Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wedding Season

 Today was the first warm day of the year. I found a raccoon in the backyard, a little squirrel scampered up to me while I was having my morning coffee on the front step, birds Ive never seen before are chirping in the newly leafed out trees and flowers are popping up everywhere.........its spring and its the season of the bride!

Last month was a crazy month filled with working on the usual orders, getting my patterns printed, and getting ready for my trip to Seattle. And then of course, Japan fell apart, and this chaos compounded any stress I was feeling. I had to get a grip and ignore the threats of radioactive fallout and a major earthquake about to tear the west coast from the rest of the continent. I had things to do, damn it. And a wedding dress to finish! And if California slipped into the sea, some of my cliants were not going to get their orders. The stress was unbearable!

Ive mentioned before that brides are notorious for not giving me photographs of thier wedding dress after the wedding. Not everyone is like this of course, but now  that Im seriously trying to get a website up for bridal, I cant find many decent photos of my work. Awkward family taken photos just will not do. Many of my former cliants have disapeared or are just not responding to my requests,  so Im taking matters into my own hands and Im making some wedding dress samples to have photographed. These will be my designs and this will be better for me anyway. Ive got loads of gorgeous silk to work with and last night I was dreaming about at least three gowns ...........the creative juices are flowing! I do wish that I had been more proactive in staying in touch once a gown leaves the studio.........lesson learned.

There is one Steampunk inspired wedding outfit that I am currently working on that is being revamped from an existing wedding dress with a new bodice/jacket cut  from some lovely damask. Im pretty sure that we can use almost the whole dress for this new bustled gown. No waste allowed!

Aprils' going to be busy too - but hopefully a bit more peaceful.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cues And Tattoos

I just got back yesterday from the Cues and Tattoos belly dance festival up in Seattle - what a whirlwind trip!
This festival is really a great event for that part of the world! Lots of workshops and vendors, teaching and dance opportunities!

I came down with that fluie/buggie/coldie thing thats going round - about a week before I left for the festival, and it just hung on. So this threw a wrench in my energy gears and I felt like I was swimming under water the whole time. But despite that, my costuming workshop went well, I think. I hope everyone got something out of it - and of course, I sold some of my patterns and got to explain a few techniques to make your costumes fit better. I learned some things as well. Like don't be sick when you need to teach: but shit happens!

The festival started off with getting to perform in the teacher showcase with Rashani. Ive danced on and off with these ladies for 15 years, and although I don't dance or practice much, its easy to step in and dance again when we are together. I think we looked pretty good! Go take Wendy's classes - she is a lovely, well rounded dancer and has studied all around the world! And of course, Marsha is part of FatChanceBellyDance! I'm pretty lucky to have such ladies as friends!

I also spent a lot of time with my son and granddaughter Ivy while I was up there. She wasn't all that interested in the sewing machine. But its early yet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fluffie Rufflie Pattern Pre-Order !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Pattern Launch!!! 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,.........................3,2,1......................................

So here’s the scoop: Please Read It All even if you dont want to....................

Im having a small amount of very basic Fluffie Rufflie patterns printed up. At First. These will be the Fluffie Ruffle Dance Pants (the form fitting pants that hug the body to right above the knee) and the Fluffie Rufflie Pantaloons. I’ll have some very basic instructions – nothing in depth or pretty to look at. At First. The packaging wont be pretty, either. At First. These will be so basic that I might have to go back and print the sizes on the pattern for you. At First.

I’m doing it this way because I gave myself a deadline to get these out and I want some for the attendees of my Cues and Tattoos Costuming Workshop.  I want you to get sewing!!!
Because most printers require you to have a basic minimum to get started, I have to work up to this. I don’t want to make a thousand of these if  I cant sell a thousand , but we will have to have baby steps on that one…………….I just want you to have something to work with if you have good sewing skills and can figure out basic shapes. It isn’t a hard design to make at all, what is difficult is all the fabric required to make them  and figuring out how to make the inseams balance out on your leg. I can tell you how much yardage you need and how to put them together. But you will have to figure out all the inseam stuff on your own. You’ll see what I mean when you see the pattern. But just like regular commercial patterns, you cant make them fit everyone, so making a mock-up of the garment first is ALWAYS a good idea first no matter what! My sizing will also be more generous for the larger ladies! Yay! And its a much smaller investment than having them custom made - usually

I will be selling these at $20.00 each.  

What  I would like you to do if you are interested is to email me at and request which pattern(s) you would like and how many.  Make sure that I have an email address for PayPal and I will send you an invoice  for the total amount.  Let me know if you would prefer me to send USPS priority – if you have a large order, this may be more cost effective for you.   I will print out your order and paypal receipt, place it in a folder and mail these to you as soon as I get them, which will be early next week.
I'll send out a notice if I have to push this back at all.

I will be offering these to my Cues and Tattoos Workshop attendees for $15.00. And then I will have a minimal amount to sell at the festival. You are under no obligation to purchase a pattern at my workshop and if you want to copy someone's pattern for yourself, thats ok too.

Postage rates will be:
U.S.A      $2.50 ea. + .50 per each additional pattern
Canada   $2.75 ea.  + .75 per each additional pattern
Everywhere Else   $4.75 ea. + 1.25 each additional pattern

Postal fees subject to change 

By purchasing these patterns, you will be getting these into production and allowing all of those who sew a chance to wear all this rufflie goodness! These patterns are for home use only. You can make some for you or for your troupe, or your mother, or your neighbor, or your dog,  but  you cannot make these for resell on Etsy or anywhere else without my permission. 

If  some of this doesnt make sense or you have questions, please shoot me an email! I'll get back to you asap!
And I'll answer your questions anyway as they come up!

Just remember that Ive never done this before and I'm basically learning as I go - as I do with most things, so there is always room for improvement! I'll want your feedback!

Fluffie Rufflie Pantaloons:
 Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Madness Of March Sale

Just for one more day! Use this coupon code to take 20% off anything that I have listed in my Etsy Store -  that, my friends is a good deal!

Use this code at Checkout: marchmadness2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tango/Flamenco Inspired Sampants

These turned out so cute!!!!!!!
They really did!
Ive got one in each size-
I can make a few more, so let me know if you would like a pair. I think these will sell out fast!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inseams or No Inseams

 Some of you may know that Ive been talking about making my Fluffie Rufflie patterns available to the public for some time. This has taken me longer than I imagined it would take. Mostly because Ive had no idea how this is supposed to happen. Every time I turn around, the economy gets worse and worse - and it costs money to make anything. Even a pattern. Its just not the same thing as drafting one for manufacturing. Its got to be understandable to a home sewer. Its a thing in itself that's got to be manufactured. Its got to be printed and folded and put in something. That something would ideally be appealing to look at. You have to print in bulk.  People ask me why I don't just sell it in pdf form.  No way. I want you to buy it and have it in your hands. I want you to open the package and unfold the paper like in the old days when everyone sewed this way and say - Wow. Or WTF.  I just want it to be a thing and not an electrical thing that you print out. Call me weird.

I've been working on cleaning up my oaktag patterns - the permanent every day ones that I use for the Fluffie Rufflie pants and pantaloons. When I say that I'm cleaning them up, I mean that they are so chewed up from cutting around them for 5 years, that Ive got to make the edges straight again, make sure the original specs are still there, the edges and seams match up, and that I'm using the right pieces for the right garment. They are covered with coffee splashes and every color of pen and pencil known to mankind. Ive been making these babies for 5 years. It boggles my mind. Can it be?
 I'm cleaning these up so that I can take them to a place who will take my specs and digitize the pattern in order for me to have them printed out in paper form - in a form that I can sell to the public. I want the pattern pieces multi sized and nestled in one on top of the other. I have a rudimentary idea now about how this process works and I believe that I must be doing it all ass backwards. But bit by bit, its getting done and I'm learning a lot along the way. I really thought there would be some info online about this process for the small indie pattern maker, but all I get is info about pattern drafting and not how to actually manufacture your patterns. Ive found a bit here and there for those who will discuss their secrets. There are printers who have minimum orders only that I cant afford. There is the packaging that I cant afford. But somehow it will be manifested.

I wont even go into how my inseam system is throwing a glitch in the whole process for me. If I nestle the pattern, how do I show all the inseams? It works for the pantaloons, but not so much for the knit pants because of the way I make them. This may be so not a big deal for many  - but for me, it  IS rocket science almost. Almost. I'll figure it out. Or I'll find someone to help.

But I have a deadline. I want the first draft - no matter how unattractive - to sell to the ladies who will be attending Cues and Tattoos up in Seattle this month. I haven't got much time and I wont be able to get many printed up, but I will have SOME available to whoever attends my workshop. For those of you who want a pattern, I will have to charge you something for the pattern, but I wont charge you whatever the full price will be. I have no idea how much this will even cost me. I could be in for a rude awakening. I may have to take pre-orders to get them done. BUT - this will be so awesome! I cant wait to see what everyone comes up with and what materials you all use. Some of you may go, this is so simple....what was all the fuss about. And some may go - OH. I think I'll just have her make me a pair! LOL! Some of you will be able to play with this flounce and piece it to save money and fabric.( something I cant do very often when I make them to sell)

And because its my design and I will be saying so on the pattern, you can make your own pants. You can make them for your troupe, You can make them for your neighbor, You can make them for your neighborhood, but you cannot manufacture them.  And if you do, you will hear from me.

I'll still sew Fluffie Rufflies for you if you want them, but it will be a limited thing. I need to make other things now. Hopefully this new endeavor will allow me to be freed up to actually do some designing. Maybe focus on all those skirts and OTHER pants Ive been trying to throw at you. Wouldn't that be nice???????

I also just hired someone to help me out once or twice a week.Ive tried this on and off, but this woman is a sewer and she lives nearby.  I think she'll be nice to have around and be a big help with the sewing that I cant get to. Ive been needing this for a long time.  Between sewing, admin, patterning, cutting fabric, packing orders.........and readjusting to my new life........there isn't much time to do things efficiently by myself. . And she lives nearby. And she's a hula dancer. This is good!
And as you can see..............we need to get these sewn up and into your mailbox!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kay Nielsen

The art of Kay Neilsen was probably the most important inspiration for me as a child. I read a lot of fairy tales illustrated with his artwork and some of his images will forever be etched upon my mind. I had some of his posters on my wall until they crumbled with age and had to be thrown away. I think its time for new ones.