Wednesday, December 24, 2008

cleaning house

I am hauling out more old projects as I recall them. Things that I made for some reason or another over the years and never did anything with. Again, they are going straight into the destash store to try and rid my house of these interesting but otherwise not useful objects.
Today I found and listed these juggling bags, as why not? I made myself a set many years ago, from rainbow prints left over from a quilt I was making and thought it would be fun to make another set to sell...
only, I didn't have anyone to sell them to or any forum for reaching buyers. So they sat in the closet for several years. Well! Now I remembered them and now they are up for the world to enjoy!

On a side note, if you want to know the secret to juggling, click through to the picture and read the description.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sharing the love

Like any designer, I get the biggest kick out of seeing my work on my customers. Photos of my designs being worn and enjoyed by real people give me that little thrill that I can't compare to anything else. It's an instant high for me, and the reason I am so addicted to sewing and design.
To aid the masses (the throngs of adoring fans I have to wade through hip deep just to leave my house in the morning, doncha know) in sharing the love, I created a group on Flikr where customers (and fabulous friends and family members who I have done work for) can post pictures of themselves in my creations.
I might say it's for you, darlings, but really it's to feed my need ;)
Check it out here!
right now it sure is lonely and could use some help!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

8 hours of Christmas music

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
The best part of working from home on I Will Fly stuff is that I get to avoid the muzak system at my day job two days a week. I realized yesterday, while charting how many times they played "have yourself a merry little Christmas" on the muzak system while I was at work (6!) that I hadn't actually heard any music that wasn't Christmas related in over a week.
So today I will sew while iTunes plays my music collection (which is thankfully devoid of Christmas songs) on random all day long.
I will sing along very loudly to all of it.


and such...


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Thanks braille notecards
Originally uploaded by djinrain
One of the best things about having a second shop on Etsy is being able to use it to sell things I wouldn't otherwise list.
I enjoy making things, creating. Sewing and fashion are surely some of my greatest loves, but it gets a little dull doing the same thing day in and day out. I make things, just... things.
I draw and paint and decoupage and write. I knit and make doll clothes and decorate the sidewalk with chalk. There are a million ways to incorporate my love of art into my life (though sadly, the skill to make music has passed me by) and having the destash store allows me to showcase some of my creations that aren't fashion related.
Here is my latest. I spent far too long last night and this morning figuring out exactly how to cut the cards, align the brailler, and design the envelopes for these. They are teeny tiny note cards that I made from blue card stock paper and typed "thanks" on to with my braille typewriter. I send out similar cards in my packages to customers, and thought it would be fun to share!
I am planning on doing pink ones that say "love" for Valentine's day, and yellow ones that say "joy". I will probably also make a run of "hope" cards next October and donate the proceeds to breast cancer research. My braille typewriter was passed down to me from my Godmother, Elizabeth, who passed away from breast cancer about 13 years ago.
Look for these in the destash shop early next week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long time no post

Ahoy! It's been a long while since the last update, but I'm still around!
Here to take your economic blues away is my latest creation: the Dread Pirate Roberta (just Roberta to her friends) bloomers!
The fabric shop I work in got a bolt of fun black chiffon woven with alternating sheer and satin stripes a while ago. I was trying for ages to come up with a good project to use it in, when inspiration struck! So here is what I did with it!
For the photos I took my inspiration from my apartment's brothel past and dressed them up with a vintage night gown and matching tights (that I had around from ballet lessons long past).
In other news, I am selling off my collection of corset patterns in the destash shop (I bought them back when I was first learning to make corsets but never used any of them, so I may as well send them off to people who will!) and adding more of my mom's fabulous silk creations as well. Check us out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I was born under a sign. A "cupcakes for sale" sign.

bing cherry cupcakes
Originally uploaded by distopiandreamgirl
Today is national chocolate cupcake day, no I'm not kidding.
Do your duty on this fine day and eat a cupcake in honor of this blessed occasion! Raise one for my 27th (omg!) birthday while you're at it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
There is absolutely no question in my mind about where my love of fashion, art, and handcrafting came from. My mother, an amazing artist in many mediums, is directly responsible for exposing me to fashion, sewing, textiles, and many other forms of artistic expression.
Momma draws, paints, sculpts, writes poetry, and sews. Her latest love is hand-dying. She's playing with turning some of her dye projects into wearable art, and here's the prototype that she made for me! I call it Punk or Punky, because that is what my mom called me when I was a kid (short for Pun'kin, though most people didn't realize that to say the least).
I'm going to help her sell some of her work in my destash store, check out the first listing here.

Now I'm trying to figure out how I can incorporate this collar into a Halloween costume made out of things in my closet. It has a very punk-rock Elizabethan fairy kind of vibe, could be a place to start!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Welcome to Autumn!

I know it's been Fall for a while now, but around here it hasn't felt like it until very recently. This entire weekend has been chilly and windy. I'm trying to resist my primal urge to settle in with a good book and just hibernate until Spring!

This gingham chemise top was a custom order for a repeat customer I have worked with in the past. I took her idea for a chemise in gingham and designed this top, to which she added the extra buttons to pull some extra life into it. I think it turned out very cute, and I'm glad she loves it, too!

In preparation for the holidays I'm continuing my adventures in advertising. This Monday 10/13, look for my banner ad at Punch and Pie. If you miss it, don't worry, it will be back again next Monday 10/20!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

oooo! ooooo! <---ghost noises

Well, it's October, let the Autumn begin!
In honor of the month, and my particularly morbid mood at the moment, I wanted to share one of my new favorites on Etsy Loved To Death. They create jewelry with little bits of reclaimed taxidermy work. My favorites are probably the squirrel paws.
I encourage anyone who's feeling woozy about the idea to read their profile.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Doll House Parade

Lately I've been playing with a few new ideas. Here is one I am particularly fond of, thigh-high stockings! Here are my trial pair in blue and red iridescent stretch velvet. I am going to tweak the design very slightly, and then will be posting the next generation to the Etsy shop! I named them Slow Poison after this guy, whom I have been listening to a lot lately.

I have also been making doll underwear, of all things, and listing them in my destash store. The first set sold within an hour! Good to know there are other dolly-people out there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

everything's coming up roses...

Well, we survived another fabulous vacation at the coast! It rained the WHOLE TIME, but it was great to be out of town for a while (I don't know how much longer than that I can go without the internet, though!). I collected seaglass on the beach, we went tidepooling, found some cute frogs in a pond, geocached, shopped for used books, slept in late, read a book about physics, and roasted our dinners over an open fire (I can even build a fire with wood that's been sitting in the rain all night, I am good!)
When I got home I set to work finishing the custom shrug you see here. It's the same design as the grey tweed Ascot shrug, but in a lovely pink and gold twill with little gold heart buttons on the sleeves (perfect for the December wedding it was made for, I think! I found the buttons at my favorite fabric shop along the coast).
I also worked on a few other crafts, including sea glass pendants for myself, repotting and decorating a beloved plant, and (the one I am most proud of) creating a prototype matchbook sewing kit to go along with the pink shrug. I have big plans for these, as soon as I get a paper cutter, at least!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a cup of kindness, yet

Here's the latest and greatest, a holiday (maybe) party dress! About a year ago I had the idea for a... something... in tan or beige with a black lace and deep red ruffle. It went through several incarnations, from a skirt to a top to a totally different dress, but this is what I finally decided on and I am quite happy with the result. The neckline ties with a wide strip of silk used as a drawstring, so it can be worn high up at your neck or down lower as you choose (I personally like it high). It reminds me of the sun setting in Nevada or Arizona. Maybe a cocktail party at a swanky club overlooking the desert.
Tomorrow we leave for our beach camping vacation and our hopefully romantic second wedding anniversary (you never know, it could be raining cats and dogs the whole time)! I will post the Time Traveler vest to Etsy when I get back (I'm afraid of having too many custom listings active when I go out of town for a week!) and I will also be working on a custom order, a pink bridal shrug for a lovely lady back east. Hopefully I will have pictures of that to share before too long!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

like sands through the hourglass

The Time Traveler
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Here is my latest made-to-measure item for the Etsy shop. I'm quite taken with the "steampunk" aesthetic, I just wish there was more variety in the offerings these days, so here is my little vest, inspired by Victorian men's waistcoats. I like the style so much I am sure to be making it in other colors and fabrics. I think silk dupioni would be fabulous on the collar, and maybe a white silk with a beaded collar? Lots of options here.
Another fun thing I wanted to share: for my anniversary gift this year my husband got me (okay, so I picked it out, contacted the seller, and dealt with all the details. It still counts!) a beautiful sterling silver wire wrapped ring set with faceted garnets the color of my wedding gown. It came in the mail today, and I attempted to take a photo of it stacked with my wedding band but had a horrible time of it. Here is a clearer shot, from the seller. Lovely Lori at made it just for me and I couldn't be happier. She also has some stunning pearl rings that I am in love with, as well as a watermelon tourmaline band that is so pretty it just kills me. Check her out!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I've decided to take this whole business seriously, including actual paid advertising, if you can believe it. So, keep an eye out for I Will Fly on the web! On Monday September 8th (actually 10pm Sunday til 10pm Monday California time) I have a spot on the Fall Fashion Showcase at Etsy.
Next up, ads on your favorite serial web comics!
I Will Fly: ask for it by name!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Rainbow's End blouse
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
After two weeks of 100+ degree weather, yesterday was really rather pleasant. Breezy and cool enough that we felt fine turning off the window fans and baking potatoes for dinner.
Thank goodness, because I am ready for Summer to be over any old time, now!
Today it is back to hot and nasty, but with a promise of cooler times to come.
Right now I am working on Fall clothes for the Etsy shop, vests and shirts, dresses and tops to wear to holiday parties, warmer weather shrugs and such. Here is the first custom-sized item in the season's line, I call it Rainbow's End.
I discovered the fabric at a Jo-Ann's that was going out of business and had to get it, even though I didn't know what I was going to make with it. What I ended up with is this super cute 1986-esque blouse, which was designed as I went along.

Friday, August 29, 2008

do not play fast and loose with my heart

In two weeks my husband and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary! This painting of a bunny rabbit wedding (or at least, I picture it as a wedding) is so achingly adorable it makes me want to get married all over again just so I can use it on my wedding invitations!
It's just one of Nakisha from bluedogrose's incredible bunny paintings. I bought an ACEO of a bunny in space from her, and it is one of the most adorable things I own. She also included some really precious postcards, which I am using to send my niece and nephew birthday greetings.
You really should check out her shop.

In other news, I think I have decided to name my sewing machine Reno Dakota. In March we went to see one of our favorite bands, the Magnetic Fields, play in San Francisco. The husband bought me a little pin-back button to pin on my purse (I have an ever-growing collection of band buttons on my purse) but for some reason I managed to break it off not once but twice. After the second heart-breaking loss and miraculous find, I decided that it was not meant to be on my purse after all. So I glued it to a magnet and stuck it to the side of my machine (do not try this at home if you own a computerized machine!) so now it proclaims it's pride in the Magnetic Fields in hot pink whenever I sit at it. Sooo... long story short, I named the machine in honor of their song "Reno Dakota". And that's all she wrote!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

FABULOUS new business opportunities

Or, if not fabulous new opportunities, at least a fabulous new store with which to hopefully clean out my sewing room a little!
I just opened a second Etsy shop, I Will Fly destash, in which to post various supplies that I have far too many of. I am always sad to throw away little leftover pieces of fabrics, so I have bags full of them that are really no use to me. And drawers full of patterns that I don't use! And tools that have been replaced by professional models! And and and...
And honestly? I was clearing out discontinued patterns at the fabric store the other day when I found a FUR SUIT pattern! I think, I think... I have to get that just to post it! Fabulous!

I also thought this would be a fun way to market my own patterns. Things I have drafted myself and would like to share with the world, or maybe I can convince my mom to make some of her gorgeous silk dye projects for me to sell?
Anyhow, the key word for this shop is FABULOUS.
So, there you go!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Garment care tips from a fashion designer

The clothing industry considers the lifetime of a garment to be one season. Not one year, mind you, one season. As in, three (3!) months. As a designer, I can't imagine someone getting that little use from my work, and hope to heavens that my own garments last longer than that! You can, of course, get an awful lot more bang for your buck if you understand how to care for your clothes. Here are my top five tips for getting longer life from your garments and keeping them looking great for the whole time you own them:

5) Machine wash your clothes in cold water on the delicate cycle. The only real use for the hot water and regular agitation cycle on your washing machine is for towels, blankets, underpants, sweaty gym clothes, and feminine hygiene products. Hot water fades the dye in your clothes, and agitation promotes shrinking as well as putting the fibers of the fabric under strain. Luckily, cotton fabric actually becomes stronger when wet. Almost everything else, however, gets weaker, and is more likely to shred when wet.

4) Stop using Woolite. When hand washing your delicate items don't use Woolite. Aside from smelling awful, it isn't recommended for many fabrics. Instead, use a gentle hair shampoo. Just make sure it doesn't contain any dyes or conditioners. Baby shampoo works great, as does almost anything in the super sale aisle at the grocery store.

3) Ditch your deodorant. Specifically, avoid antiperspirants containing aluminum. Read the label! This is incredibly important for a couple of reasons. First, it's recently been linked to breast cancer. Second, it eats your clothes. You know those yellow armpit stains? Not your sweat's fault. It's your aluminum-based deodorant. The worst part is that it can happen after only a couple of wears, and there is nothing on Earth that will remove those pit stains. Especially from your new white work shirts. Eventually the stained areas will become stiff and brittle. I cannot tell you how much longer my white clothes have been lasting since I switched to aluminum-free deodorants. I like the Adidas cotton-tech brand, though that is really hard to find around my city, so now I am using Tom's Of Maine's natural deodorant. Like I said, though, just remember to read the ingredients list on everything you buy.

2) Just say no to dry cleaners. Most traditional dry cleaners use really nasty chemicals on your clothes that are known to destroy rubber (think elastic and lycra), fade and shrink acetate (your wedding dress, perhaps?) and, alas, cause cancer. If you absolutely must dry clean a garment look for an "eco-friendly" cleaner that doesn't use carcinogenic chemicals. A note of warning, though, they are expensive.

1) And the number ONE tip for making your clothes last longer? Stop freakin' washing them so often! No, no, not everything of course. I wouldn't expect you to stop washing your underpants or t shirts or socks. But the general rule is: if it doesn't touch your sweaty parts then don't wash it every time it's worn. Blue jeans can go several wearings without washing, as can most pants and skirts (as long as you wear underpants, that is). Shirts worn with an undershirt are also okay to go a wearing or three. I have a vest and skirt that I've owned for years that haver never been washed. Unless they get dirty, I won't clean them as they are made from delicate fabrics that may not hold up well to washing. I simply wear them over other garments.
If it's dirty or has something spilled on it, wash it. If it smells funny, wash it. If it is just wrinkly? Hang it up and spray it with water and let the wrinkles pull out by themselves. It's the single most important and easiest thing you can do to have longer-lived clothing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

weekend, wow!

I have two whole days off from my day jobs! In a ROW! It's amazing. It hardly ever happens, and certainly not without my begging for it and having terribly important family obligations to attend to. So, a weekend off work without asking is pretty amazing.
Today I went shopping at the Jo-Ann's Fabrics that is closing up it's current location (we used to call it "ghetto Jo-Anns") and moving into a massive superstore complex on a much busier, much more upscale street. While I am not generally in favor of mega-chain superstore fabric shops on principle, I will admit to shopping there once in a while for things I cannot get at the locally-owned store I work for (aside from the "they'll run the little guys out of town!" feeling, honestly the shop I work for has better prices). Namely upholstery thread and steam-a-seam, as well as bra sliders and rings.
While I didn't come away from their sale with any of the things I was looking for, I did find two fabulous new fabrics that are crying out to be projects (though the husband has laid claim to the cool steampunky clock face fabric for boxers :P) Sooo, look for something awesome with metallic stripes... coming soon to an Etsy shop near you!

Here was my other task for the day, taking photos of the red hoody shrug I am posting next week. Is cute.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

how about that local sports team?

corset-back bra
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
The problem with blogging is that, after you've come to terms with the idea that you may only be talking to yourself, you then have to come to terms with the fact that you don't have much to SAY to yourself.

Here is one of this week's projects. The natural next step after the functional itty bitty bras. A super sexy one with corset laces up the back. Maybe not as useful to wear to work, but the husband's reaction was FABULOUS.
I was quite proud of my little ribbon straps, which were fairly simple to create, but I had never done it before so I was pleased with the result.

As I am going into crazy 6-day-work-week mode for the next month I will not have as much time to work on things for the shop, so I am trying to get a little bit of a head start. I have two things ready to post, so that will at least get me through the next week or two. After that I have a lovely red wool shrug I am working on, as well as a couple of others that would like to be made. A grey tweed for Autumn, and a super secret one that I am keeping to myself until it's ready to post!

After August, with any luck, I'll be cutting back to four day work weeks, which should at least give me a chance to focus a bit more on production as the gift-giving season kicks into full swing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

take me to the airport, I need to be extremely far away...

Today I'm making ready for a short trip to spend the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area amongst the trees and ocean and visiting family. I'm SO looking forward to a little break from routine!
So today I am doing dishes, shipping off last-minute sales, and packing a few things into the car.
It all makes me long to go on a fabulous vacation to some distant and exotic locale, jetting across the continent, crossing the oceans, and spending quality time touring.
On my trip I would take these amazing suitcases, which I have an intense jones for, even though they are utterly impractical for me.
But OH I love them so!
check them out here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Must have done something good...

Maria chemise dress
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
After the popularity of my last chemise dress, I decided to give it another go when I found this stunning valence lace at the fabric store.
I was originally going to name it Lilias, but inspiration came when the costume designer at the theater I work in was asked one day what the wedding gown he'd designed for "Sound of Music" this season looked like. He quoted from the play, saying "like holding a moonbeam in your hand" and it stuck with me as a lovely descriptor for a sequined wedding dress.
So here it is, now named Maria.
I'm happy to see that the backyard, which is where my pictures are generally taken these days, but which is mostly the territory of our downstairs neighbors, is looking quite picturesque these days, as you can see in the photo. I just wish they would stop leaving their cigarette butts and beer bottles all over the place :(

Thursday, July 3, 2008

experiments in paper

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
I am experimenting with ways to make my business cards more eye catching and less boring. To give them a little handmade edge, but not look like I just used mom's color printer to make them (*cough*).
For these I had intended to do something very different, but it didn't work out so I was stuck with a sheet of white plain paper cards and nothing else.
I decoupaged a sheet of card stock with pages from a fashion magazine and then took it to work, covertly chopping it up with the paper cutter when no one was looking. Then I glued the white paper cards to the front. In future, as I like the idea quite a bit, I will probably just print the wording directly onto the pink cardstock so they look better. But I don't actually own a printer so I figured I had better use what I had around :/
It sure was a lot of work!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Totally rockin'!

Irma ruffle dress
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
During the "day" (as it were) I work in the costume shop of a musical theater and at a locally owned fabric store. Working around fabrics, being amongst them every day, is inspiring. I find most of my ideas simply by touching and seeing the fabrics as they come through the shops. Most people design a garment first, and then find fabrics to match their needs, but I go about things backwards a lot of the time, finding a fabric and then designing around it.
This dress, for instance, was inspired by the totally retro printed cotton fabric it is made from. It just demanded to be made into a 70's dress, and this is what I came up with for it.
I'm pretty happy with the result!

Friday, June 20, 2008

SEXXY, more than enough...

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
without further ado...
I finally present the first in my line of custom-made bras for girls with teeny tiny titties!
That's right, ladies, I am sick and tired of wearing only horrible sports bras and unattractive little bandeaus from the bargain bin at Target.
I like lace. I want to WEAR lace, dang it! I have itty bitty boobies, but that does NOT mean that I am not smoking hot!
To increase the hotness, my husband's best black fedora was stolen for this photo. He did not, I should mention, object.

In the same vein, I also found this fabulous zine on Etsy, which I plan on buying myself. Check it out!

Friday, June 13, 2008

How about "Alberto"?

My new machine
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
My new sewing machine was delivered this morning! Here it is!
It's pretty much the same machine as my old one, but is shiny and new so at least there is a possibility of it not breaking down horribly on a regular basis. Here's hopin'!
Now I just need to name it. My machines serve me better if they have a name. My Viking conventional machine is El Machino (named after the tortilla machine at a Mexican restaurant), the machine I used in the sewing lab in college was Astra. The Pfaff that was passed down to me through my grandmother and mom is Mr. Pfaff (or just Mr. P)
I was almost thinking of a studly young dude name, like Raul or Roberto, because it's replacing a much older model, but then I don't know if I want a boy machine this time or not.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I vont to be alone

Greta shrug again
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
If you've ever wondered what I look like as a silent film star, there you go.
If not, at least check out the Greta shrug, which I made after being inspired by a rather horrible dress in a 1946 "3 Stooges" movie, of all things. This shrug, I should point out, is nothing whatsoever like that dress (and the movie was just abysmal, but let's not go there ;P).
It's all silk, silk velvet lined in silk satin, and is so amazing to wear. Holy mackerel, if you haven't been wearing silk, you don't know what you are missing. Cool, soft, smooth... silky (if you can believe that) but so very unlike almost anything you have ever heard described as "silky".
Polyester has got nothing on silk worms, man. Natural fibers are where it's at!

Friday, June 6, 2008

turn the world around

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Here is my second project using handmade fringe. This one especially took forever because there was lot of fringe and it started off as fairly tightly woven fabric!
It sold within an hour of posting it to Etsy, to the customer who has purchased every other chemise top I have listed!
I was making this top while watching the Muppet Show and now it is forever linked in my mind to Harry Belafonte's "turn the world around".

Saturday, May 31, 2008

park your trailor next to mine

chelsea headband
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
"slap your knees and drink your wine,
park your trailor next to mine.
They say we know how to have a good time
(and they say right!)
they may whistle when you bend over,
but I'm the only one coming over
so boys, keep your nickels and your dimes"
-"Chelsea" Agent Ribbons

I'm having a lot of fun making headbands from dupioni and ribbons and bits and bobs. They are quick, easy little projects that have a lot of room for embellishment, which is the fun part.
I've also been experimenting with making my own fringe by carefully removing the warp threads from fabric. It takes about forever, but the result is pretty neat. Check out the result on this headband, and on the chemise top that will be posted later in the week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

the pengin and the bobby-soxer

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
As you can see, though I haven't listed a garment in a while, I have in fact been making them. This skirt will soon be a custom-sized listing in my Etsy shop (because the Sailing to Heaven blouse was a roaring success). But it'll have to wait until I replace my sewing machine (hopefully next week) because gathering the ruffle on this prototype skirt cost me six machine needles.
Anyhow, I love the way the skirt turned out, it's kicky and fun, and very reminiscent of bobby-soxers. I wore it to the zoo today so we could look at some penguins. Peeeeeenguiiiiiiins.
They were awfully cute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

so much time so little to do

emily headband
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
No, strike that, reverse it...

I have new items to list, and one of them will be a custom listing, but my sewing machine has taken a serious turn for the worse and I think I'll need to wait until it's been replaced to post anything that will require serious sewing.
So for now I am making pretty fabric headbands from silk dupioni, chokers with beaded fringes, and finishing up the navy cuffs I began many many moons ago.
I also have this whole next weekend off of work. I am pretty danged excited, as two days in a row off is very rare, and three whole days off.... well it just never happens! We'll see what I can make and do in that time!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

bling bling

When I made those rhinestone hair clips recently it reminded me of that poor old brooch of my great grandmother's that was missing stones. So I searched around a bit and found some that were the right size and color, though cut a bit differently. Here is the final product after it's repair, one green stone was replaced as well as one clear stone. It's easy to tell which one is the new stone is this picture just because the light reflects off it a bit differently, but in real life it's a pretty dang close match and I am pretty proud of myself for this little bit of reclamation.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

bloop bloop bloop

Alison chemise top
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Here is the latest and greatest!
This was another one of those projects that just would NOT get going properly. A tiny gltch in one step would send the entire thing in a new direction, starting with the fact that the satin I originally bought to make it from shredded in the washer! So, I had to go buy a new fabric for it, and that was only one of many many mishaps along the path to a completed project.
Maybe I am being too honest.
Anyhow, it is finally complete. I was just noticing that my next project is also black and white, and the next items in the shop up for renewal are black or black and grey. So, say farewell to colors for a while!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

gone, gone, the girl in brocade.

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Here is a shot of the latest treasury Geodiva created on Etsy.
When I was making my wedding gown I bought all that was left on the store's roll of grey silk charmeuse. After carefully cutting it out I was left with only a two inch tall strip of fabric! Whew! Many moons later I took that strip, pleated it by hand, added a sweet burgundy and white trim, and created this collar.
I called it Beatrice after Lemony Snickett's long lost beloved, and tagged it VFD, making it officially the nerdiest thing on etsy. I <3 Lemony.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Lenora" corset

"Lenora" corset
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
The store has been pretty dormant listing-wise the past week or so. But I haven't been idle.
Here is my latest corset, the first made exclusively for my Etsy shop (and the first thing I have ever put an I Will Fly label into!). It'll be posted today.
I've also been "working" on another endless project. It sounded simple at the time of it's design, but it's gone from a simple idea I've made over and over again to an ORDEAL that never seems to get it's feet off the ground. Anyhow, with the major kinks worked out it should also be up next week or the week after.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Marry in black

Here are my Miranda cuffs in another fabulous treasuy at Etsy:

This treasury was created by a repeat customer of mine who has been fabulous to work with.
The cuffs were sewn almost entirely during the worst storm of the year, when there was a huge power outage. I stitched them entirely by hand while sitting in the window with a book light to gather as much light as possible. They took forever, but they always remind me of that storm.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
So in an effort to make myself even more polished and professional I present my very first clothing labels! Tres exciting! The nice thing about these ones is that I can use the entire label or cut it off to be smaller or give a different effect. Trying for class? Easy, just roll under the penny farthing part and snip. Limited space? Snip off the "design" or the logo, or both, and still have a serviceable label.
Well, I am excited, anyway :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

diamond bracelets Woolworth's never sell...

Here is the latest addition to the Great Panty Caper 2008.
Now the only problem is that I can't decide whether to simply call them "Meow!" or to name them "Baby" after the Leopard in the Cary Grant movie Bringing Up Baby. Hmmm... probably too obscure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

down at the Copa, Copa Cabana...

Here is a prototype for the new panties I am going to be putting in the shop (probably next week). I am making myself a pair of every type, then remaking them for Etsy. Gives me a good amount of practice with each fabric type, lets me experiment with different applications and processes, and gets me some new underpants!
I like this style, as they are real cute bikini-type panties but they have enough booty and stuff coverage that I don't get a wedgie or flash a bunch of hmm... things.

The husband thinks I need to give all these panties stripper names. This pair is "Lola".

Monday, April 14, 2008

what did you learn today, honey?

Lily chemise top
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Today I learned that it is nearly impossible to take a picture of your own back side.
You see, I am in the process of experimenting with making panties for the shop. Which is quite a bit of fun. I made myself a pair out of an old geisha shirt. But I am afraid you'll just have to take my word for it, because trying to take a photo was killer.
Today's listing is the Lily chemise top. I really love the teal satin, which I bought knowing I wanted to paint something in black at the hem but not knowing what. While were were out at the cemetery, though, I found a cool old grave marker with a fleur de lis on it, and my last name (it's somehow used as a family crest sort of thing... see, I don't know anything about my married name!) so I took it as inspiration and had my hubby draw me up this beautiful design that I then transfered to the shirt with textile paint.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What the designer is wearing this year

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
The weather report predicts highs near 90 this weekend. I'm not ready for the heat, yet! Blergh!
But it's a good reason to trot out the new summer clothes I made for myself this year. This blouse, I am terribly sorry to admit, was inspired by Lady Marion's wardrobe on the 1980's Robin Of Sherwood BBC series.
It's also put together, as I like to call it "Mom style". Meaning I pretty much just started chopping and sewing and dealt with design issues as they were presented to me... and whatever happened happened.
I <3 my mom!
This shirt was entirely draped in the fashion fabric, using no pattern. The low waist cinches up with a drawstring, the neckline darts around the slightly cowl-shaped neckline are held in place by wooden buttons. The shoulders are my favorite part, I think, they wrap over the shoulder from the back and create a diagonal seam in front.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

party time... excellent!

Celeste summer yukata
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Woooo! I've reached my 20th sale on Etsy!
I also sold that black kimono within a day of listing it! How exciting! I guess I had better finish up some more projects.
The next item going up is the yukata I mentioned in my last post. Then on Monday I will be posting a new chemise top. I have three corsets in the works (those old ones just keep getting pushed aside for newer, greener pastures!), and am considering doing a chemise dress as well in the near future as well as a new collar.
Fun fun!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

filling in the blanks

Arashi lace kimono
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
So this is what I am doing this week:
actually putting kimono into the "KIMONO" section of the Etsy shop! Woo!
I know, quite incredible.
This lace kimono, as well as the celestial print yukata going up later in the week, were both made about three years ago and have been carefully wrapped in bags sitting in my closet.
In November this kimono was shown at the Masked Ball event, but I didn't get many really good shots of it so today my hubby and I went out to the Historic City Cemetery (where we had our first date!), ate a little picnic, wandered through the lovely flowers, and took photos of both of these lovely kimono.
Tres gothique, yes?
I am also now a little bit in love with this picture.

Friday, April 4, 2008


"Linda" shell choker
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
So, real life right now involves having not one but two repair men in my house starting at 9 o'clock Saturday morning. Sunday will involve a hopefully low-key and sort of fun day with the husband, having a picnic and doing a brief photo-shoot at the historic city cemetery near our home.
Here is the only thing I managed to complete this week that wasn't a custom order. I've been thinking in "wedding" mode lately, and this one looked like the sort of thing that the summer time bride with bare feet and a sundress could pull off to great effect.
Honestly, I just love that seashell fringe, and when I noticed there was hardly any left at the shop I had to grab it as soon as I could!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

rock out with your socks out!

basic measurements
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Oh man! It has been a very busy week over here.
March was very very slow sales-wise, until the last few days, and since then I have been running like a wild thing trying to keep up!
Out the door went my Musee chemise top, a custom-fit Sailing To Heaven blouse, the Jenny wedding dress, and the Midnight in Paradise ruffle skirt. Rapid-fire sales! Exciting and overwhelming all at the same time!
I feel like, oh good heavens could it actually be? A FASHION DESIGNER.
Also, also? I made cupcakes yesterday and then discovered a family of mourning doves nesting in my planter box on the patio.
Spring has officially sprung!

I know the shop is starting to look a bit like Mother Hubbard's cupboard, but never fear! I have a few new projects that I'll be working on over the next few days, and on Sunday or Monday should be listing a lovely black lace kimono among other lovelies.

Friday, March 28, 2008

adventure! excitment!

Grace lace shrug
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Having sold two things this week, both of which were actual garments (!!) and one of which was my custom-fit sailboat blouse, I am pretty excited.
Today I listed yet another bridal item, this time a pretty lace shrug. Honestly, I have been wanting to make a design like this for quite some time, not really realizing that it was wedding-appropriate. I guess that shows what sort of fashion sense I've got!
I even busted out the headpiece from my wedding for the pictures, check it out!
I think I deserve some sort of celebration... a glass of wine with dinner tonight? A batch of cupcakes? So many choices...

Monday, March 24, 2008

wedding FEVER, yo!

Chloe hair clips
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Etsy has been running it's wedding series, and I've decided to try listing a few things in the Weddings category to see how things are looking over there these days. This first item is a bit of an experiment.

My Great-Nana was something of a bling bling fan, though of course she thought she was being terribly elegant and continental about it. Rhinestones were in, okay? I had a few of her rhinestone pieces that I was given as a child. A fabulous brooch of green and clear stones that was snow-flake shaped that I wore on my coat lapel until one of the big green stones dropped out (I was devastated! They are, of course, a size/shape/color that Swarovski no longer makes), a pair (though I seem to only have one now) of clip-on earrings that I wore as a necklace pendant on my wedding day, and this long crazy strip of rhinestone trim. It's three stones wide, held together with quickly deteriorating string, and has no easily detectable use or purpose. It's just a strip of stones. I have always loved it, though not known what on Earth to do with it.
I bought myself a pack of hair clippies, which just happened to come in a pack of 4. I was looking at the fabric store I work at for some trim to use on them when I realized that the EXACT SAME TRIM was already at home waiting for me, just slightly aged and mellowed with the years, in my old junk jewelry tin!
So here we are, a set for me and a set for Etsy... and a bunch of trim left over for playing with and making more projects.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Workin' hard or hardly workin'?

Don't you hate it when people say that to you?
Yep, I'm right in the midst of several projects. I started yet another bridal item tonight after work (a shrug). I am working on finishing up the bridal corset obi that I started several years ago, but realized that it's working out to be another one of those endless projects that keeps having just ONE MORE THING to deal with. So I had to put it aside for an instant-gratification project.
In other news the store's been in a bit of a March slump, which has me realizing why big retail stores always have March Madness sales this time of year. I've also been very very ill for the last two weeks, and am just pulling out of my latest stomach flu as we speak (or as I type, I suppose). So there isn't much new and exciting to report.
Anyhow, new items on the way, next week at the earliest (depending on how much sun I've got after work, for picture taking purposes).
Happy Spring-type holidays to you all!

Monday, March 17, 2008

candy pearls

candy pearls
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Sometimes I just like making stuff that isn't for the shop. This is my latest project, made from two dozen individual chocolate covered cherry wrappers rolled into "pearls" and varnished.
I'm particularly fond of short strands of pearls, and was looking for something fun and different.
Thanks to my husband for eating all those chocolates for me! (nope, I didn't eat any of them, I don't like cherries).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

exciting Etsy-ness

Another of my items was featured on a Storque treasury on Etsy! This one even had a nice little blurb about it and an enlarged picture. Check it out!
here it is!

They are running a series on weddings there, currently, so I was sort of hoping something like this would happen.
Oddly enough I am working on two more wedding items right now. A corset and a corset obi, both of which I haven't worked on all week due to extreme illness. Anyhow, it's nice to see Etsy paying more attention to their wedding category. I am always a little afraid of posting items there, fearing they will disappear into obscurity.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The project that wouldn't end

Musee chemise top
Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
That's right folks, the project that I started ages ago and have been complaining about ever since is finally finished!
This started life as a piece of ivory Ambiance that was left over from my sister's wedding dress that I wanted to make into a chemise style top. I had the brilliant idea of dying it black and making a sort of gothic lolita type look with a black satin binding and a white ruffle.
At various points along the way I had to re-imagine entire swathes of design, as each step I took created a problem that then had to be solved creatively, not the least of which was that the black dye actually turned the fabric BROWN.
Anyway, it's done now.
At least... I hope it is?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

everything old is new again

I am near the end (hah hah! there is NO END) of a project that just seems to be going on forever. So I was searching around in my head for something ELSE to work on for a while.
The husband and I went to a concert last weekend featuring Lemony Snicket on accordion, and that reminded me of a corset I had started something like three years ago that is covered in this fabulous lemon printed fabric. So I went searching for it and while I was digging through tupperware containers full of fabric and such I came across my second corset obi, which is almost finished, actually, a cream silk covered in ivory lace. Both of these projects just need bindings and grommets and embellishments and such. I started them both at about the same time and just never got around to finishing them because the binding was very picky on both of them.
Anyhow, I am posting them here to remind myself to get these done, now. I think it's about time!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I now pronounce you...

You know how with every dude (or potential dude) you get (or potentially get) you have a totally different concept of the perfect wedding? Or maybe it was just me.
Anyway, for one dude I had this idea that the perfect wedding would be sort of an anti-wedding. The beach ceremony would be performed by an Elvis impersonator (in sparkly white jumpsuit, natch) who would pronounce us man and wife and then maybe strike a pose, lip curled and hips thrust, disco finger outstretched in a move that would make John Travolta green with envy. The music would be provided by a mariachi band, who would bust out once in a while with a classically anti-love song. If we could prevent the food from getting filled with sand (my mom and step dad were married on the beach, and it was a huge fiasco trying to keep the sand out of the food) there would be chocolate dipped strawberries, lobster, and fondue. Basically the most impossible to consume foods imaginable. He'd be in casual, possibly plaid. I'd be in a tea-length pink eyelet dress.
Well, that dude didn't pan out, and I ended up marrying a much nicer dude while dressed in crimson in a ceremony which didn't involve Elvis, mariachi, or sand, but this dress reminds me of that "perfect" little anti-wedding I envisioned once upon a time.
*sigh* oh, the possibilities...

This dress also started life as a much longer gown. I showed it, but the model that was going to wear it was switched into another outfit at the last minute, leaving this poor dress on a much smaller, shorter girl, whom it hadn't been hemmed for. It just dragged on the ground a lot. I was terribly... well, not upset, at that point in the game I was merely resigned to whatever fate it was destined for. After the show I had it dry cleaned, and then chopped off the entire bottom of the gown, including the perfectly aligned train I had so carefully executed, and re-hemmed it to a one-size-fits-all tea-length. I have to say, with Spring quickly approaching, that I am happier with it this way than I would have been reworking the entire bottom half of the dress to salvage it from runway marks. As a side note, this dress involved so much more hand work than I had anticipated, from sewing the gores into the hem to attaching the piping and binding at the top, so many hours of hand stitching went into this that even I was surprised. It's going to be posted for sale in my Etsy store on Monday, so wish it luck. It would really love to be a sweet sun dress or someone's beloved bridal ensemble.
It wouldn't mind the Church of Elvis one bit.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Patrick McGoohan and I are pleased

Originally uploaded by I Will Fly design
Well, actually, I can't say if Patrick McGoohan is pleased or not, but I sure am.
I just sold my very first actual GARMENT on Etsy! It was this black fleece shrug with white satin binding and a penny farthing button.
My very first actual piece of clothing sold on line! I am terribly excited about all of this, as you can probably tell. So far I've only ever sold accessories, so this is a big moment for me. The moment when those five years of fashion design and construction classes almost seems worth the effort.

Monday, February 25, 2008

the mutha' of invention

So this Saturday I learned that if you are trying to dye rayon fabric black with Rit you will get dark brown fabric, instead. And I had already bought the lace and bias for a black camisole. D'oh!
But then the light dawns.
I was grumpy about it, and laying out some black satin ribbons on my ironing board over top of the brown rayon when I realized "hey, THAT looks kind of cool". I opened up the fabric, draped the ribbons over it creatively, tried the bias and a black lace edging with it, and wow, that IS cool! So, that is what I'm working on now :)
I ordered some tiny watch gears, too, which should accent it in a really very neat way. It isn't what I thought it would be, but I like it even better. Sometimes it just goes like that.

In shop news, I have started the terribly exciting process of relisting items that are near their expiration dates, re-cropping the pictures on some of them so they look nicer. I've gotten about a million times better at taking pictures and cropping/editing them in the last four months, that is FO SHO.
I've decided that some items, items that are unloved and unhearted and that no one seems much interested in, are just going to be allowed to expire and come join me in my own personal wardrobe. I just wish that more of them fit me!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

sick day

I'm sick today, and so have nothing of interest to report on my end.
So, to spread the love around a bit, I thought I would share my personal favorite item on Etsy:
check out the rest of their awesome stuff at