Sweet Betty Blue Kimono – Part 2

Good morning!! Well, okay, maybe it’s not morning. But that’s not the point.

The Betty Blue Kimono

I actually did it! I made progress on the kimono! I’m so proud of myself. As I suspected, the body of the kimono went together very quickly. However, as you can see from what I’m trying to make vs. a kimono I happen to have on hand, there are some differences in the construction. The main one is that the red kimono has open sleeves, that do not close up under the arm.



The kimono… okay, from now on I’m going to call it a negligee, since that’s what it’s referred to in the book, and since I really strayed away from a traditional kimono pattern to get it the way I wanted it… the negligee doesn’t have open sleeves.

Drafting out new sleeve shape

Drafting out new sleeve shape

So I directed myself to my trusty pattern drafting book, and looked up how to make “western kimono sleeves”, and continued on from there.

So nice and warm.

So nice and warm.


Oh. Am I in your way? I thought I was just holding the fabric for you!

Oh. Am I in your way? I thought I was just holding the fabric for you!


Let me move out of your way and be as cute a possible!

Let me move out of your way and be as cute a possible!

Pickles helped me with the drafting process, making sure my fabric didn’t move

Look what I made for you!

Look what I made for you!

And then she inspected it once I had cut. She thinks she did all the work- I was just in the way!!


Before the front was cut open. It's finally taking shape!

Before the front was cut open. It’s finally taking shape!

The front opening of the negligee follows the same style as the kimono, where the fabric is slashed open, and then the raw edges are either turned under in the lining (I haven’t gotten there yet, but I have some nice light blue satin that I think will do just fine), or in the collar band (which I also haven’t done, since I’m having trouble deciding if I want to keep the red from the image, or make the robe all light blue.

What do you think? Keep the red, or ditch it?

In the Works: Some CREASEables

Since it’s getting close to when I start going to events around Philly, I’ve been putting in some dedicated time and research into my new origamis. I really love the kanzashi worn by geisha and maiko, but with all of the time I spend sewing other things, it’s nice to have a break from fabric and needles.

My past CREASE designs have really been a hit, but I sort of felt like I was starting to do the same four designs again, and again, and again, and again. So I went online and did some quick, superficial research on different kanzashi styles and origami foldings.

Apparently there are different colors, styles and plants associated with the different months.

January- COLORS: white, red and green
Bamboo, plum blossoms, and pine sprigs

January Kanzashi

deep pink and red
plum blossoms
feb kanzashi

yellow, white and peach
peach blossoms, narcissus, camellia, peony, and rape blossoms (it’s a plant. I swear to goblins!)
March kanzashi

pink and gold
cherry blossoms, lanterns and butterflies
April kanzashi

purple and silver
wisteria, iris, and butterfliesmay kanzashi

green, pink and blue
willow, hydrangea

june kanzashi

all it said was “fireworks”. I guess they like sparkly things that go BANG too! 🙂

morning gloryaugust kanzashi

bellflower, clover, chrysanthemum, patrinia and kudzu (no idea what the last two are)

red and white
chrysanthemumsoctober kanzashi

orange, yellow and red
maple leaves and ginko leavesnovember kanzashi

As you can see from some of the images I found (from various online sources, none of which I made, nor of which I am going to make, so pretty please if one of these is your image, don’t sue me- they’re just SO PRETTY!!!!!), and from the wealth of colors and flowers that are represented, I’ve got options.

What do you think of these sketches? Would you wear them? And, more importantly, where would you wear them?

Vintage Lady of the Week: Audrey Hepburn

It’s hard for me not to be in love with Audrey Hepburn. Maybe it’s her elfin features, or the mischievous characters she frequently played. Or her fantastic fashion sense, both on and off the screen…

Audrey Hepburn

Or her hats. Damn, did that woman wear hats!!!

Audrey Hepburn

Or the fact that she was an honest-to-goblins humanitarian. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those. Looks, talent, fashion sense, and a gigantic heart made of pure gold.

It’s tempting to completely skip going over my most favorite of her costumes, and just write an essay on her humanitarian work. But I’m going to rein myself in a little.

First up on my favorite of her costumes is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER COSTUMES FROM “SABRINA”. All of those Givenchy gowns!!! It’s almost like fashion-sensory over load every time I see that movie! I want that wardrobe!

Sabrina 1954

Second are her outrageous period costumes from “My Fair Lady”. I especially love this dress. The simplicity of the lines contrast beautifully with the opulence of the detailing and the jewelry… Okay, maybe that necklace is a little too much. What do you think?

Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" (1964)

Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” (1964)

Third, of course, is the black dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. No, not the long, body hugging black one. This one. The shorter one. With the feathers. I have a pattern book that has a reproduction pattern for this exact dress. I desperately want to make it, if only to wear it around the house on a rainy day, to play dress ups! That’s in true Holly Golightly style.

Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)

Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961)

Fourth are the hats she wore in “Charade”. They are all absolutely odd. This movie was my introduction to Audrey Hepburn, and as soon as I saw her hats, I was SOLD. I mean, look at this bizarre elapsed print hat! It’s so strange, and yet, to me at least, oddly attractive. I’m also a huge fan of the yellow coat. It looks fairly simple to reproduce… But try finding canary yellow wool at Joann Fabrics…

Audrey Hepburn in "Charade" (1961)

Audrey Hepburn in “Charade” (1961)

"Charade" (1961)

“Charade” (1961)


This concludes my top picks for her costumes. If I had to choose my favorite films of hers, I’d definitely be torn between “Charade” and “Wait Until Dark”.

What about you? What costumes of hers do you like?  What’s your favorite Audry Hepburn movie?

CIBA Sunday: Apologies From a Slacker, and the First Article

Ahhh, my master plan to create the CIBA archive for students! It was so well intentioned, and yet, fell apart so completely by my inability to figure out how to make a multi-page PDF file.

It’s such a lame excuse.

I have figured out how to make a PDF, now, and I have been slowly, but surely, scanning all 175 of my CIBA Reviews. It’s a process.

I apologize

Now, on with the first article!!!

Spanish leather hanging

Spanish leather hanging

I think I may have said, many, many, many months ago that I am starting off with the first volume in my collection. That is to say, I’m starting off with Volume 3, because I don’t have volumes 1 or 2.  Volume 3 is all about wall coverings. Tapestries, wall hangings, wall paper, curtains. If it can cover a wall, it’s covered in the articles.

 17th cen spanish hanging

17th century Spanish hanging

The first article is a fairly informative one, by Grete de Francesco, in November of 1937. In fact, at least for this volume, she appears to have written the majority of the articles. The first article, which you can download at the bottom of this post, in a PDF, is entitled “The History of Mural Hangings”. It sounds a little dry, but the pictures in the article are stunning, dating back at least as far as the 16th century.  The article briefly explains the practical functions of mural hanging, as well as the aesthetics; it then goes on to trace the evolution of wall paper from the “humble” origins as hangings.

 17th cen wallpaper

17th century wallpaper

There is a detailed explanation of the method of creating Cordova leathers, which were popular as wall hangings from the 11th to the 16th century. These were gold or silver leafed leathers, which were then painted with various colored lacquers. De Francesco compared the resulting works to silk and gold (or silver) weaving, which at the time, with silk being a costly import from Asia, would have been even more expensive than the Cordova leather panels!

 Embossed leather and flock paper

Embossed leather and flock paper

The Rococo and Baroque eras departed from the costly tapestries, silks and leather hangings, and instead favored painted panels on the walls. De Francesco accredited the popularity of this style to Marie Antoinette. In addition, this painted wall panelling trickled down to the middle classes in the form of wallpapers, which were more affordable, if not as intricate and detailed, as the paintings in the homes and halls of the nobles.

The History of Mural Hangings (Full Article PDF. Zoom to read!)

On Sale Now: The Finally, Fully Finished Strawberries & Champagne Series

I’ve been busy.

First there was the complete and utter desegregation of my class schedule, which took me all week to work out. And then there was the four million pages of reading I had to do (and accomplished!)

And then, when all of that was done, there were still more listings to draft, more sewing to do, and more blogs to post. I persevered.

I got it done.

Marilyn Monroe Set. 10% off for February.  Price $123.67

Marilyn Monroe Set. 10% off for February. Price $123.67

So now, with one slight omission (the corset is still lacking it’s sassy garter straps and I refuse to list it until it has been properly sass-ified), the “Strawberries & Champagne” series of Vices&Virtues is FINISHED!

Sleeping Beauty Set. 10% off for February. Price $91.20

Sleeping Beauty Set. 10% off for February. Price $91.20

And listed!

In my store!

Diva Set. 10% off for February. Price $170.68

Diva Set. 10% off for February. Price $170.68

It’s been a lot of work, and a lot more stress, but I’m realizing that it’s sort of like the stress I got from theater. It’s worth it when you see the end product!

Rapunzel Set. 10% off for February. Price $100.82

Rapunzel Set. 10% off for February. Price $100.82

Today I’m off to pick up some supplies for the “Strawberry Mousse” series, which is going together much faster, now that I have worked out all of the sewing kinks. And I might be delivering the “Strawberries & Champagne” samples to a photo shoot ( Is there glamorous pictures in store? We shall have to wait and see!)