Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fingerless Gloves For The Romantic

Sometimes I like nothing better than to sit down and make these little delicate fingerless gloves!
Spring does this to me - it makes me want to sew up little confections to wear.
There are moments in my studio when I have mountains of lace and tulle and netting sitting in piles around me. Every now and then I just want to dive in...............but I check myself every time. Its the feeling you had as a child when you saw a pile of leave! Its a pretty sight, I must say!
Sometimes I just turn over the edge on the knuckle part and stictch it down, and sometimes I take a soft strip of tulle and bind the edges. Ive been hand stitching the thumb hole edges down.. I cant seem to make it work any other way. And I like how it looks.
Go to my Etsy store as I'll be putting these up when I can!

Happy Royal Wedding - Those Kids Are Sure In Love!

It seems that you either have an opinion, or you just don't care. Of course, over here, there is a buzz, but we don't have Kings and Queens and all that goes with it. Our Empire is pretty dull and boring to watch. I, of course, would love to be part of that British world, but I just have to do my best to live vicariously through others.

I didn't get too excited until I turned on the TV to see what the new Princess was wearing down the aisle. Because what she wears is setting the trend to what women will be wanting to wear for the next few seasons. I was afraid that I would see something I hated.
What a relief when I saw her wearing vintage modern. (or would that be modern vintage ) What a relief!
But my mom is super excited about it, so when I turned on the TV, I knew she would be happy to see what Princess Catherine was wearing.............
 tra la - Princess Catherine wore a modern version of my mother's wedding dress ala Grace Kelly. The collar, the lace bodice and sleeves with the big skirt was very much in vogue in the mid 50's. I was super happy to see  Catherine in her Sarah Burton dress and matching shoes. I wish a had a photo of my mom's dress. It was probably pretty classic for back then, and of course, not rich like this,  but I always loved it.

And all this is going right along with the Wedding Dress Samples that Im working on - once again, I am right on trend!

Here is the official website with lots of photos (it says its "official")................and Here is where you can read about the dress!

I admit that I was terrified that I was going to wake up this morning  and see her in a strapless dress wearing a shrug.  I really was afraid. You just never know. Ladies - don't do this anymore. Most of you slouch. Not pretty. Lets move on to something else now. Hey! How about sleeves and button detail!

Now, they have been calling her a commoner, but those two are distantly related. And Im sure that this is how this whole prince marrying a commoner thing  is being ok with everyone. She is highly educated and they are distant cousins many times removed. It works.

She is beautiful. He is a cutie and they were obviously happy to be together. So refreshing!  I wasn't happy with her hair down and the tiny  bouquet. But that's just my opinion. I would have liked to have seen a stiffer veil perhaps and her hair up. But they are the new Royals and this is 2011. Nothing is ever going to be the same as it was before. And this is a good thing. Its going to be fun to see how the kids transform the monarchy and all that goes with it!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Tudor Costume Stash Challenge Part 1

My friend Janet Canning of Lost Coast Historical Patterns challenged me the other day to make a Tudor dress from my stash. This really is a challenge, because I dont think I have much these days in my stash that would be suitable for Tudor Attire. However, I did find this that might work for part of it. If it isnt perfect, well as someone once said to me......."if they coulda, they woulda"...........

And that's right. So I might have to go purchase some fabric to make this challenge work,  but I'll make do with what Ive got and see what I can come up with. I need a hot, poorly ventilated costume to go wilt somewhat authentically at the next  Renaissance Fair, don't I?

I do. So this is part one of my challenge. I'll document my progress and you can either laugh with me, or cry with me as I try to make it work!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Joyous Easter Tidings - She Has Risen From Her Bed

 Happy Easter Everyone!

Crockett is a quiet town anyway as rule - except on every Sunday evening when the neighbors across the way have a beer bash  or when my neighbor next door starts drinking and turns his speakers up full blast at 3am  ( hey, its the wild, wild west out here)  but on the holidays, nary a peep is heard at all.  So Ive taken the cue and sat around in my pajamas all morning and watched the sun filter through the newly leafed out tree in the backyard. The giant Salvia bush is full of fragrant blooms and my backyard is slowly filling up with all the great, leafy plants that my assistant, Susie Bianca, keeps bringing me. I'm pretty happy here as I settle down and settle in! Maybe I'll add on a few years that the city living took from me.

Im sending some Mark Ryden inspiration your way on this tranquil morn. Gotta shake this tranquility up a bit. Cant take these Christian holidays full of stolen pagan traditions and imagery too seriously!

Sorry some of these are fuzzy - I just took them vaguely from the internets. Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bias Summer Dresses

Im starting to make some little summer dresses and slips. Flouncy and bouncy, pretty and versatile with an old world charm, these can be paired with pants, skirts, worn under or over another dress to create new styles for your every mood this season! Lightweight and practical, as well as feminine and flirty,  they are so easy to care for!
For those who dont understand the term "bias cut", this means that instead of cutting out a garment straight on the grain, I lay out a pattern on the fabric nearly sideways. When this is cut and sewn up, the fabric hangs on the body in a more graceful way. The fabric moves with you, is stretchy and form fitting without being sculpted. It is a process that uses up more fabric and many refuse to even to attempt to sew ANYTHING on the bias, but the results are well worth it. 
These little dresses are cute and affordable!
Happy Spring!

Check out my etsy store and give yourself a treat with a new dress! Keep checking in as I will be posting new items as I can make them!

Dr. Seuss Is Why I Cant Be Normal

You cant plunk your kid down in front of a Dr. Seuss movie and expect that they are going to ever be the same again.
I found my favorite old movie from back in the day at Big Lots for $3.00, and Ive watched it about 6 times this past week. It was one of my very favorite movies as a kid, and since this was back in the day before anything could be recorded or purchased -  you had to wait for it to be aired on TV (oh shudder the thought) - and it seemed that this didn't happen often. .Then it just seemed to disappear into obscurity until I unearthed it at Big Lots.  This is one of those movies that remains in your subconscious all your life and there is nothing you can do about it. It molds you and influences how your perceive and view the world. You either loved it or hated it. I loved it and it always disturbed me - as a good nightmare should.

I believe I tried to recreate this very outfit subconsciously many times!

The 50's were a weird world that everyone pretended was normal. We pretended so hard that our world was normal that we believed it. It was the beginning of a down slide into progress and technology that we could harness but couldn't control very well - because as we have all witnessed recently, anything can and will happen. The 5,000 fingers of Dr. T was a perfect symbolic example of a little kids' dreams vs. reality in the 50 - ala Dr, Seuss! And it amazes me how much of this movie molded how I am creatively when left to my own devices. And it shows where our fears of "the atomic" appeared in our modern world.

The mother's prison bedroom all draped in pale pink and cartoon bows? I'm still always recreating that somehow. And the fact that it was actually a prison? Well, I don't even want to go into that. The 50's were weird repressed times for most.............

I'm pretty sure that it was this movie that planted in this little girl from the boring suburbs the concepts of flamboyancy and the attractiveness of being Over The Top. Or maybe I was just this way naturally and luckily I found a peirce of work that spoke to me and managed to disturb me at the same time.

Come on and dress me, dress me, dress me, in my finest array!
Cause just in case you haven't heard
Today is doe-me-doe day!

Dress me in my silver garters, dress me in my diamond studs
Cause I'm going doe-me-doe-ing in my doe-me-doe duds!
I want my undulating undies with the maribou frills!
I want my beautiful bolero with the porcupine quills!
I want my purple nylon girdle with the orange blossom buds
Cause I'm going doe-me-doe-ing in my doe-me-doe duds!

Come on and dress me! dress me! dress me!
In my peek-a-boo blouse
With the lovely inner lining made of Chesapeake mouse!
I want my polka-dotted dickie with the crinolin fringe
For I'm going doe-me-doe-ing on a doe-me-doe binge!

I want my lavender spats and in addition to them
I want my honey-colored gosset with the herring bone hem
I want my softest little jacket made of watermelon suede
And my long persimmon placket with the platinum braid
I want my leg of mutton sleeves and in addition to those
I want my cutie chamois booties with the leopard skin bows
I want my pink brocaded bodice with the floofy fuzzy ruffs
And my gorgeous bright blue bloomers
With the monkey feather cuffs
I want my organdy snood and in addition to that
I want my chiffon Mother Hubbard lined with Hudson Bay rat
Dress me up from top to bottom, dress me up from tip to toe
Dress me up in silk and spinach for today is doe-me-doe day!

So come and dress me in the blossoms of a million pink trees!
Come on and dress me up in liverwurst! and camembert cheese!
Come on and dress me up in pretzels, dress me up in bock beer suds! Cause I'm gooooo-ing
in my doe-me-doe duds!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tribal Fest Trunk Show!!!

Its that lovely Tribalie time of the year when we all head over to Sebastopol, Ca. for  Tribal Fest!
Salomes' Suitcase (the design collective that I am a part of) will be having a trunk show at the Fairlfield Inn - very close to the festivities - and right where many of us will be staying!

We will be dressing up the conference room with all of our decadent splendor!
You will be able to escape the overwhelming Tribal mayhem and try on our garments and adornments in comfort! Yes, I said comfort - not out in the open, or under a tent! (not that there is anything wrong with that!)You can hang out with us and shop - and then walk back up the road, or go party in your rooms - party central!

This Fest will be a blast! Cant wait!!!!!!

Salome's Suitcase Trunk Show
~Thursday May 19th 3pm - 10pm
~Friday May 20th 2pm - 10pm
~Saturday May 21st 2pm - 10pm

Fairfield Inn Conference Room
1101 Gravenstein Hwy. South
Sebastopol, Ca 95472

Email us if you have questions!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Spring Cleaning!!!!!


I think I have all my handmade aprons up and listed on Etsy now! Just in time for all the spring cleaning you cant WAIT to do! These aint yo mama's aprons and once they are gone, I wont be making any others. Ive got them marked waaaaaaaaaaay down for clearance and trust me, they are worth much more. Ive added buttons and ric rac, gold coins and bells know - to keep the evil dust bunnies at bay.............
So check out my Etsy Store and see what else you cant live without!
I've been very busy with catching up on backorders and meeting deadlines. Ive been packing up those patterns that Ive been promising you and am about to ship them out to you! Ive been working on a tutorial for these Fluffie patterns and hope to have that up and here on my blog within the week!

Please keep checking into the shop - I know we just have smalls and extra smalls at the moment, but we're working on that problem here at KCCC. We would also like to have a lot more skirts soon. Susie Bianca, my trusty assistant and I are sewing away like crazy!

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Friday, April 8, 2011

pre-raphaelite love

pre-raphaelite love

I found a new toy tonight as I was finding Pre-Raphaelite inspiration to share.
Polyvore - a site where you can make little style statements to publish. I just stumbled on it and immediately got sucked in.

But here is what I really wanted to show you:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tiny Stitches

One thing I like to say to people when I talk about making ANYTHING by hand (unless you are basting) is that if you are doing handwork, tiny stitches are best. The clothing of old were all made by hand with little tiny stitches. Women and tailoring apprentices were instructed to sew using the tiniest of stitches. The tinier the stitch, the stronger the garment. They would be made to do their samples over and over again until they did it right.

If you look on the inside of a well made garment or quilt constructed before the days of sewing machines, chances are that it is still around partly because of its construction.

And while most of us will never have the patience nor the need to construct garments by hand, I still like to have everyone take the tiniest stitches that they can if  they would like their project to withstand the test of time and usage. And it just looks like you actually took the time to do a good job - it looks much better.

I stole images from youtube and the New York Nineteenth Century Society!