from the jazz age to the space age

Tag Archives: Fall

Last week we had a brief moment of cooler weather which I took advantage of. I mentioned that I inherited some clothes from my husband’s great Aunt, and here are a couple of them. The soft brown tea length skirt has wooden button that go down the side. I had to take it in about 4″ in the waist and body of the skirt. It has an elastic waist so there wasn’t going to be a really great way to do that without cutting the elastic on each side, trimming it, reattaching it and then trimming each side. Orrrrrrr I could take it out of the center back seam which would shift the side seams toward the back. I took it out of the back simply bc that way I only had to do it once instead of twice, which is what would have happened by taking from the sides. But, with this tightly gathered style, you can’t even see the side or back seams at all, so it all worked out.
My sweet Karl is too excited to get some vanilla milk at Target to bother staying still.photo 1 This is what I’m assuming is a home made brushed cotton dress. It had small shoulder pads that I cut out. The shoulders, even before this, were a little too wide for me & I contemplated taking the sleeve out and moving it in a bit. But that would change the sleeve length, which is like exactly where it is. So, I’m living with it. I cut off about 6″ from the bottom to make it a little more contemporary, otherwise it looked very “vintage drag”. There are pintucks running down each sleeve which really made me fall in love with this dress. ❤
My husband Mikael took both of these photos to send them to his mother so she could see that her Aunt’s clothes are getting a new life. And yes, they all knew I was going to have to alter them for a better fit 🙂
We are ready to go to the neighborhood diner. I LOVE diner food. Love it. Give me diner coffee, eggs and hashbrowns and I’m set!photo 2We’re in total agreement Agent Cooper damn-fine-cup-of-coffee-e1336535321587-290x290Coop is from Welcome to Twin Peaks


Even though it’s only August, the trees here have already started to turn. I’ve been thinking about Autumn and everything that goes with it: shorter days, cooler weather, beautiful foliage, PSL (and everything pumpkin- I don’t care! I love it!), and cute clothes. Ahhhhhhhhh the clothes! Karl will be starting Kindergarten which means I’ll have a few hours (sort of) to myself in the morning, provided Tony naps on schedule.
I lost the baby weight so I’ve been eyeing my patterns and daydreaming. But, after buying some fabric over the summer I’ve vowed to work my way through my fabric stash before I buy any more. I’m pretty confident I can sew at least 2 things.
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I like the neckline on the Eleonore (from the Republique du Chiffon book). I plan to transfer it to my Built By Wendy shift dress so I don’t have to make a toile for this. This is seriously the only way I can ever get anything done, sewingwise. These days I just don’t have the time to make endless muslins (esp from newer companies) trying to get a decent fit. The fabric is cotton from Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley.  I’ve been meaning to peek in there for the last few years, but never got around to it. I really love their selection. Someone complimented me on my geometric dress and collar! But I was too shy to tell her I’d made them. Unfortunately the aisles aren’t big enough to get my stroller through, even though it’s not very big- which I understand. Space is at a premium in Berkeley. I ended up taking the kids back outside, putting the stroller away, and carrying the baby. Unfortunately carrying a baby and trying to carry a bolt of cloth to the cutting table requires a bit of dexterity. I’m going to have to remember to pack the Babybjorn or more likely just wait until Mikael’s days off.

Karl has been on a dinosaur roll so I’ve been making him paper dinos to color. He’s been hogging the dining room table with them. Archeopteryx and Pteranodon like to nest in the flowers. I have nightmares of the vase overturning and destroying any books I leave on the table.

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I’m definitely going to have to make a muslin for this. It’s Burda 8/2009 #112 (BEST issue ever). I’ve had this pinwale, twee as fuck, corduroy laying around forever. I think it’ll be perfect for Fall. My son’s dinosaurs agree. I’m really, really excited to make this bc in the same issue there’s a more complicated version that I’ve been eyeing for a gazillion years. And yes, I have fabric for that too.

I also sort of inherited some clothes from Mikael’s Great Aunt. She was quite the beauty and a clothes horse. The clothes were shipped to my inlaws and I was given the chance to pick anything I thought might fit me. I’m also the closest to her in build, being tall and somewhat slim- although she had more of an athletic 1940s body as opposed to my pear shape. Her mother did quite a bit of sewing for her when she was young and turning the skirts inside out has demystified welt pockets for me like nothing else has managed to do. I picked out a few wool skirts as well as 2 Pendleton wool suits, a couple of beautiful day dresses, and a long cotton dress with a crazy puffed shoulder jacket that looks like something Rachel from Blade Runner would wear while picnicking with Deckard. I’m going to have to alter everything, but it’s doable so I’m incredibly excited. The best part is the colors! The most beautiful greens and deep blues. Gah! I feel incredibly lucky. The few things my Grandmother kept stopped fitting me when I turned 13 and grew into the kaiju I am today. I am happy I have a dress my Grandmother and I made together.

Back to work! I’m almost finished with a new illustration- then I have a painting I’m itching to do- and THEN I should be able to knock out the Eleonore dress and the Burda cape(let).


Despite what the calendar says, September is the beginning of Autumn! The days are hot, but the afternoons already show the long shadows typical of my favorite season. Fall also means I’m feeling invigorated. My table is full of projects that I feel great about. The work of the past year is finally coming together. It’s so nice to create something and be satisfied with it.

A few things I’m working on-

“Black Gloves”

Clothed in her retro 70s Biba style dress, Kora is busy adjusting her black gloves in a grove of abstracted, shimmering Art deco trees…

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Here’s a work in progress shot that I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago-

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Generally, my work flow is something along the lines of first getting visual inspiration. I watch my favorite movies or shows (like Twin Peaks), browse books and magazines (my favorite drawing books, Rackham, or Pinterest), &/or listen to music (Of Monsters and Men has been on perma play). Then I make a quick sketch in a small notebook (upper left). I take photo reference & print it out (upper right). And then I make a sketch in my large sketchbook. Sometimes that gets scanned into Photoshop, tweaked, and printed. But even then it may not still be right, so I’ll cut up the print and move things around, taping them until they finally look right. After that I transfer the drawing to thick Acrylic paper or canvas.
The color process involves going back to my sketch in Photoshop & slapping some color on there for a general idea before I actually put paint on the paper or canvas.

Some more wips (works in progress) in this same series-

“Dangerous Pleasures”

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“The Schoolgirl”

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As well as the dolls that are part of the same series-

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Sigh, I have been dreaming of Pumpkin Spice Lattes! I’ve already had 4 so far. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I explained to him that they’re seasonal and so they’re gone after Thanksgiving. He was tempted, but decided to stick with his ice coffee.

Happy Autumn!


My first Burda Easy Magazine (covering sizes 34-44) came in the mail last week. Usually the patterns inside don’t spark my imagination, but this time, there were these:

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thumb_800x600_10-3What the what? These are great! You can check out the rest on the Russian Burda website. (P.S.- the Russian Burda website is all you will ever desire in a Burda website.) Instead of waiting for it to pop up on ebay for $20, I just signed up for a year subscription (2 issues) for the same price. It’s a really cool magazine. Here’s what it looks like inside:

IMG_1078As you can see, it has eight patterns, and two of those you draft yourself. (The monthly Burda has 16 to 24, not counting childrens, crafts, draft yourself, and multiple versions.) Still, the four patterns I showed above are so awesome, for $10, I’m sold.

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IMG_1081There are multiple tissue patterns in the center. They aren’t printed over each other in different colors, like regular Burda, but you still need to trace them bc the patterns are printed on both sides of each sheet.

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IMG_1083The back of the magazine features detailed, for Burda, sewing instructions. All in all, this is fun. Karl starts preschool next week which means I have two mornings to myself. I do have a project I need to finish the first week, then it’s on to producing some dolls and paintings for sale, but I’ve promised myself that I have to get into my five year old fabric stash and make some clothes for myself, my husband, and Karl. I refuse to be a doll lady whose dolls are better dressed than myself. Refuse.

As you may have heard, if you read the American Burda website, there is going to be an American version of Burda. Apparently, it will have fewer patterns, but more detailed instructions. I think it’ll end up being something like Burda Easy. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, bc I feel that there’s a market for it. But I’m glad the other international versions with more variety will still exist and will end being the copies I buy.