Monday, February 16, 2015

DIY: A Mondrian Moment in Dress and Shoes

Well, kids, today is one of those days that every teacher on the planet dreams of: A Snow Day! In Tennessee that means we scored a whooping 2" of ice pellets (which, as it turns out, sounds like someone is throwing rabbit pooh at your windows all day. Not my fave sound in the world). One of the best things to do on a Snow Day is turn it into Sew Day! And that's just what I did in finishing off this Mondrian Dress-terpiece. 
 
The whole idea started when I saw this fabric and popped it into my virtual shopping cart faster than you can say, "OMG, don't you have enough fabric already?!" Answer, no. Also, if anyone ever says that to you they are: A. Being absurd. and B. Prolly your husband. So see A.
Once the fabric arrived, I set off to JoAnn's to pick up a new dress pattern. I've been using and reusing, like, the same 4 patterns and Ima starting to get a lil bored. Not that this here pattern is much of a stray from my norm. I'm all about the 1950's fitted bodice, flair skirt deal. 'Tis my fave.

I'm currently working on two other dresses from this pattern, each with a diff collar. I'm hoping to finish 'em off with tomorrow's snow day (yeppers, I scored a Snow Day Double Header, yee-haw!). I decided to go with the "stand collar" for this dress because I wanted it to have a 1960's feel. But more on that in uno momento.
Let's talk about Simplicity #2444 for a sec, kay? Do y'all sew? Personally, I love the Project Runway patterns because they come with a ton of options and are pretty stinkin' simple. Also, I secretly stalk Professor Pincushion who creates videos of many of the PR patterns and walks you through the entire dress-making process. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not even kidding. She's totes stalker-worthy.
 So, the stand collar. I know the fit and flair of this dress is mostly 1950's but I wanted a nod to the 60's. Mostly because this era of Mondrian's paintings have a super mod vibe to me. I'm happy with the collar, I think it gives this dress a bit more attitude than the no-collar version woulda had. Whatcha think? 
 So let's talk ole Mondrian for a moment, shall we? I'm gearing up to start a big fat hair Primary Colors unit with kindergarten and who better to showcase than this ole boy? What I was totes bummed to find is that there is, like, one kids book on Mondrian and I wasn't loving it. Do you all have any recommendations for me? I recall learning about Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43) in those dark and sleepy art history sessions in college. Please tell me I'm not the only one who always fell asleep and woke up with drool-soaked notes. How you gonna turn off the lights, talk in a monotone voice and not expect me to snore my way through your course?! I'm hoping to make Mondrian more 'citing for my kids.
As I was stitching up this dress, I got the idea to MOD-ify some booties (get it, MOD-ify 'em?! Sometimes my incredible sense of humor even leaves me in tears. Of sadness. That no one else is nearly as hysterically humorous as me. Ahem.) Mostly cuz I always thought that when I got around to Mondrianin' a dress (yes, now he's a verb) it would look like this 1965 Yves Saint Laurent number.

I love Yves Saint Laurent. He studied under The Greatest Designer of All Time: Christian Dior. Oh my goodness, don't even get me started on my love of Dior. It's borderline cray. But back to Laurent. This dress of his is so mod and so 1960's that I always thought it'd be the perfect thing to stitch up. The prob? I'm not a fan of the shift dress. I get it, it's comfy, it's classic. But it's just not my bag, baby. So some 1960's Mondrian-inspired booties would just have to do the trick. 
Now, before I go too much further, lemme just throw in a disclaimer: I prolly shouldn't even be showing you this here DIY. Mostly cuz I just used whatever I had on hand: booties and acrylic paint. I hear they make paint specifically for leather. And I hear you should treat your leather before painting it. I learned all this after I started painting and decided to do a lil googling. Eh, says me. Too late now. 
 This truly was a simple and speedy DIY. Just mask off some geometric shapes and start a-painting. I used a coupla coats. 
And allowed to dry before pealing off the tape. Some of the acrylic did come off with the tape (nice job, acrylic) so I did have to do some retouching but it really wasn't a biggie. 
And I was pretty psyched with how they turned out. Y'all should totally do this. Then we'll be Mondrian Bootie Twins! Wait, that doesn't sound right.
Now, as y'all might know, this isn't my first Artist-Inspired Dress Rodeo. In case you want some more, follow these linky-loos:

A Light-Up Starry Night Dress
Warhol's Soup Can Dress
Kandinsky Dress #1
Kandinsky Dress #2
The Great Wave Dress
Munch's The Scream Dress
Keith Haring Ensemble
Jim Dine Heart Dress
A Roy Lichtenstein Ensemble
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19 comments:

  1. Those shoes! I wish I could rock your wardrobe!

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  2. Damn, girlfriend; you even have cute scissors!!

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    1. Haha! Target, buddy! I had to have them :)

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  3. This one might be my favorite so far. That is hard to say because you have so many masterpieces. I love the vision of your material, shoes and even the cute sash bow. I may have to make an apron inspired by this outfit! Lovely as always!

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  4. I'd love to see your apron version! Looking forward to chatting with ya at NAEA, Nic!

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  5. Anonymous2/16/2015

    Love, love, LOVE this dress! I just started sewing so the tip of the PR patterns being easy to use and having youtube vids is great -- thanks! By the way I usually show this video when I teach my kinders about Mondrian, I haven't heard of a good book but this vid is usually a hit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSCmWnIoRpI

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    1. Ah, you'll love the PR patterns...definitely google the pattern number (i.e. "Simplicity 2444") and you'll hit video clips that will walk you thru the steps, namely Professor Pincushion. And thank you for the vid clip, I love it!

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  6. Cassie,

    I am about 3/4 of the way through my 1st year teaching art and I've been admiring your blog since the beginning! I'm hoping to make some cute get-ups like your's over the summer. Thanks for being you! :)

    Also, I'm in the middle of primary colors and Mondrian with my kindygartners right now. What a coinkydink! Here's an animation that lets the kiddos dive into Broadway Boogie Woogie:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b85UBqUy28

    Best,

    EA

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    1. Hi Emily! Congrats on being a 1st year teacher! What a hot mess I was so many years ago, I'm sure you are rockin it! Thank yo so much for the kind words and the vid clip! Gonna have to share that with the kiddos! xo

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  7. Omg, Cassie- awesome teachin' get-up you've created! Those kindergarteners will have their eyes on you for sure!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Amy! Let's hope they pay attention ;)

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  8. Loooove it! Those booties, the collar. Amazing! I have that pattern, and now might make a similar dress (well in different fabric as I'm fasting from buying fabric).

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    1. Oh, I can't wait to see what you create! And, look at you on a fabric-buying fast! Smart girl!

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  9. I'm impressed how do you find time to do this much great and creative things beside teaching :)
    Wonderful blog! Gratings from Europe :)
    http://rifatburdzovictrsonp.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aida -- Oh, this dress has been in the works for about a month! I only just now finished. The booties were a snap, they took no time at all. Thank you for reading :)

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  10. Anonymous2/18/2015

    Absolutely gorgeous ! I just starting sewing and I'll never in a lifetime have all your talent !

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    1. Hello to you in beautiful France! Oh, buddy, my sewing skills are very limited, trust me! You'll get there! I've only been stitching dresses for a couple of years and I still put in the ugliest zipper you've ever seen. Just get an easy pattern (simplicity!) and give it a go! You've got this :) xox!

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  11. I'm painting garden pots Mondrian-style. I was thrilled to find your blog. Your sewing projects are just gorgeous and delightfully creative. Your students are very lucky and indeed blessed to have such an enthusiastic teacher.

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