Monday, December 27, 2010

I Had A Barbie Christmas

First of all, I hope everyone is having  a great Christmas Season no matter what your beliefs or your circumstances! I feel a little guilty about my Christmas this year because so many have gone without this time around. No money. No presents. No good feelings. No hope. I don't usually do much during the holdays, but I spent a Barbie Christmas with my sister and my niece and nephew. There are still plenty of people with good jobs and with luck, things will turn around one of these days. It just doesn't feel like it. Chin Up!
No matter what though, we can all live vicariously through Barbie!
I have never seen anyone in possession of so many Barbies in my whole entire life! There were more - everywhere I looked, there were Barbies! I remember when I FINALLY got a Barbie and it was SUCH A BIG DEAL to get an outfit or some accessories for her! I had  the cardboard Barbie Dream House and I took that over to my friend Maggie's house all the time and we made Barbie clothes and most of the fun was just getting her dressed and setting up the house. Just like real life. (Well isn't that how it is, really??????)
 I'm not judging. Garage sales and birthdays and Christmas are for getting Barbies. I would have this many too if I'd had my druthers.  But I think these kids have more than all seven of us had all year long! And that my friends, is the main selfish reason why I hated having so many brothers and sisters. I didn't get much and there wasn't much to go around. I hated it. I hated sharing. I hated that there were only a few Barbies and that most of  Barbie clothes were hand made. I wanted this many Barbies. I craved this many Barbies. I wanted her outfits. I wanted her friends and her furniture! I wanted her life!

So I can go to Tricia's house because we live closer to each other now and we can play Barbies all we want.

Dillon got tons of Legos and a remote control jeep - but Barbie kind of took over. I think he was perfectly fine with that.
Here is Ken and the Barbies in the Barbie Glam Jet Plane - with pool and alcoholic beverages - being all natural and having fun. Yeah - Id be doing this too if I were Barbie. I'll be honest.
My sister spent most of the morning putting this jet and other toys together. It was crazy how poorly designed a lot of this stuff is. They make stickers that you have to put on everything yourself and the stickers don't match the diagram or fit on the toy correctly. It took HOURS! Fiona ended up playing with the box, but oh well. She's just too little to understand how special her Barbie lifestyle is yet.

She also got that Ken doll that you can record nasty messages to Barbie on..................that got confiscated, I believe. We must set limits.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Rattie Tattie Skirts on Etsy

Well three. I have three red and black striped skirts in a small, medium, and large up on Etsy now.

I'm all recovered from the bad day yesterday. Very intense. And I'm glad that's over. And not only did the cosmic energy change, but the weather warmed up a bit this afternoon - it was almost balmy on my trek to the post office! I was kindly reminded by my friend Chris later in the day, that it is 20 degrees in NYC right now. Oh.

(Buy Chris's book, by the way - its incredible!)

I did wake up this morning with mosquito bites on my face. I did not know that the mosquitoes were around in December. And where have they been hiding? They must have been the Christmas Mosquitoes - I mean, even mosquitoes have to have a holiday feast, right? Well, they fed well. Glad to be of service.

It feels so good to get the packages sent. Its like crossing things off a list. I have a few more things to send off domestically on Monday and then we are done for the holiday season. Except for all the orders that I have to sew up still. Better to be busy than not!!!!!!!!!!

All Tied Up In Knots

Its been one of those weeks. Mercury is retrograde. My horrorscope has very little to say in a positive way about how this month is going to treat those born on my birthday.  Business is slow and today was very intense. Just like it said it would be at I have to say, they are usually right on the nose. This solstice is having a double eclipse or something like that and I personally will be ducking and covering. I advise you all to do so as well. Don't sign any papers. Don't buy electronics. Don't get out of bed!

Fortunately this is just temporary. But of course. Thank God.

And then I found out that Captain Beefheart died today. Well that just put the nail in the coffin of a day. I remember when I was pregnant with my son and my husband would play Captain Beefheart .......Haydn would start kicking viciously. I didn't think the music agreed with him all that well - or maybe it was just getting him all excited. It was hard to tell. That's one of my fondest memories today - being pregnant and Captain Beefheart. And now I'm kinda sad.

I got a lot done today nevertheless: cut and sewed some orders, made some  skirts to put up on etsy, answered emails, and tried to stay warm. But I hit a wall around 10ish and had to stop. I guess that sounds about right.......but of course I cant sit still and watch tv like everyone else does. I opened up one of my ribbon flower books and decided to start learning how to make those things.  And I made this. It would go on a hat in the teens. Out of a different ribbon, of course, but at least I learned how to do a new thing. And this saved an otherwise unpleasant day.
Its a little crude. But I'll do it better next time. I'll decorate one of my old hats.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There Are Some Larges Left

Just a heads up for those size Larges out there:
Ive got some size Large Sampants and a few smaller sizes in my Ets shop right now! Ive got a few stretch velvet Bum Ruffles, and a bunch of other things! I also have some fingerless lacie sleevelets, Fluffie Pants and other pretty assorted items in my studio! Email me if you are interested in something and we can either make an appointment for you to come visit, or I can send you some pictures!


Have Yourself A Merry Little Disco Christmas

I have to admit, I went to discos, many guys looked like this, I didn't pass up a line, I dressed in vintage and velvet and lace, I fell off a platform shoe or two, I loved Freddy Mercury with all my heart, those were the days. No - they really were. It wont ever be like that again. But if you go to Retro Fit on Valencia, you'll find plenty to take you back to those times! At least you can pretend!

I don't have  a lot of free time for blogging right now. Orders have to go out and merchandise has to be made. Christmas is leaping at me and while Ive got my tree all up and decorated,  I'm not ready for it yet, I know I'm not alone in this...........but here's one for the road........

My body is screaming to hibernate. I'm pretty sure that because of the quiet around here, the darkness of winter, the short days, my body and mind have accessed that primal code that says huddle  around the fire and stay in the cave. I think that I'm going through the transitional phase of not being overly stimulated for a length of time - maybe  for the first time in over 20 years. Myself just doesn't know what to do with this new thing called peace and quiet. Myself just wants to go to sleep - and Me, Myself, and I are having a bit of a battle about it right now.

Well, I'm sure as I get used to my new surroundings and lifestyle, the body and mind will adjust. Its like being thrust back in time with severe jet lag. That's exactly what it feels like. (not that Ive ever been thrust back in time...but you know what Im sayin....)

And I have to admit that I have been on quite a ride for a long, long time. 

So Last weekend I went all bridge and tunnel on myself and went to my friend Matthew James' annual Christmas party. He has a new theme every season and works very hard all year to provide the environment and ambiance for his circle of friends to come hang out and be silly for a while. He makes a new tree every year, makes and glitters his ornaments, makes all the decorations. This year was Studio 54. And he did not disappoint! Maybe because of the theme and the fact that some of us were actually around to know what those times were like, it wasn't hard to throw something together and get into the swing of things. Even those who were not of that era did a good job of it. I had a really good time  and we all hearkened back to the day. Its not hard, really....the stereotypical collars and pants and wigs are all out there and clothing today is very heavily 70's themed. I saw a lot of short little jumpsuity things and drapey dresses. - very cute! Anyone remember Quiana?
Wigs transform. Can I just say that if I HAVE to come back again for another round of earth living. that I want to come back with a big blond mass of poodle hair!  Screw this pansy ass white girl thin hair shit...............some ancestry I say,  as I stomp my foot.

Steven LeMay, owner of Retrofit on Valencia St. was my date for the evening. He let me borrow his best fro wig, we donned our tossed- together -at -the -last -minute apparel, hopped into a Homobile, and headed to Matt's house. Despite my best efforts to buy or steal that wig, my efforts fell on deaf ears. There are no more to be found. And its his last one. Oh well. At least I got to borrow it.
All  had was my iphone for pics, but you get the gist. Merry Disco Christmas!
                                                                     Matt as Dig Diggler

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Princess Noel

 I took an old medieval inspired costume made from silvery rayon fabric from the early 70's and cut it down into an 18th century inspired costume for the Shadowdance Fashion Show. This was the first full-on costume I ever made. It now has a new life and hopefully will find a new owner soon.

Ive been making quite a few of these little shortie corsets lately. Im working on a really pretty one for Unsinkable Molly. Contact me if you would like me to make you one. They are great to dance in. You get the upper stability of a corset and you can still move around with relative ease.

Model: Amber Burke
Hairpiece: FoolProof Studio
Eardrapes: Sandi's Ocean
Bindi:  Hi Beam Bindis

Hair and Makeup: Crops and Bobbers
Photo: Black Lotus Clothing

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyberweek Coupon

I've been asked many times if I offer coupons, but its just not something that I am capable of doing online.  I'm sure its fairly easy, but I have not had the time to mess with it. Etsy now offers coupons and I'm going to try it out this week coming up. I didn't get all the merchandise made up that I had planned to by Cyber Monday, so I'm going to list new stuff during the week as I get it sewn and photographed. Keep checking in!

I am posting the coupon code here and you can use it for 10% off anything in my Etsy store when you check out. This will last for 5 days only - until Friday December 3rd - and then the coupon expires. So lets see how it goes:

Use this code when checking out!

Photo Love

Model: Unsinkable Molly
Costume: Kathleen Crowley
Photo: Black Lotus Clothing

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There Is A Story Here

Rachel Ong sent me some self portraits taken in London.
In her Sampants and  Comme il Faut shoes.
The compositions are lovely.
And she is so photogenic!
Tango in London.
My favorite pants........
My lovely and supportive customer.......
My favorite city in the world!
The world........
Not that Ive been to Paris........
But so far......
The world.
These pants are perfect for Tango.
These shoes are built with a heel that is designed for walking backwards.............
The dance of Romance.
In London.
My favorite city in the World.

It seriously makes me delirious with joy that my clothing is worn in London. By fashionistas. By dancers. By women who think outside the box. Because as we all know..........London rocks with fashion. And you cant get these pants there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hunkering Down For The Winter

 Salome's Suitcase (the design collective that I am proud to be a part of) put on a wonderful fashion show at Ariellah Affalo's Shadowdance this last Saturday evening. Pictures will be out soon and I'll be putting them here as soon as I can.

As usual for me,  a big evening or weekend of vending requires a day or two of down time afterwards. Coupled with a fashion show, and I'm left just beat. But I was so wound up still after the day of our show, that I rearranged my whole studio! Its not perfect yet, but I'm ready to receive callers, KCCC is available to take on new commissions, I'm inspired to continue the process of getting out orders, and this lady is all ready to hunker down for the winter and stay warm and cozy. I want some wedding dresses to work on this winter, so I have been doing a bit of advertising. I'm hoping that with my studio conveniently located between SF and Napa, I can attract some business from all over. Its perfect! I'll make you tea!
Shadowdance was great - I didn't see much of the show as I was running around backstage, but all of our models were just wonderful. Jessica Cowan from Crops and Bobbers in Crockett did the most amazing hair and makeup - our show was fiercely elegant. Everyone pulled together, worked well together as always, and I could hear the jaws drop to the floor when the music started and the models walked their walk. Mission accomplished!

Halloween is over, winter is on its way, turkeys will be roasting in the ovens before we know it and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye!
Its time now to start working on my patterns. I will be debuting them at Cues and Tattoos in March.
I'll be vending at the SF Edwardian Ball in January. Ive got new merchandise to make and fabric to buy! Ive got stuff to do!!!!!!!!!!!!
Model: Unsinkable Molly
Photos: Kristine Adams

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Dark Time Is Upon Us

                                                         Its time for Shadow Dance................

The Ethereal gang of Salome's Suitcase will be presenting a dark and lovely fashion show........
A show centered around the eerily romantic.........
The dark romantic in all of us.......
So in the spirit of All Hallows Eve and the time of the year when the veil between life and death is at its sheerest, come visit our booth and peruse our decadent wares!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Witches New Year!

Its that time of the year again and I'm here at home working and watching hours of Addams Family reruns. There are less that two hours left of Halloween and it has really FELT like Halloween despite the fact that Molly came over to work for a while, we had a mishap with an over watered plant that leaked down onto my overlock, there were no trick or treaters, and I had a fitting at 8 pm tonight. I mean, the town is deathly still over on this side. I thought there might be some mayhem happening, but nothing. Its not witching hour yet, but that veil is super thin right now.

I saw a white mist swirl in front of me a while ago and a fly wont leave me alone. I think its my Grandma Crowley - she always comes and hangs out on this night. Its pretty cool. She gives me good advice. I know that sounds crazy to some, but when I ask her a question, I get an answer.

Lately Ive been staying up til 3 am just working on projects. Ive been on a roll and feeling pretty creative again. I'm feeling more and more like the aftershock of moving and changing my lifestyle is wearing off. Ive been getting used to preparing all my meals - I know that sounds silly, but I seriously have been surrounded by amazing food for the last 20+ years. Ive been soooooo spoiled and I still wake up thinking that I'm going to just run around the corner in my gym clothes after crawling out of bed and grab a bagel and coffee. Its an adjustment, but an OK one. I just make my own coffee and I try to always keep stuff to eat in the pantry.
I'm getting ready for vending at ShadowDance this Saturday coming up. I will have some garments in the Salome's Suitcase fashion show - and this week will see me literally cranking some of this out. I'm pretty inspired and so we'll see what we come up with!

Last week I had a big sale for custom orders, and this was very successful  - not much of a profit margin for me, but it generated interest and I did realize that it really is the economy and not just the way that I run business that has slowed down the cash flow. Its just a global depression, that's all. It cant be Me! Not Meeeeee!!!!!!  :) So that was a nice week.

Big news for my friend Chris March this month! Bravo is giving him his own show..........pretty exciting stuff for sure! If anyone deserves success, its Chris. He's the bestest in the West - or East now at any rate!

Maybe next year I will go out and celebrate the new year/Halloween/All hallows eve........I'm happy staying home and being creative though.

Gotta start saving up for some big much needed purchases by the end of the year: a camera, a computer, a  car. Not necessarily in that order - but gotta have em so the next few months will see me working up a storm!

Happy New Year! Listen to the ancestors. They know whats up. They have the answers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ridiculous Sale - But Thats What It Is and Thats What I'm Offering!

If you were sitting on the fence, its time to jump off it now and take advantage of this ridiculous sale. I'm offering my custom Etsy goods for 20% off. I don't think this will happen again, as my custom prices are already pretty darned good as they are, but it feels good to be able to bring the prices down to about where they were when I started making them - if even for a very short time. And while I already have a pattern template that I work from for these designs (and this is how I can make these customized for you at a lower than custom rate), I take your measurements, I go find your fabrics, I make these for you and you alone.

The wait time is the same. There is a long line for my creations, but the line has shortened, Ive got the supplies, I have some help again, I'm all settled into my new studio, I get lots of sleep now, I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on more work! Maybe this sale will be just the incentive to get that amazing pair of pants that you were lusting for!

KathleenCrowleyCostumeCouture will be taking just a few orders - for no more than a week, and then its prices back to as they were.  So grab them now!

Go directly to Etsy and click on my custom ordering section. If something isn't there that you wanted, it may have just sold and I have not been able to re list the item yet. I will be checking in regularly to watch this. And I will stop the sale as soon as I think Ive sold enough. Ive learned not to get greedy and pace myself. It isn't fair to you - it isn't fair to myself - the wait is long enough!

You can also email me directly at .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

That Old Cliche' Of Flying Through The Air With The Greatest Of Ease

I made a pair of red velvet Sampants for Rose Nisker to wear while dancing and tumbling through the air last night at the Crucible. I regret that I couldn't go to the event, but a friend forwarded me the link to the photos. Ta Da! Just gorgeous! We put some sparklie fabric under the first layer of flounce and then added flounces to her pre-made corset - which she also wears with a red flamenco skirt to die for from Spain. I raised the waistline on the pants and we attached the pants to the corset so that her costume  wouldn't twist in the silk. This must all be quite stunning while floating in the air!
I added a little bit of sparklie trim to her flamenco skirt (not shown) to make her corset and skirt look like one cohesive piece when worn together. This is a nice little trick if you want to take two pieces of clothing and make them look as if they were designed to go together - take some fabric or trim and place it strategically - and perhaps subtly on both garments. If done well,  this tricks the eye into thinking its a unit and not separates.

I have made a few flamenco skirts in my day, but I have not had the opportunity to inspect many real ones that the dancers wear. Those babies are heavy, ladies! They have so many layers, a dust ruffle, cording to weight the train down and make it lie flat on the ground - to swing gracefully when kicked around, these are not supposed to be cheap and flimsy. All those circular flounces are heavy - as many of you who wear my Fluffie Rufflies can attest to!
 I believe that this is Juan Del Valle Flamenco - I want to give credit where credit is due!

Rose is such a lovely, warm person to work with -
I count myself so blessed - I really know some of the most talented people in the world!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I could probably sell striped pants til the cows come home..........I need to look up where that phrase originated from. Obviously a ranching or farming statement. But you get the picture.

Ive got someone in LA on the hunt for a good source since I cant get down there much. They really do seem to be scarce right now. In the right fabric. At the right price. In the right color.
I posted these the other day and they flew out the window.  I like making small runs of fun little pants and things to wear. But I just wish the fabrics that I like to use were more readily available. Not just the cotton lycra (in the weight that I prefer), but rayons and other fabrics. I used to go into fabric stores and go nuts. Now I go "meh". Oh sure, if I could buy in volume, this wouldn't be a problem. But then again, it might if it cant even be found at the LA Fabric District.

What happens,I'm sure, is that it gets snatched up quick. Its out there. I'll find it. Ive got extra eyes now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Indie Bazaar - October 23rd

I will be vending at The Indie Bazaar at Brief Space in the Metreon!
October 23rd
Saturday 12-5 pm

Salome's Suitcase will be there too and we will be bringing our hand crafted treasures for your enjoyment.........please join us there.........see all the new beauty we will be bringing with us.....this will be fun!!!!!!

This is such a cool part of town. parks, museums, movies, shopping, dining.....................and so easy to get to! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Review of Fluff

I was wondering how many Flounces Ive made over the last few years. I don't have time to do the math or go through all the photos, so I pulled a few pictures that Ive posted on Etsy and Im putting them here to see how pretty and fun they are. Fluffie Pantaloons, Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants, Fluffie Leg Ruffles. That's a lot of I want to post all the examples of pants I have sold.