ELMA_I call this LADYFIT by this name solely on the story of the adornment.  I purchased this pin from Czech Village Antiques_the vendors are always there to attach the story to the object.  

The flower pin is from the 1930s, worn by a school teacher in Hills, IA named Elma.  This woman had an incredible story behind the pin and the wearer.  It was told through her daughter (vendor in Czech Village).  Female teachers could not marry during the term of their contract.  Elma eloped anyways and feared she would loose her job.  They thought by eloping it wouldn't be printed in the paper, a secretive way around the situation.  However, it was printed in the Des Moines Register.  Her principal found out and allowed it.  Elma was always greatful to her principal.     

Elma worked until she was 85, from school teacher to owner of a corner grocery store on Ellis Blvd. in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Later in her life, the flower pin always sat nicely in her drawer.  Elma's daughter never knew why it just sat there.  It was impressive to hear the description on the colors of pins_Elma's collection of adornments.  Teachers at that time (in a one room school house) could not wear bright colors. 
So Elma's object becomes my object of adornment_2 completely different time periods for women_2 completely different definitions of the object's use.   


Curatorial Goodbye to Winter_Sweaters_MATERIAL USE

Sweaters become a skirt become a scarf become a skirt again.  This single object has changed its use definition since April 2010 (part of Sustainable fashion programming in the Cedar Rapids area_Eco Fest + Solid Waste Agency of Linn County).  I composed this skirt from a pile of sweaters that I was aesthetically drawn to.  I plan to change it again for Spring.

Curatorial Goodbye to Winter

Over the next few weeks, I'm curating LADYFITS as an homage/Goodbye to Winter.  This first composition begins to sum up the themes behind this winter season, definition through dress_ARMOR_LAYERS_PATTERN OF DRESS_MATERIAL USE.

The bottom half of the garment was once a sweater dress that became a skirt (pictured above).  It becomes a composed dress again through the layering of the top half.  I've mentioned before, this fascination with dress becomes something becomes something again_dress becomes body becomes dress.

I did manage to wear this out over the Iowa Winter season_boots + pinned up the hemline as I walked through the snow.  I wore around 5 layers with this: 2 skirts, 3 tops (layered tops not shown).




Probably THE book that inspires me the most regarding this subject matter_folk dress_his personal view on cataloguing_beautiful photography of a people.  Vaclavik states that this book "is not simply a catalogue of facts about exhibits in glass cases."  He spent many years studying and helping revive this impressive art.  This book serves as a survey of materials to create the folk dress_colours + designs_techniques favored by the skillful people behind the embroidery.  

Vaclavik said it best, "This art, therefore, links the remote past with the living present; it is one of the richest and most rewarding areas of European folk achievement."  

I only came upon this book out of a random discovery_researching through the internet to find resources for LADYFITS.  I'm in the beginning stages of my process to create folk dress with thrift resource.  This undertaking will take some time to complete.  The art form of this dress, detailing takes immense amount of time.  So far, it has been a great experience to allow the fast, bustling life I'm in to slow down.....and create.  

Each time I step into the world of this book, I bow to the creators of this folk dress.  I hope that this blog, newsletter and events in Goodwill Thrift stores_all followers be given the creative stimulation that I receive throughout this process. 




WINTER WARRIORS_ARMOR thy self for Winter explores our daily dress for survival.  It is part of our daily ritual to dress for the day’s tasks.  We are cognitive about our choices as well as ritualistic in our dress layers.  ARMOR is our defense against the elements of weather.  It can also serve as our ARMOR of expression.  LADYFITS will explore the ARMOR themes through definition and function_in issues 3-5.


LADYBIRDS first began with my LADYFITS partnership with Goodwill of the Heartland in issue no.2.  

This blog follows my process of inspiration - idea - resource - into the form of textile compositions that I call LADYBIRDS.  I have been fascinated by these birds in New Guinea called Birds of Paradise.  Each bird has it’s own folk and culture as their survival techniques.  These birds express themselves through their own unique dances and by creating beautiful shapes/colors with their adornment of feathers.  It is one of our basic human conditions to communicate to others through our adornments.  The garment compositions serve as our second skin.  We create our own folk through this process as our personal style.   
I wanted to create pieces that could function both as a costume and daily dress.  It is interesting to sway between these two functions because there are no true definitions to either of them.  I used exaggerated shapes in my dress composition to create a bird-like structure.  If needed, it can be broken down into my daily dress by taking away layers.  All of the materials created in this garment are from my closet of thrift resources.  Each piece I used in the LADYBIRDS flock are pieces of garments I wear outside of this context.  This is my design aesthetic funneled into a LADYBIRD folk dress that embodies my expression.    
This LADYBIRD theme will reoccur as the evolution of expression continues.   




LADYFITS ISSUE NO.4 is out on stands in Goodwill thrift store locations around Cedar Rapids + Marion

Currently, I'm working on issue no. 5 to complete the winter series on ARMOR.  The layout will be heavy on image compositions_celebratory end to the winter series and a Hello to Spring.  This issue should be expected on stands in late March.

I will be updating this blog with some exciting dates coming up for events in Cedar Rapids during the month of April.  



Welcome back, LADYFITS!

I have returned to my neglected blog.  

Over the next few weeks, I will be implementing my LADYFITS issues to this blog_while giving new perspectives outside of the newsletters.  It has been a great experience to have an actual newsletter within a Goodwill thrift store.  It encompasses the many reasons I have to connect directly within my community.  I could easily develop an online source for LADYFITS.  However, it means more to me to make a difference within my own community first_building connections at the grass roots level.  I have enjoyed all of the responses and the eagerness for new LADYFITS issues, so thank you to all of the supporters.  There's a lot more to come with this project.    I say this to everyone who stops me in a thrift store, "please do stop me if you have any questions, stories...anything."  I really do enjoy getting to know the thrifters of my community.