Monday, June 20, 2011

Laurel - Felt Hair Fascinator

I've been wanting to try my hand at a hair fascinator piece. Looking through Etsy, I got a few ideas but was a little disappointed by the variety in selection I found. There are a number of felt flower hair clips and headbands that use a variety of flower styles - which I found out that most of them are either from widely viewed tutorials on YouTube or are pre-cut shapes from crafting machine thingies. I'm not really interested in these types of typical headbands and hair clips.

My desire with this line of hair accessories is to create pieces that you don't see everywhere. Things that aren't so templated in their creation process. I asked myself, how should I do this? What can I add to these that others don't? I reflected on my studies in art and art history. And I also have to tell myself : Don't copy what others do. Think of something you want and make it new! (And I'm delighted that little motto rhymes.)

Anyway, over-used templates are out. Hand-drawn illustration is in! I thought for a while about what I wanted to illustrate for a hair piece. It's challenging to try to break the mold. So for my first project in this line I figured I'd tap the mind of a master for inspiration, and found this piece by Alphonse Mucha entitled "Laurel" :

Mucha's use of similar tones, soft and bold colors, and wonderful line quality are definitely a gorgeous inspiration for my project ...

So here is my "Laurel" felt hair fascinator:

I really love this piece ~ how the hand-embroidered leaf textures give it a sort of youthful look, but the colors look grown-up and sophisticated. It's definitely a bit more of an autumn piece, but I think there's enough green in it that it could be worn with a matching outfit for any season.

Note : JoAnn Fabrics does not have a great color selection of felt sheets. For future projects I found a variety of shops that sell color bundles! such as : SweetEmmaJean on Etsy, Aetna Felt Corporation, or Giant Dwarf on Etsy. It seems to be a challenge to find felts in a bundle for less than $0.34/sheet though, which is what JoAnn sells them for.

You can buy the "Laurel" Hair Fascinator here !

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Zooey Deschanel's Dress : "She & Hem"

Dear Zooey Deschanel, We're gonna make your dress! Here's how :

First, get all celebrity crushy and collect as many photos of different angles of Zooey in this dress as we can possibly find on the internet. This random directory I found was pretty helpful. The first photo I found of this dress was the above which had been colorized. But I really love that vibrant green, even though the actual dress is blue.

Next I collage the best views with a simplified sketch, which I make in Illustrator.

I started with a pre-made bodice pattern I had already for the general shape and size, and edited it to fit the shapes of the bodice pieces in my illustration. I like to fit the tissue paper pieces to the dress form to make sure my shapes are drawn & measured correctly.

This is a process of many edits ;•)

Here are all the bodice pieces pinned to the form, mostly ready to go.

All completed pattern pieces are laid out.
And I made my first pattern envelope to store them all in!

All the pieces have been laid out on the fabric and cut out.
(I ended up not using the pocket for this first-time prototype).

There are 3 layers of bodice that get a bunch of darts in them. I think next time around I'd like to come up with a way to simplify this step, and reduce the amount of bodice thickness.

Here's the inner-most part of the bodice with the gathered edge, sandwiching the shoulder straps. The gather is made very loose because if it's too tight, it alters the shape of the bodice in ways we do not desire :•)

Now the skirt gets attached to the bodice. I like using pleats. It gives a slimmer waist effect, and allows you to more easily cinch the bodice to the skirt perfectly.

Almost done! The zipper and then the hem are the last steps.

And here's "She & Hem" completed!

She can be custom-ordered here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Remember jelly shoes?

I had a pair of these colorful plastic/rubber shoes when I was little. I always loved the dainty tapping sound they made when you walk in them.

My husband and I were shopping for shoes for him last night and I found a pair of Jelly shoes, for adults! I was pretty excited! *childhood revisited* They look similar to these below (only more clear/less silver) and they have a cotton sole so your feet don't get sweaty :

A coworker complimented them on me today, which brought up a Jellies discussion about how much we love them. I looked them up at various online spots, and didn't realize how many Jelly styles there are! There's a Brazilian company called Melissa that makes a bunch of them, too.

Here's some more!

They're like cartoon shoes! I'd love to visit a Jelly factory and watch how they make them. I hope their logo is a jellyfish wearing shoes, too. Wouldn't it be fun to be a Jelly shoe designer?

Melissa Plastic Dreams is one of the jellies they discuss in this video, designed by a Brazilian architect. Vivienne Westwood is another jelly designer, for the more "punky European" style.

I've been planning to make some shoes in the near future... not of "jelly", but fabric. I think it would be a desirable accessory to sell in the shop. Plus I have the same sentiment about shoes for sale these days that I do about clothing : I can never find what I truly love and want to wear! ... except for these jellies :•)