Well it’s been since August that I shared anything. Oopps! Sometimes life gets a little too busy and I drop the ball. Here is a little montage of what has been going on. It goes from Party Dress to Christmas.
A party dress for playing!
But that is just the beginning- I have been sewing (and cooking!?!) up a storm these last few months. Some of the other sewing includes but is not limited to:
A party dress for playing 2011!
embroidering gifts… until the machine broke!
Again working the machine in the Christmas spirit
Etsy holiday gifts 2011
Etsy Holiday Gifts 2011
New skirt for my etsy shop.
The only cooking that I managed to photograph.
I have also been marinating on some ideas for a line of clothing and/or soft furnishing 100% re-purposed for the thrift store. I have found some AMAZING textiles at some of my favorite “digs” here in Seattle like the Dearborn Goodwill or its sister store the Goodwill Outlet (if you are a Germ-a-phobe this place is not for you). I guess I just don’t know if people would be as excited about reclaimed leather/ linen/ cotton as I am.
And I have been cooking, here are some recipes I have used over the last couple of months:
Artichoke Dip– This is like crack so watch out (consider yourself warned and just double the recipe!)
There are other things that I heard about so created my own version like the fennel and sausage Quiche:
The only cooking that I managed to photograph.
We have also been doing a fair amount of juicing over the last month and we also might commit to a juice fast for the New Year… although I really don’t know if we can do that… I mean I am a meat and potatoes girl. I know it will be good to clear out the system but it is going to be kind of torturous. My husband suggested it at the beginning of this month and I logically pushed it back noting that Christmas would be hard and that the New Year is great for gimmicks like that.
Also I did finish the bridesmaid dresses I talked about rolling out but I don’t have photography of any of it yet and the wedding dress is in mock-up form so I did not completely drop the ball on that idea. It’s a slow build!
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)!
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!
I rolled out some clothing on my ETSY site this last week. I ‘ve got an “in” with a beautiful line of silk taffeta that has been fun to flirt with and these fabrics definitely tickle my feminine fancy because some dresses are next! The current collection of separates I just put up mixes this silk taffeta (washed to soften) with hand dye linen and lace tank tops for super comfortable and easy to put on pieces that have a summer boho feel. All of the skirts have fantastic wide elastic waistbands are lined in rayon. All of the pieces are washable. Not bad pictures for being in my basement. Also… I have been asked to do a fashion show here in Georgetown, Seattle, USA. I will let you know if I participate. Sometimes these things are not what they seem and that is why I am still on the fence.
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.
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:
I recently had the wonderful (paid!) opportunity to write for Stitch Magazine put out by Interweave Press. I wrote out instructions for my Shadow Applique Wool Pillow for their 1 yard gifts in the Fall 2010 issue. The magazine came out on the 14th of September so go pick it up at your nearest specialty magazine shop and try out my project!!
So this is the quilt I made for my mother for her 60th birthday. I got the batik panels from this booth at the Sewing Expo. The backing is this AMAZING Italian shirting cotton. I learned most of the techniques off the internet. I really love freezer paper after doing this quilt because it can be used in so many way in sewing. With this quilt all of the circular applique around the characters I did using freezer paper and the six minute circle applique. My next experiment with freezer paper is going to be printing fabric with my printer… I will keep you posted. Does anyone have any tips??
My mom was here over the Memorial Day holiday and we went camping at Cama Beach on Camano Island, WA. It was nice and relaxing and it did not even rain that much!
I have been using my new-fangled sewing machine to do embroidery over the last three months. It is fun and nerve wrecking all at the same time. First, the world of machine embroidery is a mighty vast world full of lots of teddy bears holding balloons and SUPER cheezy seasonal crap that I would never use in a million years. For these reasons and all the Disney characters the came programmed into my machine I was really kinda scared of the whole concept. BUT it is the embroidery that makes the machine a $3500.00 sewing machine so I push through my issues and am now embroidering!! For starters I made my mother this box for Christmas:
A good learning project
I know monogramming is not necessarily her thing but I needed something to design and I know my mom has wanted to decorate cigar boxes for a long time so I just figure it is both inspiring and utilizable (she is a total organizer, genes I didn’t get).
Right after Christmas I actually broke the machine… It just stopped embroidering beautifully would not hold tension. I am a bull in a china shop, if it is delicate and precise I will mess it up. I realize I cannot just open her up and see what is going on like my other machines (Serge, and Bertha), I have to take it in to the shop. THANK GOD there was a year long warranty, because it is $200 dollars just to have them look at this machine.
Now I am back on the road to embroidery… My husband found the mother load of embroidery patterns on the torrents and I am overwhelmed with embroidery files (hence my lack of blogging). And if that is not enough I need a whole other wing to my studio just to house the stabilizers and thread needed for this whole operation. SHEESH!! Well out of all that whirlwind I introduced a line of Ring Bearer pillows in my ETSY shop. Personalized monograms and custom patches coming soon!!
Here are some other Christmas presents I churned out for friends and family:
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!
O. K. so roughly one year ago I started doing some writing, blogging is the catch phrase… on my Myspace page.It was easy and convenient and I just wanted to try it out… you know, see if it was for me.Well, I did it for one whole year.Now, I think that it is time to put this blog thingy in to kindergarten (so to speak).I have many more friends and family that are not myspace users then are and I would like them to have access. Also, I have been slowly trying to build myself a web site- HippyLongStockings.com (4-5 years and counting).At some point I would like to use WordPress on my site so I figured that this was a good start.I am not a website builder by trade but I have an AWESOME tech support division called my husband.He builds big, beautiful websites for fancy, smancy companies.Check it out at Amped Multimedia.I am basically an HTML girl… if you can even call me that.I built a website for my work- www.nancyssewingbasket.com.I am working on the 2.0 version right now.That is all that is in my portfolio…currently.
So what am I by trade, you ask.Well…. Let’s see… I am always a work in progress but aren’t we all.I have been in the textile business for eight-ish years and yes that means I work in a fabric store.It is NOT just a fabric store but a REAL dressmakers shop, something that is very hard to find these days so you may not even understand what I am talking about (Joann’s is not one).I love this job.Everyday I come home and want to sew, unlike when I worked in manufacturing where you sew the same boring shi-stuff all day long and don’t even want to look at a sewing machine when you get home.
I am a self-declared fabric snob and feverishly believe that everyone should be.And although I understand the value of $37 dollar a yard Liberty of London cotton, I can’t always afford it.Good fabric is like good champagne, it is smooth, makes you feel warm and fuzzy when working with it, and is totally addictive.Cheap fabric is like cheap champagne, it just gives you a big fat headache.
So what exactly do I make with fabric? Well I hope to keep a running log here as to what I do on a regular basis.If you want to see what I have done over the year check out my MySpace blogor go to my flickr Photstream for just some picture of what I like to do.