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Stretch Goal Updates, Including Sizing Info, Etc

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Hello everyone!

We’ve got just under a week left for the Wearing History Clothing Kickstarter campaign!   We’ve met the minimum funding goal and are now working on the Stretch Goals!  THANK YOU!!

I was in contact with the company who I would like to use for the dress forms.   I chose these forms because, unlike other forms,  their shape were built upon heavy research of current body types around the world.  If you want to find out more information, visit Alvanon’s website.

The main reason behind this choice= YOU’RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR BASE MATERIALS.  Budget form=budget fit.  I want the clothes to fit better an feel better, so that means our new forms will have to meet pretty high standard.  I believe these do so.

The bad news… the forms are over $2,000 each, plus over $1,000 in freight.  To allow for Kickstarter + credit card fees, this makes the total for each form in the neighborhood of $4,000.  So, my stretch goals have been updated to reflect those amounts.

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I know the current range is VERY limited.  If you don’t understand why, please read my prior blog post before commenting.

By getting the new form, this enables an expansion in sizing, so any future designs would be based on this range.  ALL CURRENT GARMENTS MEET THE SIZE CHART ON THE KICKSTARTER.  So don’t order based on this size chart… that will be down the line if we meet the stretch goal!

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The addition of the new dress form means all future garments will reach a much more universal size chart.  This form is used by some of the top industry professionals, so will be more in line with the sizing we’re accustomed to at retail stores.

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After the first stretch goal is met, we work toward the second stretch goal.  This will enable me to start working on the future addition of plus sizes.

After consulting various friends who are much more in tune with plus sizes, I am determined I must use an AlvaForm for the addition of plus sizes.  It’s used by companies like Lane Bryant.

Here is a tentative size chart, should I be able to add plus size.  The numbers may not match up to measurements as you’re used to seeing.

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Of course, NONE OF THE PROPOSED SIZE CHARTS WILL HAPPEN if we do not meet the stretch goal.

Once the Kickstarter ends, the business has to use all funds from sales to pay for other business expenses.  It would take a very long time, perhaps 5 years or more, to be able to think of doing additional ranges for plus size if we don’t meet the second goal.

If we’re able to reach $27,000 then we add a men’s form to be able to do menswear in the future.

All the details have yet to be ironed out on actual size charts, etc, but I wanted to provide a visual of what I propose to do if we should be able to reach stretch goals.

So, if you want to see this happen, PLEASE help support and spread the word as much as possible!  Just about 6 days left, and that’s it!!

Click here to visit the Kickstarter and support!

Thank you!!

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WE MADE IT! What’s next? The Stretch Goal!

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WE MADE IT!  With your help, we were able to raise the minimum amount needed on Kickstarter to receive funding!!  YAHOO!!!!

That means all the clothing in the current collection will be made, and everyone gets their awesome rewards!

It’s not too late, though!  You can still contribute to my Kickstarter!!

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If we’re able to reach $5,000 above the original goal, that means we can invest in new dress forms to enable better sizing.

Why do we need that?  Well, if you read my prior blog post, you’ll see that all sizing is based off of my current dress form (bought right after fashion school), which fits the size SMALL in my size chart.  This is why the current size range is limited.  To be truly accurate and have more freedom in what sizes you can base your grade on (that is, how you mathematically increase or decrease patterns to other sizes), I need something more in the middle of the range.  That will enable me to get more into the 42″ bust range, or more.

Not only that, but I’m really hoping to get a plus size form so I can start offering future designs in larger sizes.

And, we have high hopes of adding a men’s form as well.  (though, that’s only if we go higher than the stretch goal.  Girls first!)

Why so much more?  Well, it’s actually not very much to raise if I want accurate, industry professional forms.

Right now I’m really looking at Alva forms.

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(image from Alva’s website)

Why?  Well, instead of standard dressmaker forms, which are made to a sort of prior ideal, these forms are actually drafted by comparing the measurements to real, current, body types.  That way I can make vintage garments for women NOW.  It would be way more accurate in fit than getting a cheaper alternative, and these forms are very good quality.  One of the better ones in the industry.  And a better base means a better end product.

So, if you want to still help out, we’ve got just a few hours over 7 days left.  A week left!  This has gone so fast!

What are other perks of preordering through Kickstarter?

  • Discounts on e-patterns
  • Limited edition tote bags, only available for Kickstarter supporters (and I’m almost out of those!)
  • Discounts on garment packages
  • Free shipping if you’re in the USA
  • I pay sales tax if you’re located in California.

So a bunch of discounts and reasons to pledge while there’s still time!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!

Don’t forget to share my Kickstarter with your friends and via social media to help spread the word and make the stretch goal happen!

In Restrospect: Vintage Viewpoint Panel Discussion

Last night I attended the Fashion Group International of Los Angeles’ event, “Vintage Viewpoint: Vintage Influence on Contemporary Fashion” at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandizing (my alma mater).

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The panel was composed of four individuals who come from backgrounds in fashion- either as antique dealers or as designers.  Present were Alicia Estrada, CEO/Designer, Stop Staring!Madeline Harmon, Owner, Chuck’s VintageShareen Mitchell, Owner, Shareen VintageDoris Raymond, Owner, The Way We Wore, and the moderator/master of ceremonies was Kevin Jones, FIDM Museum Curator.

As soon as this event popped up in my inbox, I signed up right away.  Never mind that I’m still not back to normal after the time difference of the midwest, never mind that I’m tired of traveling- I was determined to go.  So I got my little self up to Los Angeles, hung out with my best friend, then dolled myself up vintage (and neglected to take any pictures), and headed out to FIDM in the evening.

I was slightly hesitant, after thinking about it, as to whether or not it would be applicable to me and my upcoming clothing line.  After all, critiquing and noticing fashion trend’s influence to vintage fashion has been sort of a hobby/interest of mine and many of my close friends for as long as I remember.  To be completely honest, I mostly went to see if I could glean some knowledge from Alicia Estrada, who is the designer behind the highly successful vintage-inspired clothing line “Stop Staring.”

And I’ll be honest.  As soon as I drove into the underground parking garage, a fear and dislike gripped my heart.  I am a survivor of FIDM. When I went to school vintage was not “cool.”  I left just at the cusp of vintage becoming mainstream.  I was laughed, made fun of, talked down to, and chided for wanting all of my designs to harken to different eras.  I was told I should do costume design, and that my designs really had no place in modern fashion.

Now, as a graduate, and a gal who spent a lot of time making a brand and an (albeit tiny) name for myself and my vision, and now among the rank of those hopeful to start a ready to wear line, here I am, back in my old stomping grounds, feeling pretty shy and yet willingly submitting myself to a “fashion event.”  I even paid for the privilege.

I exit the elevator, head down to the galleries, and find I am one of the only people wearing head to toe vintage fashion.  I’m mixed in among the “cool”, sporting fancy jeans mixed with bohemian vintage.  Students who attended for some reason.  Designers and big wigs who know their stuff in the industry.  I generally feel really confident in myself and believe in my vision, but those old feelings crept back and I felt like no one really “got me.”

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UNTIL I heard Alicia Estrada talk.   What an inspiring story!  One of eleven children, she got into fashion via the punk scene, and decided to do vintage inspired clothing, because she “hated fashion.”  Thank the LORD, I felt so much more at ease.  I was always the weird one- more tomboy than girly as a teen, the one who hung out in the art room and mixed authentic vintage with modern clothes just because I liked them.  In fashion school, I hung out with the outsiders- the punks, the artists, the alternative fashion scene.  In fact, I wrote some pretty horrid poetry about how much I disliked fashion and fashion school in general.

But vintage fashion- that’s another thing.  I can talk all day, study all day, and drool over the tiniest detail.  It really is “timeless”.

Whatever your take on her clothing line, Alicia Estrada’s story is fantastic.  She takes vintage elements and makes them apply to our modern culture and body types.  She really bridges the gap between authentic vintage and modern fashion, and she does it well.  At first, she was shunned by the authentic vintage clothing shops.  Modern fashion thought she designed costumes.  But now, she’s featured in mainstream magazines and has celebrities wearing her dresses.  I only dream of meeting that success.

Not only that, but I’ve found out she’s a woman of faith (like I am), and into family.  She was encouraging, she took time to talk to people after the panel, and she said many times that “there’s room for more designers in the vintage market.”  It’s SO refreshing to not hear someone get all up in arms when a noob comes along with a dream in their niche.  I always said “there’s always room for more vintage patterns.”  Now I’m glad that there’s others saying “there’s always room for more vintage fashion.”  Because, you know what?  The market just keeps growing and growing.  So I was incredibly blessed to go and hear her answers and speak with her very briefly.

The other panelists were mostly those who dealt with high end authentic vintage fashion, and sell primarily to designers, celebrities, and those with money for those higher price point vintage items.  I admit, I didn’t recognize half of the names that were dropped during this panel discussion (I don’t keep up too much with celebrities and designers), but it was interesting to hear just how many designers now come to authentic vintage clothing dealers searching for inspiration.  I remember I even had Betsy Johnson say “Nice dress.” to me at a LA Vintage Fashion Expo once.  That was pretty cool.

But, also hearing the perspective of the curator of the FIDM museum was interesting.  Some vintage is so rare, it really should be preserved for future generations.  So, although it may make me squirm to hear of someone wearing authentic Victorian garments in everyday life, others have no problem with it.  And still others want a recreation of it.  So there’s room out there for the authentic vintage clohing, the reproductions, and the archivists- but all are under the banner name of “vintage”.

An interesting point that was brought up was the question of “knocking off” vintage fashions. I’ve seen this question asked in the blogoshere in relation to wearable fashion and vintage sewing patterns.  In general, all panelists were agreed- unless it’s a modern designer knocking off another modern designer (say, for example, the 90’s is back- doing a knock of of another designer’s piece from then is in pretty poor taste), most agreed that they have no problem with someone making copies of vintage originals as long as it’s not iconic to a specific designer.  And with the wide world of the internet, someone out there will know where it originally was from.  Most modern designers, however, will just take elements of vintage for either structural design elements or textile inspiration.  There’s a few out there who do head to toe (Ralph Lauren springs to mind), and there’s niche brands who will do this, like vintage reproduction companies, but most take something and put their own spin on it.  And, if you know real vintage, you know sizing and textiles now are VERY different than they were back then, so getting an exact replica is really pretty rare and not always in your best interest.

So, in the end, I still don’t really like “fashion.”  I don’t like hobnobbing and “networking”.  It feels fake and forced.  But I do enjoy the insight from people who have been on the road and survived in what I want to do.

And hey, one of the vintage expert panelists actually asked if the dress I made was vintage.  So I must be doing something right.

Got any thoughts? Please let me know below!

 

Important Poll- Tell Me Your Trouser Preferences

Howdy, Everyone!

I’m back from a 10 day trip visiting family on both my side and my husband’s side in Missouri.  Now I’m back at it and I have two very important questions for you!

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My first collection will include the Smooth Sailing trousers in a dark denim.  Very similar to the photo above, but no belt.

I need to know the following, so please help me out by submitting your answer!  The one with the most replies will be what is made.

Because vintage style trousers have a longer rise (crotch length) than modern trousers, I also need to know the length you need from waist to hem. NOT the inseam length. I need to know the full length from your natural waist to hem.

Please add your selection and share with anyone you know who would be interested in buying ready made vintage style trousers!

Thank you!

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Wearing History Clothing- Updates!

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a little while since my last proper update about my steady work making Wearing History Clothing a reality!

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First of all, I picked up the keys to my new space in San Marcos!  Super exciting!  In California, you have to have  a place outside the home to base an apparel manufacturing company (I’m technically not making the clothing myself, but CA still says I’m a manufacturer), so that’s a HUGE thing off of the checklist!

Once that was achieved, I could officially file my garment manufacturer registration with the state!  That’s all sent in, so just waiting on getting back the info for when I can go take the test.  After I do that, we can rock and roll on getting clothing made! YEAH!

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In the meantime, I’ve been hard at work making my patterns for the ready to wear clothing. I’ve been making all the patterns myself, which takes quite a while since I’m so darn picky.  The photo above is four of thirteen tries until I got just the right sleeve for my 1940’s blouse that will premiere with the first collection.  I wanted to make sure it looked cute style-wise, but would provide enough movement for dancing, or doing civilian re-enacting, or just about anything.

To me, it’s not just about looking cute- we’ve got to have practical clothing, too!  Speaking from experience, here… I’ve ripped sleeves out of original dresses while dancing before.  That’s no fun!  That’s part of why I’m so excited about bringing newly made vintage styles to the marketplace- we need vintage styles that can stand up to wear!

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Something else really exciting- the two fabrics above were just picked up yesterday!  These are fantastic cottons with a good drape- two of the three fabrics that will be in the final collection.  So you get a little sneak peek here!

You get two hints on what the first collection will bring in this post… one was already mentioned (a 1940’s blouse), AND if you’ve loved my Smooth Sailing trousers for a while, there WILL be a ready made version of those in the first collection!  I have had such good reviews of that pattern that I drafted, that I’m excited to be able to offer them in ready-to-wear.

The collection will have four pieces, so there’s still two more to go.  I’ve got one more fabric coming that I’m having custom printed.  SO EXCITING!  Beth of V is for Vintage and I went yesterday to meet with the textile printers, and I’m so, so excited that this is becoming a reality!

I’m getting the fabric screen printed, which is really pretty incredible to me.  I find that I prefer the results over digital printing.  Of course, with this process, we’ve got to meet a pretty high fabric yardage minimum, but I believe you all will love this collection so much that I’ll never regret starting the way I mean to continue- and part of that is getting fun vintage inspired fabrics that will be unique to my brand- of which, this will be the first one. If you’ve never seen a rotary screen printed fabric, check out this pretty amazing video showing an example of the process.

 Make sure you stay tuned for future updates!

If you’d like to keep in the loop, make sure to sign up for my newsletter!

xo

Lauren

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Part 8: Suit A Long- How to Hem the Skirt- Guest Post by Ally

Well Hello Everyone I’m Ally from Honey Pot Creations, primarily a milliner, but a dabbler in anything and everything sewing based.  I’m so pleased to be able to write this guest post. When Lauren put out the call for help with the sew-along I was a little nervous and at first didn’t put myself forward but then I thought well why not, what’s the worst that could happen, and to be honest it will really spur me on to complete the sew-along if I’m involved in both sides if you see what I mean. Do bear in mind though that this is my first guest blog and be a little forgiving on me if I make any blunders.   Well I thought I would help Lauren out by taking 3 small sections of the construction.  I picked

  • Hemming the skirt
  • Pockets on the jacket
  • Collar options

to write the blog posts for and very kindly Lauren agreed. So today is all about hemming and we will get to the jacket all in good time.   The original instructions that came with the pattern tell us to “underface skirt 3 inches” and Lauren goes on to explain this as; ‘No hem is allowed for skirt. The longer length will work for earlier periods, since it is quite long. You can either turn up the hem, if you desire shorter than the pattern is given for, or face the hem.’ She goes on to say that she likes to face in a stiffer fabric to give extra body to the hem and I have to agree with this and will be using this method on my skirt, but for the sake of completeness we will cover both methods. As the skirt we are dealing with is not straight, we will have to look at fullness with whatever hem style we choose, so let’s look at that first. Some fabrics can be shrunk in a little and some will just need to be pressed as flat as possible, either way starts by marking your hem line. The easiest method I find is just to run a very large running stitch around the hem line in contrasting cotton. picture 1 picture 2 This thread will be removed later.  Also run a gathering stitch close to the end of the fabric (the white one in the pictures) Turn up the hem and baste (or pin if you are lazy like me) close to the turn. picture 3   Next pull up the gathering thread to fit the curve, on a skirt as big as this, you will find it easier to do this in sections possibly each quarter. picture 4 Once all the gathers are evenly distributed you can iron. Don’t slide the iron along the hem line, as this can stretch it, instead lower the iron onto one area, steam and then lift the iron and move along to the next area. This advice is good whichever style of hemming you choose. picture 5 To finish, overcast the raw edges and blind stitch the hem up.   With this skirt though, I chose to underface the hem by this method.

  • Cut the underfacing to size. By using the bottom of the pattern piece you draw round the outline on your facing material, I chose calico for a medium stiffness.
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  • Draw the bottom line and 4 inches up the sides.
  • Move the pattern piece and then measuring up 4 inches from the bottom line draw another line parallel to it making a curving rectangle shape.
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  • Cut around the shape to give you your facing.
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  • (Rather late in the day I got round to ironing the calico, I did say I was lazy) Turn over a short hem on the top edge of the facing.
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  • Now I chose not to join these strips together instead preferring to attach them to the skirt in separate pieces that overlap and then if there is any problem with the sizing I can increase or decrease the size of the overlap to compensate, so iron  down the short edges on two of the pieces.
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  • If you would rather join the facing together and then sew it on to the skirt just sew up the short sides and continue as before.
  • Pin the facing to the skirt right sides together, placing one of the folded over edges down first.
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  • Place the next facing over lapping this piece and pin in place, when they are turned back over the neat side will be showing.
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  • Sew the facing on to the fabric picture 15and iron, I always iron the seam as is first and then open, can’t remember who told me but I know it’s important. picture 16
  • Turn the facing to the inside and press again. I like to roll it in a little further so you can see a little of the skirt fabric on the inside.  picture 17 picture 18
  • Blind stitch in place.

Ok this is where I need to make a confession, you may be thinking that I was using a cream facing on a dark fabric to make it easy to see in the photos and I probably would have dyed the facing if I thought it might be seen, but you see I decided that the skirt was a little too long for me and for some reason I decided 6 inches had to come off, well I did a bad thing and just folded up the pattern pieces to get the reduction. The real problem came when I folded up 6 and down 6 too (not up 3 and down 3), so I end up cutting the pieces 12 inches shorter than the originals, oops. I realised as soon as I held up the cut out fabric. picture 19 Although the skirt is too short you can see the calico gives a nice fullness. Well there had been a thread in the facebook event page discussing this very problem, and some very clever person suggested putting a ruffle on the bottom, so that is exactly what I decided to do. I cut out 3 straight lengths of the fabric, joined them into a tube, hemmed top and bottom and then attached to the bottom of my skirt with small pleats. picture 20 picture 21From this you can also see the other option for hemming which is to turn the raw edge over twice and sew down.  picture 22

I hope that you may have found something in all that useful, I have to say I enjoyed doing it and it’s interesting thinking about each step, rather than just doing them, so I’m looking forward to the jacket now. Oh and once again thanks Lauren for letting me join in. Hugs and kisses Ally

Thank you so much, Ally, for guest posting  and sharing your wonderful sewing skills and technique!  Please don’t forget to follow Ally on Facebook as Honey Pot Creations, and follow her blog.  You can also shop Honey Pot Creations on Etsy.

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Update II: Wearing History Clothing

Hi all!

It’s been a while since my last update.  Just wanted to let you know I’m still here, plugging along at my dream!

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There’s been a few lessons I’ve learned in the last few weeks in a big way.

1-  Things take a lot longer than you think.

If you’re just relying on yourself, it’s not so bad.  But when you’re at the whim and grace of other elements outside yourself, it throws you obvious curve balls!  It’s taken about three times as long as I thought to finally officially switch cities of operations.

But the good news is that I’m officially located as Wearing History in San Marcos, CA, in a small industrial space there, where I am subletting a spot so I can grow my dream.  Woohoo!  I’m very fortunate that the property I’m operating out of was where my dad started his very first business.  In fact, in the same spot I’m subletting, I was a baby in a playpen while my mom did office work and shipping and my dad was doing machining in a small shop.  What goes around comes around.  It took some back and forth with the city about the zoning (apparently that area had a zoning change, so it was kind of headache to figure out if I could actually do what I want to do there), then I had to refigure all of my existing things like seller’s permits and fictitious business names to the new city, and all that entailed, and finally, FINALLY, on Monday I got to get my official business license for this new city.  Whew!

It’s not over yet, though.  I still have to get my California Garment Registration Certificate, which is super pricey.  All this stuff up front is pretty pricey.  I’m just counting on that when I put up my stuff for sale you guys are all going to love it so much that it will be a fabulous success, and all this won’t be done for nothing ;)  Starting an apparel business in California is pretty challenging (if you want to read more about what it entails, click here)

So this bible verse has been really ringing true for me, in light of my battles on what I thought my time frame would be for me to start up this enterprise from the purely legal and logistical point of view.

‘”Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will] go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”’-  James 4:13-15

Because you don’t only count on yourself, but the city, state, family, other prople, and then are at the mercy of unforeseen natural disasters.

2-  Fires Are Scary.

If you haven’t heard, our area has had major fires.  In fact, San Marcos was all over the news as one of the big ones here in San Diego.  It was known as the “Cocos Fire” in the news, and one of the guys in the building where I’m moving said he could actually see the flames from where we are located.  The hills are all black and charred where the fire was.  More than three dozen structures were destroyed.  It was really scary times.  In fact, it wasn’t only close to this structure, but the other fires in the county were about two miles away from family in Carlsbad and in Fallbrook.  We were all holding our breath for a while, praying that it wouldn’t come any closer.  Thankfully, none of my family had to evacuate.

Here’s a picture my husband took from the supermarket down the street from our house, and we were several miles from the fire.  It wasn’t in the city where we live,  but you can see how crazy it was.  There was ash on our cars in the morning, and even Los Angeles was affected by the smoke in the air.

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We have a long, hot, summer before us.  They’re saying this will be the worst fire storm season in a long time.  So I know this is just a sampling of what we’re going to get this year, and that’s pretty scary.  While everyone on the east coast was dealing with ice storms and such, we had a really, really mild winter.  It may be great in terms of winter, but when you’re a California native you know that it means a really hot, really dry, and potentially dangerous summer to come.

I’m so thankful my family and I are safe, but I feel so, so bad for those who lost their homes in these fires.

3- I’m In a Good Place To Succeed

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Total nerd alert ^.  But you can see how excited I was.

My husband and I went to San Fransisco to attend the DG Expo at the beginning of this month.  Wow, was it helpful.  We drove all the way from north county San Diego to San Fransisco and attended three days of seminars on starting a fashion business and a textile show with vendors who do low minimums for wholesale.

I was professionally trained in Fashion Design, but my school (FIDM in Los Angeles) did not train us on anything to do with running your own business.  Most of what I’ve learned was through a single community college class, having great mentors in my family, and purely trial and error.  So I was really excited when I found out about this expo, and that it was aimed at startup companies, and had info on USA production and sourcing.

A lot of what I learned I had already known through running Wearing History, but there was some information that I didn’t know that was extremely helpful.  What I came away with, is that I’m in a very good place to succeed.  Instead of starting from scratch, without anyone knowing what I do,  I’m blessed to have my blog and social media followers who “get me”, and know what my aesthetic is.  I’m also SUPER blessed that we don’t have to “keep up with fashion”, because, really, we who like vintage are so behind the times on fashion anyways- like, decades behind the times ;)  so I don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel with current fashion.  SO THANKFUL.  I really believe timeless looks are timeless for a reason.  And, I’m super thankful that I have my formal fashion training, as a lot of folks there never went to school for it and are having to source all sorts of help on the front end to make their dream happen.  I’m lucky I always kind of knew what I wanted to do, and have all those years of training and experience behind me.  I’m very blessed!  And I have no doubt we’ll make this happen!

I guess that’s about it!  I’m finally to a point where I can put most of my energy into actually making the awesome designs now.  I’ve had to cut back to four pieces to start with, since I learned more about the financial side of things.  But I know there’ll be room to grow and add lots of pretty new things in the future once this takes off and grows. :)

Hope you’re all doing fabulously!

Love,

Lauren