Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mod Mini Skirt Project: Campbell's Soup Skirt-- An Andy Warhol Tribute Piece!

Making things pretty lay-out wise

So, I've blogged about the paper dress movement, and its correlation to pop art. What I haven't talked about is the most sensational paper dress of them all: the dress known as the "Souper Dress."

What's the Souper Dress you ask? Starting in 1962, the most famous pop artist of them all, Andy Warhol, began creating his famous Campbell's soup can works. The incorporation of mundane commercial objects as "fine art" at first offended the art establishment, but now the cans have come to be an important part of art history and an easily recognizable symbol in our culture. Warhol himself said that, "a group of painters have come to the common conclusion that the most banal and even vulgar trappings of modern civilization can, when transposed to canvas, become Art."

An original ad for the Souper Dress

So, whatever your thoughts about Warhol's work, it certainly provoked discussion and continues to be debated to this day.

But, back to the Souper Dress. In 1966-67, Campbell's soup decided to capitalize on Warhol's inclusion of their product in his art and on the whole paper dress movement by selling a paper dress with their soup cans as the design. Campbell's marketed their paper dress as "The Souper Dress" (nice play on words there Campbell's). If you sent in two Campbell's soup labels plus $1.00, you too could own the Souper Dress, which by the way now sells on eBay for anywhere from $700 to $1800 depending on the condition. Yep, the Souper Dress has become quite the cultural icon.

An image of an original "Souper Dress" from the era

So, I wanted to pay homage to pop art, Warhol, the paper dress movement, the Souper Dress. But how could I? Certainly, it would be impossible to find Campbell's soup can fabric unless I screenprinted it myself. And that wasn't going to happen.

But it WASN'T impossible! My husband found a dealer on Etsy who sells a material that's akin to canvas bag material (advertised as twill blend I believe) with the Campbell's soup cans printed on them. Oh boy! I was just a tad ecstatic...

So, despite this crazy twill blend being a weird foreign material to me, I embarked on making my very own skirt out of Campbell's soup can fabric. And I'm really happy with the results. I lined things up as good as I could stand (remember-- I'd rather not get too picky, because I'd rather have fun than pull out my hair).

And the result, I think, is a fitting tribute! Plus, it's a great conversation piece. The one thing that's a little sad though...the people who say, "You must really like soup." And they're being serious. Ah, such is life.

Happy sewing!

This just seems fitting. I'd hate to be the stuck in that soup can.
Is there some kind of weird double entendre here that I'm not getting?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update & Fun Union Jack Dress!

Just checking in. I haven't entered a major sewing dry spell or anything. It's just been a crazy time, because I did a lot of celebrating for my 27th birthday last week. I'm also working on an article for a friend's magazine. I do have lots of posting to do and will do a real update in the coming days.

In the meantime, enjoy this quirky vintage mod image. I've always wanted to make a union jack dress but haven't found the fabric!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mod Mini Skirt Project: Personal Ads Fabric

Okay, so my last post was a pop art inspired project. This next skirt project was also inspired by pop art. In fact, I took my inspiration from an actual paper dress that was produced in the 60's. And what's more pop art than the whole paper dress phenomenon? While I doubt most producers of paper dresses were trying to make a statement, they did. And that statement was about the throwaway nature of our disposable consumer culture.

One of the most collectible paper dresses from the era is the yellow pages paper dress. Manufactured in 1966 by "Waste Basket Boutique" (Mars of Asheville, NC), the yellow pages paper dress was valued by Antiques Roadshow at a whopping $1800. Since my husband and I are passionate antique collectors, we actually purchased the yellow pages paper dress for our collection. We bought it on eBay so we didn't pay anywhere near the $1800 roadshow price (whew!). I'll actually post a picture soon of myself wearing the paper dress (carefully of course).

Front of "yellow pages" paper dress--
be sure to click the pictures for closeups


So, back to the skirt project. This skirt was made with 100% cotton quilter's fabric just like the last one. Again, I couldn't resist, because the fabric has personal ads printed upon it. When I saw the fabric, I was immediately reminded of the yellow pages paper dress. Personal ads on a skirt seemed like a proper homage to the yellow pages themed dress. Pop art often incorporated everyday things and objects, so I thought it was appropriate.

Enough with the rambling. I hope you all enjoy the project!

Happy sewing,

No real relevance here, just a fun vintage ad!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mod Mini Skirt Project: Blah Fabric

I love pop art. I love space age interior design. Mod clothing is the fashion equivalent. At it's boldest, mod fashion IS pop art. You need only look at the 60's fashions of an Andres Courreges or a Pierre Cardin to see this.

Some of Pierre Cardin's bold space age looks-- there is an exaggeration here that makes them even more wonderful, even if slightly tongue-in-cheek

Andres Courreges space age looks

So, as I progress with sewing, I hope to create projects that more fully incorporate my love of this aesthetic. I know I've already been doing it to an extent, but I would love to be even bolder with my projects. My hope is to create things you really and truly could never find in a store. As such, I want to incorporate more graphics and words into my projects Why? Because, it's fun, that's why! : - )

This is what I mean by bold graphics: mod as pop art exemplified here

And this is what I mean by bold words--
too bad you need three people to pull off this look!

And after I made this particular skirt project, I did start experimenting with applique. This has allowed me to venture into the words/graphics arena, and I'm having fun with that. More on that in future posts. A lot more on that in future posts!

With this first pop art inspired project, I took a modern day fabric and made a mod mini skirt. This particular fabric is very "pop art" despite not being created for that purpose at all. Why? Because pop art often incorporated bold graphics and/or words to make a statement. So, with the word "blah" on the fabric, we have a statement. It's how I feel about the times we live in. We are inundated with so much information. Eventually, it all starts sounding like one big "blah." Aren't you sick of all the talking heads out here? Opinions truly are like assholes.

Funny enough, this fabric was created based on the "catchphrase" of a Hallmark Cards character. I remember seeing this character ("Maxine") in their stores, but I never knew she had a catchphrase. Whatever the case, I certainly don't think the character can claim a monopoly on the word "blah", and I doubt many people would associate the fabric with that character. So, I didn't worry about those associations.

Now, I know I said I'd never use 100% cotton quilter's fabric again. I lied.

I just couldn't resist this fabric. And, here's the thing-- I KNEW what I was getting into when I bought it. What ticked me off last time was that I thought I was getting a poly/cotton blend and instead got quilter fabric. So, I guess the lesson is-- I can deal with it, if I know what to expect.

So, more pop art inspired projects to come! And some regular ole mod stuff too.

Happy sewing,