Monday, March 31, 2014

Toile La La: In Review.

The Toile La La header, you may notice, now features my illustrated toiles - instead of Fleur from the H/W 14/15 Romantic Souls Fashion Show.  My heart is in illustration and toiles at the moment, so Fleur will return in later projects. 
Fleur at the H/W (F/W) 14/15 Romantic Souls Fashion Show.  Photo Toile La La.
Constantly working toward improved IT/computer skills, I have yet to figure how to size physical or photo artwork to meet the proper pixel requirements - and find this a challenge in creating headers/banners and gravatars/profile photos.  The bloomer-skirt and the sunhat were intended for the header, but - my tech skills as they are - the line-up or image size was too long/big... so there are more views below.  The sewn toiles are there too.

There are older posts describing the toile process and the origin of this blog.  You'll notice the toiles vary in size.  The 2-piece sunsuit, romper, and bloomer-skirt are close to actual half-size.  I decreased the scale of the sarong, sunhat, halter, and the vintage Mode Illustree blouse.  The blouse was impractically small for a practice toile and would have been better for testing-purposes at half-scale.  

I created my own pattern for a slouch hat/beanie/cloche and for a winter hoodie-hat I call The Bear Head.
Test Toile Illustrations by Toile La La.
Vogue 8213 Sunhat, modified Simplicity 9702 sarong, slouch cloche, vintage blouse, McCall's 3232 halter.

Willi Wear for McCall's 7947 bloomer-skirt, vintage ballerina costume as romper.

2-piece sunsuit, Simplicity 1632.
The tiny blouse in the photo below the illustrations, is a mock-up test toile I created from a vintage La Mode Illustree pattern as a participant in the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1912 Project - a Titanic commemorative project.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Listen: The Flap and Buzz of Spring.

Thinking of fabric and determined to conquer the Etch-A-Sketch properties of mouse+Paint, I produced this bee and flower print - which for some reason brings to mind Anna Sui.
Thinking fabric, mouse+Paint... Toile La La.
To edit, I think the daisies and fist-like swirls around the base of the flowers must go - but the lilac roses with blue stems, the citron spots... and the fat bees with buzz trails stay.  The entire design should be less picture and more color+movement.

Fringed Bee Scarf - Toile La La design.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Fashion Collage: Spring FlutterGarden.

Spring FlutterGarden, Toile La La fashion collage - March, 2014.
A new collage for my Art Fashion Creation shop at Etsy.
  • black and white crownless straw hat, worn with coif oiseau
  • side-buttoned fairisle print capelet-collar
  • mega dot dress

Sunday, March 16, 2014

18th Century Girl with Crew-Cut and Bird.

Fascinated by this image seen some time ago at Hunter Museum, Chattanooga TN.  Could not help but wonder why her hair is cropped so close to her head - which seems rare for eighteenth century.  If you've any clue, please comment.  The artist is unknown.

She popped into my head today and I just wanted to share the thought of her.
Girl with Bird and Cage, online at Hunter Museum - Chattanooga TN.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finders Keepers: 80s Fashion Drawn.

A la Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, I present to you a scavenger hunt/intrigue/game of Eye Spy.  Your prize is my zine.  There will be 4 - not including the 13 remaining at Etsy - and they are distributed across many miles.  May the best eyes win.

What to look for - zine and bookmark:

80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn, zine by Toile La La.
There are only 4 free zines to be found.  Each comes with a hastily-typed bookmark - all different.  Each zine has a uniquely customized page illuminated with gold or silver ink.  No reprints.

Reading and Categorizing at Art Fashion Creation.

If you are interested in trends past and present - and how trends relate to history, you may like to check my recent Art Fashion Creation posts.  A favorite read lately is Joan Druett's Hen Frigates - there's a brief book review at Art Fashion Creation.  

Note:  I wrote the post before finishing the book for the second time, but now having finished - found the last two chapters to be chock-full of wonderful historic facts about nineteenth century females, places, and maritime life.  For instance: the typical items of female attire at this time were - "buttoned boots, corset stays, shawls, tippets, elaborate basques, four layers of petticoats, ten yards of skirts, a huge hat or bonnet, and often a parasol", so getting into a boat modestly required maneuvering and logistics.  Druett tells how a Madam Follansbee seated herself in an armchair, with a flag tucked all around, to be raised and lowered aboard.  There's more in the review at Art Fashion Creation.

Also, I've been filing Etsy favorites - some of which you may see at Art Fashion Creation.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

7 Day Wardrobe Dress.

A great concept: 1960s Simplicity 4059 and 5092 propose one dress silhouette fashioned seven ways for a week's worth of dresses.  Fabric choices, notions and trimming, vests, collars, pockets, and a pinafore provide plenty of variety.
1960s Simplicity 4059 7 Day Wardrobe Dress pattern with similar 5092.

1960s Simplicity 4059 - one dress, seven ways.

I spotted Simplicity 4059 sorting old patterns in a shop.  A lumpy envelope stuffed full of cut-out pieces makes me think some lucky girl (size 12) somewhere in the 60s enjoyed at least one of these variations.

Later, removing and accounting for all the pieces, a folded page slid from the package... the advertisement for Simplicity 5092.
This idea is one I love: Find a dress style that fits and flatters, then - for interest - make several of them with subtle changes.  The 7 Day Wardrobe Dress idea is a good one; most of all though I like to imagine that seamstress - most likely a mother or grandmother - planning all these dresses for one lucky girl.

Possibly size 12 had the know-how to plan and sew her own wardrobe.  It seems repetition is great for sewing beginners, so sewing the same dress seven times would certainly offer great practice!
1960s Simplicity 5092 advertisement, tucked into 4059 envelope.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kind of Time Travel-Freaky Friday.

You may have felt a feeling similar to the time travel-Freaky Friday feeling - if you are patient enough and curious enough to look through old photo albums of the type which have been carefully assembled over the course of many years -  

Reading a diary, travel journal, or autobiography might convey the same transferred feeling.

What would it be like - I often wondered - to be inside the mind of my cat... but I've yet to experience that.  For that matter, what is it like to be of any frame of thought other than one's own.  Too, there's the subject of recall - and how well you are able to remember even your own experiences.

In offering you this idea, my point is - it's an interesting sensation to even briefly understand someone else's perspective.  Hence, the Freaky Friday reference:  it was one of my favorite pre-teen reads; a mother and daughter completely switch places (something else I've yet to experience).

My Freaky Friday-time travel feeling transpired thanks to my archiving/pack-ratting ways - which preserved a smorgasbordic-cornucopic-encyclopedic collection of drawings/tearsheets/thoughts and observations from my teen/young adult life in the 1980s. 

I cannot convey to you what it would be like to live the life of my cat, or even my mother, but I can let you have a peek inside my 80s brain... via a book.

Toile La La 80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn.  Book or Zine Available.
The link takes you to Etsy, where you'll see a book and a zine.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hattie's Toboggan.

February:  the air is crisp, pure - clean and everywhere is white, filled with light, frosted and glistening.
Hattie, snug in her sky-blue parka and pompon toboggan, makes the most of February - watching a family of deer, rolling a snowman, and sledding top-speed.


Here's another post - ZiZi Bleu making snow-angels.  All photos Toile La La.  Toboggan - thrift store sweater sleeve, pompon made with two cardboard doughnuts. Parka - Hood.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow-Filled Moon.

Sledding, February, Full-Moon, Sunset.
The sky: lavender blue with a mother-of-pearl full moon... shadows of trees - regal blue, black branches, pink-tinted clouds, raffia-straw grasses reaching through glistening snow.  All a magnificent blur as I slice the icy air on my sled.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Open, Shut, Open, Draw.

The next best thing to the magic of sewing was to keep my eyes open for ideas - shut them and imagine, then open them again and draw.  Read more, here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine from Queen Anne.

Happy Valentine's Day. Flower, Mother Nature - Photo, Toile La La.
Organizing the Romantic Souls fashion show this past summer, Mother Nature gave me a Valentine:  Queen Anne's or Bishop's Lace.

A Valentine for You from the Past and Present.

Sweet Pierrette Colorway.  Toile La La February 2014.
Notation from my 80s sketch journal: plum purple, petal pink, rose red, fucshia, mustard, lilac lavender, pale dusty pink, red red, violet.

Here it is today - translated to a Color Valentine for you.  Here's how you might use it:
  • Embroider your own valentine using the Sweet Pierrette Colorway.
  • Experiment with a makeup palette using these colors - lavender or dusty pink lids and red lips, or golden shadow and fucshia or violet lips.
  • Wear white jeans or sailor pants with a blouse patterned in the heart motif, accented with a solid bright coat and bright shoes... with pretty pearls.
  • Make cupcakes and ice them with the Sweet Pierrette Colorway, sprinkle edible confetti on top.
  • Imagine the entire patch of colors above as a quilted coverlet on your bed.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For More about My Book See Art Fashion Creation.

Here's an Art Fashion Creation link with illustrations from 80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn.  There too, is background about the book's origin. 

Find yours at Etsy. 

To celebrate the grand opening of my Art Fashion Creation shop at Etsy, I constructed an enormous hat - which you can see and read about here.  You can have a peep now though.
Toile La La Art Fashion Creation hat, inspired by Largilliere's Belle Strasbourgeoise.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Toile La La Fashion Book/Zine at Etsy.

80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn is now available at the Art Fashion Creation shop on Etsy.  This is my 77-page book/zine with a signed and limited edition of 20.  Soon available will be a book of the same name with more pages, illustrations, endnotes, and inspiration lists.  The 77-page zine is condensed and costs considerably less.  

Here's the link .
Toile La La fashion book/zine... 77 real pages of illustrations and text.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fleur in a Blue Suit.

Searching for a sound which speaks to me lately, I came across Bowie in a blue suit - singing Life on Mars.  It's a wonderful suit... the video reeled me in and I realized - aside from the obvious Bowie allure - part of the charm is in the eyes, which remind me of Fleur's.  See them there on her tranquil face at the header.  That blue suit would make Fleur the cat's meow.  No spiked punk mullet for Fleur though... she'll stick to her own veiled cloche.

More, at Art Fashion Creation.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Very Punk is a Skunk.

Even the name of the skunk - etymologically - comes from its odor.  That stink, paired with its shocking but attractive striped hairdo, places the skunk in a category of creatures outfitted with built-in warning signals - unlike others who might attract or blend in.  

From beneath its wonderfully-punk tail, the skunk sprays a sulfurous stench up to 10 feet, smelled by humans up to one mile away.

With a poor sense of smell, only the horned owl can boldly challenge the skunk.

Why, you may wonder, is today's post pervaded by the skunk?  Because I've been seeing them... digging and waddling about (not me, but the skunks). 

You will find posts, not-too-old, about punk - and about books about perfume... at Art Fashion Creation.  The skunk, with its innate edge and anti-perfume - amuses me with its punkness.

If you enjoyed this humor courtesy of the skunk, you may enjoy another olfactorily-based post as well, about a perfume for people who are too attractive.

Skunk facts gleaned from Wikipedia.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn.

Near completion and soon ready to present to you: 80s Fashion Design Book 1: Drawn90s Fashion Design Book 2: Drawn and 2000+ Fashion Design Book 3: Drawn will follow.  More, here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Illustrated Faces and Painted Ladies.

Illustrated Faces, Toile La La.
Illustrated Faces, Toile La La.
Illustrated Faces, Toile La La.
Painted Ladies, Toile La La.
Illustrated Faces, Toile La La.
Painted Ladies, Toile La La.
Painted Ladies, Toile La La.
With guise or without, alter ego or genuine to the core... every ilk - different, but the same... decorated or plain.

More, here - at Art Fashion Creation.  And, an earlier 80s-related post discussing observations of diversity.  And, in this Art Fashion Creation post about developing an illustration style.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Autobiography: Life of a Kitten-Heeled Mule.

Yes, a kitten-heeled mule is a shoe - but, picture it...  a mule wearing kitten heels... or a kitten wearing mules.  Just imagine... Mule With Kittens, Mule Wearing Kittens, Kitty With Mules... I'll have to draw it for you sometime.  Well-Shod: Life of a Kitten-Heeled Mule.  Kittens Who Run With Mules.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Let Your Hat Do the Talking: Party Ideas.

The Thought-Bubble Party Hat, a Far-Out Futurist Dinner Party, a New Kind of Prom-Date, a Retro Time-Travel Party Gone-Bananas, an artsy collage klatsch... they're all here at Art Fashion Creation.
Vintage paper banana party favor.
Pictured above, vintage magazine instructions for crepe paper banana to fill with lightweight gifts (a silk scarf, embroidered handkerchief, handwritten sentiments).   Similar diagram for a paper ear of corn with husks - which might be nice for an autumn party.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stitched into Reality.

Stitched curls - embroidery, Toile La La.

From long ago, I found this pillow and the watercolor sketch which inspired the embroidery.  I created the sketch to decorate a card for my Nana - and the original sketch is still in the sketchbook.  

Later, contemplating motherhood, I embroidered the potpourri-filled sachet - twisting threads and coiling the embroidered hair.  Though neither the sketch or the embroidery resemble any of us, oddly and beautifully - my daughter's hair coils like the embroidered curls.
Toile La La - watercolor from old sketchbook.
The 2-inch square pillow was just the right size for a dollhouse couch - until the dollhouse was vacated and the pillow migrated to a drawer.  

Thinking of Jeanne Lanvin and her mother/daughter emblem reminded me of these things.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spectral h2o: A Color.

Appearing as a result of random brush-cleanings, this cloudy lavender-blue looks... to me, spectral and mysterious.  When I look at this color, I almost sense a fragrance... like the ghost of a fragrance lingering in an old, ornate perfume bottle.
Spectral h2o... lavender-blue, almost scented.  Toile La La.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scenes from The Tres Petit Trianon Flower Garden.

All around me - all summer long, flew flying things - bees, butterflies, birds, chirping-singing-buzzing insects... the apex of flutter occurring several weeks ago, with every zinnia wearing its own butterfly.  Then, I noticed hummingbirds - their beaks stuffed into the gladiolas, and goldfinches - dexterously plucking petals from the sunflowers.

Like me, the butterflies seem to be camera-shy - in fact their dark, bulging eyes look designed to spot paparazzi - and initially, they floated away at any sign of photography... but gradually they grew accustomed to observation and allowed me to examine them from inches-away.  Still though, remain certain smaller orange butterflies with splashes of white (ones who remind me of clown fish) - who zoom up into the air upon approach, just like the hummingbirds and goldfinches.  Finally, from a window I photographed the goldfinch.

Here, a small bouquet for you - a red gladiola from the Tres Petit Trianon - along with a snowball, a purple buddleia (loved by the butterflies), a wildflower plume, and a corkscrew ornamental grass.
Red gladiola, white snowball, purple buddleia, corkscrew grass, wildflower plume. Toile La La.