I was recently given the honor/nomination of the Liebster award by Meg over at Made by Meg which is an award given to lesser-known bloggers who have fantastic blogs! (Usually people with fewer than 200 followers). The other part of this award is choosing 11 of your other favorite bloggers as well as asking them 11 questions so they can answer/nominate on their blogs as well!
I'm not sure I have 11 favorite bloggers with 200 or less followers (many blogs I follow are either fairly well-known or others I love are very infrequently updated), but here are the people who I follow with 200 or less who are super-awesome:
Abby Normal's Guide to Style -
Cosmic Nonsense -
This girl is a true individual. She finds so many awesome quirky things (like a blouse with molars on them) and overall has a fun, witchy sense of style. She actually reminds me of my best friend from kindergarten who turned into this total punk chick now.
Three Spectacled Gals
These 3 ladies (I know, photo of only one!) are super-cute fashion bloggers with tutorials as well as videos. They're also just getting their blog rolling, but I am expecting some pretty awesome things from them based on what they've been posting so far! Plus, they all wear glasses!
Brett is A Blog
Ok, I'm cheating here with Brett because she has slightly over 200 followers on her blog. Her Tumblr is perhaps more updated as well. She's someone I went to college with and her art is absolutely fantastic. She's been doing some pretty big things and she definitely deserves it. One of the sweetest and most creative people I know.
LillStreet Textiles Blog
** Side note here, I really don't have 11 blogs that qualify for this award, so I'm stopping here.
I'm also not coming up with a set of questions due to how different all the blogs are that I posted; fashion, art, sewing/crafts. I know that's not in true spirit of this award, but..... aahh!
And now, a Q&A with me, thanks to Meg over at Made by Meg!
- A bit about you - where are you from and do you have a favorite local sewing store? Can I come visit? (Ok, you don't have to answer that last part.): Originally from Connecticut by way of Michigan, I am currently living in Chicago which is where I went to school here - The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago. The original plan was to move back east after graduation in 2007, but I kind of got attached to Chicago for one reason or another. My favorite local fabric store is Textile Discount Outlet. A former teacher of mine, Geoffrey Mac told me to go there long, long ago (he's now a successful fashion designer in New York who makes things for Debbie Harry, Lady Gaga, etc.). It's 3 huge warehouse floors full of fabric. They don't always know what they have there and sometimes it can be hard to find things. It's also to your advantage to check the bolts out before you buy but it's super cheap (I never spend more than $8 on ANYTHING and my average there is $3-4/yd.)I think the most I have ever spent per yard might be $10/yd and that was for some psychedelic suede-ish fabric for chairs I re-did in the dining room. (See above.)
- How do you choose your fabrics? Do you go with what catches your eye? Have something in mind when you go? Or shop for certain fabric weights or colors? Well, I'm unofficially and jokingly known as the "polyester princess" since I love and use it for most projects but many I've recently used are fabrics I had just chilling whether it be scraps, fabric given to me, etc. Lately, I found an amazing psychedelic print fabric that I'll be making probably a dress with at this point. Sometimes I dye fabric, sometimes I have ideas what the colors should be based on a sketch so I just try to buy that color fabric.
- Are you a cautious, measure-twice-cut-once type of sewist or are you the throw-it-up-on-the-dress-form, make-it-up-as-you-go type of girl? Definitely more cautious. I am trained in pattern making so I typically do all the drafting/pattern work then edit designs on a dressform. I can only think of one time where I draped an entire anything and I envy people who can design that way. It's so much more free.
- What is your favorite thing you've ever made (show me!) Ooh, good question. Honestly, I love my Mix n Match dress the most! The pockets are super-cool on it and I'm impressed how nice I make them look considering I made the patterns all myself and wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. It's definitely the dress I wear the most!
- What was the most DISASTROUS thing you've ever made and why? (You don't have to, but of course we'd all like to see that as well!) I had an evening wear class in college that I had to take as an elective. If you know me, you know that I DO NOT do evening wear! The dress was really cool in theory but the fabric I chose was terrible. It looked great in the fabric store and was this beautiful mint color but it had this weird sheen and stiffness to it that just didn't work. I didn't even finish the inside of it I got so mad. The pattern was made correctly, but the fabric was all wrong. Here is a sketch of it with the rest of my evening wear collection for school - this is how it was meant to be (center croquis). I still have the belt I made for that dress with all the little pintucks on it.
- Do you primarily sew special garments for your wardrobe (dresses, jackets...) or do you try to make everything yourself (underwear, t-shirts...)? How's that going? Definitely only what I feel like making. It's usually dresses/skirts/jackets though I am only limited by my imagination. I started working on a retro swimwear line about 4 years ago but then I just...stopped. The next year was the year retro swimwear blew up and I was kinda mad I had never finished sewing up samples.
- Would you say you've found your personal style? Or do your tastes constantly evolve so that what you made last year doesn't work for you any more? Any tips on that front? I've always known what my own personal style is, but now I know what my designer's voice is which is really important. I use (and always have) lots of contrast color blocking, a nod to vintage, and multiple/bright colors as well as psychedelic prints if I can find them. I just found this one at a boutique that was closing in Wicker Park!
- What decade other than now most closely inspires your (current) personal style? Late 60s, early 70s. I always joke that my house is stuck in about... 1971.
Mod guest room.
- Have you ever sewn for others? Did they appreciate it? Did it fit? I have! When I worked with my drag queen, SPRADA for her webseries debut, I made a lot of the outfits on the show. I had really never done that before and it was a challenge for me. Some things were a bit snug, but other things were close to perfect. She definitely made me grow as a designer and built my confidence.
Me and SPRADA in an evening look, 2011.
- What is your day job/day-to-day life like? Are you an all-around creative or is this your artistic outlet? My day job is working in retail, but it's sort of like an extension of what I do as a designer. I have more of the production lingo if I need to talk to production/etc and lots of times I just get to shop with people all day long. I feel like my life is not unlike an episode of What Not to Wear and I get to laugh and joke with customers, give them opinions on what items look best, and help them feel their best!
- I know all your friends are telling you to get into the sewing business. Do you ever have aspirations to start your own handmade-related venture? I had an Etsy account, but I really didn't have enough followers to sell things, so I sort of gave up on it for the time being. It's more fun right now to just make things for myself. If people want custom things/remakes I wouldn't be opposed to it. I'd like to be involved in the design part of the fashion industry someday but we'll see what happens.
Thanks for reading!