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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

DIY: A Colored Pencil Dress (and Bolero!), Many Dif Ways

I know what you're thinkin', "Holy cow, Stephens, another stitched dress?!" (by the way, teacher buddies, don't you love how the minute you became a teacher, every other adult in the school addresses you by your last name? I mean, the only other time I've been called "Stephens" was when I forgot to feign cramps during P.E., walked onto the volleyball court and promptly got whacked in the head with a volleyball. Tho I vaguely recall a "Look out!" before "Stephens" which obvi did me and my molasses reflexes no good.)

Wait. Whut wuz I saying? 

Oh, yes. Another dress. 

Weelllll, don't hate me because I'm so athletic, hate me cuz I scored an entire week off! That's right, y'all. That snow day I mentioned on Monday morphed into a glorious thing called a Snow Week which is just as glittery, sparkly and absolutely divine as it sounds. Especially since we've got built-in days so we won't have to make up for lost time. And especially-especially since this dress has been an UFO (UnFinished Object) in my sewing room for the last coupla weeks and now I can scratch it off my never-ending list of UFOs (y'all. There are so many UFO's up in my sewing room that they are thinking of filming the next X-Files movie in there).
But enough of this rambling (guess who hasn't left the house in 4 days nor spoken to anyone besides the cat and her hubs?!), let's talk dress, y'all! 
So when I showed you this dress, I tole ya that there were three more from the same pattern in the works. This here's dress #2! I've never worked on three dresses at once before and I gotta say, I kinda liked it. The progress was a lot slower, obvi, but I liked working piecemeal like that. I did manage to screw up the pleats every single time on every single dress but, you know. When you work with limited brain capacity, you come to expect such things.
The fab fabrics I used were the pencils by Alexander Henry and these scribbles by Ed Emberly. Super cuteness, right? In fact, Anthropologie used that pencil fabric in navy for a skirt they sold last year. I love the color palette of this light green fabric, it's feels very retro to me.
For this dress, I opted to go sleeveless mostly cuz I didn't have enough of the scribble fabric. Which is cray because I always over buy my fabric. This is also how the dress is supposed to be worn. But as you mightah noticed in the early snaps, to make it work with the bolero, I did something a lil different. 

Das right, y'all! I made a wee jacket to go with my dress! I decided I needed a new outfit for the art teachers conference (NAEA for those of y'all in the know) in New Orleans where it might be a lil chilly without sleeves. AND everyone knows a jacket is all kinds of professional-looking which I'm hoping to fool people into thinking I am when I present a whopping four times. Yikes! In reality, I should prolly be working on my presentations...good thing my Magical Totally Professional Looking Jacket will fool folk! 

"Golly, Janet, what was that presentation even about?!"

"I have no earthy idea, Eunice, but it sure was professional. I mean, did you see that jacket?!"
Not to mention, it's reversible, y'all.

 And I kinda dig it with a lil faux lapel, don't you? It's like a lil peak-o-pencil, know what I'm saying?
 Here's how it's supposed to be worn without the faux lapel. It's a lil too blue with this ensemble. Not to mention between the jacket and the waistband I do look a lil bull-fighter-esque. Toro! Toro! 

Like I said, reversiBULL. It's all coming together now, riiiiight? 
 So the pattern I used was that vintage number shown above. It's called "Advance". Not to be confused with "Advanced" which I would never use. The silly pattern did call for me to do some hand sewing and I was all "whuuuuut?" and the pattern was all, "yeeeeeesssss." But I had to lay down the law. It's 2015, I ain't hand sewing nuthin when I got a machine that can do it in a blink. So my bolero is all sorts of top-stitched where it isn't supposed to be. But whateves, tis the reason I ain't advanced. 
 By the way, tell me honestly, does this look like I have red toilet paper accidentally tucked into the backside of my dress? Well, does it?! A good friend would be honest with me, ya know.
But wearing it this way, with the straps criss-crossed (will make ya Jump!Jump!) around the waist and tied in the back works best when wearing it with the bolero. Says me. AND I kinda dig this look all on it's own. But that's because I'm all about the big fat belt. 

And there ya have it, folks! I promise I won't share another dress post for at least a couple of days (ahem). Until then, stay warm, buddies! 

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #72

Hello, Final Summer Monday: Yep, that's right. Come tomorrow, we'll be back to school. Thankfully we've got a couple more days to get our act together before the kids return. Oh, and speaking of kids, tomorrow is Meet-the-Teacher night which is always super fun. And I totally spent the majority of the weekend working on a dress for the occasion. More on that soonish. dress: vintage, DIY-update by me; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing (I wear this thing TOO MUCH); shoes: thrifted Crocs (that's right, I said Crocs, can you believe it?)
What is up, ya'll? It finally stopped raining here (it's seriously been the rainiest summer ever in Tennessee. And that's great, I can dig it, but my yard looks like a Chia Pet on 'roids. Which sounds way cooler than it looks. Imagine Carrot Top's hair as a yard. Got that in your mind's eye? I told ya it wasn't pretty). 

So I was able to tackle said Rainforest Cafe Yard this morning and was almost finished when the neighbor's super-friendly, always-on-the-lamb golden retriever decided to drop by for a "Hey, whatcha doin'? It looks like fun! Can I help? Oh, wait, I gotta pee. On your mailbox. Okay, I'm back! Whatcha doin' now? Before you tell me, can I sniff your privates? Please?! Because that would be awesome. Oh, wait, I gotta pooh. Right where you haven't mowed yet. Be right back!"

And, when he returned, that sweet pup proceeded to drool the slimiest of drool all down my leg. Guh, just the thought still makes me do a little dry heavin'. So I've still got a pinch of yard work to complete. And for that reason, Ima gonna hafta to keep this post a pinch less long-winded than most. You're welcome.

Oh! And I'm including an artist along with my outfits this week! I used to be so good at that and then I, well, went on summer vacay and turned my brain off. I love the work of Hokusai so I thought I'd share it wit ya this week. Enjoy and I'll be back soonish!
The Great Wave off Kanagawa (aka The Wave), circa 1830 - 33, Katsushika Hokusai. So, when I think of Hokusai, I think of The Wave. This work was the first in his series of woodblock prints titled Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. This work, like most of Hokusai's wood block prints, is an example of Ukiyo-e art. Translated, that means "pictures of the floating world" and in you-and-me terms, that means works of art created between the 17th - 20th centuries with landscape motifs. Or big fat wave motifs. Either one.

Self-Portrait in the Age of an Old Man, Hokusai. Katsushika (best name ever) Hokusai lived from 1760 - 1849. And in that time, he became one of the most outstanding creators of Ukiyo-e with his woodblock prints and paintings. During his lifetime, block printing was a new thing that he obviously took to. Dude created around 30,000 block prints during his lifetime.

My First Handmade Dress Tuesday: I found this forgotten dress in the back of my closet the other day and had to get it out. I sewed it about 5 years ago and it was my first wearable garment. It's actually based off a prairie style skirt. All I did was pull the thing up to cover my lady-bits and add shoulder straps. Without the belt, it's a total tent but that's just between you and me. sweater, yellow necklace: thrifted; shoes: Crocs; hair flower and dress: made by me

South Wind, Clear Sky. Another one of Hokusai's Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji. This series of prints is really what catapulted Hokusai to fame during his lifetime. He was already well-known in his home country of Japan. But when copies of these prints traveled abroad, his work became widely recognized and appreciated. Among his most famous fans? Vincent van Gogh.
Catching Up with Friends Wednesday: And by "catching up" I mean "putting them to work". Two of my buddies helped me put up that Anthro tree (which seriously has a Little Shop of Horrors feel to it), another took some bottle caps off my hands and then I grabbed dinner with my future student teacher. Who will be put to serious work, muhahaha. I got a car that desperately needs a washin'. dress and sweater: thrifted; belt: H&M; sandals: Chacos
Lilies. I love Hokusai's work but I really got a think for his flowers. Especially this piece. I do believe that blue in the background is my favorite color. I love everything about this work of art.
Back at It Thursday: Our first days back to school involve lots of sitting. So here I am practicing. Sunglasses are excellent at meetings because they hide eye-rolling and sleeping. Now if I could just work on that mouth-hanging-open/snoring part, I'd probably have a lot more people fooled. dress: DIY here
Goten-yama Hill. Again, I love the color palette. Those blues with the pink, my fave.
Fun Friday: I really work at the best school ever. It was our first day back in our school building as a team and it felt so nice to catch up with everyone. We had some long-time staff members chat with us on the history of our school and it was goose-bumpy good. It definitely made me excited (ish) to be back. dress: thrifted; belt: Anthro; shoes: Frye; flower: made by me; necklace: ancient Target
Cranes. Look at how beautiful and perfect those cranes are. And to think they were created with just a few simple brush strokes. Brush paintings really seem to have the idea of "less is more" down, don't you think? It looks so simple yet it takes a lifetime to be able to paint like this.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY: Butterick, Who's Yo Mama?

You ever have one of those annoying sensations that just won't go away? You know, like a little tickle in the small of your back that you can't seem to reach or one of those rouge runaway hairs you feel somewhere on your face but you just can't find. OR, this one's the worst, what about a wedgie that manages to get more friendly than a proctologist?

 Oh, oops. Did I just go too far? Or maybe too close to home. I promise I didn't know this post was gonna head south so quickly when I began. My bad.

But I tell you I was going somewhere (other than south) with that there intro. Because this Red Hot Vintage Floral Fabric has been that unreachable itch, that fantom hair, that borderline sexual harassment wedgie all summer long.

Seriously. It started way back in May when I was working on my Star Wars dress. I spied this lovely piece peaking out from my Mount Fujiyama o' Fabric. And it was all, "Hey! Look at me. I'm gorgeous." and I'm like, "Wow, you are pretty sweet. But doncha think calling yourself 'gorgeous' is a little, I don't know, arrogant?" To which the fabric was like, "Look, if you don't think you are up to workin' with somethin' as amazing as me, that's fine. But let's not pretend I wouldn't make a pretty smokin' dress."

And that there sparked the unrelenting urge to find the perfect pattern to marry with this beautiful, albeit a pinch egomaniacal, fabric. 

(BTW, have you noticed just how much time I spend talking to inadament objects? Dunno what I'm talking about? What about here, here and, oh man, here. Geez, I need to get out more. Or start taking my meds. That'd probably help.)
After some serious online pattern digging, I found The Perfect Partner for my Red Hot Vintage Floral. I mean, look at that cut, that detail at the neckline, that big-drapey-hankie-thingie. It was like a match made in sewing heaven.

Then I saw it. The name of the maker at the top of the pattern envelope. And I went all Jerry Seinfeld and spit out the words with such venom and hate that I almost scared myself:

That's right. The above is an accurate portrayal of my relationship with Butterick. You might recall my ever-so-slight (ha!) frustration with said pattern-maker here. In fact, I do believe I made that scrunched-up, buck-toothed mouse face complete with Wicked Witch of the West hands more than a dozen times whilst attempting to solve the riddle that is a Butterick pattern. And every time it stared right back at me with those dead-Newman-esque eyes and that smirky smile. Oh, how I loathe thee, Butterick.
(BTW, not that it would ever happen anyway, but I'm almost positive that these blatant Butterick-hatred posts are gonna make it so said pattern-making company never contacts me for an endorsement. Whatcha think?)

My frustration over the vaugeness of the directions became so great that I even started fantasizing about tracking down ole Mrs. B and asking her why, just why were her designs so great and her directions so bad. And then I realized that this pattern is super old and that I'd probably have to find Mrs. Butterick Junior if I wanted any sort of contact with my nemesis. And THEN I realized that she'd probably be just as cryptic with directions to her house (because I wanna see this evil face-to-face...which makes me think I shoulda titled this post "Butterick, WHERE'S Yo Mama?") as her maw was with sewing steps: "Oh, you know. Just drive a while and then turn at that stoplight. The one on that corner. It's a white house. On a street. With a yard. You'll find it if you're not an idiot..."


One particularly difficult evening whilst attempting that big-drapey-hankie-thingie, I decided to google this pattern and see if anyone out there might have a word of advice (or an address, perhaps). And that's when I found her: Professor Pincushion. In this 80 minute tutorial, she walks you through the entire pattern and explains every single step. It was like the heavens opened up and I could hear the angels sing (which, it turns out, they like to sing G'n'R. I KNOW RIGHT, how rad is that?!) That's not even a joke, she's really that awesome. AND she's got these amazing sparkly gold fingernails that she  uses to accentuate her explanations which I have likened to Glenda the Good Witch. If she were only a set of nails.
Now I gotta admit, I still had to watch her create that big-drapey-hankie-thingie about two or twenty times before I got it. Which made me think that ole Prof Pincush could really make it big if, after a dozen replays, she could just reach her Glenda nails through the screen and do the hard stuff for you. Seriously. Are you listening, Professor? Because if this idea appears in your next tutorial, Ima gonna expect some royalties.
All moaning and groaning aside, I am pretty excited about this dress. Even with help, this pattern definitely was a challenge that put my severe lack of skills to the test. I still can't believe I managed to pull it off. With a whole lotta thanks to Professor Pincushion. And now that that annoying wedgie is finally released (ewww, sorry! But I had to do some sort of tie in with the beginning of this post. It's called Closure, reader. Deal wit it), I've two other dress-itches that I gotta scratch. Both involve amazing art-teachery fabric that I'm super stoked about. AND speaking of Super Stoked...
Me and my nutty outfits have found their place in SchoolArts Magazine! If you are an art teacher, then you know this is one of the best art education mags out there. AND, if you found this blog because of the magazine, welcome! I promise this blog is normally about much more than wedgies (haha, no it's not). For diy-details on the outfits above, just click on the following linky-loos: Applique Pencil Skirt; Gnome Dress; Embroidered Eiffel Tower; Paris Dress; Painterly Dress; and, lastly, Crayon Felted Hat and Skirt (with painted shoes!).

Stay tuned for some upcoming photos of my nearly complete art room!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY: A Bonfire of Banana Bread and ... a Giveaway (Now Closed)

 So wouldn't you know the moment I start doling out recipes like I'm Martha-Flippin-Stewart, I turn my house into a Bonfire of Banana Bread. Not familiar with such a thing? Well, lemme tell you how the pros do it. First, you start with the batter and the only teeny tiny bread pan you have on hand. Then you fill the bread pan just half full (because the recipe says so) but that looks like an entirely too empty pan so you decide to fill it to the rim. Because you hate to see wasted space. AND because you only have one teeny tiny bread pan (you really should get more pans. Just sayin'). Then you throw it in the oven and almost forget about it...until that distinct burnt hair smell reminds you...

 Oh, crap! The banana bread! 
When I threw open the oven door, it looked like a bomb had gone off. There was smoke, fire and bubbly melty banana bread everywhere (okay, when bombs go off, I'm guessing there's not bubbly melty banana bread unless the bomb goes off at a Banana Bread Factory but that's just ridiculous. What kind of crazy person would blow up a banana bread factory?! Everyone loves banana bread! Well, they did until they saw this photo). I managed to salvage this wee loaf with what looks like fake vomit stuck to the side. It was at that moment, hubs walked in. And this happened: 

Hubs: I'm hungry...wait, what's that smell?

Me: Um. Banana bread...?

Hubs: (noticing said bread on counter) You mean Blackened Banana Bread? 

Me: I got the recipe from Bon Appetit!

Hubs: You know, when I look at Bon Appetit, it's funny, the food looks just like that.

And then he insisted on taking a photo of my gourmet cooking and that I share it with you on this here blog. So that you may never get a Banana Bread Hankerin' again. You're welcome.
Remember this fabric? Because it has an early 1960's vibe to me, I decided to pair it with this 1962 dress pattern sent to me from a friend (thanks, Kristin!). I love the neckline, the bow belt and the bows at the bottom of the back straps. Check out this amazing dress in the same fabric sewn by The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart.
But, wait, what was that other thing mentioned in the title of this post? Did someone say giveaway (and is this someone currently talking about themselves in third person? Someone is creepin' me out!)? That's right, you read the title of this post correctly, I'm givin' away stuff, Oprah-style! ... except I'm not going to give you a brand new car. Sorry. Not in my budget. But what I got is even better (no it's not, just trying to make you feel better) so don't you dare scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to look for the giveaway details.* Because if you do, you'll miss all of the fascinating tales of this here dress and those thar oven mitts.**
That forced-grin photo on the left kinda reminds me of the day I wore my thong wrong. Which takes skills so don't act like you aren't impressed (and that you haven't had to pause a second before slipping into your thong. I mean, there are just too many entry points and too little fabric). I noticed that day that I kept walking crooked, bumping into anyone that was crazy enough to be near me. A trip to the bathroom lead me to discover my problem (well, one of them): I had one leg in the leg hole, the other in the waist hole and my waist in the other leg hole. Needless to say, it was as pinchy and uncomfortable as I look in that photo on the left. Is this too much information? Am I over sharing? Let's change the subject: Look At Those Adorable Bows! (...did that help...?)

So this pattern was pretty rad...and it introduced me to a series of firsts. Like lining. I've never lined a dress before and look at that photo below. Look at it! This is my first dress that just as pretty on the inside as it is the outside! I'm considering wearing it reversed just so people can admire how stinkin' awesome it is. They'll be all, "Dude, your lining is so rad!" and I'll be all, "I know, right!?" and that's pretty much where the conversation will end because I'm a pretty sucky conversationalist. And, let's face it, if we're not talking about me, I ain't got nothing to say.
Another first? Putting in something called a waist stay. When the pattern called for that, I was all "whah, huh?" Then google informed me that it was pretty much just a ribbon that kept my gathered waist from ungathering while covering up those unsightly gathers.
Just a view of the back. And those bows, gah. I loves 'em. So much so that I even made the bow for my hair using the same pattern. It's super easy. One of these days, I'll show you how. By the way, I got off easy as this dress fits like a glove! And by "glove", I don't mean an ove-glove. Because that would be too big. No, man, this was a no-alterations needed pattern. Which is great because I can't even put on a thong correctly so altering would be outta the question.
 When I went to the grocery today to pick up the ingredients for that bread (ahem), the checkout dude gave me the up/down (you know, when someone looks you over from head to toe with a "what the h***?" look on their face) and said, "Do you dress like that everyday?" And for some reason, my mind immediately thought, Oh no! He knows I'm wearing my thong wrong! and I was tempted to blurt out, "No! I just made a mistake! There are so many holes and so little fabric, it's confusing. You would NEVER understand!" And then I realized he meant my dress and I was all, "Yeah...I guess." I've never left a grocery store so quickly in my life.

 In the middle of dressmaking, I decided this fabric just had to become a set of pot holders. I mean, look at it! It's screaming, "Make me into a pot holder right now! After you make me a sandwich!" (geez, this is exactly what that other fabric said to me. Must be a trend.)

 Wanna make some pot holders? I borrowed heavily from Denise Schmitt's Quilts book. But I did some tweaking and thought I'd share my version with you. You know, because this blog post isn't already long enough. 

To start, I sewed two contrasting fabrics together and pressed the seam open, as seen in the photo on the left. Because I was making two mitts, I created four of these panels. I then pinned the pot holder parts in this order: panel, quilt batting, heat retardant fabric, inside fabric. These were about 9" X 11" in size.
 Then I set my machine on a basting stitch (so that the stitches would be really long) and sewed a series of vertical and horizontal lines. The beauty of her pattern is that you don't have to sew straight lines. They can be as wonky as me walking in a crooked thong.

 Earlier, I had traced my fave oven mitt (which is currently covered in banana bread goo, no lie), added about 1/4" all the way around and cut out the template you see on the left. I drew the horizontal line to match up my two fabrics. The template was placed on the sewn fabric and cut out. To finish the bottom edge, I used quilt binding tape that I held in place with Stitch Witchery until I could stitch.
 I wanted pom-poms on the bottom of my mitts, so it was at this point that I sewed them to the wrong side of the mitt. After that, I pinned the two mitts wrong sides together and sewed around them with a 1/4" hem.
 Right before turning them right side out, I clipped really close to the inside of the thumb. Turning them right side out wasn't it's important not to make your mitts too small. Then they'll be a royal pain to turn. When turning these, they reminded me of the Hamburger Helper oven mitt. Makes a great meal. Or so I've heard.
And the mitts are finished! But enough about that...let's chat about the GIVEAWAY! 

Here's the deal: I have two yards left of this Michael Miller fabric and I wanna give it to YOU! Along with this little vintage cookbook, because, let's face it, I really shouldn't be cooking. So here's how to enter: 
  • Leave a comment below and tell me what you'd create with this fabric. I'm dying to know! And I'll probably end up stealing your ideas and never sending you fabric...kidding! But only about that last part.
  • For extra bonus points, I'd totally dig it if you'd follow my blog. Because you need more Burnt Banana Bread blog posts in your life. And stories of thongs. Oh, forget about it. I wouldn't follow this thing either! (Seriously, you don't have to become a follower to enter).***
 How does that sound? I'm excited to hear from you! I'll keep this giveaway open until Monday, July 1st. AND it's open to international commenters too. On that date, I'll throw all the names into a jar, pull one, announce the winner and send this good stuff your way. Chat with you soon!

*Ha! You DID skip to the bottom! Well, the details of the giveaway aren't here. So get yourself back up to the top and finish reading! Geesh.

** Ugh, I'm bored by this post already, aren't you? WHAT?! You are?! That was a trick and you, my friend, you failed. No free stuff for you! Now go leave a comment so I can "accidentally" forget to put your name in the jar.

***Yes, you do...****

****Seriously, you don't. Now go away and leave a comment.
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