my, what colorful teeth you have

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Lately the early morning closet shuffle keeps reminding me that spring has to be on the way soon. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s almost March, or perhaps I just can’t wait to wear my favorite ivory shoes again. They just look so lonely and obviously untouched at the back of the closet in a perfect pair, straight with heels together. But with the weather warming up, maybe it’s time to finish up a post I started to put together back in July of last year, before I had to replace my computer. A splash of summer blouse for winter’s wishful thinkings.

A while ago, sometime in 2013 or something, I had made plans for a collection. It was a mini line of ready-to-wear clothing mostly separates and all of it was bright and bold bordering on weird, simple yet playful. I remember naming it Pop’dArt!  I  made all the patterns, picked out some swatches, but never made any of it. In fact, the only piece that came to life was the culottes. I gave the pattern to my mother, which she adjusted a little. Mostly she changed the back waist band to match her actual waist measurement instead of keeping the back elastic I had planned. (Small amounts of elastic can make a big difference in fitting a variety of sizes, which is the whole point in ready-to-wear fashion.)

Here’s the super shoddy pin board I threw together of quick sketches and swatches.popdartBut at any rate, one of my favorite fabrics in this Pop’dArt! thing, was the multi-colored houndstooth knit I had found. It was just so lively and bright.  I was kind of a little sad that I never got any, but I don’t usually buy knits unless I have a plan for them. I just don’t like designing for knits very much. But one day, once upon a time at Joannes became like every other time I go to the fabric store for something simple, like a zipper, where I always find something ELSE I just have to have for some reason or another when I saw it. I saw the multi colored houndstooth in the quilting section, and it was so happy and fun, and it was not a knit! I knew I wanted a blouse, and I chose some clear buttons that were cool on their own, but really would let joyous fabric show through and not compete with everything else going on with this print. Besides, how could I pick one color to make the buttons? The houndstooth is in like, 10 colors. I’d feel like I was playing favorites. 

Although, back at home, the thread rainbow was pretty sweet. Hard to not play favorites now, ha ha. But I’m still going to use white thread for cohesion’s sake. threadrainbow.jpgDesign time, sketch some sketches, Boom. We’re ready to go. A simple sleeveless button up with a tie bottom, couple darts, a full fold collar -summery, light, cheerful, easy. yes. houndstoothdraw

Continue reading

puff the magic sleeves

pufftop copy

So after my last successful sewing journey, I realized how much fun it was to “take myself back to college” so to speak and actively design with unusual construction techniques and details. Which, is something I love about 1930’s fashion, which I honestly feel is often over looked. Retro and vintage somehow always seem to mean 1920’s or 1950’s when people use those words.

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For example, this stitched down pleated kimono style sleeve that ends up with a leg-o-mutton shape or this neat dress with the gathered dart on the bodice. And I’m not exactly sure whats happening in the last one, but its some kind of folded flounce thing. At any rate, they capture the eye with line, form and construction. That’s a fun combination to make and wear. Massive win-win, here.

As always, we start with a sketch. I’m thinking….. gathered darts to make a puff sleeve so that the sleeve is included in the bodice and not a separate pattern part. Continue reading

onesie, twosie

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I often draw.

My 11 x 14 sketch book goes most places with me. You can see it in the battered peeling corners and the many tea and coffee spills on the pages. The spiral binding is pulled and dented from being pushed into my locker at work. It just barely fits. My sketch book is both a place for ideas, studies and inspirations and a comfortable security blanket. I don’t like not having it and take it unnecessarily on trips and visits to my parent’s house.

I often draw people, but mostly in the context of what she’s wearing. And sometimes, I decide after such drawings, that I want to elaborate until it goes from *scribble stage* to full on *detailed design sketches*, which inevitably follows this pattern: spending some amount of time thinking about making it, even more time procrastinating making it, and then actually making it (in less time than either of the above.)

This time, I was struck by a technical question. I kept thinking about the idea of attaching a tier not to the top or bottom of the tier, but behind a scalloped edge. This really got my mind going over how I’d make it work until I eventually realized that it was a self issued challenge. I had to try.

sketches

Here’s the little tent dress with the scalloped tiers that was my new pet Where’s Waldo. I promise if you open my sketch book you’ll find variations of it everywhere. Continue reading

the haircut

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Christianpoe and I have a bet going.

He can’t cut his hair if I don’t cut my hair.

It’s a constant topic of interest considering how it’s been at least two and a half years since I’ve cut mine and something like a 18 months for him.  And when it comes down to it, I’m not sure if the bet continues as a joking competition or a calculating attempt to continue the trend, forever. Who doesn’t like the idea of playing with handfuls of soft curls? They’re magical, they stay where you put them. Don’t have a rubber band? No problem. I got curls, that pony tail isn’t going anywhere. Plus Christianpoe tells me he’s never experienced this, so the bet must go on. Not to mention all the joy I get out of the result of this experiment.

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While this has been a fun game for the last several months or whatever, I’m starting to feel less like a beautiful mermaid and more like I’m a weird version of Rumpelstiltskin turning hair into straw instead of straw into something actually useful or valuable or desirable.  No one likes straw hair and no amount of me really really wanting to see how much longer his hair will get will make me change my mind.

Sad face.

Here’s stage one: convenient pictures from last week’s post!

long hair Continue reading

easy as pie and just as sweet

altred dress

〈BEFORE.〉

It’s Friday, almost 2 o clock. I should have gotten out earlier but I was caught up in science friday on my clock radio. I look outside and the weather is impending with heavy, dull grey and lilac hues. This can either be great overcast lighting or disappointing in that there will be no photos because it’s raining outside and there wont be enough light to take pictures inside. I get into my car hurriedly, trying to beat the coming storm. I don’t know if I’m actually analyzing the conditions or just overwhelmingly hoping that I have another 2 or 3 hours before it starts down pouring. Its Louisiana, so it rains enough that I should have figured it out by now, right? Naw, it’s Louisiana so the weather does whatever it wants. Always. 70 degrees and humid one day, 37 and super windy the next.

I get to my parent’s house relieved and excited. It’s not dark outside, and it’s not wet, so game on.  My mom greets me with an even more skeptic approach about the weather but I’m still too interested in the dress than worrying about how much time we might have before the cats and dogs come down. I follow her to the dining room. There it is, a golden box, shallow and wide.  My mom’s friend has gifted her 1970’s wedding dress to me, hoping that I would want to edit or dye it in some way and give it life again. I can’t wait to get started. Continue reading

helloworld

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〈hello world〉

This is madeonmyfingers, a blog of fun, fashion, art and design. I live with my cat and frienemy, Georgia, aka, Georgiapie, Shmittens, Pudding, and/or Georgia-Por’ja. Look at what a cute family we make with our portraits on the walls and all.

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She usually sleeps all day and leaves her toys everywhere for you to step on, but she does instinctively know when to sit on the crossword puzzle so that I must get up and do something more productive. She is a great cuddly roommate with a talent for being quite the reminding motivator. Especially when you’ve left your pincushion out. Observe.

Georgia, tail twitching, rump wiggling, pounces the abandoned pin cushion. Ears flattened, Georgia gleefully pulls pins out with teeth; spits on the carpet.

Georgia: Oh what fun! A present left out, a game!

maer: groan of dismay. Thanks, Georgia, for reminding me to clean up all my tools!

Georgia looks triumphant over her kill, a display of dominace

cushion


At any rate, welcome to my world where we will dream up dreams, scrawl them down in a haphazard manner so that the middle pages of the sketch book never seem to get used; flesh them out, and pull it all off (maybe) all on the tips of my fingers.

enjoy,

maer