Tag Archives: vest




Lately I’ve been spending time in Monterey, which is a friendly and beautiful town. One of our favorite parts about being on the peninsula is eating at il vecchio (which is actually next door in Pacific Grove). They make their gnocchi fresh daily, and their pesto is just about the most flavorful and nuanced that I’ve ever tasted.

And the point of this is: I made a couple vests for the restaurant. The proprieter and I went shopping at Beverly’s together, and picked out this damask batik quilting cotton, which I think is such a funny combination. I like to imagine that the fabric was dyed with wine.

custom server vest, made by Julianne

custom server vest, made by Julianne


I made one male sample, and one sample for ladies. Besides size, the only difference is a bust dart. Both versions have back ties, lined front panels, facings at the back neck and arms, and buttons.

custom server vest, made by Juliannecustom server vest, made by Julianne These are obviously not my best photographs, because I was in a super hurry to get them shipped before the post office closed (and I made it!).

custom server vest, made by Julianne

In the end, the staff declared the fabric a little “Mississippi Riverboat Gambler” which I totally see, and then they decided to scrap the vests altogether.

I know this project isn’t terribly exciting, but such is the life of a professional seamstress. And now, back to work!




I’ve worked with Wawi Amasha for a few years, and now she’s starting to get really serious about her clothing design. These looks are all hers, but I sewed them for a gallery opening this past weekend. They were presented under the name Mami Afrika.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Sewer, designer, tech designer.Wawi dresses, made by JulianneOf course I made my purple miimii dress, as well as the blue halter dress on Inobe. Wawi is on the left. Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

Wawi was showing her paintings at Hamilton Gallery in Santa Monica, and it was a fun party! In our gallery was the artwork, models wearing dresses, wine of course, and African drummers who inspired some fancy dancing.

A neighboring gallery was also hosting an opening, where there was more wine, plus vodka, couscous, gift bags, and a hyper little German man who began our conversations with “I like the look you’re experimenting with on your outfit,” because that’s what you say in Santa Monica. I don’t remember your name, but you were kinda crazy, but also fun.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

The fabrics were collected on Wawi’s recent trip to Kenya, and the patterns were drafted by Inobe Nicole, who also made the fabulous geometric necklaces.

I made ten pieces for the show in 4 days, and eventually developed a rhythm for the layout and construction. Sample patterns rarely come with instructions, so it’s up to be to figure out a smooth and efficient technique.   Wawi dresses, made by JuliannePrint matching! The finishing on this sleeveless jacket includes french seams, bias bound, double turned hem, and folding seams under.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

This purple skirt was my favorite piece, and that amethyst necklace Inobe made is insane!  IMG_2349

Mami Afrika designs, made by Julianne

This dress was another personal favorite.

Wawi dresses, made by Julianne

It was a week of marathon sewing, but the team was very pleased at the outcome. I’ll be doing more work with Wawi soon (like tomorrow!).

Thanks to Sam / Docta Sez for the additional photos!





I got married in September 2012 at Burning Man. It was where I met my husband, where we got engaged, and where we feel most free to be whatever we want, particularly ourselves.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

Jason and I designed his whole outfit together. We wanted it to be an even more colorful version of what he normally wears.


This in-between short/pant length is a signature of Jason’s wardrobe. I don’t personally think it’s awkward (it’s capris) and I like making them for him. So it was the obvious choice for this wedding pants. This time I made his pants from a metallic striped cotton that my mom got in Jordan a couple years ago. They have a zipper fly and elastic waist; I’ve developed this pattern just for Jason. We added bands of fabric at the bottom to correspond to my own skirt.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

photo by Blake Gardner

Rainbow socks were also a natural choice! We got the Converse right before we left for Burning Man, and I replaced the white laces with a metallic woven ribbon.


His shirt is made from a weighty linen. I washed the fabric three times to soften it up, as well as to get it fully shrunk before cutting. I found a bolt with about 5 yards of this fabric in our storage unit, and I honestly have no idea where it came from or what it was doing there. Luckily it’s the perfect color to bring out Jason’s eyes!

We wanted the look of our wedding to be colorful, exciting, and exotic, but we didn’t want to be the white people dressing up in another culture’s aesthetic. Inspired by: yes; appropriating: no. With this in mind, I waffled back and forth on the Nehru collar and tunic length of this shirt. But Jason’s wonderful mind never saw the styling as Indian; in his mind a stand-up collar is spacey. Great design, great rational: we make a good team.

The shirt is a modified version of Simplicity 5366, which I had tested a couple months prior and so I knew exactly what changes needed to be made for the best fit.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

photo by Blake Gardner

The fabulous J cufflinks belonged to Jason’s dad Jack, who passed away shortly after we met. Two weeks after our own wedding, Jason’s nephew Jack wore them for his beautiful wedding.

rainbow wedding at Burning Man, brass buttons, made by Julianne

Jason picked out the green and purple for the topstitching. We got these awesome ying-yang buttons during my first visit to the Fashion District in 2009! They are heavy and tactile and yes, honestly, a little bit steampunk. I don’t think anyone noticed, but we rotated them all the way down his shirt, so that the gold was on the left, and then the right, and then back on the left.



rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner

photo by Blake Gardner

I based the pattern for this vest from one he already owned. The front stripe is another Jordanian cotton from my mom–there was just enough to cut both sides on the bias so that the pattern was going the way we wanted. One of my favorite elements from the entire outfit is the back of the vest. This metallic fabric was hand-made in Guatemala in the 60s, and was given to us by a longtime friend of the Siadek family, Valerie Maxwell (thank you Valerie!). It was exciting to work with, and in pretty great condition.

rainbow Burning Man wedding, Made by Julianne, photo by Blake Gardner Burning Man rainbow wedding, made by Julianne

photo by Blake Gardner

The lining is a vintage poly that was in my cabinet. The buttons are aligned so that the top jewels represent chakras (although we aren’t into that, but it seamed as good a reason as any).

Burning Man rainbow wedding, made by Julianne Burning Man rainbow wedding, made by Julianne

Jason was gifted the koa necklace by our campmate Teale right before the ceremony.

I think Jason looked very handsome and very himself! If you’d like to read more and see more photos, we have a whole post about getting married at Burning Man.

You can also see pictures of my bridal outfit.

Most of these gorgeous pictures were taken by Blake Gardner and Aleck Gandel – many thanks to these talented photographers as well as all the friends who both captured and contributed to our wonderful day!




Yay new vest! And yay for uncharacteristic photos that still look good. I think if you didn’t know me this picture would be totally plausible. And as unusual as this color scheme is for me, I really dig the design. I took these pictures myself by the way, setting up the iPhone on a tripod. Haven’t quite worked out the lighting situation though, maybe I’ll give it another go today…

gypsy vest

The exterior shell is made from a discontinued upholstery fabric. It’s maroon with a gold thread running through, and a beautiful embossed gothic pattern. The green and gold twist gives the vest structure, and those tassels accentuate every move!

Reversible gypsy vest-lace detail

One of my favorite details is the cream and gold lace appliqué sewn onto the back. It’s like a necklace for your back.

Reversible gypsy vest detail

A row of pressed brass snaps down the front is easy to close and fun to rip open.

Well, the vest and the leggings are in my Etsy shop now, and just about everything is on sale! Plus you can always use the coupon code CottonCandyKitten to get free US shipping.




I actually made this vest a while back, but have only just recently been able to get pictures! But I think I’ve got my situation set up so that I’ll be able to photograph myself fairly often. I have a whole pile of leggings that I haven’t been able to post yet!

I love the amount of crazy in this vest. Giraffe-print linen, the loop trim, pink paisley lining!

giraffe vest

It’s from a self-drafted pattern, and named after my friend who inspired the original. All the fabrics have been pre-shrunk, and they are also all natural.

giraffe vest giraffe vest

This picture really makes me realize how much I need a haircut. I got my timing all messed up, so I’m going to wait another 3 weeks before I get it done. And that way I will still have awesome hair for the wedding!

I really love the shaping of this, the way it shows off your waist is pretty sexy. For now, this one-and-only vest is in the Etsy shop! That’s right, there will not and cannot be another of these.




I thought that I posted this weeks ago. How on earth did this blazing glory slip my mind?! I like to think that it’s a very special closet where neon tessellations can be forgotten.

psychedelic puzzle vest psychedelic puzzle vest psychedelic puzzle vest

I feel like this vest accentuates the waist. It’s perfect for bellydancing, or the circus, or of course Burning Man.

This omission came to my attention after the fabulous Oona came into the store and picked out the same fabric! It was near the end of a very busy but also awesome morning, and I may or may not have shouted her name as soon as she came through the door.

dancing at Fabric Planet

Like I said, it was a crazy morning. And I am not able to maintain my otherwise cool demeanor when surprised by people I admire from the internet. Just as Rick Steves. Oh but do go read her write-up of the craziness; she really hit it right on!

Back to the sewing! Devoted readers will recognize this same fabric from my Mystic Jigsaw coat. It’s a heavy woven wool that we have near the upholstery section at Fabric Planet, but I don’t think anyone has bought it for their sofa. Yikes, even I draw the line at that!

psychedelic puzzle vest lining psychedelic puzzle vest snappy psychedelic puzzle vest detail

I used a soft woven cotton for the lining, which has a small pocket for a cellphone or money. The black and white trim is an upholstery twist, and I knew right away that this fabric would need it. I used pressed brass snaps on the placket, so the vest is reversible if you’d ever want to be a little more mellow.

psychedelic puzzle vest psychedelic puzzle vest

Apparently I don’t have a great photo of it, but you can sort of see that I made the back in two pieces. I’ve got the purple shapes forming an upward chevron on the back, and the diagonal continues to a V in the front. It’s pretty sharp lookin’!

There will probably be new interpretations of this vest, but for now you can find the one-and-only in my Etsy shop.

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