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Shutting down

After a good deal of discussion, sharing and number crunching I have decided to pull out of my artistic pursuits as a folk artist. It's not that the desire has changed, I'll probably continue to make things, but perhaps only to satisfy my creative needs. I would go into a long explanation but it's rather pointless, the gist is that the handmade landscape is changing, economic influences are having an impact on the art scene as a whole and not for the better. I basically entered into the folk art market at the worst possible time for Canadians.

I realize that I haven't put forth as much time as other artists, some wait years for their first sale, but I have been working on this "project" for about a year now, and I've seen little to reward my efforts. My shop views are minimal, I average about three shop views a month. I've tried to make contacts in the folk art scene but haven't gotten anywhere with it. Any Canadian folk artists with similar style or interests have unsurprisingly dropped off of Etsy years ago. I literally combed through fifty or so dead accounts of phenomenal artists who made maybe three sales over the course of seven years, and then closed shop, probably for the same reasons that I will. Folk art, it's just not a popular thing in Canada. And even it if were, people would rather buy resin casts copies than originals.

I realize that in order to get noticed on Etsy you're expected to post 50+ listings, but I don't have the finances to invest into that many figurines at once, plus listing fees for all the months they remain unsold begin to accumulate and eventually, even if I waited several years, I'd have spent just as much running the shop as making the items! It's a sob story that many Etsy sellers can identify with. Etsy doesn't care to highlight and boost new sellers, they much prefer shops with a whole assembly of employees and thousands of products.

As a woman with a disability I have to be cautious with any investments I make, I no longer work and I still have student debt and bills to pay. This is an investment that just isn't going to work out and I'm not going fool myself into waiting eight years waiting to see a single sale.

That being said, this blog is toast. I'm going to shut it down completely. The Etsy shop will remain open maybe for another two months, maybe four. Ideally I'd like to get rid of my products but that's probably not going to happen. My Instagram will be switched to private, which is fine because I don't really care about anyone whose not already following me, I have blogging buddies on there which I like to hear from, I probably use Instagram in all the ways that it wasn't intended for lol.

NEWS

I'd also like to note that I'm toying with another fashion sewing blog/Instagram account. Since I've dropped out of work I have a lot of free time on my hands (which drives me a bit crazy) and as a result I am sewing a lot more often. I would like to share my projects. It's my absolute favorite thing to see other people blogging about sewing, I miss that scene, even if some say it's dying. The difference is, unlike my old fashion blog, I really want it to be more about chronicling my sewing this time. I want a stronger direction with more concise posts. Friends who know the old one is still going, it's more just a place to post about costumery now, so this other blog will be different. I'll be under a different screen name. Likewise for the Instagram account.

The Blog: LURID

If you're wondering the direction is still Alt and Goth, but I find so much of my style is changing and becoming more relaxed. Last night I told my husband that I'm probably going to sell off a huge portion of my vintage pattern collection because it's just not me any more - if that interests you I can link you to the shop that they'll be sold in. I would love to have guest post on the blog and make it more community oriented but I recognize that it's not as popular as it once was so it may just act as a sewing diary and mood board sort of thing.

Thanks for all the support and kind words, everyone who has followed this project has been a tremendous help, it made me feel good to know that people believed in me and I am satisfied with it, regardless of how it turned out. I can happily say that I tried, it's always something I wanted to try, and who knows, twenty years from now maybe I'll come back to it.

Love,
Ladyfair

Fairy Costume

Sewing a Fairy Costume

Two years ago, when I still lived in the semi-detached house, I was sewing a fairy costume for Halloween. Some of my old blogging friends might recall that I failed to complete it in time, and that I somehow managed to whip up a Day of the Dead Bride costume in, well, a day! After Halloween ended I tried to complete the costume but lost steam. I was hand sewing tulle onto a skirt lining and couldn't find the energy or motivation to finish it. It's strange but returning to it two years later I found it far easier to tackle(?); the hand sewing took almost no time at all, the tulle wasn't as difficult to handle, the tutu came together perfectly. I'm struggling to figure out what exactly made it so hard to finish in the first place? I guess I'll never know.

The Inspiration

I normally wear black garments with skulls, spiders or bats on them. That's a day in the life of me. I see so many witch and vampire costumes that look exactly like my wardrobe, it's kind of weird. As you can imagine, when Halloween comes around the last thing that I want is to look like I normally do. I'm usually not a fairy princess type of girl, which is what made this costume that much more appealing to me. I can't remember if I was inspired by the ombre tulle, or if it was my Lockshop wig that I bought so many years ago. Regardless, I eventually ended up with a classic fairy costume; a poofy pink tutu skirt, a crushed velvet top, a long periwinkle wig, accessorized with wings, antennae and star shaped wand.

How I made it

I look back at my original concept sketch and I cannot believe that I actually thought I would make the equivalent to a prom dress, two weeks before Halloween. Initially my costume was more reminiscent of the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. I was even working on a very similar crown, but I scrapped the idea when I finally came to my senses. This wasn't going to be a costume that I would revisit very often, I wanted something more practical. This is when I decided that instead of a dress I would make separates; I would make a top out of stretch crushed velvet and a tulle tutu with a satin lining. The benefit of the top is that I can wear it with almost anything, it's just a long sleeve top. Likewise the tutu could be used again in the future, at least as a petticoat for something else.

For the long sleeve top, I drafted a pattern based off of a shirt that I own. This worked out alright, although the shoulder rolls awkwardly so I'll need to revise it some day. I used stretch crushed velvet in a soft pink, which is warm and easy to work with. I definitely wanted to keep warm because I know how cold our Canadian Halloweens can get.

For the tutu, I drafted a circle skirt out of some cheap pink costume satin. I made a back seam of 5/8" where I would place the zipper (about 7" deep). The seam edges were overlocked. Next, I basted the zipper on so I could fit the skirt onto the dress form without using pins. The lining hem was finished with a rolled hem on my overlock. The tulle overlay was created using six layers of tulle rectangles, seamed, gathered and hand basted on. I developed a shortcut for this which is too difficult to describe, so if you're interested just PM me.

I wish I had taken more time to re-evaluate the skirt waistband. It was a rectangle, which works for stretch materials but this was interfaced satin. I should've known better but I guess I was too lazy. It obviously doesn't fit right, waistbands should have a curve to them, but I didn't care enough to correct it, maybe someday I will unpick it and take it in by ½" or more.

The wand was made using a wooden dowel spray painted silver, sandwiched between two star shaped pieces of silver foam sheet. The antennae were made in a similar fashion using foam sheet stars, silver pipe cleaners, and a headband which I covered in silver stretch spandex. I used pink feather boa as an embellishment. The wings were purchased at a dollar store, the elastic was replaced with a prettier glitter elastic that I bought at a fabric shop. I embellished the wings with rhinestones and some additional glitter paint.


Conclusion

I like how it turned out, especially with my wig and pink and purple make up. I wore body glitter which felt so 90's. I had a lot of compliments on my costume although some kids thought I was the tooth fairy?? I handed candy out at my parents' house this year, where my husband and I just scarfed down pizza and watched Hocus Pocus. We had about 30 kids within a two hour time span, it was more than last year but shorter than I expected. I guess perhaps it was too cold? Who knows! Now to work on next year's costume.

Ladyfair