying to be vague about this process...it's just that I do it a lot. And I've blogged about it a lot. And made a handful of short video clips. I've also made One Million felted sweaters, dresses, even a hat. If you troll this blog for a hot minute, you'll find a million plus. 
Do ya see how simple this is? Even still, because of the translucentness (look! I invented a word!) of the roving, I did have to layer the crap outta it thus taking forever. Like everything I do. I function at a drunken and demented snail's pace, so there's that. 
Yay! Rainbow Brite Areola!
Oh, look, here you can see that faux leather detail at the top. I like that it gives the dress a tough edge.   
And there you have it! I'm saving this number not only for the art museum but also for Dot Day week. Fingers crossed I'll have at least one kid remember what a concentric circle is! Otherwise, I'LL BE BACK to teaching it. Again. 

Later, cats!

26 comments:

  1. Fantastic! Love the dress.

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    1. Thank you! I'm excited to wear it...although it is a wee bit too warm with all the wool on the inside. Hot flash much?! Thanks for your kind words :)

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  2. AH-Mazing! I can not express the love I have for this dress :) Love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing all your efforts!

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    1. Aw, thank you! And thanks for reading and taking a moment to leave a kind word. Means a lot to me!

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  3. Love the new Kandinsky dress! LOVE!!!

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  4. This dress is actually my favorite. I LOVE it!

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  5. "Rainbow Brite Areola!" I am dying. Do you need chaperones for the frist? I'm in.
    -liz willett

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    1. Liz, YES!! I'm taking 2nd grade! Yay, T'maz Willet :) That'd be awesomeness!

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  6. ErmerGerd! I love this!!!

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    1. Haha, I love that it got an "ErmerGerd" -- Day. Made. :)

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    2. Can I take a "field trip" to your closet!!????

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  7. Wowie. Best dress yet. I am a long time reader of yours, and just wanted to say how impressed and inspired I am with the balance you have between making your own art and teaching the students. Making time for it is so important, and I aspire to find the same balance in my own art teaching and making. http://mrselliottart.blogspot.com/

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    1. It's a tough balance but in all fairness, I lack three things that prevent folks from finding time: a Clean house, Cable and Children -- the Three C's, as I like to call them. Seriously, there's a reason only one bit of mi casa gets photographed! Thank you for your sweet words and for commenting, yay!

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  8. You complete me. Had to top the ermerGerd. hahah

    I was at the fair and there was this lady with her sheep selling that stuff. .. roving I think. . . and I almost bought it because you've been inspiring me with this technique. . . But reality hit, I am no Cassie and have the patience of a gnat! I think my best accessory will remain my camera:) Way to go with all these dresses. The PE teacher at my school was complimenting you the other day (she is really into the arts.) Your creativity is stretching far and wide!

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  9. Hi Cassie, I just love your blog..you make me laugh every time ( In a good way ). How do you go washing your dress with the felting, in the washing machine or are you hand washing all your felted garments?

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    1. Hi! Well....I usually spot clean. I'm thinking that dry cleaning would be best. Or hand washing. My BFF also does needle felting and she says she throws hers in the washer/dryer. So there's that!

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  10. This dress rocks! Thank you also for the book recommendations! I love printmaking unleashed. I have purchased many books in the past like it, but always been disappointed. This one was so awesome. Thank you for all the extra effort you put in on your sites, blogs, posts, movies, etc… They are FAB.

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  11. Love the dress! I have the (Ikea) print of concentric circles in my gifted classroom. I was also wondering how you wash felted dresses...question answered! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

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  12. Rainbow Brite Areola! I almost snorted in my coffee!
    Love the dress - perfect for school :)

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  13. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!

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  14. Anonymous4/18/2015

    Like it! :)

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  15. I stumbled upon one of your students' dotty creations on Pinterest, which led me here to read about your dotty day and dotty couture. I indeed had a chuckle at the Rainbow Brite Areola, and can TOTALLY relate to the drunken and demented snail's pace, because I too am a primary school art teacher and my own projects get completed at a glacial pace! I'll be tuning into your blog again, as I love to see what other Art teachers do, and you seem to be doing lots of BRILLIANT projects with your students and have such a bubbly vibe to your teaching style!

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  16. This one is good. keep up the good work!..
    Bridesmaid Dresses

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  17. Anonymous1/23/2018

    Оооочень красиво! Вы большая умничка!

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