Thursday, August 28, 2008

Warm or Hot?

I hate to think that I have acclimated to the Bay Area this quickly, but things I used to consider just being very warm are now quickly becoming hot to me. Perhaps it is the lack of a breeze, perhaps it is the lack of readily available air conditioning at home, I am not sure, but the high 80's have now officially become unbearably hot for me. It used to take high 90's with very high humidity to make me say that, but I guess it is part of becoming one with the Bay Area. The heat is so bad, I am actually dreading my trip into 826 for tutoring today. With no windows and only two small doors that can be opened in the Pirate Store, it gets really hot really fast in there. I am going to finish up a tooth fairy pillow for the nieces this morning to move onto a special order for this afternoon and evening. Hairfalls are slowly forming at nights, and belt ideas are rolling in my brain. I just need to sketch them out or write them down somewhere so I don't lose them this time! Well lots to do and little time before I need to head into SF! I am slightly sad I have already lost my Illinois weather tolerance.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's 826 Day!

Ok, I know this blog is supposed to be about Fabulous Pants and all that I do in that area of my life, but sometimes there are other things that bleed into other areas of my life. One of these things is my volunteer time at 826 Valencia. It is a writing and tutoring program in the city of San Francisco that has successfully branched out into other major cities such as LA, Chicago, and New York. It is meant to help tutor students that need to bridge the achievement gap as well as working with students who are talented in writing and journalism. And since the date it 8-26, today they celebrate over at 826 Valencia! I am going to head into the city today to help set up the celebration and meet with the new students and parents for this year. The Mission High book project has been announced as well, and while I am totally taken with the idea of it, I am afraid I cannot be a core member. It would take too much of my already scattered time. So if you want to know more about 826 Valencia, check out their website and donate or buy some student writings! I am sure you will be amazed at their raw talent!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Artisan Pants?

So recently I had someone ask me what was so artisan about my pants. I had to think about this only a little while seeing as I hand picked the word artisan for a reason when I put it on my tag line. My reply boiled down to the following points. One thing that makes the pants artisan is that they are made in small batches. I do not tend to make more than five pair out of any singular material, unless it is a troupe order. I like to limit the number of alike pairs out there in the world, so each owner can feel like they have something that is not owned by hundreds or thousands of people, like a manufactured piece of clothing is. I also search out my materials and purchase things that I think are beautiful. Then I hold onto that fabric for a period of time. I want to make sure that I don't see a ton of other things made out of the materials I pick. I want to ensure they are unique for my wearers. Another artisan touch is that I make sure all my seams are turned under where ever possible, so there are no exposed cut edges. When that is not possible, seams are sealed with a serged edge to ensure a clean finish. I also have certain special touches I use with my pants to make them artisan. I make all my own labels for the pants from recycled material. Each label is cut from former dress material, seams are rolled, and then I hand stamp my logo and name on each one. For clothing that tags would be excessively annoying, such as choli tops, I hand stamp right on the interior fabric so no tags get in the way, show during performance, or irritate the sensitive skin of the arms or back. Finally, the pants are artisan because each package is wrapped in hand stamped wrapping paper when ordered from my Etsy store. Hey, who doesn't like to feel like they are opening up a present for no particular reason! Treat yourself! So that was my reply, and I think I won them over to calling my pants and products, artisan.

Friday, August 22, 2008

No I Haven't Fallen Off the Face of the Earth!

Ok so many of you must be wondering what happened to me and if I have closed up the shop. Well the answer is that I was on a hiatus and of course I would not just close up the shop! For a week and a half, I turned the sewing machines to work on my own personal costuming for Belegarth. Every year I promise myself that I will work on my costumes incrementally and not put it off till the last minute. Well we all know how that goes. I get wrapped up in working on Fabulous Pants and in my real life and my hobbies many times get put aside. This year I made several items for the event. I created an Afghani style tribal dress. It turned out better than I had even envisioned even though I had to finish hemming it on the train out to Idaho. (I will post a picture up here for you all to see sometime!)I also got a couple of pantaloons made for myself and a new choli to add to the bellydance trunk. The trip to Idaho for Chaos Wars was very fun, and the event was even better. The train trip out was one of the most exciting that I have ever experienced. I met a man who is walking around the world. This begged the question, "Why are you riding a train then?" He was actually on a break from the round the world walk. Once I find his business card again, I will post his blog for you all to read about him and his adventures. The site was gorgeous. We were lucky enough to be hosted on a horse ranch in Hailey, Idaho. The hosts were amazing, and their land was so beautiful. The event was action packed and filled with old and new friends, good fighting, and great food.

After one of the best Belegarth events I have ever attended, I returned home for one day to do some laundry and repacking. I then left for Illinois to visit family and let the husband have a well deserved vacation away. The trip was nice, and it made me realize exactly what I missed about the Midwest. One of those things being sweet corn. Californians may think they have sweet corn, but theirs has nothing over the corn of "home." We also got to have some wonderfully beautiful weather, especially for the Steam Show in Sycamore. Usually it is so hot, and then you are standing next to all these steam engines, you just want to get back to the air conditioning of a house. This year, I had a hard time leaving the Taylor Marshall Farm. It was a great day with wonderful weather and great music and threshing.

We finally returned home on Monday of this week, and I had a glut of laundry, cleaning, ordering, and appointments to keep. 826 Valencia needed some help, so I went there on Thursday. I finally got to turn some attention to the shop today. I went to get some supplies and will be working on some custom orders I have received. I also hope to get some falls and new belts made soon. Check back more often, seeing as I will be back to blogging now that computers are in reach and back logs of computer work are finally cleared! It is good to be back, and I cannot wait to get back to some costuming fabulousness!