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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: The Embroidered Eiffel Dress

Bonjour, ya'll! 

As you might have guessed from my art room windows and my French poodle dress, I'm on a bit of a Parisian kick. I finished the embroidery for this dress during our last couple of road trips and, despite a wee bit of a disagreement between the hubs and myself (which I'm going to need your help settling), I'm excited with how it turned out. Especially since it began it's life looking like this...

This little hook in my sewing room usually holds half a dozen of work-in-progress, in-need-of-TLC, please-iron-yesterday dresses. I moved the mound so you could focus on this little bitty dress.
I spotted this dress at Goodwill. I recall this style from a couple years ago, you know, that elastic-waist-band-thing. Most of the tops of these dresses where usually tanks, which I never cared for. The sweet yellow blouse is what drew me to this dress. It's tragic flaw was the fact that the skirt was, like, 14" in length which is just a wee bit of a problem for this never-shave-above-the-knee-caps gal.
I began by letting out the hem and removing the pockets. I found this formerly-a-curtain vintage floral fabric in my stash and decided it would look lovely at the bottom of my dress. I had this idea that I wanted it to look like I was walking through a flower garden. Or being eaten alive by vintage fabric. Which, with my hoarder ways, the latter is more likely the case.
Before adding the vintage fabric to the skirt, I hemmed it and created a circle of fabric that was the same circumference as the bottom of the dress. Then I pinned it to the dress and appliqued stitched around  the edge of the flowers. Once that was complete, I had the super duper fun pleasure of trimming all of the excess fabric off the top. I managed to cut into the skirt accidentally only once...which I promptly patched after saying a few naughty words and throwing a couple of things.
Hubs and I have been enjoying some road trippin' during his time off. My favorite car-traveling craft is embroidery. I've worked on my Naughty Nautical Girls dress, my Pin-up Cowgirls dress and my Presley Poodle all while on the road.
Can you guess my inspiration for the dress? You know I love to go all Miss Frizzle what with my clothes matching my teaching unit. I drew out a sketch of the Eiffel Tower on paper, traced it with a Sharpie, pinned that drawing under my dress and (gasp!) drew the tower onto my dress in pencil before embroidering the Eiffel.
Aw, look at young Brigette Bardot in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing what looks to be a vintage Snuggie. This is actually the hair do I was aspiring to. With flowers, of course.
Okay, remember that disagreement between the hubs and myself? Well, I think I needed to add something to the top, to balance out the dress. My idea is to applique some of the flowers onto the left side of the blouse, as seen in the photo on the left (if you click on the photo, I think you'll get a better look). 

Hubs seems to think I need to leave it alone as seen in the photo on the right. I say it's too "business on the top, Parisian party on the bottom". He says I have a habit to taking things to another (read tacky-er) level.

So, dear reader, what do you think? I'd love to hear your input in the poll at the top of this post on the right (which took me far too long to figure out how to install!)...and a comment if you have the time. Thanks for playing!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #6

Feelin' Girly Monday: And I'm so not girly. It just so happens that I like to wear dresses. Other than that, I'm just as gnarly and nasty as your average Tennessee Redneck. Which would explain the mustache I appear to be sporting in this photo...yikes! dress: thrifted; sweater: thrifted and repurposed with lace and new buttons by me; belt: made by me; tights: Target; shoes: John Fluevog; bird headband: Peachy Tuesday
I hope you'll accept my apologies in advance for my What I Wore This Week update. I was temporarily separated from my camera and forced to use that required some sort of downloading and installing. Needless to say, I wasn't about to go to all that trouble. When tasks get hard and I am required to read, think and learn something new, well, that's where I draw the line. My head is for bump-its not thinkin's. So the photos I snapped will forever be trapped on that other camera. And this week will just be full of my funky photos and Lauren's instagrams. Oh well, better luck next week!
Have you been to visit Peachy Tuesday's shop on etsy? If you've not, shame on you! Get your head some accessories now. You can check out her wares here:

Hoping for Snow Monday: We really were. So much so we just knew hanging the kids' finished mural would bring us some luck. No go. Lauren's cute outfit was put together with her Target finds. I'm never that lucky when I go there!
Happy Valentine's Day Tuesday: hearty hairclip: made by me; sweater: hand-me-down from a friend; leopard collar: made by me; skirt: thrift find from the day before; tights: either Marshall's and/or Target...I'm wearing hot pink tights with brown sparkle fishnets on top; shoes: thrift store find, diy'ed by me
Instagram snap shot: Lauren's holding a giant basket full of Valentine's and candy the kids brought us. They know us so well. Lauren went shopping in her mom's closet for this sweet look. Yeah, um, my mom's closet doesn't have cute dresses like that! (Sorry, Paula Sue, you know it's true).
The trouble with taking your own photos with a 10 second timer? Getting in front of the camera without whacking your knee on the chairs in your path. Whacking Wednesday: sweater: Ann Taylor, thrifted; dress: vintage, picked up at The Cactus Flower in college; belt: gift from a friend; shoes: Dolls by Nina
Just a little close up. I love the sweet pattern on the dress combined with the flowers.
Speaking of pattern, don't you love Lauren's? Her cute key skirt was picked up at Goodwill just days before.
I know it's February, but it might as well be spring Tuesday: This is a head-to-toe DIY I did back in October. I cut out flowers from some vintage fabric and appliqued them onto this dress from Urban Outfitters. The sweater was thrifted. I swapped out the buttons and added the appliqued flower to match the dress. boots: Seychelles; belt: made by me
Everything's Coming Up Roses Friday: sweater: vintage, thrifted; dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: made by me; tights: blue fishnets over hot pink tights from Target; shoes: thrifted, by BC
That morning I decided to hot glue a couple of broken clip-on earrings to the black circles on the shoes. I might regret that when I want to wear them with something else...or I might just have to go shoe shopping for another pair!
I love the mustard yellow and lilacy purple, don't you? And she made the belt! I need to find out how...
because it's beautiful! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, all!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #5

Hands-On-Hips = Don't-Mess-With-Me Monday: You know you're getting a little heavy handed with the cat-eye eye-liner when one of your students says, "Are you wearing your King Tut makeup today?" (click here to see me as Tut: ) sweater and dress: thrifted; belt: gift from a friend; fishnets over mustard tights: Target; long-lost shoes: Sofft
Hey kids! It was a good week in Art Teacher Land. Weeks ago I lost a bag full of my favorite things: the shoes I'm wearing in the photo above, my gallon can of Big Sexy Hair hairspray and my makeup bag full of lipsticks. I'd given them up as gone-for-good when I just happened to be in our school's communal kitchen when what do I see? My bag o' stuff! I couldn't believe my luck...then I couldn't believe no one returned the bag to me. I mean, I know it didn't have my name on it or anything but who else in the school wears a honkin' size 10 in Funky Shoes, requires a jug of hairspray to maintain bumpit perfection and would have that many lipsticks?! Oh well. I'm just glad it's all back in the right hands. 

In other news, here's what Lauren and I wore this week. Check out her handmade belt and splatter paint shirt. Adorable! Enjoy your weekend, all.

Student Teacher Lauren perfecting her Hands-On-Hips look: she told me that she gets most of her cute clothes from Target. I love how she puts things together, don't you? Her color combos are very clever. Mint green and deep purple? Yes please and thank you!

Soldier of Love and Killer Boots Tuesday: And by killer, I mean they just about killed me. tights: Marshall's; boots: Buffalo Exchange; belt: made by me; dress: thrifted, altered by can read more about that alteration here:

Could-She-Get-Any-Cuter Tuesday: Not only is Lauren modeling an adorable dress on loan from her sis but she's also wearing lipstick she was gifted from a student! We were both given tubes of red lipstick this nice to have miniature stylists.

Evaluation Wednesday: My big day...I was being observed to make sure that I was actually educating children and not just letting them huff sharpies and roll around in finger paint. Thankfully the kids were their usual awesome selves and all went swimmingly. sweater: has the sweetest label inside that says "Made With Love by Ester"; dress: BCBG, a rare new-item purchase; tights: Target; shoes: John Fluevog

Look at that bow belt! Aren't you in love? Lauren whipped it up that morning with sweet little train fabric she thrifted in Holland. Gah!

Crayon Shoes Thursday: All week one of my kindergarteners asked me if I'd wear my crayon shoes on her art day. So I got all crayola-ified from head to toe only to have her say upon walking in, "No, I said I wanted you to wear your pencil shoes!" shirt and sweater: Gap and Ann Taylor, thrifted; skirt: etsy; tights: Target; shoes and crayon hair clip: made by me

Look at that shirt! Lauren made it the night before using the secondary colors so that it would aid in the color lesson she's doing with the third graders. Genius.

It's Friday, Let's do an Irish jig: When all else fails, just pose like The Lord of the Dance. dress and belt: made by me with the help of a very good friend, blogged about a couple of years ago here:; red fishnets over blue tights: Target; shoes; Dolls by Nina

Lauren can rock a pencil shirt. She said she snagged this one at Target. And her shirt was made by her boyfriend. Happy Friday from the Art Room!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY: Soldier of Love

Don't ask me what this pose is all about. I look like some sort of deodorant commercial. And this was one of the better pics in the batch. Oui.
This weekend I was struck by the sewing bug and decided to create another Valentine's Day themed dress. I like to call this little number Soldier of Love inspired both by the little guys at the bottom of my dress and these lyrics by the Beatles song of the same name:

Lay down your arms (.....soldier of love)
and surrender to me. (sha la la)
Lay down your arms (.....soldier of love)
and love me peacefully, (sha la la) yeah (sha la la).
Use your arms for loving me,
baby that's the way it's got to be. (Ooooooo)

Sorry for the linty-lo on my shoulder. These little hearts were the recipients of many a curse word as appliqueing them on was a real...well...female dog. The little bits of white showing through drive me nuts. Where's a red sharpie when you need it?
For the creation of this dress, I started with the hearts. My original idea was for the hearts to be embroidered in the same way you see the stripes in the above hearts. But the embroidery didn't work out as planned and my threads looked saggy and weird. And nobody likes saggy and weird or Rosanne Barr would be back in popularity. So, I ripped out all that work and tried a little something different.
Outfit details: dress: Goodwill; belt: one made by me; boots: Buffalo Exchange; jacket: Anthropologie, gift from a friend; tights: dunno.
I cut out two squares of the striped fabric and sewed them right sides together with a diagonal line that went from one corner of the square to the other. I cut off one half of the diagonal square and cut a heart shape out of the other half. That was then pressed open and appliqued onto the dress. That last part proving to be a real female dog but at least it was no longer Rosanne Barr, if you catch my drift.
Showing off my crazy fishnets. When I put them on, a toe popped out of each hole. I knew I wouldn't be able to do that all day so I'm actually wearing a pair of thin socks under my 'nets. And those boots...ack! I was fine until the last hour of the day. Then I wanted to cut my feets off.
I have had this adorable late 1960's curtain fabric for ages. Using a curtain to create a new version of this dress made me feel very Scarlet O'Hara but without the yards of green velvet and the hot dude who didn't give a damn. After taking 9" off the bottom of the dress, I hemmed the bottom of the curtain, sewed it into a giant hoop of fabric that was the same circumference as the bottom of the dress and sewed the two together.That part proved to be pretty painless.
The back of the dress had buttons that were the same khaki color of the dress. They were kinda lame so I picked up some of those make-em-yourself buttons at JoAnn's. I covered these buttons in the same fabric as the hearts.
Just a little close up of the buttons. And my wrinkly backside. Wait, that doesn't sound right. You know what I mean.

El Fin!
So, it was an easy DIY. It got mixed reviews today as some thought the soldiers a little weird but I love the little dudes. So much so I tried to make big hair to match their big hats. Chat with you soonish!

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #4

I-Forgot-It-Was-January-And-Wore-Sandals Monday: Not like it matters, we've had one of the warmest winters on record. And I couldn't resist...these John Fluevog's I picked up in San Fran were demanding to be worn. sweater: gift from mother-in-law; dress: Four Seasons Cottage Vintage in Knoxville; belt: made by me; fishnets and tights: dunno, Target?; shoes: Fluevog
Hiya, all! I'm sharing with you this week what I chose to wear. Which, as you can tell, involves closing my eyes, plunging my hand into my closet and just throwing on whatever mildly matches. You think I'm kidding? Check out Thursday's number. Plaids and stripes? That only happens when the light's out in your closet and you pick your clothes in the dark. Trust me.

I'm so excited that my incredible student teacher has allowed me to feature her daily outfits as well! Isn't she a doll? I do have a photo of her lovely Monday look but blogger was being a booger and refused to post the photo right side up. So you'll just have to take my word that she looked just as cute as she does in the following photos. I do hope you enjoy what's left of your weekend. I plan to change that bulb in my closet...but don't expect any change in my look next week.

Totally Tuesday: So last week I was told by one of my second graders that I needed to invest in some Red Hot Lipstick...and I did! I was so excited to show her. However, she was not the least bit impressed. "That's not Red Hot enough for you!" Man, kids these days. So hard to please. red shirt and mustard tights: Target; dress: thrifted, altered by me; collar and belt: made by me, I chatted about it here:; shoes: Clarks
This is the look she gives the naughty kindergarteners. Ha! Just kidding. We NEVER have any ill-behaved children. On Lauren: floral top: thrifted; sweater and shoes: Target; pants: Express; belt: For Love
It's a Perry the Platypus Belt Buckle kind of Wednesday: sweater: BCBG , thrifted; dress: vintage, thrifted; blue fishnets: dunno, Marshall's?; shoes: Dolls by Nina; Perry the Platypus belt: created for a custom order then was never purchased. So now I get to wear it!
Look how adorable she is! dress and shoes: Target; tights: Express; shirt: H&M
Trust me, I find this photo as annoying as you do. Thursday: sweater: thrifted; skirt: gift from a friend; shirt and tights: Target; shoes: originally black thrifted shoes but I painted them into pencil shoes. The kids always ask if the eraser works...but never if they pencil does.
The Calm After the Storm: Here's Lauren after she and I did bubble printing with four kindergarten classes back to back. She's still smiling! dress: I think she told me Banana Republic; sweater: Philanthorpie; shoes: Toms
Friday, you don't know how happy you make me: sweater: thrifted; dress: Cactus Flower in Bloomington, IN; apron and flower brooch: gift from mother-in-law; fishnets: Marshall's; shoes: Indigo by Clarks
Sorry, we were so involved in our lessons for the day that I forgot to ask for outfit details. I do love how Lauren layers her sweaters. I am so stealing that idea!
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

DIY: How to Dress Like a Kindergartener

Warning: This blog post is full of the World's Most Annoying Photos. But I have excuses! I have a head cold; it's really early in the morning; I'm all jacked-up on herbal tea and sudafed. AND I was born this annoying. So, what can you do?

Hey! Look! It's a thirty-something dressed like an over-grown 6 year old! Listen, folks, I'm just trying to keep it real for the under 10 set, 'kay? Thankfully, I teach the littles. Can you imagine what middle school kids would have to say about my look? I shudder to think.
 Okay, I know I look like I've been put in the corner (which if my parents had done more often, I'd probably be a much better person), but I'm just trying to give you a view of the heart in my dress. And my giant slinky-esque hair.

The idea for this dress came to me on my recent visit to San Francisco. I found this most incredible creme-colored dress with a heart cut out of the back. Despite the despicable number 4 size, I was determined to try it on. And. Get. It. Zipppppped! After which I couldn't breath nor feel my fingertips. Right before I passed out from lack of oxygen, I managed to break free of the dress and return the ugly ole rag to it's rusty wire hanger. I didn't really like it that much anyway. 

But who am I kidding? It was one of those dresses that haunts you. It comes to you in your sleep and whispers in your ear, "celery and water for the next thirty days and we could be together!" Hmmm...

"A grapefruit and a couple of prunes a day for a couple of weeks and I'll be all yours!" Well...that doesn't sound too bad...

"Give up chocolate for a week and that zipper will glide over your ---"

Wait, what?
Did that dress just say "give up chocolate"?! Ho, no. That ain't even in my realm of possibilities. Sorry, dress. But that's where I draw the line.

Sorry for the grainy photo...just trying to give you a closer look. I told you my hair looks like a slinky! Wiggles like one too.

So I decided to make my own version. With this sad little plaid jumper I'd picked up a Goodwill ages ago and worn just once. I had always liked it for it's vintage-y Catholic-school-girl jumper look but it was really long. Like, down to my mid-calf long. It made me feel as though I'd been swallowed up by some giant kilt. It seemed the perfect blank canvas for my dress-terpiece.

I was seriously nervous about cutting the heart out of the back but it turned out to be the easiest part. I used a paper template, cut around it, notched the heart, tucked and ironed it under, sewed around the heart and I was done. Seriously. That simple.
Another grainy number. Sorry.
And I had thought the pocket would be the easy part. Ha! Silly me. I tried to create the pocket the same way I had the opening in the back. Cut out a too-big heart, cut notches, tuck notches under and sew.  But the velvet proved to be too flimsy and my heart looked lumpy and weird.

Plan B proved to work much better. I cut out the heart in velvet, mustard yellow linen and some slightly stiff backing. I sandwiched the backing in between the two fabrics and did a tight zigzag stitch around it. Which, by the way, all sewing machines have. My ole Kenmore had this same function. From there, I sewed the pocket onto the dress.
Could I be anymore annoyingly excited? I warned you.
I also took up that hem several inches. I used the excess plaid fabric as a bow for my hair. Kinda hard to see as it blends in with my 'do. I also made the belt. I'm rather matchy-match like that.
My Peter Pan collar which was referred to thrice as a bib. Yeah...not exactly what I had in mind but whatever.
I created the Peter Pan collar after seeing a similar idea here: The tutorial there used leather for the collar but I decided to use my mustard colored linen again. Just like the pocket, I sandwiched a piece of backing in between two pieces of mustard fabric and zigzag stitched around the edges. I stitched very small button holes at the top and bottom of the collar to feed the ribbon through. Once I had the ribbon at the right length, I cut it and waved a lighter under it to seal the ribbon and keep it from fraying.
My finished kindergarten look. The best part about this dress? The always-forgiving elastic waist band. Which means I can eat as much chocolate as I like. Take that, Size 4.
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