Showing posts with label miss frizzle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miss frizzle. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DIY: The Crayon Tote

Hey, friends! I'm coming to you from the magical land of Orlando with free time provided by the amazing gift known as Spring Break! Hence the big smile and bright sunshine...tho you may have to wear sunglasses to view this post as the sunlight reflecting off my pale legs is blinding. 

Usually when I have a break, I spend the first half of my time off ignoring my To Do list and binge watching junk on Netflix...which is then followed by the end of my break where I am scrambling to accomplish at least one To Do. This time around, I decided to flip flop: before we cut outta town, I managed to edit a couple of videos (which, if you've not seen our school talent show vid, y'all are missing out. Catch me getting roasted followed by my uke debut at minute 47 here) and finish off this here Crayon Tote. All before cuttin' outta town for a few days. I'm mighty proud of my procrastinatin' self. I'd say that perhaps this is a sign of me turning over a new leaf...but I'm willing to put money on it that this is a one time dealio.
But, let's return to the subject at hand, shall we? This here Crayon Tote!
 So I started this tote MANY moons ago. It was a weekend, I'd had this idea for a crayon-themed bag in my head and without much of a plan, I started sketching, creating a paper pattern from my drawing, pinning the pattern pieces to fabric from my stash, and stitching it together. By the end of the weekend, I had completed the front and back of the bag. And I had no idea of how to proceed from there.  
And so it sat in my sewing room for months and months. Finally this past Saturday, I decided I was going to figure it out and finish it. I recalled that one of my very first sewing projects I created about 7 years ago, when I first started stitching, was a tote. I had used Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing and, following her directions, churned out a bag that I got quite a bit of use out of. The boxy nature of that tote lead me to believe that the concept just might work for this bag as well. So I cracked up the book and followed the directions once again. 
 Now, you can purchase that book used and on the cheap over on Amazon. The pattern is simple really. Create a front and back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels. With right sides together, stitch the side panels to the front and back panels creating a tube. Flip inside out and pin the bottom panel to the bottom of the tube and stitch. That part is a pinch tricky...just remember to turn those corners and you'll be fine. 
 Because I had already created my front and back panel before settling in on this pattern, I did not follow the measurements in the pattern. Instead I used my pre-created front and back panels to determine the size of my end and bottom pieces. 
For the lining of the bag, I was just going to use yellow fabric...until my art teacher friend Michelle suggested I use this vintage Crayola fabric. I've had this fabric in my stash for some time (it was gifted to me by a sweet art teacher) and had recently shared it on my Instagram. I had planned to use the small stash of fabric to create a top but when Michelle mentioned that it would be great for the lining, I couldn't have agreed more!
The lining was created in the exact same way as the bag itself. From there I stitched the handles. The pattern calls for short handles...but I knew I'd want something I could throw over my shoulder so I doubled the length. 
By the way, the first bag I created was very slumpy. In the pattern, it doesn't mention adding anything to stiffen or firm up the fabric. So whenever I would set my bag down, it would kind of dissolve like the Wicked Witch getting water thrown on her. I def didn't want that happening with this bag. I wanted it to stand up and look adorbs even when it was empty. So I sandwiched some thin quilting batting material in between each part of the bag...even the handle. And I'm so glad I did. Not only does it make the bag look more like a box of crayons but that cushion in the strap makes it much more comfortable on my shoulder.
Just a fun side pocket for pens and random other things for me to misplace and lose. 
 I love me some applique. It's so perfect for creating graphic imagery with hard lines. 
 Ah! That peak of lining! 
Of course y'all know I had to wear every color in the crayon box to coordinate with my bag. 
Whew! Another thing off my spring break To Do! Now back to my usual program of watching mindless telly. Toodles!
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

DIY: The Scissor Dress

Y'all probably know this by now but I'm on the cutting edge of fashion. My designs are, like, super sharp and on point. It's with shear delight that I dream up these crazy ensembles. I can get pretty snippy when what I've got in my wee little head doesn't work out...but when it does, I treat myself to a slice of pizza (I promise I'm almost done here). Shall we CUT to the chase?!

I made a scissor dress, y'all!
So I've been wanting to make a Matisse-inspired ensemble for a while...and while this is NOT it, the idea of creating a look that resembled his cut paper designs is what inspired this dress. If you follow me on Insta, you've seen the start of my Matisse dress (I'm struggling with it tho so I'd love some advice: have y'all ever used a free-motion foot? If I want to stitch something with many curved edges, is that what I'd need?). I'm excited that this dress came out of that other idea. I love how one idea can lead to another.
Please pardon the cat hair. Friends allergic to cats, I'm sure this photo alone gives you the sniffles. I found this dress at H&M and knew immediately that it would be perfect for my scissor dress idea.
 I mean, check out that neckline. Perfect! I started by sketching my pair of scissor directly onto the dress with chalk. Then I traced my lines onto a sheet of lining (seen below) and used that as my pattern pieces. 
 It really was so super easy. Originally, I was going to use silver fabric for the scissors but I couldn't find it in my stash. Instead I used the metallic silver velvet I had and red velvet. I think that was a much better choice. Stitching that thin shiney fabric is a real drag as it aways gets runs and puckers in it. I backed the blades with two pieces of shirting (that stuff you see above) and it made it so simple to stitch.
The scissor handles were a little more difficult. I only backed them with one piece of the shirting, not realizing it would make a difference. It did. It was more tricky to stitch and the lines aren't as clean and even. I'm okay with that tho. The curved lines can also be a drag to sew.
When I popped the dress up on Insta while it was on my mannequin, I got several, "uh, girl, you gonna wear something underneath that?!" comments. Y'all. I'm not J. Lo! I just so happened to have THE PERFECT fabric in my stash: the scissor fabric. And in the right color way too. See, being a fabric hoarder does have it's benefits. I used the Scout Tee pattern by Grainline Studio. I love that pattern as I can whip up a top in just over an hour. 
Did I mention that the dress has pockets? YAZ, KWEEN. Pockets give me life!
Today, I popped into the gym to chat with my P.E. buddies. When I did, the fourth graders asked if I was going to play Capture the Flag with them. One girl piped up, "She can't play! She might cut herself!" Good one, kid. Slow clap.
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

DIY: the Palette Dress

If you follow me here, then you've seen the progression of what I've been calling the Palette Dress. One of the things I've been a little bummed about of late is that I've not been devoting as much time as I'd like to sewing. The last dress I stitched up was the Eyeball Dress and, while it was fun to make and even more fun to wear, it was just follow-the-pattern dressmaking. I miss creating crazy and fun ensembles like these. I long to go back to when I made the time to create monthly masterpiece-inspired dresses...but other "things" and interests have been eating up my time. One of which I can finally close the "book" on, ahem (eep! I KNOW. I'll be sharing more details to come but in the meantime, go on and get yourself that preorder copy, ermkay?). 
This past school year, I've also made a stronger effort to create quality video content both for my students...and for y'all. I have found that I really enjoy creating the videos and I am truly loving the benefit it has had on the art education of my students. I can throw so much more content, vocabulary and easy-to-see demonstrations at them. If you use the videos, I do hope you and your kiddos have found them helpful and fun.

All that to say...I miss creative sewing! So when I got the idea to create this Palette Dress, I was determined to dive right in. It all started with this pattern. 
I've had this in my (enormous) stash of vintage patterns for a while. One of my favorite bizarre pastimes is to go thru my boxes of vintage patterns, admire the illustrations on the front and imagine a dialog happening between the fine females featured. Would you like to hear this one? Like you have a choice, y'all. 

"Look, I'm not one to spread rumors, but the word is Darlene cropdusts the whole office just so she can walk around and smell her own farts."

I mean, c'mon, y'all. She's totally sniffin' somethin'!
While admiring that pattern (and dreaming up dialog), I thought what fun it might be to take that large collar and make it into a palette. So I created this sketch. And then drove to Joann's for some twill fabric and fabric paint. 
Ah, our bonus room. The Jack of All Trades room. It has served as the book-writing room, the video making room, the Facebook LIVE chat room and, as you can see, the fabric-painting room. I placed a sheet of oil cloth down on the floor before watching back to back episodes of Twin Peaks (current obsession) and going to town. 
The end result. I used Tulip brand fabric paint and even after a wash and dry, the colors remained as vibrant. 
 Stitching the dress up took no time at all. It was a super simple pattern. I'm used to dresses with breast darts, waists, gathered or circle skirts. The only "hard" part of this dress were the pleats down the front. After that, it was simply a zip, hem and sleeves (uuuuuugh, sleeves). All of which would have been less time consuming had I not been watching a cocktail of Twin Peaks, Schitt's Creek and Broad City on my craptop. Sigh. 
Then it was time to make the collar. Funny story: I LOST the pattern for the collar. That's right. LOST IT. I must have spent a horrid HOUR cleaning and looking for that doggone thing (btw, the ONLY way our house gets cleaned is if I lose something. Don't tell the hubs, he'll start hiding stuff like crazy). I never did find it. Tho it prolly doesn't help that I currently have five dress projects all over my smallish sewing room with pattern pieces scattered hither and thither (am I using that expression correctly? What is a "thither" anyway?). 
When I finally realized that I wasn't going to find the missing pattern piece until AFTER the dress was complete (cuz, let's be honest, that's how it goes), I thought, "I can do it. Pattern? I don't need no stinkin' pattern!" I did have the pattern for the interfacing. Non-stitchers, fun, boring fact: interfacing is that crapola inside your collars and whutnots that gives it structure and form. Yes, that is the accurate fashion design term. Google it, yo. Anyway, I did a wee bit of measuring and maths and BOOM! I created a detachable paint palette collar. With applique paint blobs and a thumb hole, thank you, vury much. 
Oh, what's that? 
You're wondering where my beautiful paint brush crown is from? It's from my art teacherin' friend Linda McConaughy. If y'all are going to NAEA in NYC (I'll be there, presenting 3 times, details this week!), she'll be selling her AMAZING crowns at the artisan market. 
I'm super happy with this dress. It's def not my usual fit and flair dress...but I do like the idea of an open waist (the design is actually a maternity dress and, before you even ask, no y'all!) because that means I'll have more room in my belly in NYC. Hope to see you there. If not, catch you on the flip side, y'all! 
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Monday, December 26, 2016

DIY: The IKEA Eyeball Dress

Happy Post-Christmas, y'all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is recovering nicely. Santa was super good to me this year (thanks, hubs!) and I got a ton of fun gifties. My favorite present was the insulated Starbucks cup that, as I was unwrapping it, I was told was a freebee from the work lounge. Um...thanks? My man is so silly, y'all don't even know. 

Speaking of prezies, I used one of 'em to film this wee gem that my entire neighborhood (and now all of the internet) was at privilege to witness...
I can only imagine what my poor neighbors think of the Hot Mess Express that lives next door to them. 
So if you've been following me here and here, first off all, bless your heart and secondly, thank you for suffering along with me as I figure out this thing I call The Eyeball Dress. After creating my last Ikea fabric dress with the giant cat motif, I decided that big bold prints are my new favorite thing. You can see another Ikea print dress here and here. When I stumbled upon this Ikea print on ebay, I scooped up all the yardage that was available. Unfortunately, there were only 3 yards...which normally is plenty for a dress in this style. However, because of the placement of the eyes on the fabric, it made for some tricky pattern cutting. 

So I had to do some thinking. Which really isn't my jam so I posed the question to y'all: what to do about that bodice. Initially I created the top right but the fact that the eyes didn't match up just about drove me bananaz. So I toyed with the idea of a solid bodice which got the most positive feedback from y'all. However, I've been power watching Schitt's Creek lately and if it's one thing I've learned, it's to let your crazily-dressed-freak-flag-fly...
This scene is reenacted multiple times a day at my house. My poor hubs. If only this were his reaction:
He's too brutally honest to ever fib about how I look. I've learned it's best not to ask. 
Every since I scored this fabric, I knew I wanted it to be all eyes, all the way. I mean, otherwise, it's just a crazy skirt with a top stitched to it. So even though it took some unfun pattern play, I opted to do the eyes right down the middle which then continued on down to the skirt. But if I'm being totes honest, I mostly put the eyes on top so I could say stupid stuff like, "Hey, buddy! My eyes are up here! No, wait...that's not entirely true." I know, I missed my calling as a stand up comedian. I get told that ALL.THE.TIME. (well, this one time. But I think the person was drunk.)

On Christmas eve, I was just about done with this thing when my dear ole faithful sewing machine decided to flake out. I'm all NOW IS NOT THE TIME! I was determined to finish the thing...so determined that we braved The Twilight Zone, aka Walmart on Christmas eve... 
I returned home with just a few minor bruises and scratches and a brand new Janome sewing machine. Just in time to finish this bad boy. 

By the way, the ENTIRE time I've worked on this dress, I've had that Twilight Zone eyeball on my mind.
I thought taking photos outside would be fun as it is currently a crazy 70 degrees here in Nashville. C'mon winter, man up!
Of course it is super windy outside, which explains the peepshow I gave all y'all and my 'hood. I was going for something a wee more graceful, like this.
Of course, Roger (the monster in the Playhouse) also kept popping into my head. Although, I'll admit, I have thoughts of Pee-wee's Playhouse on the daily. 
I managed to not stitch a single dress for the holiday season. Which is super unusual for me...but I actually didn't have enough days in the month of December to wear all of my Christmas garb, #tackytroubles.
Mike Wazowski, much?
 My favorite part of this dress: the eyeballs on the back. Now I can channel my inner Roz...
Speaking of windy, I leave you with photos from the end of my camera roll. I'd apologize but I'm just keeping it real, kids.
 Real...
Crazy, that is. Thanks for all the advice on the dress, I so appreciated it! And, of course, thank you for dropping by. Xo!
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