Friday, July 26, 2013

What Art Teachers Do Over the Summer

They use old t-shirts to make superhero costumes for their children, of course! Sweetie Pie is nearly 3 and is invited to a 5 year old's superhero themed birthday party this weekend.  Baby boy is going along, so they both need costumes.  For Wonder Woman, this is what I started out with:

Red shirt Mr. Fresia has had for 14 years, and I've NEVER seen him wear.
Blue shirt was purchased at the thrift store for $2.
I used a dress that fits her well to figure out how big (it was a drop waist, so I had to adjust later on).  I apologize in advance for the not-so-great photos, I had to all of this after the little ones were in bed, so most of the shots are done in our basement with only crappy overhead lighting.

 Shows the section cut off to make the top of the bodice.
Used the bottom of the shirt to be the top of the costume.
The hem showing in this photo will later by covered, so it doesn't really matter.
I just cut the back at a slight angle, then folded it over,
added elastic to make it a tight enough fit (I guessed at the elastic size).
Cut off the bottom 10 or 11 inches of the blue shirt,
folded over and sewed to make a waist, added elastic.
(again, guessed on the elastic size)
Sewed the blue to the red (later, I had to make the red part shorter,
all because I used the drop-waist dress as my pattern).
Starting on the spats to cover her shoes and look like Wonder Woman's boots.
I measured her leg for this.
I had white leftover from another sewing project for this.
My original plan was thin bias tape, but turned out I already had
some pre-folded and sewed, so I used it. 
The top is white fabric ironed onto heavy interfacing.
I bought iron-on stars, because I REALLY didn't want to try
to cut out a bunch of stars and make them look good.
At $2/5, it was the most expensive part of the whole project.
The part I dreaded the most: how to make the fits-over-the-shoe part.
I leaned heavily on "tracing bigger than what you need" and
"elastic will make it fit".
So far, so good. . .
This shows all the elastic use that I was so heavily dependent on.
All sewn together. 
I'm not wild about the pulling,
but I'm not really sure how to fix that.
Beginning of the adding-the-gold part.
I bought the gold when I bought the stars,
just a half yard, and ironed onto heavy-weight
interfacing to make it easier to work with.
Sewing shot: you didn't know this was a sewing blog, did you?
Last shot I took for the tutorial.
I wanted the costume from Linda Carter as Wonder Woman,
and I have to admit, I'm a wee bit disappointed,
I think mine looks a little too much like a spider,
rather than eagle-like.   But sometimes you've gotta say,
"hey, this IS for a 5 year olds birthday party, enough already".
Or listen when your husband says it to you.
If you look at the finished photo of Wonder Woman at the top of the page, you'll see her wrist bands and crown, which I totally forgot to photograph while I was working, but were really easy to make (simple folding and cutting, then folding and sewing, adding on an iron-on star or two).
Through the miracle of blogging, Baby Boy's costume went super fast:
From this
To this.
Seriously, I finished the whole thing during the sweet spot of simultaneous napping (which does not, by the way, happen more than once or twice a week around here).  It's a little tight across the chest, but it'll work great for Saturday.
So, there you go! Art teacher projects for summertime!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

One Last First Grade Lesson for 2012/2013

I really meant to write this post at the end of the school year, or close to it, but other adorable things got in the way:

Awww, our newest addition joined us June 10, 2013!
As I'm sure you can tell, he's a wonderful, sweet and perfect little guy!
Back to regular scheduled programming--I do E-Z cut monoprints with first graders at the end of the school year almost every year.  It's a great Dick Blick lesson that you can find here.  When I originally bought the E-Z cut, I thought I'd have the students carve and print, but honestly, the cost of having to replace the stuff gave me MAJOR pause.  So, cheapskate that I am, I've used the same E-Z cut for 12 or so years.
Pile of 12+ year old E-Z cut.
Here you can see the E-Z cut covered with old ghost images,
and the Mr. Sketch markers we use for this project.
I set up the room in stations/centers sort of deal, that students are very familiar with by the end of first grade.  Each student gets an E-Z cut (they measure about 4"x 5" or so) and markers at their table.  6" x 9" white paper and pencils are somewhere else (the safe spot, or on my big orange chair at the front of the room).  There's also a "cleaning table" with wet washcloths (no one but Mrs. Fresia is allowed to re-wet them and wring them out, otherwise there's LAKES forming back there) and loads of paper towels.
Students draw images (no words or numbers) directly on the E-Z cut with water-based markers,

then use a pencil (AWAY from my precious E-Z cut) to write their name in the corner of the small white paper.  They then return to their seat and hold their E-Z cut above their head, which is the visual clue for me to come lightly spritz their white paper (that's on the table in front of them) with water from my handy-dandy spray bottle.  The student then says their ABCs slowly, giving the water time to soak into the paper.  They then press their image onto the damp paper and make their print. 


While the print is drying, they go to the clean-up table to wipe their image off and begin again.  Students usually have 5-10 prints to take home that day.  With all the craziness at the end of the school year, I really LOVE this project.  It's a little crazy with all the up and all over the room, but you're really never going to rein all that anticipation of summer in, so just go along with it.  That's my motto, anyway!

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