Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scallop Flutter Dress and.... BAGS!

I'm back! I can hardly keep up with all the cool things going on at the moment!

But first, I want to introduce you to a lovely new custom dress available in the shop NOW! 

 Oh yes, and I chopped off my hair since the last time I appeared on the blog. I'm typically a short-hair girl so I have no idea how it got so long. 

Let's take a closer look at this dress! 

Another scalloped beauty! This print was amazing and I had to have it for Manic Pop. Print availability is limited! So order quickly if you love this print. (Yes, I can make it in your size!) 

 I love the way the yoke came out. I integrated sleeves into the yoke by doing a drop-shoulder so they look like tiny cap sleeves but have the ease and movement of a sleeveless dress. 

If you've been following the Instagram at all lately, you'll see how I made a super-cute owl bag (the first ever Manic Pop bag!) and lots of you out there loved it. 

This bag is essentially a tablet bag - it's 9" by 11" with a 2" depth and will fit an Ipad and smaller into it. Or, it's a great day bag for when you need your wallet/keys/phone and a sketchbook, pencils, or a standard size notebook. 

Here is Jacob loving his new bag!

I'm kind of in love with the shape of this bag, so I went ahead and made an arrow one with leftover fabric. (Had more than I thought I would!) 

It was really fun (and easy!) to play with some piping as well as play more with the applique function on my machine which I've oddly never done before. There was a slight learning curve as my thread tension was wonky at first, but we worked it out. 

Stop on by the Etsy store! Lots more retro-handmade goodies in the works coming up! 

Which style would you like to see of past Manic Pop dresses in the shop? Fun print shirt-dresses? Colorwheel skirts? How about the Tanith Arrow Dress in other colors?

Until next time!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Creatively Busy at Manic Pop

Lots going in the Manic Pop-world!

It's only been about 2 weeks now but so far I've made the Scallop Neckline dress (photos soon and will be available for custom ordering), made a very special garment for one of my favorite bloggers which will be seen soon, as well as working on a custom order of a different kind.

Sneak peeks of everything going on for now are available on the ManicPop Instagram feed (@manicpop) but right now we are busy, busy, busy!

The video filmed about Manic Pop 2 weeks ago should be up soon - but for now, check out some more of the fantastic work by Carlos Martinez and the other people he has filmed already for this project.

Be back soon with more fun things!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Manic Pop is Going Mobile! Boutique, That Is.

Here's the deal: I know I mentioned a hiatus from Manic Pop for a bit, but Manic Pop will NOT let me quit for some reason.

Instead of fighting it, I am going with it.

Super-excited to announce that I am going full time with Manic Pop here on out but with a much-expanded product line of many crafty retro things such as my original handmade garments, totes, accessories. Stay tuned for all the product I have lined up!

Currently, here is what is happening: 

-In the middle of securing another van for the Manic Pop mobile boutique - follow the Twitter page @manicpopbus to see where we are! Currently building up inventory for the next few months but will be gearing up for a "Midwest Tour" in 2015.

 (Ok, I only wish this could be the bus, but I'll create something as cool as I can.... plus dependable.)

-Videographer is doing a profile on me and my design work with Manic Pop in the studio!

-Also was just given the domain name ManicPop.com ever so kindly by Michael Alan Perry, former owner of the late great Manic Pop Records based out of Minnesota. You can now contact me/send inquiries/custom requests to nicole@manicpop.com as well as access the blog by typing in www.manicpop.com!

This also means the PDF patterns are in the works again (get ready for the Petra dress!) No expected timeline on those, but I'll be working on them for sure! These are definitely something I would like to offer.

For inspiration, let's take a look at photos I dug up on the internet of fun fashion trucks, campers, and mobile boutiques alike!

 Totally in love with Lodekka, out of Portland, OR.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

BKI Knockoff Tunic Top

One more like I promised....

Can you guess which one is the impostor?!

 The one in the middle! 

So the story goes is that I have these sheer tunic tops from Brooklyn Industries that I love. I love them so much that every time we would get one in the store, my coworkers knew I was going to buy one. (I have a few other sheer tunic tops from them!) Wandering around in the fabric store about a month or so ago, I found this floral sheer print fabric and knew it would be perfect for another tunic top. It was only $6 a yard, so I figured I would try sewing with sheer fabric.

If only I had a pattern! I looked around on Burda for something that could be a tunic top approximation and even in the store for a pattern from another brand but.... no dice. It seemed like there was a general lack of tunic tops as a whole everywhere I looked. 

So, as always, I got to work making my own sewing pattern. 

I paid VERY close attention to detail on this one as I wanted to see how close of a knock off I could make it. 

There are 6 pintucks on each side of the front bodice - something I thought would be more difficult than it actually was. Especially in sheer fabric! I've done pintucks before long, long ago in college but I never have sewn with a sheer fabric. This was surprisingly easy.
The pintucks on the shoulder eliminate the need for darts on the bust. I also made the overall patten very straight, just like the original. 

 I even added a rounded back yoke and made a classic princess seamline like the original as well as a shirt-tail hem. I kinda went all out on this. 

Because it's a sheer fabric, I went ahead and made enclosed seams on it which is basically like sewing the garment twice. You can see that I got lazy by the end with the armholes and hem and just serged the edges. The original one is sewn using a self-binding but I just wanted to make my life easy and not cut binding or fuss with folding it over. 

I do think I'll make this style again eventually. I even like that I eliminated the problem of the neckline popping open like the original BKI design has. I think they wanted the neckline to be unbuttoned at the top button to make a v-shape neckline but.... it mostly annoys me where it sits. Bonus: My design is not annoying! 

I'm still basically on my self-imposed summer break (or longer?) from the blog. Updating has been a habit, but I am also not that great at updating all that often. So.... long story short: I might be around, I might not be. I'll always post if I make something but don't expect a miracle. 

I am making something very soon for a special blogger-friend but won't reveal who she is. I'll let her post all about the dress when it's done, but you may still get sneak peeks on the Instagram!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Burda's Princess Dress

And now, time for a new dress!

This one is Burda's Princess Dress - #124B. I actually didn't make any changes to the pattern and cut the smallest size. I had this floral quilting fabric hanging around and wanted to use it up! The green is leftover yardage from the Tanith Arrow Dress.

This dress whipped up pretty quickly! And I did a super-successful invisible zip. I typically don't use them because the fabric store I go to rarely sells them. If they do, I don't know where the hell they are!

 Lately, I have been doing a lot of riding around on my bike, due to working for a very bike-friendly company. I'm still adjusting to riding a bit (I still feel a little like my whole body is vibrating after I stop if I ride for a consistent length of time) but I have been occasionally riding part of the way to work, 6 out of 12 miles roundtrip. I may never ride 12 miles roundtrip each day, but that's not the point for me.

I also needed everyone to know that my ol' bike has spoke beads. I'll be looking for some more soon. I just wrapped my handlebars for the first time and had to have seafoam green. Now my bike looks like an Easter egg!

I found this bike about 4-5 years ago in a thrift store for $50 - my favorite thrift store in Uptown! It needs some slight work like new tires and the headset gets a little flippy/mis-aligned sometimes but I prefer beaters in life. My reasoning is that most people won't try to steal beaters (though yes, people will try to steal anything) but I'm also not afraid to use it and beat it up a little.

 This dress is actually really comfortable. It only has bust darts which makes the top a little more roomy (not that I need that) and I opted to make mine sleeveless. I love dresses with sleeves, but I didn't have enough fabric for it. Plus, I just made a shirtdress not too long ago with sleeves. 

So I made a classic all-in-one facing pattern for this dress.

 I also put these fun wooden buttons I just had hanging around for almost a year. They matched perfectly! I also placed them on my left shoulder since I am a lefty bag-wearer. They won't get in the way when a messenger bag strap is on your right shoulder.

Overall, it was nice to sew a dress that I didn't make the pattern for once. I get caught up sometimes in making everything myself instead of just enjoying the sewing process and that's what this was for me: enjoying the sewing process. I can make patterns relatively quickly now for almost anything which is totally awesome, but sometimes I need to take a break.

I beat myself up mercilessly when something I have tested in a muslin somehow still doesn't turn out 100%. But nothing in life is 100% and sometimes you create a bad design. It just happens! How many retail stores have you been in and tried something on and even though it looked great, it just was off? We're all human.

This on the other hand.... if it didn't turn out well, I could just blame Burda. Looks like I didn't have to on this!

I also am failing hardcore at Me Made May '14. I signed up with a pledge of 3 handmade garments a week, but we've been moving around a lot of dirty stuff at work and t-shirts/jeans work best in that situation. I'm also still figuring out exactly what is appropriate to wear to work, so I've been playing it safe for a bit!

Until next time....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Current Music 5/1

It's been a while since I've done a music post - mostly because I rarely find things I absolutely love anymore.

Recently I came across a band called The Resonars - though it seems I'm a little late in finding them (how about 7 years too late?) Either way, their music is fantastic. I'm a huge fan of finding music that sounds like it's from another era, and the Resonars sound like they could fit right amongst classics like The Byrds or The Kinks.

This song is absolutely killer:

That Resonars song actually sort of reminds me of this older song.... which is written by a former member of The Cowsills.

More Resonars: This one actually reminds me of the bittersweet end of a relationship, something I wasn't prepared for.

Another retro/psych-ish song I've been obsessed with - this band is really blowing up:

And an older find, but still a great representation of newer psych stuff:

I'll be back with a new dress soon from a Burda pattern, but going through some tough stuff recently. A near and dear friendship of 10 plus years completely unraveled on me through absolutely no fault of my own. I was temporarily trapped in a really bad Lifetime movie for the past 4-5 months and it finally blew up last week as I was led to believe many things that weren't true in the least bit.

I won't go into details, but it's one of the worst things I have ever been through. However, time will heal all and I am really glad that I got out of the situation when I did. I feel like I narrowly escaped a horrific plane crash. There were a few good moments, but it was mostly very confusing, hurtful, and heartbreaking.

One thing is for sure: Don't ever let someone ruin the music you love. If you love a piece of music, hold onto that. Own it. It doesn't matter if that person had a part in making it at all. You can still love it separately from the person who created it - that music has a life of its own.

Over time, the memories you had with that piece of music will fade into new ones. Play the shit out of it! Everything truly does happen for a reason, even if that reason isn't clear yet. 

I'll also be participating in Me Made May '14 this year, so be on the lookout for some of those posts! I pledged to wear 3 handmade items a week - planning on some I haven't worn in a long, long while mostly to see what's up with 'em.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Collaboration: Tanith Hat and Dress

Today's blog post is in collaboration with the lovely Tanith of Tanith Rowan Designs

Tanith has been doing a great series on hats through the decades and picked me to be her 60s girl! Make sure to check out all of her posts! 

I was so excited when Tanith asked me to be a collaborator for this series - based in Australia, she makes some really beautiful vintage-inspired hats! Via our original correspondence some time in February, we talked about my love for bright, out-there colors as well as how I was getting into the whole arrow-motif thing. She was able to put a fun arrow on this hat!

She kept the hat a surprise so when I opened the box I only knew she was sending a helmet-style hat, which I love. 

For my contribution to this collaboration, we decided I should make a garment to match with it. I've been wanting an arrow dress for some time, and this is what I came up with!

Quick Photoshop of my sketch for the colorways. Initially, the arrow oddly wasn't a part of the dress until it was suggested by a friend. I think the arrow totally makes this dress, aptly titled the Tanith Dress!

 It's finally nice enough to take photos outside again and we waited for a much warmer day to take these photos. It topped out at almost 80 this day! 

The same person whose idea it was to add the arrow also suggested it look like it was raining in some of the photos. I love the way these shots in the gangway turned out!

And here I am with my Mary Tyler Moore-esque moment!

A very special thanks to Tanith with this, especially sending it from halfway around the world! It was tons of fun and I'm totally looking forward to more collaborations!

And now that the weather is finally nice enough out.... expect more outside photos for my next creations.
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