My Sew Sew Life-From Art To Fashion

Persistence, tenaciousness, and just being plain stubborn are handy traits for creatives whose passion is to share their art with the world.  ArtsKC  gives this areas artists and art focused endeavors a very big helping hand with this. ArtsKC is the regional art council for the greater Kansas City area and through programming, advocacy, grants and leadership strives to ” unleash the power of the arts.”

In front of “Polar Fall”. I was very happy to be studio assistance for this work. I spent some time cutting the original lace strips so Rachelle could work her magic with them.  And I am already begging her to digitaltize a lace pattern in blue because I already have a dress planned for it!

Anaully, ArtsKC honors and celebrates individuals who have been a positive force in this part of the art world. This event takes the form of a luncheon that is attended by no less than one thousand. The honorees are given, not just the proverbial plaques of gratitude but original art works.

Many months before the luncheon event, a theme is picked (this year it was Electrify) and a call to artists is put out. Artists’ proposals outline how the artist intepretests the theme within their media and must include mockups of actual works that will be given to the six recipients along with a piece that will be on each of the 115 tables that will be at the event.

Photo Credit Rivas Photography

Our daughter RachelleGardner-Roe is a Kansas City area multi-media artist whose focus is sculpture. For five or six years (I think she lost count) Rachelle has applied for this commission and for as many times didn’t get it. She never gave up and this year she came out on the top and after many months, more all-nighters that she wants to tell me, she accomplished her goal. Famly and friends (especially a certain hubby and dad) were recruited for sanding, painting, soldering and when Februray 23rd rolled around she and her vision was ready to go.


But Terri, you are thinking, this is a fashion blog so where are you going with this?  Well, Rachelle and I had always talked about having an image of her lace sculpture printed on fabric via Spoonflower. Spoonflower will take your digital image, give you options of printing it on fabric (everything from silk, cotton and more), wrapping paper and even wall paper. The possibilities are endless. We wanted to use her art for the outfits that were going to wear to the award luncheon. When she got fabric printed, I would make them for us.

Rachelle wanted a pair of Donna Karen ( Vogue 1168) pajama pants like the ones I had made last fall for Kansas City’s Fashion week. I created the pant body in the same 100@ polyester Peachskin from Joann’s Fabric tas mine, but this time in a cream.

I decided to hand stitch the Spoonflower fabric in place (which was a Polyester Crepe de Chine) because it was important that the edge of the lace was visually kept and felt I could get a better visual line if I did it by hand.

We decided to go a a asymmetrical design and had the panels at different heights and it achieved a nice flowing progression. This process took a few hours but the upside was that I got caught up on some of my favorite shows on HBO-GO. The end result was all in attendence knew who the featured artist was because she was wearing her art!

One thing that bothers me is the white on the backside of the fabric and I am going to line it. I already went to Joann’s and picked up some thin black knit. It has to be done by hand so here’s to more HBO-GO!

For myself, I only made a top and used a pair of black knit pants from my closet. Quite frankly, I just ran out of time. I do have enough fabric to make a very slim pair of pants and am working on those now. I ended up substitute teaching  full time the two weeks before the event (I just can’t say no to holding down the fort in the elementary computer lab) and that took up a lot of my planned creative time.

My pattern was Vogue 1417 ,again a Donna Karen design. This top has a bias cut with an attatched asymetrical cape. I picked a bamboo stretch jersey from Mood Fabrics and my Spoonflower fabric is a polyester knit. This is not the first time I have worked with Bamboo jersey and I love the softness and sheen of its surface. At this point I could jump off and start discussing enviormental issues with the growing and processing bamboo, but that’s for a different time and place.

This show how the cape looks from the back. On the right is Cheryl Eve Acosta, one of the most talented jewelry designers I know. Check out her incredible designs HERE.

I am not going to spend to much time on accessories this round. Rachelle is carrying a vintage two tone gold Rodo clutch from my collection and I have a Leo from Rebecca Minkoff. My black suede heels from Jones New York are new (picked them up on clearance just last month) and they will be making many more appearances. I can’t get enought of them!

One of the award recipients I wanted to include was Halo founded by Rebecca Welsh who recieved the Innovator Award. Halo provides art programming for homeless children and  first started outreach in Kansas City but now has expanded internationally. After spending decades in art education this one was near and dear to me. Rebecca’s dress was such a beautiful sight-yellow is so hard to wear and she did it magnificently.


I was so happy to see Maura Garcia again. Along with Rachelle and others, she was one of the featured artists for  The Art in the Loop’s Connect project. Maura is a choreographer and founder of Maura Garcia Dance. Orange and turquoise is such a striking combination and Maura just shines in it.


The featured artist gets a exhibition of their work at the luncheon. The gentleman on the left won the silent auction for his table’s sculpture.

This has to be one of my all time favorite sculptures of Rachell’s. Believe me, if I had a high enough ceiling, I would offer free hanging storage for this baby.


The crowds gone, finery off, tape and bubble wrap out-a tired but happy family

The ending is where I began, with the art and artist. ArtsKc created a nice film short about Rachelle, its not even two minutes long. and I invite you to view it.

So I think this is one of those “day in a life” post. One blogging week was missed because of everything that was going on so it just made sense to me to talk about it. That’s all I have for today. So adieu until next time, and in the meantime

Happy Styling!



Michael gets credit for all photos but one which was by Rivas Photography.

I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

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