Monday, May 18, 2015

Purses, Bags, Totes, and Organizers Custom Made

I'm not really a big 'purse' person myself.  I just want the one perfect bag for big stuff occasions, and one for every day small stuff. I gave up ages ago on the 'perfect' bag being found ready made.  I always end up falling in infatuation and then having to make inserts and adjustments, and then something wears out or breaks.  And then there's the fabric issue.  I see a purse or bag, I love it.  However, the fabric is some bizarre color combo like neon orange and green, or a splashy print that goes with nothing.  Or it has a bottom that will soak up all the dust and dirt of being lugged around, dropped on the car floor, set on the dusty car hood or roof while loading kids and groceries into the car; you know how it goes.  Those cute little purse hanger things only work when you have some place civilized, like a restaurant table to put them on. The rest of the time, that bag gets set down in the most convenient place.  I like a vinyl wipe clean bottom to a bag.  

Some people like big carry all bags, some like small grab it and go bags, and some people need something they can stuff daily needs for a long commute into.  These items can be as personalized as a blouse or dress or custom made skirt or pant suit is.  

Some of the more recent patterns are really very nice.  Hard working, but with style, and easily customized with the fabric of your choice.  Remember that the photos are just an example, you can make the patterns up in anything you want, from faux leather to lace overlay.  Check out the line drawings for each pattern for a better idea of what the bag looks like and fill in the pattern or colors with your imagination. You can change up the pockets, add more dividers, or zippered sections to suit your personal requirements!  You can make your own fabric up on sites like Spoonflower and have a really unique item.  These are just a few examples of the patterns available.  

McCalls 3693

McCalls 4118
 Never cross up your anonymous carry bag again with this great idea.  And if you use public transport, they sell insulating fabric for making cooler bags now, too!
McCalls 6979

McCalls 6979

Butterick 5054 

Butterick 5197

Butterick 6228
This is something new to me.  I love the idea of having a canvas 'crate' to organize things and easily just lug it out.  Especially when they put one item in every little plastic bag at the grocery store, or worse, load up the bags to bursting and I've forgotten my own tote bags.  They have back seat organizers two, but this really caught my attention.  These can also be used to organize rooms and for kid's toy boxes, too.  Putting a vinyl bottom fabric on will make them slide easily on carpet under beds, desks (for file holding) or into closets.

Vogue 8990

Vogue 8990
Seriously classy satchels for both men and women, or kids and teens off to school or adults off to college who want something more than just another back pack.

 Simplicity Patterns has a huge selection of everything from Baby bags, to classy purses and clutches and cute animal face bags.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lackadaisy Cats is 'Going Public'!

Help Tracy Butler focus her life on her fabulous artwork!  Support a wonderful artist with a great imagination and determination to keep the little details of an era in her work.  It's not just a cartoon, it's a well researched 'memoir' of an era in American history; the backgrounds, the cars, the buildings, the scenes and language from a past time when America was on its feet, and doing the Charleston.  Plus, she can dress cats a heck of a lot better than I can. ~_^

If you read and enjoy Lackadaisy, please consider becoming a patron!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Formal Dress for J's Daughter

Deposit paid and we have everything but thread and some buttons or beads for the back of the lace top.  I'm waiting on the length of the hem (shoes to be bought) and then we're off and running with this.
It's going to be a lush peacock green; full length, full lace overlay with the cap sleeves and very pretty!  I love how they've taken a classic goddess gown and added a sporty look to it. Classy, yet modern and elegant, and a dress one wouldn't be afraid to 'live' in rather than let the dress wear the wearer.

The due date for this project is May 11, with a first fitting projected on the 27th.  (if I'm not insane have mis-remembered, I'll check my notes). 

For more of the post, click the 'read more' type link! ^_^

Friday, March 13, 2015

Etsy, Ebay and the Black Market of Free Patterns

Seriously, there is a reason why I don't make and sell patterns, for people or dolls.  But the one thing that's irritated the heck out of me since Etsy first came online is the fact that anyone can and will scam you into thinking you're getting something special for a reasonable price.  Especially PDF items.

Last night I was checking the patterns on Etsy and found a lot of people selling the free patterns from Sew Magazine.  The reason I noticed this was because a friend of mine had the magazine when she came back from a trip, had gotten the Colette Truffle Dress pattern download offered in the magazine, and had me make it up for her.

A few years ago when I was looking for some how to on traditional Romanian men's shirt embroidery motifs, I found a digital archive, rather like a museum of ephemera, The Antique Pattern Library.  Then I saw almost everything they had available for anywhere from $5 to $50 on Etsy.  In other words, people get free PDFs and sell them as their own work.  Out of copywrite or not, they call it their own work.  But downloading FREE patterns from the internet and marketing them for sale, yeah, nice.

I will buy a pattern if the person is honest, as in they took the time to scan an out of print magazine and cleaned up the pattern files and made it easy to print them. In other words, they did the research, they did the work and they left in that it was from a certain place, now out of print.  But to download a modern copywrite pdf that was given away FREE and sell multiple copies of it (rather than selling a new printed pattern you decided you just didn't want after all) is like the guy with the dark glasses pretending to be blind in the subway.

I've even seen someone selling the PDF files of the Alexander McQueen scanners kimono jacket!  A pattern that's been all over the internet along with tutorials both human and doll sized!  Basically, it's THERE on Pattern Vault, in the FREE DESIGNER PATTERNS page!

Before buying anything on Etsy or Ebay, Google it!  Chances are you'll find out 75% of the time that someone made the same thing less expensive, it's on sale at Walmart, or it's flat out free somewhere!  And lets not forget the guys who buy an Apple laptop on Ebay, and get: a photo of a laptop in a shoe box!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Commission for N: Military Coat for a Lady

This is a very fun one for me (yes I'm a bit crazy) because it's a 1940's military coat I patterned from a real coat for my doll business.  I showed someone the coats I had made for dolls as examples of my work.  He loved the military type coat and ordered one made "just like it" for his wife.  So, this coat, translated back into People mode and for a Lady.  I'll keep the basic tailoring and flip the closing to 'girl' side, right over left.  But seriously, I'm trilled.  While it's not my design, I patterned it.

I have a deposit and have ordered the olive gabardine today, with a 7 - 14 days delivery expected.  I'll be looking for the lining, interfacing, buttons, buckle, thread, etc. this week.  
I still need to get an arm length and forgot to ask about the trim on the shoulders. The buttons will be a nice wood or wood look if I can find them.  Also requested is a special label I'll be cross stitching to put in.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What a Custom Seamstress/Tailor Can do for You

When you want something unique, that fits, or a certain look you like but can't get in that fabric or color, ordering a custom made garment is the best way to go.  A custom sewing person can take your design ideas and make them into reality.  If you want an outfit you've seen in fashion photos but can't match in reality, you can have a custom stitcher make it for you.

I take orders from images taken from fashion, drawn by artists or just a collage of images with "this here, that over here, something like this but not quite" noted on them.  I make it to your measurements, to flatter your figure or any trouble spots you might have, like needing something to have snaps instead of a zipper or be easier to dress in.  And you can be the fashion designer! You can be the first if not only one to have a certain outfit.   Perhaps you can find parts of your 'look' from ready made but are missing that unique jacket or coat or skirt, or what you have found needs a bit of alteration to make it perfect?  Everything is up to you.

It's now possible to have fabric printed to your designs on Spoonflower, Fabric on Demand or Modern Yardage.  This includes having special linings like the designer ateliers.  Why wear their linings with their names when you can have a lining for your jackets and coats printed with your name on them?

I draft custom patterns and alter patterns to fit, including replicating vintage pattern designs.  If you want retro or vintage look clothing, you can order a vintage look print, and have it made up in a dress that's right out of the vintage pattern catalogs.  If you have bought a pattern you want me to use, I will trace it off and leave your original copy intact, and alter the tracing to fit you.  Pretty much the sky is the limit!

I do alterations and repairs.  If you have a vintage item that needs some T.L.C. to be more wearable, I can tell you if it can be fixed or not.  Let out, or some reinforcing done behind the fabric to preserve it a little longer.  You can also have the prints scanned and printed up on the above print on demand fabric shops and have the entire garment replicated new.

I work for men and women; shirts, blouses, pants, slacks, skirts, jackets, coats, and formal wear.  I knit to patterns, in wool or acrylic, and can do hand embroidery, needlepoint and cross stitch.

Cross stitch items include being able to take photos or images and convert them to charts, so I can do a custom portrait, or scene for you in cross stitch, needle point or work it into a sweater.  Just remember such projects do take longer as they are more labor intensive, so if you have an anniversary item or special occasion coming up, think no less than 6 months in advance.

I can make custom organizing items, everything from shelf drawer boxes to shoe holders in any fabric or color that can be sewn.  If you need a custom table runner or decorative item for your home, and want it made special, please give me a call/email

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Personal Project: Yukata Fabric and a 1950's Dress Pattern

I bought some fabric from Ichiroya ages ago and like most fabric I buy, I hoarded it until I have the perfect pattern for it.  Yukata fabric is woven in widths based on if it's meant for a man's, woman's or child's yukata.  This is because yukatas, light weight casual summer kimono, are made from rectangular strips of fabric with a little shaping in the construction. It's the equivalent of buying a 'suit length' in tailoring.  I know when I buy some bolts, it's going to be a matter of lining up the pattern and sewing strips together before cutting out my garment.