Guest post on the Je Veux Magazine blog! And a bit more...

miercuri, 30 octombrie 2013

Hey folks!
Things have been pretty hectic around here lately, as I've been fully immersed in fulfilling the hugest order I had ever ever received... the mythical 6 bridesmaid dresses and 6 tulle petticoats for Jacqueline's wedding in Sydney!
But I have news and I will have more news in the following days.
For today the main piece of news is that I've been featured on the Je Veux Magazine blog! The sweet Eleonora published this guest post of me where you can read a bit about my story (and see some cute cute cute pics of my dresses).

Now that you read the post you can take a peak into the Australian affair... the dresses resting nicely on their hangers, waiting for the petticoats to be completed :D


Other news is that I decided it's about time to learn to do proper fashion illustration, since translating the millions of ideas from my head directly to the sewing machine can be a little nerve breaking given that it means changing my mind 1000 times before each new design! So after lots of wandering in the field of drawing I decided for pencils and watercolors for now (my wallet hopes I will not change my mind soon!)
So I present to you people... my first watercolor illustration! It's inspired by a vintage pattern cover from 1956 and I SO love it ("modest" me, I know!!)

That's it for tonight, I'll come back tomorrow with a post on my wild design-related shopping splurge of this week. :D

Love
Ela

1 YEAR OF ELOCHKA!

marți, 15 octombrie 2013


This is it folks, the day has come, today is Elochka's first birthday! Exactly 1 year ago, on October 15th 2012, I was opening my online shop with only 15 products I had made out of passion and love for sewing, without knowing what exactly will happen after. I had my beautiful friend Rosa as a model, another friend, the talented Beatrice from Bee Photography as a photographer, and a stunning old house as a location to photograph these 15 products. I remember the excitement of having my first sale just a few hours after opening the shop, but also the struggle of a few months until I started to understand how to actually get my shop to work on a regular basis.
Right now, I can surely say it has been the most challenging year of my life so far, because it was full of surprises, trial and error, and a very intense learning process which is still going on and will go on for a long time from now. Not only have I passed from a lifelong "corporate employee" mindset to the status of self employed and entrepreneur, but I also turned into the most fierce boss I have ever had.
But apart from the satisfaction of having turned my passion for sewing and vintage fashion into a business and income generator, what was really mindblowing for me was the possibility to meet so many nice people (my lovely clients) and to bring a contribution to so many events in people's lives all around the world. I made and shipped  bridesmaids dresses, prom dresses, rehearsal dinner or birthday party dresses, even a few unconventional wedding dresses, to so many places that I can't even believe it myself. My clothing now sits in dressing rooms in the US, Australia, UK, Ireland, Romania, Italy, Singapore, Canada, Japan, France, The Netherlands, and Slovakia, but I get equally excited when I add a new country to the "Elochka map".
At this moment, I count:
- 82 dresses sold
- 43 other items of clothing (skirts, petticoats, capes, coats, tops, shirts, blouses etc) sold
This is a total of 125 items of clothing sold in one year, which may not seem so many but given that I also MADE each and every one of them with my own 2 hands, for me it's a huge number , especially considering that 90% of this "production" is concentrated mostly in the last 7 months :)

And now the SURPRISE! On such a special occasion as my 1 year anniversary with Elochka, I'm launching 2 new designs that I created in the spirit of the fast approaching holiday season! I will continue this winter holiday inspired line in the following weeks, so today is only the beginning! I'll be taking custom orders for all the designs in this line, so if you want a special 50s inspired dress for Thanksgiving, your Christmas party or New Year's Eve, I'll be happy to make it for you.
The first dress is a black and gold taffeta and brocade dress, featuring a sleeveess, fitted bodice and a full gathered skirt, all complimented by a wide sash that can be tied into a bow. The dress can be purchased HERE.




The second design is an emerald green taffeta party dress with short, petal-like sleeves and a narrow sash. The dress can be also made in any other colour or colour combination, and it can be ordered HERE.





This being said, all I have left to say now is a big, big, BIG THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to live this dream.
- my family, for moral (and consistent material) support
- my "adoptive" Italian family for the continuous feedback (and for letting me have my atelier for a few months in their living room, turning it into a chaotic mess)
- my boyfriend (for always being next to me, despite the fact that having a permanently stressed and busy girlfriend who also burns dinner from time to time and hates to iron shirts is not an easy thing) and, not less important,
- my lovely clients from accross the Globe, for the endless confidence they show me every time they put their $$ in my account in exchange of having something made by my 2 hands

Ok, enough celebrating, back to work now! 6 bridesmaid dresses and 6 petticoats are waiting to be made now, for a BIG wedding in Sydney!

Love
Ela

CRAFTCAMP2013 AND NEWS

luni, 14 octombrie 2013

Hello readers, here we are in a new (cold) week of October! It's the last day of the first year of Elochka (anniversary post tomorrow!) and there have been a lot of things going on lately!

Last week I finally took the courage to submit my trademark registration for Elochka at the Chamber of Commerce in Milan so now it means that I only have 6 months to wait (and pray) that my submission is accepted.

This weekend I had the chance to participate at the first national gathering of the Italian Etsy sellers, Craft Camp 2013, organized by the wonderful fellows from the EtsyItaliaTeam. Luckily for me, it took place in Milan :D. I actually only managed to take part at the Saturday dinner and at yesterday's workshops (as usually, I left it on the last moments and Saturday workshops were no longer available when I registered... and I managed to get the second last ticket for yesterday :)). But even like this, I had the chance to meet wonderful and interesting people, and to find out new ways to improve my shop which I'll work on during the next days. Among other things, I am deeply grateful to the lovely Francesca from MatildeB for the precious supplier info, and to the equally lovely Antonella, owner of Altmeansold and AltDesign for the precious tips on packaging :D (she also has THE cooolest business cards I have ever seen - see above on the right). And last but not least, a big BRAVO to Francesca of Etherealflowers, Cristina of Trepuntozerocivette and the organizing team for a great event which we hope to have again next year!
Oh and I bought a handmade pin from a seller whom I did not know so I don't have a name to share here, but she had the most wonderful pins!

And last, but not least, today I delivered 2 new garments I made during the last days.
First is a warm wool cape for my boyfriend's colleague Paula, which I made in black according to her specifications, featuring 6 buttons which I covered in grey wool tweed for a bit of contrast. The cape is lined and it's perfect for this middle season weather.




And the second is a red party dress with black lace on the bodice, which I have just shipped to Victoria, Australia! I made this dress many times but this time the girl wanted it in floor length which is a first. I made it in taffeta, with a soft viscose lining under the lace on the bodice. It can be worn with or without the petticoat, just that this time it would require a floor length petticoat (I need to make one of these to have as a sample, given that the one I used for these pictures is knee length, but still, it shows the effect pretty well :).




Stay tuned for the anniversary post tomorrow, when I reveal 2 new designs I made these days and also another little surprise!
Happy week!

Love
Ela



The baby blue taffeta evening dress - COMPLETED!

marți, 1 octombrie 2013

Good day, readers! I can't believe it's October 1st already! Autumn is well on the way but today I'm defying it by showing you guys a baby blue taffeta evening dress :)

It's a project I have been working on since May (yes, MAY! I actually bought the fabric and notions for it in May...) but it's finally completed. It's for my lovely cousin and it will fly all the way to Bucharest as soon as I also get to complete the prom dress for her daughter. (on a side note, I have a cousin who has a daughter who has a prom - ok more of a homecoming ball but anyway - so does it mean I am turning into an ADULT??? scary...)
I am really happy to have completed my first draping project with this dress - the pleats on the front bodice are actually draped on the bodice structure layer and it took hours to get them to sit right. The bodice is also interfaced and has boning inside, for stability.

 The skirt is flared and softly pleated, and the skirt lining is an actual separate underskirt. My cousin wanted 2 different sashes, one in the colour of the dress and the other one in black, so I also tried to obtain different effects by tying one in the front and the other in the back.






Today I also shipped some lace samples for a girl in London who wants me to make her civil wedding dress with this design. The original dark blue is among her options but I really hope she will choose "old gold". But more on this later, I don't want to spoil the surprise.
So what do you think of the baby blue dress? Would you prefer it with the baby blue sash or with the black one? I can't decide!

Love
Ela

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