The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of a Costume: Creating a Dress Replica for Minnie Mouse
Today I would love to share with you a recent project that I completed for a very special client… the fashionably famous, Mrs. Minnie Mouse!
The Old Dress
The Minnie Mouse character at Princess Party People, had a lovely pink polka dot dress that had become too dingy and worn out for her to make appearances in. The dress was perfect in size and in color, but the fabric needed retiring.
I was hired by the Princess Party People team to make a dress replica. The original dress was dropped off by their staff, and I then recreated a new dress, mimicking the old dress as precisely as possible!
Here is a behind the scenes look at the process:
To recreate a new dress using an existing dress as a template, I first deconstruct the old dress seam by seam. As I remove each portion, I make written notes and technical sketches in my workbook. These notes will be very helpful to me when I reconstruct the new dress!
After the old dress is deconstructed, I trace the old fabric pieces onto paper for the pattern rough draft. I use rulers and measurements to create straight lines, crisp edges, and symmetry. Once the paper patterns are drafted, I can cut out the new material.
Here are a few photos of the old dress pieces next to the new pieces as I begin the reconstruction portion of this project:
The New Dress
Like a puzzle nearing completion, the new Minnie Mouse dress begins to take shape.
Before long, an old, tired dress is replaced by a new ready-to-mingle version!
These types of projects are very fun for me, as I love using a variety of my skills when I am working!
If you have any older clothes or costumes you would like to have reconstructed, send me a message with your ideas!
You can read more about past costume projects of mine by clicking any of the article links below!
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!
Rendez-Vous: Lee Alexander McQueen and Ann Ray -The Crocker Art Museum- Sacramento, California
"Brilliant, dynamic, and provocative, the British fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen founded his eponymous label in 1993 and also led design at Givenchy between 1996 and 2001. Soon after he joined Givenchy, he met French photographer Ann Ray, whose stunning photographs recorded and inspired McQueen’s work behind the scenes and in runway shows for the next thirteen years. Combining Ray's intimate portraits and backstage images, along with key garments from McQueen’s most celebrated fashion collections and design drawings, this exhibition provides a unique insight into the creative process of this influential and complex figure. Rendez-Vous is organized and produced by Barrett Barrera Projects."
McQueen is known as "one of the twentieth century's most visionary designers" with his highly artistic fashion designs appealing to, and studied by, many people.
While arriving at the exhibit, a story began to unfold of the professional friendship and artistic connection of both McQueen and Ray. McQueen, the talented fashion designer, and the equally talented photographer, Ray, who had an eye for the photographic beauty in McQueen's works as her own subjects. From the first room of the exhibit, and throughout, both of McQueen and Ray's works are prominently displayed.
The opening signage explains that McQueen was a "troubled artist" who kept a tight-knit group of collaborators, one such person being Ray. The partnership between the two began in 1997, lasting 13 years, and 43 photographic collections, with Ray documenting McQueen's work and creative process with her photographic works. Several times throughout each of the 13 years the two collaborated, McQueen and Ray would have a "Randez-vous- a weird, unexpected, warm, essential meeting."
Ray had exclusive access to McQueen during this collaboration period, and thus, the fruits of this exhibit were created...
Enter with me into the second room of the exhibit, where a line-up of six exquisitely tailored coats and a dress are displayed, created by McQueen throughout the years 1998-2003.
It is evident when studying the details and fit of these fashion designs that McQueen has a tailoring background. McQueen's designs are dramatic and striking. I love the flow of the exhibit as I began to enter into a labyrinth of rooms, that take the museum patron from one faze of McQueen's career seamlessly into the next. The garments were displayed in such a way, that the details and craftsmanship of each article of clothing were highlighted and showcased. The rooms are dark, but the garments and photographs are lit by a spotlight further adding to the dramatic effect of these artistic creations.
Here are a few closer photos of this second display:
The following area of the exhibit introduces more of Ray's work and describes how McQueen was impressed with Ray's photographs. However, back in 1997, as McQueen was just starting out in his career as a fashion designer, he was unable to afford Ray's photographs. "The two established a barter system", where McQueen would exchange custom clothing created by him for Ray's photographic services.
Here are four fashion ensembles that McQueen created for Ann Ray, as well as photographs taken of McQueen and his models by Ray.
You can see here that Ray's photographs are not typical of Fashion Photography, but are more editorial, and artistic. This photographic approach really pairs well with McQueen's fashion design aesthetic. McQueen's clothing is artistic and dramatic, which I felt was really highlighted by Ray's stunning black and white photos.
Now, let's reflectively stroll through the rest of the exhibit rooms...
The dress pictured here, front and center, is called Eshu from McQueens Autumn/Winter 2000 Collection. This dress has been a favorite design of mine ever since I learned of Alexander McQueen back in fashion design school. I recall the first time I saw a photo of this moss covered dress, in a book, while studying fashion, and how impressed I was with the look. However, nothing could prepare me for how exquisite this dress was in real life! The moss-like effect is achieved by glass beadwork! The skirt is made with real horsehair! It is absolutely gorgeous in person.
The plaque on the display said this about Eshu:
"Eshu A/W 2000
Glass Bead and Horsehair Midi Dress
For his A/W 2000 Collection, McQueen explored the ideas of primitivism and tribalism in fashion. The collection was rich with references to traditional African dress, such as Ndebele neck rings and Samburu beadwork, and drew its title from Yoruba deity Eshu, the personification of mischief. This dress is a case study in couture dressmaking techniques as well as a collision between Western dress aesthetics and non-Western craft traditions. Although it was not uncommon for designers to derive inspiration from other cultures in the late 1990's, present conversations surrounding the ethics of such cross-cultural borrowings forces a reassessment of this collection. Specifically, one needs to consider the extent to which it blurs the boundaries between respectful appreciation and cultural appropriations."
I found the story behind the following Embroidered Evening Coat by Alexander McQueen, extremely interesting. This coat features a "Bespoke Textile" created as a tribute to McQueen's friend Annabelle. The textile features embroidered words of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "Annabelle Lee" in gold thread!
The fashion designs by McQueen were not only a marvel to gaze upon, but were highly inspirational to me. I love how McQueen played with the shape of silhouettes, added artistic elements, and incorporated many intricate details in his designs. I loved how the fabrics McQueen selected for his collections were luxurious, with his designs often incorporating a mix of texture and color. I also greatly enjoyed the photographs by Ann Ray, who I had not been familiar with previously to this exhibit. Her work was equally inspirational to me. The photographs truly captured a moment in time of fashion history...
A Tailoring Background...
One of the final sections of the exhibit showcased McQueen's tailoring background and expertise, as well as patterns he had drafted, and mock-ups he had created of coats. It might be a surprise to many without sewing knowledge, to see how these fashions are created and constructed! The back wall of this room featured behind the scenes photos of McQueen's fashion shows, while a video played showing footage of McQueen's life.
I found this exhibit to offer such a complete picture of not only McQueen's works, but also of his creative process.
"The Dressing Room" An Interactive Gallery
While concluding the tour of the McQueen/Ray Exhibit, the last room to explore is The Dressing Room, an interactive gallery filled with fashion themed activities for all ages!
I was particularly impressed with this area, since my visit to The Crocker was accompanied by my husband and our two youngest children. Our young girls were delighted by the hands-on activities, including the first one we came upon, a magnetic doll dressing board, where you can create a fashion look for Alexander McQueen himself!
Additional activities included a doll clothing design station, learning basic embroidery stitches, identifying fabrics, matching fabrics, as well as dressing up in real designer fashions, and hitting the runway!
Here are a few photos of my husband and I enjoying the interactive activities with the little ones, it was really fun!
The Crocker: Then and Now
Although the "Rendez-Vous: Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray" Exhibit was temporary, The Crocker Art Museum is a fascinating place, all on its own. The museum is comprised of three buildings joined together, including two 1800's Victorian mansions, once owned by the wealthy Judge Crocker, and a modern 2010 building connected to the back. The Victorian mansions had been used as a residence to the Crocker Family, and an art gallery back in the late 1800's, and then gifted to the City of Sacramento in 1885. The museum is considered the oldest in California, and is now full of amazing collections of fine art, pottery, porcelain, and more.
Check out these lovely photos of The Crocker Art Museum grounds and interior. If you are fascinated by architecture and interior design of the past, as I am, you will see that this museum is a historical dream!
I greatly enjoy any chance I get to visit The Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento, California, and find it equally enjoyable that this time I was able to take you with me on this blog-tour of The Rendez-Vous: Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray Exhibit, which was absolutely fantastic!
I always enjoy seeing designer fashions in a museum, and I am always on the lookout for these types of exhibits! If you enjoyed this article, check out related articles that I have written in the "Related Links" section below.
Let me know, what was your favorite McQueen design, or Ray photograph from this exhibit, in the comments below!
See you at the next fashion museum exhibit!
Representing Fashion Design as Art at the Valley Art Association’s 2023 Art Scholarship Fund Exhibition
I quickly gathered up my favorite recent artworks, along with my artsy husband, Javier Rangel, and we began to prepare the work we wanted to showcase for our submission...
When thinking about my past art projects, I wanted to showcase my personal favorites. For this exhibition, I chose a series of Ink Illustrations that I created, as well as two outfits that I designed, constructed, and hand embellished.
The Art Exhibit Begins!
On Thursday, February 23rd, Javi and I, along with all of the other participating artists, dropped off our artworks at the Bianchi Community Center in Downtown Oakdale. The representatives from VAA (Valley Art Association) were so welcoming and friendly! They expressed such enthusiasm for my fashion design work, and were genuinely pleased to be showcasing fashion art here!
The following evening, Friday, February 24th, from 5pm to 7pm, the Opening Night of the exhibit, with 101 pieces of artwork displayed for public viewing began. That same evening, The City of Oakdale hosted a 3rd Street Grand Opening Celebration to commence the completion of Downtown Oakdale's 3rd Street Renovation Project.
It was quite fun seeing my work, and my husbands, displayed amongst such talented local artists at the art show!
Fashion Illustration: Shoes!
Check out these non-reflective, scanned, close up images of my illustrations:
Representing Fashion Design in Fiber Arts
In addition to my illustrations, I selected two of my favorite fashion designs to showcase: my Hand-Painted Floral Day Dress and my hand-beaded Parthenon High-Waisted Skirt paired with my Satin Crepe Drop Sleeve Blouse. Both of these designs were first showcased on the runway at Oakland Fashion Week, located in Oakland, California.
If you would like to read more about these specific fashion designs, check out my Blog Article, "A Look Back: Fall 2018", where I discuss in more detail my inspiration and design process for creating my Hand Painted Floral Day Dress.
In my Blog Article, "Oakland Fashion Week 2016: Day Three 'Sol Afrik'"., you will find one of several articles covering Oakland Fashion Week and my experience presenting my fashion collection there!
So Much Talent!
Here are a few more photos of artworks from the exhibit:
And The Winners Are...
The three day art exhibit came to an end on Sunday, February 26th with an Artist Reception and Award Ceremony. The Rangel Family was in attendance, along with many other local artist and their associates. Delicious snacks, fresh coffee, and lemonade was served as we enjoyed a Silent Auction, followed by the Mayor's Choice Award.
The City of Oakdale's Mayor Cherilyn Bairos presented artist, Steven Jamie Powers with the Mayor's Choice Award, for his painting of Gilbert's Feed. Oakdale is a city with a rich history in agriculture, and it was very interesting to hear Mayor Bairos heartwarming memory of her family's local history, when her great grandfather was a customer of Gilbert's Feed. A story "near and dear" to the Mayor's heart!
In addition to the Mayor's Choice Award, Valley Art Association presented the Viewer's Choice Award, an award given to the artist with the most votes from those who attended the exhibit. And The Artist Choice Award, where participating artist voted for their favorite artist in the exhibit.
Congratulations to all of the amazing artist who were recognized for their outstanding artwork at the reception!
I hope that you enjoyed my experience participating in the Valley Art Association's Annual Scholarship Fund Exhibition 2023 in Oakdale, California!
My husband, Javi and I are now members of the Valley Art Association! As members, we look forward to being a part of the local artist community, learning from the many talented individuals in this group, and participating in more artistic events in the near future!
If you were able to attend the art exhibit, did you enjoy seeing fashion presented? Which were your favorite artworks? I would love to hear your feedback and experience! Leave me a comment below!
Thank you for reading my blog,
I hope you have an Artistically Inspired Day!
Years ago, I came across a quote from the famous (or infamous), fashion icon, Wallis Simpson, who once said, "I am not a beautiful woman. I'm nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than everyone else."
Although Simpson was a very wealthy woman, who had access to high-end fashion (she was the wife of the United Kingdom's Prince Edward), this quote always stuck with me. Every woman has their own insecurities regarding their individual appearance, some of our features may be out of our control, but we all can control what we wear on a daily basis! I have found that just wearing skirts, and dresses, incorporating bold color, and feminine silhouettes with my outfits, has gained the attention of many fellow women, who often say to me how much they love my outfit, and wish they could "pull off'' more skirts and dresses for everyday wear. I honestly believe that any lady, with any figure, and with any budget, can pull off wearing bold color and feminine silhouettes!
For those ladies that might need a little inspiration, I have put together this brief article highlighting some of my favorite easy to wear daily outfits, that I wore over the past month.
The key to my fashion success is the development of my own personal style. For my personal style, I enjoy vintage silhouettes that incorporate fashion elements from a wide range of decades, including modern clothing. I have found that collecting classic pieces, such a wide variety of skirts, graphic tees, dresses, blouses, sweaters, and accessories, has allowed me to mix and match my clothing collection for a unique "Vintage Inspired" daily look. Mixing bright bold colors, or combining patterns in unusual ways can make any wardrobe feel fashion forward and interesting year after year!
Skirts are a game changer when it comes to creating a truly feminine look! The great thing about skirts is they can be paired with different tops for endless combinations! One constant source of my daily outfits is my combination of graphic tee-shirts and skirts...
Graphic Tees and Skirts: Endless Combinations!
I love Graphic Tee-Shirts and how well they represent pop culture, which I equally love! Graphic T-Shirts can often add an element of humor to an outfit, which is fun! I have been enjoying wearing novelty tee-shirts since my baggy clothed, tomboy days in the 1990's. Since then I have a huge bin in my closet over-filled with folded graphic tees!
I have found that tucking my shirts into my skirts creates a more flattering waistline for my body type, as well as a more complete "Vintage Inspired" day look. I love the appearance of high waisted skirts, which would be lost on a blouse or t-shirt left untucked. Here are a few combinations of this style that I wore this past month:
Blouses and Dresses for an Elevated Every Day-Wear
When I want to elevate my day-wear look, I grab a blouse instead of a Tee-Shirt. Using the same concept for a flattering, put-together look, as I consider when I wear a graphic tee, I always tuck in my blouse, and accessorize! I realized when compiling my photos for this blog, that I did not wear many dresses during the past month. So I have featured only one photo here. This charming bright lime green dress, paired great with turquoise accessories!
I like to pair skirts with flats or heels depending on the work I am doing that day. Skirts can be paired with a wide variety of tops, and the tops can be paired with a variety of skirts, creating new looks everyday! Featured here are typical outfits I would wear to work as an Alteration Specialist, or an afternoon at the park with my kids.
It is no secret that this past month I slid into a new decade, and entered, fashionably, into my 40's! Recently, I have been enjoying a body confidence that I didn't always have in past decades. The increase in my body confidence isn't solely based on my age. A huge factor comes from the results of an entire year of focusing on my fitness. I have slimed down and toned up since having my babies, and I am really excited about that. I have always loved the vintage crop-top look (featured in my own past fashion collections), as well as the 1990's crop-top look represented by some of my favorite 90's fashion icons: Aaliyah, Gwen Stephani, and Selena! But can women in their 40's still pull-off crop-tops?
Heck yes we can!
A great way to increase confidence, and feel great about pushing your own boundaries regarding fashion, is to exercise regularly. I am a firm believer that all woman's bodies are different, but we can all maximize our bodies potential by eating healthy and incorporating some form of daily exercise!
Braided Up-Dos and Accessories!
I hope the styling of my recent outfits gives you inspiration to add more Bold Color and Feminine Silhouettes to your daily outfits!
Let me know what outfits inspired you, by commenting below!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you have the most Fashionable Summer!
A Look Back: Fall 2018
While preparing for my newest designs, I began to reflect on my last runway collection, my Fall 2018 Collection, titled, Midnight Muse. I would love to share with you my designs from this collection: from the uncut fabric, to the final runway looks!
Hand Crafted Details
When I begin to create original designs for a fashion collection, I start my design process with trend forecasting research, then I narrow down my silhouettes, color story, and design details. For my 2018 Midnight Muse Collection, I chose a color pallet of greens, blues, and a contrasting pop of red. The fabrics I selected included a mix of hues and textures, as well as a floral printed knit.
I love to add artistic, hand-embellished design details to my creations to make them truly unique. For this collection, I hand-stitched embroidery, and beadwork, used a hand-crafted pleating technique, and I hand-painted a floral motif!
The Final Collection
After many long hours of creating and sewing, my Midnight Muse Collection was complete, and Runway Ready! This collection made it’s public debut at Oakland Fashion Week 2018’s Day Four, Ready-To-Wear Runway Event!
Here are the final looks of my collection modeled by the lovely Oakland Fashion Week 2018 Runway Models, and photographed by Marco Acevedo Garcia.
The Roxanne Rodriguez Fall 2018, Midnight Muse Collection, is by far my favorite that I’ve designed and constructed thus far! I am really looking forward to pushing my design creativity even further with my upcoming 2022 collection!
Join me, and many other amazing fashion designers from the Bay Area, at Oakland Fashion Week 2022, on May 15th-May 22nd, 2022!
Thank you for viewing my work! Have a great day, my friends!
Today I would love to take you on a Fashion Illustration Appreciation Journey to the 1940’s!
In this article we will be taking a close-up look at my personal "Home-Sewing" pattern collection, specifically the fashion illustrations found on the front of my Vintage Sewing Pattern envelopes! The patterns I have selected to share with you today are straight from the 1940’s!
Whenever I pull out these gems, I am in awe! The condition of these paper patterns alone amazes me! And then... the illustrations!
Just studying the lovely fashion illustrations that grace the covers of these vintage pattern envelopes are sure to inspire! Hence, my desire to scan, and archive these treasures to share with those that may not have access to such historical fashion illustrations!
As of yet, I have not used these patterns for sewing, merely for fashion inspiration. However, I do plan on creating a few blouses using my vintage sewing pattern, Simplicity Pattern 4864 soon! I will keep you, Dear Reader, updated on that endeavor!
Following are the 25 Vintage Sewing Patterns printed in the 1940's, that I hired my two teenagers to scan for me!
Printed in 1940-1949: Pattern Numbers 2348-5370
Printed in 1940: Pattern Numbers 1929-1998
1941-1949: Pattern Numbers 559-2170
McCall Printed Pattern
Printed in 1940-1949: Pattern Numbers 3505-7867
Simplicity Printed Pattern
Printed in 1940-1944: Pattern Numbers 3264-4999
1944-1949: Pattern Numbers 1000-2715
I hope that you have enjoyed viewing this photo collection of my Vintage Sewing Patterns from the 1940's! 1940's Fashion has always been an inspiration to me, and after studying these illustrations it is no wonder that 1940's Fashion has continued to inspire so many, for decades there after!
If seeing these lovely vintage fashion illustrations, from the 1940's, are intriguing to you, I have a few more fashion illustration resources to recommend:
From my fashion and sewing library, I have the lovely book of sewing pattern illustrations: Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940's, by Wade Laboissonniere. This book is laid out in a similar fashion as this blog article, it features scanned archived photos of the original sewing pattern envelopes from the 1940's, with a large collection of over 550 images! I also have the 1950's Volume of Blueprints of Fashion, which is just as amazing.
The book, Dress Design: Draping and Flat Pattern Making by Hillhouse and Mansfield is a pattern drafting book from 1948! That is a book I could do a whole article on alone! If that is something you would like to see more of, let me know! I am privileged to have several vintage design books within my library!
Another fantastic fashion resource regarding 1940's Fashion is this video by Vogue, narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker:
Lastly, I'd love to share with you a fun 1940's relic within my Sewing Workroom: this lovely 1944 Singer, with the owner's manual and desk! I hope to fully restore, or at least clean her up, one day!
Thank you again for reading my blog! I hope 1940's Fashion has inspired you as much as it has me!
I have plans to continue this Blog Series with a photo collection of more of my vintage sewing patterns from other decades, as well as fashion illustrations from patterns that are vintage reproductions! Leave me a comment below on your thoughts, what you like or do not like about 1940's fashion, or what decade inspires you?
Now, I'm off to start sewing!
Have an Inspired Day!
Spring 2021 Update!
Hello my dearest darlings!
I hope Springtime 2021 is finding you well!
My Blog has been on my mind for sometime, as has about 20 personal sewing projects, that I have yet to even start. So, today, I thought I’d start somewhere, and get you an update on some recent happenings, and workroom photos of completed, and not-so-completed, projects!
This is me, Roxanne, enjoying the fresh blooms of Spring, one of my favorite times of the year!
Since I Left You Last...
I have been buzzing around like a pollinating bumble bee, juggling several side-hustles around my most important job: that of a Homemaker, Wife, and Mother. That may sound a bit old fashioned, but it is totally true, leaving me creatively drained with little energy for fashion design projects and sewing on most days!
Although this past year has been spent mostly homebound for myself and children, we were able to safely travel to the Las Vegas/Henderson area of Nevada in January 2021, and we had a lovely time visiting our family there!
Summer activities are already filling our schedule, including a camping trip this July!
I am still working Saturday’s as an Alterations Specialist with the clothier, The Buckle, and am currently creating a Blog Article all about Jeans, which I surprisingly found quite fascinating! I can't wait to share that soon! I am still busting out Alteration Services from my sewing room at home.
My Dad’s Boat Upholstery Project was delayed due to fabric sourcing, but new fabric has arrived!
Check out this photo of the old upholstery fabric, next to the new upholstery fabric, for one of my Dad’s boat chairs! I will be sure to continue to keep you updated on this project, in future Blog Posts, as I expect this project's completion to go fast at this point!
Now, let’s get to even more SEWING!
Toddler Sewing Time
My two youngest daughters are no longer babies, and are now on their way to becoming capable young children. My second to youngest daughter, SkyLynne, is expressing interest in learning to sew!
Since SkyLynne is almost 4 years old, I’m starting her with hand-sewing lessons. So far, I’ve been teaching SkyLynne to use a large embroidery needle and yarn to get used to hand-stitching. I draw dots on the fabric as a guide for her needle, and she is doing great! We also started another Sewing Project together...
A Moon to Cuddle
My two young daughters love the Moon (who doesn’t!). My youngest daughter, Minnie, is particularly obsessed, so when SkyLynne asked for “a Moon to Cuddle”, I decided to make a stuffed moon for each of them!
I have not made very many stuffed animals during my design/seamstress career, so these guys are definitely not perfect! Together, SkyLynne and I drafted a simple crescent moon pattern, with a night cap and star, as well as machine stitched face details! Although they could be better, I learned stuffed- toy-making tips & tricks for next time, and my girls now each have a cuddly moon to sooth them through the night! Priceless!
Work in Progress...
I love to visit thrift shops as often as I can. While shopping, I not only keep my eyes peeled for Vintage Clothing and Vintage Kitchen Wares, but also for... fabric!
These recent acquisitions left me feeling inspired!
Check out this yellow and green fitted sheet set, and lace curtains I bought for mere dollars!
I will be creating something fantastic soon with these lovelies! Blog Post coming soon!
I would love to hear your thoughts!
What have you been up to this year? Do you Sew daily? What projects are you working on? Do you Sew with your children? What are your Creative Goals for the remaining 2021? Are there any Fashion or Sewing related topics that you would like me to write a Blog Article about?
Leave me your comments below!
I appreciate you!
Have a fantastically fashionable day!
In Loving Memory of
Mrs. Herminia “Minnie” Rodriguez
The Mysterious Lives of Buttons
I once sifted through hundreds of vintage buttons, that a dear friend of mine had collected over the years. Gazing upon the uniqueness of each button, the art and craftsmanship of something so small, with a purpose so simple, had me wondering, "Where had these buttons been, and where will these buttons go?"
It seemed as if these precious buttons had such a long life before making it here, to this pile before me, and would continue to exist, long after my friend and I...
Taking this photo of my friend's buttons, I began to reflect on the mysterious lives of buttons...
Buttons are the oldest clothing fastener known to mankind! Ancient buttons, made of sea shells have been found that date back many centuries. In today’s clothing we have alternative clothing closures such as zippers, snaps, hooks & eyes, even elastic, but the classic button still prevails!
As I began to create clothing myself, I also began collecting buttons. If ever I am in a fabric shop purchasing fabric or notions, and I find some interesting buttons, I will most certainly buy them, even if I do not have an immediate use for them. In addition to solid colors of every sort and size, I now have a few jars full of buttons, both unique, and standard. Having this unique and quirky stash has proven fun when I need to fulfil the task of a button!
Children too take delight in buttons! How fun it is to sit with my daughters and look through a poured out pile of color, design, and texture! My children love exploring the treasures stored within my button jars just as much as I do!
A few years ago, my dear Aunt Patty sent me a box of Sewing Notions that belonged to my Grandma Marcia. To a sewing enthusiast such as myself, it was exciting to find so many Vintage Buttons, still on their original packaging cards! Not only are the buttons delightful, but so are the lovely illustrations and graphics found on the cards!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you enjoy the unique designs of buttons too? How do you store or organize your button stash? I’d love to hear your experiences or button memories!
Leave me a comment below!
Thank you for reading my Blog!
This week I finished a personal project for myself: A Heavy Duty Work Apron made with tons of applique and constructed primarily out of Upholstery Fabric Swatches!
A while back, one of my friends, who is a retired Interior Designer, dropped off a huge box of large upholstery fabric swatches that she used in the past to show to her clients. Since she no longer needed the fabric swatches, she thought that I might have use for them sewing. I have used a few swatches here and there, but when I started a recent Upholstery Project, I thought how cool would it be to make a heavy duty apron for my upholstery work out of some of this upholstery fabric!
While conceptualizing my new work apron, I wanted to create something functional, fashionable, yet heavy duty, for cleaning, removing, and re-upholstering, the old boat seat pieces that I am currently working on... I used an adorable kitchen apron that I have owned for years as inspiration for the work apron pattern...
After making an apron pattern by tracing the dimensions of my existing kitchen apron, I then pulled out my large bin of upholstery fabric swatches. I decided to stick with earth toned colors for my textile design, and I choose several hues of green to work with. Because these swatches are not very large, I knew I would have to work with several to create my apron. I didn't want my design to look like quilted squared patchwork, I wanted to transform these swatches as much as possible, so I decided to create a new textile by piecing together large scallop shapes cut out of the various greenish colors I had chosen. I also had to use a few brown swatches to create enough scallops for the entire front layer of the apron. I used a lovely waterproof forrest green fabric as the lining, and for the straps, trim, belt and ruffle.
Using my New Sewing Project Journal, that I absolutely love, I began to draw out a quick illustration with construction notes, as well as a hand-drawn rose applique design that I would create on my apron's pocket by using red upholstery fabric swatches. While rummaging through my swatches I found a tiny swatch of 100% Leather also in red! I used the leather swatch for the apron pocket and a utility/pencil holder!
After my concept was decided upon, I began to cut out my pattern and upholstery scallop pieces. I sewed my scallops onto a muslin layer for stabilization, and then I used my Satin Stitch Presser Foot to secure each piece with Satin Stitching!
Work In Progress...
Check out these Designer Workroom Photos:
I am having fun using the Satin Stitch Technique that I began to practice just a few weeks ago. After sewing on all the upholstery scallops, I then added the pocket details, the lining, the bottom ruffle, the waistband, the trim, and then the neck ties! Whew! All of these details were a lot of work!
My NEW Work Apron is Ready!
Finally, after a few weeks from starting this project (I only worked on it when taking a break from my other projects), my Heavy Duty Work Apron is complete! I have so much fun creating projects for myself, especially projects that I can add even more creativity too, such as this one!
I’m looking forward to sharing with you even more upcoming projects! I have many concepts in mind, and I can’t wait to get started on them! Until then...
Thank you for reading!
Have a great day!
This month, after being temporary laid off from my Saturday Job, as an Alteration Specialist for the retail store, The Buckle, I began to use my Saturday Work Day (outside of the home) to start a large reupholstery project! I am working Saturday’s for my Dad, helping him with his boat restoration! I have never done this type of work on such a large scale before, so I’m really excited for the opportunity and experience. When my Dad offered me this job, and I accepted, he purchased a brand-new industrial Juki Sewing Machine, designed specifically for upholstery! My Dad set up a Sewing Workroom for me in his house, and every week, I work there!
This is the boat that I am working on prior to any repairs:
Sadly, this lovely boat was left out in the elements, uncovered, for a few years. The upholstery and interior have been severely damaged. On my first day of work, my Dad pressure washed the interior, then began removing piece by piece of the seats, cushions, and side panels...
I began my upholstery task by taking each seat section and cleaning them as thoroughly as possible. I then began to remove the old upholstery, in preparation for my next step: Pattern Drafting!
After cleaning and removing the old upholstery, I then took apart each individual upholstery piece by piece, such as I did here with this Captain Chair Backrest, I drew a rough technical sketch with any notes I might want to remember when reassembling the new upholstery pieces later. All hardware that has been removed is also labeled and bagged for re-attachment later. Each section of each fabric piece is marked, and labeled ready to be reproduced!
As you can imagine cleaning and taking apart each boat piece is taking some time to complete. Next Saturday I will start drafting the patterns! Then I will sew together the new upholstery! I will keep you updated on my progress!
Thank you for reading!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!