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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Something wicked

Happy Halloween! 
*gothic skull dress by Rosie Rose

Friday, February 3, 2017

Guilt-Free Fashion.... is it possible?

A few of the garments available from my shop made from sustainable bamboo fabric.

We are living in a modern world of "fast fashion"... clothing made quickly and cheaply, by workers who are underpaid, working in dangerous conditions, and with little thought to the sustainability of the materials used. Big clothing manufacturers operate for the most part outside the USA to avoid safety regulations. Factory fires and building collapses have been responsible for injuring and killing hundreds of people at a time. Dangerous conditions persist until something terrible happens, and even then very little changes. As far as the environmental impact, it is troublesome as well. Dye is dumped into rivers, air pollution standards are a joke, and chemicals being used for processing fabrics are "lost in the manufacturing process" (so where is it going? on the workers, and into the ground and water).

As a small clothing manufacturer, on initial view of the situation, it would seem there is very little I could do to counter all this bad juju on the clothing industry. How can I, as one person, make a difference? But... over the years I am proud to say I have come up with many ways to make my own production process as ethical and earth-friendly as possible, including:

1.Using upcycled fabrics. This includes clothing I have donated to me, or from thrift shops (always thoroughly washed/cleaned before use) as well as fabric salvaged from vintage linens (curtains, tablecloths, lace, etc). This is in my eyes, the best, smallest-footprint way of doing things. In fact, you might even call it a reverse footprint, because in many cases the things I use would have ended up in a landfill, and instead are made into a precious, beautiful creation, well-made, that the customer will keep longer than a regular store-bought garment, not only because of it's beauty, and quality, but because of the specialness of being made by an artist. Simply by my having touched and changed the clothing into something new, it has added artistic value to it. Even if the customer gets rid of the garment, it probably will be given to a friend or thrift shop and not the garbage (I hope!).

2. Dyeing my own fabrics in small batches with zero waste (I use just enough dye that is absorbed into the fabric, no more, and the dye molecules bond permanently into the fibers, so any small amount of liquid left is basically just water). I have also started using plant-based dyes such as indigo and coffee.

3. In my fabric-cutting process, there is almost zero waste. I design my patterns to use the fabric as efficiently as possible, making pieces that either fit together like puzzle pieces or are cut in panels. Often times when I cut a garment I literally have zero scraps left because even the small pieces are used to make bindings, pockets, and button loops. Any scraps I do end up with are saved for future projects that use smaller pieces such as scarves, bags, and to make appliques.

4. I have added bamboo fabric to my repertoire which is a truly wonderful, low impact, earth-friendly material. Bamboo grows very quickly and needs no irrigation or pesticides. It produces more per square foot than any other natural fiber fabric. It's also breathable, and naturally resists mold and bacteria. The company I get it from guarantees it is made in ethical conditions. It is expensive but I buy it in bulk so I can keep my prices reasonable.

Who wants to feel guilty about the clothes they're wearing? Not me.

My hope is that people will decide they don't want to feel bad about their clothing anymore, either, that it IS important, and take individual action. Myself and many other artists are making some stylish and creative alternatives to the fast fashion offered at chain stores. While most people probably can't afford to buy an entire wardrobe of handmade clothing (although if you can, you totally should), if you buy a mix of thrifted, vintage, and handmade clothing, it will cost less than buying everything brand new from a chain store. Even with a chain store's low prices, or mad sales, the clothing will wear out and have to be replaced much more frequently than with quality clothing, so it's not such a great deal after all. And who wants to all look the same, anyway?

Look at it this way: every item you don't buy from a chain store, is one less thing in your closet that may have been made in awful, unsafe conditions, with little regard for the planet or the workers making it... and if you instead buy that item from a local artist, you do several great things: you put your dollars back into the local economy, you support a small business, you don't contribute to the destruction of the planet, or to the fat pocketbooks of overpaid CEOs, AND you the consumer are the true winner because you end up with unique clothing that nobody else has, that will last a very long time. It's really a win-win-win-winner situation. I encourage you to investigate where your clothing comes from... do the manufacturers have a good history of ethical conditions and ecofriendly practices? And if not, are you OK with that? You as the consumer have the power of the almighty dollar; your dollar is a vote for success wherever you spend it. Choose wisely.

Thanks for reading!


Right now is a great time to check out my clothing because I have a bunch of cute new designs AND I'm having a 25% off sale. All you have to do is type the code "shopsmall" in the coupon box at the checkout and it will take 25% off your total. As always please let me know if you have any questions. I am always happy to help you shop.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in review

The numbers are in, and 2016 has been my best year yet! I'm so proud of my little business and how it continues to grow. My sales this year have been the best ever in my Etsy shop, and local sales blew last year's out of the water. My sincere gratitude goes to my fantastic customers who are always enthusiastic and supportive!

Highlights of the year: learning to print my own fabrics, having my oilcloth bags featured in the fall edition of Arkansas Made Magazine, and having my spring collection of 20 looks, entitled "The Punk Princess" accepted into the Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week spring 2017 runway show!

I have also had the opportunity to have my dresses featured in some great photography. Here's some of my favorite recent work.... enjoy, and I wish you the happiest of New Years!! Thanks for looking!

Headpiece and dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Loki Lott

Headpiece and dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Melody Rummel Photography

Headpiece and dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Melody Rummel Photography

Cinderella Dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Melody Rummel Photography

Mermaid Gown by Rosie Rose
Model Melody Rummel
Photo by Loki Lott
Dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Loki Lott

Dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Melody Rummel Photography

Dress by Rosie Rose
Model Evie Kalmar
Photo by Melody Rummel Photography

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Call for Photographer for David Lynch inspired collection

*Preface- if you are a photographer, model, or h/mua interested in working with me on other projects, please feel free to comment below! I appreciate your interest and perhaps we can work on something together. 

Call For Photographer:

I am looking for a photographer for a project I have long wanted to do. A collection of clothing inspired by the ICONIC and incredible work of David Lynch, particularly Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. I can't even begin to describe my feelings for these works. I love them, they make me feel things deeply, they are RICH with powerful imagery.

The clothing for the collection is mostly still in sketches, a few pieces are actually underway. I would like to arrange to shoot in 2 months. The clothing.... will be spectacular.... it will include ephemeral gowns, sexy blouses, textured skirts and dresses, chunky oversize sweaters, which will be inspired not only by the clothing from the movies but the themes, imagery, scenery, patterns, etc.

I am looking for someone who is equally obsessed with David Lynch, who knows the moods and scenes and characters... I am hoping to find someone who is as excited by this project as me. If you are not a fan but this is reeeeally appealing to you, I would still consider you, but you have some TV watching homework to do. 

I don't want to duplicate the inspiration material but I want it to set the MOOD, inspire the makeup, and the lighting, as well as props and other details that would add to the artistic connection (nitrous mask, YES!). I also would like the models to have some resemblence to key characters in the works, specifically: Laura Palmer(medium-long blonde hair), Audrey Horne (short haired brunette), Nadine Hurley(redhead with eye patch) of Twin Peaks, and Dorothy Valens (curly haired brunette played by Isabella Rosselini) of Blue Velvet. The same model(s) could double for characters. 

Payment:  Essentially TFP. I can provide a small stipend, which you may keep as compensation for your time, or use in part for gas money, supplies for the shoot, etc.  

What I need to get back from the shoots: 1-2 edited photos of each look I send you. I would be posting the photos on my various social media and also in my Etsy shop, which gets traffic from all over the world. Clothing needs to be returned promptly after the shoot with no stains or tears.

Arranging the shoot: Ideally photographers would want to arrange most of the details of the shoot such as location, models, and h/mua. This has worked out well before as it avoids miscommunications from "too many cooks in the kitchen" so to speak. I would be in contact with you, and you could conduct the team. 

I will have some specific ideas for scenes and poses I would like to see but there is room for creative freedom on your part as well. I am always open to ideas.

Contact: If you are interested in learning more, email me at or send me a message on facebook (Rosie Rose or Rosie Rose Designer page) and we can discuss details. If you have never worked with me before, please include two references that I can contact. 

Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you soon! :)

example of my previous work....
photo by Brett Stoddart, TIDY
model Twig Noir
hair by Kristin Lillig
makeup by Stephanie Duaime

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dresses inspired by fruit

After a very busy fall, doing October weddings and then Halloween costumes, I'm unwinding by doing some creative stuff. These are some fun sketches I did yesterday of dresses inspired by my favorite fruits. 

Watermelon gown, copyright Rosie Rose 2015
(Pieced green silk dupioni striped fabric with hand dyed white--pink ombre silk in the slit)

Raspberry gown, copyright Rosie Rose 2015
(pink, raspberry, and burgundy silk scale skirt paired with a raspberry silk dupioni bodice)

Apple gown, copyright Rosie Rose 2015
(Scarlet velvet with a crisp white cotton center panel with black "seed" buttons)

Pomegranate dress, copyright Rosie Rose 2015
(Gray velvet with a sheer gray chiffon upper bodice and collar, and deep red silk scales in the slit)

Monday, May 18, 2015

A visit from the Cedar Waxwings

After being cooped up in an apartment with no personal yard for the last three years (we had half a porch and a strip of sidewalk in front), my husband and daughters and I were finally able to move in January to a lovely house which has a good-size yard surrounding it. It is beautifully landscaped, full of flowers, and we don't have to share it with anyone. We couldn't be happier. We are all nature lovers and have been spending lots of time outdoors just soaking it in. Being surrounded by green leaves, the air full of the smell of grass and honeysuckle and ringing with bird songs, with my hands in the dirt of the garden--- pure joy, my friends. I needed it. 

The house is a rental, so we can't make any big changes to anything, but we did put in a small raised bed garden in front which I planted with heirloom veggies. It's probably as much as I could handle right now anyway, with a four year old who is going to be home all summer, and a young baby. I just have to go out and water it once a day, and sometimes pull a few stray seedlings that have fallen from some tree in our yard and have landed in everything. 
Raised bed garden planted with organic heirloom veggies: sugar snap peas, tomatoes, lettuce, chard, and spinach, basil, pole beans and bush beans, acorn and yellow squash, beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, bell peppers, and marigolds around the border as a pest repellent. My goal is to be able to make fresh garden salads all summer and also harvest some vegetables to make into food for the baby. 
The yard has some interesting plants and we've had some really wonderful wildlife also. The day before Easter we discovered there are two fat bunnies that live in the hedges around the yard. My daughter has dubbed them Fredrick and Susan. We are hoping they have babies and bring them around. Here is one of our wild bunnies....

The centerpiece of the front lawn is a Japanese Privet tree (a.k.a. Ligustrum Japonicum), and there are two smaller ones as well. It's a striking and odd-looking tree in the winter because it has no leaves but it is covered in lots of blue-purple berries. People always ask what it is. During the winter we had cardinals, robins, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers... but none of them touched the berries. Then one morning in April, there was a loud twittering outside and we saw at least fifty cedar waxwings in the privet trees and also in the hedges (which have a different kind of berry). I was excited because they are one of my favorite birds; they are very social and acrobatic. After watching them for a while I could see they were picking the tree clean! They ate all the berries in two days and then moved on. Then immediately after, the tree began to grow leaves, filled out with foliage, and then bloomed with clusters of white flowers all over it. Very pretty. I do have to say though that I cannot in good conscience recommend anyone buy a Japanese Privet tree for their yard because it is classified as an invasive species which takes over and displaces native plants, and also causes soil erosion. I also read that the berries are not considered a nutritious food source for birds. However I did have sunflower seeds out, which I know are a great food for birds, and the cedar waxwings didn't touch them. They came for the berries. (Maybe they like junk food?) 

I took a lot of photos of the cedar waxwings; here are the best ones! Enjoy.

Cedar waxwings in the Japanese privet tree. 

I had never noticed the lovely painted details of the cedar waxwings' feathers. The tiny red bars on the wings and that bright yellow tail-tip. And that exquisite mask! What strikingly handsome birds.

Natural acrobats.

Here you can get an idea of the sheer number of birds we were seeing that day! They were very noisy.

Look at the branches now.... they've been busy.

Until next year, adieu, little fellas~~~! Happy flying.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fabrics under the microscope.

 I was checking out some fabrics with my microscope and found it really fascinating, more than I expected. The shape of the fibers and the way they are woven together varied greatly between fabric types and helped me understand why different fabrics behave they way they do. I took some photos and paired each one with a photo of the fabric and a brief description.

warm, fluffy fleece has even, thickly packed fibers

Shiny, thick brocade has tightly woven flat fibers

cotton organza has a very stiff, structured feel and is very breathable.

silk organza is also stiff and airy 

Black and white print cotton, soft feeling and has a fuzzy-looking fiber.

cotton jersey, soft and stretchy, loosely woven soft, dense fibers

velveteen is just a mess of soft furry fibers

satin is made of tightly woven smooth fibers

chiffon is light and breezy and the fibers are thin and flexible

shiny smooth silk has tightly woven, perfectly even and smooth fibers

this is a thicker, rougher silk, and the fibers are thicker and more uneven.

silk dupioni is usually made of two colors of silk fiber. Most of it is evenly woven, except for the slubs which are patches of thicker fibers.
This iridescent green silk flashes red because it's woven with red fibers

shantung is a little more evenly woven

the fibers of this silk mesh look like wires, thin and translucent

knit fabrics are loosely woven so they can stretch

linen fibers are softly twisted

Tulle is actually composed of very thin smooth plastic fibers

shiny slip fabric is made from softly twisted fibers
Fusible interfacing (which fuses to fabric with heat activated glue) has thin fibers that can melt when heated
stitch witchery is similar and also composed of thin, easily melted fibers

nylon lace is formed of knotted fibers
Thread is made of many tightly twisted thin fibers