Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Sunshine, blue skies, and cacti in the southwest with family has been a beautiful respite from the rain and cold. It's also been a great time to break out the sketchbook.

I hope you have enjoyed and found inspiration, renewal, and peace in your holidays too!

Robin

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

new york state of mind part two

a few more windows that caught my eye...


i don't remember the jewelery designer here, but the giraffe was made from tissue paper!


michael kors


giorgio armani 


coco chanel

Saturday, December 8, 2012

i'm in a new york state of mind

a recent trip to new york 

one of my favorite designers, ralph lauren had gorgous window displays. an all white silk, feathers and snow confection took me back to the roaring twenties i've never been to. do you connect with a time period you never lived? the twenties really does it for me, i must have been a flapper in a past life.  although this isn't me now, i really love the sumptious excess of the twenties.  look at all that champagne and flowing silk gowns, wouldn't one of these dresses look and feel amazing on!?  i love how lauren's designs draw inspiration from the past but has a contemporary feel and is relevant to the now. not my now, but perhaps in a future life.












Tuesday, December 4, 2012


i'll be giving away a little something from estate on december 31.  to enter for a chance to win, go over to my facebook page and "like" it. hit the link below, thanks!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Estate/85836404665



Sunday, December 2, 2012

i've been working with a fit model lately to create a block, a basic pattern that will be the foundation of all designs. our last fitting was just before thanksgiving. the muslin fit almost perfectly with only a few minor revisions. 

i've also been learning a CAD program that i can use to digitize my patterns or create new patterns on the computer. i'm excited to utilize the grading tool, this will allow me to size up and down consistently and SO much easier than doing it manually.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world. ~ Alicia Keys

Tuesday, October 2, 2012



a sunny weekend left me wanting more.  a day was spent sipping iced coffee and working at a picnic table. i felt that edge between summer and fall overlapping. today feels like fall.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

a fall look

just a couple of looks i find inspiring. i especially love the mixing of patterns and i'm a sucker for tweedy wool fabrics 



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

have you heard about Stumptown Kilts? its a newish portland business that makes everyday kilts.  up until now they've been making only mens kilts, but just launched the women's and women's mini kilt. here i'm wearing the women's kilt, 17" length. i ended up with the black pinstripe and LOVE it! the waist is adjustable up to five sizes, its made to fit a womans curves, is super comfortable, and the quality is outstanding.  this will be really cute with tights and boots in the fall!  




Sunday, September 9, 2012

what?? how on earth did i forget to post pictures of the alley 33 fashion show?  why didn't you remind me? it goes to show how busy we've all been. photos by BethOlsonCreative

Alley 33 Fashion Show 2012

 Alley 33 Fashion Show 2012

 Alley 33 Fashion Show 2012

Alley 33 Fashion Show 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

i've been silent while settling into some recent changes. this is how i process.  but the changes have been exciting and i'm ready to share them.  the first is that i've taken a job with the local sewing production house spooltown. i work with a talented and creative group of people who each have something really cool and inspiring going on outside of work too. my days mostly consist of sewing, which i love, but there have been and will be future opportunities to do patterning, which i love in a really geeky way. most of my past experiences with math have been difficult, but i did well with geometry.  patterning reminds me a bit of this and its exciting to take exact measurements, follow precise directions on where to mark a line, and then just like magic, you have a pattern. Love It!!

my other news is that i'll be taking somewhat of a break from estate. this may not sound exciting, but i'm excited about it because i started estate without much of a plan in place.  i have grand ideas to take estate to grand levels, but to do that i need to take a step back and get some infrastructure underfoot. i have some great help to assist me where i lack the knowledge.  there may seem to be a lull happening, but i'll be working hard behind the scenes to get caught up on some important details.  so...with that, there won't be much of a fall or spring line, just a few pieces.

"stick with me baby, things are 'bout to get interesting right about now" bob dylan

Saturday, July 14, 2012

my favorite local store is celebrating its 5th year anniversary this month.  congratulations nicole!  you have created a beautiful space, supported so many local designers, and helped women to feel beautiful. go check out union rose if you havent already, and if so continue going and supporting a local business.




Friday, July 13, 2012

and speaking of rolling along...i've been working with mercy corp nw over the last few years, a fantastic organization that helps small business succeed by offering business classes and counseling. once you take their business foundation course, you are eligible to join the ida program - individual development account.  i've just joined and am so excited to start saving - mercy corp grants me $3 for every $1 i save over the next 6-12 months, which i can then use at the end of the term to buy assets for my business. one thing that i know i'll buy is this little gal below



Thursday, July 12, 2012






so much has been going on i don't know where to begin. the project that has kept me so busy recently is the alley 33 fashion show.  it happens on saturday, july 28, featuring 20+ local designers.  this is their second annual show, and i hear it's big! there will be four pieces from estate, one of the dresses is from my summer collection, so i've been busy sewing the dresses for the stores too.  the other three dresses will become part of estate's fall/holiday collection, i'm really nervous and excited about this event! things are rolling along!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

i've been thinking about closing my esty shop for awhile now and have finally done it.  it was no longer representative of what i'm currently doing. i had recently sold all of my vintage fabric and skirts made of vintage fabric, so that didn't leave much there. a new website and shop is in the works and will open this summer.  estate can still be found at tumbleweed, union rose and mag big.


vintage estate skirt

Monday, June 11, 2012

new york, new york


                                                                        Source: google.ca via Diana on Pinterest





i'm working on the last piece of the spring summer collection.  my mind is in new york, where my daughter just moved to last week.  i saw this photo and it reminds me of my daughter and the dark night sky of the fabric i'm using - a beautiful organic cotton/hemp/silk blend. photos of the dress later  

Monday, April 30, 2012

i know having the right tools for the job make the job easier, but i had no idea how much i would love having the right tools. to start with, the bobbin saver - i had my bobbins in a drawer next to my sewing table, and it never failed, i dropped them constantly, bobbin rolling across the room with thread trailing. this cool little rubber ring holds them compactly with thread color showing.

from clover, beautiful bamboo handled tracing wheel and seam ripper. i was going thru tracing wheels like you wouldn't believe, so when i saw this one, the beautiful and sturdier design was more than i could pass up. unfortunately, the seam ripper has always been my best friend.  my old one was given to me by my mom when i was a kid, it was hers before that, yellow plastic handle, i'm sure its an antique. in college, my favorite teacher told me i needed a new one, but i've resisted, i was attached. that is until i saw this bamboo seam ripper, holy cow! i had no idea how dull my antique was! meet my new best friend.  

and finally the sweet luxury - a button hole cutter from bernina. how cute is that little block of wood?! my couture teacher in college had one of these, fitting isn't it? 

the next few items on my supply list are a little larger and pricier. i'll need a bigger space to accommodate the dress form and cutting table i'm in need of.  



Sunday, April 8, 2012


i've never been that fond of eggs, i'll pretty much only eat them well scrambled. as a kid i loved to color and hide them, but would then see them disappear into my dads lunch. after reading tamar adler's an everlasting meal, her reverence for the egg piqued my interest in trying them again, and now seemed like the perfect time. her method of cooking eggs produces a silky soft boiled egg that has no resemblance to the rubbery eggs i've eaten. next weekend i'll try a poached egg. happy egg day!



Saturday, March 31, 2012

the last day of the challenge, challenged me to come up with another way to wear the pocket skirt. the day started with a plan to hike and hit a hot spring, but turned into a day of dining and a visit to the portland art museum. its basically the same look all week - boots, leggings, skirt, tee and vest. this has me thinking i could use some accessories, like belts and an indoor type jacket to change up my look. warmer weather wouldn't hurt either.


mark rothko painting - the one i loved was owned by paul allen and was the only one that couldn't be photographed


the exhibit by john frame was pretty amazing. these tiny sculptures are so detailed and intricate and i find them to be a little macabre in a tim burton kind of way



Thursday, March 29, 2012

on wednesday i wore the denim pocket skirt again with a tunic and leggings. today will be a challenge, its my day off, blustery and i'm heading outdoors. i'll let you know tonight what i came up with...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

on day four i wore the grey cotton twill version of the pocket skirt. this is my favorite one. it's worn in, fits the best and is a little shorter than the previous two.

Monday, March 26, 2012

i realized i didn't explain very well what i'm doing here showing skirts each day. so if you didn't read the link to one week, one pattern, here's what's happening. for one week i'm wearing an article of clothing created from one pattern. it's a favorite pattern i created last year that has been made repeatedly using different fabrics and slight modifications.

so here's day 3 and another version of the pocket skirt, sans pockets. i paried it up with a charcoal sweater and leggings, a vintage ivory slip i let peek from the hem, which unfortunately doesn't show in the photograph, and oxblood colored clogs.

this skirt can be found here


sunday is the beginning of my work week. i dressed up a little more and paired the same denim pocket skirt with a short sleeve sweater, leather jacket (big score from a naked lady party) and boots with knee socks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

i'm already behind on the one week, one pattern challenge! i put off photographing myself until i ran out of good light, blame it on the bloody mary! so here's the pocket skirt and hoody i wore on saturday, my day off. it was a beautiful sunny day here in portland, so a friend and i took off on foot for our favorite hangout for boozy brunch days. the outdoor garden space was the perfect remedy for a long week of winter weather blues. my legs got a little sun to the chagrin of everyone that had to see them.




Friday, March 23, 2012

i just ran across this blog, tilly and the buttons and fell in love with it. tilly has organized a fun project to participate in, one week, one pattern. this is just what i need to get out of my its still snowing in late march blues. starting saturday, march 24, for the next 7 days you'll see how one pattern can be styled differently for every day of the week. i'll be getting creative with my pocket skirt, stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

i took a train ride up to seattle on monday for a fabric show. i love traveling by train - its relaxing, romantic, and this time filled with a number of interesting delays. on the way up the train was delayed by repairs to the track, a downed tree, and a malfunctioning intersection. although i arrived an hour late, the show was small and i had plenty of time to meet the vendors and look for fabric. i'm only interested in organic and sustainable fabrics, so with so few offering this, it was a quick look around. but i did find one vendor that i'm super excited about and am eagerly awaiting sample swatches

with a couple of hours to spare, i headed for my favorite part of the city, pike place market. it was pouring rain and bitter cold but the market was bustling with people. i even ran into someone i knew. after strolling and eating, strolling and sipping hot coffee, i made my way back to the train depot, but not before stopping off at a thrift store selling books for $2


the train ride back to portland moved along so fast, i was engrossed in my new book and even took a little nap. 1 mile before the station and half an hour ahead of schedule, the train came to a sudden stop, the train had just hit a car. it took two hours and half a bottle of wine before the car was removed from the front of the train. no one was hurt, the vehicle had been abandoned on the tracks, which apparently happens quite often. it turned into a late night but i was happy for a break from routine and still had a productive day

Thursday, March 1, 2012

FIRST FRIDAY IN MONTAVILLA

Union Rose Spring Cleaning Sale

First Friday, March 2nd
6-8pm

2nd Annual Spring Cleaning Sale!

Clean up and score a whole new wardrobe!

Great deals on clothing, jewelry and accessories
from many of our designers:

Big Brown Eyes

Carolyn Hart

Clair Vintage Inspired

Daisy Rock

Dress Up Alice

Eclectikid

Estate

Hubris

Patricia de Salis

Scissorstitch

Seaworthy

SheShe

Sulu

and more!


Shop/try/love/buy local!

Friday, February 24, 2012

a beautiful day off
planning spring/summer sewing classes
running errands for estate
getting my car repaired (exciting for me, yay it still runs!)
a walk on the east side industrial area
a beautiful 100+ year old draping table at seek the unique

a delicious coffee indulgence at coava. interesting reading material one book on buddhism and the other on wicca kept me intertained while waiting for my car


this is the type of work table i'd love to have someday. the worn patina is SO beautiful, but its about 3 feet too short and narrow. the height of this table would be back breaking if you are over 5 feet tall, and i don't think fabric was made as wide as it is now. but perfect other than that

Thursday, February 23, 2012

i've been wanting to add more whole plant based foods to my diet, i tend to get in a rut of buying and eating the same few fruits and veggies. so i've recently become a member of organics to you. each week a bin of organic 'local as possible' fruits and vegetables are delivered to my home. i'm so excited to see what's in the box each week

this week a strange vegetable was in the box, what the hell is this? how do i cook and eat this gnarly root? i could have sworn they were baby mandrakes, but it doesn't screech and a quick search on the web told me they are sun chokes. fortunately i won't have to butcher a mandrake to make fried sun choke chips with rosemary salt yummy! with a veggie burger and a cold porter, i know its not exactly a whole food healthy meal, but good for a friday night, no?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a big thank you to all who turned out for the pdx collective sale, and an even bigger thank you to my friend susan for manning the booth all weekend. im so happy to see my things go to good homes. i was even happier to see my goal in sales reached in that i promised myself a new vacuum if that happened. a few months back i killed the old vacuum by sucking up a pair of panties. hey! its not that im messy, its just that my wood floors are black and its hard to see things once theyve fallen onto this "black hole". ive been geeking out on my new toy since monday. i never thought cleaning would give me such joy