Tag Archives: custom

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FREEDOM FRY retro orange outfits

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I’ve recently connected with the Los Angeles band Freedom Fry, and they asked me to make a set of outfits. The leaders of the band are Marie and Bruce, who are also married to each other. Marie used to work as a stylist, and had a very clear idea of the band’s look and vintage influences.

It was great to work with such an informed yet flexible client! They’re both charming, and creative, and funny, and when they come for a fitting it usually lasts for hours.

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I based the dress pattern on an old favorite of Marie’s, with modifications. Bruce’s shirt was an exact copy of one from his wardrobe. I really enjoy sewing men’s button shirts; they are crisp and precise and so satisfying!

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IMG_2891 Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne

I really enjoyed the challenge of the print, and having the designs match up. I’m really proud of this attention to detail! Of course it takes forethought and effort, but what’s the point of making anything at all if it’s not going to be perfect? This is not my mantra by any means, but I say it to myself anyway and laugh, and then get back to work.

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 Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne8 IMG_2849

I’ve created garments for a few musicians lately, and it’s work that I really enjoy. I usually listen to my client’s music as I prepare and cut the fabric. Stage wardrobes are more daring than street clothes, and can actively help tell the songs’ stories. It’s such a pleasure to connect with another creator and to contribute to their art.

Freedom Fry at SXSW

They wore these outfits at SXSW, along with another set I will share soon. There’s also a third set of outfits that will be on their upcoming west coast tour! See how busy I’ve been?!

Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne

 

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SEA TURTLE QUILT

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I was picking up some basic supplies at Joann Fabrics when another customer asked my opinion on some fabrics she had selected. Always ready to share my ideas about color, I enthusiastically helped and before I knew it I had been asked to make the quilt myself. It’s my client’s own idea for the design, and really I only helped with the fabric selection (and I love her choice of batiks!). This quilt was given to my client’s friend.

baby sea turtle quilt, made by Julianne

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The finished blanket is about 40 x 40″ which seems perfect for a little baby. The X stitches in the background are on a 4″ grid. This is the first quilt I made since 2007.

baby sea turtle quilt, made by Julianne

There is an extra layer of batting beneath the shell to give it extra dimensionality.

baby sea turtle quilt, made by Julianne

My husband and I made a trip up to Santa Cruz and San Francisco around New Year’s Eve, and I brought the blanket with me.

baby sea turtle quilt, made by Julianne

This was a feel-good project to work on (especially during a cold snap). The client was thrilled, and I hope the family has many lovey years with this blanket.

baby sea turtle quilt, made by Julianne

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ROBIN HOOD HAT

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One of my Burning Man camp-mates called me up and said “My production company needs a hat replicated, and we need it in two days!” and I said “OK,” and so I made a Robin Hood hat.

But maybe a little more context first? Stan Lee did a photoshoot in which he dressed up as Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, as a promotion for World of Heroes that would be on display in ArcLight Theaters (You can see my friend Paul on the floor behind Stan in the video).

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They wanted to display some artifacts from the shoot in selected theaters, but the original hat was only a rental and could not go on tour. So it was my job to create a replica that would be on display.

Robin Hood hat, made by Julianne

I was on a serious time crunch, and the only felt I could find was nylon. I tried tinting the fabric in brown dye, which totally didn’t work. Color correction was shelved for later. As a starting point, I used this tutorial to make a sample, and tweaked the pattern from there.

In order to recreate the structure of the blocked hat, I made the hat double layered, and fused the two pieces of felt together with iron-on bonding paper. I added fabric glue to the inside of the crown as a sizing, and then gave the entire hat a wash of watered down acrylic paint to make the color more accurate.

Robin Hood hat, made by Julianne

Even though my hat was only made for display, it will probably go to Stan Lee when the campaign is over. Neato!

Robin Hood hat, made by Julianne

This project was a fun and challenging mix of sewing and craft skills. I wasn’t really sure how I would make it when I started, but I was confident every step of the way. I made the deadline, I got the check, and this project was a total success!

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CAT-ADOR JACKET

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I’ve been working like a rhinestone zombie. So much sewing to be done! Some of it is Burning Man related, but much of it is just other small jobs for other clients, not really interesting enough to blog about. I’m leaving for the playa in 6 days and I haven’t had a chance to do any prep work. Eep! So I’ll let this post be mostly images, because my brain ain’t so good at processing words lately.

This was one of my favorite projects in a long time. Nando is a very playful and sweet guy, and he wanted to bling out his plain peacock-blue matador jacket. Obviously this was right up my alley (which is where these pictures were taken, appropriately).

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

I just loved this project. It was so much fun to work on, and he was so pleasant to work with. It was an ideal project.

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

I made the cat heat using some fabrics we picked out together, some fabrics from my stash, and that heat-fusible bond paper stuff (I told you I’m not good with words).

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

The epaulet is constructed from that awesome silver vinyl applique, a red velvet pad, and orange tassel trim.

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

I made a cat toy necklace from some of the leftover trims.

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

I also made him a set of booty shorts, complete with crotch gusset, out of the copper kitty fabric, but apparently I didn’t give Nando enough rum to model them in my alley.

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

Catador jacket, made by Julianne

If you see Nando on the playa, tell him you recognize him from the internet!

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SERVER VESTS

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Lately I’ve been spending time in Monterey, which is a friendly and beautiful town. One of our favorite parts about being on the peninsula is eating at il vecchio (which is actually next door in Pacific Grove). They make their gnocchi fresh daily, and their pesto is just about the most flavorful and nuanced that I’ve ever tasted.

And the point of this is: I made a couple vests for the restaurant. The proprieter and I went shopping at Beverly’s together, and picked out this damask batik quilting cotton, which I think is such a funny combination. I like to imagine that the fabric was dyed with wine.

custom server vest, made by Julianne

custom server vest, made by Julianne

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I made one male sample, and one sample for ladies. Besides size, the only difference is a bust dart. Both versions have back ties, lined front panels, facings at the back neck and arms, and buttons.

custom server vest, made by Juliannecustom server vest, made by Julianne These are obviously not my best photographs, because I was in a super hurry to get them shipped before the post office closed (and I made it!).

custom server vest, made by Julianne

In the end, the staff declared the fabric a little “Mississippi Riverboat Gambler” which I totally see, and then they decided to scrap the vests altogether.

I know this project isn’t terribly exciting, but such is the life of a professional seamstress. And now, back to work!

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MAMI AFRIKA

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I’ve worked with Wawi Amasha for a few years, and now she’s starting to get really serious about her clothing design. These looks are all hers, but I sewed them for a gallery opening this past weekend. They were presented under the name Mami Afrika.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Sewer, designer, tech designer.Wawi dresses, made by JulianneOf course I made my purple miimii dress, as well as the blue halter dress on Inobe. Wawi is on the left. Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Wawi was showing her paintings at Hamilton Gallery in Santa Monica, and it was a fun party! In our gallery was the artwork, models wearing dresses, wine of course, and African drummers who inspired some fancy dancing.

A neighboring gallery was also hosting an opening, where there was more wine, plus vodka, couscous, gift bags, and a hyper little German man who began our conversations with “I like the look you’re experimenting with on your outfit,” because that’s what you say in Santa Monica. I don’t remember your name, but you were kinda crazy, but also fun.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

The fabrics were collected on Wawi’s recent trip to Kenya, and the patterns were drafted by Inobe Nicole, who also made the fabulous geometric necklaces.

I made ten pieces for the show in 4 days, and eventually developed a rhythm for the layout and construction. Sample patterns rarely come with instructions, so it’s up to be to figure out a smooth and efficient technique.   Wawi dresses, made by JuliannePrint matching! The finishing on this sleeveless jacket includes french seams, bias bound, double turned hem, and folding seams under.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

This purple skirt was my favorite piece, and that amethyst necklace Inobe made is insane!  IMG_2349

Mami Afrika designs, made by Julianne

This dress was another personal favorite.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

It was a week of marathon sewing, but the team was very pleased at the outcome. I’ll be doing more work with Wawi soon (like tomorrow!).

Thanks to Sam / Docta Sez for the additional photos!

 

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