Monday, November 1, 2010


Sometimes I'll start a post with no real idea about organization in mind, and it ends up being about 14 paragraphs long, is constantly repeating itself, and has no good place to insert pictures, so I save it to be edited later. Then something else happens and I want to blog about that, and the previous post gets pushed back. So it happens with this very post. I started one the other day about the costuming for two plays I just finished, but then Halloween came along, and now I want to blog about that, and the costumes I put together for it.

Yes costumes, plural. I was more than one thing this year, perhaps because I haven't had a Halloween costume in about 6 years. I've always wanted to be Max Fischer from Rushmore for Halloween, but by the time it rolls around I don't have the time to make the suit I want to, so I just end up being nothing. So I decided to make up for it with two costumes this year.

I am a Lost fan, and in particular a John Locke fan, and that is who I was for Halloween. For those of you who aren't Lost fans, this is what John Locke looks like:

He's handsome, wears cargo pants, boots, and various drab colored T-shirts, and always has his knife for hunting boar, cutting fish, or just throwing it at trees. He has a faint scar above and below his right eye, and he is most obviously bald. I have a need for authenticity when it comes to costumes, so:

I thrifted the clothes, got the knife at an army surplus, Mikey did the scar with scar wax, and I shaved my head bald. I wore the costume to my friend's where we go every year to eat some food and carve pumpkins.

I also had to work on Halloween, and I wanted to dress up for that as well, but I knew that nobody would get my John Locke costume, especially since most of my friends from the party, who are also Lost fans, didn't guess who I was on the first try. Instead of being asked if I was G.I. Jane all day at work, I went as THX 1138, so either people would get it or wouldn't.

THX 1138 is a character from George Lucas's first feature film titled THX 1138. Watch the trailer here. Then check out my costume (I made this one):

Mikey made the badge:

About 30% of customers knew who I was, which was more than I had expected, so I think my costume was a success.

You can see all the photos we took on my Flickr page.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breathless and Blue

The last couple of dresses that I have made, something about them just didn't work out. The dress that I just finished started off as one of those (eek!):

but was fixed before I got all the way with it. I bought this fabric and instantly thought of Jean Seberg in Breathless, and decided to make a dress similar--big collar, little sleeves, buttons down front. . .

Well when I got the top semi-done (it wasn't attached to the skirt, didn't have buttons, or lining) it was just eh. When I looked at the dress from the bottom up, by the time I got all they way to that cute collar, I was bored with the stripes. I scratched that idea and made the strapless design instead.

Now, the problem with strapless designs, is they have to contour to your body, so I used princess seams, but the problem with princess seams and stripes is that they won't match up all the way across the bodice. Example:

The top two stripes line up, but the next two don't, and that really bothers me. The solution:

Add a sash! This sash is sewn into the side seams and wraps around front and ties in the back.

Another challenge with strapless designs is boning. This was my first time ever using the stuff, and it was a lot easier that I had imagined. If you want some good advice on boning, talk to Gertie, she's got it all figured out.

Oh and a look at the back:


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Things Past, Things Present, and Things to Come


I made a cute striped dress for the Glashaus show that will be on Saturday 9/4. I don't know how I managed to finish this thing, but I did. A little glimpse:


I am still working on those commissions. (One of the women lives in Irvine so we can only meet so often, and it was a tough time finding fabric for the suit for the other.)

I got an interning gig with a theatre company and I am currently costuming their next show. Even though the wardrobe is going to be entirely thrifted (due to budget and time), I have had a really fun time working on it. It gives me an inside look to the costume design world, and so far I like it.


Open studios at the Glashaus on Saturday:

I've got another tutorial coming. And I'll just say that it involves my favorite pockets.

After the tutorial, I will be giving up dresses. I have a bunch of wool laying around my studio and I am going to put it to use. Inspiration: Men's suits from the 1930's of course!

Each of these things deserves its own post, so I'll put that in the (near) future category.

See you guys at the Glashaus on Saturday, and if not, I'll show you more of that little dress I made next week. . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

She Never Buys a Dress, It's Always a Frock

I think this should be the Sugardale theme song:

Oh that Johnny Mercer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cruella and Viola

Well, I've got a Flickr account where I've put a few photos up. Such as this:
Herringbone 2
I've already reached my limit, so I've got to upgrade to the pro account, but I haven't the money at the moment as I just had an eye exam, bought new lenses for my frames, and splurged on a pair of prescription sunglasses, which totaled about $700. Yikes! Half of it is going on my credit card which I hate to do; I've got a goal to pay that thing off and have been pretty good about using it only in emergencies, you know like when your boyfriend needs a root canal. . .

Anyway, new glasses are necessary because it was getting a little difficult to read street signs, especially at night. The sunglasses (which I haven't received in the mail yet) may not be necessary, but hey, I've got some money from custom dresses coming my way in a little while, so I don't feel too bad about it.

I purchased the frames for my sunglasses online at Fabulous Fanny's, the same place I got my cateyes. These are the sunglasses frames I have chosen. I would lurve to have some cateye (the Cruella frames) sunglasses in white, but since they don't come in white, hopefully the Viola frames will look good on me. And hopefully, they'll come tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Smells Like a Hole bunch of Garbage

I am sure all you bloggers and blog readers out there are aware that the 90's are now in. And quite frankly I am a little disappointed, but not the least bit surprised.

I do have a theory as to why:

I think that all of the junior high and high schoolers got wind that the 80's were in amongst the hipsters. Having found this out by means of facebook, twitter, and super-fast thumb text messaging, they all went out to the thrift stores and loaded up everything 80's they could find, leaving all of the 90's bull crap behind. So when the hipsters went back to the thrift stores last week looking for more 80's junk to sell on Ebay, and finding nothing, they instead picked up an ugly, black, orange, and pink floral dress, a dingy vest, a pair of black tights, and some boots. Mind you, not cowboy (too 80's), but rather something more along the lines of ropers (which growing up in a small Kansas town, I saw way too much of). Then, they slammed it all together, downloaded some Fiona Apple, Hole, and Garbage, and mourned (once again) Kurt Cobain's tragic death.

What are your theories? Do you all hate the nineties as much as I do? Or am I the only one that will still be wearing my petticoat, and patent leather pumps?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Freddy is tired of spam.

Due to the amount of spam I receive (about 1 spam comment a day) I will now be moderating comments. Don't you just hate those jerks that ruin it for the rest of us? Pff.

This photo is part of the new series of photos we are taking of all my clothes. More to come. . . I am not promising any dates this time, though, because these photos just keep getting pushed back as there are some other deadlines I have to hit right now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Playful Little Peek

I couldn't wait to show you at least a little bit of the playsuit I just finished. It is so cute!

Getting sunny blue skies, my time, and my boyfriend's time to all line up has proven a bit difficult. More photos to come.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Etsy Update

Some people rented the Glashaus for an art show/party on Saturday. We didn't stay long because drunkenness ensued and not a lot of people were coming upstairs to see our studio space anyway. But this is the best photo I got of the yellow dress I just finished. (The batteries in the camera died after about 10 photos.)

This dress will be for sale in my Sugardale Shop hopefully by the end of this week. I just have a little playsuit to make, and a crap load of new, cooler photos to take before my grand reopening.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This cotton fabric

was on my doorstep when I arrived home today. I really like it, and there is also green and blue which I must have missed when I finalized my order from (There are a few other color combinations as well, but it was the simple pink and red that got me.)

Unfortunately, and as usual, this will not see my sewing machine for a little while because I have quite a few other projects to work on, and this has to wait it's turn.

I have finally started making some dresses to wear to the coffee shop that I work at, I am currently working on 2 commissions involving a wool skirt suit and a simple smock for some clients, and I've got some serious reupholstering to do.

My boyfriend and I have been looking for a sofa, particularly mid-century, for a couple of weeks on Craigslist with 400 bucks as the maximum amount we were willing to spend. We found a couple that were in the $200 range, but would definitely need some reupholstering. They weren't exactly what we wanted so we waited. And good thing too because Mikey went to a thrift store the other day and found this beaut:

Since it was missing a cushion and was disgusting and dirty, Mikey purchased it for $10. We are going to replace the back cushion(s) with one long one anyway, probably with only a single row of buttons instead of two, the 8" legs will be replaced with 6 inchers, and we are not sure about the fabric yet. But we are thinking blue and getting inspiration from these mid century wonderfuls:

Man, if we had $3,800 we would buy it now, because that is probably the coolest sofa I have ever seen.

The use of three different fabrics is pretty cool.

And this sad little chair that I have had for a couple of years needs a little boost.

And were are going to give it just that with black and white 1" houndstooth and red piping.

On top of all that, I am going to reopen my etsy shop in June with two new designs involving this yellow fabric and this red and white fabric.

Oh and Freddy already approves of the sofa (Sorry, I will never tire of pictures of my dog. Especially when he is laying there all cute.)

I will post progress pictures and maybe a few helpful tips on how to reupholster furniture when I get moving on this stuff. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Movies on Christmas

There's a little piece about Sugardale Clothing on a blog called Holiday Matinee. And since they're all about quality, I am honored to be mentioned on their site. Thank you Dave and Monique:)

Go check it out, please.

Monday, March 15, 2010

These little buttons are all it took . . .

. . . For me to conceive this dress:

It all started a while ago, when I thought I don't want to wear jeans and t-shirts to work anymore, especially since when I wear my jumper to work, people always ask where I got it. I've gotten a few customers that way. So if I wear dresses every day, maybe I can just quit one of my jobs.

Instead of going to the fabric store to buy all new materials for work dresses, I checked my current inventory: I had some red polka dot fabric, some brown fabric with small black dot clusters, and some plain black cotton. Hm. I also had these buttons that I bought with no particular use for them in mind, I just had to have them. I also happened to have some red piping. Nice. Red and white buttons, red piping, and black cotton? Yes. That was precisely the combination that would work.

Piping looks really good on Peter Pan collars, so that is what I went with. I didn't really want to make a belt, so a thick waistband was my second choice, which also gave me another place to apply the piping. And of course semi-full skirt because I am not going to wear a full one to work. It was missing something though. Ahh, white top stitching to go with the white in the buttons. Brilliant. So there I had my design, made the pattern, and started sewing this thing. I got almost finished and realized that the waist band was too high, and I put in a side zipper as well as the button front, but that was hardly enough room to get in and out of this thing. So I threw it out.

My second attempt was much better. I fixed the pattern so that a zipper could go right up the back, and therefore the buttons on the front aren't functional. The only thing I really changed was the skirt. Instead of patch pockets in my original design:

I did something a little different. I broke the skirt up into 6 panels. Three in the front and three in the back. The pockets were inserted into the seams on the front side panels. And the dress had so much detail on the bodice that the skirt needed something. So I top stitched all of the vertical seams of the skirt, and the pocket of course was top stitched, piped, and buttoned as well. By the time I had the second bodice done, I already knew I wasn't going to wear this to work, so I made the skirt full enough to fit a petticoat.

And it is what I wore to the Glashaus opening.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Studio Revamp Complete

This is what the studio looked like for the opening.

As you can see, the layout changed a bit. When I got everything in where I had originally planned, it was too cramped. But I think it works better this way. On normal days the table will be centered in the room, we just took it out for the opening.

Before and After:

Now I feel like I actually have a Sugardale Shop.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Come See the New Studio and the Old Me

The new studio?-fresh paint, new furniture. The old me?-one inch of hair instead of four. (Yes, the last time I shaved my head was sometime in July '09. It had grown a bit since then, and I have hated it.)

So be there Saturday night Feb. 27th

The Glashaus
1815 Main St. Suite B
San Diego, CA 92113

Open Studios from 6-9 o'clock. Bands and party to follow.

Given my aversion to alcohol and the behavior it induces, I won't be staying for the party. But please come to see the new studio and Mikey's new light pieces, stay for the party, listen to some bands, have a good time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Couple of Snags

So the "Red Chestnut" stain didn't work out. I liked the color, but I didn't like it next to green walls, especially green patterned walls. Before I chose the chestnut stain I was debating about getting ebony instead. Which is what I ultimately had to go with anyway (because you can't stain wood a lighter color), and I am pleased with how it turned out. I will have photos of those when they are actually done. They need backs and legs.

And I got the rug today, and there is no other way to describe it other than drab. Or maybe, like the red chestnut, it just couldn't compete with those walls. I need something bright.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Here they are:

Tomorrow I am going to stain the furniture with Minwax "Red Chestnut", and my rug should get here Saturday.

It's all coming together.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hello Walls

Man, Mikey got some serious work done. First, he applied two coats of light green paint. Then he drew the diamonds on in pencil. Then, he taped them off.

(Helpful Tip: Before applying your darker color, you have to repaint the lighter color on the edge of the tape. You can see what I mean if you click on the above picture. This creates a seal, preventing the darker color from getting under the tape.)

Then he painted two coats of the darker green.

Then we carefully peeled off the tape.

And that is when I left to go to work today. I didn't get another picture of the walls because they need a little touching up.

When I got off work, Mikey had my furniture almost all put together.

Sheesh. What a guy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It sure is green.

And I promised you some drawings. I did the first two drawings at home, and my memory of the studio space was a lot bigger than it actually is, so we eventually had to make some changes, but nevertheless, this was my original idea:

Here is the wardrobe that will hold all of my clothes and fabric. The design of this did not change, and it will still be positioned right under the window. The only problem is, the window is a lot closer to the corner than I had imagined. So, the three way mirror to the right of it does not fit in the space at all, and therefore was eliminated.

This next drawing is of a cabinet with an attached table, that would go on the next wall. This didn't work because, once again, there was not enough room. And it turns out I don't need that much space for all of my stuff anyway. So the table will not be attached, and all the storage above the table in this picture will be going in the cabinet.

Here are the improved to-scale drawings that Mikey did:

And here is the new diagram of the space (click image for readable captions):

(The diamond pattern will extend onto the next wall, I just didn't draw it in because the writing would be harder to read.)

So the wardrobe and table will be going on this wall:

And the cabinet will go on this wall:

Yeah man! Mikey is going to start building the furniture on Monday. I'm excited.