Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gorgeous Inspiration, Thank You Very Mucha

Alphonse Mucha (pronounced mooka) was a Czech Art Nouveau artist best known for his beautiful, ornamentally adorned studies of women. His work could be found in advertisements and wine bottles in the 1920s era. Boy! They don't advertise like they used to, that's for sure.

Check out this poster for the St. Louis World's Fair!

I've always been so very impressed with his work. I love the detail, the usage of thick outlines, and the alluring combination of pastels and rich colors. I remember once in college photocopying all the pages of a book full of his work to take home and study. I wasn't sure what exactly I could do with this inspiration, but I knew I'd eventually figure it out. That was before I was really sewing with any regularity.

Recently I've found myself planted on the floor at Barnes & Noble in front of the "fashion design" section. Not finding anything too inspiring (fashion design these days apparently includes bulky impractical geometry or whipped cream shapes), I slowly made my way to the Art section - to find ONE thin paperback of Mucha sketches, not in color)... so I did further research and found my next passionate project for beautiful attire...

{ click images to view closer detail }

I love LOVE the pink dress on the left from a White Star Champagne label. What a great color combination. The drapes over the arms and the flower adornments are quite elegant. The body of the dress is quite simple but flattering, with a train in the back.

In many works I've noticed thin-strapped & plated jewelry sewn into the clothing, as seen in the "Amethyst" figure on the left. Very interesting. On the right, I love the peachy pink and sea foam green color combination amongst the folds & drapes (plus this model makes me happy to embrace my pale-toned nature).

"Lillies" on the left has a very simple dress design but is also very gorgeous, especially if a fabric lily could be worked into it somehow, or perhaps along a lower fold in the front.

These two show some shoulder drape detail, but also notice the great hair piece designs!

Currently I'm about to finish my first "Famous, But Yours" gown, to go live in my shop this week.. but I definitely, definitely plan to address this inspiration soon after. I'm very excited! I think I'll start with the pink White Star Champagne label gown.

Incredibly gorgeous.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Giveaway!!

Happy Birthday one•little•m! As of November 23, we'll be 1 year old,
so to celebrate we're giving you a chance to win a FREE handmade prize!
Guys may enter too! There's a guy prize and a girl prize, but only one winner!

Enter by commenting on the cupcake birthday image here on Facebook.

If you aren't a Facebooker, just reply to this message and I'll make sure to submit your name.
A name will be drawn and announced at the end of the day November 23.

Purse de Leon

I'm really excited to introduce a new item this week. I personally have the pickiest taste in hand bags, and lately stores seem to be stocking more and more shapeless, over-sized and bottomless pit type styles that really don't compliment my style or function at all.

I needed something that stays completely out of my way when worn, but also is easy to access. I'm an active person, and I can't stand shoulder bags that fall in front of me when I lean over, so across the chest slings are a must!

Introducing Purse de Leon! Named after the explorer, yes, because I felt this style is really great for active, traveler/adventure type folks. It's also a rather practical style featuring 2 large outer pockets, one that buttons for securing items safely, the other with no button for papers, and ease-of-access type items. The straight side has a zipper enclosure and the interior is fully lined with a velcro-shut pocket. It can be worn across the chest or just over the shoulder.

The fabric is a very heavy and durable brocade on the one displayed here, which I would suggest for any custom orders of this bag as it will weather very well, and is also washable.

Purse de Leon - in Sage Brocade
see more about this item here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Men Can Wear •m• Too!

One•little•m is officially not just for ladytypes!

I'm really excited to open the men's section with a great new item, a fully customizable western-style shirt. I made this one for my dear husband who is very much into space and rockets. It features hand-embroidered designs on the chest and back yoke, contrasting piping along the edges and pearl snap buttons... and it looks so handsome on him!

This was my first project for trying embroidery, piping and pearl snapping.. the latter to which I discovered the great usefulness of using this tool, because snapping isn't as quick and easy as it seems! Must. have. tools. I say, it's fun acquiring new tools though. Improves efficiency.

See more info about this guy here.

I have to say there's a real delight in being able to offer men's clothing (particularly this item with it's illustrational possibilities because it's so fun!) but it gives me an edge to appeal to menfolks, which I enjoy because I, yes, used to be a tomboy desiring to be thought "cool" by boytypes. So I hope that being able to offer this and other men's attire in the future will change the "only for women" notion about my shop, and to now provide opportunity to connect with all people - and I like that balance.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Items To Come!

My goodness have I been busy lately! Busy-ness is the best motivation I say.

Anyway I'd like to update you on some upcoming additions to my shop! (Check out the new gallery here.) I'm pretty excited about this. I'm waiting until I have a lull in orders to be able to manufacture my ideas so you can look at them.

There will be 3 new sections added to the Clothing category (although not all of these items are necessarily clothing). I've already discussed "Famous, But Yours!", so the other new categories include:

Men's Fashion
• Western-style shirts with custom
embroidered illustrations on the yoke
• Jackets, vests, pants, etc.
• Neck Ties

• vintage styled aprons
• floral brooch pins
• hair accessories
• appliance covers (like Kitchenaid Mixers!)
• pin cushions
• other fun little things I haven't thought of yet...

Of course, these are all just ideas at the moment. But I figured I'd share my list in case anyone is interested in any of them... since actually having an order would definitely get me going on it sooner!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Incomplete Almighty

The painting on the left can be seen on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1510. The drawing on the right can be seen in the hallway of my apartment outside my bedroom, sketched by me in 2005. I pass by it without notice every time I go into the room, but in the back of my mind I've been thinking about completing it for 5 years now.

I guess there's something I really like about it's sketchy nature.. but it leaves a great something to be desired. And yet I'm intimidated! Now, I've done master studies before and I really enjoy doing them, although it's been far too long since I've caressed a paintbrush over a canvas. But ever since I completed this sketch, applying paint to it has seemed difficult, but perhaps I just haven't considered it for long enough. I'm certainly not one to leave unfinished projects neglected.

Maybe it's this close-up reference image I found of Michelangelo's vision of the face of God - with those handsomely crisp paint strokes made by such a master about such a subject! that many Sistine visitors have never even really seen in detail. It's truly amazing. I wonder how well I could successfully achieve it. That wonder is surely motivating.

I plan to work some courage into picking this up again and completing it so it may grace the wall with it's presence (as currently it does not except by me, and only sometimes). But I'd love to have the likeness of such a fine piece in my possession.


Currently the sketch is about 12x16" .. if painted, I'd like it to be larger. Plus that way my original sketch remains in-tact.

Am I being too ambitious? I think I'd like to tackle this!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make Zigzag Buttonholes Easy Cheesy!

I just finished the cutest little blouse last night, and got pretty excited about the cool embroidery designs on it, too. Looks like my simple Singer has a few tricks up its' gears! Or I've become a tad more "skilled". Of course I'm always learning new things, which is what I'd like to share in this post... and EASY WAY TO MAKE BUTTONHOLES - yay! .... Read on >
Galabera Blouse | made to order
see more about this item here

I've always been a tad intimidated by button holes.. assuming they're too hard to sew correctly or too weird to align the holes with the buttons between two panels of fabric. However! I learned how to make Zigzag Stitch Button Holes with my Galabera Blouse project.. so here's how you make'em:

• 1 • Start by setting your machine to ZIG ZAG stitch... which on regular settings might look like this:

The knobs on your machine determine the stitch length and the stitch width (in the case of the zig zag setting). If you adjust the stitch width to 2, then your zig zag looks more like this (which will be the long edges of your button hole) :

If you set the width to 5 and the length to 0, you'll create a bar stitch. With the length at 0, it creates a back and forth stitch that stitches on top of itself, which will create perfectly secure ends for the button hole.

• 2 • Mark your fabric carefully for where you want the hole to be (use pencil or fabric chalk.. something that will wash out or steam off easily, and make sure the hole-edge markings are aligned straight with the edge of the fabric). I made my holes about 1/8" wider than the width of the button I used. They could be vertical or horizontal, but vertical is easier to button in the end.

• 3 • Stitch your button hole as shown below, following the steps and turning your fabric at each corner. Keep an eye on your markings so you make your holes the same size for each.

• 4 • Slash the fabric inside the button holes with scissors, and sew your buttons to the other side of fabric, matching up to where your buttonholes are.


I hope this helps anyone who has had troubles with buttons!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cute Tunic!

Indaburton Tunic | made to order
see more about this item here

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Light & Lovely Attire of the Women from The Sound Of Music

The Sound Of Music... such a classic. Not only is the music great and the story an admired (and timeless) one, but the clothing design for the era is very attractive. I've seen the film probably ten times or more.. and have only recently begun to really pay attention to the clothing.

I set up a viewing for myself last night - with the purpose of clothing research and careful detail notation.. taking (sorrily not the best quality) screen shots of the attire in order to make sketches to help me visualize how these garments can be remade.

The clothing choices I decided to highlight are more of the late 1930s era Austrian formal wear. This film has a variety of styles in it, some with very rough wool textures (like those in the VonTrapp's traveling attire and in Maria's poor-out-of-convent clothing), but I decided to highlight the more elegant pieces (click image to see up closer) :

Maria Gets The Attention of the Captain Dress

Maria wears a gorgeous light teal colored dress during the puppet show with the children and during her flirtations with Captain VonTrapp. How do you say "oo la la!" in Austrian? What a great and flattering (yet modest) dress, likely made of organza or georgette in a layered fashion. The sleeves are loose and billowy without being poofy, and there's a very nice triangular area of smocking at the neck and under the belt line. The belt is very slimming on a loose silhouette - thicker and arched at the front and V-shaped in the back where it fastens over the zipper.

Maria's Ländler Dress

This playful dress appears in the scene at the VonTrapp party where Maria teaches Kurt an Austrian folk dance called the Ländler. I've always loved that scene and the dance. Again we see very light pastel colors in the material on this dress and a simple organic design on the white sleeves and skirt. The bodice has a shape very indicative of it's era and nation, with buttons up the front, a scooping neckline and a corset-like fit.

Leisl's Party Dress

This dress appears in the Ländler scene as well, before Maria cuts in. It's also the one in which Liesl requests "her first champagne?" of her father. Declined for champagne, but she wears this party dress with much poise. It too has a very Austrian styled bodice, like a corset with puckered under-blouse built into itself. The sleeves are interesting as though the bodice has low-shoulder slung sleeves, with the under-blouse puckering out from underneath. The color combination of this dress was what caught my attention initially. I love the pale lavender skirt with a light goldenrod sash tied around the waist with a little edelweiss at the bow. Very lovely.

16 Going on 17

Another great, elegant and pale-toned dress in pink on Leisl. The gathered bodice is very interesting, with sections separated by a thin ribbon and small bow. The neckline is square and made of a sheer material, as are the loosely fitting sleeves. It looks like the cuffs are elastic, although I don't know that elastic would have been used in this era, so perhaps not. The layered pink organza gives a very romantic silhouette to the entire piece... perfect for adventures in a gazebo out of the rain with your favorite telegram messenger boy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Must Commend My Foot...

I've discovered a sewing machine foot attachment that can greatly improve your sewing techniques, whether you're a beginner or an advanced seamstress.. or seamster - guys can sew too if they care to :•)

Creative Sewing Solutions has a small variety of useful sewing machine foot attachments, carried by Hancock Fabric stores, including the 1/8" hemmer foot I discovered to be a definite must-have. It's about $15 and they come in slant and short shanks, to which I learned that most newer machines use the short shank, like this one:

The curled end of the foot automatically rolls the under edge of your fabric perfectly! I can't tell you how excited I was to find this foot. It makes hemming SO much easier and less frustrating.

Here's how it works:

Loosen the screw holding your regular foot in place on the shaft, and pull off the regular foot.
Slide the hemmer foot under the shaft. Secure with the screw and slide the threads toward the back.

Roll under a small portion of your fabric 1/8" (roll it up once, and then a second time, to encase the fringey edge inside the roll) and stick that under the foot:

Sew a few stitches, and slide the fabric slowly toward the front, curled part of the foot, keeping the fabric rolled over as it feeds through the curl.

Perfect little hem! Perfect... and fast!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunlight Sweetheart Dress

Sunlight Sweetheart Dress | made to order
see more about this item here

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Famous Clothing Item Re-Makes by •m•

I've been thinking about starting a line of famous clothing item remakes to sell in the shop. I've often found myself pining over wonderfully lovely fashions worn by actresses... and I'm sure a lot of other women do, too.. wishing they could wear such a delight to get all the heads turning.

So I'm planning to do some studies, prototypes and pattern-making for fashionable garments - some inspired by actresses and film, and others being as close a re-make as my little hands can manage.

I don't know about you, but I would certainly love to don Audrey Hepburn's black "Tiffany's" dress. Definitely something every girl would love to own and to show off at fancy occasions, and maybe a shorter-skirted option for less formal wearability.

Some of the clothing styles from Star Wars would also be a very interesting project to take on. I love the olive and lavender combination on this hooded piece worn by Natalie Portman as Padme. No one really wears cloaks these days, but a daily-wearable version of this would be quite interesting I think. The built-in brooch is a nice touch too.

- Oh!! -

I just remembered that I already made a sketch for a costume-inspired dress I'd like to test out! It's the dress "little Alice" wears in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.. the one the Mad Hatter makes for her when she shrinks to her smallest size. It took a lot of image researching to find good stills from the movie of her dress details, but after doing so and making sketches, I think this dress would be quite cute on a variety of body types:
(might need to click image to view up-close)

Yes, this needs to happen for sure.

I'm going to call the line Famous, But Yours! And I've already done up some logo versions.. I'd love to hear your input! I'm leaning toward the red since it matches the main logo, but I didn't want to ignore the option of looking at a different color:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little Black Dress with a Little Pink Babe

Perfectly elegant for mommies-to-be | made to order
see more about this item here

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shopping for Clothing These Days!

Does anyone else have the problem I seem to be having while shopping at the mall and other clothing stores lately? The ones I used to go to rarely carry anything of interest anymore... maybe it's because I've aged, but I doubt it! I still wear the cute things I bought from those exact stores years ago, and they are still cute compared to what they sell now. Perhaps the bar I set for style is higher than it once was?

In my experience, there seems to be a cheapening of quality, and a sort of style blandness in stores like Forever21, Old Navy, Gap and Target even. I was shopping for a hoodie to replace one I lost (at the mall ironically) and found a cute one online at Old Navy - tried it on in-store and was disappointed to find it was way too long on me. True that I'm only 5', but looked like a sack!

I have to caption this with: The only person who could pull off a potato sack dress OF COURSE would be Marilyn Monroe, ha.

There is however the occasional rare and interesting find, if it even fits right. Usually I find interesting things online at Anthropologie and I do a lot of clothing project research at Modcloth, two stores that actually do have very cute selections sprinkled about uninteresting ones... but not for very cute prices! $278.00 for a simple dress that you have to dry clean?? Perhaps not.

Chain-store clothing seems less and less suitable to my individual style, and I wonder if other stylish people have also found this to be true. I'm curious about the buying habits of you clothing shoppers. I personally want to buy cheap and get great lasting quality in a style no one else has. That criteria is a very rare flower, it seems.

• How do you shop for clothing?
• Is style, price or quality most important and why?
• Do you find things in stores and say 'I love this but if only it had this or didn't have that on it?'
• Do you come up with ideas for the perfect garment, but can never find it in any store?
• What do you look for that doesn't seem to exist?

I'd love to hear your input :•)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indian Fabrics

A visit with my twin sister this weekend reminded me how much I'd really love to work with fabrics from India. The colors are so bright and rich, with gorgeous detail work.

Amanda in my favorite green and gold silk sari.

Her wedding sari is maroon colored with gold designs.
The silk is very heavy, but looks so rich!

I snagged this one from her album of their Kolkata visit (Calcutta to Americans).

I'm sure that I could spend a stupid amount of hours in a shop like this. Colors!! Absolutely gorgeous, and apparently pretty affordable in US dollars.

Someday I will have to take her up on her India trip invitation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Romancing the Wheel

My dear husband and I visited Lake Winnie for our One Year Anniversary on May 16th for a ride on the ferris wheel. What a great spot for excitement and romance!

Ferris feets.

Me and m'love.

I've always found a ferris wheel ride to be quite relaxing, and this one had definitely been the best ever: they let us ride for a half hour!

I am wearing the Lacy Picnic Dress in this picture :•)

The rest of our lovely day consisted of eating sushi at the best place ever, listening to our ceremony / reception music during car trips everywhere, a visit to our wedding locals on Lookout Mountain, eating frozen year-old wedding cake! , watching Roman Holiday, and giving Jonathan my gift that I was so excited about:

I put a little designer's touch to the sheet music he wrote for our ceremony music which accompanied my walk down the aisle to his wonderful smiling face. He loved it! We spent the evening playing it together on piano. I love you sir! How are we going to top this next year?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Shower Invitation

Adorable baby diaper shower invitation! | customizable design
see more about this item here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lacy Picnic Dress

Lacy Picnic Dress in Fair Lemon | made to order
see more about this item here

I'm going to wear this dress for our anniversary next weekend (!) ..It reminds me of my wedding dress, but I can more safely enjoy our trip to the amusement park in it without having to worry about keeping my wedding dress in pristine condish!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Sketchin'...

Which do you like best?
(click image to view up close)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Out Into The World

Cute grad party invitation for my 'lil sis!
see more here

Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting There!

I like to tackle the quick, little things first. Here are some of the completed price tags that will go on the clothing to be sold in-store!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunlight Serenade Dress - in Navy

Sunlight Serenade Dress in Navy | made to order
see more about this item here