Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I Match My Art!

I'm wearing 2/3 of the textiles used in this:

"Anne" Scrappy Square, 7.21.2021

The rayon black/white circuit print tunic is an old favorite. It has many a story to tell.
I found extra remnants to use in the Scrappy Square.

The rose print skirt/pinafore (which I hastily safety pinned to the tunic for the first photo) was almost completely sacrificed to the Scrappy chopping block. It never worked as a skirt:
back view here
It will work as a summer pinafore!
I could have sworn I have more yardage, but never found it, so I gradually tore strips off the hem for the Scrappy Square, preserving as much as I could of the skirt-soon-to-be-dress.

Many garments are falling victim to the Scrappies. I've started ruthlessly raiding my Poshmark Closet.

Linking up with

Friday, July 16, 2021

What does a Forty Year Old Pop Tart Look Like?

 No, silly, not the food!

I deconstructed my old "Pop Tart" tee to use in the Scrappy Square project.
See how I used the fabric strips in the Black and White piece.
I forgot to take a photo of the tee intact, here's the graphic:

One of my early Photoshop efforts, '95? '96?
I put an actual Pop Tart directly on the scanner!
Had the art made into a heat transfer at Kinko's.

I will freely admit, in 1995, at age 39, I became a Pop Tart in the LA pop music scene.
Won't go into the sordid details, will leave it at "I had fun". Heh.

Here is an old photo from that time, "rocking" the look:
1998, with Pat DiNizio (RIP), Len?, Severo at Coney Island High gig in NYC
I'm 42, Fiorucci tee purchased in 1978

Here's how I wore the same boy's size 14 tee in 1976:
outside the art studios, College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara

There's NO WAY I could wedge myself into a tee that small now!
Only a memory...
This one has Severo in it:

 Linking up with

The Tired Tie Dye Skirt/ Dress

I think I got this at Old Navy? In the beach coverup area?
Or maybe it was Ross.
One of those, in downtown Santa Monica.
All I remember is, it was super cheap. [Which is why fast fashion can be so hard to resist].

Skirt or Dress?

Yes, I'm cavorting on the back patio almost naked. 

I tried, and failed, to find an old selfie wearing this as a skirt. Not found with the tag "tie dye" here, maybe I never posted it. Then I scoured my Tumblr Archive as far back as 2015. Nada. Gave up. (I use Tumbr to quickly access my old Instagram posts. Though my annembray share link has been broken for months. I need to link manually. Boring, sigh).

Currently, it had been taking an extended stay on Mending Mountain - the elastic smocking on the waistband had died. It will now become a dress. After I tunnel new elastic through the top of the waistband. As you can see, I already installed some straps.

Last year, it took and unexpected turn as art!
This transpired through the conjunction of

  • taking some photos of the tie dye stripes for possible use at the day job
  • uploading an app called Momento (only iPhone?) that builds videos from stills
  • an online art collaboration with Angela Izzo
The first video:
See what happened next here!

Included with Shelbee and Nancy's Good Buy/ Goodbye July feature "Tie Dye"
Linking with
Shelbee's On the Edge
Rena's Fine-Whatever

Monday, June 28, 2021

Am I using my time wisely?

Yep, it finally happened.
Over the the past few months, my paid hours at the day job have been steadily dwindling
2/10 - no more than 19.5 hours/week (was 32 hours/week prior)
6/21 zero


So what have I been doing instead?

Scrappy Squares!

test models

"Wendy" the first official piece for the 50|50 Exhibition
This is an ongoing project that officially started 6/28/21.
Each artist juried into the show will be creating one new piece of art on 6x6" panels for 50 days.
I'm rug knot weaving textile scraps onto the panels.
Here's what the back looks like:
The exhibition will be at Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA, 9/10 - 10/10/21
All the art will be uploaded on my Art website on a daily basis. Click here to see them all!

The Big Blanket Mend

I decided to join two old twin "horse blankets" that are both full of moth holes into one.
As always happens with things I repair on the coffee table, Mr Lou thinks it makes a great bed.

note how he plants himself exactly where I'm sewing

Fluevog Shoe Art

I have sketched Fluevog shoes going on four years now.
Uploading the art to Redbubble and Spoonflower helps garner some income.
Happy to report that all of the 2021 sketches and repeats are available on both sites.
Now working my way through 2019's sketches.

There's more, but I think that's enough news for now.

Linking up with

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Fierce Con 2019 Fashion Sketches on my new Portfolio Website

I created this post as an experiment to see what would happen!
The images come from a cloud-based art archive service that I recently signed up for.
It works! And wow! You can click on an image to see it bigger! Woohoo!
Additional observations: It's a "live" collection - as I add images to the Archive Collection, they show up here.
The java script made my blog layout strange (just for this post). Click on Home to regain normalcy!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Mega Mend

 5/28, in backwards order:

6/21, trouble brewing on the back side:
It never ends!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

#thevintagefashionchallenge Day 28: Something Changed

 I turn 65 in 5 days (but who's counting? haha).

When I think about the beginning of my vintage and used clothing journey, and where I am now...
Things have changed.

If I remember correctly, my first Vintage purchases were a 50's 16-gored Mexican skirt and a 40's style plaid dress. I got them at a church tag sale in Troy NY. They cost under a dollar! I was 14.
Those were my days of a fit and flair silhouette. And those days lasted for about 35 years.

And Then Something Changed: my body!

Goodbye breasts!
Hello stomach!

It took me a while to get comfortable in my new shape.
A lot of those experiments happened here on SpyGirl.

I'm happy in my skin.
Sad about all the skirts that don't work as skirts any more.
My pile of refashioning remains high.
Not giving up.


Linking up with Shelbee's On the Edge

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

#thevintagefashionchallenge Day 5: Pink

 I featured the Pink crinoline in today's Instagram post:

The first photo was at Otis College, Spring 1987.
I'm wearing a black boatneck top that I sewed out of blackout flannel, a black velvet belt with rhinestone buckle, the pink crinoline under a shirred prairie skirt, uncomfortable lace tights, the black "witch" shoes I featured on IG on Day 2.

The second photo was used in Bag and a Beret's  2013 edition of VOGOFF
See my post with outtakes

I'm wearing:
Black nylon/spandex bubble knit tube dress -- Trash and Vaudeville, NYC 80s
Pink petticoat -- Cowboys and Poodles on Melrose, LA? Screaming Mimi's, NYC? 80s
Red/black stripe cotton/spandex leggings -- Betsey Johnson 79(?)
Booties -- Norma Kamali 85
African bracelets + necklaces -- Jone Pasha, Providence RI, 80s
Jumbo Chain necklace -- Patucci, The Front Porch, Providence RI, 80s
Sunglasses -- vintage from optician Providence, RI 80s

I no pink patches from the quilt today.
Patch fatigue has set in (already).

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

#thevintagefashionchallenge Day 4: Yellow

 On Instagram, I showcased my old favorite 50's cotton sateen dress that I wore until I couldn't squeeze myself into it any more (and the extremely interfaced bosom became absurd when I lacked boobs).

After posting, I put some scraps of it into a Stitching Meditation, a new series that I started this month:

No patches from the dress on the quilt. The Fluevog sandals, however, are there:
This was a strikeoff that I had to order from Spoonflower in order to make it available in my Spoonflower shop
Fluevog Sandal Clog

Last year, during my big quilt mend, I discovered the Petal Cotton makes for excellent patches.
I've got a bunch more designs I need to proof, maybe it's time to put in an order.

Linking up with Shelbee's Spread the Kindness

Sunday, May 2, 2021

#thevintagefashionchallenge Day 2: Throwback

 For the Throwback prompt, I give you the 50's Launay print that I sewed into a tunic in the late 80s.

The Textile Binder has two Launay swatches, I wonder what I did with the upper one...

I thought I'd written a post about the print itself, but can't find it.
I really like this scribbly print style, which to me has a Parisian 50's vibe to it.

On the quilt:

The outfit:

Saturday, May 1, 2021

#thevintagefashionchallenge Day 1: Hello!

The Vintage Fashion Challenge is an Instagram event hosted by
@iliveinmylab, @makethislook, and @tinyangrycrafts.

I'll be investigating individual patches on the Crazy Quilt and telling their stories, both on IG (short form verbiage) and here, longer posts with links.

Here's my intro video that I posted incorrectly on IG:

For Day 2 (which I combined with Day 1 on the IG post) I actually donned an entire vintage outfit!

Here is one of the pages I was waving around in the video from my Otis Fashion Textile Class Binder:

I'm going over some of the original pencil in ink, as my instructor suggested in 1985.


1) The African knockoff print

I still have the top I made out of this! It was hanging behind me in the above video. Lou decided it was a lovely cat napping station after I left it on the bed. (Sorry, no documentation).

I think I bought this yardage at my favorite fabric shop in Poughkeepsie, NY in the '70s.
The top was sewn in 1973.

2) The Vintage Floral 

This one I bought at Pilgrim Mills in Providence, RI. There used to be a lot of fabric mills in the Providence area and Pilgrim was an outlet for mill ends. Sewn in 1981, it started as a retro boatneck fit-and-flair dress.
I recently found an old slide with me wearing the dress, but since I'm already so late in posting this, I'll come back and add it later!

Other notes: 
Did a full rendering of this print in gouache, plus a colorway for an Otis class. Another thing to hunt for.
I refurbished this into a skirt (currently lives on Mending Mountain).

On the quilt, not sure if any patches have lasted.
This one, in the upper left corner, I covered - look how faded it got!

3) The Couch Fabric 

This covered a love seat that my parents gave me when I moved to Manhattan in 1977.
It was my paternal grandmother's, I still have it (in storage in the garage).
Again, a photo search for another day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Turn a Skirt into a Dress

 Or is it a pinafore?

repeat of an old photo in the old office from July 2020

Shelbee wanted me to post directions on how I did this transformation.
I looked through the skirts that need rehabbing. They require too much work! 

Here, instead, are close-up shots of the straps.

All hand stitched!

I used 1" width leopard print grosgrain ribbon. 
For the length, cut two longer than you think you'll need. Position with safety pins (inside or outside the waist of the skirt), put the skirt on, and fine tune the fit. Then, stitch!

Happy refashioning!

Linking up with 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I Sketched!

 Gosh, it's probably been a year and a half since I last sketched!

This is my design for Lady Gaga if she were to wear the Neptune Fluevog and dress from her shoes up:

The shoe:
This Sunday is Oscar time.
I will be live sketching!
Follow my progress via Instagram

Linking up with

Thursday, April 1, 2021

#MendMarch 2021 conclusion

 During March, I did a lot of cross stitching:

On 3/31 we had a fun mendy Zoom:

Today, I finally got the sari tunic stitched and finished!

It can be worn two ways!
Original second hand sari, obtained summer 2019

Linking up with Shelbee's Edge of the Week

Today is the 11th Year of SpyGirl! Not April Foolin'

 April 1, 2010 I posted this:

It was my first entry of my second fake journaling for "International Fake Journal Month".
[If you look at the Archives, there ARE "earlier" posts, but I wrote them after April and back dated them]

Do I still have any of these garments, 11 years later?
2/4 of the outfit ain't bad!
I still have the Mary Jane Clogs as well, but I couldn't find the box of broken shoes, so you get my fluffy leopard slides instead. The striped socks are long gone. The paisley leggings I was too lazy to remove.
The gauzy runner around my neck was pinned to the skirt, I think to cover a large oil spill.

Is it crazy that I still have these items? Some would say yes.
Others would say, no, repair or refashion!
The tee is actually quite comfy, though I would only wear it under something, because, stomach.

I now have to clean up the eruption of Mending Mountain that transpired while looking for the skirt.
I found lots of stuff I'd forgotten about! Mending Mountain has A LOT of skirts in it. I no longer wear full skirts.


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