Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm BAAAAAAACK. That was supposed to be in a creepy voice, but it loses something in writing.

So, I moved! And now I have my very own sewing room (but let's call it a "studio" because that sounds way more impressive) to fill with works in progress. And to keep cat hair out of! Woo! No cats allowed!
Ahem... anyway.
So, I've got my new space set up. Here is a picture of it from back when I was first getting things together. it has changed a bit since then, and is now a little bit on the disorganized side (not true. It's far too organized. I always know what pile of crap on top of which piece of furniture something is in. But after I moved and organized everything? No idea where anything is. It's going to take a while to break this room in.)
It will never be this tidy again.

Anyhow... so we moved, and just as I was getting all excited about my new space my summer work schedule started, I came down with an ulcer, my cat was diagnosed with anorexia secondary to inflammatory bowel disease, and I was handed a large pile of raggedy dance costumes that needed to be fixed and spruced up for the ballet studio where I take class.
In other words I didn't get much accomplished project-wise until the end of August. Now I'm back and falling in to a routine of work (it's so hard to motivate yourself, you know?) so things are actually getting posted in the Etsy shops again. 
Of course, posting this is probably jinxing myself, but let's hope for the best.

I'm proud of this one, a new scarf idea that I came up with months ago but only juuuuuuust finished up this week. It's hand painted with textile paint on silk habotai and comes packed in a sweet little (giant!) felt fortune cookie. I have made so many "test" fortune cookies in myriad shapes and sizes recently... I tried and failed at a few different types, and when I finally found a pattern I liked I made them continuously for a day or so, just to make sure I had it down pat. This is the biggest, naturally, but the smallest was teeny weeny tiny!

Oh! And I have decided to post some of my non-wearable art in my destash shop. I have been working on (procrastinating on, really) an art project for several months, now, and it's not even vaguely ready to add to the shop, yet. BUT I decided that I should air out my ACEO collection and see what I could part with in preparation for making a bunch of new ones. This one, which I made several years ago and always kind of liked, is pretty simple, but I thought it might be a good place to start.

Monday, April 15, 2013


It always frustrates the heck out of me when artists (in any medium) claim to function in a creative vacuum. Like musicians who say they don't listen to any music from other artists. What a pity! To not experience the great body of art that is out there seems like a shame as well as an outright lie. No one will think less of your music if you listen to Mozart and are inspired by Etta James.
I am constantly inspired by other artists, from all genres. One of my favorite sources of inspiration is fashion history. Sometimes I will pull an embellishment idea from a Regency gown, a neckline from an Ottoman coat, or a colorway from a flapper's fringed skirt.
Here is an example of an inspiration that is much more direct than many of my designs.
This wool and silk tuxedo vest for the shop was inspired by a lovely Norman Norell suit from the 1960s. Here they are together:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Anchors Aweigh! No, it's not "away" and no, I didn't have to look *that* up, either.

I can take absolutely anything and make it nautical. Sailor collars and stripes all around! Nautical jackets! Nautical rompers! Nautical toaster ovens! Nautical push brooms! Hmm... maybe not everything...
I've been lucky these past few years, as sailor-inspired fashions have been popular. I can almost always count on my sailor collars and such to find a happy and obliging audience. Now, this hasn't always been the case. A few years back it was nearly impossible to find anything with big bold stripes on it. Why, I had to shop for my Prisoner-inspired wardrobe very very carefully, indeed! I am thankful for the uptick in rockabilly-resort-whatever style that has brought my love of all things sailor to the mainstream.
But... what is it about nautical style that I love so much? I ... really don't know. I think it's timeless and fun and flirty and Spring-time fresh and clean. Plus, I love the sea, the coast, beaches, and standing on cliff-tops pretending to be the captain of a jaunty frigate. Or something of the sort, anyway.
Anyway, yo ho yo ho, hoist the mains'l and etc etc.

I didn't just have to look up how to spell "mains'l" by the way. That probably says something ...
and I've owned this hat for something like fifteen years.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One of Those Projects

Sometimes there is just no winning with a project. Sigh...
Some time in the past year I sketched out this design for a shrug, made in natural speckled grey linen with off-white silk organza overlays. I couldn't find the linen that I wanted for a while, but eventually it turned up in my favorite local fabric store and that's when the real fun started.
Originally I had planned to gather the sleeves in to the binding at the cuff in the regular way. But after I was already halfway there I realized that gathering it would make it completely impossible to iron the pleated overlays when it was washed, or after taking it out of storage. I really don't like to send designs out in to the world that are not going to last or that can't be cared for. So then I had to rethink and re-engineer the whole silly thing.
Eventually I thought of the idea I used here, which is to gather the cuffs in to shape with a series of loops and buttons that could be released and rebuttoned as required.
With the thinking out of the way the construction then entered in to a series of small but nearly fatal catastrophes. After two weeks or so I am happy to announce that it is finally done... and that I never want to see it again in my life, thankyouverymuch.