Ok, ok. Before you make judgments about my personal style, just know that I approached this as an art project. Not necessarily something I'll be wearing on a regular basis. Though there is a part of me that really likes this jacket. Call it batty old art teacher style. You'll see it all over the runways soon.
Do you read no big dill? If you don't, I highly recommend it. Katy is a designer/sewist/mom extraordinaire who comes up with the most creative, artsy things. I enjoy reading her blog so much and I love her sense of style and color. She's also the genius behind the Once Upon a Thread series where sewists are challenged to create a project inspired by a favorite children's book.
I decided I wanted to play along last week. I love sewing practical and useful things, of course- but isn't it fun to make something totally wacky and frivolous every once in a while? I wanted to try some techniques I haven't attempted yet. Painting fabric, namely. It seems like the perfect marriage between my day job and sewing.
Now I realize that most people who participated in this challenge sewed for their own children. I don't have any children of my own yet, but I do teach art to almost 600 a week! I spend most of my day socializing with four to ten year olds (oh the things I hear...) so I felt like this challenge was right up my alley.
I chose the book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow. I collect kid's books that have to do with any sort of art-- being an art teacher. But I also L-O-V-E the illustrations in this book. They're completely wild. Very Dr. Seuss-esque. For those of you out there who are horrified by the improper language, just know that Karen Beaumont based the words on an old folk song, It Ain't Gonna Rain No More. The book can be read, sung or chanted-- whatever. I've read it and I've also sung it to my kindergartners. But only when the aide is not in the room. I have no problem singing to 25 six year olds, but not to another adult ;)
The book starts out-
One day my momma caught me
paintin' pictures on the floor
and the ceiling
and the walls
and the curtains
and the door
and I heard my momma holler
like I never did before...
Don't you love the drawings? Look at those little feet sticking up out of the bathtub.
But of course the main character does paint again. Then the book goes on and talks about all the places he paints. Good for teaching body parts.
I read some reviews of the book where parents were upset about the book encouraging kids to paint all over the place, but I think most kids know the book is silly and fun. At least the age that I read it to does.
Here's my fabric painting set up in case you are interested. I sacrificed a few old towels and laid them out on our dining room table. Then I covered the whole thing with brown postal paper. It only seeped through in a few places on to the towels. I decided to cut my pattern pieces first instead of just painting the whole piece of fabric. I figured I would have more control over what color went where. I used a white cotton bull denim, which was a dream to work with. I wet my pattern pieces first so they would absorb the paint better. I tried to treat it as I would a watercolor painting but not all the same techniques applied. Tricky to do an even wash on cloth. Fabric is much more absorbent than paper, so the paint continued to "travel" long after I stopped painting. Some colors overtook others while some seemed to have less pigment. It was a fun experiment.
I used Jacquard Dye-na-flow paints which I ordered from Dharma Trading Company. They have any number of fabric paints. I chose these particular paints because they are thin- like dye- so the fabric stays soft. You can heat set, too, which is a plus. I cut a few linoleum stamps for the paint splotches and ants. I brought out my old printmaking supplies and blew the dust off. Super fun. Funny how I keep band-aids in with my linoleum cutters-- and yes I needed one later. I always poke myself. I used standard black fabric paint for the stamps.
The ants are on the inside, creeping out around the lapel. I love me some stripey buttons, too.
I decided to put piping around the faux pocket flaps and lapels. I wanted to bring in some more black like the illustrations. All the top stitching is done with black thread.
The jacket pattern is Butterick 5647. I used the variation with the shawl collar but also used the cuffed 3/4 length sleeves. I wanted the jacket to have a shrunken feel so I went down a whole size. I actually really like the fit even if it is a tiny bit short on me. Quite a nifty little jacket pattern, if you ask me. I liked the construction. This one will be bookmarked for a more wearable jacket one day.
Quit all that racket!
Gonna paint my....
(sorry- lame attempt at rhyming...)
I sure did have fun working on this. I'm happy I broke out some old art supplies, too. It's about time some of those things saw the light of day again. Hooray Katy, for your awesome idea! I really enjoyed seeing all the things made that were inspired by kid's books.
There's got to be SOME time and place appropriate to wear a hand painted jacket, right?
And I can't promise you that I ain't gonna paint no more...
This jacket is incredible! It really looks like it was a lot of fun to make with all the painting, printing, and sewing. I especially like the black top stitching that you did to match the illustrations. Great details, great work.ReplyDelete
Original idea and its worthy embodiment. Gallant!ReplyDelete
This is SO AWESOME! I love the book, the inspiration, everything! My dad used to sing "It ain't gonna rain no more" to us when we were little...ReplyDelete
I think you should TOTALLY wear it to work.
I LOVE this!!! I teach 2-6 year olds and love dressing along with the theme we're teaching. We were rocking the coolest turkey hats last week. Very Ms. Frizzle like. Your students must think you're so cool! :)ReplyDelete
I think this is awesome! I just finished my teaching degree and started my new wilder look with a pair of red glasses. I figure if you can't wair red frames when for a little fun when teaching young kids, when can you.ReplyDelete
Seriously, you need to wear this jacket!
OH wow!! What a fantastic project!! Love the crazy colours :)ReplyDelete
What a fun project. It always feels good to complete something using all the supplies laying around begging to be used.ReplyDelete
This jacket is amazing. I really like how cleverly you made it fit into the book's theme. You should wear this often and proudly - I mean it. It's awesome!ReplyDelete
Great project, wonderful jacket! Be sure to model it for your students to show them anything is possible!ReplyDelete
Oh my god. If you don't get crowned the Queen of Ultimate Creativity, I'm staging a revolution. That is amazing. All that work! All that fun! And SO well made. I love the tie in to a children's book.ReplyDelete
I love this! I love everything about it, this post was a delight to read. I'm sending it to my husband, maybe it will help light a fire under him to paint some fabric for me... ;)ReplyDelete
Yay, thanks everyone!ReplyDelete
I forgot to mention the ice cube tray. I used an ice cube tray to mix colors. I had a few basic colors and mixed the rest. I also thinned out the paint with a bit of water. Just fyi in case anyone is looking out for info on dye-na-flow paints.
Natasha Jane- It really was so much fun to make. I was giggling the whole time. I kept the book open next to me while I painted so I could look at the illustrations.
Tanitisis- I've been singing the song non-stop since I started this project.
littlebetty- My thoughts exactly! The kids always like the things I make. Not exactly sure if that's a good thing or not... ;)
Karen- You are too kind.
Your jacket is gorgeous! If you never paint again you already have your Van Gogh! TFSReplyDelete
Super cool! and really, of all people you can actually wear this to work so it's really not too frivolous.ReplyDelete
I think your jacket is not wacky enough to give you an excuse not to wear it. It looks amazing, and it's a unique piece of art, so you should wear it with pride!ReplyDelete
What a gloriously fun project!ReplyDelete
Your jacket is terrific. I love your painting. I hope you wear it a lot, it would inspire all those children you teach!ReplyDelete
What a special project - fabulous inspiration and an amazing result! You HAVE to wear this next time you read those kiddies this book!ReplyDelete
THAT IS SO AWESOME! Good on you for taking on such a fun and frivilous project. You're going to get a ton of compliments if you wear it to school. The kids will love it!ReplyDelete
You guys are so awesome! Thanks so much for all the nice comments.ReplyDelete
We have a book float parade at my school in the spring. All the kids dress up as book characters. I may have to wear this then, if it's not 95 degrees already.
Oh wow - what an amazing jacket. Perfect for an Art teacher!ReplyDelete
I also think the jacket is amazing and definitely deserves to be worn! You have succeed in making art and a garment. It's a gartment!ReplyDelete
this is so great!!! I think you could wear that anywhere!ReplyDelete
I love this jacket! I just discovered your Blog and I really like it. I´m always very happy when I find blogs about people that sew, like my self!ReplyDelete
you're so clever !!!ReplyDelete
AND where did you buy those red shoes ??? you must tell me ! thanks !
LOVE the jacket, the idea, the book (new to me) and of course you must wear it!...and not just to school...it will look fabulous for Saturday strolling in downtown Greenville. Have been lurking around your blog for a week now and really enjoying all your ideas - thanks for sharing! I'm in SC also - my daughter is an art student at Furman. I love seeing what you are sewing and hearing about your little students too...and the tipi is so awesome!ReplyDelete
A gartment!! Huh-larious, cameron. I'm totally using that.ReplyDelete
nest full of eggs- The shoes were a fortunate ebay find. I think they are bcbg girls.
Bethsews- Ooh, THANK you! A local! Fun to hear of those :) J appreciates niceties about the tipi, too.
WOW! This is so inspiring. I'm often afraid that a project like this would have that crazy-crafty look, but the tailored cut, and black piping (that matches the black splats) totally makes this wearable. What lucky students you have.ReplyDelete
Love, love, love this! What a perfect jacket for an art teacher! And you don't have to worry about getting it stained during art projects. The black piping and the fit are fabulous! Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyDelete
I LOVE your jacket! Love the colors & the black piping looks great.ReplyDelete
I love your jacket it looks beautifully crafted, great fit and I love the colors. I would wear it anywhere. You should wear it so your students get to see it.ReplyDelete
This is amazing! I love all of the elements from the book you cleverly placed on the jacket. It's not literal, but you can easily see where the inspiration came from. You should really wear this for your students, I bet they'd get a kick out of it.ReplyDelete
I love this jacket. I hope you wear it often. I would.ReplyDelete
I love it!!! The black piping gives just the right structure and the painting is fabulous.ReplyDelete
Wow! Wow! Wow! I have read this post and admired your photos ... and then I reread it and admire your pictures again ... Oh my God! I can not stop looking at this ... it's so, soooo creative! My deep admiration for you and your talent!ReplyDelete
Ohmigosh, this is completely and utterly wonderful. Just like one of the most gorgeous jackets I have ever seen!! I made a paint spattered ballgown once, but it was just random spatters; this is like REAL ART!!ReplyDelete
Oh, my goodness! This is so cool! I love how the piping brings it all together. Totally wearable to my eyes, in fact super cool! I love it! Well done! :-)ReplyDelete
I love this jacket. It makes me happy just looking at it.ReplyDelete
Hey Liza, your jacket's got featured in the photo gallery of the month on Burda Style! Have you seen it? Congrats!ReplyDelete
I'm a little behind on blog reading, so I saw this featured on BurdaStyle first.ReplyDelete
What a fun, fun jacket! I hope you enjoy wearing it. I'm sure it will make people happy just seeing you wear it!
Thanks for the heads up, AnaJan!ReplyDelete
this is a GLORIOUS jacket. it makes me so happy i'd wear it EVERYDAYReplyDelete
This is possibly the awesomest jacket I have seen, ever! So cool!ReplyDelete
Wow! You must wear it more often ...indeed every day. It makes me soo happy to see this and really inspired to make one for myself!ReplyDelete
Your talent is amazing!ReplyDelete
I totally agree with these other comments. I absolutely love this gartment. It is awe inspiring! Thanks for sharing this beautifulwork of art!! I would wear it often. I can't wait to read this book.ReplyDelete
I love, love, love it ! Your jacket is a work of art. You should wear it and be proud. We should all wear colour, embrace with abandon.I also think there are people out there who would buy a jacket like this. I have attempted 'water colour' roses on white tee shirts. My Facebook page is Lizzy Ali Couture where you can pop in to take a look. I am also an art teacher like you. My day is brighter for seeing your colourful and original jacket. Well done :) LynnReplyDelete
This is the best thing EVER.ReplyDelete
I think this jacket is the awesomnest thing ever (and awesomnest should definietly be a word!)ReplyDelete
I adore this jacket and I would wear it everywhere if it were me. I hope you are enjoying it very much these days! Well done!ReplyDelete