Monday, December 20, 2010

Last minute Casa de Chaos show!

This is going on tonight, come hang out!

Anybody want to drink some eggnog with me? I've never tried it and I think tonight is the night.

Hope this flyer shows up, flickr is being weird:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Basement Photo Shoot

My basement is fun to take pictures in, because every few months it looks completely different. People love to graffiti everything up during shows and parties.

Its also fun to take pictures with Laura, because her hair color changes every other week! I used to dye my hair just as often, but now that I've been through the entire rainbow, I'm settling with turquoise hair. Uh-oh, does this mean I'm getting old and responsible? Only ONE hair color per year? I'm losing punk rock points as I type.

New stuff! I made a new version of my classic lace-up leggings. They now have a better fit and are made of higher quality fabric. They are available in 5 sizes, and for $5 extra, you can get a custom length. Starting price is $36. If you need a bigger or smaller size, send me an email and I can probably make a custom sized pair for you. (Only do this if you aren't afraid to give me accurate measurements of yourself. Several weeks ago a women refused to give me her measurements, then was surprised when her leggings didn't fit. Come on, people! I don't have psychic sewing powers!)

Also new:
Slashed purple t-shirt (Folter Clothing, S-XL, $26)
Shiny zebra mesh dress (5th Culture, S-L, $28)
Spiderweb tights (one size, $9.50)

I also took some better pictures of the Tripp NYC leopard jeans. $45, sizes 0 to 11. I'm still trying to get some size 13's, so send me an email if you want that size.

Website link: (scroll down front page to see new stuff)

These were worn over black fishnet tights (sold separately)

Lace-up leggings are now available in striped fabric!

My cross-eyed cat Scarface decided to help out with the photo shoot.

Ok Laura, I know the Oi! that I drunkenly spraypainted on the ceiling a year ago looks like shit, but you didn't have to punch a hole in it!

I like how the blue and red paint splatters match the flyers on the wall. Punk rock home dec at its finest!

I really want to keep a pair of these for myself, so I'm hoping that they sell out before I give in to temptation.

My basement has a door bolted to the ceiling. And it actually works! Though I don't feel like explaining how. Figure it out yourself. While you're at it, figure out how this damn house is still standing.

We might be having a last-minute basement show on Monday. More info on that later.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Shipping Deadlines and Other Random-ness

I've gotten a lot of business lately, thanks to everybody for the support! I love the holiday shopping season because its the only time of the year when I don't feel insane for trying to run my own business.

If you are thinking about ordering any Christmas gifts from my website, you still have time. Order any handmade item by the 15th and any other item by the 17th and I guarantee you will get it by the 24th. If you miss those deadlines, send me an email and we can probably work something out.

So far this has been the least stressful December I've had for the past couple years. I'm done with my internship (got enough hours in by November) and I'm not taking any other classes, so I don't have to go through the hell of balancing finals week with the holiday shopping madness. I've been getting all handmade orders out within less than a week, which is awesome for this time of year!

I took a lot of pictures while working at my internship at the bridal gown line. I will make a big post about the experience soon! Everybody that works at that business was super nice and helpful. If you live in Northern California and are in need of a wedding dress, I definitely recommend you check them out: Miosa Couture at 12th and J streets in downtown Sacramento.

Now for a random story that some of my Sacramento friends should enjoy. Earlier this year, I wrote up a big post about trying to fix up Casa de Chaos, the punk house that I live in with five other people. (Read it here) We've made a small amount of progress, but I'll talk about that later. As some people probably know, the next door neighbors moved out and so their entire house was for rent.

A couple of my friends from middle school/high school moved in next door on the 1st of this month. (Which is funny, because the old next-door neighbor was a teacher at my elementary school in midtown. Sacramento is weird like that.) My friends were excited about living in a giant old house with super cheap rent. I checked out the house with them last month, and as soon as I walked in, I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. The place had brand new carpet, freshly painted walls, 9 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, a fucking LAUNDRY ROOM, and central heating, all for only $50 more a month than my crowded, dirty house! I irrationally demanded that my friends let me switch houses and move in with them, but they said seven people had already claimed the rooms.

Once I told my roommates about the paradise next door, we all became super jealous and a little pissed that the landlord seemed to care so much more about the other house. (He owns all 3 Victorian houses on my block) So we started making bets at how long my friends were gonna last at that house. I was guessing it would take 6 months for the place to be in worse shape than my house. Think about it: what could be the only possible outcome of seven broke 20-somethings living together in a 100 year old house? Did I also mention they love to drink and the neighborhood is surrounded by dive bars and drunks?

Long story short, on the 6th day of them living next door, me and my roommate Vince convinced them to check out their attic. People used to hang out in our attic, so it seemed like a good idea.

This was the end result:

My friend Austin busted the ceiling! (And yes, that's Vince grinning and sending his own picture to everybody) I was almost directly underneath him when Austin's leg burst through the ceiling and I was showered with a fucking mountain of insulation. He had stepped on a beam that should not have broken underneath his weight, so we can't really blame him. The house is just totally rotten. All the roommates ran into the hallway and started freaking out about how they weren't gonna get their deposit back now.

Vince and I laughed for about 20 minutes straight. We know how much of a douche the landlord is. Ceiling hole or not, their money is gone. All two thousand dollars of it. And our fucked up predictions for that house already seem to be coming true. Hahahahaha...

Pictures of both houses. (From Google street view. Go ahead, stalk me!) My house is on the right. The city has been cracking down on the landlord recently, so the houses actually look a bit better now than when this picture was taken. At least my house isn't totally inferior: we have a nicer porch, and a basement big enough to put on punk rock shows. Also, the back part of our house is at a lesser slant than the back part of the other house. We're on a small hill, so there's been a bit of a gravity problem over the past 100 years! My sewing room floor is at an angle slanting down towards all my windows, so people sometimes get dizzy when they walk in!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

4 Day Sale, plus new leopard jeans!

Since the entire damn world of retail is having sales on Friday, I might as well jump on the bandwagon!

Free shipping ANYTHING, ANYWHERE from Friday to Monday. Even if you want to ship six hoodies to Siberia, shipping is free!

Just use the coupon code "FREESHIP" when you checkout.

I also just added some Tripp NYC brown leopard stretch jeans to my website. $45 for sizes 0 to 11. Sorry, no men's sizes or larger sizes, I would stock them if they made them!

New jeans: (crappy basement photoshoot for now, I'll try to get more pictures this weekend)

Leopard Jeans (clickety-click)

Backdrop: my roommates covered the basement walls in red paint a few weekends ago. I wasn't present, so for once I can't explain. I wouldn't be surprised if the walls are held together by nothing but 100 years worth of paint. And beer cans. And cockroach carcasses.

On a completely unrelated note, I saw the new Harry Potter movie today. It was awesome! I'm sure it would have been even better if I wore my slutty Hermione Halloween costume, but it was fuckin cold today. If you're a Harry Potter nerd and you still haven't seen it, shame on you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New skirts, waist-cinchers

Its 5:15 and its already dark outside. WTF! Because of this, I'm already in Friday-party-let's go to the bar or have a porch party mode even though its too early for that shit. I miss the summer, when I don't feel the need to stop working until 8:30! (And by "stop working", I mean "start drinking" of course)

Anyways, I just added three more things to my website, the three things that I was too lazy to add last week.

Leopard high-waisted pencil skirt: Size small, $28
Leopard d-ring circle skirt: small, $28
Lace-up Waist cincher: 5 sizes (waist size 25 to 32), $28, lacing available in hot pink, red, or black


Today I managed to finally get pictures of the new Tripp NYC leopard stretch jeans, but I don't feel like photo-retouching right now so those will be up next week! Along with, hopefully, a new and improved version of the black lace-up leggings that have been so popular.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New tights, new dress, new hoodie

This is my second blog post of the day. HELP, I'M STUCK TO MY COMPUTER! The viruses that I accidentally downloaded last night have spread to my brain! (Who knew that looking up CSS codes on Google could land me in so much trouble?)

Actually, I'm no longer letting myself drink while I update my website and post blogs, so I'm bored and aching to get away from the screen. The only thing I have to get me through this blog post is the live Clash album playing on my stereo that I've been addicted to for the past year. I own hundreds of CD's, yet I only listen to like, six bands. It's bad. My friends hate getting rides in my car, because I never put new CD's in it. Somebody buy me an iPod.

ANYWAYS! NEW TIGHTS AND LEGGINGS! New dress! New reversible hoodie! Well actually I kept the hoodie for myself, but you can order one in the same print or a different print! Yay!

The latest photoshoot me and Laura did was at my friend Bri's apartment. Two weeks ago, I decided to find an indoor spot for a photoshoot for Nov. 3rd, since I thought it would be all rainy and gross outside. So Bri volunteered her Pink Palace. Pink everywhere! Of course, the day of the shoot was about 80 degrees, and actually warmer outside than inside. Oh well.

I was hungover and tired too, it was the day after my birthday. We still had fun. As usual. (Proof that global warming is a thing: the past two years, its been 78 degrees on my birthday. This has never happened before in the great history of my birthday)


The links below will just take you to my Flickr account.


Vertical striped tights, $9.50. Blue leopard skirt will be for sale next week.

Oh no Joe Strummer, the CD is skipping! Again, somebody buy me an iPod.


Newsprint dress, small to large, $22. Before anybody freaks out and asks me where I got this fabric: this dress was made by 5th Culture, another clothing line.


Still waiting for the day that oriental flavored top ramen will sponser Deranged Designs. Because I really need more MSG in my diet. Yum yum yum. (If ramen doesn't want to sponsor me, Jameson would be a nice substitute)


Reversible hoodie...


Send me an email if you want a reversible hoodie. Price will be around $80. In a year I might have time to figure out a cheaper version. (Yes, a year. I'm taking a bazillion classes next semester and then hopefully graduating and then taking the summer off. Fuck yeah.


Photoshop is fun. Bustiers will be up on my website next week.

Criss cross tights and slashed leggings are $9.50, basic fishnet tights are $4.50. The skirt in the top of this picture will also be up next week.



That's all for now. More new stuff next week. Thanks Bri and Laura!

Shows, shows, shows

The holiday rush has already started! Tomorrow I get to make 4 hoodies and 3 pairs of leggings.

In an attempt to not over-work myself in the next two months, I think I will try to make it to these shows. Half of them are in my basement, so I can be super lazy and still support Sacto music!

If there's anything awesome that I'm missing, let me know.






Monday, October 25, 2010

New dress! Well, kind of new

I just added the final fashion show dress to my website. From the fashion show I participated in 6 months ago. I'm slow.

Thanks to Aubrey for modeling, and Tina for the photographs! (credit:

We did this photoshoot several weeks ago, in the yard of a house in Carmichael. These pictures will be in the next American River Review, the magazine that my school puts out every year. I was in the last ARR too, except the outfit that the photographer was supposed to shoot was altered. Instead of wearing the corset and skirt that I made, the model was wearing the skirt as a dress, so it just looked like she was wearing a black sack with a zipper going down the side! A little disappointing, but whatever. This time will be better.

I've got new clothes and leggings piling up in my room, and will hopefully get pictures of them within the next 2 weeks. So I will be adding a lot of new stuff to my website in November. I haven't updated my website in the past two months because I've been busy with my internship.

Other news:
Big show at Casa de Chaos on Halloween! We haven't posted the full line-up online because we don't want the show to get too crowded. All I'm gonna say is, the band that is headlining is from Oakland. (Earth's capital...hint hint)

My birthday is two days after Halloween. Election day. Woo-hoo, 22! 21 was kind of lame, let's hope this year is better. Come get drunk with me that night. Or that weekend. Same shit as always.

Website link:

New photos:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Internship Update

I'm learning a lot at this internship and I'll have more pictures to post when its over.

Right now I really should be doing homework- I have to write a paper about an interview I did with the owner of the shop. But I'm blogging instead. Whatever.

A few weeks ago, I finally got to use one of the shop's automatic straight stitch machines. By automatic, I mean that the foot pedal controls everything. It raises and lowers the presser foot and backstitches when you start and stop sewing. There is also an automatic thread trimmer! So all you need to do is guide the fabric in the right way.


In this picture, one of the sewers is using a gathering foot. She is gathering a long bias strip to make a ruffled trim to sew around the hem of the dress. The shop also has a machine attachment that gathers the bias strip while sewing it onto the hem, but they haven't set it up yet. If you have an industrial machine and know what attachments you need, you can save a lot of sewing time!

One thing that I have been doing a lot of is STEAMING DRESSES. The shop sells their own line of dresses, as well as dresses made by other bridal lines. In the past few weeks, they have been getting lots of shipments of new samples from the other lines. These dresses come folded up in boxes and have to be steamed before they are put on the sales floor. The steamer thing is basically a really heavy iron with cords feeding boiling hot water into it. Its attached to a much more elaborate pressing machine and a boiler. Steaming these dresses feels like doing push-ups while you're in a sauna. Its hot as hell! Now my arm is strong enough to use the iron for a while without getting sore, but it still makes my fingers cramp up in a painful way. If I was doing this 8 hours a day, I'd have some serious hand problems within a few weeks.

So, just imagine trying to iron the folds out of a dress like this, while preserving the folds that are supposed to be there. Without making new wrinkles where they aren't supposed to be. It's not easy!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

No new clothes this month, just more reasons why I'm insane

I’ve probably been saying this in every other blog post I’ve written lately: this year has been FRUSTRATING!

This month I started planning for the clothes I’m going to sell during the November/December holiday shopping season. I get a huge amount of business during these months and its best to be prepared. Two years ago I was stuck sewing six hoodies a day during finals week at the end of the semester. After finishing projects and tests for all four of my classes, I nearly lost my mind when I realized that I had four zebra hoodies that needed to be shipped out in two days and my giant roll of zebra fabric was just about gone. Same zebra fabric shortage happened the next year…now I’ve finally learned my lesson!

I’ve been trying to improve my existing hoodie pattern and come out with new hoodie styles that will be for sale by November. But I’m already too busy to get any new pattern work done. My internship takes up to fifteen hours a week and the rest of the time I spend sewing things that people have already ordered. I want to offer more options for the hoodies, but making a pattern for something that I’m going to sew over and over again is much different than making a pattern for a one-of-a-kind outfit. Everything has to be perfect, and it can’t take too long to sew.

Running this business has been a great way to pay rent while I go to school. But I’m at the point where I can’t improve clothing sales until I finish school and have time to come up with new designs.

Unfortunately, the fashion program at my school has not been teaching me how to run my own clothing line or operate a small sewing factory. Once I’m done with school, and I have my two AA degrees, I still won’t know nearly enough about what I want to do. The fashion program has classes about retailing, merchandising, home sewing, and basic patternmaking. It teaches nothing about industrial sewing. Finding information about industrial sewing is difficult. I’m slowly finding more and more books that can help me, but it’s not easy reading. I can handle it, but it takes time.

I wasn’t even aware of all these things that I didn’t know until I started reading this blog. So, I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Now I know a lot of what I don’t know, but it just makes me wonder how many more things there are that I don’t know that I don’t know!

I’ve also run out of working space. Again. I could make clothing much faster if I had a cutting table that is actually the same width as a roll of fabric. Typical industry cutting tables are eight feet wide. But a table like that would almost fill my 9x10 foot sewing room. To operate a real sewing factory, I’ll need at least four industrial machines (they all do different stitches), a giant cutting table, some pressing equipment, and probably a fuckload of other things that I’m not aware of. (Still don’t know what I don’t know!)

Because of the cutting table situation, I can’t just rent out another room in my house. I need more SPACE! Lots of it! Commercial space. Warehouse space. Basement space?

So what I’m feeling like right now is that once I’m done with school, I have to start myself over on a different kind of education. While still trying to work and trying to ignore the fact that I don’t have enough space to work. Also while wondering how long it will take me to make enough money to rent out another space.

While of course assuming that in the future I can make a living off my clothing line and ASSUMING THAT ALL THIS ISN’T JUST AN ENORMOUS WASTE OF TIME! A silly little dream born in the brain of a girl who completely LACKS COMMON SENSE!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

End of Summer Sale!

I just added eleven items to the clearance section.

Some of one of a kind items, like this skirt (small, sale $20)

Or skanky summer tops that I overstocked, like this one (S, M, L, $16)

(Maybe these didn't sell because of my somewhat offensive item description? Whatever, I think its funny)

Or clothes and accessories that are almost sold out, like these belts (I've got about seven random sizes and colors left, 8 bucks! You can still get almost any size/color of the regular plaid ones)

Thanks again to Paco, whose picture represents the clearance section on my website. Someday I'll get you into icanhascheezburger, Paco, someday.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Internship!

(Originally written August 23rd, forgot to post it! I'm now in my 2nd week of my internship)

This semester I’m taking a work experience class and will be interning at a bridal gown shop in downtown Sacramento. This shop specializes in custom fit bride and bridesmaid gowns. The quality of their dresses is superb, and their prices are not cheap. They showcase all their dress samples on the first floor of their shop, and manufacture everything in the big basement downstairs.

This type of business is rare, especially in Sacramento. Most clothing lines do not own their own factories and instead outsource production to save money on labor rates and overhead costs. The garment manufacturing industry in the US has been dying for a long time. I feel very lucky to be able to intern at a shop like this, because I would like to continue sewing my own designs, and possibly open up my own little sewing factory someday. I don’t want to outsource to China and deal with 100+ piece minimums. I’m not sure what my chances of success are, but I’m going to do everything possible to make my goal a reality.

I was only in the shop for two hours today, but I’ve already started learning. I only have about three months to work there, so I’m going to try to learn as much as I can. My hours will vary, but I will try to work there at least eight hours a week. I’d like to work there the whole semester, but I might be too busy during December (crazy holiday shopping season!) to do any extra work. I will try to record everything I learn, and I will post a blog update every few weeks. A lot of people find my website when they search for articles about sewing, so I’m sure that someone will find my experience interesting. Soon I’ll ask the owner if I can get pictures of the shop.

I haven’t mentioned the name of the shop for a reason. If customers look them up online, they don’t need to read my account of working there. I tend to say whatever the hell I want on this blog, no matter how weird or offensive it is, and customers of the shop don’t need to think that I am affiliated with them. They’re too classy for me!

My impression from today is that I will spend the next three months doing some simple jobs and lots of observation. I don’t have the sewing experience or speed to do much work on any of the dresses, but I can learn new things by just watching the entire process.

Today, my first hour was spent watching dress fittings. I have to admit that I feel out of place up on the sales floor. Rich well-groomed ladies trying on expensive dresses don’t expect to see a blue-haired awkwardly-tattooed weirdo watching them! Also, since I’m riding my bike to the shop it’s a little uncomfortable to enter a room full of fine Italian silks while sweat is pouring down my face. I definitely don’t have the people skills to interact with the customers, so I’m glad that I’ll mostly be working in the sewing factory in the basement. The owner of the shop doesn’t seem to mind my appearance or strange personality and seems to love telling me about his work. As long as I can avoid the glares of stuck-up customers, I’ll be fine! (I’ve noticed that it’s usually the mother-of-the-brides that stare at me…the brides are too engrossed in their own reflection to notice anything besides the dress!)

After the fittings, I watched some last minute sewing alterations being made to a dress. The customer bought a sample dress for about half the price of a custom made dress. Its original size didn’t fit her so alterations were needed. They had added a lace-up portion to the back to make it bigger, and after the second fitting they had to quickly hand sew boning on the inside to give the dress a better shape around her stomach. She was from out of town and wanted the job done as quickly as possible, so things were a little stressful downstairs once she left. The owner of the shop had to hand-sew the boning to the inside of the already-finished corset, instead of quickly sewing it up on one of their industrial machines.

Another customer had alterations done to a ready to wear bridesmaid dress that she had probably purchased from a department store. They sewed steel boning into the bust area to give it more structure and to prevent it from riding down. They could have made it look even better by constructing a custom fit corset to go inside the dress, but the cost for that alteration would be around six hundred dollars. The shop doesn’t do alterations for anybody who walks in, but they will help out friends or relatives of the brides that shop there.

I also watched the owner of the shop make a bridal veil in about half an hour. He cut it out from a folded piece of fabric (no pattern!) and sewed on pleated trim with an industrial sewing machine. The machine has a complicated pleating attachment so that you can feed a narrow strip of fabric into it that will be pleated while being sewn onto the main piece of fabric. The narrow strip was cut on the bias so that it doesn’t fray. About two yards of small pleating was finished in about five minutes- a job that would take hours to do by hand! He then steamed it with a steaming machine (don’t know the correct name for it, whatever) and sewed a ribbon and a little silver comb to it.

Those two hours went by pretty fast. I’ll be back there tomorrow for a longer time. It will be difficult to balance this internship with my Deranged Designs work. Whenever I start a new school semester, it takes me at least three weeks to get a decent school/work schedule organized. My custom orders and post office visits have to be balanced with the internship. I also might have to work on Saturdays or Sundays, which are usually the only days that I don’t work.

My only worry is that I’ll end up overworking myself again. Last semester was insane. I have a bad habit of immersing myself completely in school and work and ignoring other important parts of my life. I’m sure that my friends noticed this long ago but I didn’t really admit it to myself until last May. The fashion show was done with, and school was out, and I fell into a weeklong depression because I didn’t know what to do with all the extra time! When all you think about is work, small problems in your life are ignored until they eventually come back in a much bigger form. This semester I will try my best to calm the fuck down and relax when things get stressful. Things don’t even need to get stressful. I push myself too hard.

So if any of my good friends managed to read this far, please take this as permission to drag me out of my sewing room and force me to have some fun. No matter how much work I say I need to do. Save me from myself!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Something silly

Dear bands that go on tour and crash at my house, here's some quick etiquette rules to follow for any future houses that you stay in...

(This post is for entertainment reasons only, I don't mind helping bands out but sometimes they do some funny and/or annoying things)

1. You cannot sleep in my bed, no matter how many back problems you claim to have.

2. If the bathroom door is shut, knock first. Especially if its the morning after the show and the shower just turned off. (Yes, I know you just want to see me naked. I don't care.)

3. Don't leave anything in the basement. I'm sick of fielding phone calls and searching the basement for everybody's stuff a week after the show.

4. If your name is Dick Lucas, feel free to smoke in my kitchen and throw your empty beer cans in my sink. If your name is not Dick Lucas, you better ask permission first!

5. Don't tag up my backyard. Your tags suck and I don't want to look at them for the next year.

6. Those little thank you notes that some of you leave are really cute and will make up for almost any strange thing you do in my house.

I'm sure I will be adding more to this list as time goes by. No offense was meant. So far there haven't been any bands that have truly pissed me off and almost everybody who has stayed here has been awesome. Here's to many more drunken basement shows and punk rock sleepovers!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five new items, available in sizes XSmall up to Large

Larger sizes available on request.

Pink leopard tank top, $26
Reversible mini skirt, $22
Longer reversible skirt, $22
Striped Zipper Skirt, $28
Dark red corset skirt, $32

Find them all in this website section:

Each item is handmade to order and will take up to 2 weeks for me to ship.