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: