Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pattern Tracing

Since I received the Colette Sewing Book in November, I have been doing some thinking about my closet. I have been considering which clothing is my favorite and why and I also drew a croquis of myself for rendering shapes on my body. It has been very informative.

What I discovered is that my favorite pieces seem to have puffed sleeves, because it balances out the curve in my hips. In fact my very favorite item of clothing is a pink gingham shirt that I've had for years. In an attempt to recreate this shirt, I found the Simplicity pattern 2246.

Simplicity 2246 dress C
I think the bodice could be a close replica of this favorite shirt:
Dr Sketchy's Speakeasy with Lury

It's close, though there is no front or back yoke and the gingham shirt is more of a popover style, like this Jcrew shirt:

One of the suggestions in the book is to trace patterns, rather than cutting them out. It means the pattern stays intact, which if the sizing turns out wrong, means the additional sizes are intact. So that's a plus. Also, the traced pattern is on sturdier paper and will (I think) last longer. Oh and you can slash this paper and make sizing adjustments easier on this than on the tissue included in the pattern.

It took about an hour to get this shite traced, and I wouldn't say it is a fun task, but it is in some ways satisfying. I mean, I know that I'm doing it the right way. And it's hopefully a good investment of my time. A friend said she could help me fit the bodice on Monday if we have time, and I figure that this is a Spring dress (or shirt) and I have plenty of time to work on it and to do it correctly. So this is just a small time investment considering the entire process and hopefully I end up with a pattern that I can make again and again because it fits me well.

pattern tracing
this is what a traced pattern looks like Burlesque goddesses watch over the tracing
my burlesque-y goddesses were watching over me. They say I did a good job.407180_10150662881518662_758103661_11973616_1097695026_n
 Oh yeah, this is what I saw on my bike today. Didn't suck! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Yes, I was tempted by the above photo on the Kit Kraft site, but no I didn't go all the way there. 

Bedazzle 2
I just enhanced the collar. See?

Bedazzle 1_1

Monday, December 26, 2011

Goodbye 11, Hello 12

Hello 2012, I'm excited about you.

I like to write out my goals every year in a small special book. Every 4 months or so, I try to get back to it, review my goals and see where I am. I try to write down the things that I have accomplished during that time and acknowledge that I'm doing well or be easy with myself if times are tough.

I did this a time or two on the blog, and I'm trying again this year. It's been a big year for a lot of things, both good and bad. And because I am complicated, everything always feels complicated. And I have many interests, so there you go. There's my blog title.

I read a lot of blogs and I'm still working out what exactly I am doing here. This blog is not about one thing, and that may be weird. Most bloggers tend to stick to one subject. The categories that I tend to read the most in Google Reader are Art, bike, fashion (includes a lot of sewing blogs) or blogs that are local to San Francisco. And my blog tends to incorporate all those things. I guess it's cool. I like what I do, I have no idea whether people are interested in it, but I like to write and share so I think I'm going to keep doing this.

I have a list of accomplishments from 2011 in the relationship, art, bike and OMG now sewing categories!
• Moved into a fabulous new apartment with Handsome Bill
• Acquired a road/distance bike: the Box Dog Bike Pelican, (which has what I considered at the time 'grown up' (drop) handlebars)
• On the before-mentioned bike I: completed the Western Wheelers Sequoia Century in June (20 miles), the Marin Century 100K (60 miles) in August, and about half (40 miles) of the SF Randonneurs' Populaire in October. Unfortunately this ride came during a crazy busy time at work and I was exhausted so I'm proud of myself for giving it a good effort. My artwork ended up on the poster, thanks to Ely .

Populaire poster

• I conquered Mt St. Page, and never looked back at the Wiggle Mt St. Page
• Started the bike camping mods on the Rivendell
Painted some Timbuk2 bags for Winterfest
• Produced 20, that's right twenty, Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School events including Comic Book Babes, Cute Girls (this time with dudes) on Bicycles, Summer in the City, and Girl-Girl Boy-Boy Tango
• Filled lots of sketchbooks
Pelican #310.22 Vivian de Milo 2FUGU
• Published a book with Johnny Crash
• I made my first Fall palette challenge, inspired by Colette Patterns:
Colette Patterns Fall 2011 Sewing challenge
• Then I made thisthis and this. It is great to see the inspiration and the results.
• Went to France, Viva Las Vegas, South Carolina to see my folks' new home, Los Angeles, and Japan
• Decided my varied interests weren't represented well enough with my old website, and decided to start writing on this blog again. Eventually pointed my domain name here!

I have a few goals for 2012:

• Ride 100 miles in one day
• Finish the Rivendell bike camping mods so that I can go bike camping!
• Complete more SF Randonneurs' rides, including both Populaires
• Commit to weekly rides, perhaps with these ladies
• Encourage more folks at my office to fill up our bike racks (ride to work)
• Perhaps start a casual bike learning/workshop/weekly ride at my office
• I'm curious about fixed and single speed bicycles
• Sew. Make dresses, pants, shirts
• Reorg my studio to better accommodate sewing and fabric storage
• Create events based on long standing ideas at Dr Sketchy's. So. many. ideas!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Announcing our book!

Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School: San Francisco



I am so very pleased to present our book! It contains 40 pages filled with Johnny Crash's signature photos of the finest Dr Sketchy's SF moments from the past year. 
- Alice Stribling

Order the iPad, iPhone version for $8.99.  
Order the Printed Book for $39.95.

To order and see a preview, click on the link below:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Red flirty skirt: almost effing done

I was attracted to this red for my Colette Patterns Fall palette challenge:

skirt is almost finished

I thought it was a cotton stretch twill and I was going to try to make pants with it, but I think it was misfiled in the store and must be a synthetic. Since it was not super high quality, I made a quick pattern rather than spend a lot of time on it.


I was sick this weekend, so the Ginger received some attention. This was my first attempt at lining. Both the color and the lining rock and I'm excited to get this lady done. I'm practicing the Catchstich and hemming this by hand though, so it's slow going.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Summering in the south of France with Diane Olivier doesn't suck

For the last four years, I've spent two weeks of June in the south of France drawing landscapes every day. Let me expand on what happens on a daily basis: drawing landscapes, stuffing my face with goat cheese and swimming.

While it sounds 'rough', actually we do work really hard and I usually have about 20 pastels to show for my efforts.

I'm starting to design Diane's 2012 website and I'm going through photos like these:

Dirty girl Alice
Terry Ludwig Intense dark set II. All over me.
Alice, ready for market
Market day
My setup_1
This is what my setup looks like
Rice Fields
One of my favorite drawings from last year
This is a wonderful drawing spot!
The spot where I drew that drarrrring
I am enjoying the olives
Rosé, cheese and dead olive soldiers.
the French whip is very twitchy
Oh and here is one for the bikey folk: my French whip. Our morning routine involves a 6am ride for croissants...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What's on my sewing/craft table

I have the urge to sew today. I plan on starting on a red twill skirt: either a modified Colette pattern from their rad sewing book or another Ginger.

Craft table

Colette Skirts and red twill

I don't think the scalloped edge on the Meringue is really me, so I would remove it. Having sewn the Ginger pattern before, this could yield a skirt in a couple of hours, so that might be the answer for a quick sewing fix. We'll see. I'm going to take a trip to Discount fabrics (why is this the only fabric store open on Sundays in SF???) for some lining fabric and then make some decisions.

Colette Peony dress

I also want to try to acquire something tasty for the Peony dress above. After reading about  Lladybird's floral and plaid versions, I had to try this pattern for myself.

Navy blue merino cowl

Sewaholic's post about her top 5 favorite items of clothing inspired this cowl. San Francisco is so chilly right now, more scarves are absolutely necessary. Cowls are perfect on the bike and bikey folk know how great merino is at regulating temperature. I love this color, it's a neutral and yet rich dark navy. I think it will also serve as a go-to piece for me this Winter.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dr Sketchy's SF projects

My posts have been very bikey lately, and here is the part where I switch gears and talk about my complicated interests. I recently took down my web site because I felt it was unable to represent all the things that I love in life.

I instead started writing on my bloggy blog and then redirected my domain here so that I can feature all of my interests obsessions. Directing Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School in San Francisco is one of those many and varied interests that I enjoy!

December is challenging for our little event. People are busy, 111 Minna Gallery  has a lot of holiday parties on their calendar and often people start traveling towards the end of the month. We took the month off so that we have a moment to relax and plan for January.

Our previous shebang-a-bang was in November, and we had the lovely San Francisco burlesque performer and producer, Bunny Pistol model for us:

11.15.11 Bunny 7
I liked how my drawings turned out.

While I made it big in Japan, Diane and Prudence took over for the Amazing Transforming Woman: Half Animal Half Human event.

SketchysSF - TransformingWoman-25

SketchysSF - TransformingWoman-86

This month Johnny Crash and I are working on a photo book! It will chronicle the last year of his stunning photos from Dr Sketchy's. We are hoping to get it published (on Blurb) in time for people to order for the holidays.

Johnny put together some amazing shots from the last year and I keep saying it will be nice to show my Mom, as she has absolutely no idea what Dr Sketchy's is about. Excitement!

Stay tuned for news on the book. And if you would like to come draw with us, sign up for the email mailing list, blog or Facebook to find out January dates.

Ladies and gentlemen, you want these!

What Katie Did Sponsorship goodies for Dr Sketchy's SF

The sponsorship goodies are arriving for 2012. Retro seamed stockings and 10% off orders from What Katie Did. I know I should find more to say about this than it doesn't suck, but oh man it so doesn't. These prizes rock.

Oh and in the Steve Jobs biography, they just announced the iPad. At first no on knew what the hell to make of it. It's a big phone, so what. But once the thing got on the shelves people went nuts for it. Wozniak stood in line all night and was at the store on his Segway.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Winterfest recap

The Timbuk2 canvas messengers were finished in time for Winterfest, yay! I put the finishing touches on the bags Sunday, heat set the paint for added durability and delivered them around 6pm.
bag display  
The display looked really nice. Winner of the maple leaf bag
One happy winner! 
Phillip, winner of the bikey bag
And another happy winner!

This was a really fun experience and I hope to do more projects like this in the future.

Winterfest was a good time. I bid on a gift certificate to the Alembic and a Bi-Rite package, which included a certificate to the store and the book that they just published, "Eat Good Food". I'm intrigued by this book, they are very interested in supporting local farmers and it is supposed to include tips and recipes to help one shop within the season.

I didn't win anything, oh well.
Harvey Milk on a bicycle
This was a pretty rad painting of Mr. Milk.

And I'm marginally grateful that this little hotty is too big for me:
Good thing this hotty is too big for me...
I could totally see myself having a good time on this little Mikado donated by Citizen Chain. Subtle sparkly red paint, fenders, 70s styling...what's not to love??

Friday, December 02, 2011

Timbuk2 bags for Winterfest

This has been quite an exciting week. A friend of mine called with a cool proposition for painting Timbuk2 messenger bags for the SF Bike Coalition fundraiser (Winterfest) this Sunday.

After a couple of conversations with my best art resource, Diane Olivier, I decided that fabric markers are the best option for materials. Acrylic paint was ruled out because it is plastic and will crack once this bag is really put to use. And the bags are made of canvas, so oil paint is an option, but a layer of gesso is necessary to prime the surface and to keep the oil from eating away at the material. Fabric Markers will hold up to abuse, the color is bright and they are even washable.


I did some tests and played around with some options. I was very pleased that I could use a waterbrush to get some watercolor shading effects. I was a little concerned that adding water would compromise the permanence, but once the test dried I couldn't pick the color up again with the water brush.

With all the testing complete, I jumped right in and drew a bikey one. Handlebars, with lugs! Here are some progress shots.

Bag blue
Front panel.
bag blue open

maple leaves bag
The second bag is inspired by my trip to Japan. The leaves will be varying shades of red, orange and yellow. There is a tiny red maple leaf sitting on my sketchbook for reference!

If you like these, come to Winterfest on Sunday and bid on them. Profits go to the SF Bike Coalition and to bikey improvements all over the city. I want my Amsterdam bike lanes, damnit. I also want bullet trains, but that's a whole other blog posting.