Showing posts with label art clothes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art clothes. 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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Sunday, August 19, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #202

 First Day of Art, 2018! I had to wear this costume I scored from Amazon. Y'all, it's THE WORST COSTUME. If you follow me here, then you saw what a limp (ahem) paintbrush I had. I seriously had to clip a small hole in the brush and insert a thin dowel rod into it. As for the palette, it is too small (it IS a kid's costume so there's that) and I'm not even sure if I'm wearing it right. No matter tho, the kids LOVED it!
Happy first week of school with kiddos to me! To celebrate, I thought I'd share my school photo from third grade. This is pre-glasses and pre-(much needed)braces. I'm obviously channeling the sister-wife look with my Holly Hobby get up (you 80's kids know the reference) and my long hair. Can you believe that blonde? I'd love to have that cornsilk hair again!
My week back was filled these rules and routines and this Getting to Know You sculpture lesson. It was a super week back and I'm excited to start next week!
 For my older students, next week will be their second art class...for my littles, it will be their third and fourth. This coming week will be our last to work on our sculptures before each grade level dives into their start of the school year projects. Brace yourself, we are going to be doing some exciting things.


But I'm pretty sure they'll be exciting. I hope. And pray. 
Wore my Coloring Book Dress this week. It's crazy to think that the kiddos who colored most of this dress, who were in kindergarten at the time, are now in 3rd grade! I love wearing this dress and hearing them remember laying on this fabric while it was on the floor and coloring all over it. The fabric is from IKEA and we used fabric markers. 
 I was super thrilled, humbled and excited to be featured in Scholastic Teacher's Cool Teachers feature. I'm far from cool but I was stoked that they think I am. Thank you so much, Scholastic!
 Each year, I try to make a Back to School Dress...and, sadly, this year, I totally dropped the ball. Why? What's wrong with me? Honestly, I think that summer went to fast and the school year started too soon. Can I get a do-over? When's fall break again? This one was made a couple years ago from a pattern I've not repeated. Those giant shoulder wing things were a one time deal. 
 With all the kiddos doing sculptures my art room is quickly becoming a land mine of sculptures. I'm all WATCH YOUR STEP, PEOPLE to anyone who dares walk around my room. 
 So I'm trying a couple new classroom management thingies this year and this is one of 'em. I plan to share my fave management techniques this week, right here, so stay tuned. For now, I'm just sharing a snapshot...any guesses how I plan to use this?
 I can't even explain the face other than I was born with it. This dress was created from my all time favorite IKEA fabric. A sweet art teacher sent me a remnant and I created a dress with every scrap! More details here
 Mid-way through the week, I switched the background paper to black and I'm LOVING it. I plan to display these in a checkerboard pattern and I'm beyond excited.
 I have an ever-growing list of things I wanna do/try/work on/expand upon this year. Growth mindsets is at the top of my list. I'm re-reading The Growth Mindset Coach and loving it. This month, we've got a mantra to kick things off. 
 I realized after wearing this dress that it's pretty much like Art Teacherin' Camo...I nearly blend right in with my art room. Also...if you know me at all, you know I don't love washing my hair. It takes time that I'd rather spend sleeping in! So on this particular morning, I decided to just do a half bun thing or...what I decided to dub...
 My Art Teacherin' Mullet: business in the front, party in the back. After getting to school, and seeing myself in the mirror, I realized I was channeling my inner Jonathan van Ness and okay with that!
After a week of school (and MAYBE dealing with this!), Mitch and I took a quick trip down to Disney for their Not-So-Scary Halloween event. Halloween is our FAVORITE time of the year so we hit the parks a lot. It was so much fun and nice to get away for a hot minute. Back to reality tomorrow. I've got lots coming your way next week so be sure and pop back by!
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Saturday, January 2, 2016

DIY: 15 Favorites of 2015

So I totes wasn't gonna do one of those look-back blog posts as I've done in the past (2012, 2013, 2014) because, I dunno, I had it in my silly lil teased -n- hairspray'ed head that nothing mucho grande had happened in 2015. Until I got all sentimental last night, ventured back in time on el bloggo and discovered that all sorts of shiz went Downtown Julie Brown. And, thusly, I created this super self-indulgent 15 Faves of 2015 for your reading pleasurement. Enjoy and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May it be your very best year yet! 
1. I got to interview Tim Gunn! So I didn't necessarily put this list in favorites order, however, I will say that spending an hour on the phone with the One and Only Tim Gunn was truly a magical experience and my numero uno fave thing of 2015. Special thanks to SchoolArts Magazine for arranging the interview. You can read the 'view in it's unedited entirety here
2. I turned the Big 4-0! Honestly, turning 40 was much easier on me than turning 39. And, let's face it, I don't look a day over 36 so it's all good. I was surprised to find this greeting me on the first day of my forties...
Along with a wheel chair, black balloons and streamers. It took me a while to figure out just who dunnit (turns out my senility has already set in) but it was my buddy Officer Graham, the super duper SRO officer at my school. It truly made my day. 
3. The kids created collaboratives to beautify the school! I've really been riding the School Wide Collaborative train for some time now and I love it (you can read a big fat blog post about SWC's or "schollabs" as I call them here). One creation which was completed this year was out Johnson Elementary has Heart mural with a wee heart created by each child in the school. It proudly hangs in our front office! 
Another schollab was our Village of Kindness installation piece which was home to a town of houses where each door opened to reveal a positive message on the inside. 
My second grade students also worked together to create an installation piece of butterflies! We created these on ceiling tiles and they now flutter down the halls of our school. 
My first graders learned about Henri Rousseau at the start of the school year and created this jungle-y mural that now hangs from floor to ceiling outside of my art room. Which just helps all who enter know: It's a Jungle in Here! 
And, lastly, several grade levels worked to create this backdrop for our winter music program! What I love about this big ole piece is now that the program is over, it hangs in the hallway to brighten up these short cold days. 

4. Barney Saltzberg, author of Beautiful Oops, visited my art room! Y'all. This truly was a surprise and a treat. I'd been chatting with my friend Mark Meckel about Barney visiting my room when he was in town. Y'all might remember that my students had the chance to sing and record the song It's a Beautiful Oops in Mark's studio last year. So it was super fun to have him come, create art and read his book to the kids!
Then they all made beautiful oops-y artwork with him! It was such wonderful memory I'll never forget!
5. I was named elementary teacher of the year for my district and the mid-state region. It's super awesome to be recognized by the teachers who you work with and admire everyday. It's even more awesome when your district recognizes your hard work and names you elementary teacher of the year for the district! And then the paperwork begins. I made it through several rounds (and endless edits) and was just a stage away from the final nine before they found out I was a total hack and cut me from the lot. C'est la vie, y'all! 
6. I stitched 16 art teacherin' ensembles! Okay, it was actually a couple more than that but these 16 fit so nicely together I just went with that number. I did have 8 snow/sew days thrown in there which meant endless days of just me, pj's, coffee and my sewing machine. I am sad that I drifted away from my goal of sewing up a dress inspired by a masterpiece every month (in this collection, I only see the Mondrian and two Monet dresses) so I hereby resolve to get back to that! From left to right: Scribble Scrabble Dress, The Artsy Sew Along Skirt, The IKEA Fabric Portrait Dress; The Mondrian Dress
The Colored Pencil Dress, The Stroke of Genius Dress, The I'm-a-Pencil! Dress, The Marker-Tastic Art Teacherin' Dress
The Anna Maria Horner Circle Skirt; The Standard-ized Dress-ting,   The Dress that will Leave You in Stitches, The Pencil Print and Peter Pan Collar Dress
The Palette Dress and Purse, The Shower Curtain Circle Skirt, Summery Monet Dress, A Waterlilies Dress
 7. I attended NAEA in New Orleans! First of all, New Orleans is just so stinkin' fun. I'd never been before and to be there with a bunch of other art teacherin' types was just about the best thing every. It's the one time of year I get to see some of my fave art teachers from far away like Laura of Painted Paper and Nic of Mini Matisse
I had the chance to present a handful of times on such topics as blogging, needle-felting, publishing and my crazy art teacherin' ways. My favorite part, aside from catching up with friends, was attending workshops and learning from some seriously awesome art educators. 
 8. The kids helped a family in need! Teaching compassion has fallen by the wayside in our classrooms and I can only blame that on the over-testing of our students and over-stressing of our teachers. I try to do some sort of give-back art project each year. When my students were talking about an apartment fire that effected one of our families, I knew we could do something to help. 
So my third and fourth grade students created Houses to Help that we sold to the teachers in the lounge! It was a huge hit, helped out and taught my students the power of art. 
9. I taught classes at The Frist Center for Visual Arts! One of my fave places in all of Nashville-land is The Frist. I love taking classes there and, of course, taking in the fab-o exhibits. When I got the opportunity to lead a couple of classes there this summer and fall, I jumped at the chance!
I taught a workshop both for art teachers and artsy folk. Both were all about needle felting...and in one workshop we made needle felted postcards that we sent to loved ones! It was so much fun hanging out with (and learning from) so many creatively minded folk. 
10. I spent a week of my summer with Laura Lohmann of Painted Paper! If y'all have been around this blog long enough, then you know I spend a week of my summer attending THE BEST professional development around: Tennessee Arts Academy! This summer my buddy Laura was one of the instructors and we had the biggest fun!
You can check out all of the exciting and fun art-room-friendly projects we created here
 11. I did a coupla with the heartbreakers from AOE Live! Oh, this was a fun one -- my time in the AOE Live pod cast spotlight with Tim and Andrew! We had a great time talking about passion and, of course, fashion. I kept good on my promise to make the two dudes bedazzled ties (okay, it was supposed to be khakis but I ain't got enough bedazzles for that!). You can catch all the AOE Live podcasts here, y'all!
Buh-ling, y'all. 
The other podcast I did was with Heidi Easley, artist and teacher behind this blog! It was so fun chatting with her about staying creative while creatively teaching creativity. BOOM. I just conjugated "create" three times. Take that, Shakespeare. 
12. With the help of many parent volunteers, our school celebrated another year of awesome art making at our annual art show! I'm just gonna say it: there would be NO art show without my fabulous parent volunteers! AND my crazy mama who drives the long 7 hour drive each year to help out and be there for moral support (thank you, mom!). I wrote my top 10 art show tips here
 13. The kids created clay masterpieces! The kids really churned out a ton of clay projects this year but, sadly, I didn't do the best job blogging about it (or snapping photos, what?!). However, I did chat about this kindergarten bird project here
First grade fish and sea sculpture project here
And these third grade flower sculptures here
 14. I took several artsy/craftsy classes and loved it! If I'm not teaching a class then I wanna be taking a class. I love taking classes at The Frist and this hat making workshop was easily my favorite
Our instructor, Mark Sloniker is incredibly talented, creative and patient. 
Another awesome class I took at The Frist with some of my fave artsy friends was this printmaking class lead by the genius minds behind Sawtooth Print Shop
I made these tiki head prints and now I'm dying to host a tiki party so I can use these bad boys as my invites. Who's in?
My other fave class-taking destination? Craft South. I took this simple top making class with my buddy Bethany and we had so much fun. Being self-taught, I love to take sewing classes so I can undo all of my bad habits and learn me some new ones! I've now made several versions of this wee top, it's that easy! 
15. I spent time hiking, traveling and watching Downton Abbey with this dude and loving it! We've done our share of hitting the road this year but probably our favorite was our annual trip to the Smokies for Christmas. On this trip, we discovered this abandoned resort town that I cannot wait to show you photos from, it is beyond crazy/awesome/creepy! 

Welp, I guess that just about wraps up 2015 for me! What was your fave memory? AND what are you most excited about for 2016? I have some seriously exciting things in the works that I can't wait to share with you! Until then...
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