Saturday, February 28, 2015

My DIY Bohemian Long Fringe Kaftan

I actually thought I'd blogged this on my Pirate Cosplay character blog... but, I guess I didn't...

I think I started this in 2011, or it couldn't been in early 2012. I had a bit of back & forth from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts (Typical Gypset, right?), and I was gearing up to start working in Philadelphia in 2012. I did, in fact, eventually end up working in finance in South Philly for a brief while... so many things occurred all at once. And, I was frequently juggling between professional prep-work, exercise, intense researching, and a ton of needless ridiculous dramas from all sides of family/relatives relations. To this day, I STILL don't have any satisfactory (in my opinion) photos of this Kaftan I made.
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For whatever abnormal reason whenever I would fit-in a photo shoot for this, do my makeup, and prep my equipment the lighting would die, or if outside, the sun would get blocked by that ONE massive cloud, battery issues, etc... This happened so many times! plus, I was often between traveling to & from Philly. So, the fact that I even got this thing done was a feat.

My camera would also act strange and freeze-up, or glitch. Despite my photography frustration so many of my West Coast friends were very impressed with it, and when I wear it out somewhere I often get asked where I got it, or if they could try it on.

Despite how many persons I asked to model it for me, since I thought maybe I might be jinxed, no matter whomever enthusiastically said yes, we could just NEVER get to it. In 2012 any number of misfortunes happened to EVERYONE I knew. Pebbles wanted to model it for me, but she had a long streak of bad luck one after the other. If I wasn't their to witness it, I wouldn't have believed it. Not only that but her daughter's kitten wizzed all over it! I swear we were all jinxed!

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I've worn it to karaoke in South Philly, but I don't think I wore it to Karaoke in West Philly...

It's made from a dress I bought at Charlotte Russe maybe in 2010 sometime... But, the dress didn't flatter me at all... So, when my expensive pair of designer Melodia pants just fell apart, and I could no longer mend them anymore past the point of no return, since the organic cotton blend wasn't so great, I did what many Bohemian folks on the West Coast would do: make something out of it.

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I was nuts about Boho Chic stuff on Pinterest, and just LOVED these items by Free People that were obviously made in India, but were way overpriced... so, I looked online for DIY stuff, and also combined with helping my daughter fringe and ladder her school T-Shirt, I came up with this.

I cut up several old vintage 1990s T-shirts I had, the pants, and the dress, and used the Honey Comb stitch on my sewing machine.

At the time when I created this kaftan, not many people I knew did DIY anything, other than my artists friend like Pirate Pebbs, and one of my dance teachers Zoe Jakes and her friends. Since I had already been making Indian scarf dresses since 2007-2009 when I got my new sewing machine and didn't need to sew anything by hand anymore, I started making other things... like a Gypsy skirt, purses, and belly dance costumes, I began to go outside the box and make stuff without patterns, like the way I made the scarf dresses.  So, many folks I knew on the east Coast thought I was nuts... and didn't understand the whole DIY thing with making this kaftan... but, now, EVERYONE LOVES DIY probably because inflation is HIGH, and DIY is cheap... but, even wealthy folks LIKE DIY because they think it's "in" and trendy... Whatevz...

Boho chic has gone in & out of mainstream over the years, and now it's very popular again, but more on the muted style... and fringe is kind of "in" now, I guess, because I'm seeing it everywhere.

Well, when I made this piece, I added on a lot of fringe, and it's WAY OVER THE TOP. I sewed them on so they would hang and drape better. I did this by sewing them on upside down.

House of CB

As I mentioned above, I made this entire thing from older stuff I had, altho' the dress was newer. If i were going to make this entire thing from new items it would cost quite a bit. I went through several spools of thread. And I would NEVER chop up a NEW pair of MELODIA PANTS EVER! The ones I got I bought on clearance discount and it still cost me OVER $85! The dress part was anywhere from $5-30, and I can't even remember. And, even if you bought old T-shirts at a thrift store at $1-3 each, I used easily 5 or 6 shirts. Altho' it's simple to construct, it takes hours all day for several weeks. Even on days when I had free time to dedicate most of the day on working on it it took several weeks, and I could easily be sitting all day laying out, sewing, cutting, pinning, etc.

I also broke up time between to be a mom, search for jobs out of state, and often forgot to eat. My "breaks" were me exercising, or taking a walk, often multitasking while doing a phone interview while pinning and waiting for my daughter to come home from school make her start her homework, then make her dinner, or help my spouse with out own business which was still open at the time 7 days a week.

I'm at a point in my life where I don't care about that anymore... and, I don't care if others think I'm lazy, because I know better. I can go above & beyond those that want to shoot me down... and, to those whom kill themselves like extreme workaholics and like to flatter themselves as successful, and that they deserve to have the right to spit down on me, are actually deluded. there's a reason why even tho' I can go above and beyond, and stop at a certain point... because it's not worth my life. Killing ones self for money or a paycheck is NEVER worth it, and that is NOT success.

If you end up addicted to alcohol, drugs, or end up having a nervous breakdown, or have physical illnesses brought on by stress, you're actually a failure... and, that's a hard lesson I never want to repeat.

I watched my mother destroy herself trying to please others. I already KNEW that I ought to do some things I liked doing, within reason. So, I don't know how I ended up in "people pleaser" situations as many times as I did... altho' I'm sure my spouse would say different...

Anyways, I like this kaftan. I would still like to make a better photo shoot of it, maybe with some different models... who knows?
House of CB
I'm proud of this creation. And, other people have also expressed their love for it as well.
this kaftan has been through all kinds of Hell with me, and is almost like a metaphor in a way. Stripped, cut, shredded, and pieced back together into something creative & beautiful.

If you don't like it, that is OKAY.
If you don't like me, that's OKAY, also.

But, don't tell me I didn't make it, because I did. I even have the photos of the work in progress. (they're probably still on my Facebook fanpage, I think) 

And, people, like me, whom make and do creative things are ARTISTS.
It doesn't make us CRAZY. It makes us CREATIVE.
See the difference?

I don't need to do drugs, or drink until my innards are pickled. I have my art. I have my creativity, and my music. That's a healthy thing.

So is taking walks, and doing yoga, and meditation...

House of CB

When I first shot these, I shared some of the photos on Facebook, and it didn't go over very well with many of my East Coast friends... well, I'm also not totally satisfied with these photos... but, people had a major issue with the abandoned shopping cart.... really???

Actually, if the lighting had been better, since I was there when the sun was out, it looked great... but, instead this dark, gloomy feel happened...

Oddly, I've found this weird style become a popular motif on purpose since last year, and have seen people alter their bohemian photos too resemble a badly photographed image, of dark, and creepy, with decaying items, like old shopping carts, or broken buildings, dumps, or carnival sites after the carnival left, or the whole "cast away" or stranded theme...
Saks Fifth Avenue Canada

Saks Fifth Avenue
Here you can see my piles of stuff from when I was working on this. Do I look exhausted or what?

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue
Ha! You can see my yoga mat before it got all beat up from so much use!

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Well, if you like this let me know. Leave a comment.

If you're interested in possibly modeling this, it's no charge, and I will even let you have free copies, but you need to be in the South Shore Boston Area, and able to get here on your own. You need to be at least 18, because even tho' I don't mind working with young people, it could be an issue... and also, you kinda need to be a female... sorry, I have had too many problems with male perverts. TOO MANY.

So, unless I have already known you for A LONG TIME, and we're good friends, then NO if you are a guy. It always ends up blowing up in my face. It's stress on my spouse, and I have learned too many hard lessons with trying to trust somebody to be a professional, when in fact they just wanted to try to grope, coerce, or force themselves on me...

At least with women this is generally not a problem.

Lane Bryant

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