Every year I attend my husband’s company dinner which always has a fancy dress theme. In 2014 it was ‘Circus’ so we went as strong men. Last year the theme was ‘Fairy Tale’ and we went as the Queen of Hearts and a playing card. Both themes were broad and general enough to allow for a lot of different ideas and DIY opportunities. Well, not this year!
This year the theme is ‘Asian Animation’. The characters are so specific, the outfits so scandalous and not to mention I would have to put on my Asian face which is not politically correct. So, I went with the Asian element of the theme and created fortune cookie costumes for us.
I began with the cookie head dress which I made out of two pieces of felt cut into the shape of the cookie, sewed them together and then turned them inside out. I left a few small holes so I could stuff them with padding. I then sealed the open seams with hot glue and glued the entire thing to a headband.
For the fortune, I simply took a long piece of fabric, cut a hole in the middle, wrote out a quote in pencil before going over it with acrylic paint. I wanted the fortune to read, ‘I see a better theme in your future’ but instead I played it safe, and wrote ‘A thrilling time is in your future’ and ‘Good fortune to you’. For under garments, we wore white T-shirts and white pants.
One of the fortune cookies made it home with us and one went missing in action. I would like to think that the other one was cracked open and eaten by Ryu from Street Fighter. However, two plastic ninja swords did make it home, so in the end maybe this year’s theme wasn’t so bad after all.
It all started in the fall of 2012. Living in Shanghai and having cheap trimmings and materials at my finger tips, I set out to make an epic halloween costume. Behold, the Spaghetti and Meatball Costume.
The concept and execution are simple but the effect is sensational if I may say so myself. A bucket or tub gives you dimension as well as a place to store your stuff for the night. For this particular costume, I also used a canvas which I painted black to give the illusion of a table. This also allowed for more props to be glued on top for more detail. This same idea was also used for my 2014 halloween costume, Bowl of Mac ‘n Cheese.
In other adaptations, only a bucket was used which acted more like a corset, as in the Colonel Sanders Costume and Tea Cup Costume. All structures have a slit int he back where you get in and out of. However, the canvases can be stepped into and sit snuggly on the hips. Usually I bring along some clear packaging tape to seal the seam.
I have tackled other materials to achieve a similar look. For the Martini Glass Costume, I used two sheets of plastic and for the Bonfire Costume I cut a piece of foam board into a circle and then paper machéd rocks around the opening in the centre.
Note that none of these costumes work without props. From a paper machéd drumstick to a marshmallow head piece, the extra details are key to make the costume complete.
Art teachers owe it to their students to put some pattern, colour and flare into their school attire. My spirit guide, Cassie Stephens, exemplifies this. I came across Cassie’s Blog and Pinterest boards a year ago and have been inspired ever since. Check out ‘what I wore’ on her blog to see the awesomeness!
Building an arsenal of art teacher clothing will take years and necessary sewing skills, but in the meantime I have found my art teacher uniform. Reluctant to wear my normal clothes to work as they will be ruined, I have purchased thirty of the same dress but in different colours and patterns. These dresses are purchased at a no-name shop down the street from me and cost approximately $4 USD each. I accessorise with headbands and big earrings, and in winter I pair them with tights, boots, cardigans and scarves.
Until I have a corresponding outfit that relates to each and every lesson I teach (my dream), these convienent one-size fits all dresses do the trick for now.