Friday, May 3, 2013

Fun in the Sun!

It is SOOOOO difficult to be inside while the sun is out, especially at this time of year, when we've all been craving the sun for what seems like forever.
If you're ever walking around the water here in Seattle, you will see a ton of these guys.

On the other hand, you can't exactly pick up your sewing table, materials, pins, scissors, machine, etc, and take them outside. So! Compromise:

I went on a nice walk, and now I'm back inside, with my fabrics by the open window. 

I've been really loving the asymmetry of this season, and the playfulness of design. I feel I've been finding a lot more design that recognizes that women don't want to look like teenyboppers, which I fully appreciate.
Here are a few things I've found in the last few days that I absolutely love:

I'm formulating my design right now, I'll post what I come up with!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taking the Time to Embroider

Embroidery is time-consuming. REALLY time consuming. If you don't have patience, any embroidery you pick up could become a nightmare project for you. Of course, the simplest way to add embroidery to any design you create is to have an embroidery machine. Those guys are amazing! Just put on your fabric, upload your design, and BAM! You have an intricate, perfectly embroidered piece.
A beautiful piece of classic Kazakh embroidery.

Sometimes, though, you don't put embroidery on enough items for that to even be a consideration. (Let it not be said that pricing is reasonable on specialty embroidery machines.) And sometimes, you just want to feel a little bit closer to the ladies of the past, who would sit for hours in their sewing circles, stitching away.

In 2007, I embroidered tiny orange flowers on the empire waistband of my royal blue prom dress. In 2009, I undertook a daunting task..... Outlining the design on a standard handkerchief with two different colors than the base of the handkerchief. I made about 3 of those, before realizing there was no way that was profitable. (I was 19, give me a break!)
I found this picture on my old etsy shop!

Since then, the only embroidery I have been doing is tiny bits here and there, no real project to speak of.

Until now.

I found this picture while googling cow skulls.

I always have short term and long term projects going at the same time.... And this is definitely my long term project. I love animal bones and think they are so beautiful, so wanted to test my hand embroidering one, with maybe a wreath of flowers around the top of it. Finding this drawing was perfect, because instead of doing flowers, these nice fall leaves are simple, and yet unique from the flowers you tend to see in juxtaposition to animal bones.

Elsie and Emma do a really cool jewelry hanging project on A Beautiful Mess, which was my inspiration for my original idea. Check out their project here: Antler necklace display. 
Here's my embroidery, with only the first 3 colors completed.

My embroidery is a bit farther along now, after hours of sitting and stitching, I have 5 leaves filled in, and only two leaves to go. They are nice rich fall colors to contrast the peach fabric of the background.

Originally, I had no idea what I wanted to make this piece into when I am done with it.... But I think I know now. I want to turn it into a purse, styled slightly like a bowler's bag, and slightly like a tote bag. It will be a mixture of the two styles. Here's a vague example: The closest thing I could find.

Wish me luck with this project. I am so excited about it, but that just makes it harder to wait for the reward. If my patience will last, I will be posting pictures as soon as I am done with the embroidery, and then again with the bag!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Clouds in the Sky, Shears in the Hand

Today is a very cloudy day here in Seattle, and so naturally, I felt okay about staying inside with the television on. Last week, Comcast came out to install cable and internet. I've been catching up on the last season of Project Runway, and I've even been watching Fashion Star.... Although, I don't quite know how I feel about that show yet. I didn't even know it existed until last night, which I think proves how much television I normally watch. 

As I had explained yesterday, I love sewing. It is one of my favorite things to do, and has been, since I was 13 years old. I'm self taught though, so there are a lot of things I don't know how to do. In recent months, I've been very frustrated because there is a disconnect between what I want to be creating and what I can currently make. There is a lot of frustration that comes from this, and a desire to get to the point in my life where I can be a successful designer

So! I just decided to do it; to get to that point. What has ever been in my way? What has been stopping me? I can claim a lack of finances for classes, or a lack of time after/before work, but those are just excuses. There will always be excuses if I don't make the effort and take the time to do the work. 

Step one: Focus on learning everything I can about sewing. I'm going to learn new stitches, learn new techniques, and use new patterns- even become better at creating my own patterns. I'm going to create a cohesive portfolio of my designs from these new

Step two: Go to school for design. I've already found the perfect school here in Seattle. I don't need a fancy school, nor do I want my school career to last 4 years at the least. New York Fashion Academy, in Ballard. I've looked up the course information online, and the fashion shows from students past. Dr. Robert E Whaley gave me a tour of the school, and talked to me about what the school wants to see from their prospective students. It was so refreshing to speak to somebody about possibilities for my future. My goal is to begin school in December of this year, or January of 2014.

Step three: Be the designer I want to be!

So, as a beginning to this plan, I spent the day sewing! Yesterday morning I found this adorable plaid fabric at Goodwill for half price, so I couldn't turn it down. As soon as I saw it, I had a vision in mind for it. 

The shorts I created today.


I began sewing the fabric into a pair of loose fitting summer shorts last night, and I finished them today. Once I tried them on, I realized that they were perhaps a little too big. I really liked the detail in the front of the waistline, I think it could potentially be used on future items with great success. But the plaid fabric, plus the general slouch of these shorts made them look a little like pajama bottoms. 

What is your opinion? Do they look like pajama shorts? In my mind, I saw them styled with a form-fitting white cotton bustier top, to contrast the volume of the shorts. Let me know what your opinion is: If you like them, if you don't.... And if you do like them, how YOU would wear these shorts  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sun in Seattle

So! There has finally been a warm, sunny week here in the Pacific Northwest. Thank the universe, because I was about ready to go back to Virginia Beach! Well, okay, not quite... But the beach was becoming more and more tempting! It is amazing, the way that people emerge from their homes and places of work to bask in the glittering sun. It seemed as though the city was full, and ALIVE, which of course, was only my perspective. This city is always alive, people are always moving, it's just hard to notice anything past your nose when it's rainy and grey. 

The Aurora Bridge and a view into the Fremont waterfront.

The sun always gets me feeling good, serotonin is flowing, and therefore my creativity starts flowing again. No longer am I just surviving; I am shedding my winter skin and thriving in the sun. It makes me think about the future, and where I want to go from here. 

In order for you to understand my thoughts, let me explain a little bit about myself: I am 24, and I live here in sweet Seattle. I moved from a town about an hour away to the city in February of this year.. Me and my man, David. He is attending diving school, and I am working at Starbucks and trying to learn how I can start my own business, so I never have to work for anybody else again. Not that Starbucks is bad, especially here in it's home city.... But, well let's face it.. If you have EVER worked for anybody else, you know what I mean. It just isn't the same. 

Before I lived in Bremerton for about 5 years, I lived in Buffalo, NY for one year. I had the time of my life there, but wanted to come out West. Before Buffalo, was Virginia Beach, VA, where I grew up. I lived in a sunny, warm climate for most of my childhood.

My favorite thing to do is to create. My favorite form of creation is sewing. I like to design clothing, and have been doing it since I was in 13 years old. Everything I know about sewing I taught myself, and there is so much more I can learn. 
I am currently beginning my second attempt at an etsy shop. The first was fairly successful, but my design aesthetic moved away from the items I was selling on my shop. 
The beautiful Fremont bridge here in my neighborhood.
Now that you know a little about me, let me say that I am at a crossroads, and I am contemplating which direction to go. There is so much possibility in this world! What will I do? How will I get there? 

Even though I have all these questions, and no answers thus far, sitting in this beautiful sun makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I want. 
This is the start of my journey, and I can go wherever I decide. :)