Monday, August 12, 2019

New Channel to Watch!

Bronwen Burton is someone who has always whose inspired me in my art. (For starters she's always given me a stern look or talking to whenever I didn't refer to my work as art).  We met close to 20 years ago and  have worked together in opera and regional theatre. We've shared booths at craft shows, shared tons of laughs, and a few tears when work or personal life has gotten tough. She is a treasure I am glad to have in my life.  As I have Lucky Zelda, Bronwen has Queen De Luxe.  Both of our ventures have morphed over the years and we continue to cheer each other on.

Bronwen has recently added to Queen De Luxe: YouTube!  She is posting weekly videos with instructions on vintage and theatrical sewing as well as short biweekly "Tool of the Week" videos teaching views about about tools of our trade.  She recently asked me to appear in an upcoming Queen De Luxe video in which I help her fit a mock-up of a 1920's dress she is recreating.  Stop by her YouTube channel and hit subscribe!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Inspiration's the Point

Like many artists, craftsmen, creators, idea people, whatever the title you fly on your flag, I have times where been creatively stuck. Not necessarily blocked, in that I can't continue but that I don't WANT to continue. I can be super excited about a project, maybe hit a snag or have a supply order delay and it completely takes the wind from my sails for that project. The lack of creative breeze sometimes is a couple hours, sometimes it's years. I know I'm not the only one.

Pictured above is my most recent luffing sail from a week ago. Earlier this year I saw a couple of corded petticoats.  They were not impressive. I said to myself (and out loud to a peer or two, I must admit) that I could do better. So here I am proving it to myself.  This photo was taken 5 rows in when it was still exciting.  Now completed 11 rows, I ran out of cord and I realized at row 10 I got a pucker on the under side. Sigh...

But today... Today I went with my dear friend, teacher, artist, mentor, weaver, spinner, and one of my biggest cheerleaders, Kathleen, to see the Guo Pei exhibit at Bowers Museum. It was beautiful! While Ms. Pei's art and mine are only similar in that they are worn by a human body, they were inspiring!  Being a technician, I looked up close at some of the construction techniques that I could see and can't wait to try them.  It was great to take in such beautiful wearable art with Kathleen, someone who is happy to geek out with me about weird little things I notice with my expertise as she points out weird little things that only someone with her expertise would notice. It was fun to point, wonder, giggle and appreciate the skill and talent that brought these garments to life. While we were chatting about each piece it was nice to over hear "ooohs" and "aaahs" from other patrons in the room.

So here I am. The comforting wind has once again filled my sail and I am inspired.  I'm about to once again pick up my corded petticoat project and am excited not only to wear the final product but to learn what this project has to teach me.

I encourage you to take yourself somewhere that inspires you. See, listen, touch, taste, smell! If possible take along someone that inspires and encourages you for the ride. We were created for community and I am convinced that the best creativity is drawn out of us by others. Go get inspired! Let it take you somewhere you wouldn't necessarily get to on your own.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Beauty in All Sizes

I've been in professional theatrical costuming for two decades. In all those years I think the number of times I've built a period piece for a plus size woman I can count on my two hands and have fingers left over. How sad!  I know that most actors are thin and "The Machine" that is show biz likes it that way. "Harumph", I say!

Almost two years ago, I went on a journey of self love and decided that actors are not the only ones who should be able to dress up and there's no reason that I can't make myself a gorgeous ensemble just because I'm a plus size. So I went all out. Corset, bustle, petticoat, gown, professionally done hair, gloves, jewelry, hotel room for the night. And so I walked into my first period event all alone and it was bliss. I enjoyed every minute of it.

I want to encourage people who are thinking that it'd be fun to dress up but also thinking "there's nothing good in my size" or "I'm too big to look great in nice clothes" to toss that second thought out the window! It's simply not true!  At that first event I got nothing but ooh and aahs and complete strangers gushing over me and telling me that they'd been admiring me from afar the whole evening. There were other plus sized ladies there and they looked phenomenal! The secret? Proportion and fit.

Lucky Zelda can help you achieve the look you want, for any time period, for any size. I can consult and encourage you on ideas, styles and details that will make heads turn or I can build a custom ensemble for you. If you have sewing skills but want to take them to the next level, I can come to you for private lessons. There's so many beautiful things just waiting to be made and worn!

Pictured above is a mid to late 1950's crinoline sample that I've put on sale for $50. Black satin and net with two tiers of green satin ribbon. Bound to make any gal feel cute.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Déjà Vu

Some things are so pretty and just fun to make so I do it again. Of course it's nice when there are months in between each one. I've done plenty of assembly line type of building and I don't enjoy that nearly as much.  Almost a year ago I made a bustle pad almost exactly like the one pictured here. (The only difference is the ruffle.) and it sold out of my Etsy shop.

I enjoy "fussy cutting" pieces to place a motif in just the perfect spot or to match a pattern. And who doesn't love a good ruffle?!  This is the same style of bustle pad I wear under my 1880's Victorian gown (so come to think of it, I've now made this three times!).  Not too heavy and not too difficult to sit it. This bustle and its predecessor are made of black and red iridescent silk taffeta with velvet appliques.  Items for my own use and to sell I don't purchase new silk. This beautiful silk was left over scrap from a previous project so I'm happy to have kept it out of the bin.

Feel free to see the other photos of this bustle here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/714660537/red-silk-victorian-bustle-pad-with-self?ref=shop_home_active_1