Showing posts with label how to sew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to sew. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

DIY: A Dress for Dot Day!

Oh hey, hello and HIIIIIII! I would just like to say that I know I have officially become the World's Worst Blogger. I've gotten lame with blogging frequently (I swear to you it was on my To Do list to have at least three posts up this week and here we are at numero uno), I'm miserable at responding to comments (mostly because I'm so busy DELETING THE VIAGRA SPAM COMMENTS, like what?!) and I've just been busy. Like, I don't know how or why but my summer has become consumed with stuff that I wouldn't necessarily call fun...and it's all my own evil doing. But I promise (and I know I've been sayin' this for months) that Ima try, nay, I WILL be better. I have some big ideas in my little head and I'm excited to work them out and share them with you.

But WHATEVER. Let's talk about this dress, people!
I mean, look at that size of that circle skirt, would you?! It's just so...BIG (that's what she said! Sorry...I know the year is 2019 but I will forever be livin' la vida El Office). At the start of spring, I cut out no fewer than 8 dresses from pretty much the same pattern. I had this idea that I just might get a whole lot more sewing done if I did it in batches. You see, I already know the pattern that I love...after years of sewing dresses, I always gravitate towards the same pattern: a 1950's fit and flair. So I cut out and started stitching bunches. And so far...I've only managed to finish two. Le sigh. 
I honestly cannot tell you where my summer time has gone! It's been frustrating for me as I see my days evaporate. And yet I look at my To Do list and I see I'm slowly ticking things off (like my husband...I tick him off daily) and getting maybe JUST MAYBE a little closer to my goals. But that time spent pursuing other things means less time for blogging, sewing and all the other things I love. 
 I usually tackle small tasks. Ones that I know I can knock out in a short time frame. Cuz a short time frame matches my short attention span. But now I've got a couple of big dreams and big goals I am trying to reach and ultimately want to share with you. SO...while I'm going to try, nay, I WILL BE BETTER HERE...just know that I'm still around and working on something that I'm excited about. And I hope you will be too. 
Until then, I love ya lots, Polka Dots! I did make this dress to help celebrate International Dot Day...so I thought I'd share with you just a few of my favorite Dot Day projects. Back to school is upon us and Dot Day is one of my most favorite ways to kick off the school year...so here's a buncha links to my fave projects based on Peter H. Reynolds The Dot:



Oh my lanta, I just realized after doing a little googling that I have a TON of Dot Day projects! I'll make sure to do a proper blog post soon and link them all...until then, y'all rest up and enjoy the last bits and pieces of your summer. I know Ima try!

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Thursday, June 20, 2019

DIY: Sewing for Beginners (and my New Dress!)

 Summer time is my favorite time to sew...but, sadly, I've not been doing too much of that lately! Right before Art Show Madness, I started getting that sewing itch and decided to do something a little different. Instead of just sewing one dress at a time, I decided to do something that I called Batch Sewing. I know people batch certain tasks or projects like painting or blogging or whatever but I'd never successfully tried it with sewing. I decided to start with seven (7!) dresses. This wasn't too hard as I decided to use just two slightly different sewing patterns. However, the process was SLOW and I eventually hit a wall...right when it came time to put in sleeves (I HATE sleeves!).

So Mitch suggested that I just start finishing one off, one by one. They were really so close to being done! For this dress, I spent about two hours just putting in the collar, hemming the circle skirt, attaching the bodice to the skirt and putting in the zipper. I managed to finish it off before 9am one summer morning. And here she is, The Stripe-y Masterpiece!
When sharing my sewing progress on Instagram, I always get a ton of sewing questions that I really don't feel qualified to answer. BUT I have sewn a lot of stuff in my day (I should count how many dresses sometimes...but some I know are no longer with us, may they rest in piece) so I do feel like I can help a wannabe sewer out. After all, that's what I am, a wanna be sewer! 

I had it in my mind FOR THE LONGEST TIME that I'd never be able to learn to sew actually for realz clothing and yet, here I am...in stripes that MATCH UP BEAUTIFULLY! 
 I MEAN. Just look at it. It's pretty magical. 
 I also get asked quite a bit about sewing patterns to use. What I recommend doing is deciding what you want to sew first: a dress? A skirt? Once you have that figured out, put on your very favorite dress or skirt or whateverness. What do you like about it? The way it fits? The fact that it has pockets? Those can then be what you are looking for in a pattern. Be sure and check out my video as I'm going to walk you thru patterns and finding one that's best for a newbie. 
After sewing many dresses, my favorite to wear is a Fit and Flair. I like a fitted bodice or top and a flairy, flowy skirt. But that's me. That's what I'm comfortable in and flatters my 13 year old chest and my 44 year old hips. You find what works. Then use it. Over and over. At least that's what I do. 
 Also, sewing is supposedly about perfection and preciseness. I'm neither. If you can zoom in and get a little closer, you might see that the stripes at my waist are uneven. No bueno. But was it no bueno enough for me to fix it? Nah. Just put a belt on it. AIN'T NOBODY GONNA KNOW. Except you and me. 
The best part about sewing is the pride you'll feel in having a unique garment that you created and NO ONE ELSE HAS! Yes! You are a true one of a kind so why shouldn't your clothing be?! 
SPEAKING OF SEWING....my new book that is due out next month is now the #1 sewing book right here! Y'all best get to preorderin' and if you do, THANK YOU SO STINKIN' MUCH!! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Sunday, July 22, 2018

DIY: Round Towel to Circle Skirt...with Pockets!

I think this summer may go down as the one I went to Walmart, LOST MY MIND, purchased all of their round beach towels and stitched them all into circle skirts.

And you know what? I'm okay with that.
Cuz now I'm the proud owner of an assortment of super absorbent, albeit VERY warm, food-tastic skirts. Perfect for all occasions. National Pizza, Donut, Watermelon, Kiwi, Orange and Hamburger Days. I should know cuz I've already marked my calendar. 
Because I know you will want to make your own, I've provided a handy tutorial. What this tute is missing is...pockets! 
That's right. After I made my pizza skirt, I realized that not having pockets was just THE WORST. What kind of monster makes a skirt without pockets? This one, apparently. I knew adding pockets to the last five skirts would add more time but, c'mon. Pockets are always worth it. 
After I made the pizza skirt and it was so simple, I literally hit Walmart and bought EVERY round towel they had. The lady at the check out counter asked me what I planned to do with so many towels. I was wearing my pizza skirt at the time and I said, "Look! I'm making them into skirts! This one was a towel too!" She just gave me the side-eye and was like, "oh, okay." She does work at Walmart tho...they see IT. ALL. 
Some towels translated to skirts better than others. Like this donut...I thought it would be my fave but it's not. 
 The orange one, however, makes me so happy. I didn't think much of it until I put it on. It's so cute!
The hamburger one...well, I'm still on the fence about it. It's wacky tho and that I can totally deal with. 

In other news, GUESS WHO HAS BEEN BANNED FROM THE ROUND TOWEL AISLE AT WALMART?! If you see any cute ones, pick 'em up for me, would ya?! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Friday, June 1, 2018

DIY: National Donut Day Dress, Part 1

Happy National Donut Day! Earlier this week, when I discovered that Donut Day was approaching, I decided it was just the deadline I needed to sew up not one but TWO donut themed dresses. So, there will be not one but TWO Donut Dress posts on this here blog. Do'not even act like you are surprised. This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands! 
 For National Donut Day, Krispie Kreme is giving out one free donut! How super amazing is that. And those folks were working hard at the Kreme when I popped by there today. It was a madhouse! Who knew that folks would go so nuts over donuts?! 
 I've had this fabric in my stash forever...so long that all I can tell you is that I scored it from the thrift store years ago. I decided to pair the small print with a bid and bold polka dot. Two days ago, I started cutting into the fabric...well, the best I could...
 Every time I do, I gotta contend with this. WHY IS THIS A THING, CAT PEOPLE?! The moment she hears that tissue paper on the floor, she comes a running and a sitting. It's hilarious. 
 I decided to do the same dress pattern mashup as I used on this pencil dress but decided to ditch the button. 
 The red dotted fabric was leftover from my superhero dress. This means I actually used fabric already in my stash for this dress...that never happens! 
I have decided that there are three things I hate the most about sewing: 

1. PUTTING IN A SLEEVE. Ugh, I get stabbed at least 50,000 times but the needles holding the sleeve in place as I struggle to get it around the machine. Someone come teach me a magical sleeve sewing trick!

2. HEMMING A CIRCLE SKIRT. Thankfully, I didn't have to do that here. Because I literally feel like I'm pinning and sewing a circle skirt for DAYS...but they are my favorite!

3. PUTTING IN A ZIPPER. It's not that it's hard to put in a zip...it's just that it's usually the final step and it's at the point in dress-making where I just WANNA BE DONE and NEVER SEW AGAIN. So my patience is pretty much extinct. 
 But then I wear the dress and feel all proud and start thinking of the next dress Ima bout to hate making. 
 Look, maw! Matched up backside! 
 Also, POCKETS. All my dresses have them. It's mandatory. 
Stay tuned! I'll have another Donut Dress to share with y'all super soon!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In the Art Room: Fourth Grade Pizza Pillows!

This summer, I was challenged with the task of coming up with a fun sewing project for kids. I called them Stuffed Pizzas Plushies and I was so excited to do it with my students. But when it came time to do it...I got this wild hair that these pizza slices should be big. So big that they could act as pillows...hence our HUGE Pizza Pillows!
 If there has ever been a project that my students have been BONKERS over, this.is.it. They have loved learning to sew, coming up with toppings and, of course, using puffy paint. Some even wanted to create faces on their pizzas which I was all for. Here's the video I created this summer. I shared it with my students but just reminded them that their pizzas would be about triple in size.
This project took us three one hour art classes to complete. Here's the break down:
Day One: The kids got their pizza crust fabric and their tissue paper pattern. I created the pattens by simply making a triangle with a curved top for the crust. You can see an example of that in the video. They had to fold their fabric (which was cut into large rectangles), pin the pattern to the fabric an cut it out. From there, they had to remove the pins, remove the pattern and then re-pin the top and bottom crust of the pizza together. Then they learned how to thread a needle and stitch one side for their pizza closed. It was an action packed day.

Day Two: We learned how to stuff our pizza, pin it closed and then stitch across the top. Some kids didn't want their stitching to show, so they flipped their pizzas inside out. We also began cutting out the toppings for our pizzas. We kept these in an envelope until next time.
 Day Three: Using good ole Aleene's Tacky Glue, we stared gluing down our toppings. We did use a pattern for the sauce (the same pattern for the pizza, just smaller) and added toppings to that. The kids loved this...but having good fabric scissors is key. Nothing is more frustrating for the kids than having scissors that won't cut felt. These are special scissors we only use when working with fabric. Those who finished and wanted to add puffy paint were allowed to go to Puffy Paint Town. 
 Now let's talk supplies for a hot minute:

* Felt for the Crust: I know what you are thinking: that must have cost a fortune! Actually, it was cheaper to purchase a bolt of light brown felt than it was to buy the individual sheets. I bought the bolt at Joann's and it was on sale for $2.99 a yard. With my teacher discount the total was just under $20! I already had a ton of felt so that was really the only cost.

* Chenille Needles: These are the best for teaching kids to sew as they have a large eye and are sharp on the ends.

* Pins and a Magnetic Wand: Magnetic wands are my jam, y'all. You can find them at the craft stores and they are the best at keeping up with pins. I also love the pins for quilting, with the ball on the end. You can keep up with them so much easier.

* The Thinnest of Crochet Thread: I HATE embroidery floss for stitching as it's got all those extra strands. Crochet thread is the way to go because it's strong and is only one strand (or is it two strands, twisted?). I only buy white to save some cash.
 All of my students were highly engaged. So much so that I have several who have now been making plushies at home and bringing them in to share! It's been such a joy to teach my most favorite thing: sewing!
If you give this a go, let me know. I cannot wait to display these in pizza pie form at the art show in May! Now to find some giant pizza boxes to put them in! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Friday, December 22, 2017

Guest Blogging on Spoonflower!

Today I'm excited to share that I'm guest blogging over on the amazing Spoonflower! If you are not familiar, you really outta be. Spoonflower is the magical place where you can design and print your own fabrics, gift wrap and more. I've not ventured down that avenue (yet) but I have purchased fabric created by other creatives there. Case in point, this fabric from dmitriylo. 
This was another dress I created at the start of the school year with fabric from Spoonflower. This fabric was created by seasonofvictory.
So hop on over to the Spoonflower blog and read more about the making of this dress...and how it helped inspire an entire art room transformation! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Saturday, July 22, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitching Pizza Plushies!

A little over a month ago, I got an email from Trixi Symonds over at Coloured Buttons. She asked me if I'd like to join her super fun #sewasoftie project for the month of July. Her concept was simple: introduce kiddos to stitching with a month long sharing of sewing projects via her Facebook page (which, by the way, is LOADED with fabulous sewing inspiration for kids of all ages). I happily agreed and used my recent trip to Italy (and love for all things pizza) as my inspiration. 
Another reason I chose pizza is because my kiddos always find inspiration in food. Are your students/kids like that? It's so funny to me: give a kid a piece of clay and it's guaranteed that they will come back with a clay cookie, pizza or a taco. I know when I share this project with my third and fourth graders in the spring, they'll be all in. 

Let's talk supplies:

* Craft Felt in bunches of colors. I find that I have a TON of craft felt. Does it multiply? Are teachers secretly dumping the stuff in my storage closet? The latter is more than likely the case. It would also explain the ziplock baggies of broken crayons I always receive (y'all, I don't even use crayons!). 

* Chenille Needles are my jam. They have a big eye that is great for threading and a nice sharp point which is perfect for puncturing that felt. 

* Thread can be tricky. Get the cheap stuff and it can break with a slight tug. We use embroidery floss with the single thread...not the one with 6 threads. Cuz we ain't got time to be splittin' hairs. 

* Paper for creating a pattern and for making a needle threader.

* Scissors are great...and if you have one for fabric and another for paper then you are just the bee's knees. 

* Pins and a Magnet to park those pins. They make these great pin wands that my students love. You just wave them and the pins snap right to the wand. 
When I first got the idea to create this lesson, I kept getting more ideas. First it was allowing the kids to create toppings that can be changed at any time. Kind of like the felt boards I played with as a kid. That's why I created the segment in the video where the toppings are changed. Then I thought it would be great to introduce button sewing...for that the toppings would have to be tacked down. And, of course, I had to throw on some puffy paint because PUFFY PAINT MAKES MY WORLD GO ROUND. Thank you, Puff Daddy for the Puffy Paint. He's the one who invented it, right?
Then I got the idea for a silly-faced pizza. I spotted these giant googly eyes at the craft store and thought it would be fun. Because I wanted to add arms like we did with the Stitched Monster project, I knew I'd have to go about sewing a little differently. Originally I was going to make one video...but I decided that two was best: one for the Stuffed Pizza and Button Sewing and another for the Funny Faced Pizza
So, just some thoughts on sewing with kids: I usually do a fibers unit in the spring, after clay. Kids love sewing, weaving, felting, you name it...and it's a great follow-up to clay as they pink-puffy-heart-with-sparkles LOVE clay. However, sewing is a challenge that you and your students need to be prepared for. Whenever we tackle something new, I remind the kids that we are learning and that takes practice and patience. I tell them that some of them will get it right away...and others will take a little longer...but we will ALL get there. With practice and patience. It's important to emphasis this so that frustration does not lead to a defeatist mentality.
Now, I'll have my students glue their items down with tacky glue. But, for those kids creating at home who wish to change the toppings of their pizza frequently, they could simply keep their cut pieces in a sealed bag. 
This pizza was created the same way as the first but I really wanted to introduce button sewing. What better way to do that than with pepperoni buttons?! And, of course, puffy paint. 
No doubting that I grew up in the 80's...I got puffy paint in my veins. 
Shortly after posting my Stuffed Pizza video on my YouTube channel, Jeanne Kemp, an art teacher out of Baltimore shared this with me. She'd done the project with her students! How fun and they did a fabulous job. I had pizza for dinner in their honor. 
This project is a little more involved simply because of the addition of sewing the arms and sewing three sides verses two. For that reason, I'll reserve this project for my older students. 

I def don't plan on purchasing them all googly eyes as I don't have that kind of budget. So, more than likely, if my students decide to make a face, they'll have to create the eyes from felt. No biggie. 
 I really had fun creating these pizzas. They got me excited about hand sewing again...and the upcoming class I'm taking at Alabama Chanin. More on that to come. LOVE to know if any of you all have taken a class there before! 

Until then, have a super fun time stitching your pizza! 

Arrivederci!

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »