Posted in Fashion, Life

Everyman Theater Gala 2011

Back in April, I had a Mad Men themed fundraiser to attend for Baltimore’s Everyman Theater. Because of trips to Santa Fe and Tampa, I didn’t have time to whip something up.


 If I had had the time I would have done some kind of Diana Ross spectaculuar. But, instead I relied on my vintage find from earlier this year. I thought I’d share some photos. 

Don’t worry. Those cigarettes aren’t real. They are candy and each purchase was a raffle ticket.

I’m sad to say the original belt was too small to be worn with the dress.

The woman on the right picked up her dress in Florida and had it shortened for the event. It’s *not* vintage if you can beleive!

My jewelry is vintage too. I bought it during Philly PR Weekend.

Most fun of all, this photo was reprinted in the Baltimore Sun. I’d call it my socialite moment.

Posted in Design School, Fashion, sewing

Bunka Garment Design Textbooks Are Amazing.

I am not selling my books nor do I have access to the discounted price I originally paid. If you are interested in buying these books, please use Amazon Japan. The books are about $40 each plus shipping. If you email asking where to buy the books or asking to purchase mine, I will not respond.

Thank you

You may have gathered from this blog that I have a love of all things international. Through much hard work and calculation, I have struck up a unique relationship with my counterpart in Japan. So unique, that when Trena went to Tokyo, my counterpart actually took her shopping — and we’ve never met!

At anyrate, when this week’s delegation came to Baltimore for three days, with them came four of the five English languageBunka Fashion College textbooks. Ginevra first tipped me off that they were coming and Christina let me know they were out. Oh, BTW, Bunka is pronounce Boon-ka. These look small in the photo, but they are 8×11 size (really A4, but whatev).

I am going to do my best not to gush too hard here. But, I am BEYOND excited about these books. Mostly, because they only cost me $100 for the four. They are selling in the states for $44 each. These are definitely text books. But, what I like about them as textbooks is that they, wait for it, ACTUALLY TEACH SEWING. See that below? Those are directions on how to sew a skirt, where to add lining, how to sew lining, how to cut it out, ways to pretreat, suggested fabrics for garments, places for interfacing, etc.

Yes, home sewers have sewing books that teach you this, but I can tell you that my garment design textbook (which cost $100) DOES NOT tell you *how* to sew.

There is a GREAT deal of information on fit and drafting. Ways to alter your sloper (including for bust)  and EXTENSIVE instructions on drafting one. There is a four page glossary on the little symbols and markings that are used on the Mrs. Stylebook / Japanese drafting patterns

I’m also enjoying reading about the history of garments

And this is all just in ONE BOOK.

Of course, there are things I don’t like. First, according to their charts I’m like the LARGEST size possible. After spending four days with six Japanese women, I would agree. I am huge.

But, what’s interesting about their sizing charts, is they take AGE into consideration. Now, call me crazy, but I suspect I won’t age like a Japanese woman. But, I do like to know that they take that into consideration in their drafts.

The other thing I don’t like, so many new products for me to track down! Mostly a few rulers like the D-curve (which looks like my #6), the reduction ruler, thier sleeve pressing ham (I like that it’s shaped more like an arm than my sleeve roll), and pressing horse.

I am resisting their pressing ham, pressing board, handy mat, crossarm and Yukiwari — our tailoring board. Hmm, but I cannot resist the needle board. It might be good I can’t find it on their website. Or this bobbin holder.

Someone I know is going back to Japan in March. My plan is to save up, do a huge order and pay the $50 extra luggaage fee on Al Nippon Air!

So, to sum up, if you can find at least the first book, Fundamentals of Garment Design, I think it it well worth the money if you are interested in fit and working with the Japanese patterns. If you are interested in drafting on your own, then I would get the remainder. The last, Coats and Capes, comes out in December. And, if you are thinking of ordering from Japan and saving some money. shipping is almost $50 for the four.

Posted in Fashion, Life

I’m busy at work / Happy Halloween

blah, blah, blah. Two weeks of of my backside being the top photo on my blog is long enough.

Last night, my friend and I attended a fundraiser / costume party for the Greek Hero’s exhibit at the Walters Art Museum.

I went as a Greek goddess. The dress is a J. Crew wedding gown that I bought from another friend this summer for $75 after she got married. She even threw in the shoes. She wasn’t going to wear it again and you never know when you’ll need a dress.

Today I send off a delegation from Odessa, Ukraine that’s been here for a week and tomorrow pick up a delegation from Japan that we’ll be hosting until Wednesday. After working three solid weekends I am taking this Thursday and Friday off. I would say I’d do some sewing, but I have a house guest coming that we all know but have never met IRL and I need to prepare for her! All to be revealed in due time 🙂

Posted in Fashion, sewing

They Must Go to the Same Fashion Shows

Desperation set in and yesterday I headed to the mall for a pair of jeans. After finding a pair marked down from $70 to $15 (SCORE), I went snoop shopping at Anthropologie.

I think Burda designers must be going to the same shows as Anthropologie’s.

Here is the Checkered Please Coat that I tried on ($178). Oh, and you can now download photos from!

You can’t tell from the photo above, but the jacket has a pieced yoke in the back and front (is it called a yoke in the front??) that extends through the shoulders.

Here is the #108 jacket from the October Burda.

The difference? The pieced yokes on the Burda are on the bias.

Check the line drawing, right down to the pieced shoulder, hood and back.

The same pattern. Oddly enough, I even have a houndstooth black, white and grey wool. What I don’t have, is the time 🙂

** Photos from and