Showing posts with label Kandinsky dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kandinsky dress. Show all posts

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 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'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!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

DIY: A Kandinsky-Inspired Dress, Part 1

I have officially gone off the DIY deep-end. I mean, I always knew I had a lil bit of trouble with focus  (if you read any of my posts for more than five minutes AND are able to follow the three different tangents I have constantly running, you deserve some sorta metal. Although metals are overrated, doncha think? You deserve a lifetime of chocolate. Or maybe a chocolate metal! Which, by the way, I don't recommend wearing on a hot day. Cuz people look at you real funny like when you're caught licking melty brown stains off your clothes. Not that THAT'S ever happened to ME. Ahem.) Er, wait. What was I talking about?! Oh, yeah. Focus. Or lack thereof, in this case.

At last count, I had about a dozen DIY's in progress. I keep starting another one then another one then, you guessed er, another-freakin-one. It's pretty much ridiculous. But when I get an idea, especially one that I'm excited about, I get this urge to start it right away. You know, before the excitement fades and I never get around to creating. So, like, I've got 99 craft projects but a completed one ain't 1. Well, that is, until this weekend when I forced myself to sit down, focus for more than five minutes and finish this Kandinsky-inspired number.
I was inspired to make a Kandinsky-dress for a coupla reasons. Our local art museum, The Frist Center for Visual Arts is having a great big exhibit of dude's work this fall/winter and I plan to take the kids field trippin'. Ole Kan's also been one of our weekly Artist Inspirations and an influence on some of our Dot Day projects. He's, like, kinda a big deal in my art room. So, despite a kindergartener telling me today, "Mrs. Stephens, you have too many art dresses!", I decided to make Kandinsky's Composition VIII into a dress.

Now, y'all might recall that last school year, I got it in my big-fat-Bump-it-wearing-head that I should make an artist-inspired dress a month. Before I go any further with this Kandinsky-can-can, I thought I'd (re)share these lil numbers with ya. 
My very first ever art-inspired dress was that Hokusai Great Wave number. Then I scored some splatter-tastic fabric online and stitched up that Jackson-Pollock frock on the right.

One of my fave ways to alter a dress is with appliqué. For both of these dresses, I cut out the letters/shapes, attached them to the fabric with a wee bit of Stitch Witchery (which is like iron-on glue for fabric) and then used an appliqué stitch around the edges. I'm not gonna lie, stitching the Warhol dress was a huge drag but the Magritte birds were a snap. 

These two dresses, like the one I'm sharing today, were needle felted. And I think that spending a coupla back to back hours hunched my Kandinsky dress could explain the unpleasant pain I've had in my neck all day (hello and thank you, Advil). That Starry Night light up number took a while but The Scream took For-Eve-RRR. I really was screamin' for mercy in the end.
But enough about all that, let's talk about this wackiness, ermkay? So I'm kinda on this 80's revival kick right now. All the fun and funky florescent clothing and accessories I've been seeing around lately have really been makin' me happy. Not to mention inspiring me. So when I got the sudden notion that I needed a Composition VIII dress, I drug the hubs down to ole Target, snagged this dress and that belt from the clearance rack and set to work. 
Now, usually, I just create what I like to refer to as "Reverse Mullet Dress"es. You know, party in the front, all biznatch in the back. Howevers, with this dress, I had to make it 360 crazy. I mean, there's just so much happening in that Kandinsky painting...and I wanted to include it all. However, when doing so, I had to be very careful with what shapes I placed near the rear. I mean, I didn't want some huge target on my tush. I don't need to tempt the kids to take aim on me anymore than they might be inclined to, know-what-I'm-sayin?
Oh, that Kandinsky. Do you know the guy didn't take up painting until he was, like, 30? That's about the same time I took up sewing. And look! He became "the Father of Abstract Painting" and I became, um, "that Crazy Lady who Dresses Weird." 
Oh! Here's a lil look at the dress before. It is a lil on the short side so that's part of the reason I'm wearing the crinoline underneath. I'll probably wear a black t-shirt under the dress when I wear it to school so as not to frighten the children with my bat wings.

Now I've shared with ya all the deets of needle felting before (and if you need a refresher, you can visit here) so I won't go into it too much. I did my usual trick of sketching out my design in chalk before attaching with the wool roving.
Hubs walked in and was all, "why are you using such a small tool? Don't they make bigger ones?" I told him yes AND that they also make a needle-felting-MACHINE! "Why don't you have one?!", because you've not bought it for me yet, I replied while batting my eyes. All I got was a "huh". So much for that idea! I really do need to upgrade my needle tool though. Geesh.
So much for following my lines. I mean, I really coulda gone without drawing them. It is abstract. I don't know why I was trying to be such a stickler. 
Yay! Kandinsky-ness, complete! But, even before this dress was done, I got the grand idea for THIS NEXT Kandinsky dress:
That's right. In true "oh, look, squirrel!" fashion, I got the idea for this dress, shoved Composition VIII to the floor and dove into felting this guy. I just happened to have this little black thrifted dress in the back of my closet waiting to be DIY'ed. Now, the only prob I've found with felting this dress is making it so it doesn't look like a dress of areolas, ya know? Like, ew.
And there you have it! Another artist dress complete. I cannot wait to be the giant dork that I am and wear this to the Kandinsky exhibit. Cuz you know I totally will. Until next time, y'all!

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