Friday, December 9, 2011

Annie, Get Your Gun -and your Cricut too!

Annie Oakley has been a big part of our household for the past three weeks.  My daughter's second grade class is doing a "Famous Americans in History" project where each child has picked an American iconic figure to research, write about, and portray for a special school event.  The long list included Annie Oakley, and that is who my little girl picked. 

My daughter, Piper, is an enthusiastic reader, and loved reading an Annie Oakley biography to me in the car between errands and activities. 

I started off by making medals to look like the ones Annie Oakley wore.  I used my Expression, white card stock, and gold Krylon Metallic spray paint.  I cut a bunch of shapes that looked like components of her medals and then assembled them later. 

These were my cuts:
  • Art Philosophy (page 31) round with border (layer) cut at 2", 1-1/2" (2), and 1" (2).
  • Art Philosophy (page 39) banner with border (layer) cut at 1-1/2" (2). 
  • Art Philosophy (page 26) header shape with layer cut at 3/4" (3).
  • Art Philosophy (page 45) header shape cut at 1/2" (2) and 1".
  • Art Philosophy (page 48) header shape with layer cut at 3/4" (2) and 1-1/4" (2).
  • Art Philosophy (page 67) chain detail font cut at 1/2".
  • Art Philosophy (page 68) fleur de lis shift cut at 1-1/2" and 2".
  • Art Philosophy (page 41) inner circle layer cut at 1/2".
  • Stand and Salute (page 28) shields blackout shift cut at 1".
  • Stand and Salute (page 32) star blackout shift cut at 1-1/2".
  • Stand and Salute (page 41) banner cut at 1/2".
  • Stand and Salute (page 49) rifles cut at 3/4", 1", and 1-1/4".
  • Rock Princess (page 51) birds layer 1 cut at 2".
I sprayed them with several layers of paint and let them dry. 

I made a removable collar to hold the paper medals shaped like a kerchief similar to the lines we saw her wear.  I created the pieces using the shirt front and back pattern pieces as a guide, cutting double to create a self-lined and separate piece.  Thread loops on either side of the collar center-back onto the back button.

I adhered tack pins to the backs with E6000 adhesive.  I was surprised to hear, as Piper read to me, that Annie Oakley had most of her medals melted down after her sister contracted tuberculosis.

For the costume, I used two sewing patterns that I adapted to look like our favorite Annie Oakley dress that Piper and I found among the photographs in the books. 

Bull's-Eye A Photobiography of Annie Oakley by Sue Macy
What's So Great About Annie Oakley by Jim Whiting
Who Was Annie Oakley? by Stephanie Spinner
McCall's 5696
Simplicity 2064

I altered the skirt, changing the pleats to narrow them and increase their numbers, while keeping wider side panels for decoration.  Annie Oakley embroidered her own costumes, but I decided to mimic this by appliqueing a floral print onto the skirt using Steam-A-Seam.  Annie's skirt, in the photo that I copied, had sewn-down pleats and a fringe that was sewn to closed pleats.  I wanted my daughter to be comfortable and to be able to move, so I did change the design a bit to allow for open pleats, but I did sew the creases of the pleats to keep them sharp. 

The teacher wanted, as part of her mandated project directions, for the costumes to have a paper attached to the back of each of the kids with their historical person's name written on it.  My daughter gasped at the news that a paper would be taped to her back.  (I guess she equated that with a "kick me" sign?) She asked me to come up with an alternative, so I used my Imagine and Avery Printable cotton to cut 1" letters from the Country Carnival cartridge.  I fused it to the back of the removable collar.

The Avery fabric is awesome; the Imagine cuts it like paper!  I used a new, super sticky mat and a new blade.  (For papers, I always use a barely sticky mat, but for fabric, this just doesn't work.  Fabric stretches and when not adhered well to the mat, it allows the blade to catch on it.)

I opted not to sew a hat, after Piper found a Mossy Oak hunting hat.   I spray painted it with a Krylon Gloss in Leather.   It took nearly two cans to cover the camouflage print!.  It took a few days of airing out on the deck to remove the paint smell.  I added a star from my gold-sprayed paper cuts to mimic the star on Annie Oakley's hat. 

I am so proud of my daughter.  I enjoyed learning about Annie Oakley along with her, finding, to my surprise, that Annie Oakley is a great role model for girls.  It was fun to find her Louisville connection (her meeting to join Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show occurred here according to one book).  At a time when our contemporary young superstars find it hip to be shocking, it is a breath of fresh air to read that Annie Oakley fiercely protected her reputation while promoting gender equality.  She brought herself and her mother up from poverty, valuing her talent to such a degree that she negotiated a salary five times that of the men she traveled with. 

My daughter's enthusiasm helped her do so much more than I ever remember doing in the 2nd grade-- actually I don't remember doing any research in that grade.  She did a great job on her paper and I think she had a lot of fun on this project-- I know I had a great time working on this costume!

Thank you for letting me share my project with you!  It is a bit of a diversion as all the crafting blogs at this time of year showcase Christmas cards, holiday decor, and yuletide recipes.  My next post, I am sure, will be seasonal!


Suzanne said...

Nadia your daughters costume for her history project is absolutely amazing. You will make the other mothers "hate" you and I mean that in a loving way. Great ideas and love the name on the back. What a lucky daughter you have and what a lucky mom you are.

Merilee Lane said...

You did an absolutely AWESOME job on this outfit for your little girl! As a mom (now nana) who sews for her girls, I am most impressed with the way you integrated your love of sewing with your love of all things Cricut. You did a fantastic job!


MelodyR aka Ry&MysMom said...

My eldest is in the third grade and I don't remember him researching any historical figures in the second grade. Kudos to Piper's teacher for including this in her 2nd grade curriculum. Your project looks absolutely amazing! Loved the smile on your DD's face as she proudly models the whole outfit!

moknowsall said...

Thanks for showcasing your beautiful daughter and her project. I am sure you both feel special and proud of this history project. Thx for sharing,,,,,,,go Annie


Ladybug said...

All I can say is : WOW!!!

Piper is definitely going to be the talk of her school!! Beautiful!!!

Gina piazza said...

Dear Nadia & Piper!
What a great project! From the research & reading that Piper has done to your fabulous costume; thank you!
What interesting ladies you all are! (Nadia, Piper & Annie!)

Hrvatica said...

Awesome project. It's wonderful that you are able to make learning so fun for your daughter and the rest of her class.

Melissa said...

It is good to have a crafty mom! Perfect costume :)

Diane Hodrick said...

Wow that is a very advanced 2nd grade. Great job on this costume, girls. The pictures are adorable. Loved reading this post. So cute!

jody said...

That is absolutely Awesome!!! The pictures of your daughter are beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing!!

mary said...

OMG! you are so talented and Piper is so adorable! Super job!

Sis Patterson said...

Can I just say - Piper's project hit the bulls eye from 40 yards with her eyes shut and one hand behind her back.

In other words, SHE DID AMAZING WORK!

And you did too - I just adore it - While she will grow and the costume will look smaller, the memory of doing this project with her fabulous mother will always be at least 6 feet tall.

I know you are proud of Piper, and I also know she is proud of you!

JennyKozar said...

Look at her beautiful happy face!! You are one good mama!!!

Anonymous said...

Nadia How awesome!

AllisonF (Goody Bag Diva) said...

I need your phone number because I now have to sing "There's No Business Like Show Business" to you until it goes out of my head! Piper would probably be disappointed in my history by way of broadway! What a work of art!

Carolyn/MamaC said...

Absolutely wonderful creation and the narrative is so beautiful! What a blessed family! Your talent is beyond words, Nadia!

Sandy from Ukiah said...

Oh Nadia , I am beginning to see that there isn't anything you can't do... She looks just adorable

Stephanie Dang said...

Nadia! This is insane!! But totally awesome! And I bet she got a perfect "A" for this project!!!

Loving all of your crafty things that you have been doing lately! Actually I love all your work! Keep on sharing! You're very inspiring! :)

Linda Kaiser said...

This is amazing and looks like it came from a museum.

Your daughter must be thrilled!

Happy Holidays.


cdm317 said...

I loved this post and hearing about your little girl's enjoyment of reading. It's a beautiful quality. Your costume is amazing!

Enfys said...

Wow, wow and wow. I am so glad you were not a parent at my daughters school, or I would have been obliged to officially hate you! Fantastic project Nadia. I just popped over to wish you and yours, a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year
Enfys x

Got2BCrafting said...

That is fantastic!! My DD did the same thing in 2nd grade last year. Annie Oakley was on her top 3 choices, but in the end, she was Shirley Temple. I do not sew (except on paper sometimes) so our outfit was not exactly what we wanted. There were some amazing outfits, but I think yours would have outshined them all!! BTW... Piper looks adorable, as always. :)

Unknown said...

Your daughter's outfit is gorgeous. My daughter had the same exact biography project this month, 3rd grade, and also had Annie Oakley. She was a fascinating woman! Anyway, I wanted to thank you, your project was very inspiring to me in creating my daughter's outfit. I was at a complete loss, found your blog and was inspired to make my daughter's outfit from "scratch". It was a hit at school also! Thank you again for the inspiration!!

Nadia ( said...

Clarissa, I am so glad you found my blog and that you let me know! I am so glad it was helpful!

Dk said...

Oh wow!!! How awesome is this???
Everything is just perfect. You have such great talent!!! This made me miss sewing. I made all my daughter's costumes too when she was younger and throughout her college years. I miss that. Piper is so blessed to have you as a mom!

Unknown said...

Annie was my great great aunt. She would have loved this!

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