Designers of Color in Fashion History :: A Handmaker’s Factory Series

Hi, again! I’ve popped back in to direct you to a bit of fashion history reading over at The Handmaker’s Factory blog. I’ve contributed my first article (of many, hopefully) and I’d love to know what you think!
Handmaker's Factory

Designers of Color in Fashion History

FYI: Thanks for the sick baby well wishes. The kid (the boy twin, he of the always-gets-sick-first-weak-immune-system) did stay home again, today. Mostly sleeping. And taking advantage of more TV viewing than usual. He should be good to go for tomorrow, hopefully.


Dolman Love, Story Love

I made this top on New Years eve. I think….this is why it’s important to blog promptly, or you’ll have forgotten all of your on the fly “mods”, misplaced the pattern notes you jotted down on the back of an envelope (my favorite doodling place) and forget when you actually made something. Which, as a sewing blogger, is clearly unacceptable. 😛

Dolman Love

Handmade Top :: Cation Designs (free) Pattern
Jeans :: Forever21
Boots :: Anne Klein
Bangles :: My grandma’s
Necklace :: From my Sissy

Dolman Love

Dolman Love

This pattern is perfect. The top is DEAD comfy AND it has stripes. My favorite.

Dolman Love

I love how the size and color vary across the fabric. I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of rayon blend. Definitely little, to no cotton content, very stretchy and cozy.

In other words, perfect.

Dolman Love

And this dolman ease is perfect, too. Not too baggy in the armpit area and my narrow upper body is not swallowed up by extra fabric.  I’m too lazy to get the pattern out, but I’m fairly certain that I stuck close to my Lydia mods. The back is cut smaller than the front and the side seams  taper out to go over my hips instead of going straight down so that it sits on top of my hips. I have a ton of this fabric, it was a good 60 inches wide and I think I ordered three yards of it with a Drape Drape dress in mind. I’m so glad I went with something more wearable, instead.

This was a work outfit, of sorts. I volunteer at StoryCorps once a month and today was my January date. I missed out on a volunteer gathering (fucking migraines) in Decemeber so I hadn’t been by the office for a bit. Apparently the volunteers were given a gift.

A copy of this book:

It is SO beautiful! Though I enjoy listening to people speaking their stories out loud, I will always, always connect to the written word more. Essentially making this book perfect for a sap like me, lol.

Now, I think I mentioned how I BAWLED at my volunteer training. Well, it was this love story that did me in:

It was terribly embarrassing to cry in a room full of strangers. But, I did warn them that there was a chance it could happen after the first emotional story we listened to. But I was not prepared for my reaction to Annie and Danny’s amazing love for one another. They inspired this pin board and a really amazing heart-to-heart with my husband.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 9.04.07 PM

I feel so fortunate to have a chance to work with the StoryCorps staff and assist in preserving the amazing oral histories they record!

Some about laughs, some about love, some about loss,
and most of them a combination of all three.

WD Prompt I :: Those Old, Twin Bitches

Those Old Twin Bitches

For my first Thanksgiving as host, I bought the biggest turkey they had in the store. Because I don’t do shit half-ass. We had never bothered with the holiday before, but if you do Thanksgiving, YOU DO THANKSGIVING. Ya know what I mean??? Anyway, I get this sucker into the cart and start pushing this big bitch around the store. And I get tired. I decide to leave it to one side so I could run down the aisle instead of maneuvering through it with the Turkey-Mobile. I get about halfway down, to the spices, when I catch some movement near the model T.

Two old ladies where attempting to hoist the turkey out!

What the ever loving fuck!

I abandon the spices and reach the old ladies just as they’re getting the beast over the side. I slam my hands down on top of it, sending it crashing to the bottom. It nearly takes the two would-be thieves inside with it. I open my mouth to lay into these broads when the one closest to me rights herself and roundhouses me with her, apparently brick filled, purse. I see stars. But this doesn’t stop me from blocking a hit from the other one.

It’s then that I realize that they’re twins.

And I know them.

The one I currently have by the scruff of her neck (and bottom of her wig) is Ms. Betty Carmichael. I let go and say “Oh, shit! Sorry about th-” Before I complete the word, she’s shoved me full on in my chest. I go flying into the fresh corn display, and all of the people surrounding it who have stopped to observe the developing brawl. When I get to my feet, I don’t waste time with questions like,

“Why the fuck did you push ME when you were stealing my turkey!?!?!”

Instead, I go into a running crouch and shove her right into the side of the cart.

I realized then, I should have thought things out a bit. I have now blocked the T-Mobile in. I’m trying to disentangle Ms. B.C., and get around Ms. Alice Carmichael, when I’m grabbed from behind. I immediately open my mouth to explain that they were taking my big ass turkey when Ms. A.C., the one still right side up, starts to cry.

Big. Ass. Tears.

“Oh! Look at what you’ve done to my sister!” she weeps, like the fragile old lady she is NOT.

Suffused with fresh rage, I lunge for her, only to be brought up short by the guard holding me by my coat. I am then unceremoniously dragged out and dumped on the pavement. Big ass turkey and all the fixings…inside with the thieving spinsters.

I called home to deliver the bad news. My family is always game for a laugh so I hoped that they could find the humor in my being kicked out of the only store in town with anything left in it. The phone is answered on the first ring. Before a greeting is uttered I say,

“I’ve lost everything in a fight to two old, twin bitches!”

The reply is instantaneous “The Carmichaels?!?”


“Eh, fuck this Thanksgiving shit…go to that joint we like and then bring your ass home.”

And that’s why we all ate hamburgers.

Prompt from Writer’s Digest.

Writing for Others


As I’m approaching the end of my grad school career (TWO MORE CLASSES), I’ve been trying to plan things to do with the free time (YAY!!) I’ll gain when assigned reading is OVER. One of my goals, aside from sewing and creating because, after all

I wanted to find some opportunities to have my work published by someone other than me ;o)

A chance to do just that tweeted it self right into my lap! I follow The Indie Chicks on twitter and they tweeted a call for submissions. Before I could talk myself out of it, I replied with a pitch and they were interested!

I wrote and photographed a simple tutorial on how to take an old pair of pants from this:

To this!

Check it out over on The Indie Chicks!





Must Go :: MOMA

Thanks to fellow instagram member Ancora Imparo, I now know that there are TWO Frida Kahlo paintings on view at the MOMA!!! I can hardly wait to actually see her work in person. I took a picture of little Frida, and her crew, to celebrate. More handmade dollies live on the shelf above this one, too.

Frida & the handmade doll Gang

There is also, in case you couldn’t tell, quite an odd selection of reading material represented here, lol. I mean, The Rock Says, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Twilight in a stack with Anna Kerinina, The Best America Short Stories compiled by Salmon Rushdie and The Color Purple is sort of hysterical. Guess which of those I haven’t read yet…

My writing books all live here as well. I have more arriving tomorrow.

 And these to check out with the kiddies.

I really, really like new books ;o)

Sown Shorts :: The Visitor – Part II

Click here for Part – I

Part – II

I like routine. Regulation. So, I begin as I always do. The before pics. I stick to the same sequence. Overview. Walls. Counter tops. Sink. Mirror. Toilet. And lastly, floors.

Having completed task one, I reach down and unfasten my trunk and click the timer fitted into its lid. The affect that the tone of metal sliding free from its home coupled with the minute click of the timer’s button has one me is visceral. I come alive at this marriage of sounds. From the moment I hear that metallic click and digital beep I slip into a zone from which only a clean and tidy room can awaken me.

I unfurl the black tarp located on the top of the trunk with a sharp snap and rest it just outside of the room. I lay out my tools from left to right quickly, but in precise order. Brushes: toilet, grout, all purpose. Cloths: dry, wet, dust, antibacterial. Cleansers: liquid, powder, paste. Tools: mask, gloves, spray bottles, steam cleaner, mop, broom. The latter two are fitted with collapsible handles. Bought specially to fit into my kit.

Mask on. Pants tucked into socks. Gloves snapped up over sleeves. I tip five, and only five, drops of my liquid cleaning concoction into each spray bottle and fill with hot water. Well, this piss warm tap water that advertises itself as hot. Thus protected and prepared, I begin.

Walls. With two handed spraying action, I begin applying a coat of my perfectly engineered solution at the ceiling line, going around the entire perimeter of the room. A secondary round is conducted  halfway between the ceiling and floor.

Counter tops. Sink. A coating of solution is applied to all surfaces. Over this, a layering of powdered cleaner is sprinkled. Ending with a bit of paste cleaner applied with extra care around the taps.

Toilet. A very generous spritzing from my bottles. Top, back, sides, underneath. A dusting of powder inside and under the rim. I swap the bottles and cleansers for my steam cleaner.

Steam. Is. God.

Once filled, I crank it to 10, this place requires nothing less, and begin to follow the path I set earlier. I feel a shiver down my spine as the grime is vaporized and cleanliness is left behind.  I steam the sink and outer planes of the toilet before attacking the interior with my brush. I scrub, disinfect and buff dry in a, tightly controlled, frenzy. It all fairly gleams when I am done.

This gleaming signals the beginning of the end. When the moisture begins to dry on the walls. When the grime that has slid from these surfaces coat the floor as it slides towards the drain at its center. My breath becomes irregular as I carefully direct the path of filth. I encourage it to go where it belongs. Down. Under. Beneath.

When at last the floor beams as brightly as the naked overhead bulb, my gasps slow and my chest begins to rise and fall at an even pace. I carefully remove several sheets of folded newspaper before returning my arsenal to its home. Tools: mask, gloves, spray bottles, steam cleaner, mop, broom. Cleansers: liquid, powder, paste. Cloths: dry, wet, dust, antibacterial. Brushes: toilet, grout, all purpose. Tarp: refolded and replaced.

Gloves come off with a snap. Pants come out from boots. Hat off. Slicker slides down my arms. I take my time placing them into the trunk. Newspaper in hand, I move to the sink.

I observe myself in the fog coated mirror. I decided long ago that I like myself best reflected this way. I hesitate to wipe this last surface. This is the last turn to scurry around to get out the maze.

Who is the mouse when it’s not hunting the cheese?

I love the hunt. I love it for what it is and what it cannot be. One of those things is infinite. A hunt is finite. And this is the end of mine. I touch the paper to the mirror. There is nothing quite as effective as it for this job. Steam is God? Perhaps not of all realms.

I shut my eyes as my hand begins to move. I take care to swipe every inch. With the task complete, I clutch and twist the paper between my fingers. And my heart begins to race. I cannot open my eyes. But I must. It’s how I get out of the zone. I must survey the cleanliness. The order. The gleam. I must open my eyes.

I do. I awaken. My heart slows.

I am no longer reflected as I prefer. Fogged. Blurred. I am clear. Crystal. Every detail of my face. Precisely mirrored.

I lower my head. Wetness leaks from my eyes, rushes to the center of the flat plane that is my face and slides to the tip of the disturbance of it that is my nose. I raise my hand just in time to catch the merged drops. I place the twisted,wet lump of newspaper in the trash can. The final action that signals the end. I hit the timer. I shut the lid.

Click. Metal. Slides. Home.

All work posted here is my property and is for personal reading only. It is not to be copied, shared or re-posted without my express permission. By dowloading/clicking links you are agreeing to those terms. Thanks!

Sown Shorts :: The Visitor – Part I

I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing short stories for the blog. As a way to get my writer’s toes wet, again. And to, eventually, get into the habit of writing daily by the time I’m done with school in the fall. I haven’t quite given up my writing aspirations, but I’ve been doing diddly to further the goal.

I have a couple of things under the writing tab, but I’ve contributed nothing to it for a long while. I work much better when I have someone to be accountable to, so I am making myself accountable to you.

These will be quick, unedited, stories. They may be in parts. May be presented complete. Hell, you might have the chance to choose your own adventure. Whatever they will be, I promise, I will always finish them.

For the first, very humble, installment I offer you

Part – I

It’s Tuesday. Visiting day. I packed the trunk the night before. A scout is always prepared. I put on my rubber soled boots, slide my arms into my slicker and don my hat. This is my customary attire, no matter the weather. I fasten up tight and grab my trunk before setting off.

Out of the door and onto the street. I’m taking a train to the locale, today. My research has prepared me for a long ride. I retrieve my novel. I estimate I can complete three chapters of this drivel in the allotted time. Drivel helps me achieve the proper mindset. I settle into the corner, back seat of the bus and begin.

We arrive at the last stop, just me and the driver. I alight and start to the east, turning south once I come to the corner. I continue on for three blocks before it comes into view. Ah. Precisely as it is portrayed on the map. Though the interior is dark and the sign out front indicates opening time is several hours away, I approach carefully and check the door. Locked.

I unfasten my slicker and in a flash bring out my zippered kit. The door swings open within seconds. Here there is, apparently, as much concern for security as there is cleanliness. I drop into a crouch immediately upon entering in the event that my, near soundless, entry has alerted someone to my presence. A quick glance about the place confirms that I am quite alone. And that the layout is as I predicted.

I head diagonally toward the back corner. The odor confirms I’m headed in the right direction. I push open the door and am confronted with the full scope of my intended task for the first time.

To be continued….

All work posted here is my property and is for personal reading only. It is not to be copied, shared or re-posted without my express permission. By dowloading/clicking links you are agreeing to those terms. Thanks!