Friday, May 17, 2013

Otherworlds Sci-Fi Boutique

Hello and Happy May!

I'm happy to say that we're (boyfriend, dog, sewing machines & me) all settled into our apartment in Wallingford, an adorable neighborhood in Seattle. It's perfect proximity to a row of shops and bars, great parks, and there's a notable lack of hobo (which is a big plus moving from the Bay Area!). 

I've been busy taking bellydance & yoga classes, making hats which I hope to have photographed soon, and finishing my line of clothing for my Patternmaking Certification from Apparel Arts. Phew!

Meanwhile, I'm happy to announce that La Petite Menagerie is May's Featured Consignment Seller at Otherworlds in Edmonds.  As they put it, "In Edmonds, Washingron, a small store devoted to fantasy, steampunk, sci-fi, and vintage horror. Used books, games, fashion, and sundry captured with methods from pipe dreams to our patented Time Machine." I couldn't say it better myself.  
Check them out if you're in the Seattle area!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brenna's Wedding Dress

I'm writing this as a retrospective, since it's already 2013! (Whoa! How did that happen?!) Brenna's custom wedding gown was the largest undertaking of my sewing career, let alone 2012! And the wedding was in July!  Yeesh.

Having been a sewer since I was 7, my sister and I always knew that I would make her wedding dress. It was a part of the story from the beginning.  "...and then Shelby's going to make my dress...."  And then when she and her fiance got engaged, it struck me that, "Shit! I'm going to make a wedding dress!" It was all of the sudden real and felt like a sort of scary-big deal.

My education at Apparel Arts in San Francisco provided me with all of the skills I needed to make B's pattern.  Take her measurements, draft her sloper and draft her dress pattern from the sloper.  Still with me?  Then fittings with mock-ups 1 & 2, and a Skype fitting for mock-up #3.

Meanwhile... I ordered a bolt of silk from the manufacturer because it was a lot cheaper that way.  It was a 100% silk double sided satin in ivory.  Gorgeous fabric with a lovely weight.  I also ordered a roll of 100% silk organza for the flounce, Habutoi silk for the lining, and a roll of crinoline for the, uh, crinoline.
And I cleaned my sewing space since I was about to convert it to white silk land. And that is a scary clean place.
By the time I cut and assembled the dress, it was actually the 4th time I had done so because of all the mock-ups.  It went together really smoothly, and as always it looks so much better in silk than in muslin!

I mailed the dress to her, and we didn't open it until a few days before the wedding.  It was a bit of a wrinkled mess, and I had only a small hand steamer to try and hang/steam the wrinkles out!  But where there's a will there's a way.


think she looked gorgeous on her wedding day. It's true that a seamstress's job is never done. I felt like there were always more things I could have done or worked on, but at a certain point it's done and it's beautiful.  And she loved it!

Oh Yeah, and I made my dress, too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Veils veils veils!

They're up! They're up! Now available on Etsy are my beautiful new birdcage veils.

I love the vintage styling of these veils, and wanted to do a modern take with all the fun and bright colors of veiling that are available these days!!
Take a peek, and if there's a color you're not seeing that you're looking for, it might be available soon!  The Russian veiling is available in more colors!
Click here!!

***Photo Credits***
Photographer - Christopher Mackessy; Clothing - La Petite Menagerie; MUA - Lindsay Saier; Model - Anneliese Marie Yang

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekend Veil Shoot

Anneliese and Chris making magic

Greetings! I've been a flurry of productivity over the last 6 months!
I've fluctuated between working 4 -2 days a week at Dark Garden in San Francisco.
I've learned so much there, as well as just experienced the production sewing world again. It's a whole different experience from being a home sewer!  I'm primarily the stock cutter, but I also work as the finisher (grommeting and lacing).
I'm going on a year and 3 months of being the hat builder for Topsy Turvy Design.  I've loved making hats for Kim! And it's given me the opportunity to hone my skills and indulge my inner perfectionist.  And Topsy Turvy Design has gotten some great feedback about the quality of their hats from Etsy customers, which I can't help but smile at!
La Petite Menagerie has been incubating.  I had a shoot last weekend with the gorgeous Anneliese and Chris, who I really enjoyed working with before.   I made a series of 12 birdcage veils in a wide spectrum of colors. Most are dotted with color matched Swarovski rhinestones, though one has vintage chenille dots. I'm hoping they'll be a hit with Offbeat Brides, and cool people in general.
I'm shooting with Chris again soon with a few new corset and hat combinations.
And of course, the projects that take precedence above all, are the wedding dresses. Yes, plural. Well, not really.  I'm making my sister's weddig gown, as well as my MOH dress,which is technically two dresses because of the slip. Yowza.  Luckily the MOH dress is almost done, and I'll take more photos as I go so I can post them here soon.  The wedding dress design is a secret so I can't include any photos, but let's just say it's based off an Oscar de la Renta gown and it's going to be a statement. 

Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love is in the air...

It's bridal season at La Petite Menagerie, where I'm building a custom wedding gown for the lovely bride, Brenna.  3 fittings and 3 mock-ups later (yes, this is the custom clothing model!) the final garment is being cut and sewn this week!! The final design is of course a secret, but inquiring minds will be thrilled to see the result in July! Can't wait to share!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Life is keeping me very busy with little time for interesting blog posts. Sorry! But not really! Life is fun when it's busy!

I've started working part time at Dark Garden: Unique Corsetry in San Francisco. It's great, I'm working as one of their cutters right now and we'll see what other task get thrown my way! Sewing in a production setting is fast paced and precise! I've already learned a lot, and have only been there 3 days!!!

Voting is in full swing for the NxNW Design competition. Voting will be going on until November 13th, and the website it none-too-clear about how often voting can happen, so I say, VOTE, VOTE AWAY! At least ONCE A DAY! :) My passport thanks you. Check out my last entry for a link to the voting.

New photos up on Etsy from my photoshoot with Christopher Mackessy! The above photo is credit to him, and a features a new hat by me!

Hope everyone is well out in internet land!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NxNW Fashion Competition - Vote for me!

Voting starts tomorrow!!! Please vote for me in the People's Choice category - If chosen, I win a trip to Iceland!
Thanks for your support!!!