Summer projects and the birth of a label

Here’s a partial line up of this summer’s projects. Complete with knitted camisole, my recycled strip jeans, and custom dyed red skinny jeans.

I also picked up some freebies on the side of the road! I’m thinking of transforming the plaid blazer into a Spencer jacket with leg of mutton sleeves and some gold or copper metallic embellishments.

Imagine this dress as a slip dress worn with the little spencer jacket 🤩

I started working with leather. This corset is being made from leather salvaged from 2 used pair of leather pants. It will have fresh water pearl embellished trim. Not easy, but extremely satisfying. Not sure what method of attachment I will go with: lacing, a zipper, or other, on one side.

More experiments with leather: machine sewn this time and top “stitched” with staples. Kinda cool!

Working on a special event outfit. A high-low hemmed, sequined, princess seamed, navy blue trimmed tank dress. With a matching dove gray leather, cap-sleeved bolero; a navy blue felted boat cap and peacock blue nubuck, cross over, high-heeled clogs.

It is all basted together with my new clothing tag design located inside the “train” back. Visible when I walk (I hope).

Embroidered leather clothing tags. I’m contemplating maybe, just maybe, creating a few pieces to sell 😬😳😨

Greta’s eyelash top and up cycled denim art.

Lost in my thoughts one day, trying to figure out some sort of mission statement for all this clothes, fashion, and the blog that goes along with it business. I was perusing the internet, planning a New York City trip next Spring. I happened across a trailer for a documentary called The True Cost , a film about the fast fashion industry, textile waste, exploitation of third world garment workers (where 95% of all our clothes comes from) and the true cost of a 4$ tee shirt from Walmart, H&M, or Old Navy, and etc. I knew then I had found my mission, and how to fine tune my passion.

I’m going to wean myself off of commercially purchased fabric and re-purpose old clothes into new, beautiful clothes. I’m striving to be an inspiration by example. To be a conscious and careful consumer. And try to bring more awareness to the fact that every dollar you spend is a vote for what you believe in.

I took all my cheap, made-overseas-pants and pieced them together to form the fabric for these new jeans. Sometimes I used the original seams but I zigzagged them together initially then tightly zigzagged the raw edges THEN top stitched the seams down with a straight stitch.

In the works: I am designing an art exhibit showcasing 4 outfits made from repurposed or organic material complete with framed journal entries documenting the inspiration behind each. I have come up with 2 out of the 4. One is a Japanese inspired piece and the other is a Victorian/steampunk piece.

Everything I feel drawn to in life seems to all connect together. From my minimalistic lifestyle to sustainable, zero waste fashion, it’s all cohesive. A Greek-like ideal to always be striving for perfection in all facets of life.

Spring projects

In the thick of several projects at once. Two pairs of pants, another hat makeover, and embroidery.

I like to mix machine sewing with hand sewing. I’m very pleased with how I hand-attached these back pockets.

A future back pocket. Recently very inspired by a woman: Tessa Perlow, who does incredible embroidery on “up-cycled” clothes. I have a Calvin Klein shirt I recently acquired from Good-will that I’m now planning on embellishing. This design of a snake wrapped around an apple was originally a tattoo. To me it represents all kinds of temptation, especially when placed on my butt pocket! the wearer of the tat said it represented good and evil to them. Either way it’s pretty deep.

All this embroidery resurgence came about because I wanted clothing tags made up but wasn’t happy with the affordable options and I was too cheap to splurge. This one I may leave shortened to just 2a.m. because it is so huge. I want to put fleur-de-lis on everything!

Customizing another vintage hat. This is a “straw” beret. If I get invited to the particular wedding or reception (hint, hint) that I badly want to go to, I will put a Rose in the band.

My first Spring bouquet.

Headpieces

My collection, thus far, of vintage hats. My plan is to go antiquing for hats and personalize each one like below.

I wish I had a before photo, but I striped the white band of its previous adornment and added the steampunk buttons and am working on the navy French knots. I have many various plans for the other hats, except the gray felt, that one is perfect as is.

Some felted hat patterns from Ravelry I would like to try and make in the future. But I really want this hat for the summer

Boston…St. Patrick’s day 2018

What a whirlwind of a weekend! But first, the beginning. Starting our journey south had us stopping into the Coastal Cafe and Bakery in Searsport, Maine and having a delicious handmade bagel and cream cheese. A couple hours later found us in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire which is this amazing shopping Mecca! I could have easily just spent all my money in that one town and gone home! My favorite find was this New York style hat and accessory shop Puttin’ on the Glitz. That’s where I bought my first Cha Cha. Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute is a millinery in Manhattan that specializes in steampunky hats: traditional with a twist.

Lady Pickwick’s is a Victorian era ladies mercantile. That’s where I discovered Maggie Mowbray, a milliner in Edinburgh U.K. who’s head wear has been featured in movies, and worn by royalty. Another “store” of note is actually a art gallery called NAHCOTTA, they carry some TiroTiro jewelry and other enormous tiny art. After a quick bite to eat we were on the road again. Salem, Massachusetts is where my host/coworker/boss/friend has a house, this was our “home base”. Friends met us for dinner at a Ramen restaurant, Kokeshi. What an interesting mix we made! A lawyer, a social worker for veterans, a speech therapist, an entrepreneur, and two artists. For dessert we walked over to a random pop-up and grabbed a fatty, (which is what they call their cookies). Then to a late night coffee shop for a night cap and live music.

Kokeshi! Love the decor.

First time on a commuter train! You can see Boston in the back ground.

First stop: fuel. Tatte, is a beautiful bakery and cafe on Charles street.

Beacon Hill neighborhood!

If Boston had a “fashion district” it would be (in my opinion) Newbury street. Ouimille was the very first boutique we went into and it had a rack of clothes by a local indie designer, Natalie Busby. Unfortunately none of what they had in stock fit me quite right but it was exceptionally stunning. All Saints was another where I bought nothing but the cuts and styling stimulated the imagination.

Ministry of Supply was another clothing boutique of note. They specialize in office wear made of fabric that had all these wonderful qualities but what I was REALLY interested in was what they had 3D print-knitted! Still not sure how it all works but there is supposed to be zero waste. I bought two 3D print-knit sweaters that are super fine, light-weight but warm, and did I mention 3D printed?!

Discovered another American made jean company! Discovered Nordstrom’s rack! Hmmmmm…. put those two together!!

All kinds of random fun, and the original Boston Cream Pie!

Back in Salem we went to the Peabody-Essex Museum to see the Georgia O Keefe exhibit. I didn’t know she made much of her own clothes! The care, craftsmanship, and detailing on simple styles was unbelievably inspiring!

Now to home and back to creating!!

Denim works of art

It all started when I found myself succumbing to cheap, throw away fashion. I have been falling behind on fulfilling my clothing needs (desires) and wanted a couple new pair of jeans to get me by until I could make some of my own. I ended up buying 4 pair at the local mall because they were 50% off. The following morning’s shopping hangover found me hemming and contemplating the “made in Bangladesh” tag. A wave of guilt fell upon me. I decided to return 2 and put the money towards an American made pair. I came across an article on the internet by The Good Trade that really was a guiding force.

I bought 1 brand new pair of black skinnies from Genetic Los Angeles. I found another Genetic Los Angeles pair, new with tags, on Poshmark.com. Luke has a fondness for Prison Blues. Next time I’m going to try Bluer Denim. Both Genetic Los Angeles and Bluer denim companies are devoted to less waste, a commitment I can passionately relate with, and offer incentives for recycling/reusing jeans. They are the two few American companies that offer feminine styles of jeans as well.

I would much rather own 1 American made piece of clothing at a rather substantial price tag then 4 made elsewhere at a fraction of the cost.

This is my new commitment.

It has generated a whole thought process, think tank, about clothes being created as works of art. Having been an artist my entire life I have recently started thinking of my body as a canvas and fabric/yarn as my medium. From now on every article of clothing I create, or buy will be wearable art. Art doesn’t get much more personal than clothes and fashion.

Second-hand Genetic Denim jacket. Fits beautifully with all these dart details.

In the process of trying to master making the perfect pair of black skinny jeans. Some customizing ideas.

February 26, 2018…inspired fashion

Sowing the seeds of a true statement piece.

The tank’s collar will be embellished with what is referred to as “Alabama Fur”, (small stitched swirls with long tails of thread showing) on a larger than usual binding. Worn under an Aluminum chainmaille bolero that my husband is making. I try to have 3 elements present on every outfit I design: a hand stitched element, a hand knit element (usually socks), and a metallic element. I’m thinking about adding a chainmaille element, a little fashion collaboration with my significant other!

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If you’re ever in need of some fashion, beauty and style inspiration here is the start of my list of women that inspire and influence me.

Emmanuelle Alt

Ines de la Fressage

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Audrey Tautou

Yasmina Rossi

Edie Sedgwick

Junko Shimada

Isabella Rossellini

Natalie Chanin

Iris Apfel

Charlotte Gainsbourg