The (Unsuccessful) Navy Leather & Cashmere Notre Dame Inspired Winter Coat for “Croc”

Thank you Tess & Gigi for tak­ing these pho­tos on our walk last week. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Anastassia

Navy Cashmere leather long collared winter coat anagrassia quilted lining

I always knew “Croc” would remain one of my best friends after col­lege. She used to share her crois­sant ends with me at Star­bucks dur­ing our fresh­man year at Notre Dame. Yes, you heard me right — “crois­sant ends.”

Almost every Tues­day and Thurs­day before our His­tory class together, we used to grab Star­bucks cof­fee and crois­sants at the “Hud­dle” on cam­pus. Not only would she share her study notes, stress, and gos­sip with me, she always offered me the greasy ends of her crois­sant, which she knew I loved!

After fresh­man year, I did the unex­pected and trans­ferred to a rival school. Despite this, Croc, a die-hard Notre Dame fan, con­tin­ued to be one of my best friends. Because of her unwa­ver­ing sup­port and loy­alty, I credit much of my recent suc­cess (and fresh­man lbs…just kid­ding) to her. As a token of my appre­ci­a­tion, I’ve been schem­ing with her brother about mak­ing her a custom-made garment.

Orig­i­nally, I planned on mak­ing her a dress. But ulti­mately I decided that with­out her exact mea­sure­ments, a coat would be bet­ter (and likely worn more often).

Dur­ing a recent shop­ping trip to Fish­man Fab­rics in Chicago, I found 2 yards of navy cash­mere. Even though the cash­mere was softer than most coat­ing fab­rics, it was really beau­ti­ful and I knew I could make a cash­mere leather coat you wouldn’t find at your aver­age depart­ment store. I also knew the navy color would be a per­fect fit for a her, a die-hard Notre Dame fan.

 Navy Cashmere leather long collared winter coat anagrassia quilted lining

It took me a cou­ple weeks to nail down her coat design. At first, I almost chose a col­lar­less coat pat­tern. But I ulti­mately decided that the coat would be warmer with a small collar.

Read More →

Sewing with Silks Webinar on Burdastyle

how to sew, preshrink, wash and cut silk burdastyle webinar

Sign-up for the webi­nar I’m giv­ing on Bur­dastyle this Thurs­day!

Sewing with Silks

how to sew, preshrink, wash and cut silk burdastyle webinar

This webi­nar is for begin­ners and inter­me­di­ate sew­ers. (But if you’re an expe­ri­enced seam­stress, you might learn a cou­ple new tricks.) 

If you strug­gle with get­ting your ten­sion right on your machine (both domes­tic and indus­trial machines), this is the course for you too! 

 

Course Descrip­tion:

Do you have piles of silk build­ing up in your fab­ric stash? Are you unsure how to begin work­ing with this beau­ti­ful and use­ful fab­ric? Would you like to cre­ate the ele­gant cloth­ing you have only dreamed about? If so, this course is for you.

After an intro­duc­tion to silks in gen­eral we will also learn their dif­fer­ences and how to care for each of them. Most impor­tantly we will learn some tricks to sewing and cut­ting it suc­cess­fully. Finally, we will also learn how to shop for more!

This web sem­i­nar will leave you with a greater appre­ci­a­tion for this clas­sic fab­ric, and the knowl­edge to begin work­ing with it.

What you’ll learn:

Properties/Important Char­ac­ter­is­tics of Silk
Types of Silks
Care of Silk (Preshrink­ing and Clean­ing)
Cut­ting Silk
Sewing Silk (Choos­ing your thread, using the right nee­dles, using the right pins, choos­ing your inter­fac­ing, sewing with the cor­rect ten­sion, fin­ish­ing silk edges, tips on a beau­ti­ful rolled hem, choos­ing the right pat­terns for silk and more!)

SIGN-UP HERE TODAY!

Champagne Satin and Tulle Adult Bridal Skirt

Here’s one of my new tulle skirt designs for teens and adults.

It’s a fully lined cham­pagne satin skirt with over­lay­ing cham­pagne tulle layers.

The back invis­i­ble zip­per and hook & eye makes this tulle skirt eas­ier to get in and out.

Shop Cham­pagne Skirt here

Ivory skirt and more designs com­ing soon!

Champagne Ivory Tulle Satin Adult Bridesmaid Bridal Skirt for Wedding

Champagne Ivory Tulle Satin Adult Bridesmaid Bridal Skirt for Wedding

Champagne Ivory Tulle Satin Adult Bridesmaid Bridal Skirt for Wedding

Read More →

Silk Tulle Wedding Veil & Choosing Your Wedding Veil Fabric

Handmade Firm Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace Cathedral length blusher 1- teir

I was recently com­mis­sioned to make a wed­ding veil.

Prior to this order, I didn’t know very much about veils and I cer­tainly didn’t real­ize there were so many options and design pos­si­bil­i­ties. (It is so involved that you may want to decide upon a veil style and fab­ric before you buy or design your dress!)

 

Let’s dis­cuss the options available!

 __________________

ILLUSION TULLE

Handmade 10 Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace

The inex­pen­sive veils are made with illu­sion tulle. This tulle is 100% nylon and found at your aver­age retail fab­ric store. This tulle is either firm or soft (but not as soft as chif­fon or soft silk tulle). The firmer the tulle, the more loft in the tulle. Illu­sion tulle is offered in shiny or matte.

________________________

NETTING

English French Netting Long Cathedral length Wedding Veil White with lace

Net­ting is another bridal veil option. There are dif­fer­ent kinds of net­ting, but you will usu­ally see the softer net­ting for the longer veils and the firm French/Russian net­ting for the bird­cage veils. Net­ting fab­ric is weaved with thicker poly­ester threads into a geo­met­ric dia­mond pattern.

Below you can see my sister’s wed­ding veil, which was made with net­ting fabric.

While net­ting is not as pretty as silk tulle, it pho­tographs very nicely!

English French Netting Long Cathedral length Wedding Veil White with lace

___________________

SILK TULLE

Handmade Soft Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace

Soft Silk Tulle

The most expen­sive veils are made with silk tulle. Silk tulle is made with 100% silk and is ABSOLUTELY beau­ti­ful! The retail price for silk tulle is between $60– $120 per yard. Silk tulle can either be firm or soft. Soft silk tulle is heav­ier and drapes like a silk chif­fon, while firm silk tulle is stiffer and drapes like illu­sion tulle. Kate Mid­dle­ton’s wed­ding veil was made with soft silk tulle.

Kate Middleton Silk Tulle Veil

Kate Mid­dle­ton Silk Tulle Veil

Handmade Soft Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace Cathedral Length blusher

Soft Silk Tulle

Handmade Soft Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace Cathedral Length blusher

Soft Silk Tulle

At first, I bought soft silk tulle for my com­mis­sioned veil. But unfor­tu­nately after test­ing the soft silk tulle design with the bride’s desired veil design, the soft silk tulle did not work out as I had hoped. (A cathe­dral length silk tulle veil made with soft silk tulle does not lay or stay flat like firm silk tulle.)

Then after some fran­tic search­ing and phone calls, I found some beau­ti­ful firm silk tulle! As you can see below, it drapes a lot like illu­sion tulle. (But silk tulle is much, much, much pret­tier than illu­sion tulle.)

______________

Below is the final veil design of the com­mis­sioned veil.

The veil was made with ivory col­ored firm silk tulle and ivory lace attached to a metal comb. It’s about 108” in length and 72” wide. The entire veil was hand stitched (includ­ing the lace appliqué/trim).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Handmade 5 Silk Tulle Anagrassia Wedding Veil Ivory and Lace

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Con­tact me if you would like me to make you a (soft or firm) silk tulle veil for your wedding!


250x250 Halloween Place Sale - Ends on October 8th

Fashion Tips & Tricks For This Season August 2014

Another Ana­gras­sia arti­cle in the August 2014 issue of Sassy Magazine!

Sassy Magazine Michiana August 2014 Fashion Tips and Tricks For This Season Anagrassia

Read the arti­cle on Sassy’s web­site  here

Sassy Magazine Michiana August 2014 Fashion Tips and Tricks For This Season Anagrassia

Gigi’s Baptism Part 2: My Sister’s Button Down Burdastyle Dress

Part 1 here

Burdastyle 6 Dress #116 2 2014 116 Glay Silver Paisley fabric Button Down Belted Dress for Baptism

My sister’s dress for the bap­tism was lit­er­ally a last minute project. My sis­ter came over last week­end, flipped through Bur­dastyle cat­a­logs, chose a dress design, dug out fab­ric from my stash, and showed me what she wanted. (How­ever, I highly rec­om­mended this pat­tern. I’ve wanted to make this dress since I first saw it in the Bur­dastyle cat­a­log in Feb­ru­ary.)

Burdastyle 6 Dress #116 2 2014 116 Glay Silver Paisley fabric Button Down Belted Dress for Baptism

Since my sister’s body is still chang­ing after her preg­nancy, I wasn’t really sure what size to make it. I didn’t have time to make a muslin mock-up, so I trusted the siz­ing charts and the mea­sure­ments we took, and chose to make her size 44.

My sis­ter had only one fit­ting, which was the night before the Bap­tism. Unfor­tu­nately, size 44 was pretty big on her, eeek! My sis­ter told me to not worry about her dress and to get some sleep, but I refused and was deter­mined to make the nec­es­sary alter­ations. Luck­ily I hadn’t yet applied the but­ton­holes and but­tons, so it was eas­ier. It was a late night of sewing, but luck­ily I fin­ished it.

Burdastyle 5 Dress #116 2 2014  116 Glay Silver Paisley fabric Button Down Belted Dress for Baptism

My sis­ter orig­i­nally planned on using antique but­tons for the back of her dress, but was unable to find some in time. Even­tu­ally, she plans on switch­ing out these gold but­tons with 1” antique buttons.

Read More →

Gigi’s Baptism Part 1: Marusya’s Red and Black Floral Ukrainian Inspired Long Crop Top Dress

Gigi Baptism Red and Black Floral dress pleated and long crop top

St. Michael’s Ukrain­ian Catholic Church is a very spe­cial place for my fam­ily. A lit­tle less than a year ago, my sis­ter and brother-in-law were mar­ried there. Then just this past week, my niece, Gigi, was bap­tized in St. Michael’s. The bap­tism was very nice and extremely special.

Red 34 rose floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 copy

Since Bap­tism is the most impor­tant day in one’s life, I though it appro­pri­ate that I make dresses (and a one­sie) for the cer­e­mony and reception.

Gigi wore the bap­tismal gown passed down through the fam­ily, which was sewn by my babcha. It was a beau­ti­ful gown! My babcha did all the (pink) hand stitch­ing on it as well. (Which reminds me….I’m com­ing out with bap­tismal gowns! They should be avail­able for sale later this fall.)

 Lace Hand stitched white ivory with pink embroiery baptismal gown

___________________________

Gigi Baptism Red and Black Floral dress pleated and long crop top

I absolutely adored the dress I made for myself to wear for Gigi’s baptism.

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Last win­ter I made a shorter (and vel­vet) ver­sion of this dress, (see dress here). Unfor­tu­nately, the vel­vet mate­r­ial of the first dress made it dif­fi­cult to see all the details and pleats of the dress. I swore then that I would make this dress design again (before it goes out of style). I was so busy this spring that I never got around to it. But once I was asked to be Gigi’s god­mother, I knew I had to do it.

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

I changed the orig­i­nal pat­tern in a few places. First, I made the skirt of the dress fuller than the orig­i­nal dress pat­tern. (The orig­i­nal pat­tern had the hem taper in.) I spent lots of money on this beau­ti­ful flo­ral fab­ric and I wanted to use as much of the flo­ral pat­tern as I could. Sec­ond, I made the straps slightly thin­ner than the orig­i­nal pat­tern. And lastly, I made the bot­tom bodice layer a stretch cream knit fab­ric. (This made the dress more com­fort­able and easy to wear!)

Gigi Baptism Red and Black Floral dress pleated and long crop top

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Gigi Baptism Red and Black Floral dress pleated and long crop top

BFFs: Gigi and Cha Cha Mimi

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

 

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Silk Cot­ton Pockets

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Red 12 rose floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Red 11 rose floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Lots of handstitching!!!

I made a white silk slip to wear under this dress! I will write some­thing about it in a later post.

Red 13 rose floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014

Before the hook and eye was sewn in

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Red rose and black floral print colorful fabric crop top dress and pleated skirt Marusya baptism August 2014 Ukrainian Sewing

Before the hem

 

THANKS FOR READING :)

PART 2 WILL BE POSTED TOMORROW!

Article Published in Sassy Magazine: Organic Approach to your Style

Organic approach to your style Sassy Magazine

Check out the Ana­gras­sia arti­cle in Sassy Mag­a­zine! Read more on Sassy’s web­site: Organic Approach to Your Style

Organic approach to your style Sassy Magazine

Make your old trousers more mod­ern by adding leather welt pockets!

Organic approach to your style Sassy Magazine

 

Don’t for­get to shop Craftsy classes today! 50% off sale going on today!!

Craftsy

Lisa’s Blush Silk Wool Wedding Rehearsal Dress

How many times have you gone shop­ping for that spe­cial dress and instead of find­ing the per­fect dress, you find mul­ti­ple dresses wish­ing you could blend them all into one.
Meet Lisa (then) bride-to-be that faced this dilemma.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

 When we met in May, she brought over sev­eral white dresses. Each dress had a fea­ture she wanted, such as fab­ric, gath­ered skirt, skirt length, etc. But none of them were quite what she was look­ing for. Lisa wasn’t look­ing for any­thing over the top. In fact, her design was quite sim­ple. She wanted a fit­ted bodice, gath­ered skirt, and mod­est neck­line and hem. And as strange as it might seem, it’s tough to find these sim­ple & chic dresses made with fine fab­rics in stores.

We pro­ceeded to design the dress and choose the fabric!

silk wool fabric samples light blue pink ivory blush

I likely over­whelmed Lisa when I eagerly showed her all my fab­ric swatches and samples! :)

After dis­cussing the dif­fer­ent options, Lisa chose a blush silk & wool fab­ric. This fab­ric was an expen­sive choice, but oh so beautiful!

It is spe­cial to order a custom-made gar­ment for one’s self, but it is even more unique when it’s sewn with beau­ti­ful fab­rics. (Fab­rics rarely found in retail stores.) So when I’m mak­ing a custom-made gar­ment, I sug­gest that the cus­tomer opt for the unusual.

Here is an exam­ple of how much blush silk & wool dresses cost off the rack:  March­esa dress and  Lela Rose dress.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress lined with silk

Lisa’s Final Draft

Craftsy

From the mea­sure­ments I took of Lisa dur­ing our first meet­ing, I cre­ated a cus­tom (self drafted) dress pattern.

Below is a photo of her first (and only) muslin mock-up. The mock-up fit well, but we chose to make some adjust­ments. I took in the under bust at the front darts, moved the shoul­der seams for­ward, straight­ened the side seams, marked the neck­line (front and back), and loos­ened the armholes.

how to do a dress mock-up out of muslin

Orig­i­nally, I was not going to line the skirt. (One of the rea­sons why Lisa chose the silk/wool was that the skirt wouldn’t need lin­ing.) After sewing and gath­er­ing the skirt piece, I wrapped the skirt around my waist to see how the gath­er­ing looked. As I did this, I could see the dark­ened side seams when the sun shined through the skirt. The skirt wasn’t trans­par­ent, but it was light enough to see the seam edges. This doesn’t ‘seam’ (pun intended) like a big deal, but it is if it’s dis­tract­ing. (And it was dis­tract­ing to me!) As a result, I serged the skirt seams and lined the skirt with a silk/cotton fabric.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

I lined the top with the blush silk & wool fab­ric and a cream-colored silk charmeuse.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

Lisa asked if I would add extra fab­ric to the side seams, back seams, and hem, so that she could make adjust­ments to the dress if her sis­ter wanted to wear the dress in the future.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

Again, I pulled out the but­ton stash my friend gave me! This time I searched for the right but­ton for the back of Lisa’s dress.

We ended up choos­ing a sim­ple pearl button.

Blush Silk wool wedding rehearsal dinner dress Charmeuse Lining

Read More →

Silk Blouse with Alencon Lace Applique & Flower Girl Dresses

silk lace top flower girl dress white lace leotard and tulle champagne skirt

One of the ben­e­fits of sell­ing on the web is reach­ing peo­ple worldwide!

I was recently con­tacted by a bride in Aus­tralia about mak­ing flower girl dresses for her July (win­ter) wed­ding. Instead of a Chan­tilly lace for the leo­tards, she chose the alen­con lace I had in stock. As beau­ti­ful as the lace was, I had never used the lace and was appre­hen­sive about cut­ting and design­ing the first leo­tard. But for­tu­nately, the lace worked really well. I was pleas­antly sur­prised by how much I loved the alen­con lace and how beau­ti­ful the leo­tards turned out. In fact, so did oth­ers because shortly after post­ing a photo of the alen­con leo­tard online, I sold out the rest of the lace!

Alencon lace leotard mehri

In the process of design­ing the flower girl dresses, the bride wanted to incor­po­rate some of the alen­con lace into a gar­ment for her­self. Due to dis­tance and the cost of ship­ping mock-ups, we decided that a loose fit­ting sim­ple v-neck silk top would be the best gar­ment to make.

The top doesn’t have darts, but she may find a seam­stress there to dart the top for her. Since the silk charmeuse was very unfor­giv­ing when pinned or stitched, I was afraid to dart the top with­out fit­ting the top on her first and mak­ing a mis­take on the size and place­ment of the darts.

alencon lace and silk charmeuse cream white top blouse

alencon lace and silk charmeuse cream white top blouse

alencon lace and silk charmeuse cream white top blouse

I used lace bind­ing to fin­ish the hem and sleeves. The lace bind­ing added a nice detail to the blouse, but it made the sleeves hang oddly and move stiffly. Ulti­mately, I decided to remove the lace bind­ing in the sleeves and fin­ish them by hand.

alencon lace and silk charmeuse cream white top blouse

Read More →

Michael’s Pink and Gray Formal Vest for Graduation & Birthday

“Thanks to the girls in his life, this dash­ing young man looked sharp for his 8th grade graduation!”

 Pink Gray Men's formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

I love menswear! When I was approached to make my brother’s grad­u­a­tion vest, I was more than happy to accept the ‘order!’ My brother is pretty thick for his age so it’s hard enough for him to find clothes that fit, let alone clothes that fit & are fash­ion­able. For­tu­nately, he has a sis­ter who can help him out!

Pink Gray Men's formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

Last fit­ting before the buttons

I used Kwik Sew’s Vest Pat­tern K2860. (I’m lucky that he’s still small enough for me to use com­mer­cial pat­terns for him. The other boys in my fam­ily are too big for com­mer­cial pat­terns!) This pat­tern was true to size and I was very happy with the results.

Pink Gray Mens formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

I used metal­lic poly­ester fab­ric and gray taffeta for the vest. I HATED work­ing with this fab­ric! I’m not a fan of using woven polyester.

But he was going to wear this vest once (maybe twice), so we chose inex­pen­sive fab­ric. Both the gray and pink pais­ley fab­rics unrav­eled and stretched eas­ily. This fab­ric was dif­fi­cult & frus­trat­ing to press and sew welt pockets.

 Pink Gray Men's formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

I recently received a stash of but­tons from a friend. The but­ton stash has some really cool but­tons for men’s jack­ets; crowns, eagles, lib­erty bells, lions, etc. My brother is extremely patri­otic and loves civil war & com­bat stories/movies, so he ulti­mately chose the lib­erty bell but­tons for his vest (and jacket).

Pink Gray Men's formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

Pink Gray Mens formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

Pink Gray Men's formal Vest with Pockets for Wedding Graduation

Black & Red Floral Bustier Bathing Suit

Fol­low Marusya Marusya on Twit­ter @theanagrassia or Insta­gram @marusyagrace to see WIP* photos.
*Work In Progress

black, red, floral, vintage, bustier, bathing, swimsuit, boning, summer, marusya

Here’s my sec­ond vin­tage inspired swim­suit. (View my first bustier bathing suit top here.) It’s another boned bustier top made with a polyester/rayon fabric.

I recently tested my first bustier swim­suit in sun, water & chlo­rine. The top worked really well in all those con­di­tions. It didn’t fuss, fade, or stretch out.  :)

Retro Vintage boned bustier floral swim suit Marusya Anagrassia

This was the orig­i­nal design drawn by a girl I babysit for. Read more about it here.

black 9 red floral vintage bustier swim suit with boning marusya

This swim­suit top is for my sis­ter. She’s expect­ing her first baby soon, so her size is fluc­tu­at­ing and it’s hard to pre­dict what size she’ll be this spring or sum­mer. As a result, I made some changes to my bustier design.

First, I made the bustier 2 sizes big­ger than the orig­i­nal top.

Sec­ond, I made the straps adjustable by adding plas­tic S hooks and rings. I wasn’t able to take any of her mea­sure­ments or make a mock-up ahead of time. Con­se­quently, I had to go back and shorten the shoul­der straps because the first straps were WAY too long! (The S hooks landed on the top of the shoulders…oops!)

Third, I changed the back band to a tie back. I love it and it’s really cute! How­ever, the fab­ric is thick and I’m wor­ried about how tight it can be tied. She hasn’t tested the top in the water yet, but I might change part of the back band & tie piece to a black polyester/lycra fabric.

black red floral vintage bustier swimsuit with boning marusya

Read More →

Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

Easter is just around the cor­ner! This is the time of year when you will find most Ukraini­ans hunched over their fresh eggs, wax, can­dles, kistkas, and dyes mak­ing their intri­cate Easter eggs. Ukraini­ans call these eggs Pysanky.

Cre­at­ing these lit­tle works of art requires a lot of time and PATIENCE. Not only are there mul­ti­ple steps to be taken for each egg, but you can’t erase a mis­take and go back­wards — and there are mil­lions of ways to crack your egg in the process! Because of this, I’m one of the few Ukraini­ans who rarely par­tic­i­pates in this annual under­tak­ing. It doesn’t mat­ter how slow or how care­ful I am, my eggs always break! Even the ones that make it all the way to the var­nish­ing stage get smashed or dropped by me or some­one else.

It’s too bad that I can’t sit down long enough to make Pysanky because it’s fun to go back and see everyone’s eggs over the years. Each has their own style! For exam­ple, my sis­ter Lesya’s eggs are really cool and unique, while my aunt’s eggs are very intri­cate and tra­di­tional. Just recently my mom pulled out some of my Babcha’s eggs that were 20–30 years old!

Here is a short video one of my sis­ters cre­ated a LONG time ago!  Rather than me explain­ing every step, watch the video :)

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

Start with a fresh egg. Either boiled or raw (later blown). Lightly pen­cil guid­ing lines. Use Kistka to apply wax.

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

Start with light­est dyes

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

Add more designs for each color using the wax and kistka

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

colorful ukrainian Easter Eggs pysanky marusya marusya

The eggs are fin­ished after you melt off the wax and var­nish the eggs.

Craftsy

Easter Dress 2014: Mad Men, Retro & Babcha Inspired

Floral strapless beige bolero easter dress marusya

 A Few Notes About the Video

Before I begin shar­ing my project, I want say thank you to my old friend from Notre Dame friend, Pat McKillen. He gave me per­mis­sion to use his song Found for my video. Even though it’s one of his older songs, it’s still one of my favorites as it seems to cap­ture my jour­ney over the years. Some of my other favorites include: Carry On Car­o­line, Cover Time After Time, and Cover Gal­way Girl.

Even though I am still devel­op­ing my tal­ents as a video­g­ra­pher, I filmed all the clips for this video. Ditto for my sketch­ing skills, (My sis­ter is giv­ing me lessons!) I’m a lit­tle embar­rassed to even post it, but I did want to share it. Please remem­ber that it is a very rough sketch.

It’s been a year since my babcha (grand­mother) passed away.

One would guess that my daily life wouldn’t have been affected so much liv­ing so far away from her. I was not one of her devoted care­tak­ers. Nev­er­the­less my life has changed quite a bit.  In all aspects of my life, I have seen my hard work pay off and show results. Coin­ci­dence? I think not. I have no doubt that Babcha has lent a hand in some way.

With Ash Wednes­day, it was time for me to start my annual Easter dress. There was no ques­tion that Babcha was my inspi­ra­tion – but with an unusual twist.  This year I’m  incor­po­rat­ing Mad Men fash­ion to the dress, and par­tic­i­pat­ing in Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Chal­lenge. (I don’t watch Mad Men, but the out­fits inspired me!)

Craftsy

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Long Floral Jacket with Genuine Leather Details & Pockets

Think Spring  Even Though It’s Winter

I made this spring flo­ral jacket while cooped up dur­ing last week’s bliz­zard. The space heater, fin­ger­less gloves, hot choco­late, and fleece socks kept me warm in the –14 degrees!

Con­tact me if you want a spring jacket for your­self (you can pick the fab­ric)!

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Colorful Floral Cotton Jacket trench coat genuine leather cuffs marusya

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You may win a cus­tom gar­ment & be fea­tured in a future post!



Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, sewing blog, genuine leather cuffs

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, genuine leather cuffs

Blue Cot­ton Lining

Craftsy

Colorful Floral Cotton Jacket trench coat genuine leather cuffs marusya

Before but­tons and buttonholes

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, genuine leather cuffs

But­ton­hole

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, sewing blog, genuine leather cuffs

Leather strips at the waist

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, sewing blog, genuine leather cuffs

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, sewing blog, genuine leather cuffs

These but­tons are from the my stash of but­tons my friend gave me! Thanks M!

Colorful, Floral, Cotton, Jacket, trench coat, marusya, anagrassia, genuine leather cuffs

Gen­uine leather around the cuffs

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Roots of My Artistry & Passing on Tradition and Memories Through Handmade Clothing

Ukrainian embroidered dress Marusya Russian babcha charcoal grey

 Clothes really are worth pass­ing on. Cer­tain pieces are made to last and are impor­tant ele­ments of the sto­ries that tell the his­tory of a love, a fam­ily, and how things came to be the way they are.

That hideous fur coat? It shows the streak of reck­less ele­gance that runs in the fam­ily, just as those pointed leather cow­boy boots do, worn for generations…

First Ukrainian Dress I made in honor of my grandmother is here

Ukrainian embroidered dress Marusya Russian babcha charcoal grey

But then some things are born, intro­duced––my sis­ter now has a wed­ding dress, two pieces that are part of her new fam­ily his­tory. It tells a story, one that includes so much about her life & love, the things impor­tant to her and the details of the way her wed­ding came about and was cel­e­brated. Clothes are a way of pre­serv­ing and keep­ing tradition. 

lace overlay wedding gown Marusya Marusya floral ukrianain

Work­ing on my sister’s wed­ding skirt and blouse

Clothes also give honor––we honor our­selves (in the right kind of way!) when we dress nice for events that call for respect. We spend more money on things deserved, prop­erly earned and prop­erly acquired.

And in my case, I make cus­tom cloth­ing (and spend count­less hours on spe­cial pieces/garments) because it’s a way for me to express my grat­i­tude to those deserv­ing around me.

lace overlay wedding gown Marusya Marusya floral ukrianain

My babcha’s embroi­dery I used for my brides­maid shirt

The dress I wore to my sister’s wed­ding was a way of hon­or­ing my late grand­mother. She was an immi­grant who made her own way in Amer­ica, who stitched clothes to pay doctor’s bills, and who wanted to live well and work for pros­per­ity that she and her hus­band would give to their chil­dren. Instead of buy­ing a cookie-cutter brides­maid dress, I res­ur­rected and com­pleted some­thing my babcha started with her own hands, her own idea of beauty to be given to a loved one.

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Ukrainian Hand Embroidered Dress in Honor of My Babcha

Ukrainian Russian hand embroidered dress marusya marusya

 

Ukrain­ian hand embroi­dered dress in honor of my babcha 

 

My Babcha was a spe­cial woman. Her story is quite remark­able and the lessons she taught me were even more so.  I only hope to be as strong as her and pass on her spirit to others.

Aside from her wis­dom, her love of sewing was passed on to me. My babcha was an incred­i­ble seam­stress! She was self taught and used her skills as a seam­stress when she moved to America.

Before my babcha’s pass­ing in March (at the age of 93), I fin­ished my first Ukrain­ian embroi­dered dress. My babcha was very sick and it was uncer­tain whether she would make it to Easter. How­ever, she always wanted to die on Easter and we all believed she would make it to Easter day. (There is a Ukri­an­ian myth that if you die on Easter, you go straight to heaven.) But sadly she didn’t make it or see the ukrain­ian embroi­dered Easter dress. But I’m sure she got a glimpse of it up in heaven!  (And I have no doubt that she is guid­ing through my cur­rent projects!)

marusya ukrainian dress russian

Dress is hand embroi­dered (took lots and lots of time to stitch)

Linen

Fully Lined

Invis­i­ble Back Zipper

babcha 2 Ukrainian Costume

This is a com­pressed story of my babcha’s life (Writ­ten by my aunt but mod­i­fied to be in my voice). 

My babcha, Kataryna, was born in 1920 in West­ern Ukraine.  Her father, prior to World War I, voy­aged to Amer­ica to work in the coal mines of Penn­syl­va­nia, while he built a home­stead  for his fam­ily in west­ern Ukraine. My babcha’s par­ents set­tled to rear eight daugh­ters, farm­ing and wood­carv­ing in that quiet, pic­turesque vil­lage in the rolling foothills of the Carpathian Moun­tains. As a child, my babcha vowed never to leave her home or her fam­ily. Lit­tle did she know of the adven­tures that lay ahead!

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