Sunday, February 5, 2017

DIY: the Palette Dress

If you follow me here, then you've seen the progression of what I've been calling the Palette Dress. One of the things I've been a little bummed about of late is that I've not been devoting as much time as I'd like to sewing. The last dress I stitched up was the Eyeball Dress and, while it was fun to make and even more fun to wear, it was just follow-the-pattern dressmaking. I miss creating crazy and fun ensembles like these. I long to go back to when I made the time to create monthly masterpiece-inspired dresses...but other "things" and interests have been eating up my time. One of which I can finally close the "book" on, ahem (eep! I KNOW. I'll be sharing more details to come but in the meantime, go on and get yourself that preorder copy, ermkay?). 
This past school year, I've also made a stronger effort to create quality video content both for my students...and for y'all. I have found that I really enjoy creating the videos and I am truly loving the benefit it has had on the art education of my students. I can throw so much more content, vocabulary and easy-to-see demonstrations at them. If you use the videos, I do hope you and your kiddos have found them helpful and fun.

All that to say...I miss creative sewing! So when I got the idea to create this Palette Dress, I was determined to dive right in. It all started with this pattern. 
I've had this in my (enormous) stash of vintage patterns for a while. One of my favorite bizarre pastimes is to go thru my boxes of vintage patterns, admire the illustrations on the front and imagine a dialog happening between the fine females featured. Would you like to hear this one? Like you have a choice, y'all. 

"Look, I'm not one to spread rumors, but the word is Darlene cropdusts the whole office just so she can walk around and smell her own farts."

I mean, c'mon, y'all. She's totally sniffin' somethin'!
While admiring that pattern (and dreaming up dialog), I thought what fun it might be to take that large collar and make it into a palette. So I created this sketch. And then drove to Joann's for some twill fabric and fabric paint. 
Ah, our bonus room. The Jack of All Trades room. It has served as the book-writing room, the video making room, the Facebook LIVE chat room and, as you can see, the fabric-painting room. I placed a sheet of oil cloth down on the floor before watching back to back episodes of Twin Peaks (current obsession) and going to town. 
The end result. I used Tulip brand fabric paint and even after a wash and dry, the colors remained as vibrant. 
 Stitching the dress up took no time at all. It was a super simple pattern. I'm used to dresses with breast darts, waists, gathered or circle skirts. The only "hard" part of this dress were the pleats down the front. After that, it was simply a zip, hem and sleeves (uuuuuugh, sleeves). All of which would have been less time consuming had I not been watching a cocktail of Twin Peaks, Schitt's Creek and Broad City on my craptop. Sigh. 
Then it was time to make the collar. Funny story: I LOST the pattern for the collar. That's right. LOST IT. I must have spent a horrid HOUR cleaning and looking for that doggone thing (btw, the ONLY way our house gets cleaned is if I lose something. Don't tell the hubs, he'll start hiding stuff like crazy). I never did find it. Tho it prolly doesn't help that I currently have five dress projects all over my smallish sewing room with pattern pieces scattered hither and thither (am I using that expression correctly? What is a "thither" anyway?). 
When I finally realized that I wasn't going to find the missing pattern piece until AFTER the dress was complete (cuz, let's be honest, that's how it goes), I thought, "I can do it. Pattern? I don't need no stinkin' pattern!" I did have the pattern for the interfacing. Non-stitchers, fun, boring fact: interfacing is that crapola inside your collars and whutnots that gives it structure and form. Yes, that is the accurate fashion design term. Google it, yo. Anyway, I did a wee bit of measuring and maths and BOOM! I created a detachable paint palette collar. With applique paint blobs and a thumb hole, thank you, vury much. 
Oh, what's that? 
You're wondering where my beautiful paint brush crown is from? It's from my art teacherin' friend Linda McConaughy. If y'all are going to NAEA in NYC (I'll be there, presenting 3 times, details this week!), she'll be selling her AMAZING crowns at the artisan market. 
I'm super happy with this dress. It's def not my usual fit and flair dress...but I do like the idea of an open waist (the design is actually a maternity dress and, before you even ask, no y'all!) because that means I'll have more room in my belly in NYC. Hope to see you there. If not, catch you on the flip side, y'all! 
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3 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/06/2017

    Hi Cassie,

    I love your blog and videos! My fellow high school art teachers and I are truly amazed at your creativity, ideas and energy! We have been able to get some great ideas for teaching our super amazing special education class. The abilities and levels vary from about K-5 in the class, and your lessons have been loads of educational fun for them!

    One question, do you have a blog post or video that explains your video making process? Our administration has suggested that we try filming some our lessons for either sub days or simply to ease our load of repeated lessons. We simply have no idea where to begin though. Any beginner tips would be appreciated so that we have a starting point.

    Thanks so much! And keep doing you - it's so inspiring!

    Chrissie

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  2. you are too much, what a great outfit!!

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  3. Cassie, LOVING the dress!! I totally just finished binging on Twin Peaks!! So good and weird all at the same time! Wish I could go to the NAEA, good luck!!

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