Browsing Tag

kid art


KID ART: outfits inspired by kid art

Hi, Kristi from SweetKM here with my own interpretation of the KCW Kid Art theme. Shelley focused on the Masters, I’m going to focus on abstract expressionists a little closer to home – my kids. Kid’s artwork is so full of color, imagination, and personal style – I thought it would make for some interesting sewing inspiration. I also have piles of it laying around, just waiting to be repurposed. Rather than taking the drawings at face value, I tried to find some abstract qualities that could be used to translate the works on paper into wearable works of art. Here is the process I used to get some ideas rolling. First, I photographed a few of the more interesting and colorful drawings my daughter has done lately. Having a digital copy allowed me to make a Pinterest board for each drawing where I could try fabrics and patterns out along side the drawing to see how they work together. Here are a few examples of how I am translating elements of a drawing into elements of an outfit.


Outline Collage


1. dress pattern 1a. navy piping 1b. sash fabric 1c. dress fabric 2. headband 3. sandals

Outline. So many of the drawings my kids do are simple lines on paper. Sometimes they color them in, sometimes not. For this outfit I’m using the piping and sash of the spectacular Roma Dress from c’est dimanche to define areas of the dress in much the same way that my little one has defined areas of her drawing using crayon. The fabric body of the dress represents the scribble scrabble (as my guys call it) inside those lines. Just about any fabric would work for this illustration, and a custom fabric would be very cool. The pale pink strappy sandals and pencil thin red headband create even more layers of lines on the outfit.


Form Collage

1. hair bow 2. dress pattern 2a. accent fabric 2b. dress fabric 3. shoes

Shape. My daughter was very annoyed when I stashed away this drawing, she has been calling it her shape board, and she insists she isn’t finished with it yet. The ameba form in the drawing is nearly a prefect match for the plunging back of the Figgy’s Eos Dress. The relatively plain khaki chambray body fabric picks up on the sparseness of this drawing, and allows the accent fabric used on the back bow to really pop. The forms in the abstract bow print are again drawing on the ovular theme. I’m reiterating that shape again with the big soft loops of the orange hair bow, and the iconic toe of the converse sneaker. Sounds like serious stuff, but there is nothing serious about this look. (Okay L, you may have your drawing back now!)


Color Collage

1. tights 2. dress pattern 2a. bodice fabric 2b. skirt fabric 3. turban 4. boots

Color. When my kids paint with watercolor half of the fun is experimenting with how the paint goes on to the paper. Wet brush, dry brush, the whole cup of brush washing water sloshed across the page, each technique creates a different level of transparency and saturation. For this outfit I looked for fabrics that picked up on the layering and contrasting of colors in the painting. The skirt fabric has a similar monochrome blue color scheme, and similar variation in hard and soft edges to the drawing’s forms. The gray pin stripe of the bodice picks up on the contrast between the hard and soft edges of the different colors. The pale teal turban draws on the lighter blue tones. The black tights and fringed boots were inspired by the wispy black brush strokes across the top of the paper.

There you have it – three dresses from three different examples of kid art. I could go on and on with some of the zany things my kids make, but I would rather wait and see what you make. Where are you headed with the kid art theme?


KID ART: art with kids

KID ART: inspiration from art

Hi KCW sewers and blog readers. Shelley (aka Lightning McStitch) from Bartacks and Singletrack here to talk a bit about art as inspiration for making kid’s clothes. This is exciting for me as there’s nothing I like better than taking an idea, possibly unrecognisable to anyone else, and then getting completely carried away with it.

Often you’ll see art on clothing and the clothes themselves may be more familiar than the original artwork. A Magritte T-Shirt for example (René Magritte 1898-1967) or a Mondrian shift dress (Piet Mondrian 1872-1944). These examples may be familiar to us grown ups, but not at all to our kids. So how do we define the theme KID ART? (did you notice we haven’t?!). I think our kids can be very astute viewers of art in all it’s forms and their reaction to a piece of art is usually immediate and brutally honest. Kind of like how they can react to something we have lovingly sewn for them to wear, right?!

I want to show you how your local gallery can be a source of inspiration for your sewing, as well as a fun outing, so I collared a couple of kids (my own as it happens!) and we set off for the state gallery (NGV link) NB: All images from the gallery were taken myself and links reference the gallery or the artist directly. Other links for images or general information go to Google, Wikipedia or other external websites and blogs

You started it... I finish it 2013

 Paola PIVI
You started it… I finish it

These larger than life bears filled the foyer and instantly my daughter was in love. Brightly coloured, oversized, feather bears, what’s not to like? Feathers will never go out of style if you ask a little girl! (Or a big girl for that matter, I’ll take that Oscar de la Renta dress please)

feather composite

 1: Miss Selfridge 2: Oscar de la Renta 3:

 I was fascinated by what the kids found interesting and why. Visiting the gallery with small children gives you the licence to not try and “understand” the art but just allow yourself to react to it.

Bul LEE untitled 2003


 The scale and space-bug-ness of this room-filling sculpture had my son enchanted. For me, my fingers were itching to make a sketch in order to cut a freezer paper stencil. Perhaps silvery white paint on a plain black T-Shirt. A bit more esoteric than a Star Wars stencil but every bit as cool, no?

Alternately, the art inspiration can be in the fabric itself.  This fabric, covering a whole wall of the gallery, is typical of the 1960s style and has been reimagined many times over.

Vernor PANTON Geometry I 1960

Geometry I

I couldn’t help snapping a picture of my daughter who happened to be wearing that very “mod” dress silhouette, the School Photo dress by Oliver + S.

What if your little girl is more into the princess style?

Issey MIYAKE Bustier 1980-1981


Honestly, when my daughter saw this she loudly requested that I make her one! Then my son pointed out how the shadows look like angel wings and suddenly all three of us were imagining a fairy angel costume that involved wings and a red, patent leather bustier with peplum. An Issey Miyake knock-off is just the kind of princess dress up sewing I could get excited about.

Olarfur ELIASSON Limbo Lamp 2005

Limbo Lamp

A less literal idea came from this wonderful light sculpture. As the kids chased and played in the moving light from the central spinning reflective disc, I was reminded of Shisha (mirror) embroidery. That’s a technique I’ve wanted to learn and play with for a while now and I think it would make a lovely detail on a skirt hem, or even within a quilt. (Shisha tutorial link)

But when techniques fail and it seems the sewing gods are conspiring against you there’s still the chance to say you were inspired by art. The kids love this video installation:

Charlie SOFO 33 Objects that fit through the hole in my pocket 2013

Charlie SOFO
33 Objects that fit through the hole in my pocket

watch video here

…and all you need is a pair of beige, rolled up trousers with a hole in the pocket!

Robert MORRIS untitled c1970


This felt sculpture could inspire a boys T-shirt. Perhaps a reverse effect using Alabama Chanin technique cutaways. It also reminds me a bit of this t-shirt from Zoolander which inspired this remake by A Little Gray. Film Petit is a hilarious sewing series and a fantastic example of art (film) inspiring kid’s clothes.

Luke RUDOLPH Portrait no.24 2010

Portrait no. 24

A modern painting (a mix of geometric abstractionism and abstract expressionism if you like your art with definitions) can be great inspiration for fabric painting. I can imagine painting the background geometric shapes onto silk then letting the kids loose with a large brush. The fabric would then make a lovely shirt or shirt-dress. In fact, I’d want one myself I think.

Finally, another sculpture that had us all enthralled,

Kohei NAWA PixCell-Red Deer 2012

 Kohei NAWA
PixCell-Red Deer

…and another idea that I really want to run with. Could I sew tiny clear and amber glass beads onto a black knit sweater to make a mini PixCell red deer pullover for my daughter? I’m really thinking I might just do it, I’ve gone as far as tracking down the beads I would use…

I did mention I was prone to getting carried away with ideas, didn’t I? I hope I’ve inspired you to take a trip to your local gallery, look at the art, perhaps try to understand it, but don’t be ashamed if all you can think is “how could I recreate that?” or “what pattern would I use to achieve something like that?”.

You’re not alone.

Just try not to think out loud.

XX Shelley