Where do tomboys shop?

Mary Badham as Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbirg

Scout Finch, patron saint of toms

I’m taking a class called Creating a Garment Business, which I’m really excited about, because, um, I’d like to create a garment business. For our first assignment, we had to do an overview of a product line we’d like to create, and I decided to focus on tomboy style–it’s a look I like, a look a lot of my friends wear, and I’d love to put my own spin on.

Are you my future customer? from tomboy/femme style

The biggest challenge of this assignment was figuring out who my competition is. Continue reading

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Jeans! (part 3), AAARGH edition

me in the living room wearing my new jeans

From this angle, you can’t quite see the weird.

Jeans! (Part 1)
Jeans! (Part 2)

Well, this third pair of jeans did not turn out quite how I’d intended. They’re a little odd, but they’re growing on me.

The plan was to take the current colored-denim trend and make it a little more punk by adding large patches of a detail fabric. I’ve had some (probably faux) Burberry (probably faux) raw silk lying around for literally a decade, which I planned to lay over a sizeable portion of the legs. I used the top half of my jeans pattern from the last pair but adjusted the legs so they’d be longer and more fitted.

An open pant leg with a plaid patch

Flayed pant leg, ready for patch placement

Things were going along pretty well. I was starting to feel like I was finally getting the hang of the fly front. (I am endlessly indebted to this fly front tutorial by my delightful draping teacher–it’ll be at least a couple more runs before I can do a fly without it.) Continue reading

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A dress I designed is available on ModCloth!

The five winning looks in ModCloth's Make the Cut: Retro Honor Roll contest

The five winning looks in ModCloth’s Make the Cut: Retro Honor Roll contest. I designed the one fourth from the right. It’s called the Style Syllabus dress.


(Okay, as of this writing, it’s not available quite yet. August 15th! Steel yourself!)

So, one of the most exciting things that happened to me this year (right up there with being invited to, and attending, an amazing writers’ retreat in Mexico, which I hope to post about soon) was my unexpected victory in ModCloth.com’s second Make the Cut contest. Continue reading

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Jeans! (Part 2)

So. Many. Muslins.

Click here for Jeans! (part 1)

So, once school and work were both over for the summer, I embarked on my second pair of jeans. This time, since I wasn’t under a deadline, I decided I would make as many muslins as I needed to until I was sure I had it exactly right. Over the course of the next week, I made at least six different muslins. The first pair was hilariously tight, although the pelvic portion actually fit pretty well. (srsly, people, is there a nicer-sounding word than ‘pelvic’ for the part of pants that’s not the legs? The only other word I can think of is ‘crotch,’ and I really don’t think that’s any better.) Then I struggled, through several pairs, with the dreaded gap-in-back. I might look like I’m straight up and down, but I actually have a pretty round bum, and I’m still learning that the relationship between curves in two dimensions (ie the pattern pieces) and curves in three dimensions (your body, the sewn pants) are not as straightforward as they might appear. Continue reading

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Jeans! (part 1)

My first pair of jeans. Pay no attention to that really terrible-looking corner on the waistband.

So last semester, I took this really lovely draping class. We had three projects: a basic dress that had to follow very specific parameters (easy peasy), another dress for which we had no direction other than to drape on the bias (scary!), and finally, custom fitted jeans! I was so stoked when I heard that. I spent the whole semester bragging to my friends about how, soon, I would know how to make my own jeans.

Finally, barely a month before the end of the term, we were ready to begin the project. We paired up and took a whole bunch of measurements on our partners, then created loose-fitting muslins based on our own measurements. The next week, we put the muslin on over tights and our partners pinned and marked the muslin into the style we wanted. Then we deconstructed the muslin and created a new pattern based on the lines our partner had drawn. Continue reading

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By way of introduction

Earlier this year, my friend Erica asked me to read at the first installment of her new reading series, Hazel. She asked the readers to share ‘a recent writing experiment.’I took a little liberty with the prompt and wrote a fairly traditional essay about an experiment I was doing with my life. This is what I wrote:

Making the Suit

I was born in December, 1980, just before the final month of the lame-duck Carter administration. The Soviet Union dissolved shortly after I turned eleven, and we got our first modem the year I was thirteen. Depending on whose math you go by, I could be either a Gen Xer or a Millenial, or neither, or both. For most of my life, ‘neither’ has felt right. Continue reading

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