Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Costume Time!

I absolutely adore Halloween. A few years back I discovered the amazing Mexican holiday/celebration, Dia de Los Muertos, via my high school Spanish language class; talk about an awakening! The imagery is fantastic and amazing, and I will forever hold a soft spot for traditional Mexican folk art, religious art, etc. due to that first splashy introduction courtesy of Senora Odle.

This year for Halloween I decided to pull out all the stops and create a BEAUTIFUL costume, something I haven't done for years. I never get to play around with costuming techniques, so I am thrilled to have the time this year (OK, I don't necessarily have the time so to speak, but I'm making time!) My inspiration comes from the amazing artists at 666 Photography in Austin, Texas. Below are a few of their pieces that inspired me to live it up as a Day of the Dead Harvest Muerta:

I have most of the flowers needed, tonight I'm going to work on making some bows and ribbon cockades, much like the beauties the House of Nines Design Etsy shop:

I'm also very excited about the makeup and hair - I plan on making some false hair pieces/rolls for volume, and tucking plenty of ribbons/flowers into my hair to create the beautiful crown that sets off each Muerta. I will be sure to take some photos of the finished costume! I'm excited to get back into the shop and finish this off tonight, hopefully.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Shop Baby (and an old one too!)

About two weeks ago, I welcomed a new machine into my life. While browsing our local Craigslist, I came across a great looking Juki straight stitch, exactly what I'd been looking for. The price was good, so my husband and I made a very quick 2 hour trip to the machine's location, handed over cash and hauled it back. The Juki is practically brand new, and I'm so happy to have it.

I'm also on the lookout for a Juki overlock, a Merrow machine, and perhaps a blind hemmer while I'm at it. I'm so pleased to be moving forward with my machine "collection" - I worked exclusively on industrial machines in school, and it has been very frustrating for me to work on domestic/home machines ever since. Now I have a permanent shop space to use for my equipment, as well as the funds necessary to aquire said equipment - we're movin' on up!

This is my other shop baby, Reggie - who likes to eat thread if we don't watch him closely. He's down to about two lives at this point, and he drives me to madness half the time. But he's a great companion and injects a lot of life into our little household.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gaining Ground

I officially filed for my LLC today, as Rockin' B Design (tm), LLC. I've been operating under a sole proprietorship for the past few years, so I see this as a very positive step for Rockin' B. I've also been hard at work getting back into patternmaking and sample making now that our wedding is over; I've decided to release a batch of 4 garments as my first cohesive line. I think 4 is a solid number to work with - focusing on 2 dresses and 2 skirts. I'm staying away from jackets and tops in general for now, as there are already PLENTY of western wear companies out there churning out shirts, blouses, jackets... you get the picture. I would love to add a solid jacket design to my line in the future, but for now I'm going to focus on items that are not readily available in the current western wear market.

Good plan? I think so.

Currently on my cutting table is the Dale Western Wiggle skirt, aka RB style# 120002. Though I LOVE naming my garments, I know that style numbers are the way to go professionally. I've been working from the beginning on establishing a good numbering system, keeping in line with Kathleen Fasanella's advice over at Fashion-Incubator. Production pattern standards are honestly so time saving, they are keeping me sane and my workroom much more organized. By the way, I urge everyone out there who's even thinking about launching a design or manufacturing business to purchase Kathleen's book - I received my copy as a graduation gift from my mom 2 years ago (I asked for it!), and it has been INVALUABLE to me as I've been scheming planning the growth of Rockin' B Clothing as a serious design business.

I hope to have more info and perhaps a preview of #120002 up within a day or two. The sample is turning out nicely, I haven't had much time to work on it while juggling all of the IRS forms for the LLC. But hey - progress is progress!