Showing posts with label pencil dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pencil dress. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY: Back to Art Teacherin' Dress

Hey there, friends! After a week hiatus, I'll be back with you on Wednesday, August 9th at 8pm CST on Facebook LIVE! We'll be talking about all things Back to School: Rules, Routines and Life After Summer Vacation (sigh). I'll also be hosting a giveaway and sharing some fun news. So be sure and drop by right here (liking/following the page will insure that I pop up in your feed). 

For the last couple of years, I've been making Back to Art Teacherin' Dresses. I thought it was something I'd just recently started doing...but it turns out that this is an ongoing thang. At a school PD today a buddy asked, "How many dresses do you think you have, Stephens?" I didn't have an answer. I'd prob be embarrassed to admit just how many stinkin' dresses I have. I started purchasing vintage dresses many moons ago at thrift and resale shops. When I learned how to sew about 5 years ago, I just added more dresses to the collection...without doing any weeding. I just can't bare to part with a good ole fit and flair number, y'all. 
My very first Back to Art Teacherin' dress was this number. I rarely wear it now as, in my increasingly tacky eyes, it's a bit boring. From there, I've been hooked on creating a dress that helps me get pumped and excited about the new school year. I can't go out and buy back to school clothes as my overflowing closet is evidence that this gal don't need no more garb. However, I can shop for some super cute fabric and make a dress of my own, right? 
Feast your eyes on this mega-goodness. I'm gonna be honest, I'm starting to become a little bit disenchanted with the usual fabric options. Most fabric patterns are cute...but small. Since sewing with the big and bold patterns from IKEA, I've been on the hunt for more Large Marge prints. So I hopped over to Spoonflower and used the search bar to look for a pencil print. And that's when I found this mega-goodness
 Here's a short clip of me twirling in slow mo and fast mo (is that a thing? Who is this Moe and why is he so fast and slow?!). When wearing a circle skirt, it is the law that one must twirl no fewer than 29 times, hourly. Look, I don't write the rules, I just follow 'em. 
Having a deadline, like Meet the Teacher Night, gave me the inspiration to burn the midnight oil (and the early morning, em, oil? Grease? What do they burn in the early morning? Whatever it is, it stinks) and finish this bad boy. Let's face it, that print makes the dress. I LOVE the retro look of it!
It's the best twirling dress this side of the Mississippi. 
Some of my other Back to Art Teacherin' dresses include this number created from fabric found in JoAnn's discount area. I loved it for it's marker-scribble feel. This dress made me happy with the print but I feel like I'm about to fly away with those sleeve things. I don't wear this one very often as I don't find the bodice as flattering as I would have liked. But this van Gogh-inspired dress has all of my fave features: a fitted bodice, a giant waist band and BOWZ. Cuz I like big bows and I cannot lie. 
Everyone has their own way about getting excited about their "jobs" (can we really call art teacherin' a "job"?! I mean, it's like the best thing ever AND they pay us!). My way is sewing up a fun dress. Your way might be decorating your art room, painting your nails in a rainbow pattern, creating a sign for your art room. Whatever it is, dive in! Do it! It will make you happy and, as we all know, Happy Art Teacher, Happy Life...or something like that.
In short, you do you...and bring that what you be doin' to your art room. I promise you that it will not only inspire your young artists but those around you as well. 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

DIY: Pencil Inspired Dress

Well, would you lookie here, I finished my Halloween costume! I know, I know, I'm a lil late to the party (wait, there was a party?And I wasn't invited?! Story of my life, y'all). But I actually like to think that Halloween and the wearing-of-costumes is something that should be celebrated all year long. Kinda like my birthday. Or that part in Christmas where people give me stuff. A daily birthday/present-opening/costume-wearing celebration would be fine by me. We'll call it "Everyday Give Cassie Stuff And Wear a Costume". Or something. It's a working title so I'm totes open to ideas.  
While you're shopping on Amazon for my prezzies (I created a wish list to make your life easier because I'm a considerate soul), lemme chat for a minute about this here dress. I got the idea into my head about a year ago to create this pencil-tasticness. I don't know if you are like this but when I get an idea, one of two things usually happens: I act on it right away, despite having a messy house, a missing cell phone, a mountain of other projects and probably a misplaced sandwich or three. OR, as in this case, I sit on the idea for a while, let it germinate (read: I procrastinate because figuring out making something is sometimes hard when you are thick between the ears) and then, one morning having woken up with a wild hair or three, decide to act on it with rick-rack-less abandon. 
Now for me, the best part of coming up with a new idea is shopping for the supplies. Which proved to be a pinch difficult in the case of this dress. My first order of business was finding big a## rickrack which, by the way, I DON'T recommend you do a google image search for. Ahem. I still wish I could have found an even bigger rack (double ahem) but this one did just fine. I also struggled finding a woodgrain fabric as I believe Kelly from the Deli was using it all for her runway collection (that joke was strictly for the PR fans out there. Holla!). Seriously tho, I ended up having to sacrifice a perfectly decentish wood grain skirt that I purchased from Target years ago. You can see it in it's former life in this post

Part of the inspo for this dress came from the pattern seen above. When I first used this pattern I thought the sleeves were just so crazy big like some sort of bat wings. I mean, I liked the dress and all but the sleeves were so stinkin' big that I kept seeing them out of the corner of my eye and smacking myself imagining there was something on me. Which FUR REALZ makes you look like a crazy person, slapping your own self silly. You can see that dress here.
(P.S. I'm totes awares that this here paragraph is centered while the others are not. Blogger has decided that despite my numerous edits and grumblings that this here para shall be centra-fied. So just deal, y'all.)
The hem of the skirt had to come up a lot to account for the fabric needed for the sleeves. I picked up a pink crinoline from Amazon to hide the fact that my skirt isn't art teacherin' length appropriate. As if ANY of my wardrobe is art teacherin' appropriate. 
And, like, I have no idea how it happened but this dress is one tight mother-lover. Well, I DO know what happened, I'm not detail oriented, totes screwed up my measurements and ended up with a dress so form fitting that I can only manage to squeak into a sports bra when wearing it. Not to mention that the only zipper I had on hand was one that is 18" which means I get to do my most embarrassing contortionist performance whilst getting dressed. There's a lotta of naughty words dropped putting this thing on as you can imagine.
While sewing away, I started toying around with one of the sleeves before sewing it in and thought, "this might be the wine talking but wouldn't this make a super awesome pencil-tastic hat?!" (note to self: the reason my measurements were prolly talking.)
Sewing that up wasn't too bad as I actually just used the sleeve pattern with some of the "lead" stitched to the top. The lead of the pencil is ACTUALLY yellow...til the hubs walked in and said, "shouldn't that pencil led be black?" and I was all, "UGH. WHERE WERE YOU 15 MINUTES AGO, BRUH?!" So for a quick fix I just wrapped this gray linen around the top. 
And there you have it! One ever-so slightly belated Halloween pencil-inspired costume complete! 

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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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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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