Friday, December 18, 2009

And for the men.......

Since we had a few guys stop and look at our cuff bracelets at Unique LA, we decided I should come up with a prototype for the guys. I made this one wider, with snaps...and yes, it's reversible!  What do you think?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Photos and Results from "Unique LA Holiday Show"

What a great weekend this was! My first ever "trade show",  in the heart of LA's fashion district!  Rhion Magee (of Dreamworks) got me involved in this project earlier this year, and this show was our first forway into the world of commerce.

This show was HUGE - there were so many vendors, it was impossible to check them all out. Almost all of the vendors sell on Etsy, and so we were competing with some very professional booths. I'm happy to say, we had a steady stream of visitors, and our African fabric cloth products went over very well.  We also sold beautiful flour cloth fabric bags made by the women in the village, plus 100% pure Shea butter from Ghana.

By Sunday evening, we sold about $1,000 of merchandise (over 2 days), all of which will go back to the sewing center in the village of Okurase. I've been up late each night and every weekend for the past month or so sewing belts, bracelets and coasters and it was so gratifying when someone (like the girl below) loved her purchase.

Happy customer!

With a body like this, we had to ask her to model it for us....!

Our booth (before the crowds flooded in)

Rhion and her son Cade standing by our booth

the belts

the bracelets

Laura and Rhion, at the end of a very long and productive day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Unique LA Holiday Show this weekend!

This weekend, all our fabulous African mudcloth belts, bracelets, and coasters will be on sale at the Unique LA Holiday Show, in downtown Los Angeles. Billed as the largest independent design show on the West Coast, if features products from over 300 local designers and artists .
The event is at at the California Market Center (110 East 9th Street), the cost is $10 (which pays for entry for two days - plus a tote bag and a free drink ticket)...check out the link for more details:
Unique LA Holiday Show
I'll post photos after the event!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More African mud cloth belts

Here's the belt in the brown and black mudcloth from Ghana. I used a different contrasting fabric (also made in Ghana) on the reverse side, so you can wear these belts on either side. I took photos of each. The metal loops are re-purposed curtain rings. I finished the edges with woolly nylon serger thread.
I love this fabric, and it's the "real deal", not imitation mudcloth. This fabric was hand-carried on a plane from Ghana.
We'll be selling these at Unique LA, Dec. 5 and 6.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reunion Dress

Here's a lined dress I made for my high school reunion (and no, I won't say which one!) The top is a lined knit, with darts in front and back, and the organza skirt has a black silk lining. It zips up the side.

Very comfortable..self-drafted pattern.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knit dress knock-off

Here's the cotton knit dress I made for my friend Jaime, which was in an earlier post (unfinished).  Here it is again, hemmed and finished. She gave me one of her favorite dresses, and I basically copied it. I love it with the white T!

Friday, October 30, 2009

African mudcloth fabric belts

For Project Okurase, I'm making these reversible belts out of mudcloth from Ghana. The darker fabric is the mudcloth; the other side is made out of a gorgous cotton print from the same village. You can flip the belt over for a completely different look - great with jeans or a long flowy skirt. The belt hoops are actually shower curtain rings! These belts, along with fabric cuff bracelets, will be sold Dec. 5 and 6 at Unique LA. Stay tuned for more project photos for this non-profit organization.

The reverse side...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Duvet Cover and Shams

I love this fabric! There are 10 inside button closures at the bottom of the duvet, and 4 button closures on the back of each sham. This took more work than I care to do again, any time soon...!


Here are some photos of grey linen curtains I made for a client.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yoga Bags for Project Okurase

It's so exciting to actually be able to create something that might really make a difference.

I was approached a few months ago by Rhion Magee, product developer for Project Okurase (see the website: to help design yoga bags out of fabrics, beads and other materials created in Ghana. The idea was to create a prototype that can be recreated by the women of Okurase (a village in Ghana) on donated pedal-powered machines (the village has no electricity). The proceeds from the sale of these bags will go directly back to the village, into a recreational training facility.

I was given a suitcase of various, multi-colored African pants (which were sewn incorrectly and could not be sold), and rather than discard the pants, I was asked to design a yoga bag from a pair. are looking at our first prototype, made from a size small pair of pants. I used every inch of pants I could use, including the drawstring! The bag has a pocket on the side, beaded closure, a strap made out of webbing and then covered with the fabric, and a 22-inch zipper from Joann's. For the corded piping, I took a shopping bag apart and used the handles, which I then covered with bias strips from one of the pant legs.

Stay tuned...I'll be making more and you'll be seeing them online, soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I needed just a basic white tee, long enough to reach the top of those annoying low rider jeans that we all wear these days (!) So I found a pattern by Sandra Bettzina that fit the bill. I made this shirt from a large scrap of very soft cotton, and it's so comfortable!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vintage Vogue dress

This dress is made from a vintage Vogue pattern, and it's basically a ready-to-wear size 4. Hand-gathered, serged seams throughout, and an 18-inch zipper in back. The fabric is a 54% hemp, 43% organic cotton, and 3 % lycra knit, and it was custom dyed at LA GenTex. One thing I learned from this process: Hemp STRETCHES.....It was taken in three times to get the size right.

Knit knock-off

My friend Jaime asked me to copy an old knit dress which had been laundered a few too many times. She brought me this light blue lightweight knit fabric she picked up downtown. I took her old dress apart and traced all the pattern pieces. (Not so easy, since the knit had stretched beyond recognition is some places!) Anyway, this took forever, but it worked. She wore it this weekend and said it was very comfortable.

The gathering was done by hand. I didn't see any way around that, the way it's constructed. The upper half of the dress has self-facing. There's no zipper in back; she just pulls it on over her head.

The original dress had no hem, so we attempted that (as you can see in this photo). We opted later to add a small hem to prevent curling.

And with the left-over fabric....

This weekend, I made an A-line dress for the client's daughter. Now they have matching polka dot ensembles..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Halter Dress Knock-Offs

A client brought me a discontinued dress made by a major label and asked me to copy it. I've now made three copies of this dress, which is fully-lined and has a back 18" zipper. There are darts at the bustline and on the sides (both the dress and the lining). The hem on the lining is a rolled hem; the hem on the dress is serged and turned under. It's an extremely flattering dress for all shapes, and (if I can figure out a way to speed up the process!) I may start taking orders for custom sizes. I bought material to make a couple for myself! In Bloomingdales, this dress would cost around to $300. I can do this for $150.

The original dress...


In a leopard print...

In a floral print...

In polka-dots...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Doll Clothes

Green linen tea-length dress, zipper in back, ribbon sash with rose

Gingham clothes for a new line of dolls (male and female). These models don't have faces yet (that's someone else's job)! Self-drafted patterns.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New and exciting things in the pipeline...

It's interesting...I've been hired to do a lot of "prototypes" lately, for budding DIY entrepreneurs. I think this is a sign of the times.

I had to actually sign a confidentiality agreement for one of these items (so I can't divulge what the product is), but suffice it to say that I believe this gentleman is going to sell a kazillion of them. ( Hopefully!!) It's really fun to be on the ground level of a brand new idea and contribute to its structure and design.

When it's out and in distribution, I'll post some photos....

Also, I've been working on doll clothes for another client - again, a very different idea, and really adorable. I'll post when the clothes are finished. I'd like to help these guys, anyway I can.

On yet a THIRD note, I was approached by a graphics designer at Dreamworks to help her with a charity project for the people of Ghana. I'm really excited about this. I'll be working with indigenous materials from Africa to create grocery and wine tote bags. All proceeds will go to a vocational training center in Ghana. She and I are getting together next weekend to exchange materials and get started.

Wouldn't it be great if I could do this for a living? (sigh......)

Friday, January 9, 2009

An order from Nashville

Another scarf with pockets! I made one just like this for Mom for Christmas. She wore it to the bank one day last week, and the teller asked here where she could get one. So, my mom, acting as my sales rep, took an order from the lady at the Green Bank in Green Hills! I finished it this morning, really liked the way this one turned out, and took a few photos before I popped in the mail. This is actually fleece on the white side, and a silky terry cloth material on the red side. It feels so good against your skin.

I have to say, as soon as the weather turned colder, I was inundated with requests for these scarves. One trip to the local dog park ended up with three orders. All I did in December was sew scarves. I'm ready to move on to something else!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday pants for Mom

I did some sewing during my trip back to Nashville last week...Mom needed pants for New Year's Eve, and she specifically requested red satin, to match a pretty red satin top she bought at Steinmart a few months ago. We went to a textile shop in Nashville on Franklin Road, picked out the pattern, Kwik Sew 2990, and bought some polyester red satin. (I can't believe how expensive fabric is in Nashville!) It matched her top perfectly! Mom wanted something free flowing, easy to move around in since she was hosting a party, and no bulk on the sides or front. We opted for these pants with a zipper in the back. Mom also has one leg slightly longer than the other, so hemming these bell-shaped bottoms was a challenge! I did a blind hem by hand. Everyone loved the outfit that night, and Mom was the Belle of the Ball....