Working title June 10, 2019

Finally finished both prototypes, a wrap skirt and a deep v backed top. Both made entirely from repurposed fabric.

Details: back stitching the seed stitch fabric to the stretch denim sleeves. The mitered edge and criss cross embroidery stitch. Then by poking holes in the fabric I did a single crochet stitch waist. This piece was practice for a whole dress. For the dress the skirt would be knit down by picking up the edge of the crochet waist piece.

The wrap skirt was made from different denim jeans pieced together. I machine sewed the basic construction and finished the raw edges with a real tight and wide zig zag stitch on the machine. I then hand topstitched every seam.

This slip dress is being made out of an old shower curtain liner that we then used for a painting drop cloth. I’m been brainstorming and playing with different paints, wondering how to embellish it. This is one of the art show garments.

Latest inspiration board. Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson and Katharine Cobey. Ms. Cobey’s knit creations are out of plastic garbage bags and wire.

Another source of inspiration are music lyrics. Like Brian Setzer’s song The Footloose Doll: ” Just look at that chick in the silvery dress. She’s got a cool tattoo and her hair is a mess, but every single guy in the joint is just watching her dance!”

And Walk The Moon’s song Shut up and Dance: “A backless dress and some beat up sneaks. My discotheque, Juliet, teenage dream.”

I like to create myself into an image of the women described in songs.

I leave you with a quote.

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. LIFE IS ART.”

-Helena Bonham Carter

Back in the saddle again.

My Fleur de lis

The symbol of France and French royalty.

The symbol of New Orleans, Lousiana and Florence, Alabama.

The Holy Trinity.

The brand of prisoners.

Maybe courtesans too?

A Lily.

A Iris.

I am a French woman, strong and proud as a queen.

I love New Orleans, and God too.

I’m a little bad.

I’m a little good.

That’s what my Fleur de lis tattoo means to me.

odAomo is the creative-outlet-turned-design-brand of Dr. Sophia Aomo Omoro. Born in Kenya, Dr, Aomo came to North America to finish her education to become a ear,nose and throat surgeon and settled in New Orleans. Her designs are brought to fruition by 6 women in Kenya, and fabric is sourced from independent Kenyan textile distributors. All being paid a living wage. You can read more about this remarkable company on their website odaomo.com The above skirt and pants are from her store in New Orleans.

Mignon Faget is (in my opinion) THE quintessential New Orleans jeweler. As you can tell she is inspired by what she sees everyday, and everything that represents New Orleans and Louisiana. See and read about all her collections at mignonfaget.com

A little shot of Mardi Gras.

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The warm sun on my face,

the perfect antidote to the cool breeze across my body.

Walking three miles for my morning coffee.

J G BRYANT

In delightful anticipation of future projects that combine different compositions of textile.

Current state of affairs. Books, journal, sampling, and work in progress

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A shoulder to lean on,

a hand to hold.

I don’t need them.

I will cry my own self to sleep,

and in the morning, be fine.

“Call if you need help.”

I won’t.

You’ll just have to show up.

– J G BRYANT

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” I hope one day, I’ll look back and think, yes… I made my life a living art.”

-Audrey Leighton Rogers

Winter doldrums

I’ve been going through some hard times lately. An unexplained restlessness that flairs up from time to time. It’s been extremely cold so physical activity is virtually non existent. My projects have become a chore to be completed. I don’t feel like working at the job I love, but when I’m home I just want to go out! This is nothing new, a phase that ebbs and flows. Lack of sunlight, cold weather, and big, seemingly never ending projects are all contributors. That’s why I haven’t posted here or on social media for weeks, I’m a well tapped dry (for now). I sound depressed but I’m not, just transformative growing pains. That saying, this is what I have managed to accomplish.

Taking a much needed break from the French seams on the corset dress. This Japanese pattern I love because it’s simple, elegant and versatile. I’m very pleased with how the blind stitching on the hem of this lining looks. Much nicer than a serged or zigzagged edge. Playing around with a tear drop (more like test tube) opening in the back. Fabric was old bedsheets!

This is th completed opening, same pattern different garment. A little messy there at the bottom of the slit. I’ve tested the new one and it lies much neater and flatter.

My man Luke, taking advantage of a snow day, started testing out ring and weave options for my 40th birthday mantle/collar. This is the one I approved. It’s a modified Japanese weave. We played around quite a bit with it. It looks much better stretched out with gravity doing its work rather than laying horizontal like this. But you get the idea. This is stainless steel.

This woman Dorrie Jacobson has captivated me! She’s 84 and a former playboy bunny.

I sometimes get so caught up in planning for the future that I forget to enjoy the present. It’s my goal to retire a millionaire and also grow older with grace, beauty and wellness. I am ACTIVELY working on these goals continually. I got so inspired seeing how Dorrie has evolved: she’s active, involved, I would assume in relatively good health, SEXY, and CONFIDENT. I want to be there right now! I have to remind myself I have 45 years to go! I mean, that’s longer than I’ve been alive already. Same with my investing. My mantra needs to be slow and steady, and live a little in the here and now. As long as I’m taking small daily steps towards my goals everyday I’m confident I will get where I want to be and at the right time.

Some more Dorrie inspiration.

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I’ve also had the good fortune to come across a musical artist that has really touched my soul. Hozier, is the name he goes by and his music is poetry. His most popular song: ‘Take me to Church’ I love every line but especially, “My church offers no absolution, She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’. The only heaven I’ll be sent to is when I’m alone with you. I was born sick, but I love it. Command me to be well. Amen, Amen, Amen.”

“I’m almost me again. She’s almost you. I wouldn’t know where to start, sweet music playing in the dark. Be still my foolish heart, don’t ruin this on me.”

Hozier Almost (sweet music)

” A cure I know that soothes the soul, the soul impossibly. A moment’s silence when my baby puts her mouth on me. And it’s easy darling, I need a remedy. And the reason comes in the common tongue of your lovin’ me. ”

Hozier Moment’s silence (Common tongue)

I know, they sound like every other sex and lust saturated lyrics, but there’s something about his voice, guitar and over-all feel that sets him apart from the rest. I haven’t stopped listening to these three songs for a week now! Over and over again!

Fashion is instant language

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” samman_prajapati

The chainmaille shrug is finished!

More chainmaille inspiration. For a future project? [wink, wink]

I ordered these TiroTiro earrings in early November because her lead time on made to order was up to 3 weeks. On December 19th I still hadn’t received them, so I sent her an email kindly asking of their status. It turns out weeks ago they were marked already shipped, and on top of that one of the styles had been recently discontinued. She offered to refund my money on that one pair or replace it with another style (any cost discrepancy would be on her). I picked a replacement pair, and since I had really wanted to wear them to a big family Christmas party on December 22, she overnight FedExed them! I’m still in awe at her customer service and eternally grateful for all she did for me.

Still experimenting with non-traditional materials, and newly influenced by this company I was recently told about, Tonle.

I borrowed my rigid heddle loom back and started weaving with denim strips cut from discarded jeans. I’m thinking about making a kimono style jacket with the material. We received new pillows for Christmas, so I started spinning the stuffing from our old ones to use as warp on another weaving project. Polyester pillow stuffing warp and VHS tape weft.

I leave you with photos from Tonle’s website where they used mountains of textile factory waste as a backdrop.

Always inspired

I’m sometimes asked if I get inspiration from fashion magazines. My answer? Not really. I get inspired from Instagram, Pinterest, and folks I see at work. Here are a couple examples:

The last two are from a magazine though! But you can see what sorts of things I’m looking at. I like the idea of painting on clothes, that’s been going on for a while but I’m conflicted because I also like solid black. I love making entire outfits one color but all different textures; black velvet, with black leather, with black lace, with black denim, black jersey, black satin, with black beads or sequins, oh ya!

All denim outfits. Instagram inspiration. I’m planning on making a pair of jeans with random zippers all over, I’ve started saving zippers off the clothes I’m repurposing.

Working on the pattern for the second NOLA dress. A maxi length corset dress. And my new cards came in today!

Started the trim on the new Christmas jacket. Made from repurposing a huge, ugly, gaudy blazer, found on the free pile at our community center and leather remnants. Gold thread, herringbone stitch on embossed patent leather.

Husband Luke fitting me for my chainmaille bolero! He’s working on it again! Aluminum rings from The Ring Lord in Canada.

First NOLA dress. The skirt is made from repurposed curtains that I bought for a dollar at a yard sale, then dyed. Bodice is only basted onto the skirt, but I had to put it on and dance a little!! Can be worn with or without the corset, although the corset ensures no wardrobe malfunction will occur while boogieing to a zydeco street band in the French Quarter, LOL!

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!