Monday, November 30, 2009

Boots N Bloomers

Yesterday I did a little photo shoot with my roommate Kristine - who is a fabulous photographer. So I was a little embarrassed to be taking such amateurish photos. A few turned out ok and I like this one of her boot with the ruffles peeking out from her leg. She stood like that on the stairs - not holding onto anything for quite a while and I was very impressed with her balance! But thats a dancer for you - very poised in the pose!

I just cant get away from the ruffles. Maybe I shouldn't even try. Not after I saw what was in the stores right now. Bloomers are not for everyone, baby! But for some of us, they might offer a nice solution to the ugly clothing dilemma for a bit. The shorter bloomers are so awesome with all the boots that are being offered this winter. You can wear them on their own or under a dress or skirt. I wear mine all the time!

And I'm just in that mood right now, with the holidays and Dickens Fair upon us. Fluffles and Ruffles..........very Victorian and charming!

Model: Krisine Adams

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Uncommon Fair Weather and my Lovely New Fairie Helpers

The weather is uncommon fair these days. I cant remember such a glorious morning as this one was today. The temperature was just the right degree of pleasant and it was windy - but a beautiful, warm, balmy kind of windy. I loved it. (can you tell I'm reading Dickens right now?)

And then Shelby came over this afternoon and made me a bazillion lovely little labels to put in all my garments. One of these days, I will actually get around to having grown up real life professional labels made again. But til then ..........Ive got great little home grown ones. And Im perfectly happy with them.

So I now have two wonderful interns who seem happy for now to sit and do my little sewing chores that I cant get to. It is helping me soooooooooooo much! Shelby and Amina: both belly dancers and both very proficient with their sewing skills. And it seems that I am helping them hone their skills far so good. A great trade!

Here is Shelby looking happy to be my helper!

And here is Amina - sorry for the blurry photo, but I like it! We'll see more of her soon!

Well, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. At least those in the U.S., that is. I don't really celebrate it - I have my issues with it all despite my being thankful for so many things. But I did roast myself a juicy little turkey because I just happened to be at the grocery store the day before and they were on sale for $7.00. Good thing too, because I didn't really plan for a holiday and it snuk right up on me with no food in the frig!

So now the stores are having their holiday sales and the madness is on. Even Etsy is pushing everyone to offer free shipping. But.......dudes.....(cant believe I just said "dudes").......thats a good chunk of change considering its almost $40 to ship to Australia - for some things. I just cant do it. And I did have a very successful September Sale. So I think Ive done my part to try to make everyone have a chance for some savings.

I have a lot of fun skirts, scarves, sleevelets, and a new style - the Jessiepant (a shorter version of the Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants named after my neighbor Jessie - who commissioned a pair from me!) that are cut out and just waiting to be sewn up. I was trying so hard to have them done by December, but I don't think I'm going to reach that goal. Still trying though, and will be posting things on Etsy as usual when I can.

I am climbing up out of my custom orders. Still have a way to go, but almost everything has been cut up, bundled and awaiting construction. Ive been making headway and I think Ive cut the wait down a bit.

I put my custom ordering section back up in my Etsy shop, but I did make some changes. I had to raise some prices - not dramatically, just realistically. But I will take more measurements for some things, which will mean even better fit and offer more color choices with the velvet Sampants. Some of my sources are going away. Some fabrics are not as plentiful or at as good a price. I can make you amazing things, but the prices go up according to what it is and what it is made of. I expect that this will lessen the load of my custom pants somewhat, but the wait time will not be as long and I wont be feeling rushed all the time. At least that is the plan. And if you want something that I dont offer, you just have to pay for it. Thats the way the world goes round.

So that kind of made me sad because I wanted to make pretty things for everyone. But I cannot afford it any longer. :(

So lets drink lots of holiday cheer and remember what this season is all about. I am not being a good retailist here. I need to make sales in order to survive. BUT I hate the holiday pressure and there are so many now who just cannot make ends meet. Lets not make everyone feel stressed. Lets just do nice things for each other - like doing someones' dishes or sweeping someone's driveway or picking up trash so the street looks nicer .............little things like that that make life easier for everyone........Happy Holidaze!!!!!!!!!! Let the games begin!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Heart San Francisco or The Swine Flu of Fashion - Take Your Pick

I had to run errands downtown for two consecutive days in a row. The first day was to go shopping with my friend for a good bra to reconstruct into a suitable dance bra for restaurant gigs - easier said than done. I needed one too as I have, ahem, outgrown my old dance bras. This would be my dream come true, but the rest of me grew also, so it has been nothing to write home about. I found one at H&M - first one I tried on. Miracles of Miracles. THAT is a first! For my friend, we went to Macy's and Nordstrom as well. We found a great one at Macys and went home happy. Nordstrom's selection was sad. Old Navy - nothing. Ross - nothing. I got tired of looking, my feet hurt, and I had had enough of molded, uber padded ugly bras.

But since I have not been out shopping for clothing lately, I was horrified. This has got to be THE UGLIEST season I have ever seen. Oh, I'm not exaggerating. It was pathetic. Ugly colors. Ugly fabrics, Ugly combos, Ugly styles. Cute Ugly? Not even. I said on Facebook that I would rather run around naked than wear the sadness Ive seen. I always find cute clothes to look at and try on at Urban Outfitters - nothing. What is going on? Can someone fill me in? I usually find a few great things at least in every store - nothing.

So the next day was my appointment at the Apple store to have someone set me straight with my i phone. And they did. I was satisfied that I can start using it to its full capacity soon......except for the AT&T deadzone issue. yay?

And then I went and hung out at Britex for an hour or so. My blood pressure immediately went down as I walked through the doors and was met with smiles from people who recognise me. There were my wall to wall shelves of luxury fabrics! My heart soared as I found the most amazing silver fabric that could make someone a stunning stage costume. It took my breath away. I wish I had taken a photo. I chatted, caught up with the dish, shopped and had such a pleasant morning. I found everything I needed. And more. Thank you Britex. I love you.

But then I tried to find some fashion. I found some great shoes. Some great boots. Hue has some cute tights. But the jewelry bored me (except for the rhinestones and pearls). The handbags bored me. The clothing mostly bored me. Macys was ok. You can tell the economy has hit hard because there simply is not the selection. But what is everyone else's story? Is Butt Ugly really the new cute?

As they say...this too shall pass. Not every season can float my boat. But can we try just a little harder?

But two trips Downtown San Francisco did me good. It feels like a whole different city than where I live - even though its the same town. If I actually ever do leave this city one day, like I'm always threatening to do, my heart will stay here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oldie Worldie Charm

This lovely little bustier was sleeping unloved in my pile of unfinished projects. So I couldnt take it anymore and finished it off. It feels so good to finally get something done that Ive been meaning to do for years! I have much to still finish as far as orders go, but now and then, I have to take a few mental health hours and finish up a languishing pile of fabric. This is a corset, but Im calling it a bustier because it doesnt have steel bones - just a couple in the back for support. It is "heavily" boned with rigilene (dont shudder). Not how I usually make a corset  by any means - but this is a little thing to go over a skirt for dress up - not a period piece. Ive got it up on Etsy for a steal. This is not an upcycled bustier - this was made from scratch, for nobody in particular and never worn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pricey Is As Pricey Does and Other Things

I'll be vending with Salome's Suitcase at Tribal Fusion Faire! Cant wait! I hope I see you there!

Im putting cute little things up on Etsy as I can make them!


And I am getting my orders shipped out as fast as humanly possible! I tried to take a huge bag of packages to the Post Office this morning only to discover that its a holiday today and the doors were locked! Oh well, I tried. Tomorrow is another day!

These little baby bloomers (I mean - in general - not MINE) were all over the Spring Runway according to my new iphone app! Quite often paired with a tux jacket or some such thing - very cute and of course, not for everyone. But adorable nontheless! Im in love with my iphone. Ive said this enough and Im sure everyone is sick of hearing it. But the app is so much fun! When I need to take a break or wind down before I go to bed, I just check out the runway stuff. Im only about 1/3 of the way through. I get so much inspiration right now from this. My dream has always been to make uber expensive fabulous quality creations and have them on a runway. Well, one can dream. In the meantime, I will do what I can and try to keep making quality items for the best price point I can deliver.

And Now for a rant:
Once again, someone actually said to my face the other day that my things are pricey. I try not to get defensive. I try not to get upset. But this time, it hit me below the belt because it was said in front of other people and it was said in ignorance by someone who I felt should know better. I am not going to go over my pricing strategy here. Lets just say that by San Francisco standards, I am llving below the poverty line. Oh yes I am. If I sell you a garment for $75.00, you had better believe that I am not making $75.00 off that piece of clothing.  A friend of mine has been working on a pilot about how things are made. God, I hope it gets picked up because I want more people educated on this subject that I find fascinating!

I SHOULD be making more money - but so should MOST of us right now. Or at least some sort of reform should be happening with us so that we can all be living within our means. ( I know, I know....if wishes were horses....) Things will turn around one day as they always do, but please note, that when something is sold for a price, many things are factored in for resell. Fees, materials, electricity, transportation, rent, food, skill, labor...........makers do not just wiggle our noses like Samantha on Bewitched and magically a well made thing appears. (OH how I wish it could be done!) If you cant afford something that someone makes, well, just try to be tactful about it. We are struggling just as hard - if not more so. I cant afford things too - but at least I know that I am not the target customer. And I know what goes into making it. And I know that the person should make as money as they can - they worked damned hard to get to where they are.  There will always be something that is out of reach for someone. That makes the item all the more special. Because if it were accessable to everyone, it would be just like walking into Ross, Target, or Walmart. Not very special at all.

Rant over! I feel better now!