Kollaborating With Kollabora

So I have been involved with the great company Burdastyle since 2007, working for them & with them and am so proud of how huge the site has become. Check it out, if you haven’t already. Nora Abousteit, (one of the co-founders of Burdastyle, a woman of all trades, author, founder….), just c0-launched her newest creation, Kollabora . Propelling the DIY movement to a whole other level along with those who have also fostered it (Etsy, Threadbanger, etc.), wooooooo

“Kollabora is a social platform for DIYers, consisting of a craft supply marketplace and multiple maker communities linking to projects, supplies, and how-tos. Kollabora soft-launched sewing, knitting, and jewelry making communities with fashion-forward projects, and plan to expand into many more DIY communities, including home decor.”

They graciously send me a beautifully packaged and wrapped “Sewing Kit”, which came complete with a paper pattern in a variety of sizes, some fabric yardage, and a booklet of instructions.

They sent me some beautiful black and white dot cotton/silk blend fabric from Mood Fabrics. There wasn’t enough fabric to do the front and back in the dotted print, so I brought out some red raw silk and made the back and bias tape with it, respectively. I also used some black woven silk for the little bitty pocket and decided to do a lined pocket verses the suggested simple layer hemmed pocket.

The pattern was super easy to use and the instructions were super easy to follow.  I went with the Large size because I am 5’10” and it fits pretty well!  There was also an option to do a dress or tunic version, which I will try next time.  I think this is a great pattern for a nightgown! I will make hundreds.


**The inclusion of french seams, versus a regular seam.  French seams are very strong and I am happy that users can learn how to do them because they are rather easy. They are not only for more advanced garments either!

** Photos in the sewing guide, which are great for those who are visual learners

**nice thick pattern paper, great for re-use (tissue really falls apart after a while)

**It’s a fast project! If you’re an advanced seamstress, you can really whip this out fast and who doesn’t love that! If you are a beginner, you should have no trouble finishing this in a day.

** The wonderful thoughtful packaging

**How easy it was to upload photos to this site!

So, my top is a little 101 Dalmations or “What’s black and white and red all over?”, but I love b&w and red! Silk city, baby!

Thanks, Kollabora!

Duvet & Flange Are Strange Words

I moved into a new place June 2nd and have been obsessively sewing for home, as opposed to my usual fashion/accessories endeavors.  I just can’t stop!

A few months ago I made a duvet cover for my comforter out of lovely robin’s egg blue cotton and cream for the underside.  For a closure, I made simple ties.  Today I just finished some semi-matching flange pillowcases for accent.

I think I might start selling housewares in my Etsy shop.

Next project: cafe curtains to let some light in from my huge windows, while maintaining some privacy. :o)


Pretty in Pink // Handmade one of a kind Picnic Dress

1970’s Purple Ruffle Dress

Royal Purple

Parisian Wrap Skirt // One of a Kind


Beautiful 1970’s Peplum Dress

and more in the shop



February is Taking Over

Gah!! It’s February already.  Shite!


NEW Belty belts for the new month in my shop!


belt CINTURON ceinture CINTURA


New Belts! From ecofriendly materials!

I’ve been busy making new designs from all of the ecofriendly deadstock vintage elastic I have… Here there are, available for customization on Etsy… ;o)  HAPPY FRIDAY!

A New Look for One of My Most Popular

I Named This One After My Dog, Zoe

(Desira Pesta in the) Burdastyle Sewing Handbook! Woo!

A terrific sewing website I have been a member of/ freelancer for since it’s inception six years ago just reached a milestone– the published a book with Random House & I’m in it!  Burdastyle.com just launched a gorgeous sewing manual and design inspiration guide & we had a big party here in NYC last night..

A Page With My Design!

So, each of the 78 book contributors was given a sewing pattern and their choice of fabric and were told to personalize it in any way possible.  This meant chopping it up, cropping it, or mangling it in any way they saw fit.  For my blouse design, I decided to remove the sleeves, add a few things, and make a flirtatious whirl of a skirt…

This was the original pattern as given:

And this is my rendition after some heavy duty pattern reworking & in a seersucker:

The Design Just Finished Last Year

Suspension & Bridges were my inspirations for this design

Zee Back

Voila!  The party was a lot of fun and for more information on the book, go here:

Some Newbies






reversible obis in highend designer cottons, wools, and organic bamboo denim…

Handmade obis by yours truly in very sturdy and flattering fabrics.  These belts are very versatile and fit waists 27-32″ for the same long tie look.

And Cool Guys Buy Them Too! (@ last year's Makerfaire)

The MY in Economy

I just realized something, I have been blaming myself and turning my anger about the shitty economy inward.  In the last two years or so since countless jobs have been lost and wallets have gotten beyond tight and open only for necessities, I’ve allowed this all to take a toll on my ego.  Etsy and private sales and wholesale accounts, which were my all-consuming sole source of income just two years ago when I had a magnificent studio overlooking the ocean in Red Hook, Brooklyn, have become a distant drone of crickets in the present.   Although I have branched out and focused my energies on acting as well in those two years, I also can’t help but point out that even a year ago, my studio was my constant companion.  While watching an interview on CNN about Occupy Wall Street, it dawned on me, I have been covertly hating and blaming myself for my decline in sales.  As an artist and fashion designer, when you sell your creations, you get a great sense of pride and self-worth from these sales.  In the last six years, I identified myself as a fashion designer and my clothing and accessories were my prides and joys.  They defined my income, brought me praise and appreciation and named who I was in the grand scheme of life.

Just like any job (in a good economy), there is a direct connection between profitability (in m case enough to pay bills) and ego. When that profit or sales is slight, the ego suffers.  I seriously have been beating myself up over the last year thinking no one likes my designs anymore or enough to buy them, yet when I look at the state of the economy, the trillion more sellers who now inundate Etsy’s pages/blogosphere, AND the number of people who call my designs favorites or the inquiries I get, I find that that’s just not true.  I swear, I just put two and two together.  I know that there are some other factors in here and I should spruce up my shop, but I hope that I can breathe a little easier today knowing that it isn’t me, we need to keep on trucking, supporting Occupy Wall Street, small businesses, independent designers, and each other.

Now is a good incubation period for my design ideas and I have been dreaming up a whole bunch of houseware ideas (my first love, decorating, has been calling out to me lately).  Thankfully I have been able to do a bunch of acting, freelance sewing gigs and restaurant work in the last year to supplement the gabillion dollars it takes to live in NYC.

I hope that things improve soon, but if they don’t, at least I know it’s not me.  It’s also not my friend R, who can’t find paid work, K, who is a brilliant geographer, but is working at a shop and who hasn’t even been getting rejection letters from potential employers, businesses that have been shuttered, nor is it any of us who are not on Wall Street or any place near it.