Showing posts with label applique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label applique. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2019

DIY: Applique Frida Kahlo Dress

 It has been a long time since I forced myself out of my sewing comfort zone. Like, a really long time. In fact, it's been a long time since I've even sewn anything (I blame the writing of this book for that!). Some months ago, while shopping at the fabric store, the idea to make a Frida dress came to me. I immediately pulled up the image of Frida with the green floral background and purchased all of the fabric I could in that color palette. I thought "this idea seems beyond my capabilities but if I scoop up all the supplies, I just might try it." And so I did. 
 And, hold on to your pearls, THIS BABY HAS POCKETS!
 While shopping, I also scooped up a 1960's style shift dress pattern. I knew that a simple front with no waistline would have to be the "canvas" for this kind of creation. Now, y'all know that I'm all about the needle felting...and that's normally how I while away my winter days...but something about the look I was going for said applique. So I started sketching.
 I cut out and laid the front panel of the dress out on some wrapping paper. After tracing around the pattern, I started sketching Frida. If this Frida looks familiar to you, that might be because I was referencing my Frida latch hook design. After sketching her out, the REAL fun of cutting out all of the pieces and adding the iron on backing began. 
 I have done A LOT of applique but I've never used Heat and, what?! I guess I just didn't know it was a thing! When I found it at the craft store and used it, I was like WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE ON PLANET EARTH? It's that amazing. BUT a lot of work to add to each piece. 
 Once the backing was added, then I simply laid it out and ironed in place. I thought I was doing okay...until I started the HOURS of stitching. Applique is not for the wimps, kids. 
 I went through a lot of back and forth decision making with this dress. First up: to use a floral print for the flowers or stitch flower shapes. I'm happy I went with the floral print. I did something similar with her shawl. 

Then I had to reach out to my IG fam about thread color. Initially, her face was outlined in peach...but you just couldn't see her jaw line. So I outlined just the jawline in brown...and it looked like a beard. Eventually, I seam ripped the crapola outta the thing and used dark brown for her ears, jaw and neck. And I'm happy with that. Thanks, IG fam!
 By the way, ANY machine can do this stitch. And look, the back is as pretty as the front!

 Because the stitching took so long, I totally dragged my feet on finishing! The dress pattern had a couple options for sleeves. In the end, I wanted the dress to have a fun, tropical and retro feel so I went with the sleeves with a ruffle at the bottom.
 What do I hate most about sewing? Basically everything. Is that crazy? I'm not a detail person, I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to sewing ... and these are traits a good sewist has! But what do I REALLY hate? SLEEVES, y'all. Stitching in sleeves. 
 While in sleeve denial, I strolled down applique dress lane. My first applique dress was The Great Wave. Then I did my Warhol dress, the Lichtenstein pop art number and my sweets number
 Other than the HOURS of applique, this dress was a snap to make! I love this pattern and have plans for so many more. We'll see how far I get. 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DIY: Applique Your Way into Fall

Dude. Seriously. Sometimes I just don't know when to call it quits with a DIY. I always start out with a simple idea: I'll just add a coupla flowers to my dress. Next think ya know, I'm swapping out the buttons on my cardi, adding a matching flower and topping it all off with a big fat gingham bow. The fashion police have given up on me and just planted a "condemned" sign in my craft room. Which I promptly bedazzled.
Well, fall is upon us here in Tennessee. I knew it was coming when the mornings became so crisp that the hard wood floors in our house were like walking on ice. And in preparation, I spent a good two hours over the weekend swapping out my happy summer dresses for heavier darker frocks. With my hoarder ways, it's quite the undertaking and I dread it so. Mostly because it forces me to come to terms with the fact that I have waaaay too many dresses. And sweaters. And stockings. Pants, not so much. But I digress. 

The hardest part about packing things away is what to do with the clothes that fall in the middle. You know, the ones that aren't necessarily winter or summer clothes but something in the between. Clothing limbo, so to speak. This dress DIY that I crafted last fall fits into this category.
I scooped up this retro-stylin dress from the sale rack at Urban Outfitters. And while I loved it's fit and finish, I never seemed to reach for it when it came to getting dressed in the mornings. Seemed to me that it was missing that certain je ne sais quoi (which in the Cassie translation of French means: sumthin tacky).
It's summery with it's light weight fabric but fallish with it's color palette. Seeing it in my closet reminded me that it's a DIY from last season I never shared with you. Wanna add a little something to a snooze-fest of a dress? Here's what I used:
  • One dress
  • Vintage floral fabric from the '60's
  • Black thread and an applique stitch on my sewing machine
  1. I began by cutting out a variety of flowers from the fabric. I chose a floral fabric with a color palette that I thought complimented the color in the dress.
  2. I tacked the flowers into place with some Stitch Witchery and began the slow process of using the applique stitch around the flowers.
  3. I'm not kidding, that's all I did. Which is why I absolutely love applique. You can change the look of something in just an hour. You can see more of my Applique Madness here and here  Oh! And the Rock Star apron I appliqued here.
I've had this plain brown vintage cardi in my closet for ages. Because the dress is sleeveless, I decided to create this sweater to match. I added one of the fabric flowers and swapped out the brown buttons for vintage pink ones.
Shortly after completing the dress, I  followed it up with another applique cardie. Because I'm not only a DIY-over-doer but I'm also a repeat offender. It's a sickness.
When I scored this sweet vintage dress at the thrift store, the hem was out. Way out. So, I took up the dress by several inches. This left me with fabric aplenty. So you know I had to put it to good use. Applique cardie and headband. Das right.

I've currently got another applique project underway in my sewing room. This one is inspired my students' latest art project. I can't wait to share it with you. Oh, and I've been asked by some of you just what exactly a hoarder's clothing closet looks like. Well, you asked for it. I've started snapping embarrassing photos. I'll try to get the courage up to share it with you sometime soon. Until then, go applique something!
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Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY: The 1970's Dorky Teacher Skirt

Dying for a Double DIY? Here's how to paint your own Pencil Shoes!
 This past weekend's to-do list looked like this:

1. Mow the yard...nope, didn't do it.
2. Clean the house...I danced around with the Swiffer, which counts as cleanin' in my book.
3. Go for a run...naw, no one was chasing me so, why bother?

That's all I had to do this weekend. And I didn't even manage to get 50% done. Which kinda makes me sound like a slack-tastic slug. Unless you take into consideration that I did something that wasn't even on my list: I made the World's Dorkiest Teacher Skirt. That's right. I just turned that Slack-tastic into Tacky-tastic. Because it's what I do.
Please try to ignore the dust bunnies that my Swiffer Samba didn't pick up.
It all started with this 1970's wrap skirt I picked up at Goodwill years ago. Yeah, I said years. I don't get rid of anything. In fact, when I start cleaning out, I make huge stacks of things to donate...and then refold them and place them back in my closet. Where they belong. Along with my cassette tapes, my VCR and Richard Simmons workout videos. I'd laugh with you if I wasn't crying.

How I usually go about bringing my goofy ideas to life: I start with a sketch and just dive in. I find that if I spend too much time thinking an idea through, Sane Cassie will usually come to her senses and drop it. However, if I just go at it, Crazy Cassie can sometimes make it happen. Am I really talking about myself in third person? Isn't that what Sybil used to do...?
This skirt was actually inspired by my vintage palette and rainbow wrap skirts that you can see here. I didn't make either of those but I have done my share of applique in the past (check out my Rock Star Apron). You can applique on any ole sewing machine. It's just like collage with the stitching acting as your glue.
For the pencils (because I know you are dying to get your tacky on):

1. Pin your pencil drawing to some yellow fabric (I used a mustard yellow linen) and some facing. Cut it out.
2. Cut out shapes of eraser, the pencil ferrule (what you didn't know that's what the metal thingie was called?), the wooden tip and the lead.
3. Tack shapes down with stitch witchery (non-sewers, that's this magical stuff that will adhere fabric with just the heat of an iron).
4. Set your sewing machine to the zigzag setting. Now each machine is different as far as setting go. So you may have to uproot that manual you never read and give it a peak under "applique stitching". Trust me, your machine can do this. The applique is simply a very tight zigzag stitch.
Oh, look it's The Notebook. By the way, am I the last female on the planet that hasn't seen that movie? Yeah yeah, I get it, they're wearing vintage, it's romantic and (gasp!) Ryan Gosling is in it. But I just can't handle that much sap {shivers}.
The notebook was a snap. I doubled up the white fabric and adding facing to the back. Before adding it to the skirt, I stitched on the lines for the page and the little doodled heart. Once appliqued to the skirt, I added the spiral bound rings and the lines for the sheets of paper.
Before teaching art, I thought all #2 pencils were all alike. Oh contraire mon ami. The Ticonderoga big pencils are my personal fave in the art room.
Once the notebook was attached, I appliqued on the pencils. This part took a pinch longer because I wanted to match the applique thread with the colors of the pencil. Because I'm only detail oriented when it comes to the important things. Like applique. Remembering to drop by the bank, the post office and the grocery? Um, not so much.
I know it looks like a drag, but it really was just a matter of changing the thread out. The key to a clean applique stitch is making sure that your needle zigzags from the edge of your fabric to the inside.
Does it get any dorkier? Me thinks not.
The only thing missing is a pencil hair clip. Or a pencil beret. Perhaps a pencil sombrero? Always an option.
Please tell me this isn't my fate...but if I do get an itch, it's nice to know you can still buy sweaters like this here.

Now when Crazed Cassie was in the midst of whipping up this little number, she (okay, this is weird, I'm switching to first person), ahem, I asked hubs for some advice. He's like the Tasteful to my Tacky. 

So I inquired: On the notebook, do you think I should use black thread or gray thread for the heart doodle?

Hubs: I don't think you should put a doodle on the notebook.

Moi: Well, that wasn't really the question. Black or gray was my question.

Hubs: I have an idea, how about you stitch the alphabet on it? You know, like a capital A and then a lower case a and then a B and a C?

Moi: What?! That would make it look totally tacky!

Hubs: (exasperated "I-think-you've-already-reached-that-level" look).

Really? I don't know, let's do the math:

Two pencils plus one notebook and a heart equals Pretty Stinkin' Dorky.

Add in some pencil shoes and, yep, he's right Totally Tacky.

Well, if anything, at least I'm consistent. Now! Off to make a Pencil Hat!
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