Today I would like to introduce you to the wonderful Kimberly (the hands behind Kimberly Andert Design). Her designs are available for purchase in her Etsy Shop. You can also check out her website to view more of her past designs.
Kimberly was nice enough to do a write-up about herself, what she makes and her shops and I am excited to share that with you today!
I have had a lifelong love of sewing, fashion and costume history. I started sewing at age 8, with encouragement from my grandmother. She was a real do-it-yourselfer, and taught me how to make something from almost nothing. I love creating wearable art pieces that are lavish and feminine, and most of my work is heavily embellished with lace, beadwork and ribbon. I also consider part of my aesthetic to be re-purposing. I have been a thrift shopper since my teen years; many of my pieces feature fabrics or trims salvaged from other garments. My favorite fabric to work with is silk, and you can find it in abundance in the thrift shops, in the form of blouses and dresses. I try to participate in one large wearable art show a year, so I can make a garment that is a bit more conceptual in nature. I can take up to 4 months working on a piece like that, so I enjoy turning my attention to smaller projects in between something so all-consuming.
What I make-
I have an Etsy shop- http://www.etsy.com/shop/rakijaa and currently, I have a mix of hats and dresses for sale. I started my shop on Etsy because my closet was beginning to fill up with garments I was creating for shows, magazine articles or just for myself (because I became obsessed with an idea I had to bring to fruition!). They served their original, creative purpose for me, but I wanted a way to get them out into the world, where they could be worn and enjoyed as a one-of-a-kind fashion statement or special occasion piece. Interestingly enough, the pieces that I have sold through the shop so far have not been sewn! They were all altered shoes-painted and embellished “Cinderella” slippers, and boots. So when inspiration hits again, I will paint more shoes to offer. I do take custom orders as well.
I am inspired by all kinds of things! I am sure most creative people are the same-we just look at the
world a little differently than a lot of people. I am definitely inspired by historic fashion, or costume. My work tends to reference specific time periods, either in look or feel. I have a love of Victorian and Edwardian fashion-it was very feminine, opulent and complex in construction. Structure is a feature that defines a lot of my work. It may be my sewing background, combined with that love of body modifying pieces like corsets, but structure is always where I begin when starting a new project. If a garment or hat doesn’t have a fundamentally good, strong base, then all the embellishing just won’t hold up. I also find myself inspired by the work of other creative people. My husband is a painter and illustrator. But, for the past three years, he has also done a multimedia public art project, painting a large fiberglass figure for a local city. Being his “design assistant” for these projects has made me want to incorporate more than just the usual fiber related bits and baubles into my work. We are both planning on learning how to weld this summer, because I want to experiment with combining the immovable structure of metal with the ethereal structure of fabric. I also belong to the Milliners of Etsy team, and the challenges that the group come up with for hats are always exciting. It is a really eclectic group of professional milliners, as well as those just learning the art of millinery. It has been a wonderful group to belong to-lots of sharing and enthusiasm for this art form.
I have a huge stash of things to choose from when inspiration strikes. I am a fabriholic, although I have become increasingly picky about what to add to the stash. I try to get to the thrift shop every month, to look for silks, laces, silk velvets, etc. Sometimes I will buy a jacket just for the buttons, or a dress for the lace, and then pass it on to someone else to use the fabric. My sewing room has floor to ceiling shelves for bins-ribbons, trims, lace, veiling, butterflies, beads, beaded appliques, sewing notions, etc. You name it, I probably have something like it in a bin! I buy a lot of seemingly odd stuff at the thrift stores as well, but you never know what will inspire you. I won’t buy anything that doesn’t speak to me, creatively. If I think “I could do something with that!” then in the cart it goes! When I need to purchase something specific for a project, I am turning increasingly to my fellow Etsians. The variety of supplies available on Etsy these days is amazing. I can buy small quantities, and the sellers are always friendly!
I just started this blog; it is primarily for my participation in the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1912 Titanic Sewing Project- I haven’t posted anything yet. Just got my first pattern- a 1912 wrapper. I will be posting about making the garment as I go along. It is a huge project, with over 400 sewers, and the goal being to sew all the garments from La Mode Illustree 1912.
Thank you Kimberly for sharing with us! Hope you all visit her sites and show her some love. Have a great day everyone!