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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / TENT PICS! it's a dress that's made out of a parachute...that's actually a tent on: December 05, 2008 06:47:40 AM
confusing enough for you?
ok....... so...... let's call me a very tired and sick art kid who just finished her final for her sculpture studio. and this was it. I decided to make a dress that could turn into a tent, so I went to my local military surplus store and bought myself a handy-dandy parachute! (Let me just say, art kids+parachute=amazing. We took it into one of the crit rooms and spent an hour throwing it up into the air and then jumping under it and making a big tent. I know you did it in elementary gym class too, so you know what's up) Anyways, after the mayhem I ended up cutting it apart and making a dress.... that turns into a tent. I don't have any pictures of it up [yet] but It does work and it's awesome.

In the meantime you can enjoy my photoshoot with my bffffff who was kind enough to stand in a field in 28 degree weather at eight in the morning wearing little more than a parachute.

So yesterday we FINALLY got back out and shot the dress up. Because I desperately needed it for my portfolio. Plus it's been freakishly warm here in Virginia, so I figured WHY NOT! So here's a progression of the dress going UP!

22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / is a dress still a dress if it's made of wood? on: October 23, 2008 10:27:06 AM
sooooooo I made this dress...
entirely out of wood.

it was an interesting feat, for certain, but it turned out pretty well. the entire corset is made of laminated wood, and the skirt is made of bent wood. it's held together with bolts, etc. and I made an under dress out of pantyhose.
The entire premise of this dress is that it can curtsy. All you do is pull on the rings on either side of the corset (you can vaguely see them) and the cables make the skirt rise up. my model was absolutely amazing for it. love her.
I showed this piece at the Uncommon Threads Wearable Art Fashion Show in Baton Rouge, LA last weekend. It was super awesome... and it won.


23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / more tomato dress FTW, because IT WON!!!! on: October 15, 2008 09:34:55 AM
EDIT: SO I JUST FOUND OUT I WON!!!! Like, I'm one of the fifteen winners from different cities. ACTUALLY I'm one of the top six, which means that the image is going to be used on the side of the touring Florida Tomatoes VAN that's traveling the east coast from now till december!!!!! OMFGWTFBBQ.
This is insane.
SO, being the loving, amazing craftsters that you are, here's my request to you: pleeeeease go to http://www.floridatomatoart.com/art_grace_johnston.html and VOTE for my piece because if I get the most votes I'll get an extra $2,000.
Holy cow guys, this is craaaaazyyyy! AHHHHHHH

EDIT: WOW! Thanks for the response guys!!! I'm overwhelmed!! So here's a bit more info about the contest. It's sponsored by Florida Tomatoes (www.floridatomatoart.com) and the only stipulation was to make a piece of tomato art in any of these media: watercolor, acrylic, oil, photography and mixed media. Well, clothing obviously wasn't covered in that list so I had to make it  look like a really vogue fashion photo so it could fall under one of those specific categories.

The competition is sponsored across fifteen cities and by the week of the 20th they will announce a winner from each city. That winner receives $1,000  Shocked and their piece is put on a traveling tomato art display. THEN the fifteen are entered into the grand prize contest in which the public gets to vote. Whoever wins that gets an extra $2,000. Oh man. so we'll see what happens, we should be hearing sooooooooooooon.

and as for the necklace, I have the pleasure of working with a couture jewelry artist here in Richmond, Kay Adams, www.kayadams.com, and she specially makes pieces for my dresses when I show them. Its the best deal ever. I've added a closeup of the necklace below.

ANYWAYS, THANK YOU for all of the love!!! It is so much appreciated!!

so I found this competition sponsored by Florida Tomatoes. I don't really know, they just wanted you to make tomato art... so I did. My friend was my model (per usual) and we went to my grandmother's farm out in the county and shot these photos. It was so absurd and so much fun. I have no idea if I will win, but it was a blast so whateva!

the necklace:

here's the final shot I submitted:
24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / PROGRESS! in desperate need of a 2nd [or 3rd or 18th or 284th] opinion on: August 18, 2008 10:31:31 PM
EDIT 8/20: I love how someone can come in and say something so simple and then it changes everything. So last night I brought my bff (who is modeling the dress) into the studio to have her critique the dress. so she's looking at it, walking around and picking at it and then goes "oh... I really like the lining of the bodice"
and then it hits us
So, thanks to my expert sewing and finishing skills I simply flip the whole thing inside out and voila.
it's absurd how easy that was.
I also let the skirts hang naturally instead of being all gathered and stuff. the pleated yellow bust bit will need to be reversed (right now its awesome french seams are showing) and of course I will sew the bodice to the skirts  Tongue
but I still agree it needs embellishment in the collar (which will happen as embroidery) and then there will be hella embellishment and extra doodads will be added to put it over the top.
I still love to hear ideas, and thanks to everyone who has already contributed. you've all helped make this thing Smiley

I'm entering this fashion show competition where the theme is "Illumination." so I designed and am in the middle of making this dress that's inspired by a Phoenix/sunset. get it? phoenix+sunset=fire=illumination.

and now I'm stuck.
I think I'm too tired to really verbalize anything right now, but basically here's what it looks like now and I think it's semi-heinous and tacky. so PLEASE, be brutally honest with me, and I mean BRUTAL (I promise I can take it) and tell me what I need to do to make it work. Any and all opinions are welcome and feedback is so greatly appreciated. I can't seem to figure this one out.

oh, and just so everyone knows: I know the train is way too long, I just haven't gotten around to cutting it. There are about four extra yards of fabric sitting on the back of that thing that are very trip-worthy.

25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / too much time on my hands=Anthropologie on: July 17, 2008 10:38:24 AM
so I started this jacket a little over a year ago and promptly got fed up with it, so I put it deep in one of my fabric drawers. I've always been enamored by the fabric and was continually thinking about it, but never got the nerve to finish it. Well yesterday, bored out of my mind, I finally got it back out and set to work. Five hours later and voila! This little beauty emerged. Unfortunately about halfway through it came to my attention that this jacket would look a little less than flattering on me (having big boobs and wearing trapeze/swing coats just makes you look huge, theres no way around it) but LUCKILY I knew it would fit my friend's style/body shape perfectly. So at ten last night I ran downstairs to let her try it on. as soon as I walked in the door she took one look at it, her eyes got huge and she yelled "SHUT UP."
suffice to say, she likes it.
I love it too. It's probably my best construction job to date, I'm proud. I have yet to put the clasp for the button on, and there are pockets in the front princess seams that you can't really see.

ALSO I made up the pattern myself and the fabric is this rad upholstery weight fabric from Wal-Mart. I fell in love the minute I saw it.
Anyways, here:

the cute little pleats on the back:

detail of the hidden side pockets/bias tape finished sleeves:

my cute little tag/the lining color:
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Henry David Thoreau would totally wear this... on: July 17, 2008 09:15:40 AM
this dress is old. like, really old. like... 2004/05. I made this for an English project (WOO, art kid escaping english papers by sewing). The goal was to illustrate/explain a literary movement in whatever way you wanted. Well, I chose transcendentalism and made a dress accordingly. For those who aren't aware, more or less the movement in about the interconnectedness of all beings and how one thing flows into the other, and everything is connected by the "oversoul." Well, man did I spew a glorious strand of bs while wearing this dress, all about how everything on the dress is connected and the dress as a whole is the oversoul.
needless to say, I got an A.
but yeah, it's fun to wear even though the construction is atrocious (like all of the appliqus are hot glued on... HEY, I was up till one in the morning and I was young and naive, ok?!) but everyone still is like THAT'S AWESOME. guaranteed crowd pleaser.
anyways, here's the dress:

27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / a very ornery bubble on: July 03, 2008 09:52:10 AM
it is absurd how long this dress took. for some reason this dress never wanted to cooperate with me. fittings were weird, seams were wrong, zippers were irritable and everything that could possibly go awry did just that. oh, and btdubs it was made out of a sheet I found for $3 at the thrift store.

several weeks and multiple deconstructions later, this is what I have:

and me with the love of my life (my 1962 Schwinn)

I'm still not satisfied with its quality, but it's cute so I'll cut it some slack.
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / the reversible mistake [lolz, it's a pun] on: June 16, 2008 02:54:34 PM
soooooooooooooooo I made this dress to go to my [then] boyfriend's graduation from SOI (oi vey, you guys are learning my entire life history via my dresses). It's made from the same pattern as my toile dress but I altered the top so it has those fun little bits at the top. Anyways, the story goes like this:
SO I made this dress thinking I'd be all sassy and awesome and show up at his grad (I hadn't seen him in months) looking all cute. So I make this dress and drive down two states to get to him with my mother and his mother (epic adventure). We get onto the Camp Geiger base and all of a sudden I realize....... my dress is the exact colors of the Marine Corps.
I. Am. Not. Kidding. You.
I matched the signs. Perfectly.
Well, that was awesome, but the story gets better but I'll keep it short. Basically I caused a huge commotion and everyone noticed me and I had a father of a Marine come up after the grad ceremony and ask if he could take a picture of me with his son because he was so proud that I was so supportive of the troops to wear Marine Corps colors. Needless to say I completely humiliated my boyfriend.
Oh, and then afterwards our car stalled in the parking lot and I was stuck on base for hours being far too patriotic with lots of Marines staring at me while they passed.
This dress was so epic, I can't even handle it.

me matching the signs:

OH, and it's reversible, btdubs. (let's not ask the question why didn't I just reverse it, that would have been to obvious)

29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / rainbows make everything better: Halter dress with pockets! on: June 16, 2008 09:11:28 AM
so. this is another dress. circa April 2006. I know, it takes me a while to get around to photographing my stuff. Anyways, it's the same pattern as my Kliban Kat dress (only I altered the bust on that one) aaaand it's pretty much a great dress. love. it. AND it has pockets (!!!!!!!!!!!) really, dresses with pockets rock my life.
anyways, here, look at it:

30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / I rock it Colonial style! on: June 14, 2008 07:45:57 PM
another dress... big surprise. This one is several years old (think January 2006) and it barely fits me anymore (we'll blame the boobs) but it's one of my favorites EVER. I made it for my [then] boyfriend's graduation from Marine Corps bootcamp...
The fabric is what does it for me. Again, it's a heavier upholstery fabric, this time from WAL-MART (dig it). and it's some Simplicity pattern, I don't know if they make it anymore and it might be difficult for me to scrounge up the pattern at this point. Anyways.
Enjoy  Wink

back in the day (aw, shucks):
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