New Designs: Never, Never, Land

I have a slight obsession with Peter Pan collars – and it shows! This new design takes the school girl look of this classic adornment to a new level. Instead of sewing on a separate piece I created a screen print that can be added onto any of my designs. The new tunic series “Never, Never, Land” that features the print also boasts pleated sleeves, a cinched elastic waist, and a beautiful palette that includes blueberry, ochre, tangerine and salmon. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite Pierogi Picnic designs. Find it at the Renegade Craft Fair September 10th and 11th or hit up the Etsy shop for a custom order.

An Indie Biz: Sewing Process

The beginning stages of design are what get your creative juices flowing. But once you’ve worked out the kinks of a new form and how it’s constructed the true thrill lies in bringing that idea to life!

Lately I’ve been really inspired by old fashioned Victorian shapes. I spent all of July sketching new ensembles that would pull from the ideas of the era while remaining fresh and modern. It’s not just the lace that draws me in – it’s also the layers and volume found in the outfits from the period. Bringing the aesthetic into the current century with an indie twist was my main goal.

So first I started out with a set of 2 men’s t-shirts in varying shades of red. I cut and snipped each into the sections that would later be sewn together to create a shift dress embellished with an asymmetrical bustle.

After sewing the gradient of geometric layers together I stitched the bottom portion of the dress, adding elastic around the top edge to create a cinch at the waist. Then I attached the bustle to the right hip before bringing together the top of the piece.

The result is one of my favorite new Pierogi Picnic designs! A practical cotton dress with just the right zing to give it a whimsical and chic feel. The only thing left to do is come up with a unique name for the design. What would you call it?

Planning Ahead: Fall Fashion 2011

I was reading through the Etsy Blog and came across an article about uber entrepreneur Melissa Helmbrecht and was instantly floored.

The post chronicles Melissa’s diverse array of achievements and shares her 3 piece of advice for small indie businesses. Her very first tip has haunted me since I read the article: 1. Do what you don’t feel like doing.

When I read this I had to stop, go back, and read it again. At first I had thought it said “do what you feel like doing” and thought to myself, “yeah!” Boy was I bummed when I processed it again. “What do you mean do what you don’t want to? That’s not what I want to hear!”

The article continues by reviewing the need for a business plan and forward thinking – none of which I’m against – but to be reminded of this on a warm lazy summer day hit a nerve.

I was suddenly overwhelmed – the fall season was just a mere 3 months away and I hadn’t even stopped one moment to dream up my cool weather designs. The business plan is intact – but what about the core of my brand – the clothing!?

So after ordering up some steaming sweet and sour tofu takeout I sat down to plot, draw, and dream my Fall 2011 collection. And if you think I’m stalling (don’t fashion designers figure this out year’s in advance!?) then remember that I’m not your typical clothing designer and that at times spontaneity and procrastination can lead to high pressure thinking and fabulous results!

And in case you’re just itching to see some of my thoughts I’ve included a page from my business journal above. Which leads me to wonder – have you planned out your ideas for the coming season? When did you get started? Share your insights below!