Archive for the ‘Costumes and Fashion’ Category

Hello again, friends. I’ve spent the last few months sewing, designing, sketching, and experimenting like a mad scientist. xD The first semester in design school ended beautifully – I ended up with quite a few complements from professors…. including a design  my illustration prof encourages me to patent. :)

First, I’ll whet your appetite with my Flat Pattern Design I term project – a dress I designed, drafted, cut, and sewed in the space of 2 weeks.

(Remember to click for larger pictures!!)

This dress is called "Pantoinette" - inspired by paper doll depictions of French Royalty during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The patterns are based on standard size 10 slopers we developed in class over the semester.

The dress is in two parts: "jacket" and "stomacher". The stomacher attaches underneath the jacket with 6 snaps and 6 antique buttons.

The bodice is based on an armhole princess line, and the skirt is an extreme "bubble" style, with added gathers, netting, and padding at the hips and hem to achieve a Rococo-like style. By no means was I going for "period" style - Rococo was simply the "feel" I tried to attain.

Our requirements were simple: using the theme "paper dolls", create an original dress or skirt-blouse outfit. It needed a collar, sleeve, appropriate facings, and working buttonholes, all in a cotton blend fabric. We only needed to create half a garment...

... but I ended up creating a fully-lined, two-piece dress, ready to wear out the door. (with an extra petticoat, if you wish :) )

I worked very hard to make the "japonaise" cotton fabric match at the center back. I originally wanted to include a watteau pleat in addition to the bubbled hem (a-la Christian Dior S2008/Couture), but I didn't want to over-complicate the project.

Somehow, the waist grew while I was drafting. I imagine it had to do with the exaggerated hip line and the front opening. Overall, I like how it turned out... I was even able to wear it to a costume ball last weekend. :)

As much joy this project gave me, I found that I disliked the style after I completed it. I mean, yes it is a costume in every sense of the word. But my sense of style has changed so quickly over the past two months. I rarely wear Lolita anymore. I wear as much Men’s clothing as I do Women’s. My standards of fit, construction, and design have gone beyond what I am currently capable of (though that’s about to change).

I’ve transformed from a lover of frills to an Appreciator of Absence.

While sketching one night, over the course of an hour, both my illustration style and design sense changed radically. I went from realism and forced-looking jackets to abstract lines and proportions, with fabric manipulations I’m really not sure how to do yet, but that I now know are possible (thanks to the Miyakes, Yamamotos, and Kawakubos of the fashion world). When I get back to New York (and a bigger flatbed scanner), I will share this two-month journey with you, highlighting where Everything Changed.

Oh, I’ll be volunteering at some of the F/W 2011 Fashion/Market Week events next month. I’ll bring back tales of The Real World and let you know what goes on behind all the flash and glamour. I promise you, fashion design is not just drawing pretty dresses….

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.


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Hey all, I’ve been pretty busy with contest work and projects… and I got a cold on Thursday night. >_< But after spending all of Friday resting, I bring you a fresh crop of amazing fashion from the Flea Market today! :3

I keep meeting the most awesome people here. I glimpsed a Comic-con badge on one of the visitors as he was leaving.  (Perhaps he was stopping by in between panels. xD)  I’d love to go, but maybe next year I’ll have the extra cash…

Punk/Goth is one of my most consistent sources of inspiration. This man caught my eye just as we were coming in to the market. He works in fashion, too. :)

I love Benny's style - casual elegance meets 80's New Wave. Apparently his weekend style is usually much more over the top!! He works as a podiastrist.

Stephan Keating wears one of his custom-made masks everywhere he goes. The complex brass joints and welded circuitry make a shocking contrast with his "normal" clothes - "as though I was in a car accident", he chuckled. I think his style is a perfect blend of Metropolis and good-ol Steampunk.

He let me try it on, too. :3

Of course, the flea market isn’t the only place to find epic street wear in NYC. It’s not as localized here as is in, say, Tokyo, but you never have to go far to find something interesting…

Thomas is a fellow student here at FIT. Most of his wardrobe is either vintage or carefully-chosen retail. He's a huge fan of steampunk and army memoribilia.

And that’s all I have for today. I’m getting more confident asking people for their pictures – so expect even more awesomeness in the future!!

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.


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… you don’t just sit and let it pass. You write it down, sketch it out.

And you don’t stop there. You don’t just record the idea, you make the idea into reality. Use whatever resources you have at hand, no matter how meager.

Don’t wait to be taught how to do it. Ask someone, or figure it out yourself, and do it. Play.

Leftover strips of fabric… 3 weeks of classes… and an open classroom.

I know that I am taking a great risk, putting a novel idea out on the internet for anyone to look at, but sharing ideas and inspiration is “the change I wish to see in the world”.

So this plus this:

Van Gogh's "Starry Night"…yields this idea:

…and this fledgling reality.

The left front of the bodice-to-be. Right side will come later...

I imagine the finished dress in crinkled strips of blue, gold, and purple silk arranged on a black organza underdress... but strips of muslin pinned to a dressform will serve for now.

This shall be a sort of cross between a low-backed evening dress and an elegantly revealing halter. I think showing a little of the "side boob" adds the perfect touch of quiet sexiness. :)

Tendrils coming down the back, a preview of the full effect. There will be a crinoline for the finished dress; but for now, I just want to see how the wrapped and tacked fabric might look. It looks better than I had imagined!

detail of the curls at the small of the back.

I so desperately love this sort of work. I could cut and sew beautiful dramatic things for-ever. I want to make costumes and wonderful things… I want to dress all sorts of people people for the most beautiful moments of their lives. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to live and work with joy and dignity.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R. (The Forgotten Doll)


EDIT: Added watermarks to images.

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Almost done…

Hello, dearly beloved readers. I just finished one of the major steps on Toby’s tailcoat. Aaaaaand I made a video about it. Check it out!

I plan on having each of these outfit pieces done by Friday. Wish me luck!

I’m leaving for school next Tuesday, too. Things might be a bit slow here as I re-adjust/look for work, but I’ll be back… :3

Love and blessings,


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Hello, dear readers! I’ve had a very productive week. The June 12th Marquis show was wonderful – we had 51 people at the club for our show! Details for the August show are solidifying, so more on that later. :3

At the urging of several of my successful acquaintances, I had some business cards printed up. So far, I’ve gotten a really positive response. :)

It's done in the style of a Victorian Calling card, with my own touches of whimsy added in. Stock by FlowerSong.DeviantArt.com

I also finished my first necktie reconstruction for Mr. Michael Earhart. He likes to wear interesting ties while he’s playing onstage with his band, Jimmy Adcock and the Texas Surfers, so with some old neckties, guitar picks, and a drill press, I made this for him.

Mr. Earhart of Main Street School of Music

Mr. Earhart loves his "new" tie! I took guitar lessons at his music school. :)

Close-up of the "guitar pick bandoleer"

In the close-up, you can see the "bandoleer" effect from the colorful, slanted picks.

It’s not a perfect job… I need to be more careful when re-sewing the tie together (there was a bit of twisting), and the picks aren’t perfectly straight, but both of us are really happy with the results! :) I’ll be doing a “guitar neck” tie with frets and dots and strings next. ^o^/ And, when I get my hands on some more ties, I’ll make these to sell on the Etsy page!

In other news, I’m officially going to FIT in the fall! I’m still not quite sure how I’ll pay for the whole thing, but God will provide, as He always has.

Love and blessings,

Naomi a.k.a. kagitsune

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So, while I was searching for jobs, Trench and I stopped in at the place where I used to take my guitar lessons – Earhart Electronics (they repair instruments and sell accessories, too). Turns out Mr. Earhart remembered me, and we started talking about what I’ve been up to. Naturally, I told him about the TeeWrex, and he was interested. “Can you do anything to a necktie?”  I considered for a moment – yes, I could figure something out.  Trench made the amazing suggestion of a bandoleer of guitar picks…

アルバイトを探すとき、私とトレンチ君はギターの学科をした店(Earhart エレクトロニクス)に行きました。Earhartさんは私を覚えるし、TeeWrexについて話しました。”ね、ネックタイを使えるの?” はい、何かできるでしょう。トレンチ君はこのスゲーなギターピックの「タン薬帯」を作りました。。。


Yes, crappy picture, but better ones of the competed project are on the way! ^o^ I need to re-align some of the straps (made from a second unwanted tie) and drill holes into the picks Mr. Earhart gave me for the project.

下手な写真かなぁ。。。でも、もうすぐ、もっといいのをとってつもりですよ!^o^ 一も二ステップをしなくちゃ。。。

Next one will be a whole guitar neck, with frets and dots… :D


So, I asked on the Etsy boards about running a service-ish business like mine. Most people thought it was a good idea, but it’d take a lot to get customers to go through the trouble of sending me their tees. Also, I need more examples, and pictures. However, one slightly frightening possibility arose – my business might be labeled as “tailoring” and not allowed on Etsy! o_o;; Thankfully, the Etsy help guys came to my rescue, and said that as long as I show examples, have set prices, and make the nature of my business clear, it counts as “custom work” and is allowed. *sigh of relief* Yaay, doomsday averted. (これはあまり面白くないと思いますよ。^^;)

The family I’m spending the summer with is pretty supportive of my projects – they even donated some tee-shirts for me to make more examples (which I’ll also sell)! However, there were a couple with Japanese or Chinese phrases printed on them. To be sure I wasn’t selling something that said “radish” or “prostitute”, I used my handy-dandy Canon Wordtank to look ’em up… but this one alluded me until about 20 minutes ago.


I knew the small writing on the left read "daisuki", or "I love...". But what were the big kanji??

After some frustrated searching, I finally went to the website that made the tee (www.cosmic-world.net). And you know what it says?

“Awamori”. Awamori is a strong Okinawan distilled rice wine. “Awamori Daisuki” is a casual way of saying, “I love hard Japanese liquor”



The only problem with this discovery is turning the tee into something that isn’t totally disrespectful! xD


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Lately, turning men’s shirts into skirts has been popular, but I’m not really a fan of the typical sleeves-to-gores method. So when I found a wonderful XXL Avirex label button-down at the thrift store, I knew it was destined for greatness. I proceeded to cut off the bottom half of the shirt, using the column of buttons as the main closure for the skirt. I drafted and cut a skirt yoke, figured out how jeans pockets work, and gathered and sewed it all together. This is the result! (thanks to my soul-sister Emily for the photos!)

I still have to work out a couple kinks, but overall I'm pretty satisfied. :3

I love how this fabric has that "classy punk" feel. <3 I'm gonna seek out more from this Avirex brand. All those brands they sell at The Buckle look ideal, too... so expensive and pretty tho... ;_;

Here’s the back. I had to cut off the bottom “flappies” of the original shirt to keep it from looking too, well… shirt-like. ^^;

This was a really fun challenge. The pockets were like working out a puzzle, since the side seams of the shirt had been flat-felled. I finished them the lazy way, but I think next time I do this I’ll re-do most of the seam. ^^ Also, working with dress shirt fabric is, ah… interesting. It washes beautifully, but it wrinkles like the dickens. xD

This design (not this skirt – your shirt turned into a similar one) is going up on the TeeWrex.Etsy.com store in a matter of days!! :D

As a special bonus, I’m also wearing my next jacket mod project. When I found these two shirts, I knew their “victorian tattoo” designs needed to be incorporated together somehow. Well, I began looking for a jacket… Ashley found EXACTLY what I needed when we were at Lula-B’s, and I set to work!

This is quickly becoming my "nerdy punk jacket", with tape measure appliques, odd religious paraphernalia,what have you. Don't you just love those diesel-punk details and that Victorian Military color and cut??

"His eye is on the Sparrow". The rest will be added later. :3

The back is unfinished, but turning out awesome. Roses crawling over the shoulders, a winged handshake (o_o?), and the enigmatic "Revolving Punk" moniker applique'd as a flying banner (I'm particularly proud of that one).

(Don’t forget you can click on the pictures to see them full size! :D)

My style has been all over the place lately. Some days I feel like looking exactly like a boy, sometimes I want to feel like some sort of cute biker chick gothette, and other days I dress like a sweet pastel Lolita princess (or a sweet pastel Gothic princess, take your pick). Since I just moved house and not all my clothes are here (similar to my situation in December), working within a limited wardrobe has forced me to become even more creative with my daily style, as well as wear my favorite clothes more often. This is an exercise I recommend to every fashion-savvy individual looking to update their look, as well as get the most out of their existing wardrobe. (Actually, it occurs to me that Doe Deere is doing something similar this week. :) )

Oh, I also made some more headway on the Marquis of Vaudeville costumes… My Lord, they look so beautiful so far…

Love and Creativity,


P.S. Oh, remind me to blog about the carbon-atom-based dresses I learned about at Scarbie. This designer is a mad scientist after my own heart… <3

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