New Years Resolution Winter Sewing Marathon

So since the start of January, I have been on a roll with finishing off old sewing projects and bringing festering ideas into fruition.  In the last four days I have completed the following and I attribute my immense drive and perserverence to the extreme cold we are having here in NYC. (8 degrees the other day!)

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I got this Vogue vintage 1950’s pattern about a year ago and I was excited to use it with some blue floral cotton. The blue made me think of Grace Kelly and a delicate tea party. Finding the pattern pieces were very oddly shaped and I might not have enough, I improvised by using a lovely lipstick red cotton I salvaged from an old dress I never wore. The dress’ skirt was full and cut on the bias, so I had a lot of fabric to work with. I actually like the combination of the two and the red brings a more modern look to the shape, in my eyes. I am five hours into the project and it’s looking nice. I have a long way to go, as there are eight gussets in all, a full lining, horsehair braid to put into the hem, a zipper and hemming!

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Another garment I made was this simple silk blouse from some flocked cheetah print fabric a client of mine had me make a custom dress from in like… 2008. I have been sitting on this small piece for about seven years so it was nice to make a little shirt with a built in scarf. The pattern is original and I sewed a scarf piece into the shoulder seam and then it wraps around the neckline. French seams throughout and simple hemming. I would like to do one or two more in a different fabric ;o)

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So I started this draped jacket from some awesome pink wool Kollabora generously donated to me last year and then I just stopped. The pattern is a plus size Burdastyle pattern that took me like six hours to grade down because of all of the angles of it and it was exhausting and I guess I therefore gave up. I bought that purple woven fabric at Paron six months ago with the intention of using it on the lapel of this jacket, yet the whole project sat in storage for months and months until this week. I hand-sewed the binding on the cuffs and tacked the collar facing throughout. I am pretty happy with how happy-looking the jacket is. It’s so damn bright, but who cares, it’s fun. I love pink.

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1399455_10102089440431476_3861571351132936964_oI also used this awesome Western shirt I got in Texas last year to make a much less masculine and heavy blouse with some shaping, waist cinching and a Peter Pan collar. I completely took apart the men’s shirt and used the flat fabric to cut out a vintage 1960’s pattern from it. I had just the right amount of fabric, and was even able to re-use the buttons and cut a smaller sleeve from the existing sleeves! The new shirt features a bowtie front, buttons down the back, and short sleeves. I loved the print of the old shirt, but that coupled with the back cape yoke and front cape and large bulbous sleeves was a bit…much. Hooray for re-imagining clothing!

Western Shirt Red-do

I also made this pillow from this awesome Indian shirt I have had for about six years and never wear because it’s skin-tight. I love the embroidery on it and the intense pink, but it was too darn small. I love Eastern textiles and have a lot of them in my home, so this made sense. I only used the sleeves to make the pillow, added some vintage purple pom pom trim and that was it.

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Now,I have to finish the 50’s dress and I want to alter an amazing French suit I picked up at a thrift shop recently. It’s a wild suit. I’m excited to share what else I make in the next few weeks! Be back soon!

xo Desira

.:. Red Pearl Movie NEWS .:.

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So Red Pearl, you know the indelible indie feature film I acted in and did the costume design for this past summer, well the rough cut has been sent into the SXSW Tribeca Film Festivals for review! Fingers crossed it makes it into either or both of these awesome festivals! EEEEEK!

<—Here is the postcard image the directors sent out to the Kickstarter funders.

The film is currently picture locked and awaiting it’s finishing touches, such as the sound lock, amazing custom score from my friend and fellow Syracuse University graduate, Steve Woodzell, whose work is really exciting and so having him onboard is an extraordinary thing ;D The film should be finished by summer 2015 at the latest. In the meantime, please check out the website and here are some stillz.

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 AND THE OFFICIAL TRAILER!!!!!

C’mere, Gorgeous!

W o m e n    o f   t h e   2 0 ‘ s . . .

Mae Murray:

Billie Dove (best name ever):

Marion Davies:

Gone Blond

Lilian Gish:

Greta Garbo:

Louise Brooks:

and who could forget,

Clara Bow:

Gorgeous, timeless, and so utterly worth emulating. ;O)

Hot Tin Roof

It’s summer, it’s time for watermelon, ice cream trucks, sweating, and good vibes… and sweating.  Today was one of the hottest days we have had here in NYC in a long while and I spent it from 5am-3pm working on my seventh day as prostitute on Boardwalk Empire in the 96 degree heat.

My Father Said I Look Exactly Like My Grandmother Here

Le Legs

We thankfully had a wonderful air-conditioned set with Al Capone, boobies, cigarettes, and loose women, but I biked home at 3pm in full makeup and hair, mini shorts, a tank top and combat boots.  I got some stares from the local Bed Stuy residents, but made it in one sweaty and slimy piece.

2 Hours of Sleep, Man!!

I actually enjoy extreme heat and sweating.  My parents used to think I was insane in high school, when I would take off to Lake Scranton to run around the lake on the hottest days.  There is something so alleviating and releasing about sweating immensely as long as there is nearby shower use afterwards. I stopped by Home Depot after awaking from a nap and almost everybody was buying an air conditioner.  One man had SIX fans in his cart.  NYC is unbearable in the summer sometimes between the constant closeness of people and the concrete everywhere. I rigged up my air conditioner to work and although it’s precarious and I dropped some books out of my window while trying to put it in, it’s cooling off my living room where I sit presently.

Adieu.

 

Back to the Brothel

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1920's

The indelible Brooke Hoover & I

20's Shoes

I worked regularly as a prostitute on season one of Boardwalk Empire with some amazingly beautiful and talented and sweet people and we were all summoned back to flank Al Capone on Season 3.  We returned to “Chicago”, had a blast, and can’t wait to see the episode.

My friend Lynn wrote this last night and she so beautifully synopsized how emotionally lovely our experience on Boardwalk Empire has been in the last two years.

Friday the 13th…”Boardwalk Empire”…I was “rescued” by my own job, my passion that equals my passion for animals…I had the luxury of working with a group of beautiful women, some of who I am close friends with, some of who I would like to know better…together we helped to knit the fabric within a story already written, and we had a lot of fun doing it…we all took vacations from ourselves and for a day became other women who did not have the complications of our own personal lives…the women we became have such a mysterious future, and we all secretly hope to find out what that is….it was a wonderful day and I feel blessed to have been able to take this picture of it…wow…I love my job….

I am so happy to be a part of such an amazing production.  On the topic of prostitutes, I am also playing one today in a Columbia MFA film.  haha.  Typecast much.

75 hour work week and I couldn’t be happier!

xoxoxo D

Y’all Been Watchin’ Boardwalk??

I hope everyone who has access to HBO has been enraptured by the magic of Van Patten and Scorsese, Buscemi and Pitt and seen it all wrapped up in the present known as Boardwalk Empire.

It’s an amazing show and I am hooked!  The characters are equally and uniquely captivating and the connections between them, oh my!  I am anticipating a fashion trend inspired by the gorgeous (and totally authentic) clothing of the show.  Can’t wait!

I won’t even relay any of my favorite events of the series so far in hopes that those who haven’t seen it, will.

Oh!  and I’m on it… (a snap from episode 8. )