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Posts Tagged ‘past work’

To all my dear Texan readers, May 21st is a day you will want to be in Dallas! Marquis of Vaudeville, that Edwardian Entourage of Musical Phantasmagore, will be co-headlining with the great Saint Karla (celebrating their brand new album) at Deep Ellum’s legendary Curtain Club. They will be supported by the beautifully ambient Auxiliary Voice that very evening. So, if you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, join the cacophonously creative ranks of The Wild Lost and join us for a night to remember. Dressing up is encouraged, so go all out! Hope to see you there! :D

So, another day brings yet another introduction to one of my lovely tee-shirt modifications. Today, I give you…

The Lace Yoke Collar

me wearing the modified "Disciple" tee

Isn't she a beaut? ^__^

Funny enough, this complex number is actually one of my first tee-shirt modifications. The baroque, filigree design of the angels crossing swords inspired me to fill in the neckline with beautiful, sexy-but-modest lace. I am on the hunt for higher quality laces, but I think the demo/personal wardrobe piece turned out quite nicely, don’t you think? :3

It seems that I deal with grief by throwing myself into my work. I began the work on this only a couple days after my dad was killed… (see the “About Me” tab). However, this tee does not carry a sad memory with it. Instead, it is a testament to how my faith and God’s Peace came to my aid during a time of great tragedy… a time that is still not over, but that too shall pass.

back of the lace yoke collar top

The back's design needs some re-working. I might do more buttons, or maybe I just need to be more careful when cutting the lace! ^^;

I do offer a similar modification in my Etsy. If you have a beautiful tee that you think could use this treatment, send it my way!

Tomorrow, I’ll show off the inestimable “Hard Rock Rococo”! But if you can’t wait, you can go to my DeviantArt page and find it there… ;3

Until then,

Naomi

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So, yesterday, Ashley and I headed over to Lulu B’s Antique/Consignment store in Dallas. I wore this:

me wearing the Alice Cards dress

I designed, drafted, and sewed the entire thing. It was finished before I went to Japan last summer. :3 Photo by Kuragiman!

I also wore my black bowler hat for that extra bit of English whimsy. -w-

After finding the PERFECT jacket for an upcoming project, Ashley took me home, and my Uncle and I visited the DPS (which, oddly enough, looks exactly like I’d imagine a fallout-proof army bunker). But even the crowded Drivers License Office can be interesting when you’re wearing an interesting dress!

I knew that the more general “audience” at the DPS might react to my attire strangely, so it didn’t surprise me when a young black man smoking outside the building muttered a “what… the hell? O_o; ” as I passed by in my puffy glory. But what followed *did* surprise me a lot!

A couple minutes later, the same young man came in from his smoke break. He saw me sitting and, for one reason or another, decided to sit next to me. He continued to stare at the dress. “In case you’re wondering, I made it,” I said. Even though it was a bit difficult to understand his urban accent, the rest of our conversation was really cool. It turned out that he *loved* the dress, especially the card suite/crowns theme. He showed me that he had the outline of an Ace of Spades tattoo on his arm, with a crown resting on the corner. Since the tattoo was unfinished, he was looking at my dress for inspiration for the details! :D In fact, the conversation inspired me to design a card-themed men’s shirt…

The moral of that story is: be friendly to everyone! Even the people who initially respond negatively to your work, or even just respond with confusion, are AT SOME LEVEL interested in it. Treat every questioning party like their interested, and you will find that they are!!

After that inspiring conversation, I began to take note of the small, but deliberate style choices in the sea of jeans-and-tee-shirt-wearers. Crew socks pulled tight above basketball shoes, showing off a logo. A tee shirt tucked in at the front to show off a special belt buckle. A particularly cute print on a set of nurse scrubs. Cowboy boots under jeans. Even those terrible, too-loose short worn low on the hips are a declaration, a glimmer, of personal style. I might not agree with the style, but I acknowledge it. Actually, it’s somewhat of a relief. I was beginning to be under the impression that we lazy Americans didn’t want to be bothered with any kind of self-expression.

Or perhaps I am being too optimistic. I speculate that the socks, low shorts, and belt buckles are just more imports from the L.A. ghettoes, popularized through rap music videos. >_>; It’s another way of following the herd… but at least it’s a somewhat special herd – one that is united by a form of music, a lifestyle, a political view.  I’m sure that some of my friends could speak at length about the bovine mentality of American youth, but I choose to find the positive in this case (a big step for me… I used be a total pessimist).

Either way, I might have been wearing a bowler hat and an Alice dress yesterday, but I don’t think that means that I have any more desire to express myself sartorially than the average person. My Act of Dressing simply means that I have more will.

It’s also interesting how different occupations’ advances in clothing and sewing tools might help me in my own endeavors. EMTs use “Trauma Shears” that can quickly cut through any fabric – super-useful for leather, I imagine. Nurses wear ultra-comfy shoes for long hours of standing. And denim fades beautifully when worn from the wrong side of the fabric… :D

Always write down every idea, even if it doesn’t seem like a good one now. Sometimes today’s “crappy idea” will come in useful in a month or two. That’s why I always keep paper and pencil (or at least a phone that can save draft text messages) with me. I even keep my sketchbook next to me when I sleep, since so many of my best ideas come to me when I’m nodding off.

Anyway, I leave you for today with these things in mind. Keep on creating!!

Love,

Naomi

P.S. I just finished another TeeWrex, only this one isn’t made from a tee-shirt! I can’t wait to show you, but until then, mum’s the word. ;D

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First of all, I’d like to sing the base tee’s praises:

Japanese Woodcut style parody tee-shirt

Aliens vs. Samurai. Epic. WIN.

It’s comfy, beautifully printed, and reasonably priced. You can contact ionwizard [at] yahoo.com if you’re interested in buying one for yourself! He’s got all kinds of kitchy, pop-culture remix designs. :D

So, on to the finished product!

I realized that an old college tee of mine was made from the same soft fabric, so I used that to make sleeves and a collar for my haori-to-be. I added some cotton kimono-print fabric I had, and…

Silly pose with comfy Haori

WHALLAH!!

wearing the haori

I love the look of the kimono print peeking out, like I'm wearing a second haori underneath.

back of the haori

The collar turned out surprisingly well, even though it tends to flop. Next time I'll use interfacing. Isn't that Japanese woodcut design just epic??

As you can see, I can work with any tee – I’ll even put the design on the back to avoid spoiling it with cuts!

When I e-mailed IonWizard to show off the results, this is what he responded with:

Wow! Naomi – we’re so impressed! (and honored) What an amazing transformation!
Also, very nice work with the Empire Strikes Back tee. Shweet!
You have some interesting web content at TeeWrex and forgottendoll.
Have you heard about http://makersmarket.com/ ? Your products would fit right in there. ;D
I need to join up with those guys, (and Etsy), for better coverage…
May I ask, how are sales?
I so much want to make creativity my sole source of income, but it’s a struggle.
Is this a do-it-because-I-enjoy-it, or are you trying to take it alllll the way to the bank?
(I like to talk shop/biz)
Again, Nice Work!!
Best,
[Ionwizard]
His question about my motives bring up some interesting questions. Why *do* I do what I do? What are my goals? I mean, I’m getting ready to go to this fancy fashion design school, but why? Couldn’t I just take classes closer to home?
I too, want to live by the work of my hands and my mind. That’s why I left engineering school, after all. I didn’t want to be a slave to the illusion of security and a steady income – things can *always* go awry, no matter what your profession. I only have a limited amount of time on this Earth – and I’ve got to use that time for the Glory of God. I believe that I can best glorify  God through my gift of design. I want to help women feel beautiful, men feel powerful. And the limited sizing and design ranges currently on the market are not doing that.
I don’t do anything half-heartedly, and I’ll have the best opportunities in the industry at FIT. I’ll have better connections to driven people who can help me realize my dream – a fashion industry that doesn’t only design for models, standardized mannequins, and heads of state. I have all kinds of ideas on how to combine tailoring with manufacturing…
Yes, I have looked at the schools in Texas and Indiana, where my friends and family live. But I cannot allow myself to be tied down by anything or anyone, except for God and my future husband and family. I will work as hard as I can until God puts me where he needs me, and I have faith that I will then be ready for whatever task He has planned for me.

So, Big Life Questions aside, if you’re ready to order your very own “Comfy Haori”, head on over to my Etsy shop and order away!

Love,

Naomi

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It’s what I was made to do. When I was 7, I was obsessed with Sailor Moon and I acquired a Sailor Moon-themed shoebox (not the shoes). I would stare at it for hours, imagining how I would put together my very own sailor costume and fight crime… and in 2003, I made my first Cosplay for my first Anime convention. I made one for my sister, too. For a long time, that was all I sewed – costumes from anime and video games. And I got pretty good…

Me modeling my Fairy Paine cosplay

Fairy Paine from Kingdom Hearts 2. Photo by Eternal Serenity

But eventually, I made this:

Me wearing my first lolita dress

Modified from a commercial pattern. Gored skirt with ruffles galore! Photo by RabidFanBoy.com

This is Lolita fashion, my number-one muse for the past 3 or four years. Lolita is a Japanese street fashion that takes its cues from Victorian girl’s fashion, antique dolls, and Versailles-era Rococo. It can be Gothic, Sweet, Classic,  or Casual, but it is always modest and always has a knee-length skirt with a fluffy pannier/petticoat underneath. I have since progressed from simple dresses and blouses from modified patterns, to making my own patterns and using wild fabrics:

Me posing in my Alice dress

This fabric features Alice in Wonderland characters inside gold-trimmed playing cards. Definitely my best work 'til now. Photo by Kuragiman

I also do t-shirt reconstructions, which I like to call Tee-Wrex. I “wreck” otherwise boring or ill-fitting tee-shirts into one-of-a-kind creations! (I take commissions, too. ;) )

Apocalyptica tour tee reconstruction

"Wrecked" Apocalyptica tour tee. I corseted the sides! Photo by Kuragiman.

I still cosplay from time-to-time, though. My latest effort got Best in Show at the All-Con 2010 Cosplay contest!

Me wearing my Myoubi cosplay

Myoubi from the manga Alichino. I had to "get pale" for this one. xD Photo by PhongoPhotography

So, right now I’ve got some really awesome projects. I’m working on another original Lolita design (it’s an incredible one…), and I’m working on the costumes for the local band Marquis of Vaudeville! They’ve got this amazing turn-of-the-century, psychedelic rock vibe… I highly recommend them. :D As a treat, here’s the designs and fabric swatches for each member of the band!!

Fashion designs for Marquis of Vaudeville costumes

From top to bottom: Toby the vocalist, Bryan the guitarist, Tyrel the (South African) bassist, and Phil the (Mohawk'd) drummer

With that introduction, this blog will mostly be about my progress on these and other projects. Stay tuned for more Tee-Wrex, band costumes, and Lolita! :D

With Love,

Naomi, a.k.a. Kagitsune

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