Katazome Dyeing

A Finished Textiles Katazome

Student work drying on the line – except for the first one on the left. That’s our teacher’s- it’s really pretty.

I took a an intensive weekend long workshop on Katazome at the Textile Arts Center. It’s a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil (as defined in the Wikipedia). You can see traditional patterns online, but in our class, we used it to create designs of our own. Masters of this art took a lifetime to learn this technique. I personally want to be able to use it to create my own textile designs, and to apply it into my clothing that I make.

B Making Paste Katazome

Making the paste

C Adding the Paste Katazome

Our teacher, Sara Peterman is demonstrating on how to apply the paste to the fabric, using her own textile design

D Sarah textile katazome

Sara is showing us the results of the dye

E Students Working Katazome

Students working on their own textile designs

F After the Paste Katazome

The far left is the one I made. We are waiting for the paste to dry on our fabric before applying the dye.

I like this way of screenprinting. The paste consists of natural ingredients that are accessible (rice bran, rice flour, etc), and the tools are easy to find. I can do all of this at home. The only rare commodity is the paper for the stenciling but I found it!!

Sometimes doing something creative releases creativity. It opened up a portal in my soul, so I am constantly thinking about new designs.

G My final work

Drying my designs

I’m inspired to design from scratch, so the blog posts will more than likely be split up in sections. I will show you the dyeing, the patternmaking, and the sewing (and posts on different subjects in between ūüôā )

It’s going to take awhile, but I know that it’s going to be a great Spring 2014. I can feel it!

Stay tuned xoxo


The Pant I Wore To Oscar De La Renta


Note to self: Wear lighter colors or stand in brighter areas when taking photos.

I made a pair of pants just for the Oscar De La Renta Spring 2014 show.

My inspiration: Oscar De La Renta and Spanish influence


Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 10.42.46 PM

Pattern # V7881 from voguepatterns.mccall.com

I chose a pattern from the Claire Schaeffer’s Custom Couture Collection – V7881 – from Voguepattern.com. She published an excellent book called “Couture Sewing Techniques”, which I used ALL the time while at Parsons and after. I highly recommend this book. When I discovered that Vogue Pattern collaborated with her, I was all over it. Sure enough, the pant fit beautifully.

I chose a pattern one size smaller in the waist and hip area so that I could grade up. If you aren’t too sure how to go up a size, I recommend getting the pattern a size bigger. During your muslin fitting, you can reduce it in the areas you need.

I went to Mood Fabric on 37th Street and found a charcoal colored wool fabric from Giorgio Armani. Originally, I wanted to make a pair of kelly green pants, but decided against it. I felt I would wear darker colors more often than a bold green. I also found the Carolina Herrera lace from Mood.

I followed the instructions exactly how they were written. It’s important to trace every part of the pattern, whether if it’s thread tracing or chalk. I used thread tracing 99% of the time and chalk 1%. Though it was tedious, it was worth it. For sure.

The only difference is that I added lace to the sides before I sewed up the inseams of the pant. I hand sewed it because I don’t have an applique machine. I also used hook & eyes for closure instead of buttons.


Et voila! You have yourself a bespoke pair of pants! Finishing the insides wasn’t said in the pattern instructions. I suggest bias binding or add lining.




I wore them with a Zara one pocket shirt with epaulets, a Zara necklace, and vintage Oscar De La Renta heels that my sweet Paul surprised me with.

Tomorrow, I’ll have more about the show itself. Stay tuned! xoxo

7.23 : Shirt


That’s me and Paul, my boyfriend. We’re waiting for the show to begin, the first of many tools to promote the record that he produced – Red Hot+FELA. It was AWESOME and I am so proud of him. The very first song began and the crowd went crazy. Security couldn’t control the audience that night.¬†To top it all off, I finished the shirt I custom made for him, just in time for his birthday -7/23. He wore it during the show and it makes my heart melt to know that he loves it.

Originally, I was going to make a boyfriend shirt, something for me to steal from his closet. During the process, I realized that his style just isn’t the same as mine, so I customized the shirt to him. After all, I wanted to give him a special birthday present, and it wouldn’t have been cool if I made it to suit my style. Don’t get me wrong, I love his style, but it’s for him.

front back

All the details were carefully chosen, from the fabric to the buttons to the thread color.


I briefly explained the process in my previous post, when I thought that there was no way I would complete the shirt by his birthday. Clearly, I became obsessive and finished it. I also couldn’t have done it without the help of Jonathan Embroidery, one of the only places in the NY Garment District that makes buttonholes.

pattern comparison

Here, Paul is introducing the show. Photo on the right was taken by David Andrako

I used a Kwik Sew Pattern, #3883 as the foundation. Aside from changing the fabric, I altered the pattern a little by adding a navy panel to the pocket. ¬†For the rest of the pocket, I had cut it on bias, and did the same for the back yoke. I also didn’t top stitch the entire collar and the cuffs, as the instructions say to do. I didn’t find it necessary and felt it took away the sharpness of the shirt. The inside was finished with french seams and bias binding with contrasting fabric at the armholes.


Photo Credit: David Andrako

Can you find Paul in this photo?

Best. Show. Ever.


NEXT PROJECT: It’s going to be a surprise because I don’t know even know!! All I know ¬†is that it will have clean lines ¬†with details and intricate craftsmanship. I’m taking it back to my roots, yo.¬†

In the meantime, I just found out about Bloglovin’ . I’m a little behind in time. I would absolutely love it if you added Patterned After to your stream, but hey, I’m not complaining. I am happy that you’re here reading it and thank you!¬†

Stay tuned and see you very soon x

Summertime Rolls

The past month, I’ve been making a Boyfriend Shirt. ¬†It’s just…it’s hard to not be outdoors, on the beach, or listening to music….

I really wanted to have the shirt by July 23rd, my boyfriend’s birthday. Ain’t happening. I had this whole thing planned. I was hoping he would wear it on the day of a music concert he is putting together for a record he produced….which, by the way, if you’re in New York on July 24th, there’s a FREE outdoor concert called Red Hot + FELA, in honor of Fela Kuti, a human rights activist, and pioneer of Afrobeat. ¬†I am so excited and proud of him, but he won’t be wearing the shirt that night, unless he wants sleeveless and no buttons.

I can show you the process so far:


I measured him, according to the Kwik Sew pattern (#3883) I found online. I did a very quick sketch so I could have something to work off of.


I gave him swatches to choose from


He chose two from the swatches, and the navy came later


I manipulated the pattern a little and then made the muslin from it. I then did a fitting on him. The sleeves were too short so I extended it. This is also where Paul (my BF) said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to make the top part of the pocket navy” ? I said, “Okay”.


So far, here it is with no buttons, collar or sleeves.


I also went to look for buttons and got navy ones but now I think maybe white. What do you think? Please excuse my chipped nail polish.

I am actually lugging my sewing machine all the way to New Jersey this weekend so I can go to the beach AND sew. If it’s a productive weekend (on the sewing) then I can post it next week. If not, then the following.

In the meantime, I named this post “Summertime Rolls” because I thought of that song by Jane’s Addiction. That whole Summer thing I’m going through… then it lead me to think about “Summertime” by Scarlett Johansson. Who do you think her song was modeled after (or patterned after!…okay, I’m being a nerd) – I’ve got it right here in the playlist below. ENJOY.

Behind The Scenes Photoshoot – Cocktail Dress: Renna

Video credit: My boyfriend, Paul

I had so much fun doing this photoshoot for the cocktail dress I made for my first Patterned After post. It was shot by Chris Dinerman in an East Village Apartment.

So it wasn’t a high tech studio¬†and I still like to pretend I am a model.

I enjoy the small things in life

Still working on that jumpsuit and will post shortly. Hint: It’s blue and silky.

Chloe: Eyelet Top


I made this top awhile ago, and I thought I’d show it while I am in the midst of designing a jumpsuit.


I used the camisole pattern from Kwik Sew. The pattern was on bias, but I changed mine to a straight grain.

I added a seam to the back and did a lace up. I just felt like doing a lace up.

I wear this with basic pieces, and I think it would also look great with jean shorts. Summertime fun on the beach.

Blazer: Uni Qlo (last season)

Jeans: Uni Qlo (worn in skinny jeans, but I tell ya, they last)

Shoes: Marc Jacobs (2 years old but I seriously love them)

Top: I don’t have instructions on how to make this because it was before I started this blog. Still a great idea in that you can change a bias camisole into a straight grain, lace camisole.

So Summer-y


Cocktail Dress: Renna

DSC_0054 *copy

I was kinda lovin’ the Oscar De La Renta gowns with the high/low hem. That’s when I came up with the idea of having ruffles on the inside of the gown.¬†I wanted to look for a strapless gown pattern with a sweetheart neckline. I found one on Simplicity’s website, Pattern #1606.

Bodice and Skirt

**Please excuse the legs. Quite the lady like look after years of Muay Thai Kickboxing and falling while running. Hence, the scars**

It’s okay that the ruffles weren’t sewn all the way up. The photographer is angling up slightly. ¬†It would be one awkward moment if people actually kneeled down to look up into my skirt.

 The Process

Scan 1

I started with this sketch idea


Found the pattern and cut it out. Lengthened the skirt.

muslin renna

Made the muslin, fit the muslin, changed some details then constructed the dress

simplicity and renna copy

Voila! It isn’t exactly like the original sketch, but it’s very close. Things always change along the way for a number of reasons. It could be technical or aesthetic reasons, but as long as I love the final look, I feel accomplished.

Aside from the obvious differences between the pattern and the final dress -Ruffles, High/Low Hem, Fabric- There were additions to the inside of the gown.¬†The bodice has more structure. I added hymo, siri, interfacing, hard and soft boning. The extra “padding” for the bodice is to create a built in corset so that the dress will stay up on its own. The beauty of creating a bespoke piece is so you’ll feel like a million bucks. That feeling can go a long way when you know everything was constructed to the best of your ability.

I feel like a super star.


Photo Credit: Chris Dinerman

Birdcage Veil: Self Made

Shoes: Sigerson Morrison (old)