Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice!

An Atheist Christmas Card

I just couldn't resist..................Happy Holidays everyone!

Solstice always marks the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. Just as I'm soooooooooooooo  very excited to see the start of longer days again, I'm also excited for the new year. Last year was one of letting go of things that do not work for me any longer. What used to be fun and exciting became old and weary.  When I rev this business back up again, its going to be run very differently.

This morning while I was commuting to work, all these ideas popped into my head. Ideas for things that I had wanted to make and had forgotten all about. So I formulated a plan for a little creative piece - or series of pieces that I had wanted to do. Things I had not had the energy or time for before. And my heart was full again and excited for a new season and a new year!

As you have probably figured out, I'm taking a time out from making clothes to sell. Because as the world seemed to change overnight, my business was not viable for much longer after that. When I was offered a part time job stitching corsets in the city, I jumped for it! So now I stitch and daydream and work with some remarkable women all day long. And then, after a day of being citified, I get to come home to my studio where I can see the stars at night.
Its a good life.

I will still be taking on alterations and custom work! I have sewing students lined up for after the holidays! So do not hesitate to contact me!

Happy Holidays everyone! It doesn't matter what you celebrate or how.................or who stole what custom from the just really doesn't matter anymore. Just be kind to each other. If we all were committed to taking care of each other, the world would be a much better place to live in.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Fluffie Rufflie Pattern Results

I really want to see what everyone is making with my Fluffie Rufflie Patterns!
Marci Turner-Holcombe sent me this photo of the Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants that she made for Forever By Your Side - Belly Horror 2011!

This is a lovely photo by Stereo Vision Photography!
Please send me photos and I'll put them in my Facebook Album! I REALLY want to see what you come up with!! Its pretty exciting!!
Thank you Marci!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I dont usually make Halloween costumes, but I am making some things for dance perfomances soon, so Im pretty much too busy to go out and celebrate any spooky stuff. However, I'll probably go out in the back yard and burn old papers and stuff in my firepit and talk to the ancestors a bit. Thats more fun for me anyway.

Here are some little vintage Halloween images that I nicked off the interwebs. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thinking About Christmas................For Your Lovely Neck

Every year, I am reminded that I am never in seasonal retail mode - this  means  that I don't have a bunch of merchandise made and ready for the spirit of holiday shopping. Its just not really how I roll. But I did make some pretty scarves just in time for  that buying frame of mind (and you know we cant escape our need for retail therapy even if we cant heavily engage in that pastime quite as we did in days of yore.........) And maybe you will need one of these for your fabulous holiday outfit!

I hope you like them as much as I do! In fact, I want to keep every single one! (this is the curse of my job)
Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric
Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric Circle Scarf Fluffie Tattered  Long Multi colored Stipes And Lace Upcycled Fabric
Stipes and L:ace for your lovely neck!
Multicolored Loveliness to wrap around your neck and ward off the winter chill!

I cannot throw away my scraps of beautiful fabric! I feel that this is a huge waste - it is especially so in the garment industry - and I like to use every bit of material that I can, so when the bins of extra bits start overflowing, I take a few days off, get out my rotary blade, and start cutting out shapes and sections to piece into lovely concoctions for your wearing pleasure!

Doing this makes me feel that I'm having less impact on the environment. Textile production is a huge detriment to the health of our planet. Insecticides, dyes, chemicals go into our water - which is partly why we take our business overseas................nice. So I do sometimes feel terribly guilty for participating in the creation of this mess. But we all want clothing and pretty things. And it cant all be sustainable. So this is me - and you - doing our part. By using all the fabric that I purchase and not just some of it, I feel that I am not creating as much waste. And sometimes certain fabrics wont be found again. Ever. So I want to put it all to use and be as resourceful and as respectful to our home as possible.

I like to use my softest knits and laces to be worn around the neck! These are always pretty long, can be used for a simple accessory to accent your wardrobe, or to actually be used to keep your neck warm! Ive seen them used as a hip adornment in belly dance as well! This scarf is made of the circles that were cut out of the middle of bias flounces as well as larger pieces of pretty fabrics! They have been reinforced down the middle with a soft knit lace. They are durable and will last a long time. They make great Christmas presents!

Pretty, functional, fun, and as Green as I can

~This particular scarf is about 81" long!
~Ivory , black, white, Grey and pink stripes in many different knit fabrics - we've got some lace, some polka dotted tulle and cotton!
~Most of the tattered ruffled edges are unfinished but will not ravel and those that do ravel a bit will just add some texture to the mix!

Please convo me with any questions or email me at kc.costumecouture [!at] before purchasing!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Lovely Bride

I love this photo of Whitney Alley Barrenger. She bought this dress from me for her wedding - and she is just adorable in it! Congratulations, Whitney!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chix6 : A Very, Very Adorable Musical

I was commissioned to make a little corset a few weeks back. It was to be worn by Molly Tynes in Chix6 - a new musical about some super heroines - totally cute and I really wish I could see it! The costumes are great, of course, because they were designed by Chris March.

This is what it looked like in my studio:

She wanted some of the cute fluff taken off and we had to be really careful not to have anything that could catch on her silks. She is also super bendy, so I could only put some spiral boning on the side. But I would say that it looks super cute on stage and everyone is happy with it! Making a specialty corset for performing will often require some changes to the usual way of making things. The trick was to make it look corseted without the boning. Not too difficult and I kind of cheated by playing with the side seams in order to make "bendy boning".

Ive only seen this video and a couple ones on youtube, but I like the idea and I hope its a super success! Go see this if you can!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sewing Lessons At Last

I know that Ive gone on a few times about teaching sewing lessons  at some point this year. And the fact of the matter is is that as more and more people struggled with this %$#%^&%^$ economy, I ended up struggling more too. Because when you stop buying, the artists and local businesses suffer. But whatever...........Ive survived and made a purse out of a sow's ear so to speak. Im not out of hot water yet, but I'll be ok. Because as you know, you cant keep a good woman down. But I got a bit distracted with that struggle there now here we go...............

Instead of buying tables and new sewing machines (you dont want to start out on my current ones), Im letting you know that I am available for one on one instruction on the weekends. You drag that sewing machine out of your closet or out from under your bed and I will show you how to use it in my studio. With this comes all my sewing resources available online and in various parts of this country. Maybe even overseas as I find them. And maybe you will find some inspiration in my costuming library!

We all want clothes. We want to decorate our homes or dress our kids. And many of us cant justify some of those wardrobe and costuming purchases any longer. But if you have the patience and the aptitude, you can learn some basics and start from there. You can learn to make some fun things. Being creative is very important - especially in these times when its easy to get depressed or frustrated. My spirits always rise when Ive made something with my own two hands. It gives you a sense of accomplishment!

Available lessons and prices are posted in my pages section to the left.
***Three hours of beginner basics for $55.00 using your machine.
***Three hours of Industrial Sewing Machine lessons for $75.00 using my machines.
The investment in new skills and mastering that machine can take you far!

Here is a great little blog that I just ran across! I stole some of her images!
And here is some oldie sewing machine info..........

And for those of you who want to learn to sew and do not have a machine, you can get cheapo ones to start with at Big Lots and Target. Im sure Costco and some online shops have some bargains for you. Search the thrift stores and the garage sales - but just make sure that they work or that you can get them fixed at a reasonable price. There is no need to go out and get a fancy sewing machine unless you are sure you need one!
 It just doesn't have to be that complicated!

Oh, and my Fluffie Rufflie patterns will be available again soon. I got a little side tracked!

Cute Rattie Tattie Skirt For Halloween - Or Whenever!

The ladies seem to be liking these skirts, and I had been eyeballing the sizes from a draft pattern all this time, which was getting old (and not very efficient), so I finally graded the pattern for XS - to XL. Now I can just cut without giving the size a lot of thought and can now focus on details. I can make larger sizes, so email me with your questions! 

These are all sheer black lace right now - because I happen to have a lot of that at the moment -  and because tis the season.............but I do have a couple more brown ones coming and some navy and red. (because I was feeling creative)

You can layer them one over the other or wear them with other skirts, pants, dresses, shorts and Leg Ruffles!

Here is a video of TigerLilly from Scotland wearing a black Rattie Tattie for her Tribal Fest performance. She is lovely, and works the music wonderfully - the opening bagpipes get me every time!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Coat That Ate My Weekend

OMG - when it rains, it pours! Not only did I get to make a corset last month for the new Chix 6 show opening soon in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but I got to make a coat a couple weekends ago for Lady Gaga, of all people. Like I said: when it rains, it pours. I was so super excited - I cant even tell you how excited I was - and I couldnt really talk about it until she actually wore it. Because you know how showbiz is. They could have not liked it and axed the whole thing. Happens all the time. Then after I made it, I started a new part time job, where I have to be - you know - humble, so I couldn't really keep jumping up and down in glee any longer. But I'm still pretty happy about it.

What happened was that not 5 minutes after interviewing for a job (that I started that next Tuesday) and while about to head out to the fabric stores for my usual perusals, Chris March got ahold of me and informed me that Lady Gaga's people had just asked him to make her an outfit for her gig at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.. Well, he is in the middle of costuming Chix 6 and getting ready for the premiere of his new tv show airing October 4th, so he only really had time to design a coat and hat and make parts of the coat. He couldn't construct the whole thing in that short of a time frame. He had remembered a coat that I had made years ago and asked if I would be into reproducing something like that. Well, FUCK YEAH. (pardon my french for you polite people).
They said they wanted Pleather. I think that is kind of a broad term for anything leatherie looking. They wanted it to be lightweight. But Chris and I both agreed that anything vinyl would probably be heavy and uncomfortable. And I think it would stink. Literally. Some of those upholstery vinyls could work, but they have that awful odor. And I didnt even know if there really was  a such thing as "pleather" anymore. But I said that I would go to Fabric Outlet and have a look. What I found was a black doe suede that had a great wrong side that I thought would be perfect.  I sent him photos, he ok'd it and I just happened to have cash in my pocket. How fortuitous was that. And I bought a lightweight lining that I didn't really like, but I didn't want the coat to be too heavy and there wasn't much to choose from. It really just had to look good for a flash when she dropped her coat.
Chris sent them a photo of my coat, I drew a sketch of what it might look like so that they would all know that I wasnt sitting here smoking crack, and he sent them that, and in three days I gave them the coat I got hired to make - made with plenty of fabric to play with if they needed to make changes - and knowing full well that they were going to embellish, alter, and maybe redo parts, which they did. I did a good job with the fit. I dont think they had any problems with that.
So for almost three days I holed up in my studio and worked on this thing. After I finished the corset for Chix 6, I copied my old coat and made a new pattern according to her measurements. Some of them didn't make sense, so I had to figure that out. They may have been taken for a specific outfit. Who knows. We made several changes. It was looking too Regency, so I slashed the shoulders, built them up, and gave her more of a normal sleeve so that we could have big shoulders to support the armor that Chris sent me to add on. The collar needed to be redesigned and so I made a new one according to Chris's specs. I didn't have time to add any studs as it had to be sent out by Monday.  There were a couple things that took up some time in the construction - but its all a blur now.  Oh. The ballast went out in the lights above my work table and I was working on black in very dim light, but that's how things work around here - you never know whats going to happen, but I always manage to get things done somehow.

Her team shortened the coat and they may have changed the back a bit - its hard to tell in the photos, but they actually managed to make it look more like the sketch - Good team work!
And thank you to Lee Kobus of Fool Proof Studios for racing me over to Fed Ex at the very last minute to put this baby on the truck to Ms. Gaga!
 She came out on a giant motorcycle covered up by a giant fringie hat, danced around a bit, threw it off and that was that for my part of the show. What a blast! Of course, like with every single project I do, I swear I'll never do it again, but all mothers say that after they give birth, dont they? Yet sometimes we do it again. I do it over and over and over again. This was the biggest deal that Ive had the opportunity to participate in. I hope with all my heart that she has Chris make more things for her because if anyone can carry out her over the top fabulousness, its Chris March.

May the fun never end!

Watch MAD FASHION this Tuesday night - October 4th!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rattie Tattie Adjustable Length Skirts

When I can get around to making these skirts, they usually fly out the window. Why? Because they have three channels in the upper body of the skirt that allow you to adjust the length of this garment in many ways. And they are super cute and comfortable!

Granted,. this is not a new idea and has been around for years, but I dont see a lot of people offering these styles fairly consistantly. I adopted this technique years ago with many other skirts, pants, and dresses - and whoever I was inspired by (probably the Belgians in the 90's), we thank you!

 I often, but not always, use the fabrics left over from cutting out my other garments. Not only are they rarely ever all the same, but there is less of a toxic footprint on the environment, I can keep the costs down, and you can get a versatile, cost effective piece of clothing that will serve as a base for many different looks if you choose.

Clothing, costuming, bridal, steampunk, romantic, gothic......................the choices are many depending on the colors, the fabrics used, and your imagination!

Below are some of the best photos that I could take of the various possibilities. This is one skirt from my limited edition Harvest series. Some are subtle - meaning that the same length adjustment on a different position on your hips will change the whole look - and some are very obvious. Not all bodies are the same, so one look will be better on one person than another. But how rare to have choices!! And in this day and age when our pennies need to go a long way, how cool is it that you can get more bang for your buck!

The dress form and my camera limitations cannot convey the depth of color and how lovely these really are in real life - but if you think its cute, trust me, you'll think its even cuter when it arrives on your doorstep!
(I ship world-wide)