Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Clothes for Sale/Meet My New "Employee"

I have a new employee working for me.

Her name is Paco. Here she is answering emails.

cat1

After she was done with emails, she helped me break down some boxes. (If anybody actually looks closely at this next picture: yes, my bedroom carpet is perpetually covered in scraps of black thread. I'm lucky enough to have linoleum in my sewing room, though! Because it used to be a kitchen. This house is weird.)

cat2

After helping with the boxes, Paco slept for 16 hours straight. I'm not sure if this is going to work out in the long run.

I posted these pictures just in case any of you forgot that I'm a crazy cat-lady. For people that have been reading my blog for a while, you may notice that Paco has lost some weight recently! A new fat cat moved into the house and Paco was too afraid to go near the food whenever fattie ding-dongs #2 was in the room.

Ok, back to reality. New stuff for sale! Two dresses from Too Fast clothing, a new handmade one-of-a-kind tank top, and animal print scarves are now available on my website. The Too Fast dresses were supposed to be listed a month ago, but they were stuck in customs so my delivery was delayed.

Click on the pictures to go to the item page on my website. Thanks to Laura for modeling. We took pictures in my basement again, but I changed things up by putting a backdrop on the wall. (By backdrop, I mean a striped sheet I found at Thrift Town, my favorite Sacramento thrift store)

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Both Too Fast dresses are available in sizes small to xlarge. I was happy to find out that Too Fast has basically the same size chart that I use for my clothes. So for once I don't have to warn you to buy a size larger than usual! Both dresses are $65. One has a cool neon "Zombie Marilyn" print and the other has a B-Movie print. Close-up shots of these unique prints are shown on the item pages.

I also made a Teenagers from Outer Space t-shirt into a new tank top to go along with the movie theme. Thanks to Kepi Ghoulie for the vintage shirt!

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The new animal print scarves are available in all the same prints as my hoodies: zebra, leopard, and cheetah and in several different colors. They are $16 and measure 5 inches by 75 inches, which I think is just long enough to be comfortable. I hate too-short scarves and I don't understand scarves that touch the damn floor when you wear them! I'll be adding more scarf options in the next few months.

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Laura and I also took pictures of my new animal print hoodie design (this one has a full lining!) but I still have to make patterns for all the different sizes before I list it on my website. I also plan to write a blog post about the process of patterning and making the new hoodie for any of the sewing nerds that read my blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Zealand

While I spend my days frantically sewing hoodies and getting ready for the holiday retail rush, my family is driving around New Zealand in a van and doing whatever it is that is fun to do in New Zealand.

I'm so jealous! I have the travel bug and I want to go EVERYWHERE. Even places that I know nothing about.

My little sister has been working at an internship in New Zealand since August. My parents decided to fly out there and visit her for two weeks. They rented a little camper van and are camping and hiking all around the country.

Let me brag about my little sister for just a second. Jackie is one of those annoying fucks who seems to get perfect grades in school without even trying. Or at least that was the impression I got while I was wasting my high school years away, two years ahead of her. She graduated at the top of her class (yep, valedictorian) with a GPA higher than I thought was even possible. (4.8 or 4.9 or something ridiculous.) She chose to study engineering in college and got a FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIP to Olin School of Engineering, just outside of Boston.

Then she decided to skip out on a semester to live in New Zealand, because that's where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.

I am completely serious.

She moved to New Zealand because of a MOVIE. Ok, three movies. Three awesome movies that I learned to love even though she would say all the lines when we used to watch them together.

I've enjoyed reading her blog over the past few weeks, especially since now it has some dorky pictures of her and my dad instead of just pictures of sheep. Here's the link to the most recent page: http://itgetsevenbetter.tumblr.com/post/13073695679/im-giving-up-trying-to-actually-post-things-on

How the hell does Tumblr work? Now I can't figure out how to scroll to the next blog she posted. Anyways, she writes better than I do. I guess maybe I should have taken those high school essays seriously? Whatever, she's been making me look bad ever since I became a punk rocker and started fucking up my life eight years ago.

I became even more jealous of the trip after reading about when Jackie went bungy-jumping. To quote her blog, "I woke up this morning and decided to jump off a bridge." The rest of her description is pretty funny too.

And so is this picture.

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In conclusion, my little sister is fucking awesome and I hope she's insanely successful in whatever the hell she decides to do once she leaves The Shire/Rohan/Mordor/Boston/whatever and graduates college and enters the real world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Basement Photo Shoot

I didn't feel like coming up with a new creative photoshoot location this week, so Laura and I just took pictures in my basement and on the railroad tracks near my house.

My basement seems to have a different look every time I take pictures down there. This time there were blue lights set up on the side walls, which made things glow a little bit like they were under a black light. (Of course that made me think about how the basement would look if it were a real black light. GROSS!)

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Laura modeled the new 5th Culture and Folter Clothing items. My favorite pictures are below. After that I'll tell a story about a little drama that happened last month that has to do with my basement.

Click on the pictures to go to the item pages and read more details about the new clothes for sale.

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Zebra fringe top, S/M/L, $30, made by 5th Culture

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Red and black lace-up tank top, S/M/L/XL, $32, Folter Clothing

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Lightweight Leopard Blazer, S/M/L, $55, 5th Culture

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Corset Back Cardigan, S/M/L, $35

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Striped Nautical-Style Cardigan, S/M/L, $42, 5th Culture

Ok, now on to my silly basement story. Anybody who lives in Sacramento and goes to the shows we have in my basement has probably already heard this.

We have punk rock shows in my basement at least once a month. We don't like our address to be posted online because we aren't a real venue and we only book our friends' bands. A couple days before one of our shows, we discovered that the local alternative paper had published our exact address AND my roommate's girlfriend's phone number in the business directory on their website.

Random people were calling her up to ask if we sold alcohol in our "venue". She got confused and freaked out a bit. Our HOUSE was listed in the local directory as a bar!

We still don't know who posted it up there, but it was obviously just a silly mistake. Of course, our friends on Facebook started posting about this and talking shit about the News and Review. I got annoyed and told them to all shut up, because I like the Sacramento News and Review. The show that was supposed to happen that week was canceled and we got our address taken down off the website. We were all disappointed about the show having to be canceled, but we were afraid that too many people would show up. As you can see from the picture I posted earlier, our basement isn't very big. I wish we could fit more people in there so that we wouldn't have to be secretive about the shows, but it just isn't possible.

A couple days after all this drama I realized how hilarious it is that according to the internet, I LIVE IN A BAR.

If anybody finds this blog looking for the address of CASA DE CHAOS, for god's sake just send me an email and I'll let you know. ANNIE@DERANGEDDESIGNS.COM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Update

If anybody is wondering why I haven't put any new clothes up for sale in the past three weeks, it's because my awesome friend-slash-website-model Laura has been out of the country and I've been too lazy to find another model. She took a 2-week trip to Paris and London and I didn't manage to squeeze in a last minute photoshoot before she left.

She'll be back in California soon, so I'll be annoying her about doing another photo shoot as soon as she's recovered from jet-lag. I have about half a dozen new items to add to my website and I hope to get them all up in the first week of November.

Product Updates for October:
  • Animal print guitar straps have been restocked. These make a great gift (if anybody is already thinking about holiday gifts, I definitely am because December is my busiest month of the year!)
  • Lace-up tank tops and red striped sweaters have been restocked. These sell out quickly so I can't guarantee that all sizes will be available for very long.
  • I have discontinued blue cheetah and giraffe print hoodies, but you can still custom order them on this page. You can also go to this page to browse the other prints of faux fur that I can use to make you a custom hoodie.
  • I'm still not sure if I will be able to sell Tripp NYC leopard print skinny jeans this year. I've been having problems contacting Tripp to see if they still have the same style available. If they do, I will definitely order them. I'm sorry to anybody who has emailed me about these jeans. I'm working on it, I swear!
  • If any dudes are wondering why the smaller sizes of the No Future men's black stretch jeans are still out of stock, it is because No Future has discontinued the current version of jeans and is working on a new fit. I'm not sure when they will be available but I will post updates as soon as I know about it. I still have sizes 34, 36, 38, and 40 in stock. Once those sizes are gone, I will not restock them until No Future has the new version available.
Click on the images to go to item pages:

Website Updates:
  • I posted a new DIY guide: How to Sell Your DIY Clothing Part 2. I will update Part 1 with more useful information as soon as I get the time. I also plan on updating the Random Sewing Tips DIY guide, because I wrote up that guide years ago and the tips are pretty dumb and worthless.
  • I finally finished a very long blog post about my trip to Europe last August. I included links to my Flickr photo gallery. There are over 400 pictures from my trip and I think they turned out great!
  • The FAQ and Ordering Info pages have also recently been updated.
Other news:

I have just about finished fixing up the used industrial sewing machine that I posted about a couple weeks ago. As soon as I can transport it into my sewing room, I will have to practice on it a bit to get used to the speed. Then I hope to use it for all my sewing projects, because the home machine I have been using for the past 10 years isn't working too well anymore.

One reason why I haven't made as many one-of-a-kind items recently is that I am spending a lot of time trying to learn as much as I can about industrial sewing methods. Even though I already have three industrial machines, I still need to buy a few more. A single home sewing machine can do many sewing tasks with mediocre results, while an industrial sewing machine is usually set up to do one sewing task with great results. So if you want to switch to industrial machines, you'll need to buy a variety of them. Right now I am trying to get the bare minimum of all the machines that I need. I've got a lockstitch machine and two 3/5-thread machines. I need to buy a 4-thread and a coverstitch machine.

Once I have the machines I need, I will hopefully be able to come out with new designs at a much quicker pace. I just have to get over this equipment speed bump. It's taking a while because my first priority is filling custom sewing orders for the items that I already have for sale. So this is just the usual story of me stretching myself too thin and trying to get everything done on my own!

I also plan to have a new version of the classic animal print hoodie up for sale by the end of the year. I've been working on it for a while, and the reason it is taking so long is because I am trying to figure out out how to sew it with industrial methods instead of the home sewing methods I have been using for so long. But I'm sure everybody is bored of hearing about these hoodies for the millionth time, so I'll shut up until the new version is actually done and up for sale.

I guess that is it for now. I'll risk boring you to death if I go on about the other things I've been working on in the past month.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Europe Pictures

To ignore my blog post and look at all the pictures at once, click here to see my entire Flickr set of pictures.

I took over 1500 pictures on my trip to Europe in July, so it has taken me two months to go through them all and put up my favorites in my Flickr album. My mom let me borrow her point and shoot camera for the trip (no way I was hauling around my bulky DSLR). I was impressed by the quality of pictures I was able to take with her camera.

I had a blast during the trip, but I also learned my travel limits. Twenty-eight days is a long time to be away from home, especially for somebody like me. I went on the trip with my friend Vince, who pretty much let me plan out the entire thing. I wanted to see as many sights as possible, so I planned 2-4 days in each city. By our third day in London, I could barely walk. Turns out my knee problems are a lot worse than I thought. This was extremely frustrating for me. I should be too young for this crap! I'm 22, and I've been having issues with my knees for three years now. Watch out, punk rock kids, those fun times in the circle pit might catch up to you earlier than you expect!

Another surprising thing on the trip was the weather. It rained nearly every day! Even in Italy! I actually checked the average rainfall days in my Europe guidebook, but ignored what it said because I'm an idiot. It literally does not rain in Sacramento in the summer, so at this point in my life the idea of rain in July is absurd. We went through several umbrellas. Now I know to bring a decent coat if I ever go back to Europe, and to believe what the damn guidebook tells me!

So, back to the pictures. I got more and more picture crazy in each city we were in. That's why I only have 15 London pictures posted and almost 200 from Italy. Our trip was planned according to when some of our friends in Europe could hang out with us, so the order of the cities that we went to was a kind of random and not planned very well.

I became a travel guidebook nerd while I was planning the trip. I ended up buying four different Rick Steves books, including one on the history, art, and architecture of Europe. One of these days I might read that book again just to see what I can remember. Planning the trip out was a lot of fun.

If you want to look at all the pictures from a certain city, just click on one of the links below and then click on the "next" button once you get to the Flickr page.

London

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Our trip started in London.We were there for almost four full days and managed to see almost all of the major sights. I loved it, even though at some times I had the bizarre feeling that I was surrounded by people who I could barely understand even though we speak the same language. (It was weird to realize that 99% of the English accents I have heard in my lifetome have been in movies!) On our last night, we stayed out late at a pub near our hostel and hung out with some other travelers. We had to wake up at 5am the next day for our train to Belgium, and our hostel room had 26 other people in it, so I gave up on getting any sleep that night. I was worried that I would end up having problems falling asleep for the rest of the trip, but I luckily it didn't take long to get used to the noisy and crowded hostel rooms.

We stayed in a very weird variety of places over the course of the trip. Our sleeping accommodations ranged from a private room to a tent with 30 different people. Quite an adventure! 

Brussels

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We were only in Brussels for one afternoon, so we didn't see much of it. I loved the town square with all the old buildings. Otherwise, the capitol of the EU seemed like a relatively boring place.
  
Bruges

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Bruges was adorable. Go watch the movie In Bruges and you'll know what I mean. It's one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe, and since it's in Belgium there aren't too many tourists. We missed out on the canal boat tour because of the rain, and didn't manage to climb the tower in the town square because of my knees, but we made up for it by having some pretty awesome meals and beers.

Amsterdam

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Rain. Nothing but rain! The red light district was interesting. We drank lots of beer and hung out with my friend Kate, who was working as an au pair in the nearby town of Utrecht. I loved the canals and the gabled buildings in Amsterdam. Not so interested in the legal drugs, though. Here in Sacramento I live around the corner from a weed shop and a place to go to get a weed prescription, so I really have no interest in smoking the stuff, even for the novelty value. We did spend a bit of time in a coffeeshop, though. I was almost surprised at how cliche the atmosphere was: reggae, overpriced munchies, and dreadlocks. I get enough of that in my hometown, dammit!

Utrecht

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We stayed two nights in Kate's host family's house in Utrecht. It seemed like a less-touristy version of Amsterdam, and for once the weather was perfect! I don't remember too much of our first night there, which might be a good thing. On our 2nd night, I hauled my hungover ass off the couch and we went to see the 7th Harry Potter movie. With Dutch subtitles. And intermission. (Weird!) The house that we stayed in was probably the most modern and expensive house I have ever been in. I'm pretty sure that their house is the exact opposite of the shithole that I live in. I'm also pretty sure that one of their bathrooms was bigger than any bedroom I've lived in.

Nuremberg

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After Utrecht, we went to visit our friend Kian in Germany. She was also working as an au pair, in a house that was much more cozy and normal than the Utrecht house. We stayed there for three nights. She showed us around the town and took us to some of her favorite bars. Nuremberg is a pretty town with a lot of history. Our stay here felt more relaxed than in the other towns.

Munich

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By this time the pouring rain was seriously irritating me. We were in Munich for three whole days, which was lucky because the weather wasn't nice until the 3rd day. We also took a side trip to Neuschwanstein castle, which was fun. On the last day we went to a lot of beer gardens and I made sure to get one of the full liters of beer. Those things are huge! We made it back to the Munich train station by about 10pm to catch our night train to Paris.

I was able to sleep pretty well on the train, but Vince wasn't. I had booked the cheapest possible seats (of course, haha) so we were very lucky to get an entire train compartment to ourselves. We were able to stretch out (somewhat uncomfortably) on the rows of seats rather than share a cramped compartment with four other people. If I ever take a Europe night train again, I'd probably spend the extra money for a car with an actual bed. I felt very well-rested once we arrived in Paris at 9am, but Vince wasn't so lucky.

Paris

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This was my second time in Paris. My first time was back in 2002 with my family. What can I really say about Paris that nobody has heard before? We saw all the famous sights. Hid out under a bridge during a crazy thunderstorm. Had some nice cheese and wine and baguettes. We stayed in a super cheap hotel just outside all the main arrondissements. (Which means that we stayed just outside the main highway that encircles all the old parts of the city.) The subway train we took to our stop was almost always packed with an uncomfortable amount of people. We had a 10 minute walk to our hotel after the subway stop. It was nice to see the non-tourist area of Paris. Each day we stopped at what seemed like the Paris version of the Grocery Outlet near the subway station and bought cheap snacks for the day. Vince said that Paris was different than what he expected. Even though people like to call it the most romantic city in the world, it's really just a big, old, smelly city. It's charming, but it's not perfect. That was what I remembered from my first trip to Paris. So many awesome old buildings! And interesting smells, haha.

By this time we were accustomed to the language barrier, and I was wishing that I had studied some French before leaving. I took two years of French in high school, so I kept hearing and seeing words that I recognized, but I had no idea what they meant.

This was also our first room with a TV. We watched some French news and French stoner TV. It was bizarre to see news coverage of the attacks in Norway, because we could tell that something horrible had happened but couldn't understand any of the details. It wasn't hard to understand the Amy Winehouse broadcasts, though.

Italy/Cinque Terre

Italy 1

The Cinque Terre is a set of five towns within about five miles on the coast of Italy. I'm a sucker for a good view, so I took way too many pictures here. The towns are accessible by train or by several hikes of varying difficulty. I was finally used to my knee problems by this time, so I was able to do a lot of walking without too much pain. (So many stairs!) The descriptions I put under the Flickr pictures will explain pretty much everything we saw in the Cinque Terre.

Rome

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Rome was amazing. Fucking amazing. And it was the only town we stayed in that didn't rain!

One of the first things we did in Rome was visit the Vatican. I'm not religious, but I love historical sites and old art and architecture. We didn't make time to go to very many museums on our trip, but I'm glad that we made it to the Vatican museum. The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica: need I say more? 

I think the only unpleasant part about our time in Rome was the bus trip to our campsite. It was the only bus that ran to a huge campsite, so it was always crowded. I've used public transportation for almost my entire life, but I have never been in a bus that got as crowded as our bus in Rome. It was so bad that the back doors couldn't swing open, because too many people were in the doorway. I know that public transportation gets a lot more crowded in certain Asian countries, but still, I was claustrophobic as hell!

Anyways, I loved Rome. My pictures probably say it all.

Journey Home

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I don't want to talk about too many details of our long, fucked up journey home because I'd rather force it out of my mind forever. (Admittedly, I will never forget that 10 hour layover in Chicago O'Hare. Yuck. Stupid thunderstorms.)

We flew out of Zurich (don't ask, like I said our city route was not planned too well) and I took a few cool pictures of the train ride from Rome to Zurich. Even though it should not have been necessary for us to ride through the Alps for a second time during our trip, the views were really beautiful. It was also Swiss National Day (August 1st) so every once in a while we saw fireworks go off in the distance over the towns and lakes that we were passing through. Even though the trip home put us into travel purgatory (or perhaps travel hell at times), the train to Switzerland was really nice.

I might write a second blog post about Europe with some travel tips that I learned, including tips about traveling on a tiny budget. This was the first big trip I've taken that wasn't planned by somebody else, and I learned a lot. Vince helped out a bit during the planning stage, and definitely helped me keep my head on straight while we were navigating our way around every new city and train station. I don't do too well when I'm thrown into new situations. Maybe I'm too absent-minded? Whatever it is, I tend to ignore this fact while I plan my life. Which is a good thing!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What I've been working on lately

WARNING: this blog will only be about sewing nerd stuff. Like, hardcore sewing nerd stuff!

I'm setting up a new industrial sewing machine in my room.

Nevermind, it's not new. And it's not in my room yet. It has been in my parents house for nearly 2 years, collecting dust in the corner of their living room. It was given to me for free in December 2009. It is only now that I have it set up and running. I just got back from their house. I have been going over there once or twice a week for the past couple months to work on the machine.

I feel absolutely victorious for finally getting the damn thing to work. I started working on it with no idea what I was doing. I've never considered myself to be a mechanically inclined person, but I somehow managed to put it all together and fix it up with the random tools I have somehow ended up with. I still have about half a dozen more parts to buy for it, but the thing is finally functioning and it can totally sew the animal print hoodies that I am always making.

Here it is. This picture was taken before I got it to work. Not pictured: the foot pedal, lamp, and most of the thread tree.

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My mom is a little annoyed about it taking up space in her living room for so long, so she's been decorating it with flowerpots and various crap.

Problem #1: the motor that was installed on the machine was a 220 volt motor with a 5-prong plug. As I work out of the back room of an old Victorian house rather than in an actual factory, I have nowhere to plug the thing in. So I bought a new (used) motor. The thing is ridiculously heavy, so my dad helped me install it to the sewing machine table.

Problem #2: the new (used) motor was sized differently than the original motor. The v-belt connecting the motor to the machine was way too long. So I had to buy a new v-belt. I accidentally bought one that was too short, so I had to buy 2 new v-belts. I'm an idiot.

Problem #3: the motor didn't have a push-button switch to turn it on. So I had to buy one of those too.

Problem #4: finally got the switch installed, and the right v-belt on the motor. I turn on the motor, start sewing, AND THE DAMN THING WAS SEWING BACKWARDS. I ended up taking a picture of the motor switch wiring and calling up my uncle (an electrician/engineer/something or other) to get directions on how to change the wiring so that it would run the right way. My dad also helped me with this. There was a moment of suspense when we turned on the machine, because we had no idea if it was going to short out their power or explode or whatever.

Other assorted problems: the bobbin case was broken, had to buy a new one. The new one wouldn't work until I removed on of the extra parts on it. The machine also has a major oil leak, which I might just have to make do with. And all the oil inside it looks rotten. I took off the oil plate and was showered in black gunk. The clear plastic case over the oil well is cracked and leaking over the front of the machine, too.

The lamp that is installed on the table also won't plug into the new motor. Wrong sized outlet. I plugged it into the wall outlet instead, and the light-bulb went out within a fraction of a second. I also need to buy rubber feet for the machine so it can fit properly into the table. And buy a new needle plate, because the one on it has been mangled pretty bad.

Did I mention that it showered my hands in rotten oil?

THIS MACHINE HATES ME.

The only luck I ran into was that I was able to find a manual for it online. And it may be the best manual for an industrial machine that I have ever seen. Even if I can't understand half of what it's talking about, I'm glad that I have the information. 

I still have about half a dozen more parts to screw back on to the machine. Once that's all done, I'll transport it to my sewing room and buy lots of special sewing machine feet so I'll be able to do things like top-stitching at full speed and with complete accuracy. I like the speed of the machine. I was afraid that it would be too fast to handle, but it seems to be only a bit faster than the home sewing machine that I've been using for the past 10 years.

So, I can't wait to use it. Unless of course the damn thing decides to randomly stop working as soon as we manage to haul it up the 3 flights of stairs to my room. Did I mention how fucking heavy the whole thing is? Nothing would surprise me at this point.

So far I have spent about $75 on parts for it. Like I said before, the machine and table were free. The new (used) motor was only $25. You get what you pay for!

Oh, and maybe I should explain why I am going through all this trouble of setting up an industrial machine instead of just buying a new home machine. The volume of sewing that I do is too much for regular home machines. The one I'm using now probably won't be able to handle my animal print hoodies for another year, and I want to give it back to my mom. I've been "borrowing" it for a long time now! Industrial machines are also supposed to be able to handle fabric better than home machines. Hopefully this one isn't too old and janky to do its job. It seems like a decent machine, once you get around all the broken parts!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oakland Rooftop Photoshoot

I drove to Oakland last Sunday to do a photoshoot with Qiana and Laura. There was no way I was going to make Laura model new jackets in the 95 degree Sacramento heat.

I didn't have any locations in mind, and Laura and Qiana couldn't think of anywhere that had easy parking access or lack of people. So after wasting gas and driving pointlessly around Oakland for half an hour, we went back to Laura's apartment and just climbed up to her roof to do the pictures.

The new pictures turned out great! I love the view from her apartment. We could see the sun setting over San Francisco along with the Golden Gate Bridge. I'll only make you look at two of the sunset pictures I took:

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The next pictures are of all the new items that I just added to the Deranged Designs website. There are four new jackets (made by the brand Carmin) plus a couple pairs of leggings and some striped sweaters. All but the plaid leggings are available in sizes small, medium, and large. You can find them on the front page under the New/Featured items section: http://store.derangeddesigns.com/

Two-piece separating jacket: unzip the zipper at the waist to turn it into a shrug and a skirt! $60

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Faux leather biker jacket with grommet and lacing details, $75

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Striped sweater, $28

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Lined faux fur leopard jacket, $65

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Military-style shrug with brass-colored buttons in front and on the sleeve cuffs, $28

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Striped sweater dress, $28

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Plaid leggings, $9.50

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Vinyl-look leggings are back in stock for $9.50! This picture was taken back in January 2010, when I first started selling the leggings.

After we were finished with the photoshoot, Laura and I went to a restaurant that sold delicious deep-dish pizza and giant beers. Perfect ending to an exhausting day.

Ok that's a lie, after that I had to drive an hour and a half back to Sacramento. I hate that drive.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sacramento Stuff

Blog posts that don't really have to do with Deranged Designs will now be titled "Sacramento Stuff".

We have two shows coming up at Casa de Chaos:

11.09.23show

11.09.30show


The Friday show was originally going to be at the Fire Escape in Citrus Heights, but they suddenly decided to stop having shows. It's too bad, because they were all-ages AND had a bar, AND sold Pabst tall cans for super cheap! I actually enjoyed going to shows there, even though I don't usually like bigger venues. RIP yet another Sacramento venue.

We had a show here last Saturday but I didn't post anything about it. The bands that played were Okami, the Yoohoos, Julie the Bruce, the Croissants, and the Crunchees. My favorite band that night was the Yoohoos. They are a visiting band from Germany. They came over here a couple weeks ago with my friend Kian, who lived in Germany for a year. I loved how the singer kept yelling out, "This is the BEST PLACE EVER!" I'd have to agree, it is definitely my favorite place to see a show, and I love when out of town (or out of country!) bands are so happy to play here.

Mickie Rat posted the lyrics to his Casa de Chaos song up on Facebook today. His song says it all. Living here can drive me crazy sometimes, but every time we have a basement show I feel like I'm 15 again and its my first punk rock show. I hope they get the recorded version of this up sometime soon. Hearing the Secretions practice it in the basement always puts me in a good mood.

there's a place that you should go
If you wanna see a punk rock show in Sacramento
just take the light rail to midtown
then crack a beer and take the alley down

to the middle house on *** between * and *
its gonna be a punk rock n roll adventure for me and you
we’ll hang out on the porch and drink all night
we wont go to sleep until we see the morning light

I wanna go (let’s go!)
down to the basement for a punk rock show
I’m gonna go (let’s go!)
down to the basement for a punk rock show

from 92 to 95
it was the P house where Secretions and Phlegmings would thrive
we all had fun cutting loose
with now absent friends like Curtis Freitag and Mikel Gius

then we came back again in two thousand and three
once again it became where the punks should be
since then Annie and Reggie keep it going strong
the Sacto Pyrate Punx keep the shows going on

I wanna go (let’s go!)
down to the basement for a punk rock show
I’m gonna go (let’s go!)
down to the basement for a punk rock show

beers and punx and drunx and songs
drink up now and sing along
sleep upstairs if you get too smashed
there’s always a floor where you can crash
pick up your empties so the place stays neater
please don’t smash the water heater

I wanna go (let’s go!)
down to the basement for a punk rock show
I learned all that I know (let’s go!)
down in the basement at a punk rock show


The line about the water heater always makes me crack up. We haven't had a mosh pit water heater disaster since the Pyrate Punx built a wooden cage around it, but I still get paranoid when things get extra rowdy in the basement. 

Also, almost forgot, I have a picture from the Pyrate Punx yard sale fundraiser thing that I posted about a couple weeks ago.

Aren't we adorable?
2011sep1
I'm going to blame this picture on a severe case of ADD. Either in the photographer or in everybody else.
 

Friday, September 9, 2011

$2.50 Flat Rate Shipping for all USA, Canada Orders

I'm testing out new shipping rates this month. All U.S. and Canada orders will have a flat rate of $2.50 shipping on their orders. People in other countries will have mostly the same shipping rates as before, but I am reducing the rates for larger orders. International orders will have a maximum $14 shipping rate, no matter how many items you put in your shopping cart. To see the detailed international rate table, go to the Ordering Info page on my website.

If these new shipping rates work out well, I will not be changing them back to the original rates. I will be raising prices on some of the heavier items that I sell to make up for the low flat rate (for example, hoodies and hair dye) but my goal is for total order prices to remain about the same as they were before the change. I'm doing this because it is frustrating to shop online and be surprised at a high shipping rate when you are ready to check-out. It can be expensive to ship items that weigh over a pound ($9 to $10 now!) so I am including part of the average shipping price in the individual item prices.

I also plan to offer more shipping options soon. I will probably add Express Mail for USA orders and Global Priority mail for international orders. My current shipping options are pretty arbitrary and confusing. The only reason they are the way they are is because I first made my website in 2007 and I kind of threw everything together all at once and ignored shipping options until now. (Excuses, excuses, I know, it's been four years and I should have started fixing this ages ago!)

I've spent an embarrassingly long time trying to figure out how to offer flat rate shipping on EVERYTHING without overcharging customers or undercutting myself, so I'll shut up about this soon. If this system works well, you probably won't hear any more about it. Except, of course, when oil prices go up again and the post office raises their prices again and global trade becomes too expensive and we are all forced to start growing our own cotton and making our own clothes with vintage treadle sewing machines and our economy reverts back to pre-industrial revolution times and we can no longer wear stretch fabrics with spandex because IT HAS OIL IN IT TOO and no really, I'll shut up now. I'm typing this up several days before I make the actual website changes and it's getting late here.

Besides, we all know the zombies will take over before our oil supply runs out!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Garage Sale: PyratePunx Fundraiser

I'm helping out with a Sacto Pyrate Punx yard sale in Davis this weekend.

Decription from the facebook event page:

Time
Saturday, September 3 · 8:00am - 4:00pm

Location
527 G st. Davis

Created By

More Info
Sacto Area PyratePunx wake up early.....

Sacto Area PyratePunx are having a Fundraiser for a new P.A. and to help out Hazmat!

Hazmat is the PyratePunx headquarters and amazing All Ages D.I.T. (Do It Together) venue in Oakland, CA. PyratePunx are helping out touring bands with food, beds, and shows all around the world, and we want to do more!: Recording, Printing, Touring Van Rental...

We will have:
Music, Baked Yummies, Lemonade, Merch, and random items from all of our homes!

I will be bringing anything I have to sell for $5, $10, or $15. I tend to stockpile clothing (surprising, huh?) so I will have a lot of stuff for sale. Most of it will be handmade items that aren't up on my website and random items that I have picked up one way or another. I'll be donating a percentage of my sales to the Pyrate Punx Haz-Mat fundraiser.

I've had a lot of fun at the Haz-Mat in the past. They put on some great shows. Some of my friends who lived there also let me do a Deranged Designs photoshoot there in January 2010. The pictures are in this photo gallery in my Flickr album.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You want me to sew WHAT??

All I've been posting lately is updates on new stuff for sale, so I'll take a break from that for a bit.

I get a lot of sewing job requests from friends and family. I probably turn down 90 percent of them, because... well, I don't feel like giving the full explanation, so I'll just say it is because I'm an asshole and I have better things to do.

Last week, though, I agreed to sew a tent together for my neighbor's circus-themed party. For FREE! I'm such a generous, wonderful person! Ok, actually it was in exchange for free booze on the night of the party. They bought six different sized sheets from a thrift store and had me sew them all together into one giant tent.

Here is the result. This picture was taken from my sewing room window.

circusparty4
And here is the aftermath, five days later. Good to see that they don't clean up after their parties any more than my house does. We really don't have to do much, because the homeless people always grab all the empty cans and bottles the next day.

circusparty5
A few hours before the party, a friend of mine ran into a traveling band that was trying to find a show to play that night. So we said they could play the neighbor's party and crash at my house for the night. My memory is a little hazy about that night, but I think the band was called Grog. (That drink for free thing was probably a bad idea.)

circusparty1
circusparty2
The tent ended up looking pretty cool!

My friend/neighbor Brandon organized the party, here he is being silly in his ringleader costume. Thanks for all the vodka, Brandon!

circusparty3
What with the punk rock shows in my basement every month, and the neighbor's crazy costume parties, it is difficult for me to find any reason to leave 21st street!

In June, Brandon planned a Mad Max themed party, here's a picture taken right when people started showing up:

madmaxparty1

I'm the one with the black stripe over one eye and the poofy blue hair. They had a costume contest that night. The winner got... a jug full of water!