Plans in the making for Christmas and New Orleans

Fitting for my Christmas outfit. I haven’t even put the waistband on! I just love the leg of mutton sleeves on this jacket. the back of the jacket is real patent leather embossed crocodile skin pattern.

My family and I are embarking on a southern pilgrimage in late March. The major destinations being Florence, Alabama to visit The Factory of Alabama Chanin, then to New Orleans, just because, but possibly in time for NOLA Fashion week. Here are my journal entries for the two new outfits to wear there. The first is a navy tube top, black handkerchief hemmed dress with a cap-sleeved or sleeveless leather bolero embellished with silver and gold.

Outfit number two is a maxi length corset dress out of this incredible black and red fabric with black lace fingerless gloves.

Discovered a new jeweler at Common Ground Fair this year. Boyd Johnson of Augusta, Maine. He has an Etsy shop: QuimbySt. His practices and philosophies are really commendable and inspiring. I ordered a pair to wear for Christmas.

Knitmaineia 2018

Here are some highlights from the Knitmaineia fashion show.

I loved the dresses! I thought the color combination with the fluorescent orange heels and bright Fair isle sweater was striking!

Dresses! My friend Sara knits like I sew: all the time, and at all hours.

My new really cool friend, MJ. She’s got great style.

More friends and inspiring knitting.

And me. Next year I would like to have something to submit, and model. That’s my goal!

For the love of lingerie

I’ve been dragging my heels regarding this confession. But here it goes…[deep breath in….gusty exhalation]. I love lingerie. I mean, I may as well wear a tee shirt that says, “will work for shoes and lingerie.” I pay bills, contribute to our retirement accounts, some groceries and gas for my car, but every extra cent is saved for shoes and lingerie.

“Real elegance is everywhere, especially in the things we do not show.” -Christian Dior

“Lingerie is NOT about seducing men. It’s about embracing womanhood.” -Dita Von Teese

“Without foundation, there can be no fashion.” -Christian Dior

There are four lingerie companies that I feel passionate about, Cosabella, Aniela Parys, Fleur du mal and Cadolle.

Aniela Parys, originally from Portland, Oregon is now based primarily out of Barcelona, Spain. She hand makes many of her articles from dead stock (leftover fabric that goes unused by the mill or brand that fabricated it. Be it because the fabric turned out blue when it was meant to be purple, the brand ordered more than they could use or they simply decided it wasn’t right for the piece for which they intended it, deadstock fabric is any textile that’s sitting around as a leftover without plans for future use.).

Now Cosabella is more mainstream. An Italian couple relocated for work from their homeland to Miami, Florida. While her husband was away at work, Valeria needed something to do! She started exporting a selection of Italian made garments to sell in Miami. As other European companies started outsourcing their manufacturing to cheaper countries, Cosabella began producing their own line of lingerie (thus eliminating the middle man) in Italy. Where they are to this day!

Fleur du mal is about dressing up and undressing (that’s their tag line!) . A little edgier then the other two, an e-commerce business with a studio in Soho NYC. I also love their description of goods, “Feminine, chic and slightly subversive.” The founder, Jennifer Zuccarini used to be the design director at Victoria’s Secret before going off on her own. I have never bought a piece of hers yet, but I like looking at them.

Another company I draw inspiration from is Cadolle. Cadolle is THE Parisian lingerie house, Herminie Cadolle literally invented the bra in 1889.

“Lingerie is a woman’s inner, secret glamour.” -Alice Temperley

This is the start to my exploration in lingerie making. There is so much specialty “equipment” ! Look at those tiny pins (game changer right there). I found sewsassy.com as a resource for special elastic, stretch lace, stretch satin, hardware and software. I picked a few things up at Joann’s but selection was limited.

Alabama Chanin baby doll top. Imagine this in different materials: leather, satin, lace trim, a black sequined bodice with a light weight flowy leather “skirt”.

“The first thing you put on in the morning and the last thing you take off at night, make it good!” -unknown

The past, present and future

Fun outfit! The “teddy” is made up of upcycled black denim from donated pants and a vest. The jacket is double layer flannel from a bed sheet bought at a yard sale for a dollar. I dyed it black. Trim is left over from that other dress, and the buckle salvaged from an old sweater. I made this outfit to wear to the Common Ground Country Fair and I literally finished it on the car ride there!

A skirt and dress that I bought at the fair. Made by my friend Rose, under her label Dippermouth. She does the screen printing, the design and making of each piece. She is still working on a website. I got a sneak peak the other day, and it is truly magnificent!

Really into this color combination at present. I was playing around with some gifted fabric, getting ready for another project, perhaps another dress. Also really into dresses and skirts right now…again.

I bought this gray satin at a salvage store: Marden’s, for $3 a yard! It’s gorgeous and has a nice heaviness. I am definitely making another slip dress with this, floor length. Complete with French seams and a blind hem. Maybe in time for Christmas.

I practiced hemming on my new Dippermouth dress. Not too shabby!

Now back to work!

Celebrating my fellow makers

When you find your passion you start to attract like-minded individuals.

Like friend and coworker Amanda. Here is a sample of her sweet tops.

My friend Rose in her wedding dress! She is Dippermouth sewing and textiles. I got a sneak peak at the collection she is working on for the Common Ground Country Fair held in Unity, Maine on the third weekend in September. Stunning! I need to start preparing to bring some money!

Kate Beck of Kate Beck New Orleans Textile and Design. katebeckneworleans.com

A random stranger at the Farmers market! Her beautiful handmade blouse.

Keep on making everyone!

Collaboration and proposal

Now that the outfit for the wedding is just about finished, its time to gear up to work on the pieces for an art show proposal.

Here is the fabric I will be working with.

Here is a sketch of the outfit. A plaid spencer jacket with leg of mutton sleeves and alligator print leather back panel. I may use the stainless steel washers as some sort of fastener. Hand dyed maroon denim covered with hand dyed gray lace for skinny jeans. And a vintage fascinator to top it all off. There will be more, but that’s a start.

A couple quick sketches of clothes that came to mind on my morning jogs.

Seeds are being sown for a possible artist collaboration between myself and Lesia Socher, the creator of the above multimedia paintings. Last night, that proposal was delivered and met with enthusiasm, and she took photos of some of my work that she would like to paint. Something is evolving, and I’m very excited!

Mid-Summer Exploration

Corset gifts and a new slip dress in leather and a poly/rayon blend.

My mother used to tell me you can tell a good artist or a quality piece when the unseen details are as beautiful as the seen details.

Working on samples of an art piece in non traditional materials, and be fully functional. A top knit out of VHS tape, trimmed in dog hair, (donated by my corgi mix and spun into yarn by me). A wrap skirt from inner tube rubber, embellished with staples.

Jolene’s fashion faux pas

Disclaimer:

These rules only apply to myself!! Use them if you wish or make up your own.

  • No pajamas. I despise pajamas, loungewear, and sweatpants. Wear lingerie or nothing to bed. And NEVER in public!
  • Proper posture. Back straight, shoulders slightly back, head up. Engage you core, stop making your back do everything. Want to look like you lost 20 pounds and have flatter abs? Posture.
  • No smoking or excessive drinking. I’ve given up both entirely. Show the world you are a classy lady.
  • All I wear for jewelry are earrings. Metallic only, no stones. I have sensory issues wear I don’t like anything that “circles” any part of my body. I don’t even wear my wedding ring. I agree with the opinion that you shouldn’t wear a necklace with earrings or rings with bracelets and vise versa. Too much in one area. I also won’t wear mascara and lipstick together.

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” CoCo Chanel

  • Wear clothes that flatter your body type. It takes a long time to figure out what works for your unique build. Once you do, go with it! Don’t be influenced by trends that won’t work for you.

“If you don’t feel comfortable in a plunging sweater, skin-tight jeans, and killer heels, go home and change.” Ines de la Fressange

  • I don’t like the “cold shoulder” “thing” going on right now.
  • I don’t generally like any part of a bra to show. Unless it is a design element for the entire piece.

“Ripped jeans? …… Insanity!” Iris Apfel

  • Black and brown CAN be worn together.
  • Red and pink CAN be worn together.
  • Blue and black CAN be worn together.