Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

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, March 3, 2019

In the Art Room: My Favorite Fiber Arts Lessons!

Hey, friends! I'm coming to you today with my very favorite fiber arts projects! Teaching fiber arts is one of my very favorite things to teach, along with clay. This summer and fall, I put in HOURS creating THIS BOOK which will be due out this coming summer:
You can preorder yourself a copy here if you are interested! But if you just can't wait, I thought I'd share some of my very favorite fibers projects right here today. Be sure and follow the links to the lessons as nearly all of them have how-to videos that are perfect for you and your students. Let's start with sewing!
1. These GIANT pizza pillows were such a hit last year with my students that I knew I had to do it again. Because I was wrapping my fibers book this past fall, I decided to kick off the school year with fibers. Usually, I'm all about fiber projects in the spring. This is how we displayed the pillows at last year's art show!  This year, we also made both emoji and donut pillows (size: HUGE) but for details on those, you'll have to scoop up my book.
2. If you are looking for a beginner sewing project on a smaller scale, you might wanna try these stitched monsters on for size. My kids used Smart Fab fabric for the bodies but felt would work just fine. If you are curious what types of needles and thread I recommend, be sure and check out this blog post as well as the others where I break it down for you. 
3. I learned embroidery from my grandma when I was in elementary school and I LOVED it. It felt so good to learn something so "adult" in my mind: creating a picture with needle and thread. I love sharing this experience with my students now too. You can read all about this Our School Has Heart fiber art's experience right here. 
This year, I decided to live dangerously and introduce embroidery to my second graders at the start of the school year...when they are still first graders, really. It was a bumpy start but they got it and loved it. This lesson can be found in my book but I did create this video a while back to help you troubleshoot stitching with kids:
Actually, the above video was created for AOE during one of their online conferences! This is a couple years old but does walk you thru a lot of important details of all things fiber arts and kids. 
And here is my troubleshooting embroidery with kiddos video. I hope you find them helpful!
4. For even MORE details on sewing and embroidery, along with a book I strongly recommend, visit here!
5. Needle felting with kiddos is not something I do very often...but I do enjoy doing it! If you attempt needle felting with children, I'd make certain it's with a group of kids that understand the dangers of the needle felting tool and are responsible enough to handle it. As y'all know, I LOVE needle felting and have put in countless hours stabbing stuff. If you are interested in learning more about needle felting, start here.
6. One of the most popular lessons on this blog has been my string art lesson. This is based on a project I did in 5th grade and LOVED. My students have loved it just as much. I've created videos to walk you and your kids through this lesson so be sure and check out this blog post AND this blog post
7. Paper weaving is a must when you introduce weaving to your students. But what to do with the paper weaving when finished? Last year, we made these woven owls and the kids loved them! 
Both this blog post and the one mentioned above have A TON of videos on teaching first graders (and up!) how to make a paper loom and weave. 
8. Circle Loom Weaving has always been a huge hit! I normally do with my second graders in the spring but this year, I did it with third grade in the fall. I can't tell you how many videos I have on this! Be sure and check this blog post out if you have any questions about getting started. 
9. Have you ever tried CD or Embroidery Hoop weaving? So fun and easy! Last year, my second graders tackled CD weaving instead of plate weaving. It was a great way to upcycle those stacks of CD's I'd been accumulating. This type of weaving takes less time than plate weaving as you don't have to spend two art classes painting the plates. They also look super pretty in the window when light hits the CD. Video and lesson details here!
10. Whenever I get stumped for a lesson, I just think back to the things I enjoyed creating as a kid. I remember the summer I spent at a vacation bible school learning straw weaving. So fun! My kids love this one too. Details and video here!
11. Want a lesson that packs a huge punch? Tree weaving teaches landscape painting, weaving and so much more! This lesson of mine has been another huge hit on my blog. I have many videos to walk you and your kids through this fun technique. You can find it here. 
12. I have yet to meet a kid who didn't love making Ojos de Dios. Why not try expanding on that love by making BIG God's eyes?! We did that here!
13. Pouch Weaving used to be one of my all time favorite things to teach. Because it is complex, I created an entire series of weaving videos for you and your students, including how to create that cool cord. You can find the beginning of the series here.
 14. Got yarn? Then you and your kiddos can yarn bomb! What a great activity for your early finishers too. 
15. Shibori! I love shibori dying and so do my students. I created a video that explains EVERY one of these folding techniques and you can see it here
So, truth be told: I've been blogging for seven years and teaching for twenty. I KNOW I've left some great lesson links and videos off this list accidentally. So, you are wanting more, give my name and whatever type of fiber project you are interested in a google search...or search in the bar on the side of this blog. Because there are just so many fun fibers lessons out there. AND stay tuned for my book where there are even more!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

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 Bond...like, 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. 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Sunday, September 30, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #207

 Howdy, friends! If you live in the Tennessee area than you know what a wet and wild week we had! I like to thought it was NEVER gonna stop raining. Which means to outdoor recess for the kids...and it was full moon week. Regardless, we were rockin' through our paintings, embroidery, weaving and sewing projects this week and I couldn't be more excited about the progress the kids are making. We also got to meet a new friend to the art room this week: Our Monster from Cotton Monster Jen!
 Last week, I had the chance to see my mom who had picked up for me some fun things for my art room: these floats! I'm using them as "flexible seating" for my third graders as they weave. 
They were in heaven. So that folks who wanted to sit in the floats could have a turn, I set a timer for every five minutes. I also have a small fort, beach chairs and plenty of pillows for them to pick from. We played music and it was a regular weaving party! If you'd like to learn more about circle loom weaving, check out my blog posts with video. 
 Even if I did look like a crazy person walking down the halls with these bad boys. I literally couldn't fit through my door!
 Since my students are involved in fiber arts projects right now, I'm thrilled to introduce them to Jennifer Strunge. This isn't the first time I've shared her work with my kids. You can see our Monster Sewing Project (with video!) here. We are voting on his name next week after brainstorming tons of ideas! Will keep you posted. 
 Another thing my mama got for me? This hilariously inappropriate and yet so appropriate t-shirt. The kids had a big laugh over that one. 
 While my third graders are weaving, my fourth graders are sewing. Some are sewing pizza pillows, donut pillows or, in this case, emojis! I'm hoping to have these complete by this coming week...ready to move on, y'all! Lesson details to come. 
 My first graders are wrapping up their reversible dot paintings. This is a revamp of a lesson I did years ago with my second graders...I love this project! I'll be creating an updated blog post about this and what we did differently super soon. I purchased the cardboard pizza rounds from Gordon Food Services but you can also found them on Amazon. 
 Did y'all know I like rainbows? What was the first clue...?
 And pizza. I'm also a fan of pizza. This HUGE pillow was completed by a fourth grader. You can check out this lesson and video here. 
 Two of my second grade classes are stitching right now...and totally rocking it. They finished them off this week and they were so proud of themselves. Lesson details to come. I love stitching with kids. 
 I think the best part of this week was seeing so many projects finally coming to fruition. It's been WEEKS and I'm so excited for these young artists. 
 I'm also STOKED that I got ALL of the Getting to Know You sculptures up because, whew!, that took a minute. 
 And that's a wrap! I hope y'all had a wonderful week...and here's to one heading right for us!
 Ah! Also happy to finally finish and hang my Paint the Town by Numbers Mr. Rogers. 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »