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

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!
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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! 
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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! 
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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!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In the Art Room: Sew a Softie!

I was recently contacted by the author of Sew Together, Grow Together, Trixi Symonds. She's the founder of Sew a Softie (check out the #sewasoftie on Instagram for some fun inspiration!) and has a fun sewing opportunity coming up in the month of July. I'm definitely joining the fun...and I thought you might want to as well. 
Trixi lives in Sydney, Australia where she has been teaching hand sewing to children for over 20 years. She coordinates workshops and leads sessions at galleries, bookstores, schools, you name it. Her goal is to encourage adults to share the love of stitching with children by providing cute, creative and fun sewing tutorials. Are you sold yet? I love her already! 
Trixi came to me with her idea of making July Sew-a-Softie month and asked if I'd be interested in joining the fun. Of course I agreed...and thought y'all might want to as well. Here are the details from Trixi:

The aim of Sew a Softie is to show both adults and kids that hand sewing is fun, creative, fulfilling, and that absolutely everyone can do it. Throughout the month of July simple to sew softie tutorials will be posted daily online. You can find them on the Sew a Softie Facebook page, the Coloured Buttons blog and the Sew a Softie website. Also, check out colouredbuttons on Instagram

You could take part by posting a softie tutorial and join the blog hop or by sewing softies with a group of friends or students anytime in July and posting on Instagam with the tag #sewasoftie.

Thanks, Trixi! I know I'm excited to get started.
I mentioned that Trixi is a book author, you can find her book here!
To clarify, if you want to join the Sew a Softie fun, be sure to follow Trixi's Facebook page. There you can find daily softie sewing inspiration as well as share your own ideas and creations. If you share on Instagram, don't forget to use #sewasoftie. I know I'm looking forward to lots of new tips, tricks and sewing project ideas for my students. 
Doesn't this sound like fun? For more inspiration, be sure to check out Trixi's blog and Instagram. It's sure to get your wheels turning. These cute images are from there. 
I know my students absolutely love sewing and had a blast with our Stitched Monster project. I think this will be a fun way to gain new ideas and collaborate with hand sewing enthusiasts all over the world. I hope you'll join the fun!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

DIY: Ikea Fabric Broccoli Dress

 If you've been following my IG stories, then you've seen a little bit of the behind the scenes making of this here Broccoli Dress. Or, as I've decided to call it, my Frock-coli. See what I did there? Frock and Broc, y'all. It's what you're wearin' fer dinner. 
I picked up the fabric last fall while at Ikea. I'm in love with their fabric because I love all things big and bold (and cheap. Y'all, soooo cheap!). Whenever I see a print that I like, I always wish it were 10 times bigger. So when I spotted this giant broccoli print (and, like, who looks at broccoli and says, "that would make a great textile!" Someone with a brilliant mind, that's who.), I knew I had to have it...and make a dress from it!
I decided to take the ole Frock-coli out for a spin to the bookstore this afternoon. The baristas were diggin' it...but one couple I walked by literally stopped mid-convo, went silent and whispered, "What.Was.That." Apparently the Frock-coli is ahead of it's time. 
Am I the only one who thinks this dress needs some melted cheese? I gotta hankerin' for some steamed broc and queso. 
 When it comes to sewing, y'all know know I'm a creature of habit. I've been sewing dresses for myself for some time now...and I feel this fit and flair is the most flattering on me. I've tried slightly different styles (heavy on the slightly. What can I say, that 50's silhouette is my fave) and I always come back to the following: fitted bodice, big ole waistband (or big ole belt. I have one student who is fascinated by my big plastic belts...I think he watches a lot of WWE and associates them with prize fighting belts. Which, after some days of teaching art, I feel like I've earned one!) and a giant circle skirt. 
When I tell you I have a ton of vintage patterns, believe me, I have a ton. And I almost aways use some sort of combo like this. In other news, how cute is that bird applique?! 
Before I picked the broc fabric to stitch, I had these other contenders on my cutting table. I get a lotta questions on where I get my fabric. Aside from Ikea, I LOVE fabric.com. They have a search bar where I look up things like "primary colors", "art supplies", "art teacher" and all sorts of fun motifs pop up. I also love shopping at Craft South as they have the most unique and hip prints. 
But back to the dress. I thought the black waistband all by itself was a little stark...so I balanced it out with the black bows at the shoulder. 
 My new favorite thing to do while sewing is listen to podcasts. I just finished S-Town from the creators of Serial. I enjoyed it but it was a sad and complex story. I am currently listening to Missing Richard Simmons and LOVING it. I grew up watching Simmons on television, on his infomercials and on Letterman, just thinking he was this loud and crazy dude. But there is this other side to him: he is a carrying, loving and giving individual...with a lot of pain and sadness in his life. I highly recommend it. 
 I don't know what is happening with that face but here is the side-ish view of my dress. 
 So, first week of summer vacay dress, done! I've got a lot more on my To Do list...and currently I am accomplishing very little of it. I'm allowing myself a temporary reprieve because - it's summer! - but after today, I really gotta start whittling away at my summer agenda. 
But first, broccoli! 
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