Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vintage for Curvy Girls: Large size in vintage

How many times have we heard a size 14 or 16 tell us she loves vintage, but it doesn't come in her size? Too often! What we are out to do is make great vintage available to more people. Sure, we may try to hoard it for ourselves, but we are willing to share, a little bit. (see this dress here)
You can't beat the 60's for super cute shifts, skooter dresses and that mod look. We love them with colored legs, boots and big jewelry.

Shifts and chemise styles have such a great fit too. Most are 'A' line for a slim fit and flare silhouette. When it comes to belting, a secretary dress from the late 70's and 80's is fun. Change out the matching belt it comes with, for something bright and contrasting.
What you see here are contenders in this week's Ebay auction. If you love it, you better go get it!
If you missed this batch, stay in touch, as we have MORE to list in the near future on both Ebay and Etsy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

IKAT FABRIC in FASHION- What is this Fabric Design?

The trend towards "Tribal", "Ethnic", and regional fashion influences has brought textiles to the fashion runway that may be unfamiliar to many who follow fashion. Ikat is a dying and weaving process used globally in regional textiles. Guatemala, India, Japan and Indonesia are probably the most familiar locations to find Ikats. More recently, Ikats from the Silk Road and northern Asia have made news.  This type of textile design is seen most often in either cotton or silk.

Often bright, bold and abstract in design, vintage or new ikat fabrics are wearable as an exotic twist to well loved classics like shirts and skirts. Because of their hand-made nature, ikats are often left 'uncut' and seen is wrapped, draped, or sewn into basic caftan or tunic garments. This allows the beauty of the bolder designs to florish.

The fabric design is often a bright, clear pattern in white and indigo or black. This design may seem 'digital' or geometric, due to the woven process used to create the textile.

An ikat pattern is created in the very early stages of the weaving process. Several techniques are possible, depending on the culture and region where it was produced. Generally, the white warp yarns (those tied to the loom) are bundled together then wrapped or knoted, and finally dipped in dye. When dry, these yarns are untied then stretched onto the loom, creating a 'dash and dot' type of pattern.

A contrast weft may be woven across these dyed yarns to create a basic pattern. More complex designs are achieved by weaving a weft that has also been dyed with knots or bundels to alter the yarn color in specific locations. Overall, this process can resemble 'tie dye' techniques where areas are bundled to prevent color, and other areas are left open to take on the dye.

This picture shows unraveled warp yarn ends from two different ikats of heavy cotton from India. The dyed yarn ends are clearly visable, and the details of the colored weft cross yarns can be seen. Although cotton is most common, fine silks such as those used in kimono are also produced in Japan and by other cultures.

This photo shows the complex geometry of a Guatemalan textile in cotton where an "Op Art" effect is created by the cross dyed warp and weft yarns.  The finer weight ikat cotton in green below shows a gorgeous heart pattern that was woven as a sarong with a field of hearts above a solid hem border.

Be sure when you buy an ikat design that is is woven and not printed if you want the true textile.  Just ask to see the back of the fabric or check the seams to see the cut edges, and you will know for certain it was hand made.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Viva La Moda, Fashion Magazine

The second issue of "Viva La Moda" magazine is available online now, and we love it! You can find it easily by clicking on the title or image here. This issue is a big fat 88 pages, and that's really something considering that this is published, edited and written by volunteer writers and talent.

The key interview is with a talented Etsy fashion designer named Bonzie. Included are numerous articles that showcase Etsy vintage and hand crafted fashion items available only on Etsy. This really points out the diversity and fashion talent pool on Etsy lately.

My own article is "Aprons as Fashion", on page 83. It's a quick look at how fun aprons can be when worn as fashion, rather than only a kitchen accessory. The hardest part of this little article was finding good Etsy photos. There are so many really sweet and sassy aprons out there, but sadly most sellers don't 'get it' when it comes to marketing their wares. Which ment that most aprons were shown carelessly or on models who were 'cut off' from the waist up. So, hey fellow sellers, style your aprons when you take your pix! Who knows, maybe buyers would be more inclined to buy if they were shown with some attitude and flair. On these two pages are the cutest ones you'll find, and don't you just love the way they are worn?

We were also excited to find one of our favorite dresses in shown in the "Pushing Daisy's" spread on page 21 (ours is #7).


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