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

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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Thursday, April 23, 2015

DIY: Standardized Dress-ting

Okay, y'all. Before you start in on the "OMGahhh, how you get all this sewing stuff done?!" I gotta confess: I started this dress over the summer. 'Twas gonna be apart of my Fall Back-to-Schoolin' 2014 Collection (yes, such a thing actually exists in my wee mind). But when I got just a breath away from being finished (like, we're talking a zip and a hem. You'll notice I never did get to that hem. Ahem.), I up and quit on this here number. I can't even remember why, y'all. But if I were to guess, I'd say something glittery caught my eye and I dropped the dress like an ole stinky non-glittery sock. Howeverness, with my sweet students getting ready to enter into Standardized Testingland, I decided to finish what I've now dubbed my Standardized Dress-ting Ensemble. 
Get those No. 2 pencils (shoes) sharpened, y'all, and try to ignore my inappropriately low neckline. Nothing to see there, folks, move along, move along. 
So I got a wild hair at Joann's whilst pattern shopping and scooped up this number. Like, why? I know I just can't/shouldn't do low V-necks. I've never in my life owned a cleavage nor have I ever developed beyond that of a 12 year-old girl in the upper lady lumps department. But I just swooned at the pretties on the pattern package and was sold. Le sigh. Maybe the Boob Fairy will come to visit if I leave my training bra under my pillow. What y'all think? 
Let's talk about something I do have plenty of: fabric! So the fabric I used for this dress was from my stash, believe it or not. Which means if you want the same, you gonna have to hit either ebaytown or etsyville. This here pencil fabric is Kaffe Fassett and I love the retro-y color palette. I did find some here for y'all. 
I am so totes in lurve with this fabric mostly cuz it really reminds me of elementary school and the one subject I was super good at: Cursive Handwriting. I didn't have art classes growing up so those purple ditto sheets where I practiced my loops and letters made me so stinkin' happy. Of course, these days, cursive writing has been taken out of most curriculums which is a stinkin' shame as research shows that it enhances reading. I was jotting down notes just today while teaching a class and one of my fourth grade students quipped, "I have no idea what you just wrote. I can't read cursive." What a shame! I've decided to introduce cursive writing my last week of art teacherin' this year. How about y'all? Do you write in cursive? Have you ever created a cursive writing lesson or incorporated it somehow?

 Oh, pardon moi. Lemme step off my cursive-y, boobless soap box and get on with the post at hand, ermkay? So, like, let's talk about that unfinished hem. I did surge the thang but I wasn't sure about length and I was just to excited to share it with you to wait. But if you look at the photo on el lefto, you'll notice a break in the fabric where my crinoline ends. I think that would be a great length to hem my dress. Whuh bout y'all?
I am glad I gave this pattern a go because I do keep recycling the same pattern. So this was like a learning experience or whatever. I guess. 
 I am highly aware of my right boob gap. Zup wit dat?!

 Whateves, let's talk pencil crown, shall we? 
 For this baby, I used a thick headband and my stash of golf pencils. You know from my (nonexistent) golfing days. I sharpened a bunch of those bad boys (which makes for the best Back-to-School smelling crown everrrrr.)
And just started gluing 'em all over the headband. In a semi-sensical order. I think the kids are gonna totally dig it. 
By the way, this is my second year to Dress for the Test. Last year I felted a coupla testy numbers like this top.
 And that sweater
And there you have it! A Standardized Dress-ting number for all y'all bubble-fillin', test-takin', rather-be-cursive-writing kids out there. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a freshly sharpened pencil crown I need to sniff, er, I mean, polish. Chao! 
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DIY: A Crayon-tastic Dress and A GIVEAWAY!

 What you see here is an art teacher that's one crayon short of a full box. 
Partly cuz, let's face it, I'm nutz (and I'm not just sayin' so. During our school's evening registration, I was asked on more than one occasion by the under-10 set if I was planning on being "even crazier this year." When I replied with an "um, I suppose so?" I was met with mostly "yes!"es and a few "oh no"s. But those came from parents and the administration. Which doesn't count, says me.) And the other partly cuz, well, I used several of the crayons from my box for that there hair clip.
But that crayon clip was just the icing on this Ultra-Geeky-Crayontastic-Art-Teachery-Get-Up Cake. 

When I stumbled upon this crayon fabric at JoAnn's, I knew deep in my tacky-bedazzled heart that it was meant for curtain-making or bulletin board decorating. Not dresses. I thought to myself, "Should I? Or would that be taking things a little too far?" And then I remembered THIS get up, laughed manically (which drew stares and whispers and a phone call to the police) and realized I done took things too far a long long time ago.

I also scooped up a coupla yards of that blue chevron. I loved the idea of it paired with the crayon fabric (look, I can teach about zig zag lines and crayons with this dress. Shoot, this dress just does the teachin' itself. Thank goodness because with all this sewing I forgot to write my lesson plans. Just kidding, principal lady!).
You might recall I scored a batch o vintage patterns this summer that just happened to be in my size. I decided to use the one above...with much anticipation. I've never heard good things about Vague, er, Vogue patterns and, I gotta say, with good reason. I mean, I thought Mrs. Butterick was bad. She at least talked to me. Vogue just uses pictures, arrows and a couple line drawings of the middle finger. It's most off-putting. Thankfully, this pattern was pretty self-explanatory, so my wee brain was able to manage.
 I really loved the dress on the envelope with the butterfly border fabric so I used the crayons as the boarder to the chevron. I was a little concerned that so much blue zigzag would be boring and toyed around with other fabric choices. In the end, I decided that having the zigzags run in different directions would be twofold terrificness: horizontals to accentuate and verticals to elongate. Wow, that sentence made me sound all smart -n- stuff. Maybe I'll include that in my lesson plan. Oh! By the way, crayon shoe DIY here. Cuz I know you're dying to make your own. Double Oh! More about my Art History Wall here.



 Just a coupla books I plan on reading whilst wearing said dress. See, I did plan. A little. 

Have ya'll read these? Love 'em.

 And there you have it! One Crayon Dress complete(-ly crazy. You're welcome, children.)
 And now, lemme giveaway some stuff! I have a coupla odd-shaped yards of this crayon fabric (due to cutting to create the border) and this super rad vintage box of Crayola crayons in hardly-used condition. The fabric would make great quilting squares, classroom curtains, underwear, the possibilities are endless. To enter, all you gotta do is leave a comment about what you'd do with either the crayons, the fabric or both! International friends, you are always welcome to join the fun. I'll throw all ya'll's names in a jar and announce the winner sometime next week. When I've finished writing my lesson plans.

Until then, lemme hear from you and enjoy the rest of your week!




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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DIY: A Mid Century Mod Dress

Do you find my creepy grin as disturbing as I do? I can't decide if it's the part where I'm trying to bare all my teeth or the dead look behind my eyes. I predict this is the same creepy grin I'll be baring upon the first day back to school. "Welcome back! I am soooo happy to see (uncomfortable swallow whilst maintaining creepo grin) yoooooou."
   Holy moly, I have so much to tell you I don't even know where to begin. Despite the title of this post, I definitely will not be chatting about this new dress right away. That was just a ploy to draw you in (because "DIY: Mid Century Mod Dress" is such a great hook, right?!). We have much more pressing matters to discuss. Like dangerous kitchen accidents with food processing blades where a tampon is applied to the wound to slow the flow. Yeah. See? I told you. LOTS to discuss.
   I don't know if you know this about me, but I have a fabric hoarding problem. No, really. I know, you're thinking, "Whatever, Stephens. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'Tis a rule of manners to avoid exaggeration.'" Wow. You're like so well read and stuff. But I'm not exaggerating! Upcoming post, I'll prove it to you. In the meantime, this here amazing mid-century mod fabric has been in my stash forever. Because I found it at the thrift store and there was no writing on the selvage edge, I dunno if it's actually vintage. Nonetheless, it spoke to me and said "Make me into a dress. After you make me a sandwich." Ermkay.
 Okay, so I know you're dying. Tampons?! Food processing accidents?! (Geesh, why wasn't that the title of this blog post? It woulda gone viral!) Well, just hold on. If Ima gonna tell this story right, I've gotta start at the beginning. And, like most beginnings not often shared on this here blog, mine begins with a DIY fail. Or four.
 Oh, look. My lovely deck. Funny story about my deck. Last summer I was put in charge of getting some quotes to have our deck painted. Which, as you can see, I never did follow through with. But whatever, that's not the point of this here story. One of the dudes who came out to quote us showed up in his adorable turquoise mini-cooper wearing skinny shorts and Beatles boots. In the summer. In Tennessee. Which means it's like 150 in the shade. But look at the way I dress, I'm not one to judge (haha, yes I am). Anyway, dude was a super nice guy from New Zealand. Are there any New Zealanders in the house? If so, I've gotta tell ya, ya'll need to learn the correct pronunciation of the word "deck". Because my deck quoting friend referred to it as our "dick." As in, "You're dick's in bad shape. I think if I stain your dick it will look so much better." Hubs and I could hardly keep a straight face. Because we're 12.

DIY fail item #1: My deck decorating. First of all, lemme just say, we have this nice big deck (heehee) and never use it. Because it's 150 degrees outside in the shade, remember? AND it has a hot tub. Which we've never ever used because it's not 1987 and my husband isn't Tom Seleck. I hate the unsightly thing so this summer I got the genius idea to "hide" it with plants. As you can see, it's working out great. As did hanging those planters on those diagonal boards. And, let's not forget the oil cloth pillows I attempted to sew. All of which frustrated me to the point that I just dropped my tools, snapped a photo and went inside to destroy another DIY dream:
These here Anthro-inspired chairs. Which I am determined to conquer. Although, as you can see, I currently stand defeated. Because after the 56th rouge staple flew out of the staple gun, I thought, "forget this noise, I don't wanna end up getting hurt" (little did I know blood shed would come later). And, just like the deck, I left the mess where it was and did what any normal person would do. I made a dress.

 Aw, don't act like you wouldn't have done the same thing. I've been toying with the idea of turning this fabric into a sort of early 1960's tiki dress for a while. And with my deck and living room covered in DIY disasterness, the only safe place seemed to be my sewing room. I used my two fave patterns, combining the pocketed and gathered skirt of the Project Runway pattern with the bodice of the vintage pattern.

 I am kinda in love with this bodice and the big band of fabric...as you may know. Because I've made this same bodice like 4000 times. Not only is it slimming but it's also a place to play with color and pattern. Which is why I've used it, oh, here, here, here, here and, um. Here.
 Now, being a pattern from the 1960's it has that close-to-the-neck fit. Which I don't totally love because it's not comfortable. And because of my gorilla neck. The other prob with this pattern is that once complete, there's this extra fabric at the at the neck. As you can see, along with my hairy gorilla neck, above.
 So, as usual, I went to get hub's opinion of the dress. And he was like, "What's with the gap in the back?" He's actually said that every time I've made this dress. And I'm always like, "oh, it's a design element" which is code for "I have no clue!" It was at the point in our convo for me to deliver my design element BS when hubs said, "wait a minute. I have an idea." Now, I have to tell you, my hubs is kinda this amazing idea man. My favorite case in point: the time he and his roommates who never ever cleaned the bathroom of their apartment were moving out of their soon-to-be-condemned place. But they were still expected to clean the joint to get a return on their deposit. Idea Man's suggestion? Buy three cans of white spray paint and paint that bathroom clean. Kid ya not. And it worked. So when he suggested I simply unzip the dress, create a v-neck line and stitch it in place, I thought, wow. This man is like a genius.
Which now brings me to the point in my post when I'm ready to share with you the Attack of the Food Processing Blade. Genius hubs was outta town and I decided to host a lil crafty get together. For which I got the grand idea to make hummus. Yeah. Even though you can buy it at the store for, oh, I dunno, 3 bucks? And I really got into it. I skinned a 30 ounce can of chick peas just for the occasion (yes, you read that correctly. It's actually kinda fun in a bubble-popping kind of way) threw 'em in the food processor with some lemon juice and tahini and, viola! Some seriously good hummus.
The day of the get together, I'm cleaning (which I only do when people are coming over...so it's like an all day event) and I drop that stupid food processing blade on my foot. It didn't even hurt and I didn't think much of it until I noticed my foot felt all warm and sticky. When I looked down, I almost fainted. There. Was. Blood. EVERYWHERE. It looked like an episode of Dexter. If Dexter was a complete idiot that dropped food processing blades on his feet. Now, I'm not a total dope, I did grab a cleanish towel, put my foot in the air and applied pressure. But it just wouldn't stop gushing blood. I convinced myself I was feeling faint decided to hobble all the way upstairs for a Band Aid. Because, in my deliriousness, I just knew that would fix it.
Oh look, an extra large photo of my veiny feet. Hawt.
In true Girl Scout Drop Out fashion, I couldn't find my first aid kit. Oh, who am I kidding, I don't even have a first aid kit. But I do have tampons. Which is what I applied to my foot before forcing my tampon'ed foot into a sock and shoe and zipping over to the walk in clinic. Thankfully, it turns out, I'd hit a vein, not an artery (which would have required surgery, what?!) and was good to go with two little stitches. Doc told me it'd leave a scar to which I replied, "What?! How will I continue my career as a foot model?!" At which point he looked from me to my foot several times before saying, "Really? No. Really?" 

"Um, my husband refers to them as 'troll feet', so what do you think?"

"No."

And that's why those doctors get paid the big ole bucks.

HOLY MOLY. This was the world's longest post. If you stuck around the for whole thing, give yourself a pat on the back. You've earned it. 

Until next time, stay away from food processors. They's cray cray.
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