Friday, February 26, 2010

The Harvest Moon Dress

The Harvest Moon Dress is a piece that I made for myself to wear on the happiest day of my life: the day I married Matt (well, actually, one of the
two happiest days of my life... we had two "weddings," one legal wedding in the courthouse with just two witnesses, and then later another more festive-type ceremony at a cabin in the woods with friends, family, a potluck, music, and all that awesomeness!). Yes, I wore this dress to the Allegheny County Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh on September 9, 2009, for the joyous occasion of marrying my wonderful and talented husband. Naturally, I needed a special dress for the event, and this is what I came up with. I named it The Harvest Moon Dress after the Neil Young song because we both love his music so much, and because our wedding was during the most beautiful time of year: autumn.

I used two vintage tablecloths to make this dress: one was a goldenrod color and made of linen, and the other was a sheer dark brown lace tablecloth. I made the flower corsage out of the lace trim on the goldenrod-colored tablecloth (I made a matching one for Matt, too).

The Harvest Moon Dress is not for sale, but I can make a custom version for you; just ask!

The Dinette Skirt

The Dinette Skirt is a custom-made piece for one of my friends who shared with me an amazing photo of a diner waitress, posted above. I love this skirt! I designed it with clean lines and contrasting fabric panels so that it resembles an apron or vintage waitress' uniform. The front and back panels are made of vintage knit fabric with a wonderful lime green/turquoise/black & white geometric criss-cross pattern, and the side panels and waistband are cut from turquoise cotton fabric that I found in a thrift store. I used elastic for the waistband and added a ruffle, too. The faux side pockets have wooden leaf-button closures sewn on with bright green crewel thread, and the bottom hemline is accented with oak-brown rickrack. Divine! I can't wait to see it on my friend.

The Dinette Skirt is for sale at Wild Card in Pittsburgh!

Black-Eyed Susan Top

The Black-Eyed Susan Top is one of my latest pieces, inspired by my favorite wildflower! The top features puffed sleeves and a front and back yoke, as well as back button closures. It is hip-length and can be worn freely or with a belt for added style.

The Black-Eyed Susan Top has SOLD, but if you'd like a custom version made for you, just ask.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring Trunk Show in Pittsburgh!

I'm so very happy to announce my first trunk show on Thursday, March 25th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wild Card handmade boutique/art space in Pittsburgh! If you will be in the area and are interested in seeing my handmade clothing in person, please save the date and plan on attending this rad event!

This will be an up-close and personal opportunity to see my handmade dresses, skirts, and tops as they look when worn as part of a complete ensemble! About a dozen of my springtime-inspired creations will be presented on models, and even more will be available for sale on a garment rack. I will discuss my sewing process a little bit during the show, too. There will also be complimentary wine and mineral water, as well as sweet snacks! My talented husband, Matt McDowell, will be providing the music for this special occasion.

This is truly a collaborative event that wouldn't be happening without the efforts of many wonderful folks. Rebecca Morris of Wild Card is to be thanked first and foremost for asking Iron City Upcyclery to be the first in a series of trunk show artists at her space. Thommy Conroy, the creative force behind the scenes at Pittsburgh's annual Sprout Fund Hothouse benefit, is also integral in assisting me with the trunk show. A group of my dear ladyfriends will be wearing pieces of my handmade clothing that night, and I am very thankful for their help and their support. Mary Tremonte, a Just Seeds artist, is contributing a custom silkscreen design for the fabric that will be used for a unique skirt in the show. Most importantly, my dear husband is to be thanked for his endless love and encouragement; he is my biggest inspiration.

Hope to see you there!

Fruits of the Forest Dress

The Fruits of the Forest Dress is a specially-made piece for my friend Myste in Oregon. I designed the dress using a similar cut as the Somebody to Love Dress, but I made a few changes to make this dress unique. The color scheme is based on hues and shades found in the beautiful forests of the Pacific Northwest: golden sunshine, green fir trees, white-capped mountains and pink rhododendrons all came to mind as I was sewing. The fabrics, ribbons, and notions used for this dress are all special vintage finds.

Myste is also a creative spirit; please check out her lovely and fanciful knitted creations by visiting her Etsy store!

The Fruits of the Forest Dress is a custom piece and is not for sale, but I can customize, alter, or re-use the pattern for a new piece. Just ask!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waste Not! Pillows from Reclaimed Fabrics

I've got quite a collection of vintage scrap fabric in my studio, and sometimes I like to use them for small, non-wearable projects like these wee upcycled pillows that I recently finished. Check them out in person at their new home: Wild Card artisan boutique in Pittsburgh! They are available for purchase there along with my handmade belts and appliqued totes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Queen of Hearts Smock Top

"Call Alice when she's 10 feet tall..."

This smock-style top was inspired by Jefferson Airplane's song about Lewis Carroll's classic novel; just imagine wearing it while sipping a nice cup of tea with some wonderfully strange friends!

The handmade top is made of two vintage cotton blend fabrics. The body of the smock and the ruffled sleeves are made from black and white striped fabric. The contrasting yoke and heart-shaped pockets are made from a deep red fabric that features a delicate diamond-like pattern woven into it. The back of this piece has three lovely brass buttons shaped like pine cones. The yoke is lined in both the front and the back, and the inside seams have been serged for extra durability. This is a very well-crafted and unique handmade top made for an imaginative and whimsical wearer! I recommend pairing this smock top with black leggings and boots, and perhaps a belt cinched around the waist if so desired.

The Queen of Hearts Smock Top has SOLD, but I can make a custom version for you; just ask.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Psychedelic Star Trek Minidress

This fun little number reminds me of what a crew member of the Starship Enterprise may have worn to an intergalactic rock 'n roll show. I designed this little pull-over minidress to highlight the amazing vintage elastic waistband, which is made out of golden woven elastic threads. The fabric is truly outstanding; I found a few uncut yards of it at a thrift store. What luck! I also used a contrasting fabric, black cotton printed with golden roses, for the collar interfacing. Super groovy!

The Psychedelic Star Trek Minidress is SOLD, but I'll make more dresses in this style!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Appliqued Tote Bags

The past few weeks, I've been gazing with dismay at my overflowing scrap fabric bin in my studio and wondering what I could create with such a crazy variety of scraps in so many colors and patterns. I finally decided to make a few appliqued tote bags for the upcoming I Made It Mine craft fair this weekend -- check 'em out!

For the applique designs, I picked things that I love: music, animals, good food, Pennsylvania, etc.! I like imagining people using my totes to carry their groceries, or maybe their lunch or favorite book...

My appliqued tote bags are available to purchase at Wild Card boutique in Pittsburgh!