Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pretty On The Inside

Hello Lovelies! Here is the next dress in the installment:

When I first started sewing, way too many years ago, the inside of the garment was always sort of an after thought. So were hems, zippers, and buttonholes to be honest. Years went by where nothing I made was lined, and everything was made from stretch fabric so I wouldn't be forced to put a zipper in it. Then about 8 years ago I bought a jacket, and on the inside waistband there were words embroidered. It said- 'You are beautiful'. I loved it. Hey, a compliment's a compliment even if it is coming from a cheap-o jean jacket. Over the years as I've gotten better at sewing and pattern making I've started paying more and more attention to the inside of the garment. Sometimes that means just making sure all the seams are finished, or maybe hand sewing the zipper down, but the most fun is when you have a super special lining. It doesn't always have to match but it compliments the garment- Like a navy corduroy jacket with hot pink lining, or a ditzy floral print on the inside of a boxy retro jacket. It always makes you smile every time you put it on even though no one ever sees it but you.

People will love your shoes and they'll ask you where you got your dress. Your lover might notice your new perfume and they may catch a glimpse of your perfectly matched underthings but I doubt they will ever remember what the inside of your dress looks like. That one's just for you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

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The Ocean Shook, The Sky Went Black.

Barbara Dress front & back. Amazing retro shoes from Anthropologie
Do you ever cry at your desk at work? Do you curse and scowl and throw tantrums? Do you ever find yourself sprawled out amongst the scraps on the workroom floor; fists clenched and questioning your purpose in life, when one of the company cats tries to comfort you by doing a balancing act on your left nipple?  I'm not saying anything like that ever happens around here. All I'm saying is that sometimes one workday can read like the entire Series of Unfortunate Events exploded on top of a bus full of zombies; and then Pandora tosses out a Decemberist song into the mix and the mood goes from tense to dramatic real quick like.  

Why do I do it? Why do WE do it? As artists, as creators, painters, writers, musicians...why do we feel this need to push ourselves and create new things when there is no foreseeable reward? Of course I know there are all sorts of fun internal rewards, blah blah blah, but a super swell sense of accomplishment does not pay the rent. So other than creating my own personal dream wardrobe why do I torture myself by staying in the loathsome and very difficult fashion industry when I don't even know if it's worth it? 

And you know the answer to the 'Why'? The first answer that always pops into my head? It's always the same:

 IT'S THE ONLY THING YOU'RE GOOD AT. 

I don't have to tell you that is a bitter pill to swallow; knowing that the only thing you're good at is ripping out the same seam 3 times in row. Cue the Decemberists, this is getting dramatic again. It makes sense though. Since I was 9 years old, never did have a plan B and if I ever had a minor it was in grilled cheese eating making. 

After about 14 minutes the song ends and the floor starts to get really uncomfortable. Climb out of the belly of the whale, brush off the crazy lady threads, breathe and get back to work. It's only noon. Moping is fun but it doesn't solve problems, unless your problems are there aren't enough people moping. (and give me a call maybe I found my plan B) 

Ah, but it's the second answer to the 'Why' that really matters. The answer you get when the tantrums are over, and you're brain is getting it's recommended dose of oxygen again:

 IT'S THE ONLY THING YOU WANT TO DO.

Oh yeah. Duh. I knew there had to be a reasonable explanation for this madness. Maybe there ARE other things I am good at. For example, I didn't know I'd make a good gardener until a few months ago, and now look at all these (ok just 3) bell peppers I grew! Hellz yeah!  I might make an excellent detective, lion tamer or archaeologist as well, but I don't really care. Yet. YET. I do this because it's the only thing I really want to do. It is also the only job I've had so far where I can throw myself on the floor and no one calls security. Plus...... no one questions my choice of music here, and I hate to say it, but those other company cats can be real jerks.
Which one is the camera hog?
So that's why I do it. What's your excuse?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let Me Count The Ways

The 4th of July is up there on my list of favorite holidays. The beer is flowing, the fireworks are glowing and also Great Britain doesn't own our country anymore. That's because the Chinese do. Some other fun holidays I like to celebrate are Bastille Day, Fiestas Patrias, and Icelandic National Day. Basically the more days where it's acceptable to wear red, white and blue the better:

I'm naming this dress Lea after my dear friend who might love themed dressing even more than I do.

Why is it that when you show up dressing patriotic to a 4th of July barbecue, people make strange comments as if you were wearing a white dress to some other brides wedding? Are we not allowed to compete with the flag??! When did it stop being cool to be patriotic anyways, let alone on a PATRIOTIC HOLIDAY? Last I heard America was still a great country. Just ask the millions who risk their lives to get to this country. Perhaps you disagree, and are considering fleeing these fair lands and becoming an ex-pat? If that be the case, chances are this dress probably will still work for you.  There are about 30 countries whose flag boasts the same triumvirate of colors (very original dudes, those founding fathers), and now you can celebrate ALL of their National Holidays with the same ONE dress.
Sorry. I stopped counting the different ways this dress can be worn after #5, mostly because I ran out of poses.
I will probably end up making this dress in another colorway for those who are scared of this one. 
In the meantime; I will continue to wear this color combo whenever I feel like it, and urge others to do the same. If someone should give you grief, tell them to stop being so damn ignorant in world affairs. Don't they know? It's Anzac Day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Progress Report: I for Incomplete.

I'm going to distract you from this weeks progress report with this:
I really love how stiff the models are in this video. I always love Alber Elbaz's counterpoint to the thousands of moody fashion videos out there at any given time.

 So What have we learned here? Are models trying to dance, like reality stars trying to sing? Or celebrities trying to design?  Does Paris Hilton really fit in all of those categories?  What's that you say? Posing statements as questions really covers your ass in the long run?

Anyways. They can't all be winners like that Lanvin video, and alas, the last piece I was working on misses the mark. (insert segue-way.)  It doesn't quite measure up to the vision I had in my head *I have fashion visions* and quite frankly I'm embarrassed to show it to Barbara Stanwyck.  It is still 1942, right?  I'm like that Twilight Zone episode where the aging movie star escapes reality by watching the old films she starred in, over and over again; until one day she is able to cross over into them. FOREVER.

I'm sorry if I gave away the ending to the story, but it did air on October 23, 1959. You have had time to watch it. I feel like spoiler alerts should maybe have an expiration date.?


 No I'm not an aging movie star, but I AM obsessed with old films so I feel her pain. Long story shorter than it could be, I'm just going to take this here pattern and tweak it again, again;  because I think it still has potential. I'm also going to only post portions of it, just to give you a better sense of what it's like to have an Incomplete in Translating Your Fashion Visions:

I'm liking it better from this view:

These past 5 days I have managed to see a great show, eat some yummy food, and hang out with quite a few of my amazing friends. The week was not a total loss!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When This Party is Over, It Will Start Again.

See our little marmot friend?
Last weekend I went on an epic backpacking trip. After a grueling 4 1/2  hour steep uphill climb with 30 pounds strapped to my sweaty back we arrived at the first leg in our itinerary; an alpine lake with not a person in sight. Within 5 minutes of our arrival, we tossed off our bags, tore off our clothes and tiptoed in the frigid crystal clear glacier water. Knee deep and giggling we spotted something watching us on the shore. A beautiful spotted doe was gracefully walking towards us and WE froze like the deer in the proverbial headlights. She came close to the waters edge and with her big brown eyes watched us giddily splash around before slowly wandering off. 

This was the first of many magical moments on that mountain. In the next 4 days as we discovered furious waterfalls edged in the softest carpets of velvety moss, lazy creeks dividing neon hued meadows, violently brilliant shooting stars, another doe that followed us around for hours in plain sight, and ancient gnarled bonsai trees growing firmly from the cracks of massive boulders; these lyrics kept repeating in my head:
"Heaven,
Heaven is a place,
A place where nothing,
nothing ever happens."

That may sound boring to you, and is in fact only true to the human eye. Nothing happens on that age-less mountain that has not been happening in its own slow and perfect way for 4,000 or more years. Rain, snow, sun, death, new life, repeat. It is incredibly humbling to witness such natural bliss knowing that we are really but a speck in time. The drops of water that slice boulders in half will take more than my lifetime to do so. But it will, and it does, over and over again. By the end of the trip we had such reverence for this forest that we were careful not to tread on any vegetation lest one tiny wildflower be broken.

We also vowed to become Park Rangers when we retire, and to leave all of our money to the National Parks Department when we die. Haha! Talk about a life altering experience!

That longwinded PSA for the National Parks Department aside, I was happy to be back in this crazy home on this crazy street full of these crazy people. The very next day I happily worked in my studio all day, not even realizing it was 9pm when I stopped. Just the knowledge that places like that exist, tucked away from 'progress' and development, and inaccessible to the masses who cannot even be bothered to take the stairs but one flight; calms my spirit. I cannot wait to go back, but for now I cannot wait to get back to work:
Here is the next piece. The pattern has been drafted, tested, tweaked, and finally cut out in it's final fabrication. Now to sew it up. Hopefully it will be done by tonight!
These flowers were everywhere! I had to take a pic since they match my color scheme so perfectly.
I hope everyone else had a fantastic Labor Day weekend.

<3 Misty