So… I was at work when I first discovered the book Party Dress by Mary Adams. I lay down my credit card and took it home that day. I loved reading about her experiences as an Oregon girl to being a dress maker in New York and then her process is astounding simple and clean and yet so sticky sweet and full of color saturation that I really just started making dresses… and now I cannot stop. Every page is sooo inspiring. It started with this skirt (recently sold to a girl in Ireland):
Then I started this quilted leather/wool/ silk strapless dress which is essentially done, just needs some hems and hand stitching)!
Then I got into the silk taffeta stuff which posted here in my last post.
NOW… it turns out that Mary Adams will be in Seattle at Nancy’s Sewing Basket (where i work) for a book signing November 5th! And to really get into the mood ALL of the employees are working on there own party dresses that will be on display during our annual sale in September and then we are going to wear them for the book signing in November. It will be kinda of fun too because customers will be guessing whose dress belonged to which employee! So I cannot divulge to much but I will tell you Analysis Paralysis has now sunk in completely for some of us because it is hard to decide!
Bridal Bird Cage Veil 2011
I have been straight up sewing like a storm!!!! Now I need to finish sewing and finish taking pictures of it all to 1) sell it on my etsy site and 2) Show all of you what I have been doing. But here is a sneak peak because I can’t resist.
It all start with fascinators… I can’t stop making them. And then in order to take the pictures (in my head) of them I want to make crazy party clothing to go with all of the fascinators. So I am working on a mini bridal collection of some mix and match separates, a couple “bridesmaid”/party dresses and, of course a simple silk wedding dress. Yeah, it’s ambitious…. but all of the separates (washed silk taffeta skirts and hand- dyed linen tank tops) are done and the bridesmaid samples are partially done. That just leaves the wedding dress.
Once it is all done I am going to put my huband in his three piece, voluteer my friends for the wedding party and take some mock wedding picture of the whole shibang . Yeah, no, not ambitious at all.
OK so I did take some pictures of the fascinators kind of to scout out the a location for my bridal shoot, and kind of spontaneously because my friend Taz, talented photographer had time to work with me.
So obviously I have been ignoring this here blog. Soooo Sorry!
Here is what has been taking precedence:
I have been teaching a design, sew and embellish class for middle school students. We have been doing lots of sewinging. I will also be having a workshop for “Nick Cave inspired” art in conjunction with an exhibit of his work at the SAM called “Meet Me at the Center of the Earth”. I am really excited about this and have become quite a fan of Nick Caves work and those of you who know me can probably see why:
I will keep you posted on how our own Soundsuit inspired art goes. One of these days I will actually take pictures of my class and how much fun we have for you as well!!
I have also been sewing:
I made this dress by quilting recycled leather, recycled wool and silk for the bodice with silk organza skirt. There is a fully boned corset inside and a heavy exposed zipper down the back.
I am also costuming a play for Theater Schmeater here in Seattle. It is The Twilight Zone 2011. I am really getting my Mad Men fix off of this one. It opens on March 18th and it is sure to be a fun time!! We are doing three episodes:
The Obsolete Man
Time Enough At Last
The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
And it is going to be done pretty much to that late ’50s early ’60 feel even for Obsolete Man which is set in the future.
So before we get to SteamCon, mom wants to see Halloween Pictures. So drum roll please:
So this last weekend I attended SteamCon 2010 a convention for Victorian Science Fiction and all things that revolve around this concept from clothing to l.a.r.p. ing* and all thing between. I went to model in a fashion show for the afternoon tea party, for Tamara Lily and Marie Cooley . Here is my analysis:
1. us geeks are freaks. 2. really awesome costumes. 3. geeks know how to party… all night long (I think, I went to bed). 4. REALLY AWESOME COSTUMES!
This is what I made for my self to wear. The jacket is an actual Edwardian jacket I just hand stitch some steampunk trinkets to.
Here is AnamoAng the Victorian Cyborg's cheast plate. All recycle leather.
I was in the fashion show both days so did not have a huge amount of time to run around but the Art Exhibit was cool and Mercantile gave me tons of ideas a churnin’.
Here is the reel from the fashion show on FLICKR.
*live action roll play
In the beginning of March I was in a fashion show for (one of) my alma maters, The Art Institute of Seattle. It was fun, I was the oldest model but most were all just as insecure as I am so it was fine. I really like stepping out of my comfort zone (Tom Boy) some times as this is a a real good dose of that. Here, here, here and here are some pics. The pics are from two different show on the same day (my hair is different). And on that dress with the heart I wore it backward the first time. Not my fault- they took fitting pictures of me in it backwards and I wore it the exact same as in the picture. Hee- Hee!!
This morning I was on the King 5 morning show New Day Northwest modeling one outfit.
WELL- apparently I cannot embed the flash clip of this appearance because WORDPRESS won’t let you!!!! Hmmmm…. so just click on the link.
repro velvet flowers
My mom has informed me that she does not like looking at my anthro rant any longer (I swear… and she does not like it). So I am changing it… happy??
I have been taking hat making classes from a really excellent milliner, Izzie Lewis. We started with covering buckram forms with fabric and then graduated to blocking fur felts. Dave now has a running joke because all I can think about now is hats- when we watch movies, walking down the street, while we’re eating, when he is talking it’s coming out as hats,hats,hats- hats hats hats, hats? I reply hats, hats,hats hats hats.
I know there are people out there (besides my mother) who have waited for this post as well. Sorry I’ve taken my sweet time. I have been learning a lot about taking pictures and also Photoshop. I have been doing this online couse on Photoshop over at Lynda. I have learned quite a lot in a very short amount of time.
Here are the hats I have worked on:
buckham cover with wool.
This was blocked in 2 parts- crown and brim.
This is grosgrain gathered into a crazy 8 with two 1940's buttons.
I also made hats for my father and my brother for christmas:
This fur felt was blocked all in one.
All of these hats have a wire in the brim and head size ribbons on the inside.
So cute..... and yet such a race to the bottom!
So it’s not like I have tons o’ time to shop…. I definitely do more sewing but I occasionally get gift cards and I currently have one for Anthropologie, so naturally I get the catalogue. Beautifully photographed, perfectly styled and designed in the way that makes you want it all. I think that it is fucked up that items in this catalogue A) do not have fiber content-you have to go to the web for that where there is a convenient Buy Now Button (even there it’s hard to find), and B) either says imported (mostly used), made in the USA, or made in COUNTRY X if it is an ethically acceptable country to have clothing manufactured in. Does this really fool people???? What the hell does imported mean to Anthropologie ?? I think it is a disgusting way to have cheap manufacturing in countries that have known human right abuses and quality issues in their manufacturing. They are disguising practices that do not measure up to the American public demand for some ethics in Globalization. Since Anthropologie dose not want to use terms like Made in China (which I bet is the truth for 85% of the “imported” things in their catalogue) they mask this in the term imported. Fucking Redonkulous!!
Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of modeling an AWESOME outfit in the Art Institute of Seattle “Cool vs. Cruel” annual fashion show. The idea is to not use any animal based products of textiles and to be inspired by some current and cruel looks on the 2009 runways. The show is sponsored by the Humane Society… hmm… or it is to promote the Humane Society. It is a regional competition for all of the Art Institutes and then there is a National Competition in New York. I was a little surprised at how small the show was. My designer, Cindy, won the competition here!!!! Her outfit will be shipped to NYC for the big show there. Not only that…. she totally slipped me a Nordstrom Gift Card in all the craziness that I forgot about and surprisingly opened the next day. Totally unnecessary… but WOOT WOOT!
This post is inspired by some new (old) sewing things that we got in at the store. OMG- I f**king love haberdashery… especially if it is beautiful! I don’t even wind thread and I want one of each.
Sajou– A nineteenth century French company that was recently resurrected. I cannot really find pictures of some of the most awesome old graphics they use on their thread winders- twenties hats and such but here is the story of Sajou I found over at Silver Needle:
From 1830 to 1880, Jacques-Simon devoted his time and inventiveness to fancy needlework, starting la Maison Sajou in 1830. His goal: to sell supplies for all types of the Needlearts. With the creation of his pattern albums, he reached intense fame in France and all of Europe… his original albums are very valuable and intensely sought-after collectibles today!
The trade name ‘Sajou’ fell into oblivion some years later, presumably after Jacques passed. It had not been used since 1954, and therefore, under French law, became available in 2004 for a new owner!
Frederique Crestin-Billet is the new owner of Sajou, and promises to present the vintage designs and articles as they were — without edits. Relying on the excellent name of Sajou, she is producing product using modern production methods, while maintaining a world that reminds us of the haberdasheries of yesteryear.
Another one of my french favorites is Lesage (here is an article about lesage) which does not have a web page. They don’t need one! They are the beading and embellishing house for all of Paris’ Haute Couture. The Sewing Divas are on my blogroll and I found this great video on their site. Only the second half is Lesage but the whole video is yummy.