Monday, December 29, 2008

One Of A Kind Coats Of The Third Degree

Coats. I love them. I love making them...... they make everyone stop and look when you walk down the street. They make everyone do a double take when you step out of your vehicle. They make everyone stop in awe and amazement when you enter a room. They top off your garment. They compliment your wardrobe. They last for years. They keep you warm.

They create drama in a wonderful way.

You can never have too many coats!

Samantha Hasthorpe wearing a fur trimmed hooded opera coat. Black rayon mix. red silk lining.
Photo by Kristine Adams

Photo altered by Kathleen Crowley who isn't photo shop savvy! Please dont yell at me, Kristine! Check out Kristine's new website! Her work is amazing!!!!!!

Here is my new cousin Brenna Crowley wearing her Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants. We have to be cousins dont we? Because we share the same name? Are not all Crowleys related and come from County Cork?

Anyway, she is on the left and looking very glamorous in her fluffies! Thank you Brenna!

January/February is the slow time of the year for me, and I concentrate mainly on the custom things non related to belly dance usually. But dont hesitate to contact me to start planning your costuming! Better earlier than later!

My Sewing Machine Loves Me

So Im sitting at my sewing machine, ripping out ruffles on a long overdue order because at the last minute I decided that I didnt like the sequence of the flounces and wanted them to look the way I want them to in the moment. I look up at the clock and its 10pm. I had planned to go to Amnesia tonight and catch up with some friends and say hi to others. By the time I would get down there, it would be too late - for me anyway. So Im grumbling and cursing silently to myself because I always say Im going to do something and something gets in the way. Then I looked over at my sewing machine - my steady, loyal, reliable best friend Consew - and the two threads are forming a loopy heart, like I draw when Im feeling silly. I kid you not - and all I could say was awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww............

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happiest Of Holidaze

I am so happy. Im happy because my Xmas orders are out. Im happy because my back orders are done and out or out on friday. Im happy because Ive resolved some issues at home. Im happy because I think next year might be scary, but it might be pretty exciting as well. If nothing else, it will be a brand new presidency. Maybe he can heal the horrible image America has in the world. Maybe he cant do one damned thing and we are going down like Rome, but at least it wont be for trying. These last eight years have just worn me out.

I wonder if I will get Christmas cards from the Obamas like I did with the Clintons! (That always cracked me up!)

Well, winter is upon us and Christmas is almost here. Im just now starting to think about presents - and people are just going to have to get Happy New Year gifts. And cards too if I get around to it. Its the thought that counts, and I think a lot about it!

Merry Christmas , Yule, or whatever you feel like celebrating. Im sleeping in and having dinner at a friends' house. Christmas is always the quietest day of the year. Even the gangs seem to lay low for the day. Its quite nice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Rushing

The Christmas rush is almost done. And I include anything I have had on the shelf waiting to be finished for any of 100 reasons. I just cant get to all my emails right now, but Im not forgetting you! I dont have as many elves lately and I only have two hands!

I cant pull an all nighter, but I will be up quite late sewing, packing, last minute invoicing, etc. If you didnt request it by christmas, I'll be mailing it out on monday - and you might get it by Christmas anyway! (unless you are across the border)

If you cant figure out why your friend got her Rufflies and you are still waiting, it could be that I found a rip or a or a hole or a stain in your fabric during inspection that I didnt see when I was cutting, or I couldnt find the right fabrics to put it all together til recently, or your package got pushed behind something in my numerous needs to rearrange my workshop these last few months. Hopefully with fingers crossed, I'll find the perfect place to live and work soon - a place where everything is where I need it to be and stays there! It will happen - and I thank you for all your patience if you were the victim of me getting flooded out or some such thing! I was house sitting here for a while where Im working and I really did get waaaaaaaay more accomplished. Its worked best that way in the past and so it will again. So thats the plan!

Next year will bring me to start vending. Yes, Im doing it! So hopefully I will see many of you and show you more goodies up close and personal!

Im also working on getting my ordering system more efficient - and it may mean that I have to be a bit less personal at times with emails - but at least things should run more smoothly and emails will get answered somehow in a timely manner.

Its slow right now and Im taking advantage of this to start getting some product ready for when I vend. I'll post my venues as I get confirmations.

Its going to get busy again. So until then, I'll be concentrating on my custom garments and costumes.

Also just a reminder that you can custom order from me on etsy - just click on something you wish to order that says "custom" and specify what colors and size you are needing. Be sure to ask questions before you purchase! And remember that custom orders take much longer than "off the rack" (what I post on etsy) for a variety of reasons - its the nature of the beast. So let me know if you need something in a hurry as I sometimes can do a rush order!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Louie Says Relax

Another perfectly themed Christmas Fete at Matthew and Tom's house.

The arrival of the Christmas Season isnt complete without Matt and Toms' Annual Costumed Christmas Party. In fact, if I miss one of these, it just isnt Christmas.

Every year, Matt picks a theme (I think he has them lined up years in advance), designs his tree, constructs, paints, purchases and glitters ornaments and tree tops, wall hangings and decorations. Thier home becomes an environment of sheer funky, campy joy. The party is usually swingin til the dawn breaks. Not that I can party that late anymore, but Ive heard the stories!

Marie Atoinette -18th century costume requested - was this year's theme. And all the usual suspects had arrived. Some in borrowed or rented garb, some from my closet, some they make or have made themselves - almost everyone participates in some way, which is a far cry from many costumed parties that I have attended!

I had one day to make a corset, outfit, and wig, so I ended up being a long lost cousin from the colonies........that always explains it all anyway, doesnt it.......

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Manly Corsets

Manly corsets.
They are not just for women
Nor have they ever been.
Men have worn corsets
Down throughout the centuries
As they are in truth as vain
as women and must
show off their manly figures
In the best light.

Erling Wold.
He is such a multi-dimensional
And shows off a corset better than most.

These are some photos of a shoot we did with Kristine Adams a few months back.
It was hard to pick which ones to show
As they were all amazing.
It must be nice to be so photogenic.
I'm not jealous or anything.

Something like this would be nice for the Edwardian Ball.
Hint, hint.............

Saturday, December 6, 2008

House Hunting Is Just Like Dating

Call me slow, but it has just occurred to me that house hunting is just like dating. You have to be really careful. Sometimes those who will have you right off the bat without taking the trouble to find out who you really are, are simply too much trouble.
I now have much more respect for someone who takes the time to check ones's credit and background. Since mine is less than stellar due to some hardships in the past, I would much rather sit down and explain with the possibility of rejection and the reality of seeing that I am a good fit, than have someone too quickly give me thier all so to speak. Ive been in these situations too often where the landlord is desperate to get their property rented and then turn into whack jobs.

Same with dating.

This old girl is growing up

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stripie Leg Ruffles - More Coming Soon

I only made two pairs of these and they sold right away! They are awfully cute, are they not?

I will be getting more grey and black striped fabric this week, so I'll make some leg ruffles up in that next time. So much to little time. I'll take pre-orders on these. email me at

I do have some adorable sampants in this stripe!
Check it out here!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Santa Would Like This

MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm Stripes!!!!!
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
(or whatever you prefer to celebrate or not!)

My etsy store

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Im Not So Ashamed This Year

I spent a few days up in Seattle visiting my son, Haydn, and pretty much just hanging out. We did a couple touristy things and ate lots of sushi and hot dogs (not all at the same time!)

We watched horror flicks and made pies for Thanksgiving. I read the new novel out about Daniel Boone - my great American Hero. The only hero Ive ever had. Why am I always attracted to escape artists and dreamers!!!!!! Well, I'm too busy to dissect that one, but its probably pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about my life!

Not being much of a Thanksgiving kind of person (it all seems so redundant to me), I was thankful for a great many things this year. My son, the lovely ladies and gentlemen who support my business, the friends who have given me support when I was down, so many more things that I just cant write down at the moment!

I forgave the white man for exterminating the original citizens of this continent - not a damned thing I can do about it now anyway although Ive been deeply ashamed. (and my great American hero was partly to blame in his way) Whats done is done and I played no part in it- although Im sure I would have been no better at the time - who knows. I like to think not, but most of us as a species have been unconscious of our journey - our behaviour and history does like to repeat itself, does it not.

I hemmed Haydns' new drapes, cooked, baked, drank, did the mom thing, visited his Friends, had a huge and amazing thanksgiving dinner - thank you, Aleah! That was the best turkey I have ever had!!!

There was much to be thankful for, even in this economy. Maybe even because of it. I feel it is very important to purchase nice things for oneself when one can and there is nothing wrong with having lots of money.....but the over consumption just had to give. It will be interesting to see what people do for Christmas this year. I gave up on fancy presents years ago. I'm sure we will see lots of creativity now! And that, I'm thankful for as well!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Joy Of Thimble

I hate thimbles. I hate hand sewing with anything on my fingers. I prefer the feel of that needle on my skin. Its part of the fun. I can sew faster and with more efficiency without a piece of cumbersome metal or leather or whatever the finger protection method of the day is. I can manipulate the fabric or the trim or the thread. I am one with my needle and thread.

But the downside of this thrill of the needle is that my fingers get ripped to shreds. There is rarely a day that goes by that I dont have ripped finger tips.
Ive learned to live with it. My hands are so torn and burned by irons and glue guns, and sewing tools, that it will take several lifetimes before I can ever audition for the job of hand model.

I equate sewing with a thimble as one would with the necessity of wearing a helmet when on a bike or motorcycle. Helmets suck. Period. I mean, really ......have you ever worn one????? But they keep us safer.

(I was going to compare thimble sewing with wearing a condom during sex, but I thought I'd better quit while Im ahead.)

Ive tried every kind of thimble on the market. I hate them all. The metal, the leather, the glue on dots, the wraparounds - they slow me down. They make me crazy. I cant feel a thing. I sew without one. I take my chances. My fingers are trashed. I sew with abandon........

And then one day I walked into Britex and there before me was the thimble that changed my life.

I can sew with this rubber silicone thimble. I can somewhat feel the pressure of the needle. Im not annoyed, or slowed down very much. And the darned thing stays on. (you know what Im talking about - wink wink) So far, the needle has not penetrated my skin. No blood has flowed in weeks. I only have a little cut on my index finger - and who the hell knows where that came from - not from a needle!

They are so pretty! They come in several sizes and a bunch of colors. I love them so much that Im going to buy a bunch of them, line them up, and gaze adoringly at them. Just because..........
I think Im in love.

You can buy them at Britex, or:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Custom Ordering Section On Etsy

I now have a Custom Only section up on my etsy store!

This way, you can go to this section and order what you like - we will discuss what color(s) and size you need and I will have all your info in one place.
Easier for you I hope - and easier for me!

Ive got the Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants, Fluffie Pantaloons, Leg Ruffles, and a wedding dress. I'll have Sampants and Garter shorts next. This way, if I dont have something for immediate sale, you can go ahead and order it without wondering if Im ever going to get something posted in your size. The wait is always longer with custom orders, but at least you are getting what you need!


Friday, November 7, 2008


Ive been hoarding a little stash of fabric (some I actually just found) for when things settle down and I can focus on new stuff again.

Let me know if there is something you would like made out of this. First come first serve.
There isnt a lot of this - enough for a few ruffles - maybe sampants?

Most are 1" stripes - very wide
The red and white is a heavy cotton lycra and would work for the Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants or Sampants
The red and off white is a little sparklie and could worlk for sampants
All would work for skirts and ruffles and bum ruffles

Contact me at kathleen.crowley'at'

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fairy Godmother

It took me around 12 hours to make this outfit. Give or take an hour or two - I had to jump up and down quite a lot. I also had to think a bit on how some of this was going to go together. This is the end of my work in progress dress to wear as godmother to baby Declan.

I had originally copied this pattern from the original that someone let me borrow once. I had few directions and knew that I was going to have to tweak this in order to make it fit right. I used an inexpensive poly stretch pinstripe that worked out pretty well. I would have rather used a nice wool blend, but I had 0 time to shop for this and used what I had. I also had no time for a mock up - but knowing what I know about these old patterns and patterns in general, I added seam allowance at all seams and because I'm 5'11", I added 4 extra inches to the skirt and 2 extra inches to the peplum just in case. I made the skirt fuller and I also dropped the waist an inch because even though I am fairly short waisted, it would have looked really odd to have such a short waist and such long legs - despite that this is how models are drawn on these pattern jackets.

I reinforced the bodice at the bust esp. because I was using a stretch fabric. I dropped the neckline about 2 inches so that it wouldn't look so matronly - which actually turned out looking more like the pattern illustration than if I had left it alone (tip for everyone - the necklines usually always have to be dropped to look more flattering - unless you are into the matronly look)

The outfit went together very easily once I fitted it to myself. I did have to take in the waist a lot more than I had estimated because of the stretch factor, but I'm glad I cut it a little big anyway - because when in a hurry, more is better. You can always take it in or hem it up. I also added steel boning to the front and back in the darts because it kept the waistline from bunching (and I was afraid that since I did not flat line the bodice, this might be the case) You can always use that nylon boning, but I dont like it.

I ended up binding the hem, sleeves and peplum with strips of bias binding that I cut from the same fabric. This went very quickly for me - much quicker than the hand hemming that I would have done - and it gave a nice, modern, finished look.

I also made the front of the skirt shorter - under the knee - and left the back long. I thought this was the most modern and flattering rendition of a vintage look.

I added a hook and a velvet bow at the neck. I threw on some little vintage buttons at the sleeve and bodice - and voila! It didnt look half bad. I even serged all the inside seams and made it nice which is something I dont always do on my own stuff.

Im really not suffering from jaundice. I tweaked these photos because my camera wasnt going to show any detail otherwise!

Hail Obama

I wasn't prepared for the landslide election last night. I thought it was a joke as my friend Ginny and I sat in a bar after wandering around Valencia St. window shopping and eating Indian food. We were two of about 6 people sitting in front of a huge screen - and as we downed our shots of whiskey in anticipation, the numbers came in and we had a historical and monumental experience before we knew it! I thought we would have a few hours of gut wrenching anxiety first!

Well, the fight has just begun.
So much damage has been done in the last 8 years.
So much unnecessary fear and drama and death.
Obama is now going to be told what he can and cannot do-
His hands will be tied and the people who actually run the world will still call the shots.

But Fucking Hell - change happened. America showed how bad we have been feeling. Now there is at least hope. Youth got up and did something and told the powers that be what for. And centuries of wounds can now start healing. That means more to me than anything. Maybe we wont be made so fun of now. Maybe we have shown that we are not a nation of idiots. The old is dying away. And now there is a road open for some positive change.
I think most of us can breathe a little easier now. At least it is going to be 4 very interesting years ahead. Fingers crossed that some of this reign of utter stupidity and devastation can be be reversed.

I took this photo at Napper Tandy last night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Time For Me Today

I must sew only for myself today. Im making this for my Fairie Godmother outfit tomorrow. I have it cut out and I didnt make a mock up first like I always scold people to do.

See.......Im just as bad as everyone else when it comes to making myself something because WHO HAS THE TIME for all the little steps involved!!!!!!!!!!!

I will say, though, that I cut it a little bigger for extra seam allowance and swing in the skirt. I also wanted the peplum to look like the illustration, so I cut the pieces wider. I also want the front bodice to be a little lower at the top near the neck. So we'll see..........

I'll post a pic if it turns out!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Treasure

Some days are pure magic.
I found a score of a fabric treasure today.
Ive been searching all over for just this amount.
Not the bazillions of yards Id need to buy - not ready for that yet.
Soon, though.
It was like the gods of Halloween time
were saying " That Kathleen had such a crap Halloween
Last Year - we will throw her a bone to make up for it."

And funny thing.......Annie Lenox is singing "Thorn In My Side".
Its perfect.

Gosh. I remember dancing wildly to that song in 1985 (think it was 85 - so long ago now) with a huge bottle of vodka in my front yard. No wonder the neighbors hated me. I would have hated me. I think I did hate me. Thank the gods above that those days are over!

Free with the spirits guiding one is like being the wind ..........

At least today.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Top Magazine

KSea Flux from Big Top Magazine came to my studio and interviewed me one day. He is intelligent, adorable, and charming and on to something big! Plus he and his editors made me sound coherent while all hopped up on cold medicine! (not an easy task!)

Of course, I'm flattered and I'm so happy to be out there in the cyber world even more.....but I really like Big Top Magazine's format. I think much can be accomplished here and I urge everyone to support his team in their endeavors to bring more exposure of the Creative out into the world!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

And Ive been waiting for a trip to Britex.

I was supposed to be working on my Dicken's outfit today, but then Lynne came down to the shop to discuss all the fab things we've been talking about making........and ended up playing hookie and shopping downtown.

Britex. I love it. Some don't. They cant believe the prices. I cant believe one would complain. I love it there. I would curl up in a bolt of boiled wool and hide out if I could. If you sew, how could you NOT love Britex? I would run through the aisles and drape myself with all the hard to find pretty materials and then take pictures of myself being an idiot. But I don't. And if you are a serious shopper, then they will take you seriously. Don't ask stupid questions. (Save that for Discount Fabrics - my all time favorite hated question was "how much fabric do you need to make curtains?")

Anyway, we came back with a stash so heavy our arms were hurting!
Jackets and skirts and pants, Oh My!

I'll be very busy this winter and up to my neck in lovely wools. I'll be using some vintage patterns as the base for her ensemble. Am I in heaven?

Oh Yeah!

Dickens Costume

I woke up this morning with my now rare sinus headachie migrainie thing that makes me have to stay in bed or throw up. But it got better and I went to work - because thats how I am. But I decided to take it easy today and I'll work on my Dicken's outfit that Ive been trying to make for the last 5 years or so. Its all about me today and the rest of you will have to wait.

And I dont mean that in a mean, nasty wretched way. I just really need to make myself something.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I finally got a new little camera the other day, so I threw some things on Molly and had her model for me again. She got to show off her new glasses and I got some new things posted up on etsy that had been sitting here for a while.

This top is a prototype. I think its really cute, but I need to work on it a bit more before I make them to sell.

Today is my last day to get things finished before I ship off for Halloween gigs and parties.

The rest of my orders will follow. And deargodinheaven - its going to be Hexmas soon. Didnt we just have that?

A Smell Like No Other

I love everything about Lynne's garden - even this:

A smell like no other when in bloom. Rotting Carrion. About as bad as when my last neighbors left a box of rotting meat under my bathroom window and I had no idea where the stench was coming from. Almost as bad as the morgue at the hospital I once worked at. Almost as bad as the back alley of the mortuary on Green Street that I had to pass through daily for 6 years..........but this is nature. And now that I know where the smell is coming from, I think its pretty funny! The little one in the yard next door doesnt smell. So it must be a maturity thing. It must ripen each year like a fine wine. Or like an old man who wont bathe.
And it doesnt really last that long.......just long enough to attract flies and bees and long enough to confuse us!

The Last Good Days In Lynne's Garden

I think Yesterday was probably the last nice Indian Summer day we'll have til next year. Oh, we might have another good day before the weather gets really chilly, but it wont be the same temperature, the same light, the same vibe. And Im feeling a little sad because I more than likely wont be here everyday like Ive been for the last two years. Time to move on and find a live/work where I can cook and enjoy my cat before she kicks the bucket and work til 5 in the morning if I have to without bothering anyone.

Thats just how I like it. I dont know when I started being the reclusive creative person that I am today....but it doesnt matter. It is what it is and Im happy. I would make stuff 24/7 if I didnt need to sleep. I feel there will never be enough time in my life to make all the things that I want to. This really bothers me sometimes when I think about it. It bothers me that I wont know all the secrets of mankind's past buried under the earth either. So the race is on to make stuff and know stuff before I die.

I also want to learn the secrets of photo shop and the french language before I die also, but that may be asking a bit too much.

So I'll enjoy Lynne's little oasis in The City with her amazing view of downtown and the Bay Bridge and be grateful that Ive been able to have a little respite before I head out into the world again. She's been a good friend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Heat Is On

For all of you who are sweating bullets about your Halloween costumes - Im in the midst of sewing them up and shipping them out this week.

If I dont answer your emails, its because Im sewing my little fingers to the bone!

And so are my magical elves!

We wont let you down, but the race is on! Its that jolly time of the year!

Here is a photo of the lovely Collette Todorov performing at the Huckleberry Fair up in Oregon. She escaped the din of the city (even though she was living on a boat) and moved up North to Hood River for a better life. A former FatChanceBellyDance menber, she is now spreading the ATS word!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

White Light Please

This poor little girl was in a head on car collision last week and lost her parents. She is in critical condition up in Seattle and has traumatic head injuries. Recovery may be very slow. Her mother had a bad feeling about the trip, but they went anyway.

If you can, put white light around this girl, say a prayer, or just envision her well. wish her a speedy recovery. I think she is still needed in the world

sketch: Virginia Kirsch

Friday, October 10, 2008

What I Want For Christmas

Im nearing the end of an era for myself. I am in a situation where my building has been sold and now the tenants are up in arms and ready for a fight. Ive done this so many times. Ever since moving to San Francisco 20 years ago, I have had problems with landlords and bad room mates, horrific rents, ceilings falling down around me - you name it......I never had problems like this before I moved here. I suspect my luck will go back to good once I leave.

Not that I havnt had a blast and had HUGE and AMAZING and FABULOUS things happen to me while Ive been here. I have no regrets.

But I am sick of the fight. So I will be searching for a home that I can afford and have a space to work. Im in no hurry. If its meant to be that I stay in the city, then I will. But what I really want right now is out.

I dream of farther North to a little town with old bordellos and victorian charm.

If anyone hears of something affordable (dont all laugh at once, now!) where I can be productive and peacefull all at the same time, drop me a line!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Stuff On Etsy

Leg Ruffles
Arm Sleevelets
Garter Shorts

We're soooooo on trend!

Get Thee Up On A Hill Ye Old Farts

This has nothing to do with fashion or style - just nostalgia and maybe a little stage costuming and props.
My friend Samantha suggested that I take the day off on Sunday. I don't take too many days off anymore for growing-a-business reasons. Plus I have orders that must be finished and out by Halloween. I had been sick all week, and wanted to do nothing that had anything to do with my current existence, so we went to Strictly Hardly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park - a free weekend of country and bluegrass - and Gogol Bordello was playing later in the day. I thought if I got a little bluegrass in before Gogol, that would be cool, but when we saw the sea of people, we decided to get up to the Gogol stage and stake our claim.

Things have changed since the days of my early concert years. Maybe because it is a family event and an all day thing, but people had plots of land staked out with blankets and tarps in front of the stage. WTF? In front of the stage? When did this kind of thing happen? I felt like Rumpelstiltskin upon awakening.

Sam and I picked our way through the throng and staked our claim on a 12"X 5" piece of grass and then spread out on an abandoned sheet in front of us that ended up belonging to stage crew. WTF? Why would crew - or friends of crew want to be in the crowd? I was confused or misinformed. Is backstage not cool anymore? Did something happen I'm not aware of?

Unbeknownst to me, Elvis Costello was on before Gogol Bordello. Sam suffered through it, which made me feel old, but it was kinda funny. She had to explain GB to some guy my age - it was all very educational and I passed the celery sticks. This was a nice surprise because I really hadn't even known what was going on this weekend, but what kind of gave me the chills was that he started singing Friend Of The Devil which was sung in pretty much the same place in 1975 - I believe that 1975 was also maybe the only time I was at a concert at the park - of any magnitude. ( I purposefully never attended a Grateful Dead concert again) And of course, some friend of the crew was on the "crew sheet" with us and we were all fairly close to the stage so it looked like old Elvis was singing to us, which also made it all very surreal for me. (He was probably checking out some kids about to fall out of a tree) Could he have remembered my face from all those times I saw him perform in the old days? Haha. A sign that my time is up in SF and I must move on? Perhaps that one. I still think he's cute.

But what got weird is when some people wanted to stand up at the stage when he came on. The usual photographers wanted their 2 cents, the die hards wanted up and personal. I would have gone up too, but the old farts on their chairs and tarps started throwing food and garbage at the people standing up. Security made everyone sit down. Sam and I stared at each other in amazement. What planet are we on? Who are these old out of shape farts and why are they here in their folding chairs in front of a stage? This isn't the beach! Don't people stand in front of the stage anymore? Do they have a clue who is coming next? Get thee up on a hill ye old farts. Get thee away. Thou dost embarrass my generation.

So my nostalgia trip was over and we rushed the stage for Gogol. The old farts were either trampled or carried away to lie down and dream of a Jimmy Buffet concert.

We knew the front of the stage wasn't going to work out for us. But we had to try. Samantha is very strong, but she and I just couldn't hold back the surge of humanity bearing down on us. It was fabulous for a couple songs. Just like punk rock back in the day and I got to go crazy for a while. Then, while holding back the sea of humanity, I started screaming in my head......."oh God! My knees! There go my knees!" Some Russian guy was holding onto Sam's fresh tattoo, so we got out of there and danced and jumped up and down on the sidelines til I made myself sick.

And a good day was had by all.
Now back to work......

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Samantha At The FCBD Studio

Thursday, 9th of October, Samantha will be teaching Tribal Fusion combos at the Fat Chance Belly Dance studio, San Francisco

Samantha Hasthorpe will discuss the art of Tribal Fusion through practicing short, distinctive, and creative combinations with the elegance, flair, and attitude stylistic of FatChanceBellyDance

Contact to book

visit for Samantha

She will also be performing with guests at the Bollyhood Cafe on October 10th
3372 19th st. @ mission st., SF

Doors open at 8pm
Show at 9pm
$5-10 sliding scale

For details and tickets contact Amar @

Its a great little venue
Sam is here for a short time
She is an amazing dancer and
The nicest person you
Could Know

Samantha At The FCBD Studio

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quality Vs Quantity

I don't know how it ended up that I make so many pants. I shall blame it all on Samantha Hasthorpe (Emanuel) who needed a new pair of dance pants. I had a bin of lace lying around and we dug in, came up with a couple items and helped carry out the trend of ruffles and lace.

It was a fluke. And I'm happy and grateful for it. My garments have been worn all over the world. Ive even got the Fluffie Rufflies on a calendar. (thank you, Sam!)

Since then It was on to stripie pants - The fabric made by serging lots of strips of fabric together. This all started because I couldnt find the fabric I wanted to use. Ive planned to make more, but never got around to it. The price is prohibitive, but if someone wants something bad enough...just contact me.

And then Sampants and Fluffie Pantaloons and Leg Ruffles. Not in that order.

Ive got lots of other ideas, but quality is very important to me, and I would rather have nice, more expensive items made one or a few at a time, rather than do mass quantities of merchandise - it is hard to keep the quality up when you cant be there to oversee the work. Ive tried to do small lots of Sampants and had to do some over. I am still small potatoes and its easy to get overwhelmed with so many orders. So for now, a few at a time. Maybe one day if this evolves in that direction, I can grow. But for now:

Quality verses quantity.

And Fit,fit,fit!!!!!!!

This is a photo of Rachel Brice wearing the striped pants I made for her - and as far as I know, they are still holding strong!

Antique Velvet

I'm kind of stumped about the velvet on the Victorian bodice. It was taken such good care of - it was living in a museum archive in England and then returned and wrapped in acid free paper. It was part of a family collection and has made its way into my studio so that I can touch it and treasure it for a couple weeks before it makes its way back home. It was the ugly duckling of the collection, and so it was much more expendable should something go wrong. We even thought about turning it into a dance vest, but it seems a shame to wreck it, so I'll just make one from scratch.

It looks almost new. I checked it out carefully to see if maybe someone had recovered it, but the threads and stitching and backing look period. Someone obviously at some point tried to turn it into something else - added newer trim and some kind of red wool facing. But if it were for a show or a play, I doubt they would have gone to so much trouble to replace the outer cover and the purple silk. They more than likely wouldn't have replaced that boning and front inner padding so deliberately.

One of my most favorite things to do is to check out the innards of garments and see how they were put together. I remember once when a friend of mine was modeling for one of Thierry Mugler's trunks shows back in the day. I got to inspect some of his suits. There is a reason why some things cost an arm and a leg................sheer genius. Another friend of mine ended up making some clothes for him, so it was fun to discuss craftsmanship. I hope these skills become more appreciated again one day. Well, one can hope.

So it is always fun for me to check things out up close and personal. And I'm hoping that I can go overseas next year and visit my friend and wallow in the joy of opening up the trunks of pristine Regency and Victoriana that are waiting for a new home. Another museum perhaps? I hope I can get there first!

If anyone reading this has any comments on the condition of this bodice and if this is the original velvet or not, feel free to comment!! Ive just never seen any old velvet in such pristine condition before! Ive never held it in my hands!