Friday, October 28, 2011

My funny and early real life Halloween...

The following is a sequential description of Thursday, Oct 27...

The "day" started with a scheduled building-wide black-out, when lights went off at Midnight, sharp, leaving entire building in darkness... Maintenance, was the reason for it, they said... Notice was given a few days in advance, assuring the power will be back by 6 am... During the black-out, the building must have looked like a dark tower...

We unplugged all our electronics carefully, set the alarm on the phone, and got the flashlights ready too, thinking the light will not be back in time... I got abruptly awakened by a strange noise, which frightened me quite a bit at that moment - I forced my eyes open, and found myself sitting on a bed in a room, lit with ghostly white light, with the radio on in the middle of the night.... The power came back three hours earlier, than scheduled, and, even though we unplugged the electronics, we forgot to flick off light the switches and the radio... I waddled round the home, flicking off lights, then waddled back to bed...

My morning appointment with a client got postponed - of which I was quite happy, as it allowed me to have, all day to myself, working on my stock bags....

I was making good headway on two bags I was sewing on Thursday, till it was time to swap a dull needle for a new one. It was a long serving needle, I used it ever since I got the new machine. I got a screw driver, hoping it will help me loosen up a screw, which I thought was holding the needle in.

I should have stopped trying to work that screw, when none of my screw drivers really fit it... With a tiny screw driver I finally forced it to loosen, and it fell onto my lap - along with a small thread guide part, while the needle remained unmoved. It was not the screw for needle replacement. I investigated the needle holder, and located a tiny pentagon shaped slot, which MUST have been the one to loosen the needle arm... But first, I must put the thread guide I just mistakenly removed, back into place...

My tiny screw driver did not fit the thread guide screw, and eventually the screw went flying off out of my sight, and the thread guide part fell onto the work table. I did not hear the screw land on the table, or the floor, so I started looking for it... I looked... and looked... Soon, I was clearing everything off the table, combing through it all with my fingers, with no tiny screw in sight, I moved onto the floor, crawling on my knees under the furniture of my studio, looking under the heaters, countless wires, moving the couch, under the shelves - no screw in sight.

Some dust flew off the floor, and it caused me to sneeze -- which shook my upper body, and... pulled out my back... Here I was, on my fours, on the studio floor, looking for a 3 mm screw, sneezing and now with sore back... I was getting increasingly frustrated, and decided, in order to feel like I have achieved something that day, I will give this place a scrub it deserves...

... which is not the best decision, with a sore back... Nonetheless, I started fiercely vacuuming every nook, every corner, still having my eyes peeled for my missing screw. I shoved the couch across the living room, and moved onto window panes, radiators, under the plant pots - and everywhere, where I have not vacuumed in weeks - sucking up real, and imaginary dust, desperately seeking more of it. On my frantic way, I sucked up a replacement battery of our remote control to the TV...

.. and a wheel of one my storage bins, I removed for cleaning the day before... Needless to say, that forcing an industrial vacuum cleaner to open with a freshly injured back, in order to get my accidentally sucked up valuables out, is a tougher job, than usual. I got nowhere with my attempts to open it, till I finally gave up.

I finished vacuuming the studio, and decided to get back to sewing before supper time. I no longer had the thread guide, to angle the thread perfectly into the needle eye. I did replace the dull needle though... But sewing did not go well either. Even though the thread guide, which was now missing, was not that important for sewing forward, it was absolutely necessary for reversing. Now, the thread was entering the needle eye from the wrong angle, and the moment I attempted to reverse, it got sliced part way by the needle.... I got my new machine because I needed a more consistent one, than the one I had before, and I could not bear the thought of going back to the kind of by-the-chance sewing and countless trouble shooting, like on the old machine. Very slowly I finished both bags I set out to complete that day.

But, so far, I had lost an important part of my sewing machine, vacuumed up a remote control battery, another part of my storage bin, and painfully pulled out my back. I decided that was enough trouble for one day, and instead of starting another project, I would read a good Halloween appropriate story -- Clarimonde, to be exact.

Peter came home in the evening - and I had to fess up to all my misadventures of that day. He offered to help looking for the thread guide screw, even though I had given up on finding it. We checked the table and the floor again, but no luck. By then, my back was getting quite bad, and I retreated onto a chair, while he opened a side plate of my sewing machine, to rule out the possibility of it falling inside.

And there it was - my screw, fallen into the open feed-dogs, and stuck there, quietly, waiting to be found. That explains why it disappeared from my sight so swiftly, and why I did not hear it land on the table, or the floor; and why I did not see it while I vacuumed the place down. Then it was TV remote battery and my bin wheel's turn to get rescued from inside the vacuum cleaner. Then he poured me a glass of red wine.

I started to feel better about the strange day, and I really enjoyed "Clarimonde". I was glued to the screen reading it, with a cushion tucked behind my back, a blanket over, sipping wine - and then my hand missed the glass and knocked it over, breaking it and spilling the wine onto counter... Apparently, the day was not over for me. It had one more hour of mischief to go...

That's when I decided to end it, by heading to bed....

Below are my achievements -- Tack, Brief Duffle bags in Birch and Oak:

Posted by Jolanta

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introducing - Telia. A clutch from all recycled materials.

One type of raw-materials I have always been on the fence about, is fur. And, even now, having used it, I still am. I find vintage fur coats very wearable, and believe that continuing to wear them, is the best way of appreciating such a garment. Many of those coats from the 50's and 60's are classically cut and made in North America - or other country, where they were sewn and sold. They are also very well made, and if cared for, would be able to serve several generations of wearers.
I could not justify cutting up a perfectly good, unique vintage coat, not even for the sake of re-using it.

I also do not work with unused pelts, regardless if they are manufacturers "dead stock". So, for a while, fur was not a material of choice for me.

The coat I recycled recently, had a few tears in the right sleeve and joint, rubbed-off sleeve tips and disintegrating lining. The condition showed me, that it may have, in fact, been worn by several generations already, before it got donated to charity. It was petite in size, it actually appeared too small for today's fits. I spent perhaps twenty minutes inspecting it, and was pretty much certain, it would be a hard sell, as a complete garment.
I purchased it, in hopes on making good use for it. So, just like with my leather, I cut out the worn out and damaged bits, used all the wonderfully preserved pieces of fur, also the cheese-cloth supporting them from the inside. Unfortunately, I was not able to save the embroidered lining, as it appeared too fragile for my use.

And this is the result - Telia, limited edition clutch made of recycled Fox fur and remnants of my production leathers. With a zipper closure and wrist loop, it is a distant relative of the Butterfly Clutch.

Telia is already available at some of my lovely retailers, and will make an appearance at the Web-shop and all my Holiday Season events. There will not be many of them, as I am only recycling this one coat. The fur will be consistent through all the clutches, but the frame leather will change - besides, Brown, shown here, I have made them in Burgundy, Chestnut and hoping to squeeze in a few other leather colours.

Telia, Brown

Telia, Brown

Telia, Brown
 My beautiful vintage Fox coat lives on in a form of clutches, that will serve several generations of their wearers'...

Posted by Jolanta

Friday, October 21, 2011

On the runway at the Vancouver Eco Fashion Week

I wanted to do something special to celebrate the launch of Cebrellex, my third collection. I did feel like it was the strongest one so far, and I was finally ready for people to see it and be acknowledged of my work... . Even though, I had two collections in the past, I never felt quite as ready for media, launch events or reviews. This year, for the first time, I felt, like I was improving significantly, growing and heading to the direction I had hoped.

So, the invite to show at the Vancouver Eco Fashion Week came at the perfect time.
Vancouver Eco Fashion week (EFW) is a fashion event, happening twice a year and focusing exclusively on ecological labels: recycled, organic, all natural, locally made and vintage. Our salvaged leather handbags fit right in withe the rest of the bunch of eco-friendly designers.

I was able to show my full Collection to the public for the first time, do a collaborative runway show with Sofia clothing, a great match for me, and my first choice of an apparel designer. It was a great effort, and so far the biggest project I took part in, but it also was a great experience.

Here are the runway looks and other snapshots:

Patrice Has Options - in black re-claimed lambskin; worn as a wristlet..

Tasmain - also black lambskin, worn backwards.. Oh well!

Khela - Syrah, repurposed cowhide

Butterfly Clutch - black lambskin

Dovana Bow - Nude, repurposed upholstery cowhide

Closing walk-out:

 Everybody "must" have their picture taken at the media wall - with some help from Pinot Grigio, we did it.
 Eco Fashion World interview - I am yet to hear/ see...
My set-up for the tradeshow.... (Ask me about my neighbours next door...)

So, it was whirlwind of fun - glad I was a part of it; and glad it is finished... 

Posted by Jolanta

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall/ Winter 2011 Cebrellex, our new collection of handbags...

The kitty is out of the bag now - a few days ago I posted the styles of our new Collection, F/W 2011 Cebrellex , on our FB Fan Page.

This is what we have been making since late Spring...

Alex Petit (Oak)

Butterfly Clutch

Dovana, Sans Bow (Aqua)

Dovana, Bow (Nude)

Tasmain (Cocoa)

Reach (Taupe)

Khela (Cigar)

Patrice Has Options (Purple Jacket)

Tack, Brief Duffle (Oak)

Tosca (Cognac)

... and tow carry over styles: Renata
Renata (Poppy)

 and Limited Finish Sarah

Sarah, Light Grey

We will also have a new belt coming soon...

So, there is it - still country, but some new shapes and techniques introduced...

Posted by Jolanta

JK Affairs article about us

JK Affairs, a progressive blog about Fashion, etc. is covering the Vancouver Eco fashion Week.

Jola V. Designs is part of the EFW this year, and we are stoked to get such a great write-up not just about us, but about the entire event, and other fellow eco-brands, that are slowly but surely, educating the industry...

Read the article here.

Posted by Jolanta