Painter’s Palette Dress

A “tutorial” for an artistic afternoon:

I gathered fabric paint and water.  

Then I let Fiona have full reign. (For now). 

She made sure to paint her initial.

It’s ok if it is backwards. I’m going to blend it all in anyway.

Blended with paint and water for a “watercolor” effect. Then heat set & wash.

Cut out on the bias.

I didn’t have enough fabric, so I improvised using my old quilting technique. My designs tend to evolve anyway. 

Then I sewed a skirt and a top.

I have another post “in the wings” about the process of creating the dress. I am just still trying to decide whether I want to include all the details of this on THIS blog, which I’ve kind of seen as for our family, or if I want to put it on a separate blog which would reflect more of just my interests.  I’m still going back and forth about what I think would be best.

When the dress was completed, we went on an outing to the Blanton Museum of Art.

The entrance was beautiful.

Running into the gallery

Playing Hide and Seek

Found You!

She was anxious to get going. We sped through the European section and then arrived at the Contemporary Art.

She was a bit bothered by the big black “splat.” We talked about it.

She really enjoyed naming the colors.

We were pretending to paint on the painting. She was adding pink of course. (I like it how it is, of course).

This was a fun installation, although I had to remind her that it wasn’t a playground.

She liked walking/running around the objects.

Colorful & Negative Space

It’s a lemon, mom.

Another thing we liked to do was an interpretive dance inspired by the art. When I say “we,” I mean Fiona. My ideas, her execution. 

This art installation was somewhat participatory.

Entering in through the veil and walking around the side. She couldn’t take the money though.

Dancing the painting.

I wanted her dress to look like the palette after a painting was done, and I think this is a good match up. Or could it be the other way around? 

This modern piece of art was just a blank canvas. Normally I would be a bit annoyed, but it worked perfectly for our “painting game.” I think it ended up having a lot of pink and purple on it, and mommy and daddy and baby. Probably not what the original artist intended.

Dancing the Painting

Painter’s Palette Dress

I should have swung around and taken a picture of it, but in the above pictures she is transfixed by a very geometric sculpture on the other side of the yellow painting. Guess you will just have to visit the museum to see it yourself!

We had a lovely afternoon!



MY last post established that 2010=travel.  Reflecting on this formula, I have come up with:

2011- having a baby/move back to the US AND to a new state.

2012- day to day life (so far, until it is back to moving).

I do enjoy day to day life, I am still a new enough mom to be very entertained by just hiding behind the door and watching Fiona play with her “ponies” or Leif kick around in his crib and discover that he has a hand.  Maybe that never loses its entertainment value…I just came to that thought based on a comment made while I was observing Fiona’s dance class last Friday.

Along with a few other mothers, I was in the waiting room watching the little 3 year old ballerinas attempt their “tippy toe” procession across the floor.  In breezes another mom with her older children and comments good-naturedly, “Look at all those young mommies pressed up against the glass!”

Yes, experiencing my children’s development right before my eyes is still fresh and new and exciting enough to balance out the monotonous feeling at the end or beginning of a week when the routine of feeding, playing, changing, cleaning, laundry, naps, repeat seems more banal than structural.

Having a hobby helps though. Especially when one too many tantrums or loads of laundry threaten to tip the scale.  I have mentioned before that I have tried to develop the interests passed on to me from my mother and grandmother.  Given that I have had a more routine lifestyle in the past year, I have been fortunate enough to kind of develop the little quilting and sewing experience I’ve had into making clothes for Fiona.

This also correlates with my Pinterest account, which I’ve had now for almost a year. That is another blog post in and of itself, in short I will just mention that Pinterest facilitates the inspiration-to-design process…as long as you can wrest yourself away from the computer long enough to actually accomplish something other than pinning inspiring ideas.

Whenever I start a sewing project, there are a couple things I like to think about.

Motivation-I tend to not finish it unless I have a specific goal. Inspiration– this usually comes from a lot of different directions. Technique– try and pick one or two new techniques I’ve not done before to include in the new project.  Since I am new to garment construction, I have an endless array to choose from!

For this project, my motivation was to be part of the Project Run and Play community- check out their website for a better explanation than I could give here. I also wanted to have my daughter be part of the creation process.

I haven’t discussed the process of sewing on this blog yet, although a few things I have made for Fiona she was pictured in here, such as her Easter Dress and the spring meadow skirt. There are so many excellent blogs out there with detailed tutorials and creative ideas, I am not really sure how I can add much to that field. (which often feels saturated and overwhelming).

I am unsure of what I see for this blog, if I want to start including more of that kind of thing here, or if I should put it on a separate blog. I am sure of one thing though- I need to document my projects in some way, just to make it easier on myself as I continue to sew so I don’t make the same mistakes twice!   I am leaning in the separate direction, but for now, I do want to discuss the process of making this dress, so look for that either in the next post, or in a link to somewhere else!


18 responses to “Painter’s Palette Dress

  1. Good luck at PRP! I like the idea and the way it came out – you did a great job. It’s nice to see another sewist here in Austin too.


  2. I don’t know where to begin. The process of making that fabric – amazing! I can see how much Fiona loved it and then the dress itself is so perfect. Then the museum?? I imagine it only brought the artwork more to life for Fiona and I loved the game you played. As for the new mommy comment – yuck! I see you as never tiring of watching your children develop, experience and learn. I don’t think that would ever become stale for you. As for the blogging, whatever you do, I’ll read it no matter what blog it is on. Either way, I think you should include more of your projects that you have been working on. It’s just as fascinating to read as your travels – I love them both!


  3. We love this dress and the idea of the dress so much.
    I am a former art teacher and so this was one of my favorite entries.
    What a great dress and photo shoot. Completely awesome.
    -Simple Simon and Co.


  4. I just love this! I was so sure you’d make it into the top 5 on PRP and I’m disappointed you didn’t 😦 Can’t wait to see what else you have in store!


  5. Meg…ummm…how do I say this??

    You’re amazing!

    Yes, the blog world is completely over-stuffed with tutorials and “creative” ideas, but your work surpasses those that I’ve seen from others. Not only is the dress amazing, but the pictures at the gallery are amazing, too. I have to admit that I’m very jealous of your abilities and the fact that you get all of these things done.


    • Thank you, and kudos to you too Anitra, we both got major projects done this month! And you probably didn’t ignore the growing laundry problem like I did (or did you?)


      • I always ignore the growing laundry problem. I don’t have to be doing a major project to do that.


  6. Makes makes me want to sew! 🙂 And, have time to do it.

    Love you, as always, I’m your biggest fan! – H


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