Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Bow Purse and My Lucky Stars

Brianna cut off the bottom of a dress and turned it into this FABULOUS bow purse.  She applied an invisible zipper  and made a strap with a button and buttonhole, later she intends to add lucite straps.  What an ingenious way to take a garment and reconstruct something new!!
Lovely ♥

Last week these ladies became acquainted with the sewing machine, this week they made their first project and they turned out great!

These ladies complete their first project as well, the perfect sewing accessory, a pin-cushion. SEW CUTE!!

There are those days in life, when I wake up and thank my lucky stars for all the wonderful things in my life, today was one of those days... actually, this whole week has been one of those days!
Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Emily and Megan

Today I had the pleasure of checking out the design room of one of our teen designers.  Emily was hard at work on her collection for the "Fall into the Stars" Fashion Show and I was able to sit in and film Emily as she got busy!  She talked to me about her concept, her sketches, and the fabric that she will be using, in addition to the patterns she is working with.  I'm so thrilled to see the imagination and creativity coming from these young ladies! Thank you Emily for allowing me to visit your work space.

Designer at work...

Megan is one of our beginners, and today, she completed her first project!  She was able to turn her basic tote-bag into quite the fashion accessory!  Fabulous job Megan!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Concept Swap

Sarah's illustrations paired back to CJ's concept board.

CJ's illustrations paired back to Carrie's concept board.

Sue's illustrations paired back to my concept board.

My illustrations paired back to  Sarah's concept board.

Last week the Fashion Design Course swapped concept boards, the project was to design into another designer's concept. By using the color palettes, fabrication and theme provided by another designer, it helps us to think outside our own box. We were able to get into the minds of our fellow designer in addition to seeing what ideas would come out of our own concepts.   Once again, everyone did a fabulous job! Unfortunately, we had two student emergencies and they were unable to attend.  However, they plan to bring their illustrations by this week and I will post them as soon as I receive them!
Next week is our last week and the group's homework is to do their own research, come up with their own concept, color pallet and fabric story AND design five looks. They're going to be busy little designers, let's wish them luck!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Designers' at Work...

Aude brought in her own dress form and we draped a bodice and created a block pattern in her size.

Mikayla took a commercial pattern and re-designed it to make her own style.

Jakob started working his first costume!

And... Tuesday completed her very first sewing project!! A fitted skirt with a waistband, side zip and slit!

Everyone has done an amazing job on all their sewing and designing projects!  

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Visit Our New Friends!

Patty (aka Mom), and I headed out to visit two delightful shops, Nob Hill Fabrics and The Yarn Store. So excited to have a new fabric store in Albuquerque, we took a field trip down to check out the space. Though they are still bringing in inventory, they do have quite a selection of silk charmeuse, brocades, linens and great cotton prints, just to name a few. I bought a yard of black silk charmeuse and an all over embroidered eyelet, maybe I'll have time to make something fun this week.
We also made a quick trip to The Yarn Store and was so overwhelmed by the selection of colorful yarns.  Beautifully displayed and easy to find what you need, The Yarn Store is a like shopping in a candy store!  Patty found a set of very delicate, but amazing glass knitting needles! If you happen to be in the Nob Hill area, I highly recommend stopping in to these two alluring little shops, even if just to say HI!

Designers' at work...
Elizabeth is working on her summer skirt in a lovely printed cotton.
Fabric Store Field Trip! Aimee is picking fabric for her next two projects.

Becky is finding fabric for her next two projects as well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Vintage Notions"


Mary Brooks Picken

Over the weekend I picked up this book, "Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions", an Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion, and Fun.  This book pays homage to an amazing woman named Mary Brooks Picken who founded The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in 1914.  She was also one of the original directors of the Costume Institute, currently part of the MET in New York.  Amy Barickman introduces us to Mary Brooks Picken in such a beautiful and thoughtful manor with charming illustrations and a collection of vintage embroideries and textiles.
The women in the 20's and 30's had very little voice, yet they continued to find resources to supplement their own incomes.  Mrs. Pickens started a movement in that time, in a addition to The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, she started a newsletter titled Inspiration, "a magazine devoted the advancement and encouragement of the students" (women at the Institute). As the author, Amy Barickman puts it- "I have recaptured a period of time when women used sewing as the springboard to independence, financial security, and self-esteem.  In the process they discovered self-confidence in their work, a wealth of resources and common bonds with women all over the world, and a simple philosophy for living a fulfilling life."
This book is filled with delightful recipes, monthly inspirations and fabulous fashion and sewing tips!  The more I read about Mary Brooks Picken, the more inspired I am in my own work, I am thankful to have met Mrs. Picken, even if it is only through the pages of this book.

Designers at work...

Vicki is working on a summer skirt, made of a seashell printed pique.

I filmed Elizabeth as she worked on one of her designs for the Teen Fashion show!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Great Presentations!

Mood board presentations-

Sue was inspired by the texture and ruffles in a pink rose.  Her bright color pallet and linen fabric story
depict a Spring time delivery. She cut out images of dresses to create a beautiful garden of flowers for her board.

Sarah's board feels very organic and natural in color, texture and fabrication. Her choice of soft knits and fluffy Alpaca yarns are perfect for her Fall delivery.

"A day in the park" is the theme behind Armani's board.  He chose black and white as his main colors and for his accents he chose a range of blues pulled straight from the sky!

Mysterious was Carrie's mood, her photos from the Orchid festival show her romantic, yet mysterious side.  Carrie liked the contrast of light to dark, twilight was her inspiration for color and the heathered fabric is the perfect interpretation!

CJ's photo is a path leading to... absolutely anywhere she wants to go!  CJ's board is also organic in color, fabrication and trims.  She's using mother of pearl buttons, but adds more edginess by using metal studs. The fabrics that CJ has chosen lend itself to being a very warm and soft Fall delivery. 

My board was inspired by one beautiful peony, it felt very romantic, yet bold at the same time.  I chose vintage wallpaper prints and fabrics that felt soft and opulent. The color pallet is pinks and grays with an accent of green.  I was taken back to the Victorian time period for this Spring time delivery. 
Next week the group will swap boards and design 5 looks using the mood boards as inspiration. We're almost done with this course and each week I get more inspired working with this creative group!  I can't wait to see their final projects due on May 21st!

Friday, May 6, 2011


The beginnings of a mood board...

Last week we took a field trip to the Botanical Gardens in search for inspiration.  The homework project was to take an image or two that expresses a mood or feeling and create a concept board depicting that "mood". This week we will see what inspired the group and what moods derived from their little adventure. 
One of our students had to drop out of the class, she's headed to France (congrats Christine!!), so I guess she's excused, therefore I will be filling in through the rest of the course.  Honestly, I have not created a mood board since I worked for Janie and Jack 3 years ago!  However, I enjoyed the process and in some ways it reminded me of just how beneficial these boards really are.  In fact, I felt so inspired by this exercise it's possible I may make a dress using my board for inspiration!

Designer at work...

Mikayla completed another pant from her collection for the "Fall Into The Stars" Teen Fashion Show! The reason she has been making these garments in muslin is so that she can fit her garments on the models, make fit adjustments, and apply those changes to her patterns without ruining her actual fabric.  GREAT job Mikayla!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Peasant Dress?

Today's Project-
The Peasant Dress
This is a costume for a play that a young girl will be performing in next week, so we had to quickly make her dress! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of her IN the dress, but all went well and the mother and daughter were very pleased with how it turned out. This could be the beginnings of a Broadway star in the making!

Designers' at work...
Bonnie made her first sewing project, the tote bag!

Beginner sewers Aimee and Becky!

Exhibit Tour: Alexander McQueen at the Met

I debated whether I should add anymore videos or images in regards to the Alexander McQueen craze following the annual gala opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, exhibiting the work of this profound designer.  However, I stumbled upon a video this morning and I appreciated they way it discussed the mind behind McQueen's design process, how thoughtful he was in his work, the meaning  and attention to detail that went into every garment he made.  I simply felt compelled to share.

Exhibit Tour: Alexander McQueen at the Met

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Good Day

Designers' at work...
Megan, beginner sewer.
Jakob, concentrating on his zipper.
Ratna, adding a little hand stitching to her pant.
Julianna found a beautiful linen at Sante Fe Fabrics !

Today, we had Megan, a very crafty lady who's wanted to learn to sew for quite some time now and is excited to find herself in front of the sewing machine, welcome Megan!
Jakob was back, this time he wanted to learn how to insert an invisible zipper, regular zipper, make an elastic casing AND buttons and buttonholes. He'll be making full costumes in no time!
Sadly, we had our last Pant Patternmaking Class; Ratna and Julianna did an AMAZING job on their patterns and sewing up their actual pants! I will miss seeing these ladies every Wednesday and like a proud parent I stood at the door and waved good-bye as they headed out into the world with their new pants in hand.  Overall, I'd say it was a really good day!