frequently asked questions:
do you make everything yourself?
i make everything that is one of a kind myself, from patterns i drafted, and material i cut & sewed together in my sewing studio, to the hats i block and hand wire and trim. each of these pieces is unique and cannot be duplicated.
all of my headbands and flirty feather clips are hand sewn together (i don't like hot glue and only use it to adhere the rare things that cannot be sewn, soldered, industrially cemented, bolted, peened, snapped, buttoned, or riveted).
the screenprinted garments are sourced from bella/canvas, because i like their social responsibility and their attention to environmental impact. also, they make quality garments that last and are comfortable to wear.
the screenprinter i use is a local shop called trimark, and they go out of their way to make sure that i get what i was imagining in the final garment.
the designs i use for printing are drawn by artist friends per my design requests. i pay them for each design. it's my way to give back to the art community.
i donate a portion of my screenprint sales to both PADI's project aware: saving sharks & ocean cleanup- and sylvia earle's mission blue: creating and preserving hope spots around the world.
their slogan is: no blue, no green, no us.
they are correct.
do you really give to those ocean charities?
yes. i donate $25 per month to them regardless of screenprint sales. when i make a sale, they get more.
how do you know what you're doing?
when i was young, my grandmother would visit from greece. i spoke very little greek, she very little english. but she could sew. i would draw dresses for my dolls (horrible one shouldered, asymmetrical ruffly things) and she would sew them for me. when i got older, i had an allowance that i had to budget everything from, including clothes. i would shop vintage and thrift stores for the best deals, pull the garments apart to cut them down and make them fit me, and then sew them back together using my other granny's old singer sewing machine. because of this, i learned a lot about patterning and sizing without even realizing it.
i started researching historical costumes & designing garments based on the silhouettes i liked the most. i also made my dresses for school dances.
then i joined a renaissance faire, and that was the beginning of sewing regularly for other people. go figure.
when i was 25, i decided it was time for some higher education, and so i went to the school of the art institute of chicago for millinery & accessory design. i also studied the buddhist influence on chinese art during the han & tang dynasties. but that's another story.
then steampunk became a thing, and lots of the facets of my life clicked into place.
the stained glass i stumbled upon, literally, while i was living back in rva. i love the heck out of the process, and couldn't stop if i wanted to.
what the heck is steampunk?
i like to say it's the victorian idea of what we would be like today. my guy says it's what happens when goth kids discover the color brown. according to wikipedia: steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.
so there you have it.
why do you like cephalopods so much?
watch any youtube video on octopi, cuttlefish, or squids, and you'll see for yourself. these creatures are darned smart, and their bodies are about as alien a thing as is on this planet. look up chromatophore. mind blown.
how long does it take you to make something?
that depends on the garment. most of my time is spent perfecting my patterns. i use existing patterns that i've drawn, draping techniques, trial & error, and sometimes existing (usually vintage) garments to create new patterns for my designs. i make the garment to fit me, and then tweak it & the pattern as much as is needed for my personal satisfaction. then i grade the pattern to different sizes, and start building. it's a tedious process, but it seems to work.