Monday, March 23, 2009

Now I lay me down to sleep...

Before I went to sleep tonight I thought I'd send a general Thank You out to anyone who might read my little blog-- just for all the kindness and encouragement that came this weekend! I'm overwhelmed (as always) and incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunity Etsy has provided. Working from home? Who knew?

This is an amazing example of my sister Natalie's artistic skills. She's moved from one medium to another-- watercolor, pen and ink, and most recently, embroidery. I'm striving to help get her confidence and sale-able stock Etsy-ready!

Can you believe the detail?

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a day...

Hey, want to hear a funny story?

Once there was a girl named Arielle who had plenty of time to plan for her very exciting yet intimidating Featured Seller spot. Indeed, she did her best to plan. She sewed and sewed, and bought extra fabric ahead of time and told her mother and sister all about it. With great anticipation she watched each featured seller that came before her, trying to pick up tips and learn things here and there. She tried her best to overcome her intrinsic procrastination-esque impulses, and be keep everything orderly and ready, and looked forward to her Big Day. And then this morning, three days before the date that she had fixed in her mind, she came home from the Post Office to discover her own sheepish face, her own unstocked shop featured on Etsy's Front Page! Hilarious. Sigh.

Story of my life! Sometime I'll tell you about my wedding dress, and how it was finished hours before the ceremony...

Well, I'm so excited and honored to be the current Featured Seller on! I'm struggling to keep up with requests and emails, and best of all, custom orders! In an effort to clear up any measurement issues or questions there might be, I coerced my sister Sadie into donating her body to Fancy Clothing, for your measuring purposes.

When taking your measurements for a pinafore, first measure the distance from the top of your shoulder to just under your bust.

Then you'll want to measure your underbust circumference, like so:

Next, decide on your preferred waistband width (2"-4" is usually best) starting from the underbust point.

Finally, decide your preferred waistband width (measuring from your underbust down), and then your preferred skirt length (measuring from the bottom of your waistband down). And there you go!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Perhaps I have a problem with over-thinking the fabrics I work with, but I have always felt that patterns and prints carry distinct tones and even messages. Just as colors communicate and affect moods, so do patterns and color arrangements speak about the person wearing them. The trick as a seamstress is to cultivate the proper message.

Florals are my particular bane and burden. How often have you looked at floral-- perhaps something your mother holds up for your approval from across three clothing aisles-- and wanted to like it? I want to like florals, and indeed, I make myself purchase fabrics printed with over-blown roses and wildy lilies and whatnot out of discipline. But there is a distinct reticence. Too naive? Not quite dignified?

The solution, I have decided, is to treat them with a teensy bit of sarcasm. Add a bit of quasi-feministic eyebrow cocking and you're in business.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


After much procrastination and shilly-shallying, I have decided to introduce my clothing line, Fancy Clothing, to the blogging world! Being a colossal techno-dolt and queen of demurral, I can only look beyond my current e-failures as I take on yet another networking site-- Twitter is proving too much of a time commitment (all of those tiny little posts!), and Myspace makes me feel old and crotchety. Sigh. Enough about me. Let's talk about Fancy.

Fancy Clothing was born out of the desperation that resulted from 2 months' unsuccessful job hunting in Portland. My husband, Caleb, and I had just returned from our 3 month residence in Eldoret, Kenya, and had (randomly) picked Portland as our next place to live. After papering the streets of downtown with my impressively perky resumes and receiving nary a bite, I began to sew in earnest. I lobbed wads of my clothing at every boutique I came across, and in the cutthroat fashion climate of Portland, I was fortunate to eventually worm my clothing into three stores. Meanwhile, my sister Natalie whispered the sweet sound of Etsy in my ear, and with the substantial help of that herculian bazaar of handmade bliss, Fancy Clothing was off!

Materials for this line have always been scavenged from church thrifts and rumble sales, but most recently The Bins in Portland have been my deep and true love. Going there is always an adventure, but I like to think that I've earned my little niche in the ranks of regulars that line up on either side of the raised rubber dividers with hungry looks in their eyes, almost salivating as that new cart piled high with discarded whatever comes rumbling down the aisle. These days I have a nodding acquaintance with nearly every shift's cashiers, and my faithfulness has earned me preferred customer status, which equals not necessarily being price checked on every item in my cart. I always wonder if they ever question what I might be doing with the pounds and pounds of fabric that I extract almost weekly from their bins; but then, a rumpled-looking redhead with a penchant for outdated curtains possibly does not arouse the curiosity I hope for. Oh well...