Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It was good while it lasted

Well, this is it. Hannah and I are throwing in the towel and shutting down Not Enough Thursdays. We are both forbidden to post about our day jobs and their related projects which leaves us little time and few projects to post about. It has worked out alright until recently but Smith and Bybee has started picking up for me and I don't feel comfortable posting about our patterns for that either. What does this leave me? There are a few tutorials that I have always wanted to write and some amazing links for information but no time. I believe I no longer have the time or the lifestyle to blog. I wish everybody the best of luck on their sewing, design, art, and every other sort of project. I will leave the site up for the time being in case anybody wants anything. Enjoy the end of summer.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Studio!

I'm sorry for the extended radio silence. I have been working on putting together a new studio in my basement. We had a very large room that use to be somebody's band recording studio in our basement. Between the paint job and the foam and carpeting tacked to the walls, it had a very creepy feel. However it has now been re-purposed into a rather nice new sewing studio. Nate and I (Smith and Bybee) are working on getting a five by ten foot work table which will be a massive step up. However even without that we have enough room to have two people working at once. It amazing how much different a studio needs to be when its not just one person. Our biggest issue was finding the space to have one person pattern and one person cut. We will see how goes.

There is also a great website I found recently that is a good multi purpose design site. The categories on the side bar are my favorite. It's called Toxel

And one last update that I will follow up on later. I am learning to make gloves. I have my prototype worked out for my basic pattern and I'm going to get started on my first real pair here in the near future. I will also scan and post my patterns when I done. If you are interested, most of what I used to figure it out can be found here or through the Vintage sewing link on the side bar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More information than you can shake a stick at

I imagine that I must be late to the bandwagon on this because I can't believe I didn't know this existed. It is the combination of google/amazon/library of congress. You can look through and download all kinds of books whose copyrights have long since expired. Here is a link to their dress making books. I have yet to try pattern making as a search heading but sewing turns up a lot of Samplers and embroidery instruction.
Have fun and praise the gods of the internet.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fruits of forced leisure

Sick sick sick with a stupid summertime cold preventing me from biking and beach adventures. I'm instead internet surfing while drinking large quantities of orange juice.

Pendleton has collaborated with Opening Ceremony, resulting in a predictably fantastic collection. These two coats are my favorites.

I'm REALLY late on the All Saints bandwagon. But now that I'm on it, hot damn. I haven't been sewing for myself at all lately, but their website provides some serious inspiration. Not only do I love most of what they've got, but a lot of it all looks like so much fun to drape and pattern. A little bit of a challenge, but not so much it's frustrating.
This is the best coat I've seen in a long time:

Oh, Alexander Wang. How do you know what we want before we do?
This vesty-thing is peeerfect. It spells the end nights out trying to dance with a purse banging against your side. I'm unabashedly planning to rip it off, now that I've gathered all the supplies needed for sewing leather, and discovered that hides of various types can be procured on ebay for less than ten dollars.

(Those booties would look cute on someone else...)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More photos from the mess on my desktop (all have been pulled from sites like the Sartorialist, Facehunter, etc).
These are dedicated to the beauty and intrigue of genuinely personal style.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What gets us through the day

I recently recovered my Ipod after having lost it for several months. (This sort of thing is fairly common. Yesterday I lost a pattern piece under another pattern piece that I had already taped to a marker.) Having it at work again is such a relief, since the white noise of the air conditioner and sewing machines, and even the quieter music in the studio makes me sleepy. Yesterday I had it on shuffle, and a Kanye West song came up and I thought of you, Carly. (Am I outing you right now?) Carly and I were recently talking about the music that will get us through the stretches when we just want curl up and go to sleep. Quality is less important than poppy energy and good hooks. Carly's recent pre-fashion show marathon was apparently powered by Kanye's 808's and Heartbreaks, and Missy Elliot. Here's my favorite picture of Kanye:

In the past my favorites have included Billy Idol, Tom Jones and Prince. Lately I've elevated my tastes just a tad to Hercules and Love Affair.
Britney's Blackout got many of us at Nicolas' studio through the 4pm stretch, to the point that Nicolas regretted ever buying the album. I loved it when high fashion folks came by for a fitting while she was on. And for a long time I listened to podcasts of NPR programs like This American Life or Radiolab while doing the boring bits like putting on seam allowance and cutting out patterns. I had to give that up though, when I realized how often I discovered and fixed mistakes if I instead paid attention.
At the moment I've been listening to a short playlist of the Valentine Brother's "Money's Too Tight to Mention" and the Bee Gee's "Nights on Broadway". Two songs get old really quick. Maybe that's why my productivity's been down?

Sometimes I forget what a little slashing and spreading can do.

Monday, June 15, 2009

From the Desktop Pile

It's nearly midnight, and I can't sleep because I spent the day guzzling coffee at work in order to deal with my sleepless red-eye flight back from Alaska. The fact that it's currently only 7:30 pm Alaska time doesn't help either.
So a blog post it is! Not a particularly wordy one though, as I'm not feeling articulate, or even all human.
I promised Carly that I'd post some of the inspirational pictures I've been collecting on my desktop, so here goes:
It may seem odd that as patternmaker I'm a sucker for instant gratification, but I am. Carly can spend 3 weeks (but usually she'll be done in a quarter of that time) on a gorgeous gown, but I want to be done and wearing my project by noon. Which means I rarely finish, but I digress. I've been collecting photos of details, little things that I love that can be made without a whole lot of planning, but still to dramatic effect. This scarf is one of my favorites.

And the collar on this coat is one of the those simple details that changes everything.

And, because I was just home visiting, and thinking a lot about what makes a house a home, here are some of my favorite inspirational photos ever. I wish I remembered where I'd found them...

You can tell there's a million treasures in that house, just waiting to be taken out and examined. And there's a block and tackle in the bedroom?

New York City!

As our heading suggests this blog was started because Hannah moved to New York and we couldn't bear the idea that we would no longer be hanging out together, messing around with projects, talking shop, basking on the river, eating pastries, or otherwise enjoying each others company. My recent trip to NY was a wonderful teaser of Hannah's company that makes it all the more difficult to bear.

We had a wonderful time. We went to a tugboat grave yard on Staton Island with two awesome guys, both named Collin. Collin Kennedy took some wonderful pictures which you can see here.

We took a harrowing taxi ride after a late night dance party. Matt of Wilding fame, Hannah, and myself caught a cab driven by a older east Indian man wearing an American flag turban who insisted on walking us through some sort of made up Hindi wedding ceremony. It involved having Matt put bangles on our hands and me put a scarf on Matt and then he sang us made up Hindi wedding songs in a strange, rasping, tuneless, old man voice. I'm not sure Hindi customs allow polyamorous wedding ceremonies but maybe everybody's more open minded in NY.

I went to the New York Public Library and read turn of the century pattern drafting books on microfilm. It amazes me the amount of information that exists in New York, for less effort than going to the supermarket you can read books that have been out of print for decades.

We got a back stage tour of the model making studio of the Natural History museum. Which has made me want to lean as much as I can about model making. I have trouble thinking of anything I really need to make models of but I also can't thing of anything I don't want to make models of. Perhaps I will wind up with plaster replicas of my daily life.
Here's Hannah and I attempting to eat a cookie afterward.

I also got to check out Top Shop which is about what you would expect. I'm not a fan of H and M mostly because everything I've ever gotten there fits horribly. I think that they must cut costs in their patterning but I'm not sure how they do it. Top Shop has a similar feel. If you are into H and M you will probably like Top Shop. There were a couple cute things but the only thing that really caught my eye was these shoes by Office. I would have bought them on the spot but the sides are too high and chafed my ankle bone something fierce.

Here is Hannah and Matt, we were enjoying the beach the day I left. Leaving was not easy.

And last but not least... I took a picture of a picture in a book because I thought it was great inspiration on how to wear scarves.

Summer adventures

I have recently gotten back from some pretty amazing summer adventures. I had the good fortune of being invited on a rafting trip through the wild and scenic portion of the Rogue River in South Western Oregon. The Rogue River runs from Crater Lake to Gold Beach and the Wild and Scenic area starts just west of Grant's Pass and ends about ten miles from the coast. The "Wild and Scenic" designation protects the area from development, and in this case motorized boats of any kind. After going on this trip I can see why it was selected for protection. It is quite stunning and a perfect combo of rapids. Most are II and III class rapids meaning scary enough to be fun but if you get thrown from the boat its unlikely you'll get hurt. (Not the official definition obviously.) Although there were some IVs and one V, which was pretty scary. There are also a limited number of rafting permits given out each year for the wild and scenic area so I was doubly lucky to be able to go. There was twenty five of us on ten boats. There were some Cata-rafts, a paddle boat, and some kayaks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Heating & Cooling @ STRUT.

Here are some additional pictures from the Strut show which feature the debut of my Spring Collection. Photos were supplied from www.osiphotography.com  I f you weren't able to make it to the show, it's not too late to contribute to the cause! All photo purchased from Onscreen Imaging's site, will go to benefit BasicRights Oregon. Thank you for looking and please visit my site: www.heatingandcoolingapparel.com


I just want to congratulate Jessie on her first fashion show.
People were out in force raising money, mingling, kanoodling and trying to figure out how the bar worked. I ran into Adam Arnold and Sharon Blair for starters. Adam had on a beautiful denim sports coat that sparked a good discussion on the appropriate uses for denim. And Sharon Blair was there in the VIP section.
In general the clothing being shown was alright, very little of it totally floored me but there were some highlights. There were some pretty good Boob flounces.

Popina Swim put on a pretty good show including this crowd pleaser.

There were a lot of Pendelton wools used in knit wear by Erhart which was occationally cool in concept but wound up with strange pooching, and stretching issues that you might imagine with that combo. Notice the pocket flaps on the guy in the middle, and the way they seem to stick straight out from his chest. There was one point where a girl took off her jacket and threw it over her shoulder exposing an unappetizing interior. Oh well.

And now what you all have been waiting for...
(And I have to appologize for the format of the photos because my camera died almost immediately.)
Jessie's line was a ton of fun. The girls shirts were all drapy or key holed in such a way that I was sure that we would see some nipple, especially after the Forecast show. However I suspect that there was some cunning deployed double stick tape. It was the opposite of a wardrobe malfunction it was a wardrobe success! There was a sneak peak of the senior collection pants.

Shown Here with a super cute shirt.
These were my other favorites.
Nice work Jessie.

Here is Susanna, Olivia, and myself enjoying the free photo booth.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sewing angels

I have been exceptionally blessed in the sewing connections I have made in my life. In the last few months I have become more involved with my sewing and with fashion in general. I have been so grateful for all of the information that I have picked up over the years and the wonderful people who have kept me interested, stretched my sense of myself, and offered new perspectives into my craft.

My first paid sewing job was at Desert Vintage in Tucson AZ. Kathleen Lauth who owns it is a fantastic woman with a big heart and a great eye. She hired me within two days of my arrival and introduced me to the study of clothing history. She took my affection for vintages dresses and made me a fiend for the details of construction and dating. She keeps threatening to get a website but she hasn't yet so I can't link you to her. If however you are in Tucson you should definitely check it out.

Desert Vintage & Costume
636 N 4th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 620-1570

When I got back to portland I got a sewing job at Beckel Canvas. I learned so much about the nature of production. I learned the importance of creating a series of steps and refining them to create the most efficient sewing system you can. From Bob Beckel I learned how to work on industrial sewing machines. Being able to maintenance my own machine is a skill of almost infinite value. I learned how to work with the machines, taking what they had to offer and not fighting it. Skills that include sewing together two pieces of different sizes, round edges to straight edges, or both at once in thick fabric. I worked with many different types of difficult fabrics often on a very large scale with minimal tools and I can tell you that everything else seems easy after that.

Through Beckel I met a cadre of wonderful people who all love to sew.
Hannah whom you all know and love. She more than anybody helped me think of my sewing as an art and not just a job. She helped me feel excited about all of the different places I wanted to take my sewing. She has been a wonderful friend and a priceless sewing buddy. I will always be in her debt.

Taylor who, with her husband Travis did T-Rex. Her charisma and unfailing sense of fun and color were always inspirational.

David Rafn whom you don't know yet but when he breaks out he will take Portland by storm. To see his work you will have to come to the Art Institute thesis show. Which you should do anyway because you will get to see more of Jessie's stuff.

On the side all this time I was doing piece work for Amy Daileda of Daisy Rock. She makes a beautiful, high quality product. She dyes all her own fabrics and has a wonderful eye for textiles. I had a great time working with her and loved seeing the color and texture combos she came up with.

I have also worked with Jennifer Philip of Phillips Bridal. This woman is a power house of sewing. She can make dresses at a speed that will make your head spin. I once saw her hem a wedding dress in just under five min. Her speed is not at the price of quality, everything she does is beautiful, uncompromising, quality. She takes nobody's word as gospel and finds perfectly, cleanly, useful ways to do everything. From her I learned to not be timid and even the softest silks or most elaborate beading are just raw materials to be used in the same way canvas or shirting is. If you were thinking of getting married and buying a high end dress I would strongly recommend going to Jennifer with your ideas because you could get a better made, custom fit gown for less money. Take my word for it. I have seen the inside of all those gowns and her work out strips them.

I have also worked for Laglitz Leather, a place that makes very high quality custom leather motorcycle gear. Although I learned some about the construction of jackets and more about working with leather most of what I learned was what not to do. I can't underestimate the value of respecting your production stitchers. These were very talented women who had the capacity to make wonderful garments but the management had no interest in listening to them. Langlitz missed some very valuable chances to improve their quality, efficiency, and thus their bottom line. The people sewing your garments know more about how they go together and what it would take to make the operation smoother than anybody else in the system. If you ever manage stitchers, please ask them because I can guarantee they have a ton of ad hoc solutions to problems from earlier in the chain.

I would also like to mention Kathleen Fasanella of Fashion Incubator because although I haven't worked with her she has helped to shape my concepts of sewing. The frustrations I have had with the methods that I found in sewing books are not my own imagination. The fact that books have contradictory information is not because I'm stupid and don't get it. There is a whole community of people who also problem solve for a living and they have figured out many of these things. Her tutorials mean that I don't have to reinvent the wheel every time I sit down at a sewing machine. I would also like to apologize for anybody who might take my placket tutorial to heart. Please go read Kathleen's and then donate money. Its plain stupid to do it any other way.

I have intentionally left out Jessie because I want to do a post on her and the Awesome! show she put on last night. So that's coming next.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Forecast II Video!

Left to Right: Jordan, Me (trying to be shorter), Russell, Bruce, Joe (Who is responsible for this photo) and finally the other member of Smith and Bybee Nathaniel Shapiro.

Smith and Bybee Video

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm sorry I have been slow on getting pictures up but I was back stage the whole time and couldn't take photos. I'm waiting to hear back from some folks who took pics so there should be more. We also are going to have a real shoot sometime soon so you can see more photos then. These photos are stolen from the mercury and Love Portland. There should be more and some video coming.

This is Russell wearing our striped shirt and work pants.

Sarah Wizemann

John Blasioli

John Blasioli

Frocky Jack Morgan

Frocky Jack Morgan