An Inspired Return


Today, as I am working my side job, wishing I could be dictating this as I mop floors, I start to review the past weekend and all that it held for the future of Firetail. I wonder at how far this business has come in just over a year of focused effort. The things I do to keep it rolling, i.e. mopping floors and cleaning toilets. I do this side job to pay bills and keep the design business' income rolling into itself. It's a struggle at times but so far, so worth it. It allows me to do more and become more for you, our fans.

I just returned home from Costume College 2016. It is an annual convention, that runs from Thursday afternoon to Sunday evening. It is run by Costumer's Guild West, Inc.; a costume guild based in Los Angeles. It gathers seamstresses, costume designers, costume wearers, etc. to come and learn. We enjoy each others company, network, take classes, attend the evening events (all dressed up!). It has really been helpful for the business to learn new things that pass on to you as we create your dream gown, costume, suit, or clothing. Each year has it's own theme and this year was counter culture. Thursday night's pool party was themed, "It's a mod mod mod world". Friday night's ice cream social was themed, "Run away to the circus", hosted by the lovely Cindy Piselli of the San Diego Costume Guild. Saturday evening is the main event! A red carpet event, followed by a Gala dinner, and end capped with a dance and socializing time before we all trickle back to our hotel rooms exhausted. Saturday's theme was "Midsummer's Night Fantasy", which allowed for some pretty fanciful costumes. Sunday morning's breakfast was themed, "Breakfast with the Artists". Followed by a fantasy tea themed, "

At the end of the event, they announce the next year's theme. Which was announced as "The 60's" I automatically think of Audrey Hepburn. Between all of the films she starred in and fashion photography of her, there is so much to choose from. I've also been invited to join a few friends in doing a group costume of characters from the T.V. show, Mad Men. There are some great fashions to choose from there as well.

I have to admit though, that this year's Costume College preparation was so daunting that I hesitate about next year. I really wanted to be done sewing, creating and packing, ahead of time and not be sewing at the event to finish. I DID NOT succeed! This makes me pause and really think about how can I improve this, fix the problem, and be finished ahead of the event. It's all about time and the management of it. Personal projects take a back seat to client work; as they absolutely should. However, this means I have to become really good at organizing my time into a planned schedule and stick to it.

I thought to myself, there must be ways to make this a bit easier. My thoughts led me to consider consolidating what I'm making into multiple uses and this train of thought lead to me having an epiphany about how to combine wardrobe and costumes. The themed 1960s CoCo, which is my biggest event annually, makes it easy to make a 1960s wardrobe that has use for the themed event and my personal life. Do both together and accomplish more essentially.

A whole wardrobe that is completely created and sewn myself has been something I've wanted for years. Those who've been with us for a long time will remember the 30 garment challenge. I gave myself 3 months and only completed three things...lol... My sewing skills have vastly improved over those past 3 or 4 years and making a full wardrobe come to life, doesn't seem so daunting anymore.

But down to the practical application of my desires and dreams. How do I make this endeavor a reality? This is the plan; I can schedule to dedicate 4 hours per week to this project. That's an hour every day, for four days out of my seven day week. Most basic garments can be constructed in 4 hours or less. That's a garment per week. Or one garment in two weeks, if I'm working on a more complicated piece.

All I have to do now is to research what I want to make, patterns I can use as is, and those I can use to modify and alter from, wardrobe vs. costume, etc.

Here are a few preliminary ideas. Which are your favorites? Leave your answer in the comments section below this article.

For Mad Men, I've chosen Betty Draper.

The Neapolitan! This lovely, flashy, dream dress would be an eye catcher.

We've dubbed this, "The neopolitan!"

This gold cream colored dress would look the best on my body type and I have fabric already for it.

I love this blue color and the accessories are fun!

For Audrey Hepburn & my wardrobe, these are some options I'm looking at making.

Until next time, happy sewing!


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