just plain sara: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Selita Ebanks

Selita Ebanks attends The Cinema Society and Sony Cierge screening of 'The Wackness' on June 25, 2008 at AMC Loews 19th Street in New York.
Selita Ebanks has me wanting to wear leather for the first time since 1992. This look is effortlessly stylish without all the pretension. And now can we focus on the clutch? If anyone knows who makes it let us all know. The Givenchy heels she has on are a wardrobe must but I'm guessing most of us can't fathom spending $900 plus on them so check out the Steve Madden copies below...

Steal Selita's Style...

Blazer: Modern Tux Jacket, $110, www.topshop.com
Skirt: Silk Raw Hem Leather Mini (shown without hem), www.nexternal.com Heels: Ginn, $199.95, www.stevenmadden.com
Necklace: 40 Multi Bead Cord Necklace, $8, www.wetseal.com
Clutch: Danni Pomegrante Clutch, $36, www.amiciaccessories.com
Top: Cotton Seamless Knit Camisole, $48, www.maxstudio.com

This look requires maximum attitude but minimum styling effort. Let the leather skirt and the Givenchy Strappy Open Toe Ankle Bootie knock-offs do all the talking whilst the laid back cool of the tuxedo blazer and the statement bag add the finishing touches. Your probably wondering where you could pull off such a look, but a house party or cocktail hour on a rooftop bar are the perfect venues to debut your ultra cool side. Have fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

new Wonder Woman wip; more bags

Since I have unfortunately gained 15 lbs since the last Wonder Woman Day, my super suit is rather snug. When wearing it to NYCC, I busted some seams and one of the clear straps. I actually found a decent commercial pattern for a corset that wasn't too far off what I could use for a new suit so I picked it up (New Look 6480). I figured I had better try a new design for this year's event (end of October!).

I'll never understand math. Just let me say that off that bat. When I take a measurement with a ruler or measuring tape, look up said measurement on a chart, shouldn't the size match? I think I'm Measurement Deficient because even if it's something not sewing related, I could measure twice, cut, and still come up with the wrong size whatever it is. Now that my distaste for math has been explained, it should be no surprise that commercial pattern charts and I are not friends. I measure myself, look up the size on the chart, cut pattern to that size and inevitably, it isn't correct. So this new corset has some extra darts in it where I had to take it in and it's good enough for now. When my new shipment of spandex comes in, I'll actually remake it again which means I should be better and understanding the damn instructions too. Plus, spandex stretches. Oh, and the zipper! I bought a 12" zipper per the instructions and it's a good 3" too long.

When I make the final piece, I'll get a smaller zipper for one thing and cut to a smaller size. I really REALLY hate strapless looks for myself. My boobs hang down to my belly button even when properly "propped." That's actually what I did like about my old Wonder Woman suit - I used a body shaper with clear straps. I'll be making a completely different kind of chest logo too. I won't be appliqueing a piece on. Instead, I'm going to try and mold some plastic sheeting and have it attach with velcro. I'll be going for the newer WW logo instead of the golden eagle. The belt may be a challenge too.

This is a look at the new WW corset.

I also ordered Holly Messinger's pattern for Harley Quinn. I take a lot of pride in making my own designs but her suit looks incredible. I had to talk myself into buying her design. I had to make myself understand that buying from a top costumer like her shouldn't feel any different than buying McCalls or Simplicity. And in fact, the quality will probably be a lot better. I'm going to a test run with other spandex that I bought at a clearance sale just to get comfortable with the instructions and the pattern. So I'll probably have a pastel colored court jester costume for sale by September!

My allergies have been a real bitch and a half this summer. I actually had asthma attacks over the weekend (and here I thought I was misdiagnosed) so I didn't get much done. I did finally finish my Kitty Pryde/X-Men bags. In fact, after the first one, I played around with my software and redesigned the X logo. It came out so much better! I was so happy. Now I have unmatching Kitty Pryde bags (*headdesk*). Oh well. I simply won't display them on the table at the same time. I gave one a yellow lining and one a black lining anyway.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Introducing ShopRuche.com...

Above: Floral Flutter Shirt, $24.99 and Navy Bow High Waisted Skirt, $27.99 all available at www.shopruche.com
Left to right: A Chillier Summer Sweater Dress, $34.99; Navy Bubble Corset Dress, $19.99; Purple Voile Tunic Top, $19.99; High Waisted Black Skirt, $29.99 all available www.shopruche.com
Left to right: Renew the Oldies Blouse, $26.99; Red Riding Hood Button Skirt. $20.99; Mustard Doc Bag, $34.99 all available www.shopruche.com

Welcome to Ruche - the modern women's boutique with a vintage touch. If you like your clothes unique but reasonably priced, Ruche has so many of this season's hottest looks for you. My favorite items so far are their Floral Flutter Shirt (shown in the first photo) and their Heart Charm Necklaces but if you have a more ecelectic taste, Ruche has you covered. Use the code "summer" to get a 10% discount through August. If you need further convincing, check out photos from their Lookbook in the sideshow below...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Style Flashback: Denise Nicholas

I first saw Denise Nicholas when I was just six-years-old in the movie A Piece of the Action alongside Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. I thought she was so beautiful and wanted to dress like her and be just as sassy! About a month ago I caught the same movie on BET J and was blown away all over again by her elegance. Nicholas began her television acting career in 1968 but most of you will remember her as Liz McIntyre on the TV show Room 222 (for which she received two Golden Globe nominations) or as Harriet DeLong in In the Heat of the Night. Nicholas wrote six episodes of the dramatic show, In the Heat of the Night and thus began her second career as a writer. When that show was cancelled, she enrolled in the graduate Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California proving beauty and brains can coexist. Her first novel, Freshwater Road, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim and was selected as one of the best books of 2005 by The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newsday and The Chicago Tribune. Nicholas is also recognised as a social activist who was involved in the American Civil Rights Movement. These days Nicholas continues to write and resides in Southern California.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Get it Shorty!

Halle Berry pictured outside of her beach front home in Malibu, California on July 15, 2008.
Beyonce arrives at Nice Airport on May 19 2006 Cannes, France.
Brandy attends the LG and Jermaine Dupris Fusic Party for BET June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
Julissa attends AllHipHop.Com's Relaunch Celebrity Bash at the Newspace August 03, 2006 in New York City.

Don't let mini skirts have all the fun. Another way to let your legs breath is to don a bare of thigh skimming shorts. Wear them for a shopping trip, to travel or even on the red carpet (ok, maybe a party since most of us aren't famous). The best thing is, if you get the right pair of shorts they can take you seamlessy from day to night. Look to the ladies above for proof postive that shorts are the way forward!

My Picks!

Top: Bow Tie Linen Short, $17.80, www.forever21.com; Button Tab Linen Short, $44, www.topshop.com; Amber Pleated Short, $17.80, www.forever21.com
Middle: Sasha Gauze Short, $26.50, www.delias.com; The Banded Short, $19.50, www.alloy.com; Twill Matalot Short, $56, www.topshop.com
Bottom: Chino 3" Short, $39.50, www.jcrew.com; Belted Twill Shorts, $15, www.oldnavy.com; Cotton Twill Shorts by Vince, $145, www.net-a-porter.com

Shorts are perfect for day AND night. Wear flips flops for daytime chic (Halle and Beyonce) then switch to heels for evening glam (Julissa and Brandy). I personally love to wear shorts with crisp, sleeveless shirts i n the summer - especially shirts with "puff sleeves". If you don't have a washboard stomach like myself, my I advise you to invest in shorts with a waist. Low-rise shorts are not our friends!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Above & Below: Models wearing the Bernos range of t-shirts available at www.bernos.org.
Now that summer is in full swing I never seem to have enough tees. If you're anything like me, even your t-shirts have to make a fashion statement. Enter Bernos. Bernos is an innovative clothing company that creates high-quality, eye-catching t-shirts featuring African themes. The word "Bernos" is taken from an Amharic word referring to a one-piece cloak. The heavy wool “bernoose” was standard dress for Arabs who immigrated to North Africa and many in Northwest Africa wear variations of the original design today.

I believe the Bernos founders all hail from Ethopia, hence the African-influenced designs. On average, t-shirts cost just $20. Visit www.bernos.org to browse their full range of t-shirts for women and men.

Dr. Horrible / Captain Hammer

With the interwebs exploding and crashing due to the heavy traffic of the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, costumers & cosplayers around the country are scampering to be the first to appear as Captain Hammer, Dr. Horrible, Penny and even the Groupies for SDCC and Dragon*Con. The questions are buzzing about where to get the gear to make a decent representation of the characters. As I discover suppliers & designers, I'll just keep editing this post.

Dr. Horrible
Lab Coat - other than having one custom designed you can get away with something that's pretty close. Check out this dental supplier. Their T001 and A001 styles are your best bet. Apparently the lab coat worn by Neil Patrick Harris is actually a recycled costume from a Firefly episode; it was later dyed red for Act III.

Goggles - a friend of mine clued me into the fact that Horrible's accessories are welding supplies. I had no idea! And luckily, they are not expensive. Look for flip-up goggles with dark lenses. To help with your search look up keywords like "cutting & brazing." Here are a couple of choices from Global Sources:
Pan Taiwan
Doris Industrial & (http://doris-ind.com/02-SafetyGoggles.htm)
Amazon - these seem to have the best shading of the lenses but are currently unavailable.
Grobet seems to have another set.
These Sellstrom goggles are rather cheap and have a #5 shade to them as well. The green part would need some distressing to look worn and darker.

Up for debate is the color of the goggles so if you believe they are not green with shaded lenses and prefer to be in the silver with green lenses camp, then check out these at Morton Safety. I took a couple screen caps from Act I and they do look silver with green lenses.

Gloves - these are also welding supplies; for most of the show, he wears white but in Act III changes to black gloves and boots which are very easy to find. The white ones are harder so here are some links:
They are Tillman brand gloves with the logo on the cuff which is what makes perfect replicas harder to find.
These Black Stallion ones are close too; I would recommend using some white paint to cover up the logo enough so that it doesn't stand out as much but you can still see it.

Dr. Horrible wears your basic white rain boot or "wellies" as they say across the pond. You can find inexpensive commercial grade white rain boots on Amazon for around $23.
Another tall pair at QC goes for close to $20. They have two different pairs in white for steel toe or standard.
ACE Hardware also carries a pair.

For a huge selection of black men's rubber boots, try QC.

Captain Hammer
Jinx.com has the T-shirt worn by Captain Hammer; some people are willing to go the extra mile and make their own with fabric paint or craft foamie cutouts for the logo. The cargo pants are easy enough to find at places like Old Navy. The black gloves can be simply black pirate gloves from your local Party City/Halloween store or even Darth Vader ones if you have them lying around. I firmly believe in interchanging costume parts so that you cut down on how much you need to spend.

Jinx.com sells the T-Shirts worn by the groupies but apparently they sold out immediately; unfortunately it's the only place I know that carries them. For the cool green & black tights wore by the one groupie girl, check out We Love Colors' black striped thigh highs.

Penny - her wardrobe is pretty normal and casual. The key is to get the hair right and then I would suggest a floral dress with bloody shrapnel.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland attends the World Premiere of 'Sex And The City' held at the Odeon Leicester Square on May 12, 2008 in London, England.
Kelly Rowland looked stunning in this purple dress by Donna Karen at the London premiere of Sex and the City. Everything about the dress is perfect from the length to the color. Though her hair is looking a little "Cleopatra-ish", I think she looked better than the stars of the movie! Scroll down to the next post to see how you can copy this chic look.

Steal Kelly's Style

Above: Stretch Satin Gathered Bow Dress, $180, www.oasis-stores.com
Earrings: Sterling Silver Genuine Marcasite Drop Circle Earrings, $19.99, www.target.com
Clutch: Julie Baby CRIC Emboss, $250, www.loreleinyc.com
Heels: Vince Camuto Nora T Strap Sandal, $129.95, www.endless.com

I've always preferred sliver accessories to gold - they instantly modernise an outfit! These accessories are not cheap, but you buy them once and wear them for a lifetime. For more affordable items check out www.oohboutique.com or www.target.com. As for the Oasis dress, it actually comes in two other colors... jewel green and classic black. The original dress that Kelly is wearing is approximately $2000 by Donna Karen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm in London!

Hi ladies,

Just dropping in to say I'm in London on vacation for the next two weeks. I haven't had much access to the internet (too busy making the rounds to my favorite British stores) but I'll be updating early next week. My next stop is Topshop - no visit to London is complete without a trip to the infamous Topshop.

Cheery-o chaps!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bags: "The Magician" and "Blue Spider"

I'm not happy with the way this Blue Spider bag came out so it's another one for the "Display" pile. I added a flap to it which came out nice. I'm quite surprised that's not the part I messed up.

The Magician (aka Zatanna inspired) one came out nice. The disappearing ink is still visible but I wanted to crack off a couple of photos before I head for the kitchen.

I also added some beautiful colorful ribbons to The Ivy bag and it looks even better. I have another Harlequinn done as well so at least that's three of those although one is claimed already.

I'm dealing with bunch of technical issues with the computer this week. We just had a power surge. My allergies are bugging me and it's 94 degrees. Basically I'm so cranky right now that I am not posting a lot of details.

T-shirt redesign

Originally just a regular XL t-shirt. Now this...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Like HIS Style!

Ebony Magazine is giving thanks to all those brothas that know how to make us swoon. Effortlessly swagger is innate. It cannot made. And if you don't believe me take a look the four men pictured (four other covers are avialable). Each one has made a mark in our community and the world, for not only being talented, but for being an unapologetic individual. Be sure to grab a copy, or two, this coming Tuesday:

For the first time ever, Ebony magazine presents not one, not two, but eight quintessential covers to celebrate the 25 coolest Black men of all time. Jay-Z, Barack Obama, Prince, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Marvin Gaye, Muhammad Ali and Billy Dee Williams take center stage as they personify Black cool on the covers of this historic collector’s edition. From their sleek, debonair styles to their smooth-as-silk personas, these magnificent Black men have conveyed, captured, and conquered the quintessence of cool while making it appear effortless.

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the photos...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bags: Word Balloon Favorites

I bought this fabric a long time ago and Fabricland hasn't carried it since. I love it and get compliments on the little shoulder bag I used it for along with the comic book panels fabric that I wish they still carried. This Word Balloon design has great comic book expletives like "POW" and "BAM" splattered all around with smaller word balloons that say, "To be continued..."

I cranked out two smaller totes in this Word Balloon fabric. Nothing fancy in these beauties; no inside pocket or zipper. I will probably add snap closures but that's one of those "once everything else is completed" tasks. I want to have at least a dozen bags for the Super Show in September (Scranton, PA) which means I have to get my butt in gear. I'll be taking another fabric shopping trip this weekend with my mum to wonderful ol' Joann's Fabrics in Ledgewood but not until I've recovered from my July 4th Independence Day Celebration at New Moon Comics in Little Falls for the Little Falls Street Fair! I'll be appearing in my Award-Winning Power Girl costume! (That's right - I actually won the Good vs. Evil contest on Myspace.)

Simple totes like this will be around $20-25 depending on the fabric. This fabric happens to be more expensive even though it is just cotton. Sometimes novelty fabrics have novelty prices.