Monday, May 19, 2008


Hooray! Sarah and I finally finished the dress we were making Eliza for her brother's wedding - it's really gorgeous, a 12-panel bias-cut crepe-back satin dress with an acid green satin lining. I've never had an easy time working with either of those fabrics, so I'm really proud that I was able to get it done and even get the zipper to lay flat. No mean feat when you primarily work with stretch fabrics! Here's a pic of it about halfway through the construction process. As you can see, in this pic the top hadn't actually been attached to the bottom yet, but you get the idea, right?
So, in other news, the MP wedding dress continues apace (hence the title of this post for all you fellow Shakespeare nerds) - it's nearly done and is really looking like it'll be awesome! We had our last fitting on Wednesday and my bride is all smiles despite the raw edges and pins and general messiness. When people request custom clothing, I don't think they realize how much work goes into it, and I try really hard to make the whole process easy and fun and safe- I go fabric shopping with you, I bring sketches and lookbooks and costume books and magazines, we watch tv and pick out shoes and even underwear (though I won't say who I had to do that for, but it has definitely happened!).
The end result is usually something pretty darn good, though:
A lot of the ladies that I've met here in SF are about to get hitched (seriously, this is the coupliest city EVER), and it's really fun to watch them getting excited about it. I really, really hope I get to experience that one day too, day, but in the meantime I'm glad that I get to share in the process.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Trash into Treasure, literally (Part 1)

So every year hundreds of crafty, fashiony San Franciscans congregate in Civic Center for a great cause: St. Vincent De Paul's Discarded to Divine auction and fashion show.
What's that, you ask?
Well, anyone with a creative bent is invited to come try their hand at turning the cast-offs from St. Vincent's clothing donation bins into beautiful, recycled fashion which is then auctioned off, with the proceeds going to help St. Vinny's fund their homeless outreach programs.
Awesome, right? It's so awesome that I sent poor Anne into the sketchiest part of Civic Center at 7 am to pick and choose clothing for me to remake, and she gamely returned with some serious trash that had huge potential.
After creating your garment, accessory, etc., St. Vinny's asks that you photograph it and include any sketches, production shots, process shots, etc. to illustrate your genius and fabulosity for the judging committee. The winners in each category are those peeps who put major effort into creating something awesome and gorgeous. This competition is such a big deal that companies like Jessica McClintock are invited to create a special auction piece, and FIDM holds semester-long classes devoted entirely to the creation of D2D entries. The contest is sponsored by mega-companies like Gensler, the Gap, Levis, and Macys and culminates in a tent show, silent auction, and cocktail party for an intimate gathering of about 500.
Oh, and the best part? First they hang everyone's entries at the De Young. I had a piece of art hang in the De Young, and I didn't even have to sneak it in! When am I ever going to be able to say that again, huh?

So I'm posting these humungo pictures of my entry on Flickr from start to finish so you can see that I tried. If I had known how much work some people put into their entries though (the people's choice winner made a corset out of a leather suitcase, because she is rad like that)I would have really pulled out all the stops. Next year, it's on. Friendly competition my butt.

Anyway, I will post more about this event (plus my pics of the fashion show) but you should really check out the website here:

Kiss me Once, Kiss me Twice

It's been a long, long time since I updated this bad boy, huh?
Sorry about that.
Today I'm super-happy because I finally got pictures of the wedding dress that I made last year and the bride looks so happy and pretty and awesome that I have to share at least one of them:
I'm also, of course, beyond ECSTATIC about CA legalizing gay marriage yesterday. Well, at least provisionally anyway, but it's legal for now, so let's celebrate! Any soon to be brides out there, contact me and let's chat! :)

I've been up to all sorts of things lately, and now that the Craft Congress is over (Whew! That was amazing. I will have to make another post about it), I have to focus on getting ready for Capsule next week (yipes!) and finish up the orders from the custom dress party I held last week.
Wait, you didn't know?
Yes, ladies (or whoever), if you live in the SF Bay area, you too can have Ms. Mignonette come to your house and design gorgeous pieces just for you. If you're interested, just email me!