Monday, December 15, 2014


After a quick coffee stop at my local GATE gas station at 7AM this past Saturday, I was off to the longest market day of the year, Holidazzle. The regular market day every Saturday at Riverside Arts Market is from 10AM to 4PM. A 10 hour day every week, no biggie. But THIS week, it was extended even later. Opening up at 10AM, the market stayed open extra late for the holiday shoppers, all the vendors decorated their booths with holiday lights, and we stayed open for shopping all the way until 9PM. Man, a long day it was, but so much fun! When 9PM came, I almost didn't want to pack up, we were having so much fun!

My favorite little seamstress and aspiring fashion designer, Ella, came by and helped out for a bit. You may recognize her from my recent post. She bagged up customer purchases, straightened racks, and more. I can't wait until I get back from winter vacation, and she and I will have a sewing date. I think we're going to make a jersey cotton skirt with an elastic waistband.

And my assistant is the best ever. She made a new standing sign for the booth! Isn't it wonderful. One side reads "Sally Ann Handmade Fashion Est. 2009" and the other "Sally Ann Mobile Fashion Boutique Est. 2013". And the holiday lights made the booth so festive. I think I'm finally in the holiday spirit! 

Special thanks to everyone that came by and donated a sewing machine. I was able to hand out two machine this weekend, and take in four more! That brings out total to 8 machines in the past week and a half. If you have a machine laying around, not in use and no use in it's foreseeable future, we'd love to take it off your hands and find a young pupil in need of a machine. 

Happy Holidays friends!

And be sure to check out our Etsy shop this week, orders must be placed before Thursday, December 18th to arrive by Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

First Coast News Feature

How it happened, I don't know, but we've been featured twice in one week on First Coast News, and this time, it was just about Sally Ann and the philanthropic little tasks we perform in our area. Check out this awesome video below:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The moment Sally Keiser learned to sew it became stitched in her memory.
"My mother taught me how to sew. She sat me down and showed me how her machine worked and that was about it, I think I just went on from there," tells Sally.
From that moment, her talent has grown and she has become a local designer and creator of Sally Anne Handmade Fashion here in Jacksonville. Now she is sharing not only her talent with the next generation, but also the tools!
"That thrill of helping a young person is just so awesome," says Sally.
She refurbishes sewing machines and gives them to young girls that have an interest in sewing and design.
"They come up and say 'you made this?" and I say 'yes, you can too it is not that hard' and I ask if they have a machine and they say 'no', so I tell them to shoot me an email and I can probably get one for them," explains Sally.
It is that love of sewing that is the thread that connects Sally to 9-year-old Ella Jenkins.
"Well I think I was five when I started hand sewing," says Ella.
Ella was very impressed by Sally's designs when their paths crossed at the Jaxon's Night Market in downtown and Sally was thrilled to see someone as young as Ella already learning to sew. So Sally got Ella her very own sewing machine!
"It brings me joy and I am really thankful for Sally and for giving me this, I really love it," says Ella with a smile.
With a room filled with her creations and sketches, Ella is a blossoming designer! She is just one of many young girls Sally has helped get a sewing machine.
"I get so excited, I am a very emotional person, so I try and contain myself, but it is so exciting to see a young person feeling inspired to grow and actually make things and touch them and make a difference. You are giving them something they couldn't otherwise have," tells Sally.
After all, kindness and helping each other is the fabric that holds us all together.
If you would like to donate a sewing machine to Sally Keiser that she can refurbish and give to a young girl in need of one, send her an email at
Also, her website is for more on her fashion design.

Thank you so much to my wonderful young friend, Ella, for being a part of the piece. I've received a huge outpour of local support, and GET THIS, we have about 10 'new' to us machines being donated in the next week! It's incredible.

So if you know of anyone in the North Florida area in need of a sewing machine, email us at

See the entire article here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sustainable Infinity Scarves Made From Vintage Mumu

Sunday yard sales paid off for real this time. One mumu purchased from a local yard sale was transformed last night in my sewing room. My apologies for the grainy photos above in the before & after, cell phone pics and low lighting aren't a good combo. Regardless, the scarves are beautiful. Carefully, I deconstructed the mumu, slicing the 'dress' into four quarters, cutting at the center front, center back, and ripping out the side seams. Sewing all four long pieces together, I then had one long, long strip of beautiful slippery polyster goodness. The long length of fabric was long enough for three gorgeous infinity scarves. Check them out in my Etsy shop.

And the best part -- the hidden elephant print. I didn't even know it was elephants until halfway through sewing! Brown and white elephant hide amongst the flowers. These three and other infinity scarves, mostly made from vintage and second hand clothing, can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Launch of Holdster

I'm sure many of you are wondering, "Sally, where on EARTH did you go?!" I've been MIA in the blogosphere as of late, and with good reason: I've been sewing and working literally non-stop! On top of my normal work load, and the holidays, and being my boyfriend's videographer, and having a life, I was recently hired by a local start-up company called Holdster. It's been super secretive. For one, it was the first products the company was launching, and I signed a non-compete and non-disclosure, so the design and concept was top secret. Then, we were just waiting until launch to show the product. 

Well they hired me to make their concept of a "carry-free" accessory to life. We first met, Laura, Tim, and I, at One Spark. They asked me, "Hey, we are starting a company and were wondering if you could help us develop the product. Can we buy your lunch and tell you about it." I didn't know a thing about the design concept until we sat down at Corner Taco, a swanky street food cafe in Riverside, and had tacos and they showed me a renaissance fair male version, and a riveted leather Holdster. The only thing like this that exists on the market is very functional. And that was my job. Make it wearable, versatile, and fashionable. Clearly, they found the perfect person for the job. It turned out fabulous. I designed a handful of prototypes, and just finished making their first run of products! Holdster launched last Saturday at the Riverside Arts Market, and of course, in the booth right next to mine. 

Anyone that has seen me around Jacksonville the last month or two, has probably seen me wearing my Holdster, and many versions and prototypes. I've disclosed a bit of info, and started a buzz about the top secret project on IG, so much so that people would come find me and say, "what IS IT that you're working on?!" I could divulge a little info, but not too much. To tell you how much I believe in this product, I wear mine all the time! I prefer a black one, with "veg tan" straps. Perfect since 90% of the time I'm wearing black. With a tank top, the veg tan blends in perfectly with my skin, and the black side pockets blend in with what I'm wearing. The side pockets carry your goods effortlessly, and oh so comfortably. Now I just need a second one, all black on black.

Find more about Holdster below:
Website (coming soon!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Small Business Saturday | First Coast News Feature

We made the news! Thanks to reporter Laura Caso of First Coast News for including us in the story! We're so happy to be a part of this supportive community! And Happy Holidays, friends. I'll be back soon with more news.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Reclaimed Bridal Clutches

Remember that Black Sheep Bride wedding gown makeover from September? Well, my friend Jessica got married last weekend. As soon as she told me a few months ago that her dress was ivory, I knew I was going to contribute bridal clutches to her and all 7 bridesmaids. 

As we arrived in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday, I had a little slumber party with Jessica and Kaitlyn, and sewed 8 small clutches. They were beautiful and just what all the bridesmaids needed to carry their goods throughout the night.

While all of ours were satin with lace overlay (the lace came from the train of the gown!), Jessica's clutch had a wrist strap and was beaded with lace from the ugly poofy sleeve. The small tassel in my hand (above) because the zipper pull. Our clutches were magical and beautiful, but hers was a dream! I love sewing for friends and making something just so special. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shelby t-shirts coming soon! Preorder yours today!

We are SO excited to present to you a preview and rendering of our upcoming t-shirts featuring our camper, Shelby. We are NOW taking preorders. Order yours today! It's never too early to start thinking about the holidays...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sally Ann at Whole Foods

Thanks so much to Whole Foods for having us. We had such a great time setting up this past weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY Skinny Jeans

How many times have you had that perfect pair of jeans, from the knees up, but you weren't a fan of the knee down. Well this tutorial is for you! It will require a little above basic sewing skills, but it's super easy. I swear. Don't be afraid of denim. You can do it! You can do it!

It's no secret that I'm not a big spender when it comes to my personal wardrobe. I haven't bought more than a few brand new items of clothing a year in over 5 years. I tend to source 99% of my clothes from resale shops, clothing swaps, thrift stores, etc. When they're not ideal and I find something that is halfway perfect, but needs work, I get it anyways and add it to the "Sew for Sally" pile. A pile that all too often gets ignored for actual work, but I digress. It's so handy to be able to tailor clothing to your own body, and I encourage you to try it!

First step: You'll need a pair of jeans, a denim needle and that gold heavy duty thread to match your jeans. It comes in a few shades, so be sure to match it up. The pants featured in this tutorial I scored at a clothing swap this past spring. They're Lucky Brand, and they fit my hips and hind quarters just perfectly. This is usually the area of my jeans I have to tailor, since my hips to waist ratio isn't the standard in today's jeans. The flare leg is less than ideal. Quite frankly I could barely stand to wear them around the house. A few times I rolled them up to my knees for a quick run to the grocery store. I thought wearing them in the flare state would push me to sew them sooner, but it took a bit of time, and I'm so happy they're finished, I have them back on while I'm typing this on my Macbook.

Start by putting on your jeans and examine yourself in the mirror. Look at the fit from the knees down. Are they tight enough in the knees. Where do you want the sewing to start. Mark this with chalk and take them off. Little tip: for the sake of sewing with my blinds open, I wear leggings when I'm doing this kind of alteration, so the neighbors don't see more than they should, since me sewing room is full of windows. But if you're in a windowless sewing room, feel free to dress as you like.

Rip out both side seams from the top of the knee down. Use a razor blade and a seam ripper. Generally, most jeans are top stitched on the inner seam. Glance down if you're wearing jeans, it's the gold stitching. This will be replicated and you will never be able to tell you tapered your skinny jeans. Remove the top stitch 2 inches above the open seam at the knee.

You can use a pair of skinny jeans you really like as a pattern or simply taper the leg. In this tutorial I am simply taking out the flare, continuing the fit of the knee and down. Lay out one of the four, front left leg first. Use chalk and draw a straight line down from the knee. Cut. Repeat on the back side of the left leg.

Folding left and right fronts together, pin the legs together and cut the right to match the left. Repeat with back side, bringing left and right back sides together. DO NOT, I repeat do not, cut the front the same as the back. You can't tell, but the back side of your jeans is wider than the front. Your seams will look funny. Trust me, I ruined many a jeans in college by simply fudging it.

This step is optional but I always do it so I don't curse a ton of obsenities when the jeans are too small and don't fit. Sew up one leg with a wider stitch to test the size. If it's not tight enough, cut a little more and continue until the size is perfect. Remove stitches.

Because the inseam is topstitched, that needs to be sewn first. Following the seam allowance from the top of the knee, sew down to the bottom of the pant leg.

Serge the edges on the raw edge of the inseam. If you do not have a serger, not to worry, a zig zag will do just fine. This will sew the front and back together. 

Doesn't that look so pretty. The trick to alterations is to make the garment look like it was never touched. Taking a few extra minutes to work hard and you'll treasure your clothing so much more with a perfect fit!

If you haven't switched out your thread yet, switch to the denim thread (and you also should be sewing with a denim needle!) and top stitch along the inseam, replicating the original stitching. The raw serged edge should be folded underneath this edge. Match stitch width to the stitching above the knee.

NOW! Onto the outer seam. Serge the front and back leg separately. These pieces are not serged together like the inseam.

Match up the serged edges and sew from the knee down. Press open. I cut a few inches off the bottom since these were a bit long. Close up the leg holes with a simple double folded seam and YOU'RE DONE! Now wasn't that easy?

Whatcha think? Are you going to try it? Have you mended your jeans before? Email us and tell us your story at sallyannfashion{at} We'd LOVE to hear from you.

Another tip: if the outer seam is a little too polished looking for you, and the original seam was a little more of that worn look, try this: I like to take a nail file or sand paper and run it up and down the outer side seam to look like it's the factory seam. Not all jeans will require it, but just a thought to improve your alteration. Cheers!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Clean Water Music Fest

We had such a blast at the Clean Water Music Fest this past weekend. Met some amazing people, hung out with my sister, sold some goods, and listened to great music. The event raised $22,000 dollars for clean water in Africa, and we were able to donate $75 from our sales to the cause.

This week, we'll see you all at Art Walk, and this weekend, we'll be back to Riverside Arts Market. Until then, I can be found at my machine, sewing and sewing, working on some big projects. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

VIDEO: An 80s Nightmare And Wedding Gown Makeover With Black Sheep Bride

Hooray it's ready. I put together a video of the process and sewing behind this amazing gown I blogged about yesterday. Check it out and share with your friends. Professional photos from Miguel Emmanuelli coming soon.

Sally Ann Presents: An 80s Nightmare And Wedding Gown Makeover With Black Sheep Bride from Sally Ann on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Wedding Gown Makeover

Okay guys, this is a very exciting project I'm so happy to finally share. Anyone that follows me on Instagram has seen the project in snippets here and there. Ana, the owner of Revolve Vintage & Modern gave me this dress last month for my project with Black Sheep Bride. My goal: remake a wedding dress for a photo shoot to highlight local business, brush up on my bridal sewing, and relieve myself from the hustle and bustle of sewing handbags and general work.

Let me tell you, it felt so good to work on a bridal gown again! This 80s gown was screaming, "Make me beautiful." 
 Before: puffy shoulders, floor length, choker.

 Floor length train, lace, sheer back, buttons up the back, ivory in color, approximate size zero.

  American made. By Yolanda.

First step, I removed the sleeves. Cut off the length and made it tea length. That neckline is begging to be cut up as well!

Using the length removed from the skirt, I remade the bodice. Clem also says hello.

So hours and hours later, this is the finished product. (VIDEO HERE!) And ta da! It's the most beautiful dress! Can you believe it's the same gown? Wish a new sweetheart neckline, cut to tea length, a crinoline beneath the skirt, it's a completely new look. I was so happy to spend night after night sewing away and working on this gown. It will be available in my Etsy shop soon, along with more wedding gowns. Hopefully, I can get my hands on more hideous gowns to remade and beautify. 

Tomorrow, more pictures from the shoot and some behind the scenes! Check back for more photos and be sure to check out Black Sheep Bride!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Start of Football Season

It's that time again: football season. Whoopity do! Since Matt is insane about football, so by default, after our four years together, it's rubber off a little. Honestly, I enjoy it a bit. It helps that my alma mater, Michigan State, is projected to be one of the best teams this year, making it to the top 4 teams (knock on wood). And Matt attended Auburn University, one of the best SEC teams. 

This past Saturday, after I finished up at the market, Matt and I feasted on football friendly food and enjoyed a few football games. Michigan State played Oregon, one of the best teams, and ranked third last week. It was great. 

Sunday comes along, and it's time to get ready for a friend's birthday party. Sunday means time for professional football, and I'm unable to find any of my Jaguars shirts. Matt digs into his dresser and hands me his Detriot Lions tee from a few years ago that he's only worn once. He says, like the most supportive boyfriend ever, "Why don't you make something out of this one?" 

Any fellow t-shirt butchers out there? You're probably thinking the same thing I'm thinking. The screen print is too high. What to do? What to do? Grab that box of scrap fabric and find some coordinating fabric.

Heading to my cutting mat, using the rotary cutter, I cut the tank straight across the front and back, below the screenprint design. Taking four rectangles, I sewed them to the tops of the front and back with a serger, where the straps would be. Then I cut out the tank top using my standard pattern and then sewed the top of the striped rectangles. The arm holes and neckline were then serged with a rolled hem. Voila. New tank. Just in time to wear to Sunday birthday party with football on the tv. But silly me, the Lions played on Monday night.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Boycotting Forever 21, still and always

For years now, I've refused to shop with the mass retailer Forever 21. Many reasons, most of which I could go on and on about, have caused me to vow to never ever give the company another penny of mine because I feel so strongly. Their human rights abuses in the past, exploitation of sweatshop workers, their cheap fast fashion that fills landfills, the clothing that's poorly made and doesn't last, the cotton crops that are taking over fields previously used for food (that very well may cause a global food shortage in the next century), and stealing work from designers. 

I've written about it in the past, and it's still in my manta to not shop retail. For many readers and consumers out there, these reasons may or may not concern/bother you, but the last one should. Their blatant theft of designs from small, one-woman businesses. Designers that pour their heart into their designs, only for this company to get rid selling cheap knock offs of them. Yesterday, another theft from Knickerocker by Forever 21, her animal knickers. 

"This really sucks on all levels and I’m actually quiet upset about it. The thing with designs, especially clothing is that its really hard, if not impossible to patent/ copywriter and further more, being a small, independent, handmade designer, I just couldn’t afford to do this anyway.
And yes, I’ve seen various underwear designers copy aspects of my animal undies - there is a company out there who are printing on American Apparel undies and have the face and ears on the front. They do have the added bonus of being friends with a bunch of alt models with large social media followings, but they did at least have their own perspective of sorts on my idea and just the other day, I saw that a shop on Etsy was selling underwear with ears but no face. Good for these two companies, this is how trends work, I get it. But Forever21, have just blatantly ripped me off rather than putting their own twist on a trend.
I am a small indie designer, and everything is handmade - last year during the holidays, my Etsy shop became incredibly busy, so much so, I was able to employ 4 other people. This was really awesome and I payed well above the min wage, even though after I did my taxes, I didn’t actually make that much money, however, I would of just felt super crappy if I’d payed low wages or no wages. I’m pretty sure Forever21 don’t feel the same. Also, some people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Its not. Right now, I’m looking into having my designs ethically manufactured, I want to offer a lower price point and I’d love to do wholesale, Forever 21 stealing my designs will probably have some affect on my ability to do this.
But back to copying. I see it all the time on Etsy, just because you think you can make something cheaper than another designer, doesn’t mean you should. Who knows how many harness bra’s there are on Etsy right now. Its craziness. There is plenty of room for everyone, but have your own point of view, do something new, something different, something more. This is the key to being successful, if you have something new and awesome to say, people will listen. 
Again, thank you for listening to me. I hope in someway, I can get Forever21’s attention and perhaps they’ll remove my ripped of designs from their stores. 
You can buy the originals here -"
Borrowed from Knickerocker's Tumlbr, click here for the entire post.

My heart aches for her and all her hard work, having just moved halfway across the world, running her shop all on her own, and then to discover this horrible ripoff from a multi-million dollar company.  And the sad reality is: Forever 21 is not breaking any law. It's almost impossible to trademark clothing, and many good reasons why, but many instances where you wish that it could be trademarked. As a small business woman myself, this could have just as easily happened to me, and hell, maybe it will someday. And it could happen to any of my colleagues that I connect with, all over the world, through social networking.
So please, think twice before shopping with companies like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie, just a few of the ones that have been caught. Of course, we all need clothes, and not everyone can take handmade or nothing new pledge, but be aware of where your money goes. A $5 t-shirt has so many hidden costs. 

The ripped off $6 Forever 21 Raccoon bikinis, above, have already sold out on F21's EU site. With Nichola not receiving one red penny from the sales. Show your support for handmade and check out Knickerocker on Etsy. And please share this with your friends.

Knickerocker online: