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Mamma Made Designs

November 29th, 2010

I am thrilled to present you a wonderful redhead named Rachel. Before you throw stones etched with “narcissism”  at me, I’ll let you know I was referring to dear Rachel Galloway whom some of you might know from the band Danielson (might I add, they are just amazing). I thought the photo above might’ve given you a good indication that I wasn’t talking about myself! Who likes reading about Rachel Dahl anyway?

So this Rachel (much cooler than I) formed a clothing store for little girls called Mamma Made Designs with the other crafty-cool girls from the band, Megan, Elin, and Melissa. I was able to chat with Rachel deux about a lot of fun things including her new venture (and long-time hobby) of making children’s clothes.

So how about I just let her do most of the talking, eh?

How did Mamma Made Designs start?

Mamma Made was started by myself, my sister Megan, my sister-in-law Elin, and my dear friend Melissa Palladino (all the girls of the Danielson Famile) in 2003. We all love to create and each of us had our special niches. Megan and I worked with fabrics while Elin and Melissa used knitting as the basis for their designs. We worked together for years creating beautiful garments for children and slowly families grew and time was more difficult to come by. Today I am the only one creating for Mamma Made, but all the girls know that they are always welcome to participate if time allows them.

What products are you offering?

We sold dresses, pants, jackets, knitwear, and hats/scarves. We love playing with fabrics, appliqué, combining textiles, and color. All of us love quality fabrics and yarns and we only used the ones we would dress our own children in.

Last year a new law was passed and made selling children’s clothing extremely difficult for small independent designers like myself. Very stringent laws were put into effect and before selling a garment you needed to have your sample tested for lead as well as a couple other items. The price tag on these tests to legally sell pretty much stopped Mamma Made for a year. It gave me some time to think about what I really loved to do and how I could still do it.

My new and only products now are my “sewing kits.” The idea is pretty simple. One kit comes with a yard of fabric that has the design and pattern pieces printed on it in a specific size. The consumer simply cuts it out and sews it together. Directions are included. This idea enables me to do what I love. I get to design fabric, the actual garment, work with digital patterning, create the sample, and write up the directions. I can sell it legally because it is not a garment I am selling but a yard of fabric. I also hope that this idea will encourage people to sew a bit more as it takes away the frustration of fabric selection as well as all the hassles that come with a store-bought pattern.

My good friend Mary from royalforest has joined me in this little venture of mine. She will be offering some of her own designs as Mamma Made Sewing Kits. She is an amazing designer and her designs really compliment mine.

Do you have any other hobbies, side projects, or things of that sort besides Mamma Made Designs and Danielson?

Yes! I love to sing and worship by my fireplace. I have both my guitar and my ukulele hanging up on the wall and it makes it really easy to just grab them every day. I have been writing worship songs for the past couple of years and I am hoping that this coming year my husband Jon (who is a brilliant musician and plays bass with Soul Junk) will record my first worship album with me. We are currently working on a song together called, “Glory” which will be on the Sounds Familyre Christmas 3 album this year. I am very excited about it.

Your costumes (from Danielson Famile live shows) are cute! Who makes/made them?

Well, we have all had our hand in stitching them at one time or another, but the real sewing hero is my mother, Marian. Daniel would have friends join us for different shows and she would be making new costumes or altering old ones so that they were comfortable on stage. The new Danielson costumes were co-designed by Daniel and my sister Megan and I know that Elin has put a lot of time and effort in sewing them right along-side my mother. The sewing will continue as Daniel has an idea to add patches to the costumes for different albums or shows that you play.

Do you still have your nurse outfit  hanging around somewhere?

My Mom has my nurse costume in New Jersey, but I have my blue Ships costume and hat hanging in my closet. I do have my nurse (Fluevog) shoes as well as my Ships (Fluevog) shoes in my closet though.

The Fluevog shoes have a cool story behind them. Daniel contacted John Fluevog and asked if he would design shoes for our nurse/doctor costumes in exchange for a song that Daniel would write for him. He said “yes” and we had these amazing white shoes with the red hearts on them to wear with our costumes. I guess they gave out the song to customers who bought Fluevogs for a time. Then when our costumes changed Daniel approached John again and it was some time before he heard back. Once again new shoes were designed for us and you can actually still buy these shoes in the online store. They are called “Danielson” and come in two different color schemes.

Do you have a defined clothing style? What do you normally wear?

On a day to day basis, I stay pretty casual. I have three girls ranging from 3 to 9 and although I like to look nice, I also like to be comfortable. On the East Coast I definitely dressed up more, but here in California I tend to wear jeans and nice soft shirts (I love Anthropologie!). I love a cute cardigan and in the summer I do like to wear sun dresses a lot. However, when I go on tour I definitely change my style of dress just a bit. People in the music scene definitely have a distinct flavor and although I don’t change myself for that, I find I wear more cute/funky/sporty wear.

Would you or did you ever wear one of your stage costumes out as a regular outfit?

No! (laughing) I would not want that kind of attention.

What is new with (Brother) Danielson(ship) (Famile) and the whole gang at Sounds Familyre?

The Danielson names over the years have officially evolved into simply “Danielson.” After 5 years, Daniel is releasing his new album called, “The Best of Gloucester County” and it is absolutely phenomenal. I have to say that this album was one of the most difficult to sing on and if any of you know Daniel’s music, that is saying a lot. “Ships” was a lot of fun to sing on, but there is something really special about this album. For 2 weeks after I finished recording my vocals, I would sing these songs while I slept at night.

Daniel, Elin, Lenny (my Dad), and Marian (my Mom) started a new label called Great Comfort Records last year. The goal for this label is to provide another avenue for worship music. I am very excited for them. So far they have released 2 albums from Bi-Frost Arts and are going to release an album by Glen Galaxy (Soul Junk) called “Thank You.” It is one of the most amazing worship albums I have ever heard. They are also going to release the next Lenny Smith album this year and that one is also really special. I play my ukulele on that one!

As you can tell, I am a big fan of Danielson (and so is my husband), because I keep asking about them. When was the last time you went on tour with the family?

I played with Danielson for All Tomorrow’s Parties located in Butlins Minehead, England in May 2010. It was curated by Matt Groening (creator of the Simpsons) and it was really cool to talk to him again. It was a 3-day festival and we hung out the entire time and got to see some amazing bands. Daniel, Elin, myself, Josh (bass), Andy (electric guitar), Evan (keyboard), and Patrick (drums) were all able to go. The show was really amazing if I do say so myself.

Are you touring anytime soon?

I don’t know any specific shows yet, but since Daniel’s new album is coming out, I would expect they would do some sort of West Coast tour. If so, I’ll do as many shows with them that I can.

How is your immediate family (husband and kids)?

We are doing really well. We just moved into a new home last year and we have 37 mature avocado trees! I laugh a bit because as I get older I seem to want to go back to my roots. I grew up with a farm right behind our house so it’s really nice to have a little land. Jon grew up in similar surroundings, so we are really enjoying the space and the mountains! I have a beautiful mountain that I get to look at every day when I go outside. I feel so incredibly blessed.

What do you like most about being a mom?

I love being a mom. It really is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and will ever do. When I step back and look at my designs and all the “stuff” I do, it will simply go away and end up in the trash. But your kids…you really are investing life into them. I love the simple stuff…hanging out together, talking, reading books. It’s the quiet moments together in the midst of all the busyness that I want to remember and hang on to.

Is your husband, Jonathan, still doing stuff with his brother, Glen, for Soul Junk (of whom my husband and I are also big fans)?

I thought Jon’s name was Jonathan too when I first met him, but he quickly reprimanded me and said, “No, it’s Jon.”

Jon is still playing with Soul Junk. They practice every Thursday night like clock-work. Glen’s family lives only 15 minutes from us and it is really nice to have them so close. They are working hard on the next album and I think they are going to record it soon.

Isn’t 1960 (the newest Soul Junk album) awesome?

1960 is an amazing album and in fact “Walk in Liberty” is my 3 year-olds favorite song. She walks around the house singing it all the time. I’ve heard 1961, which is fantastic too. I don’t know when it will be released but I believe they recorded it last year. It’s fun to be on the inside track because I get to hear things a lot earlier than everyone else. The album they are working on now to record is 1962. It’s hard to keep up with Glen. He has another project under his name Glen Galaxy which will be released soon on Great Comfort Records called “Thank You.”

How often do you get to go and visit everyone in New Jersey?

We try to go at least once a year. This past year I took the girls out for the summer and we had a fantastic time vacationing with everyone.

When you go to New Jersey to help record Danielson albums, is it for long periods of time? Do you camp out in the studio just like in the Chopping Block (second Danielson album) days?

I don’t go to NJ to record Danielson albums anymore. If I happen to be there and things are set up I will record, but now if Daniel needs me to record vocals I do it at home. Jon is set up with some very nice recording equipment and I get set up in my closet and record for hours. That seems to be the best place in the house because the clothes swallow up any echoes.

When we were recording the instruments for my Dad’s new album, I did fly home for that because Daniel wanted to record everything as a live unit. It was pretty amazing. So, no. No more camping out in the studio.

Do the kids get to spend any time in the studio? If so, do they like it and the music?

The kids have been in both Glen’s studio as well as Daniel’s new studio but they haven’t hung around while people are recording. They did sing for Glen once though at his studio. The closest they got to something like that is when Jon and I are recording together at home. We did have them sing on our Christmas song two years ago for the chorus. All the girls love music and both Rosemary and Esther play piano. I think it’s important for the kids to have a piano base and then if they want to explore more instruments, they can. I started with piano and now I play piano, flute, guitar, and ukulele. It’s fun to have some choices.

Where do you find your inspirations for creating art both in crafts and music?

For my music, I am inspired by the Psalms. When you first read them, you can kind of breeze through because they are poetic songs. The more I delve into them, however, the more I am struck by how deep and powerful the words are and how they personally affect me in my life. For my designs, I am inspired by color. I start with my color schemes and the designs seem to emerge from that.

How has your faith inspired you?

My faith in the Lord is what keeps me going every day. I find my peace and joy and excitement in life because of Him. To step back and look at life and everything that people do to stay busy, it makes you realize how meaningless so many things are that we do. It all fades away to dust. I am trying (and fail and try again) to live life and everything within that realm with the knowledge that I was created just as I am to bring glory and honor to my Father. Everything else just falls into place from that.

What is your favorite piece from your wardrobe?

I have an Anthropologie sweater that I really love.

Do you have a fashion icon or inspiration?

I adore the fashions from the 40’s and 50’s. In fact, at one point in my life I lamented that I wasn’t born during that period of time because my figure suits the styles. And who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn as a fashion icon?

Any thoughts on modesty?

I wish that women knew, really knew, how beautiful they are. If they did, I don’t think that they would try quite so hard to gain approval from not only men but women as well in the form of clothing choices. You can tell a woman to her face how beautiful she is, but 90% of the time, she’ll shake her head and nod yes, but in her heart she doesn’t believe you.

What styles of music do you like best?

This may surprise you, but I love classical music. I love the complexity of it and it never ceases to make my heart happy when I hear it.

If you were to name your top three favorite bands of all time (without naming bands you are involved in or those with people you know), who would they be?

I love Blond Redhead. We actually had the privilege of playing with them a couple times and they are really cool people. I don’t know if they would remember us though. I also really like Hanne Hukkelberg, a Norwegian artist. She has a beautiful voice and I love her use of melody.

What bands or albums are you listening to and/or really into right now?

Right now I’m kind of listening to a bunch of different things. I’m listening to a lot of Django Reinhardt music, the newest Blond Redhead album, “Penny Sparkle,” and last week I started revisiting some Bob Dylan, although Rosemary doesn’t care for him at all. Today because it is now officially after Thanksgiving, I got out Sufjan Steven’s “Songs for Christmas” which everyone should own a copy of. It’s fun to start listening to Christmas music. I am definitely one of “those” who blasts the Christmas music in the house.

What are your goals for Mamma Made Designs? Would you like other people to help once the business kicks off? What are your needs?

I guess my goals for Mamma Made are to keep working on my sewing kits and get a good collection together. I will keep plugging away and hopefully people will really love the idea. I just have to take things one day at a time.

Any final words?

It’s really easy to get sucked up into anything you love to do. It can simply become all consuming. I just want to encourage everyone to do what you love to do, but remind yourself every day that what you do is not who you are.

LINKS

Danielson movie preview:

Danileson- Did I Step On Your Trumpet?

Rococo

November 21st, 2010

A lot of people tend to forget that lolita fashion, besides the Victorian period’s style, was also based on the styles of the Rococo period, mostly because the two periods were very similar. So sometimes just to throw people off, I describe something as “Rococo” instead of “Victorian” and make myself sound like a complete know-it-all. I’m kidding. I don’t really do that! In fact, I don’t really know too much about the Rococo period besides what Wiki tells me. So who is dying to see the new Harry Potter movie? Eh, eh? My husband and I have been doing HP (Harry Potter, not the computer) movie marathons, and I still need to catch up because it’s been so long since I’ve last seen them. I bought these fishnet and satin gloves (in pairs, of course) and the rose leggings while we were in downtown Philadelphia at a place called Soho. Let me tell you though, the store next to Soho was disgustingly called “Erogenous Zone,” and passing by it was the most uncomfortable thing I had to go through in a long time. Not only did it look like a strip club with mannequins behind the glass, but there was also a creepy-looking man at the store waiting at the door, scoping out passersby and hoping for customers. Now if I had wanted to buy lingerie, I really wouldn’t have wanted a guy to help me through the store to find underwear. Why does it seem like everywhere I go (not that I really shop in these places), these kinds of places are manned by men? From the photo below, you’ll see that I got my first petticoat. Because I’m Filipino, I have already acquired half slips (happy slip) from my mother, but they were nothing like this gorgeous petticoat. I like that it’s so long and really adds volume to any skirt. By the way, please do not mistake petticoats for pea coats. I do agree, though, that the two are very confusing! Who came up with the brilliant idea of naming an undergarment skirt a coat?

Hope everyone has had a good weekend! I know I’m going to be really busy very soon because I just got two new projects for my Web design freelancing job, and on top of that, I’m going back to school before I look too old to pass for a college student! Before I go, here’s “Rococo” from Arcade Fire’s newest album The Suburbs:

Looking for a similar necklace to what I wore in this post? Gigi is hosting a giveaway on my blog for four vintage-inspired cameo necklaces! Don’t forget to enter!

Autumn Attic

November 17th, 2010

I’ve been wanting to move all my clothes to the attic, which is really just the second floor of our house. My current closet, which is in our bedroom, can literally fit just one petite teenager in it. As you can imagine, with all the clothes I have stuffed in this tiny closet, it is not a pretty sight. I’m not sure how I’ve even managed keeping all my clothes there! I’m not that great at separating seasonal clothes because I pretty much wear my summer clothes (with layering) throughout the year!  Do you have the same dilemma? I bought my second pair of high-waisted skinny jeans, but this time, they weren’t six sizes bigger than my actual size! I don’t think I’d wear them without a long cardigan, though. They wrap around the butt too tightly, and I think high-waisted jeans make anyone’s butt look larger that it is! It’s no wonder that SNL called them “Mom Jeans”! To reverse the effect, even though these jeans accentuate a nonexistent butt, I still would advise girls not to wear jeans or pants that are too tight. I just had to laugh seeing ads for butt lifts and butt inserts! Seriously? That’s just weird. This year, I’ve been scouting for warm fall and winter outerwear with faux fur that doesn’t look tacky and isn’t too hard on the pocketbook. Even faux fur can be really pricey. Along with the hat I was wearing in these photos, I bought this vest and this heavy vintage 60′s coat, which smelled like teen spirit (from five decades ago) before I had it dry cleaned and fabreezed. I wish this coat were reversible. I just love the floral pattern inside! Speaking of fur, what is the deal with these so-called vegan and vegetarian fashionistas that wear real fur? I am guessing they chose not to eat meat for health reasons if not because of their hate for “murdering” animals? By the way, I wouldn’t mind being a vegan or a vegetarian if I had the willpower to, but I must say: I equally love cheesesteaks and Morissey.

Who wouldn’t want these pretty vintage-inspired cameo necklaces? These beauties come in fuchsia, purple, black, and brown. Fashion boutique Gigi is giving away four of these necklaces to four lucky readers!

Mandatory Entry:

1. Leave a comment here telling me what color of Gigi‘s cameo necklaces you would like to have: fuchsia, purple, black, or brown. Feel free to take a look around their website. They have some seriously cute things in there.

Bonus Entries:

  1. Join this site publicly via Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment here telling me that you did (3 entries).
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  3. Follow me on Twitter (@alaModest), and leave me a comment here telling me that you did. Include your user name.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway, and leave me a comment on here telling me that you did. Include your user name and/or a link to the tweet. Copy & paste this to tweet: “Win a Gigi Cameo Necklace from @alaModest http://bit.ly/9WK0oh #giveaway”
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  6. Post this giveaway as your status on Facebook, and leave me a comment here telling me that you did. Include your Facebook’s e-mail address. Copy & paste this: “Win a Gigi cameo necklace from alamodest.com! http://alamodest.com/?p=4136”
  7. Suggest that your friends “like” à la Modest on Facebook, and leave me a comment here telling me that you did and/or how many friends you invited (2 entries).
  8. Follow @Gigishoponline on Twitter, and leave me a comment here telling me that you did. Include your user name.
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For the bonus entries, I will check to verify if you have done these. If you are already subscribers/followers, indicate that you are in separate entries. Do not forget to leave me your real e-mail address!

This giveaway ends December 6th and is open to anyone, anywhere ages 16+.

This giveaway is based on random drawing. Remember, the more entries you have, the more chances of winning. Good luck!

————————————————————————————————–

WINNERS:

Congratulations to Victoria Tiedmann (Jusitce Pirate), Karina (CMHPfangrl), Steven van der Minne, and Corey for winning Gigi’s cameo necklaces! You will receive an e-mail from me shortly!

Congratulations to Victoria Tiedmann (Jusitce Pirate), Karina (CMHPfangrl), Steven van der Minne, and Corey for winning Gigi’s cameo necklaces! You will receive an e-mail from me shortly! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! More giveaways soon.

The City of Brothers

November 12th, 2010

What a glorious weekday! Wednesday night, Rob and I saw Sufjan Stevens (whom Rob likes to call “Sufie”) in Philadelphia with some friends. The lights, the sounds, and the dancing were just superb. Just when we thought the performance was too surreal to be live (because the sound was crisp like a recording), Sufjan makes an error or two, giving us a sigh of relief. The whole performance in its neon-lit glory was just amazing! We were blown away. The Kimmel Center Performance Arts theater was transformed into what looked like the set of Avatar. I wish I had taken photos of the costumes and dancing! Because it was Veterans Day the day after the concert, we also got to hang out more around the historic area (can’t not go there if you’re a tourist) and downtown where all the city hipsters abound. I was wearing this liberty ruffles shirt, which I seriously hadn’t planned to wear to Philadelphia, but I thought that was a funny coincidence! Here is Rob trying to shake his country’s moneymaker. The child statue from the photo below looks like the little girl from Silent Hill. Retrospect is a hip vintage store right next to Repo Records, where we got a whole bunch of CDs. Retrospect’s stuff was honestly a little too pricey for what I am used to, so I didn’t end up buying anything. They had a great selection of vintage fur coats, boots, and furniture, among other things. Of course, how could I forget the cheesesteaks? We had three meals with cheesesteaks, and we were only in Philly for a day and a half (one midnight on Wednesday night, and then lunch and dinner on Thursday… that’s a triple cheesesteak)!

Spring into Steampunk

November 9th, 2010

This shoe collection and many others such as these funky extra tall bar stools can be found at CSN Stores.

Just when I was talking about how obsessed I was with the steampunk look in my previous post, I found these gorgeous shoes from Demonia’s Tesla collection. I think the name of this collection is very clever and appropriate! I found my favorite pair from the collection which I’m going to be reviewing in an outfit post soon!

I know Halloween is over, but I don’t think I will give up wanting to have this look on a normal day.  I think all you need is to have elements of the theme in mind without going all out in order to keep yourself from looking like you’re off to a costume party. When the occasion calls for a costume, then you can go all the way from makeup to attire.

It was difficult to scout for modest steampunk clothing, but I was able to gather some that I saved on my Tumblr account. A lot of what I saw and didn’t keep had good ideas, but they were your typical skimpy bustier costumes. Here’s a neat steamworks art blog I found from a guy subscribed to à la Modest.

Moving on to the runway, designer John Galliano came up with an amazing steampunk-like line in his Spring 2011 collection most notably for the men. I embedded the full video below for your viewing pleasure. Although, I did find a favorite runway look from his womens collection:

Here is John Galliano’s Spring 2011 mens collection, girls! Watch out for Chaplin below!

Steampunk movies: Besides Steamboy, I recently found out about an extraordinary French steampunk film called Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec) by Luc Besson which I am dying to see! I must warn you that there is obviously nudity in this because they even had it in the trailer briefly. Netflix doesn’t have it in their database, but I hope they add it very soon!

Pump up the Pumpkins!

November 5th, 2010

Say hello to my maracas! I guess I have a lot of catching up to do with outfit posts—or any post for that matter! I’m glad that the fall weather finally kicked in and I’m now able to wear my beloved sweaters and layers! I’ve been really into clothing with a lot of volume lately (my hair doesn’t need any more). I just bought three to-sweat-for, over-sized sweaters last weekend, one of which I am wearing in these photos. I’ve also been toning down my wardrobe’s colors from bright pastels to neutrals as the season gets darker and colder. I’m not sure how long I can keep up with wearing neutrals. I just love the splash of colors!Last weekend was just a ton of fun. My husband Rob and I went on a haunted hayride at night and a normal hayride in the daytime with some friends, and then maneuvered through an eagle-shaped corn maze and picked up pumpkins to carve at a farm for the little get-together we had at our place. It was sad that not one trick-or-treater came by our house so none of our candy was given away. As non-sweet eaters (trust me, we LOVE sweets like everyone else but are trying to avoid them), we just don’t know what to do with all our candy. I’m thinking maybe the sweet scavenging scoundrels didn’t stop by our place because we didn’t decorate outside (the uncut Amazon grass should have been enough decoration!). Maybe I should give the candy away on the blog? Haha. Above, you’ll find “Corn on the Rob” and below, you’ll find the result of our carved pumpkin masterpieces! Corry had girl lips on hers, Dave’s was inspired by Spongebob, Ray’s was a cat because he’s a cat lover and sadly isn’t too warm around our dog, mine was the cyclops, and my husband Rob had the pumpkin with the “lazy” eye.

I couldn’t resist posting this photo of our dog which I took a few minutes ago while walking him. This ball of curly white fur is Bobby the bichon! He sticks out right now because it’s autumn. Wait till I take another picture in winter!

By the way, today is the last day to enter the Christa-Taylor giveaway! Also, my friend Victoria is hosting a contest for modest outfits that will end in 3 days! Make sure to enter that too (incentives: it’s her birthday and there will be a package filled with goodies)!

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