Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stop Your Complaining

I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to get going on etsy. My first order of business was to buy a lot of black cotton sateen for the jumper that I want to make and sell. So I have been navigating the swatches of fashion fabrics club,, trim fabric, and J&O fabrics. I found some black cotton sateen at fashion fabrics club, ordered and paid for 25 yards, only to receive an email a few days later saying they were out of it. So when I get my money refunded I am going to order some from, but only after I receive my sample swatch in the mail. (It is impossible to purchase fabric online without feeling a swatch of it first).

For example, I ordered a sample swatch of poly/cotton gingham from trim fabric, which wasn't too hot. To be honest, I haven't been too impressed with trim fabric anyway. Today, I just received my sample swatch of poly/cotton gingham from J&O, and it is a lot better. So I am going here for my gingham, there for my sateen, and somewhere else for my buttons, basically I am waiting very impatiently for a bunch of sample swatches to come in the mail. When they do come and if I am impressed by them, I can really only order one thing, make one design, hope to sell it, and then order some more stuff with the money I make on that. Unfortunately, I don't have hundreds of dollars to drop on yards and yards of different fabrics. I really only have one hundred dollars to spend right now on one bolt of fabric.

Another difficult thing is having a clothing business based in San Diego, because there aren't that many fabric stores here. It isn't like LA or New York where they have entire districts dedicated to fabric, so I am stuck with purchasing online. I think in the future I might drive up to LA from time to time. Which presents another huge problem: I don't have a car anymore.

Yeah, my car died. It was too much money to fix, so I donated it to NPR. I wasn't sad to see it go, I didn't really like it, and it was always giving me trouble anyway. But not having a car is pretty hard to do in San Diego, where things are so spread out.

So here I am with 3 dress designs in my head, but no fabric yet to make them with, no car to drive to any fabric stores, no fabric stores to even go to anyway, nothing to post about, and I've got a cold. Bleh.

Oh, and I think I am growing another knob, next to my big toe. God, my feet suck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Mesa College Fashion Show

Click image for a larger, readable view.

I will be showing 4 outfits in this show. The striped suit, and those three pouffy dresses.

If you would like to come, I have tickets to sell. Let me know.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Petticoat Tutorial: The Really Fast Version . . .

( . . . And by fast, I mean the tutorial itself, not the making of the petticoat.)

So this is the petticoat I made to sell on etsy, (which I will have up for purchasing in a few days):

I am going to make this one to sell instead of the other one, because it is faster to make, and a little easier too.

Anyway, I thought I would show you how I made this one, just in case you would rather use this method.

Step 1: Follow steps 1-7 on my previous tutorial, using tulle, and skipping all the ribbon stuff. Basically make the petticoat, you just don't have to do any finishing. (Yeaah Man!)

Step 2: Get some eyelet fabric with a scalloped edge. (I used 3 yards, which I think is a pretty good amount.) The scalloped edge will be your hem, so cut the length of this the same length as your petticoat. Sew the one seam, leaving the top (6-9 inches) open. This amount should equal the length of your top tier of the tulle petticoat, that should also be left open like this (but without the ribbon, of course):

(this photo taken from my previous tutorial)

Step 3: You should have some eyelet fabric left over (my petticoat is 21" long, and the eyelet fabric I used was 45" wide), so take that and cut another layer that is your hip measurement plus 10". Make this layer 1" shorter than the tulle. For the hem, you can just use the selvage of the other end of eyelet fabric. (Yes, I don't have to finish any hems!) Sew one seam, leaving the top of this open as well.

Step 4: Make a waist band. I chose to do a simple 1" waistband, that is about 3" longer than my waist measurement (the same idea as the previous tutorial.)

Step 5: Gather all three layers into the waistband. The skinny one on the bottom, the tulle in the middle, and the pretty scalloped one on the top. And finish it with your preference of closing devices. I chose buttons.

Step 6: Sew all three layers together at the opening, or you could put a zipper in it, or some snaps. I just left it open, because it is going to go under a skirt anyway.

So that's it. Putting a layer of cotton between your legs and the tulle will prevent you from getting itchy, and putting the eyelet fabric on top finishes the petticoat and makes it look quite nice.

I hope that gets the point across. I don't have the time to go into detail like I did with the first tutorial. I think that was a one time deal.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sewing and Dancing

I may have mentioned a while ago, that I have taken some swing dancing classes, but I haven't been going for quite some time. Well, when I was dancing more regularly, I invited my friend Kate, who invited her sister, Liz to take some classes. Kate and I don't really dance much anymore, but Liz is dancing all the time, entering contests, and even teaching some classes herself. Pff. . . Well, Liz, knowing I can sew, asked me to make her and a group of girls some skirts for a dance performance on the eve of '09. I did, and one of the ladies I made a skirt for, wanted a dress for her 5th anniversary party, and asked me to make it for her. She had a vintage pattern, and the fabric, so I just had to do a few fittings and sew it up for her.

She also asked me to work the door of her party and to ask a friend (I asked Kate) to help. The party was held at the Air and Space Museum, which I thought appropriate, because one of the exhibits there involved Charles Lindbergh, who "hopped" over the Atlantic, and thus named the dance that most people were doing at the party: The Lindy Hop. The many swing dancers that were invited, were encouraged to dress up in vintage, so I got to see some pretty cool outfits, and do a bit of dancing myself. It was fun. I didn't get a lot of pictures because we were working the door most of the time, and dancing the rest.

So here is Susan and me. She is in the dress I made for her, and I am in my most recent design, which is coming to etsy soon. I am just waiting on some sample swatches I ordered online, because I can't rely on the few fabric stores here to have enough of it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Take THAT, tote!

I am ashamed to say that this is the tote that I have been carrying around for far too long:

You can tell that this thing is on its way out. The bottom is fading badly, and so are the straps. When I made this, I thought it would be cool to have a little bit of brown showing at the top. And I decided this after a I had the whole thing sewn together, so I had to pull the brown lining out a little, and then sew around the top again. This resulted in the lining being shorter than the dot fabric, which caused it to fold, and basically look like crap. But I kept carrying it, and I don't know why.

Before this, was another tote that I got from Strand in New York. Why do I always resort to the tote? I hate totes. I even hate that word. So why did I ever carry one? Well, I also hate purses. Floppy leather things with studs and rhinestones, or worse: expensive logos, that are a distraction more than anything. I would feel more uncomfortable holding one of those than this ugly thing.

There are some vintage purses I like. Something sleek and simple, perhaps black patent leather? But can I really carry that around when I am wearing jeans and some sneakers? Or even a casual cotton dress? No.

So today I threw it out, and am now tote free. Yes.

I am down to a card holder, a phone, and keys, which other than a little notebook were the only contents of this tote anyway. I just have to pocket everything; my jeans have pockets, so do all the dresses I have made, so I think I'll manage just fine.