Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jazz

So this has nothing to do with fashion, but I just bought a clarinet, and I am pretty excited.
You can only listen to Jazz for so long before you want to pick up an instrument and try to play those soulful sounds. I used to play the clarinet in band from 5th-9th grade, so it's been about a 7-year hiatus (which is a long time). 

I can still read music, but I don't remember all the fingerings on the ol' clarinet, so I basically have to relearn everything. Plus, back then I wasn't playing Jazz, which is pretty hard to learn because is all about improvising. So, this summer I am going to take a college class for some instruction, which I desperately need. I can't wait to enroll though, oh man!
This is what I want to sound like (which well never happen in my lifetime, but it's something to strive for):

So if I practice every day, 10 years from now, I might be good enough to say, "I can play Jazz." Hopefully, by then I will be able to afford a wooden clarinet. Mine is a student clarinet made out of some kind of plastic. All the pros play on a wooden one.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jitterbug


Oh man! I wish I could go back in time and dance with that handsome man!
Well, after reading the post on Shorpy, I learned they are at some St. Patrick's day celebration (you can see their stupid, little, cut-out, paper clovers pinned to their chests). I don't know what St. Patrick's Day was like back then, but if it was anything like it is now, I probably wouldn't have gone to the dance, and I especially wouldn't have worn one of those clovers. I try not to even acknowledge the "holiday" (even though I am right now) because I hate it!

About two weeks ago I was walking to the post office, minding my own business, and some guy ahead of me waiting to cross the street says, "What is it, like St. Patrick's day or something?" Well, I just happened to be wearing a bright green pair of cropped pants (yes, the ones with the non-functional pockets) and the guy walking near me happened to be wearing a green shirt. I, of course, ignored him, but the other guy fell for it. "Heh, yeah," is about all he said.

What I wanted to say was: "Oh it MUST be St. Patrick's day! Of course, why else would I possibly wear green pants? Yes, I plan all of my outfits according to the holidays. A few weeks ago, on Valentine's Day (another "holiday" I loathe) I wore a bright red dress with pink hearts all over it. No you idiot! It isn't even St. Patrick's day, and you won't see me wearing any green on that day, so keep your stupid comments to yourself!"

I don't even celebrate St. Patrick's day because: I am not Irish, I am not Catholic, and I do not drink! Which, of those three, drinking is actually the only one needed to celebrate this monstrosity. If you drink, then all the sudden on this given day you're a green-wearing, beer-drinking, Irish-kissing leprechaun, out to high-five, and "Whhooo" everybody to death. Tonight, I think I'll stay home with my sewing machine, and put Count Basie on the record player, and avoid all humans if it's possible.

Sorry for the rant. All because some loser commented on my green pants. Actually come to think of it, I was wearing some red shoes. He had his holidays all wrong; he should have asked if it was Christmas! What an idiot.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Don't Just Design Dresses

Another outfit I made a while ago, but just now posting. 

The shorts are what I am mainly focusing on here, I did make the shirt too, but it's just a shirt, so. . . the shorts:

What I like about these are the pockets; they are deep and functional. Functional pockets are big thing for me, again my hatred for the purse. I bought a pair of bright green cropped Dickies pants the other day, and the back welt pocket is only about an inch deep. What is the point of that? Either spend the extra two cents and make a full pocket, or just get rid of the pocket all together. I must admit,  even if there were deep enough pockets to store something in, I wouldn't use them, because the pants are pretty tight. (Ok, maybe I'd put some money in one, but I can't even do that with these one-inchers!) But still save me the annoyance of closing them up and cutting out that useless flap of fabric that is just bunching up on my butt. 

Anyway, another thing I like: the hidden zipper. It is in the pocket, you can't see it. I tried to take a picture of it, but it was just a dark mess. Sorry. But trust me, it's a wonderful feature: no fly fronts, no side, or back zipper. 

Also the thick waistband and buttons are cool.

And some things I will do differently the next time I make these:
1. I would make them just a little bit shorter. These could actually pass a school dress code, as the tips of my fingers are just above the hem. And I don't need to pass any dress codes. 
2. I wouldn't use such thick material. This cotton that I used was just something that I had. It would make a much better skirt (which I am going to use on my next dress design, that, believe it or not, isn't pouffy!)
3. And, I would make a whole outfit out of it. This outfit is good with the matching red polka dot shoes and scarf, but it wasn't my intention when I first set out to make the shorts.  Next time I think I'll put buttons on the other side of the waistband as well, and make a matching shirt. I am thinking a lighter color for the shorts, a white shirt with a sailor collar, and using the same shorts material for the cuffs and collar of the shirt. Yeah that's good.

Not long after I made these, my boyfriend found this picture on Shorpy
"Hey Ladies, nice tap shorts. Yeah, I've got a pair too."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sweet and Innocent

So I made this sweet little dress a while ago, but I just now got a good picture of it. (I am making better use of the tripod and camera.)


Off-centered buttons and Mandarin collars are nice. Not-so-sweet-and-innocent-me likes to appear sweet and innocent, which a Mandarin collar will do. It isn't as innocent as a Peter Pan collar, which can be cute, but I don't want to look like a 9-year-old!


I always make custom covered belts to go with all my dresses, especially ones with waist-line seams. (Which, I haven't designed a dress without a waist-line seam yet, so actually, all of my dresses have belts.) With this dress though, I couldn't make my usual belt with a covered buckle, because I couldn't have a centered buckle with off-centered buttons. And wearing a belt off-centered is pretty lame. So this one just has a button closure that lines up with the buttons. That's a lot better.


And always, the deep side pocket for taking along just the essentials.



And some closer detail.
Of course, some contrasting trim that I am so fond of.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What did I do to be so Black and Blue?

This is one of the latest dresses I have made (I am working on one right now, but I've got a few changes that need to be made) I like this one a lot, especially that blue. I am glad I actually used some different colors for a change. I always seem to wander back to red/black/white combinations.  

Gubba and I did a little photo shoot in her studio about a week ago. So this is what I've got:
 
I like this pose. To me it looks like it could be on the envelope of a vintage pattern. 



If you look at Oh, Vintage Magazines, you will see we tried to mimic this pose from the 50's magazine. The one where the woman is wearing that cute blue coat.



See that white material peeking out of the bottom? That is a petticoat that I made. It is made out of crinoline and the longest horizontal strip is 12 yards long. Wow, that's long. When I cut the crinoline strips, the edges frayed so badly. I had so many tiny white wisps  of thread all over my apartment, that I almost went crazy. I still have enough to make one more petticoat, and I am going to do it, even with my sanity on the line. Because, well, it's worth it.


Here's Gubba looking at one of her drawings. You can see that the dress has a pocket. A deep pocket hidden by gathers. 

I hate carrying purses, I can never find a purse I like, and if I am actually carrying a purse, I barely have enough stuff to fill it. If it weren't for a notebook that is always with me, my purse, I unfortunately shoulder around right now would just be a floppy tote. Bleh. 

But if I am wearing a dress such as this, I can put my wallet, phone, chapstick, and maybe a few other things safely concealed beneath a layer of fabric, and be purse-free. Which is always a good thing to be. 


Besides the colors, the sleeves are my favorite part of the dress. I have been into this cuff lately. That sharp point dividing the pleat of the sleeve in half (hard to see in black) just looks so good. And the pleat gives the sleeve a bit more room, without being too puffy.  I've used it and variations of it on a couple of other things. Also notice with this one, the sleeve cuff has the same trim as the hem of the dress. Oh, matching little things like that makes me love myself for doing it.