Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to WOOOK!! 11/28/11

            I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgivings!  I spent the entire weekend building Ikea furniture and setting up my Black Friday purchases around the house (we only bought interior type stuffs).  We did take breaks every now and again... 7 - 40 minute breaks in fact.  This was the perfect amount of time to fully take in the glorious show that is "Downton Abbey."  We watched the entire first season over the weekend.

            I'm not going to bore you with details about the show or how much I loved it (WHICH I TOTALLY DID!)  I will however let the pictures do the talking!  Look at all this workness!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back to WOOOK!! 11/8/11

            It's MONDAY!  Life has been crazy for the Kathleen and I but things are starting to calm down.  I found this strange little video and I hope you guys enjoy it.  Afterall what's better on a Monday then an 18th Century food fight?

Philip - In Brooklyn

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 9/6/11

             We had Monday off, thank the lord baby Jesus for Labor Day!  I heard the original reason for Labor Day was to celebrate the birthing Mary endured for our lord and savior but they moved it to December in order to make winter a little more fun.  Not sure if that's true or if I made it up.

             Speaking of labor how about the work it takes to get to the top!  Well as I've always said I'm not opposed to the pretty girls marrying well.  Billie "Glinda the Good Witch" Burke had the right idea.  She was the second wife of one, Mr. Florenz Zeigfeld.  Maybe you've heard of him.  Inventor of the Ziegfeld Follies... Father of Broadway.  Well if you're gonna aim girls... AIM HIGH!  With a mug like that a gown that chic one can't help but have men throwing themselves at you...... WOOORK  it out lady friend!

 Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 8/29/11

            Well now that the Great Hurricane Scare of 2011 is over we can all finally get back to our normal lives.  But will anything ever be the same?  Of course it will!  It's Monday and you've still got to work.  So charter a burro and get your lazy bones into the office or so help me... SO HELP ME!!!

            Lucille Ball.  Maybe you've heard of her.  She starred in a little TV show called "Life With Lucy".  Well Miss Ball was working it long before she made her mark on TV.  She was in a delightful movie called "Dance Girl, Dance" (1940).  She played a dancer who worked her way to the top as a bawdy burlesque hoofer.  So if she can do it looking this good then you've got no excuse.  Se get out there and WOOORK!  But don't forget to stretch, because "I live to DANCE!" 

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 8/22/11

           Ok Monday... we get it.  You can stop now.  Everytime I turn around it's Monday!  I feel like it was just Monday like 7 days ago!  Oh well... I have to apologize for my lack of posting.  My job has kept me extra busy to where I had barely enough time to write anything but emails.  But now I'm back and you're safe.

           So I was on Zappos and I came across the vintage looking men's shoes... and that gots my brain to thinking.  How fly would I look if I revamped my wardrobe to be entirely 1920s?!  Talk about SUPER DUPER WOOORK!  Now I haven't decided if this is something I am actually going to do.  After all it would require A LOT of commitment and a decent amount of money.  Swanky clothes ain't cheap...  but I would look pretty WOOORK!!

I'll take one of each... in 3 every color.

The is NOTHING better than a vintage tux.

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 7/25/11

            Mondays ugh!.... Am I right?  Don't get me started.  Don't EVEN get me started!  Take a cue from Anita Page.  Throw on something rife with sex appeal, give Monday a sassy look and say "Put an egg in your shoe bustah.... and beat it."

Philip - In Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Halloween is in the Works

               Let me start out by apologizing for my blog-tastic absence.  I have been working myself to the bone on my other blog project,  The news over there is that I have begun the marathon leading up to Halloween!  The plan is to do the Wizard of Oz cast but reverse the genders.  I will be a Bob Mackie inspired Wicked Witch (see sketch below).

               Pretty sweet huh?!  I'll be posting milestones on here but for the blow by blow action visit the Bob Mackie Blog.

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 7/11/11

            Monday is upon us once again.  Let's all take a lesson from Miss Dietrich.  If you have to work.  You may as well show up looking like this.  WOOOORK!!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!


Try and take it easy today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finished! Emma's Bonnet

Hi Everyone,

Here's another little project I finished recently.  It's a dog bonnet for my friend's beautiful adopted puppy, Emma.

Ain't she adorable, y'all?? 
Meet Emma!

This bonnet was based off of Honey's old calico one.
A little technical sketch and measurements of Honey's original bonnet.

Pattern drafted of the brim, body, and crown based on Honey's bonnet measurements.

The pieces, all cut out in black & white polka dot cotton.  I cut an extra piece of the crown in plain black cotton, which will be the lining.  The brim is "Cut 2"  in self fabric and "clean finished" along the front and side edges.
The bonnet coming together:  The body is bound in black  bias tape at the edges of the ear holes.  The brim is gathered and about to be attached to the body.  The body is gathered into the crown, and will be sewn after the brim.

Brim is stitched to the body to the wrong side with grosgrain ribbon folded in half and layered on top.

Outside View #1:  The brim and ribbon trim is pressed to the outside and topstitched in place.  The body of the bonnet has been gathered and sandwiched in between the crown self and lining before sewing.

Outside View #2:  Grosgrain ribbon has been applied as binding to the bottom edge of the bonnet.

Inside View:  As you can see, this construction method "clean finishes" the inside of the bonnet with no raw edges.  Built tough.  Built to last.....That's how I roll!

Close up of the bonnet's brim detail.  (Sorry for the weird  was a beautifully bright day!)  I created matching grosgrain bows that will sit on top of each ear.  Hella Cute!!!

And here's another view of the bonnet flat, with matching grosgrain ribbon ties tacked at the sides of the bottom edge.  The narrow plaid ribbon is tacked at the front and back sides, and sits under Emma's ears to hold the bonnet in place.

Finished!  A front view

....And a side view
Stay still, Emma!!!  The bonnet fits a little big all over, but she's gonna grow into it!

Emma and her lovely bonnet were going to make their debut at this year's Pirate Faire in Vallejo, until we found out that dogs were not allowed this year.
To bad, really...
Emma's a wiggle-worm of a puppy, but she's quite the well-behaved lady...except when she's trying to drink your out!  She's a big fan!
I'm a Miller Lite gal myself....but to each her own!

-Kathleen, In Oakland

Finished! Another "Commuter" Rosette

Hey Y'all! 

Sorry AGAIN for the lack of posts.....I'm workin' hard for the money over here, and there hasn't been a lot of time to blah-blah-blah about the fun projects lately....but they are a-happening, bit by bit!

Anyhoo, here's a lil' something I finished this week while commuting to work.  I take TONS of public transportation every day, and always have sewing projects with me to pass the time efficiently/keep hope alive. 
Mostly, I make rosettes.  Lots of this one here, which is a full cardigan knitted ruffle recycled from a old sweater...I LOVE the sparkly Lurex thread...It's so 80's!!  

The silver leaves are sold by-the-yard at Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics in Bizzerkley.  
They come in silver and a pretty, natural green ultrasuede.  I love having them on hand for stuff like this.  

The underside of the rosette is neatly finished with  an antiqued copper barette.  
I must say, these metal clips are wonderful, and can be easily worn in the hair, on a hat, or in the lapel of a jacket. 

More pretty things to come!!

-Kathleen, In Oakland

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/20/11

           Good Monday to you all!  Speaking of WOOORK take a look at this video!  I saw this on one of our friend and follower's FaceBook page.  Talk about effort!

           So now you can feel extra bad for thinking your job is hard and tedious all these years.  Now get back to WOOORK!
Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/13/11

            Well here we are again.  Another weekend has ended and Monday has cleched her steely grip upon us.  Never you fear though, Sydney Guilaroff is here to help. 

            Sydney is shown in this fantastic press photo working on some wigs for "Marie Antoinette" starring Norma Shearer.  No prom tendrils up in here!  You know Wendy Williams is burning with envy!  WOOOOORK!!

Philip - In Brooklyn 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/6/11

           Welcome back to work babies!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend as we have had.  If there is one thing that exemplifies WOOORK it's an amazing clothes horse that marries the boss! 

           Miss Norma Shearer, I respect this broad's moxy.  Not only was she a great actress and drop dead gorgeous, she also married Irving Thalberg.  Thalberg just happened to be one of the heads of MGM.  Come to think of it Norma was a contracted star at MGM.  Well itsn't that convenient?  You go girl.  Make sure your bills get paid.  The essence of WOOORK!!

Oh yeah... can we talk about that gown.... UGH!  Sadly I don't know much about this picture.  I downloaded it a while ago and didn't make notes of what it is in reference to... Help a brother out guys!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cinch It: Making 18th Century Stays!

Hello Everyone!

Very sorry for the serious lack of west-coast entries lately. 
My "real" job has been all-consuming for the last couple of months. 
On to pretty things, like these STAYS I'm almost finished with!

These are made from Simplicity pattern 3635 I purchased for like, 2 bucks at Joann's a while back. 

Yes, I know, Simplicity patterns are not historically accurate blah, blah. blah....
Yes, I know about JP Ryan, Mill Farm, and alllll the others being the "better" patterns for this era...I get it....I angsted over it, then moved on.

But, I went with the Simplicity pattern for 2 very good reasons:
1.)  I saw decent reviews and pictures of this pattern all made up on that can be seen here.  Not bad!   And since this is my first attempt at anything stay-like, I figured it was a decent starting point.
2.)  Making even the simplest of corsets/stays cost MONEY.  Even if you have a pattern & fabric on-hand, the boning and additional tools needed can set you back.  ESPECIALLY if you wanna get crazy like I did and do "fully boned" stays with hand sewn eyelets. 

I used 2 layers of tightly woven khaki twill...the exact same kind used to make chino/khaki pants. 
Only 2 layers?  Seems thin for a corset you say??  Well, let me tell you, this shit is deceptively bulletproof!  Hand sewing on this fabric is a real bitch, but in a good way, because I know its STRONG!
The Front & Side Front Pieces, after stitch all channels for boning.

Later, when the stays are all done, I will hand-stitch a plain muslin lining inside to make it extra smooth & comfy.
All channels for the boning are topstitched in rose pink thread.  With a bias tape maker, I created my own binding out of a rose printed cotton.  I really dig how the khaki and warm pink harmonize together.
Front & Side Front pieces, with boning inserted and bottom edge finished with binding.  As you can see, I'm having a hard time getting that binding to lay flat where the self fabric is split to form the tab... I will work that out later.  I decided to finish the binding on each piece before joining them together, after seeing *real* stays constructed that way.

The boning I used is actually 3/8"-ish wide zip ties specifically designed to hold AC ducts together.  They are sold at Home Depot with the Air Conditioning supplies.  *Pls note:  These are NOT the same as regular zip ties.  They are slightly thicker, and much stronger.  Plus they are a whopping 40-something inches long and sold in a pack of 25 for like, 13 bucks.  I used over half the pack to full bone all the channels properly!  
Front & Side Front pieces with zip tie "boning" sticking out.  IMPORTANT:  All edges of boning were carefully cut to have a rounded edge in an effort to keep from poking through..  You can see the imprint of the rounded edge through the fabric.  I made sure the smooth side of the zip ties faced outwards for consistantcy.

I must admit, my whole life, I've been totally intimidated by the idea of making thread eyelets.  They just looked really, really hard to do.  Well, with this project, I was able to conquer that fear, and now I LOVE them!
ADVENTURES IN EYLETS!  The other part of this project I had to spend money on:  Japanese silk buttonhole thread and a good tapered awl make the process vertually painless!  Since 18th c. stays lace up a special way with just one tie, eyelets at the top and bottom need to be offset for the center front to line up properly.  I sewed the offset eyelets with pink thread to highlight them for this post...and lets face it, they look pretty too!
Here are the stays so far, folded in half and layed flat.  I deviated away from the original construction by closing up the center back with a seam, and moving the eylet closure to the center front.   Why? 
Because this is 2011, and I need to be able to get dressed all by myself! 
Lookin' good!

That's it for now!
Hopefully my next post will show off the finished stays!

-Kathleen, In Oakland

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 5/31/11

           Yesterday was a holiday, and if you had to work I pity you.  For the rest of us today is our "Monday".  In order to keep our spirits high I thought I'd dig up some work-ness from the movie "Gypsy" starring Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee.  The montage of Gypsy 'stripping it up' near the end of the movie is one of my favorite scenes.  They squeeze in a few different Orry-Kelly costume changes and the last one is to die for!  The true essence of WOOORK! 

As Gypsy says "And if you're real good.  I'll make you feel good.  I want your spirits to climb!"

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, May 23, 2011

Adventures in Tambour Beading

           As you could tell I haven't been able to post much about projects.  I actually have been pretty busy working on my niece's prom gown.  It turned out pretty great.  I will post pictures of it soon.  Since I have time I've been teaching myself how to use a Tambour hook.
           I purchased a Tambour beading tool from Lacis in Berkley, California.  The only reason I knew what it was is because many years ago they did a news piece on the House of Lesage during the French Haute Couture fashion shows.  They worked from both sides of the fabric using a chain stitch to place the beads or sequins in place.  Lesage and other companies that do this type of embellishment.  They have the fabric stretched across large frames so that the work is tight as a drum.  

           I do not have the space in my apartment to have the frame set up that Lesage has, so I had an idea that I would make a smaller frame.  That way I can work easily on my lap or counter top.  When I was window shopping in an art store I noticed they had canvas stretchers in varying sizes.  So I figured this would be the perfect way to build a frame without having to get wood cut to size at Home Depot.  I know you find it shocking that I don't own any power tools (except a cheap drill). 

          The first thing that I did was to drill holes and set screws in to keep the frame square.  I padded the frame using quilt batting that is sold by the yard and then covered the batting with fabric that I had left over from a previous project.  
I stitched the batting in place by hand.

I mitered the corners so they weren't all thick and lumpy.

When pinning the batting and fabric I  made sure to pull it as tight as possible.

The finished frame!
A little sequining experimentation.  Curious George has YET to look so fabulous!

The revese side of the fabric showing the chainstitch that forms.

             I realized that I need to add some heavy duty staples to keep the fabric and betting in place since it tends to slide inward.  The key is to keep the fabric as tight as possible!  I need to get my hands on one of those big staple guns.

             My pictures make it look like I just hit the ground running but let me tell you it was the exact opposite.  The sequins shown was about an hours worth of work.  The function of tambour is that you have the hook of the bottom of the fabric and your sequins/beads are strung on a thread on the top side.  You are working with the bottom side of the fabric up.  Seems simple enough when using organza or other sheers/semi sheers.  Then my ming got to going.  How in the hell are you supposed to see what you're doing on an opaque fabric?!  TO THE INTERNETS!

            I found many videos showing people embellishing using a tambour technique.  I got super inspired when I saw a video showing them using the hook on the top side of the fabric with the sequins loaded onto the hook itself!  This causes the chainstitch to be on the top side but obscured by the sequins.  I tried this out with better luck.  The technique is still pretty tricky and my motor skills are slowly catching up.  I have faith and big plans.  Sequins on everything!

            Are any of you out there familiar with this technique?  Any pointers or words of wisdom you can share would be great!  More to come on this technique!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Back to WOOORK!! 5/23/11

           Getting back to WOOORK on Monday is tough.  So enjoy this beautiful Cecil Beaton sketch from the opening scene of "My Fair Lady."  All this Cocoon Coat work-ness really cuts the edge, like finely processed cocaine... I mean coffee!  Like a finely processed COFFEE!

Enjoy... and get back to WOOORK!!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 5/16/11

           Yes I'm a day late... but I was wooooorking.  What were you doing?  What ever it was I'm sure it was glamorous.  You go on with yo bad self!  Speaking of going on with your bad self check out this sassy number.

              This is a beaded mantel circa 1890.  The fringe is a mix between beads and tape ribbon.  The body is beaded in a swan motif.  This is an epic jacket kids!  Head on over to to see more detail pictures and commence the drooling!  When you're done cleaning yourself up get it back to WOOORK!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 5/9/11

           Many apologies friends and family!  We missed last week's Back to Wooork because Kathleen and I were off celebrating my 30th birthday... IN VEGAS! So you will need to bear with us as we are still in "Vegas Mode".  Please enjoy this week's edition of Back to WOOORK brought to you by Sin City!

Roll the dice with some vintage showgirls!

The Tropicana Showroom 1959
Freemont Street 1949

Philip - In Brooklyn
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