Monday, April 21, 2008

Red Tribal Brocade

Just love this. Just do.

If you work for me, you have to be my resident model as well.

Photo: Ms. Stasha
Model: Molly Mitchell

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fabric Stash Challenge

My friend Janet Canning of Lost Coast Historical Patterns And Costume Supply proposed a while back that we costumers and sewers take the recycle and reuse way of life a tad further this year. She proposed that we put our thinking caps on and find creative ways to use our fabric stashes to make new - or finish ongoing costuming would make us use what we already have, raise our creativity levels, hopefully create less waste, and save money in this time of economic hardship.

I am taking this challenge. What comes out of this may be somewhat un historically correct, but I have this gene that demands that I do what I want anyway. Besides, just because people of another era didn't have our fabrics, doesn't mean they wouldn't have used them if they had them.

Coulda..........woulda..........Lets call it Steampunk or something.

This doesn't mean that I wont feed the fabric economy when needed. I certainly shall with gusto. We have to feed the fabric stores or they go away. And they are going down frighteningly fast.

But lets think twice before we buy things we don't need. Lets save some money. Lets use what we've got and see what we can come up with.

Thanks for the great idea, Janet!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Now This Is My Idea Of a Computer

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the techno age.
But had I been able to have a computer that looked like this,
I would have run into the modern world jumping for joy -
With open arms!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Leg Rufflies

This photo is so gorgeous that I couldn't wait to post it! Sharon Kihara of the Bellydance Superstars would look stunning in a burlap bag, but is a SUPERSTUNNER in this drag! I don't know who made the rest of her costume ( She told me, but I forgot. It is amazing!), but I made the garter shorts and red Leg Rufflies.

For ordering, please contact me at:

Garter shorts $45.00
Leg Rufflies $85.00

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perfect For Playa

I said in the blog below that I don't make high end clothing or costuming for the Playa.

But THESE are perfect!

No Playa For You!

I don't make high - end clothing or costumes expressly for Burning Man

And this is why.

Playa dirt doesn't come out of the fabric.

I just cant do it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cafe Bellie

I'll be vending at Cafe Bellie!
April 27th
1317 San Pablo Ave. @ Gilman
Berkeley, Ca.
$10.00 admission
7:30 - 10 pm

Some Fluffie Rufflies
Some Rattie Tattie Dance Skirts
The rest may be a surprise!

A Day Of Rest

Yesterday I took a much needed day off and headed up north to visit my dear friend Moonalisa.

I love visiting Moona. Her home is always so inspiring to me - Sensual, mystical, warm, fun, happy and filled with light and laughter.

Victoriana, Gothic glamor, rich colors, glorious scents, eclectic mixes of ancient, mystic artifacts to hardcore heavy metal to 70's kitch - her home reflects her soul. She creates a rich environment that reflects her art. Or does her art reflect her home? It is all one and the same. To see the packaging on her amazing products is to see into Moona's see into her soul.

I was given the last drop of of Haunted - a scent that she created with me in mind. All sold out folks - and now I see why. This stuff is pure magic. Like perfumes of old, the scent morphs gradually until what you get is a wafting of what smells like rich, dark woodland earth. I am honored.

So when I can, and that is rare any more, I take a trip to Moona's house and sit under a canopy by her herb garden and sip tea, or go eat lunch at the Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa, or have a craftie afternoon concocting all sorts of trouble, or eat chili popcorn and watch horror movies.

And now she's expecting a sweet little baby boy.

It doesn't get much better than that!

Little Maids All In a Row

This Is Why I Do This

I just recieved this wonderful email from a happy customer. This is the real reason why I do what I do. Of course I need to earn a living, but I also like to think I can bring a little touch of beauty and happiness to the world now and again.

Greetings creatrix,

so grateful
yesterday my sweety brought me your package up stairs in bed....I
have had a really terrible flu bug and yesterday was the peak...
but what a delight to receive these fantastic pantaloons..... with
the way you wrapped them and tied a bow I felt I was receiving a gift
a good friend... they made me laugh and smile and cry a little.
especially when he tried them on...nothing like a tan farmer in lace...
anyway you made my day yesterday and they are so sweet, comfy and fit
me perfect - length, style, and the swirly plant flower part
on the top..
and the secret polka dot part under the ruffles..
the clothing plans have changed a bit and it seems I will be sporting
these fine pants with a corset and skirt yardage bustled
up...I will try to send you photos when it all comes together...
I was thinking about the traditions of weddings where children wear
their mothers dresses....and smiling at the thought of my
grandchildren pulling these pants out of a tissue lined hat box and
saying wow grandma wore these to her
any way, thank you so much
your extra care and touches
really touched me
loves and blessings

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sneak Preview!

I made myself a pair the other day out of a cotton lycra and I cant take them off!
I'll be launching them soon out of stretch velvet. Just figuring out pricing and ordering more fabric.

I will also make some out of the cotton lycra. It may not be quite as glamorous - but its comfy and stretchy and great!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Getting Caught Up

This year has started out with bang of orders for my Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants™ among other things! And while that has made me very happy, that nasty flu just took the wind out my sails this year and I got a little behind in getting things out on time.
Now I'm dealing with the tax man and all those things that one's gotta do.

I got back in gear though, and today I cut out about 6 pairs of pants and several skirts. All orders. I cant seem to get up to steam and get things up on etsy fast enough. Baby steps - its all about baby steps.

Tonight I'm grading the Sampants pattern that we've talked about on Ive got a feeling those will be a super success. I'm making myself a pair tonight also as I vowed to myself that I would not return to the gym until I have something cute to wear.

I'm vending at Cafe Bellie in Berkeley on April 27th. I will keep everyone posted on that one! I'm also performing with Saaidi at the event, so that should keep me happily crazed that evening! I'm hoping that I'll have a few pair of rufflies and some Sampants and hip wraps to sell. Its should be a lot of fun! If you have never been to Ashkenaz, its a great place to see a show!

Zil Bags Deluxe

I feel naked without my zil bag. Yes, its true. But only when I'm going somewhere where I need my zils!

I love my zil bag. I have abused this thing so badly. It has been rained on, stepped on, inspected in airports, taken everywhere, been thrown on dirty floors, been kicked around in the dirt - and it is still pretty.

I put a ribbon handle on it but I found it unnecessary to have.
Except to hang on a doorknob.
Ive made others without the ribbon, but am more than happy to put on a little ribbonerie for you!
They are being sold on etsy.
They are a work of art.
They are lined and reinforced.
They are sturdy and durable.

For those uninitiated.......zils are finger cymbals.
They should be treated with care like any musical instrument.
What better way to show respect to your craft than to encase them in something sturdy and lovely.
They compliment your tribalishisness!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Glorious, Glorious Spring!

So what does gardening have anything to do with clothing or costuming or my biznis?

Well, last year I had the opportunity to grow a a little garden in the abandoned yard next to my studio. I hadn't grown anything in a long time due to circumstances. Living in the city with no backyard was problematic for any kind of garden. I had a little terrace above my last workshop, but the neighbors were skitzo and I didn't want to be around them. So when I got to grow some flowers, herbs and veggies last year, I did a little creative visualization - as it grew, I imagined my business growing.

Well, the garden had problems. It was overrun with weeds, snails, slugs, and poor soil, and acacias that popped up everywhere. We had to put roundup on the acacia to keep it down, so I didn't really want to eat much that grew out there. Most of it went uneaten and went to seed or got pulled up in the fall. But I tended it as best as I could and my business grew - with problems - but it grew.

A season of weeding and pruning and mulching did a great deal to prep the yard this spring for growing. But instead of planting everything in the ground, I put it all in pots and containers. I weeded and raked and hoed and made the garden look so much better than it did last year. I found flagstones and rocks under the soil and made walkways.

Growing in containers will be different for me, but I prepared myself for it. And we can deal with the acacias now without worrying about the integrity of the plants. It is an experiment and I know it can be done.

Today was probably the most gorgeous day we've had this year by far. Spring is indeed here. My little plants are in their pots, the gardener came by today and pulled the overgrown grasses - I just couldn't get to it all. There was too much. And she weed whacked and watered and the yard looks pretty decent now. So as this garden grows better this year, so will my business.

Its just like that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Polonaise Part Three

After the bodice was sewn up, zipper installed, boning and grommets put in their proper places, ruffles attached with a double bias facing of the same fabric, and the sleeves put in place, I attached the ruffles and trim to the sleeves before I sewed them to the bodice.

I constructed the polonaise, with channeling but sans trim, basted pleats in, then set it aside while I lined the bodice by hand and sewed down the facing to the lining.

I basted the lining to the hem of the bodice and then I attached the the skirt to the bodice with a double bias facing. I made sure that the channel opening wasn't sewn into the bodice.

I sewed the facing down to the lining and voila!

The dress looks fabulous on the wearer and Im hoping that I have a photo soon. But for now, the dressform will have to do.

Polonaise Part Two

After I cut out the mockup, cut out the bodice and ruffles, I proceeded to cut channels for the rouching, then the trim on the bias to make edging for the skirt and sleeve.

I figured out where I wanted the skirt to bustle up and then I sewed the channel strips to the underside of the skirt. I sewed a seam down the middle of the channel so that it would create a rouching effect when the ribbon was pulled. I made 4 of these. When I wove the ribbon through the channeling, I left enough room to pull the ribbon up from the underside of the skirt near the bodice if she didn't want to tie it from the hem.

At first, I cut and doubled up the bias trim strips and pinned my ruffle treatment to the skirt, but it was waaaaaaaaaaaay too heavy and bulky for this kind of project so I decided to cut it down in width with my serger, serged the edges on both sides, turn the edges over with my straight stitch and apply the trim to the skirt freehand for a bit of a carefree effect. Actually, it looked very even and I was quite pleased that I didn't bother to pin any of it on first. I "made it work". And it went on fast.

The sleeve was another matter. I basted that trim down first because I knew it would be a little harder to get it around below the elbow evenly and easily. This took very little time though.

Polonaise Part One

This is my all time favorite pattern..... I use it over and over and over. I think I made it as the instructions required once, but I just appreciate the silhouette, it is easy, and I can tweak the hell out of it.

So that is what I did. I tweaked a bit.
I found this great black and grey semi-sheer striped drapery fabric on sale and Lynne and I bought up most of it. She wanted a stripie coatie coverup dress kind of thing for her trip to Italy and Sweden. For when she gets dressed up, you know. Not that she doesn't always look great, but something fun and dressupie

First I took her measurements and made a mock up from what I understood that she was wanting. We thought about what she was going to wear it with and decided to make the front and back a little longer, make the skirt way bigger ( the skirt in the pattern always seems a little skimpy to me), add frills, bias ruffles, and channeling to rouch up the skirt, add a zipper in the front and modern it up a bit.

I flatlined the bodice in a light grey cotton in order to show off the stripes a bit.
I cut large bias ruffles for the neckline. I also made the neckline much deeper to show off her bosom. Why hide these things, I say.

I then cut two layers of bias ruffles for the sleeve and I shortened the sleeve a bit. I thought it looked better that way.