Monday, September 26, 2011

Highlights of the week

I'm bad! I didn't put this post up last weekend because fall seems to be arrived where my parents live (which is where I spend my weekends) and believe it or not I spend more time outdoors during the fall than in any other season. I love the cold air on my face, the rain, the colours in the woods, picking chestnuts, looking for mushrooms and then snuggle in the house with cozy socks on. Yes, I guess fall is my favorite season.
So I hope you'll enjoy this post as a Monday treat and there will be another one at the end of the week.
Have a great week!

2. If you're into makeup, this look inspired by Kat von D deserves to be watched.
3. Beautiful pinup illustrations (beware, the post is very pic heavy).
4. Can I be invited to this party, please?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Interview: Memi the Rainbow

Today I have the pleasure to feature another amazing creative mind: Patricia, fellow Italian and owner of Memi the Rainbow. I hope you're gonna love her creations as much as I do!

1 - Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
My name is Patricia, I was born in Carrara, a little town in Tuscany known worldwide for its white marble and because it's a second home for the greatest sculptors and artists of all time… Maybe my passion for art comes from this influence… I don't know, but I really love everything that involves creativity. I've lived in Paris for about three years and I must admit that this city is an endless source of inspiration for me, a place where I can nourish my love for art.

2 - How did you start your business, Memi The Rainbow?
I wouldn't really define it business… At the beginning, my creations were just for friends and relatives… then I realized that many people liked them and I decided to start a blog where I could show them and share them with a bigger audience.

3 - How did you choose the name of your shop?
Memi is a term of endearment that I use for everything I love and find cute. The rainbow represents hope, what pushes you even when everything seems to go wrong, just like that old song, "Over the Rainbow", that says to never stop believing in your dreams and to try and make them come true, because “somewhere over the rainbow” they might become reality…

4 - Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I studied to be an accountant in high school and philosophy at university… so I would define myself as self-taught, even though I've always loved to draw and to create small objects. Now that I live in Paris, I enrolled in art school, where I hope to refine my drawing skills.

5 - Do your creations support you economically? If not, do you have another job?
As I've said, I consider this activity to be more a passion than a job.

6 - What are your main sources of inspiration?
I get inspired by everything around me. For example, I love to take long walks in the streets of Paris and to be captured by little details, maybe hidden ones, to bring them to light and give them all the visibility they deserve… because I think that details really make the difference. I also get inspiration from Japanese culture from which, for example, I learnt the technique of hand carved rubber stamps.

7 - What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I always get very emotional when I see someone wearing one of my creations. Usually, it's the people I know who wear them. But recently I met a girl in a café wearing my Red Riding Hood brooches on her sweater; I didn't know her and I was so proud.

8 - How and where do you advertise your business?
Mainly through my blog, ma also on sites like Flickr, where posting my photos gets me visibility.

9 - Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells handmade?
My first piece of advice is not to consider what you're about to do strictly as business, as it can be very frustrating, especially in the beginning. Be very patient and follow your passion, you'll see that you'll get results with time. In fact, people who create handmade items know that the act of creating is itself  a satisfaction.
Maybe try to shoot good photos that highlight the unicity of your work, so that more and more people can appreciate what you make.

Read my previous interviews:
* Gervaise
* Pattern Runway

Friday, September 16, 2011

Highlights of the week

Yay, I'm so happy I'm writing this weekly post again!
I suspended it because I had lost a bit of motivation: these posts (believe it or not) require quite a good amount of preparation and this summer I didn't always felt like reading a lot of blogs. But know I organized my daily reads, I moved them from Bloglovin' to Google Reader and I find myself to keep up with them much better! So, these are my favorite things this week:

1. This post on food stamping on Luulla's blog is so inspirational.
2. Knitting is something I definitely want to learn better this winter and this cowl pattern by the Purl Bee seems to be the perfect start. It's gorgeous.
3. This tote pattern is huge on Pinterest and I'm totally in love with. I'll definitely make one for me to carry my books around this fall.
4. Since Mathilde's "Inspirations de la semaine" posts were a big incentive for me restart the Weekly Highlights, I'll go ahead and copy her featuring a hair tutorial. I chose this Youtube video featuring three braided styles inspired by Spencer, a character of the TV show Pretty Little Liars.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Burda 10/2011

Aaand... I'm back! Sorry, but the end of Summer means I'm back to studying and I have little or no time for sewing. So, basically, I have nothing to show you!
But the Burda preview is here! When I saw it on the website, I was a bit hesitant to open it because I'm still a bit angry at Burda since last month. This issue is definitely less tragic, but it's not great either.
Let's start with the patterns I like:
Yes, I know that they look like nuns outif, but try to imagine them both sleeveless and in cuter, more lively colors (or pastels!). Better, huh? I think they could look very 60's (with the aforementioned alterations, of course). I especially like the pleats of the first dress.
Fun fact: my boyfriend peeked at my screen while I was making these collages and he asked if these were the coats that Italian children used to wear in elementary school (if you're unfamiliar, this is an example). So, nice fabric choice, Burda!

Nice and simple lines, I want to experiment with princess seams a bit to see if I can get a better fit for my curvy body and this could be a nice pattern to start with. Of course, it's the lace that makes this particular dress, but I think it could still be cute without embellishments.

The lace panel has all the potential to be very vulgar, but I think it could be a beautiful dress if you don't over do it. I would avoid the scarf and, once again, I think it would look cute sleeveless.

Ok, as you might have noticed, these dresses were all from the "black and white" issue. The we have the plus size and the children issue, a "boho chic" and a "muted colors" issue (I found the fabric used in these last two really hideous).
And then I saw this:

Noooo! Not again! What is this? And WHERE ARE THESE TWO SUPPOSED TO BE GOING?
One girl is wearing a quilt as a cape and the other one stole Neo's jacket. I mean...
If you liked the pattern for a faux fur scarf they offered last month, you're gonna love this:

I'm gonna end this by pointing out that this issue is called "So Cool..."(at least in the Italian version). Yup.

Did you see the preview yet? Let me know if there's something you liked and if you're going to buy this issue. Bye!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wedding clutch

Last saturday I went to my cousin's wedding and while I originally wanted to sew a dress for myself, it didn't happen. I made a muslin of the Bombshell Dress (if you haven't taken Gertie's course yet, I highly recommend it), but there was A LOT of fitting to do and I didn't want to risk not to finish in time.
I also had a little meltdown, so I went to Zara and 5 minutes later I had a beautiful LBD with an exposed zipper in the back, some nice details at the waist and an overall 60s feel that was perfect for me.
The only thing I still needed was a clutch and I couldn't find one that I liked in any shop. There were a lot of plastic-y bags (supposed to look like leather) that costed at least 15 euro. Nonsense.
I still wanted something handmade since I knew all my relatives would have asked if the dress was a creation of mine, so I realized that a clutch was a perfect self made element to add to my outfit. Here's what I came up with:

A cute black ruffled clutch with a magnetic snap and a powder pink lining! I used the Victoria Clutch pattern but reduced the size to 90% of the original and I added a wrist strap and a pocket on the inside. I also made a little wallet and a tissue pouch to keep my stuff better organized.
I liked this clutch so much that I made two more to sell in my shop. They will be for sale soon.

Finally, I wanted to show you a simple yet elegant manicure: since I wasn't wearing any ring I accessorized my nails using a nude polish and two glitter polishes (one with chunky glitter and a finer one). Enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Burda 09/2011

I had completely forgotten about Burda until the September issue showed up in my mail yesterday. "YAY", I thought, "it's going to be a surprise since I haven't seen any preview online".
Oh, indeed, what a surprise! The Burda editorial staff probably had a great vacation this summer and instead of working on a new issue, they took some old patterns from the 80s and 90s thinking that the readers wouldn't have noticed.

WHAT THE F***??? Are you kidding me? Is that supposed to be a modern take on color blocking? What drugs where they on?
But it doesn't end here:

WHO WEARS THESE THINGS? People who drank as much as they did when they planned this shoot?

But luckily, there are some patterns for all of those poor Oktoberfest waitresses who need to sew their own dress for work. I mean, REALLY???

And if you're not offended enough at this point, I give you two more choices: a fugly blouse or the pattern for a faux fur scarf. Yes, I'm serious. Go and see the technical drawing, it's A RECTANGLE.

If it wasn't clear enough by the tone of this post, I'm SO mad at the Burda editors. Next month I'll have to decide whether to renew my subscription or not, and you can imagine what is going on my mind right now.