Archive for March, 2012

The Nemo Outfit

Last week, I was on vacation from my day job.

This weekend, I have the Great Model Shoot.

Together, they provided the perfect time/incentive combination to get a new design out of my head and into fabric. And thus was finally born — the Nemo Coat and Sash!

This outfit has been in my head, and in Mike’s head, and in a sketch pinned to the wall of the studio, for at least a year now. And I always put it off (along with countless other designs) because I have stock to build and commissions to fill. And that’s STILL true — but every once in a while, I just need to create these new designs.  Both to keep my line of clothing fresh, and — as it turns out — to keep my brain going.  I always forget how invigorating it is to make something new! To figure out the pattern, to tweak it until its right, to see it come together and make me excited by it’s beauty.  It’s just refreshing, in a way that making something I’ve made a dozen times before is not.

The Nemo Coat is made of a heavy cotton, in this case of a dark navy blue. Across the shoulders, sleeves, and pockets it’s been overlaid with a rich metallic brocade in gold and black, giving the whole coat a very sumptuous look. It fastens with large hooks and eyes hidden inside the center front, so that the closures are hidden from view and not distracting from the streamlined look of the coat. And it is finished off with a standing collar, giving the lines a slightly military feel.

It’s then paired with the Nemo sash, which is a variation on our regular pirate sashes. The Nemo has angled ends, also overlaid with gold brocade. And is edged with both black and beaded fringe for extra extravagance.

Of course, with any new design, there was a learning curve and mistakes made before I got to this point.

Like when Mike said, “Do you need to take any measurements?” And I assured him I did not, based on the fact that I know his chest measurement and could go from there — forgetting that I should probably also measure how long the coat would be. (This resulted in a VERY long muslin mock-up. Hooray for mock-ups!)

Or when I cut and stitched on the overlay on the sleeves, only to wake up at 5:00 the next morning and realize I’d done it wrong. D’oh! Luckily, I realized that BEFORE actually attaching the sleeves. A little bit of time with a seam ripper and scissors put things to rights there.

So, yes. New designs have challenges. But they are also SO much fun to make, and feel so good to complete.  Now I just need to make a second one so I can see how long it takes me and figure out how much to charge for it before I can get it up on the website.



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The Great Model Shoot

Model: Harley Quinn. Photo by Jennifer Wright Owen.

Last year, I went to an event called The Great Model Shoot.  It’s a monthly event where, for a small cover fee, tons of models and photographers all get together. There are people new to both fields, professionals, and everywhere in between. There are also about a half a dozen hair stylists and makeup artists there, helping everybody to look fabulous. It’s an event designed to build portfolios, network, and learn from your peers. I was there that day as a designer, providing some of my clothing designs to the models, which allowed for some more unique shots for them and the photographers.  And at the same time, it enabled me to get some more professional pictures to use on the Storied Threads website, which is always a good thing.

Model: Carol Persons. Photograph by Stetson Mentzer.

I enjoyed the day I spent there, got good pictures, and made some new contacts. Every month, I intend to go back again, but the timing just never seems to work out.  Either it coincides with a show, or I’m hip deep in building stock, or I’ve just finished a show and have nothing to bring for outfits.

The other day, one of the organizers of the event IM’d me while I was tooling around Facebook.  The next event is coming up later this month, and he asked me if there was any chance I could make it. He said he’s trying to make this next shoot their biggest and best yet, and having some fun new things there would help. He even threw in some flattery – “Everybody loved your stuff last time!”

Model: Steph Galvin. Photograph by Benjamin Carter.

I thought about it, and the fact is, I DO have some things I’d like to get pictures of — I need some awesome bellydance / harem shots of the Jasmine Jackets.  “Any chance we could get a hookah?” I asked him. “And a ton of floor pillows?” He said he’d see what he could do — and then, like the sneaky bastard I’m learning he can be, posted in the GMS site asking for those props “for a shoot Veronica wants to do at the next event”.

Well! Now I’m roped in, aren’t I? Not that this is a bad thing — I DO need those pictures. And it’s also inspiring me to use my vacation from the day job next week to build a prototype of the Captain Nemo jacket I have in my head (and in a sketch pinned to the wall of the studio), which I think will be a great companion piece to the Jasmine stuff.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll even model something myself, if I feel so brave!

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