Saturday, July 18, 2015

Moving Sale!

Hello Everyone!

Well, while I cannot predict when I return to blogging, I can promise you it's definitely going to happen. In the mean time, I'm moving back to a very inspiring and scenic section of Maryland and I'm having a moving sale for the next few days in my shop! It's 30% off and it helps fund this drastic change in my life and gives me less to move. Check it out and, if you're feeling up to it, tell your friends. Sale ends July 22nd!

Cirque du Frock on Etsy
I've got jewelry, clothes, vintage and handmade all up for grabs on my shop. Take a peek!

And, if you would like to keep in touch, check out below on how you can follow me elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

OOTD: Rough Edges

Guys, I'm apologizing right now for what can only be described as "bad hair and bitch face". It's a little weird because my hair looks all frizzy at the bottom in these pics, but it doesn't actually look like that IRL. It was actually really pretty today! And the bitch face is not actual bitch face, just super tired face. Today was my first day back in the office after the office vacation for Fourth of July and we were slammed! I need a nap!

I didn't even get to take my usual bathroom selfies at lunch because it was just too busy, so I put in the extra effort after walking home in this nasty heat to take really washed out pics for you. That was just how excited I was to share this new tunic.

I'm really, really excited about it.

A long time ago I bought a tunic from Mango on one of my lunch breaks. I almost missed out on it- it was expensive, so I had to wait a few weeks to 'afford' it (it still went on my credit card) and when I finally was able to buy it, it was the last one and it JUST HAPPENED to be in my size. The grey print was what drew me to the tunic. I felt so pretty while wearing it, that I knew I needed more! But.. I'm poor. So, with a few days off thanks to Independence day, I decided to try out a bit of pattern making and I made my own version! Alas, no pockets like on the original.

Tunic/handmade, Leggings/???, Purple Chucks/Buffalo Exchange, Cardi/Goodwill, Bullet Necklace/Cirquedufrock

These gorgeous purple chucks were a score at Buffalo Exchange! They are pretty much new and the loveliest color.

As I said, we had a bit of time off for the holiday. I spent the entire time working, though. Most of it was on things for the shop that I haven't been able to post yet, but some of it was for me! Hey, you gotta treat yourself to new things sometimes.

So, first pic, a dismal pair of Target jeggings (another attempt to treat myself that went horribly awry) salvaged into a cute skirt. An adorable, snuggly new skelly buddy that is the first PDF pattern I'll be listing in my store. Wolf dress is also an upcoming PDF tutorial for the store, and I'm so excited to wear that it's beyong belief (Megan always finds me the best things). I decided I absolutely needed a deer dress, too, so I made a stencil of a deer silhouette and used my Flying Trapeze Tutorial to make myself a casual dress.

The first two striped dresses are also for me! They were both made using the Flying Trapeze tutorial because that's my favorite, and I tried to keep them kind of funky but office appropriate because I do need some new things to wear to work. As you can see, I also made a shell tunic in addition to this awesome red-purple-yellow thing. I'm so excited to make more!

So that's a short little update on life 'round these parts. Just the same old thing, different month. I've been reading everyone's blogs, and if you miss me, check out @cirquedufrock on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook and, of course, Etsy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Holiday Plans

I dread being asked the question, "Do you have any plans?"

For the weekend, for holidays, for personal days- whatever it is, I hate, hate hearing that question. Because unless you're someone I know very well, I will not answer you. It's too much effort! Still, working in a medical practice, I have patients, drug reps and co-workers that ask me that often.

I dislike the question because I feel like I have to lie to answer it. I have to give the easy answer. The polite answer. Memorial Day was a pretty good example- on Friday I was asked by several people what I was doing with my three day weekend. Mostly I just replied with "sleep". I don't sleep. It's a struggle I have because I really want to sleep, I just can't. In reality, while other people were out at barbecues or family reunions or the beach, I was locked in my apartment sewing like a madwoman.

It was brilliant. I feel amazing.

But I can't explain that to strangers without a long and involved, "well, I have this store and I sell these weird things, and okay fine here is the URL please don't laugh at me." I mean, I should be able to, that'd be great advertising, but with social anxiety sometimes my words get trapped inside and I literally cannot tell you something. I can't. I can't look you in the face, I can't tell you what I am doing, I can't tell you about my hopes or dreams or whatever.

So I'm just going to post about it.

$18 on Etsy
Friday night I rested. I had started re-reading a Nora Roberts trilogy I love (starts with Jewels of the Sun) because it always reminds me of my mom. Also, I love fairy tales, and Nora Roberts was a huge inspiration to me when I started toying with being an author (that's still in the works! We're making progress!). I made us some wonderful baked chicken taco things inspired by chicken flautas and read.

On Saturday morning I got up pretty early and started sewing. Setting up a folding table in my kitchen for cutting pieces, I started working on more Flying Trapeze dresses for the shop. I love this style so much! A few of the ones I pieced out were for me, so they aren't on the shop right now, but I was able to get four made by the end of the weekend to sell. I also made something new that I'm pretty in love with. They're winged heart applique bib necklaces. They're very soft and light, but super fun to wear. And if they start to curl up just hit them with an iron and they lay flat again. I'd been kicking around this idea for a while and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. There are some things I'll do differently with the next batch but they were great stash busters!

$24.00 on Etsy
I also made this gorgeous key necklace that was supposed to be for me but I ended up listing it instead. I don't know why! I might still keep it! It's an extra large vintage key, my boyfriend says probably for a car since it's so big, with a salvaged heart necklace and turquoise colored crown bead.

It's beautiful. I want it.

I've been kind of burnt out on jewelry making, so it's nice to just be making things in smaller quantities that have more artistic value.

Just so you don't think this post is a huge old ad for Cirque du Frock, let me show you one of the things I kept for myself.

I love polo dresses for some weird reason, and the Trapeze tutorial is great for refashioning men's polo shirts into cool summery dresses. This one is made from a black polo, black tee and lightweight animal print skirt. I've started taking 'styled' pics for the shop as examples of outfits you can make (mostly so I can play dress up with my doll). This is how I'd wear my polo dress on my day off- a rad denim vest, vintage key necklace and some cool moccasins or chucks. I have two more polos waiting to be refashioned for my summer wardrobe. One is green and purple striped, one is white and purple striped.

These are some examples of my 'styled' pictures. As you can tell, I was pretty excited about that denim vest (that's from my personal collection).

Most of these dresses weren't assembled Saturday, they were assembled Sunday while the mister sat outside reading, and photographed Monday for listing. Saturday and Sunday night I stayed up late, sewing and making jewelry until midnight and then reading for an hour or two. It was nice. I hope one day I have a life where I can just let my weird body have the strange sleep schedule that it wants because I would be so much happier if I could be awake until 3 am and then sleep until 10 in the morning. I drank so much coffee and there was a ton of good food, and on top of that I was productive and it feels awesome.

I hope you guys had good weekends, whether they were productive or restful.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Free Tutorial: Madame Fortune Teller Top

I'm back with a free tutorial for my good ol' peasant tee.

A long, long while ago, before Meg's Ragged Edge, when I was just the Naked Doll on Craftster, I came up with a simple tutorial to make tee shirts into peasant tees. It was super easy and I was very proud of myself. I think I made a hundred of those shirts that summer! To this day, people are still re-pinning that tutorial and I smile every time it turns up on my dash.

The original 'tutorial'

I was surprised when someone left a comment on my old blog asking for the tutorial on how to make this shirt. I decided while I was making my Trapeze dress tute for the shop last week I would whip up a super fast-n-dirty tutorial for peasant tees.

Let's get down to it! For this tutorial I used a loose crew neck tee (XL to be precise), some marking chalk, a pair of scissors and pins. Not pictured is a little bit of thin elastic and my sewing machine.

Start by laying your tee shirt flat on your work surface. Start by tracing your desired neckline onto your tee shirt. You can see below how I had to adjust it a few times to get it right.

Next, cut along your chalk lines. There is no real back or front with this tee shirt, unless you're using a graphic tee. So you'll see in the picture below that I used orange chalk to mark the back.

Now, pin down the neckline to your shirt. There is no need to serge the edges because jersey does a really good job of not unraveling. I'm using thin elastic, I think it was 3/8 or 1/4. I didn't look at the package before I started. You need to pin a casing that is large enough for you to get your elastic through.

Once you've stitched the casing down, removing the pins as you go, we're going to thread the elastic through the casing. I hope you didn't forget to leave a little opening in the neckline! My tip for that is to pin one side down flat and then use a safety pin to guide the other end through the casing.

Once you've tugged your elastic through (and no, I'm sorry but I didn't measure the exact length), pin the ends together and stitch them closed. After that, all you have to do is close up the neckline with a straight stitch!

And there you have it! That's how I make my peasant tees. It's great for refashioning tees into something more bohemian, or if you're in a pinch for a costume piece, these come in handy. Add the right bodice and you can be a steampunk, a Renn Faire wench or even something magical.

One of my favorites is a Jack Daniels whiskey top that I made and use for some of my promotional pics.

I just love how these shirts look, and they are so very easy to make. And there you have it! The freebie tutorial for my Fortune Teller Peasant tee.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

OOTD: Mango

I've had a tiny taste of unpleasantness in my shopping world lately, and let me tell you, I'm flustered! I know I dress a little weird, but hey, I'm still a generally nice person and I like to treat myself when I can, so it always surprises me when people decide to treat me... weird. Sometimes it happens when I'm in a boutique or store and I feel like I'm being judged and watched. Part of this could be the anxiety. I hate being in crowds of people, so sometimes stores make me nervous. I'm willing to accept that responsibility on myself, to a degree, but there are some boutiques where they just assume you are too poor to buy yourself something there and immediately discount you as a potential customer. It's sad, really, because a lot of stores have lost me that way.

So to balance the bad with the good, I want to tell you about a store that I've fallen in love with near my house. It's called Mango and it's in Chestnut Hill. The shop people working there are lovely, they have an ever-changing stock of gorgeous garments and accessories, and I've never once regretted a purchase from them. Speaking of, take a look at my outfit below.

Top & Pants: Mango, Cardi: Thrifted, Collar: Buffalo Exchange, Mocs: Minnetonka

These pics were taken in an attempt to get myself psyched up for blogging again. The problem is that I get up too early for pics and the sun is always shining directly at my camera. There really is no other place for the pics (which also means messy kitchen table is included in my shot!). On the plus side, I really love lens flares, and at this angle I get bunches of them.

I feel so pretty when I'm wearing this outfit. Like some kind of weird fairy-tale princess. The shoes are so comfy and I love the color of the top. It's definitely one of my favorite new outfits and I have a wishlist a mile long of things I also want to buy from that shop.

The day I went in was during that rough week I had a while back, so I needed a treat. In addition to the top and pants, I couldn't leave behind this awesome statement necklace. I don't know where (or if) I'll ever wear it- I don't go out, except to work, and it's really not work appropriate, but that beaded sugar skull was calling my name!

I really hope to do more of these type of posts where I show you the awesome stores I like. I had a fantastic shopping experience at Mango and I look forward to going back.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Busy Weekend and a Mini Shop Update!

Whew, you guys!

Sometimes the best way to deal with a stressful situation is to just keep busy, and that's what I was this weekend. After last weekend's successful experiment, I decided (mid-week, when it was at it's busiest and most hectic) that I needed to make a new tutorial for the Cirque. And also new dresses for me.

I went to work on Friday with a plan in mind. I needed more tees, and fast, or I wasn't going to be able to film the tutorial. I skipped lunch for a walk around the hill, the plan still tumbling in my mind. I didn't know if I'd make the train- if it was too late, it wasn't worth going.

When five o'clock came 'round, I peaced out of the office and practically jogged to the train station. Now, I'm riddled with anxiety, while that doesn't sound like a big deal for you guys, breaking 'the routine' and going downtown AFTER work instead of FOR work was a huge deal!

It was also magical.

I went all the way down to South Street to one of my favorite thrift haunts where I scored the motherload of tees and even a few pieces of jewelry. Lately I have felt like that thrift store had gotten a little too pricey, but what can I say, I still love it. I was going to stay a little longer, but it was getting dark outside and South Street on a Friday night was so busy!

It still took me almost two hours to get home. My train didn't come again until nine, and by nine-thirty, I was exhausted. But I had what I needed to work on my dreams.

Saturday started early. I decided to try another brave thing- I walked to a yard sale! I didn't find anything, even though there were multiple families, but I saw beautiful flowers and got to walk in the rain on the way home (I like rain). After a quick breakfast, I set up to work while I had the daylight in my kitchen.

I present the Flying Trapeze tunic tutorial!

$3.50 on Cirque du Frock

I told Megan I'm running out of circus terms. I might need to have some kind of naming contest for the next tutorial.

$7.50 on Cirque du Frock

I also updated my three ring circus pack with a dresses-only option! I'm so proud of all the work I've done on these tutorials. Each one takes at least two days of solid filming, editing, writing and graphic work. The original three ring circus pack is, of course, still up for sale, but now I have a springy dress option! I've also updated the tutorials page on my blog.

This is one of the promotional collages for the three ring circus pack. It shows a few different variations of my patterns (although now I notice that only one is shown of the Sideshow Dress). I really love how each one, depending on fabrics, can look so very different!

I'm also loving my tutorials because I can make stuff for myself and still feel like I'm working. ;-P And we've officially gotten our first donation on my Go Fund Me page! I'm so grateful to all the support, both financial and emotional, that I've gotten from everyone lately. It's really helped me stay strong.

So that's what I did this weekend! Stay tuned, because I've got a bunch more surprises up my sleeve (also things I did this weekend).

Monday, May 11, 2015

OOTD: Gunmetal Gardening

This week was... something I can't talk about yet. Trust me, the minute I'm free to speak about my current situation, I will.

On top of that, a two of my loved ones have been ill and I'm worried sick over them! 

So between being unbearably sick last week myself and now being exhausted from a stressful vibe at work, I didn't get much sewing done this weekend. I also didn't get around to doing a write up about my Go Fund Me page. Fear not! I will have more on that for you soon! 

But I did manage to make two things this weekend, and I think this new 'design' (as Megan calls it) is going to be the next tutorial I made available in my shop. Have a peek.

I'm really loving this piece. Actually, I'd originally bought the pansy shirt because it reminded me of the outing Ally and Megan and I had to Longwood Gardens. I didn't know what to do with it, though, because I wanted to keep the large graphic on the front while making it a dress. I could've done a Sideshow or a Calliope but I just needed to do something new. Of course I love it, so I made the one with the two guns on the front. It's a super quick and easy dress that yields such a positive result!

I was so excited I wore it out to a quick trip to the super market with my mister. It is so comfy!

And while I'm on the subject of that write-up, I did start a Go Fund Me for my Cirque du Frock ambitions. I was hesitant to do it at first, but I really do want Cirque du Frock to expand to it's own website with a selection and I've already got vendors lined up! Take a peek, and please, please, please check out Megan Mae's awesome write-up post about our dreams.

Fingers crossed that life settles a little bit and I get to spend more time on my dreams.