Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fashion According to Six Year Olds

 Budding fashion designers hard at work.

My day job is working as an elementary art teacher.  I teach everyone at my school once a week, from the four year old kindergarten to the fifth graders.  Even though it is a hectic and fast paced day that requires a lot of patience, I love it.  I'm constantly inspired by the kids I teach.  It really is a rewarding job.  

When I first started this blog, I thought I'd write about kid's art projects all the time.  I planned on having a sewing/art education/art blog.  I imagined I'd write all sorts of fabulous posts on my own creative endeavors as well as activities and tutorials that readers could do with their own children.   Then, the reality set in that I just did not want to blog about work.  Even though I do love what I do, I like thinking about other things when I get home (like sewing).  Blogging about art projects would make this blog an extension of of my work.   I say pffffttt to that.

But, I had to make an exception after I taught my Clothing As Art lesson the other week.  It's just too appropriate.  I've taught this art lesson before, but this is the first time I've taught it since I began sewing so I approached it in a whole new light.  I teach it to first graders.  We answer the question, Is clothing art?  

Right on target with the 70's wide brim hats.  

Well of course, you fellow sewists say!  That's what they say, too.  This time around I spent more time discussing clothing design as an art career.  Students learn that someone has to have the original idea when it comes to a piece of clothing.  Someone out there envisions the initial concept and plans it out by drawing.  Isn't that person an artist?   Definitely, they say.  Most definitely.

Now when I taught this lesson before, we delved right in to the wallpaper books.  I get the old wallpaper sample books from a local paint store.  They are great for various art lessons.  First graders become clothing designers.  We cut out shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, accessories, etc. from wallpaper scraps and glue them down to a large sheet of paper underneath an oval.  Later on when they are all finished, I cut out the oval and they stick their faces up to the oval to "try on" their clothing.  Great fun and silliness happens when we "try on" all of our creations.

 Works in progress

 You'll be seeing zebra/giraffe combos on the runways soon.

This year, I had students spend more time sketching out their ideas like a true clothing designer.  They loved it.  We spent an entire class period drawing out ideas for different garments.  Even the boys got in to it.  I thought you would enjoy seeing what they came up with.  I'm totally inspired.  I am going to make something from one of their drawings.  I'm thinking the green top below with scallops at the bottom.  What do you think?  Or maybe that pink and orange button down number with a green belt.  Something will come of one of these drawings for me. Indubitably.  Of course I will credit the designer.

 Maybe I should make the bicycle tee?

Kind of steam punk, don't you think?

I think that's supposed to be underwear.  But hey, someone has to design those, too.

 Inter-changeable heads: The next big thing in fashion accessories.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  ~Pablo Picasso

Happy sewing, everyone.  Wishing you a wonderful and inspiring week!


  1. What wonderful drawings - it sounds like your class had a lot of fun and got very creative - I think you definitely have discovered some budding dress designers there!

  2. Lovely post. Children are so incredible.

  3. Oh they are just gorgeous! I really enjoyed this post. The dress I would love to see made up is the blue evening dress in the first drawing with the huge heart on it. I can see it at the Academy awards. Trully!

  4. Those are great, Laura! It would be so much fun for the kids to see one of their designs as a finished product!

  5. I giggle every time I scroll back through these pictures :)

    Valerie, that's funny that you pointed out that dress. J said the same thing when he looked through my post.

    Theresa, I'm going to try! I know they would get a kick out of it.

  6. Man, I swear I commented on this... the internet must've eaten it. Anyway, awesome project! I think almost all of my drawings when I was six were princess gowns of one kind or another...

  7. I'm digging the bicycle-tee and the tent dress with the golf hat combo! These are so cute! :)

    Kids are so creative, they only think about what's fun. I wish I could be more like that sometimes!

  8. I love these, such a sweet post! I kind of wish I had this job, but I would be too shy for that anyway :). Looking forward to what you make up, I like both your choices :).