Category Archives: Fashion


Summer is all over but the shouting and we’ve been busy, busy, busy here at SODesigns!

Just got an update from our favorite designer, Natalia Fedner – the dress with the angora yarn has recently been tried on by not one, not two, but three entertainment industry heavy hitters! Here’s another look if you missed it the first time –

Famous DressNatalia told me who the famous woman are, but I can’t share that info with you…yet! Trust me when I say I’m over the moon about it and wish Natalia years and years of fashion success.

Meanwhile, back at the Studio – we’ve moved! The space above the yarn shop proved to be too small for three people to work in and so we put Jean on the hunt for a larger space that’s closer to her house. Less than 24 hours later we were looking at the perfect space and moving in as quick as we could. Jean makes shit happen!

Now the Sweatshop Girls are hot and heavy into production for the upcoming Craft Faire Season – we’re booked for six weekends in a row November thru early December. Schedule to follow. These particular shows are geared towards people looking for Holiday gifts so we’re churning out goods as fast as we can – no fleece or stuff to spin for these shows except packaged as gifts for knitters and spinners.

An interesting conversation the other day:

Jean: I think we need more fiber to spin if we’re going to make enough stuff for all the shows…

Awana: Yes! We don’t have much wool laying around do we?

Me: ::blink blink::

J: Where do you two usually get your wool? We have to watch the costs and it has to be locally sourced.

A: I dunno – Sofia, where do you get your Romney wool?

Me: Well…I generally just open this here bin and fish out what I want. If it’s not there I look in this bin. And this box, which is full of alpaca fleece. Or this bin, full of angora fiber. Or this bag here – more Romney. This bag is Scottish Blackface wool. Over here we have some commercial stuff, firestar, silk, even a bit of Quiviut…

Them: ::blink blink::

Me: I think we have plenty of fiber for what we’re doing 🙂

Pictures to follow – the new Studio has WiFi, so expect updates to appear in a more timely manner…

Under the Gunn – Team Challenge

This week each team had three members, so you know it was time for a Team Challenge – not usually a favorite challenge for any designer.

I must admit when I saw the previews and heard Nick saying, “I cannot take responsibility for this – it’s ALL theirs!” I was worried. I know the show is edited to maximize drama, but this clip had me biting my nails (figuratively, of course!) to see the show.

The inspiration was “Pompeii” but the designers were instructed not to make costumes. All of the looks had to be wearable.

It wasn’t looking good during sketch time with Nick doing all the talking. It wasn’t looking good at Mood with Natalia and Stephanie brainstorming and picking coordinating fabrics and Oscar off doing his own thing. The first day in the workroom was a disaster, with Tim admonishing Nick to do something to pull his team back together. Oscar was not listening to or working with the girls and all of the designers were cutting eyes to Team Nick and shaking their heads.

The day of the runway saw Oscar have a change of heart – he was at last a member of a team and took charge to coordinate the designs. I feel he might have been a little heavy-handed, turning it into an Oscar Collection, but in the end it worked fabulously.

Natalia’s design was my favorite:

I’m never a fan of a “romper” but I love the way they all used the little metal studs to link the designs and the order the models went out onto the runway was genius – Stephanie’s romper first, Natalia’s gown, followed by Oscar’s pure white outfit – you could see the three designs were a collection very clearly. If only Oscar could have incorporated just a little hint of blue it would have been perfect, IMHO.

Oscar’s outfit was classic and wearable:

While Stephanie’s romper wasn’t to my taste, her coordination with Natalia with the fabric choice and Oscar with the square “cape” were beautiful:

Team Nick deserved to win and I hope it’s the first in a long line of many!

Under the Gunn – Unconventional Materials

Last week’s design challenge on Under the Gunn was the unconventional materials challenge. The designers were given a ridiculously short amount of time to choose materials from piles in a darkened, foggy landscape –

The theme was “Unconventional Vampire,” something a woman would wear to the premiere of “Vampire Academy.”

We didn’t see much of Natalia this episode, which is just fine at this point in the competition – being in the middle of the pack is safe and much better than always being on the bottom. Of course, we’d love for her to be in the top, but have faith that she will be before long 🙂

I thought Natalia’s design was elegant and red carpet worthy. It showed off her style while still remaining true to the challenge and wearable – far from a costume.

Michelle was the clear winner, but Natalia should have come in second or third, IMHO – the other designers didn’t use as much unconventional materials or the designs were just boring. Too bad I’m not a judge 🙂

It was a bit cruel to make Anya responsible for the final decision as to which of her team members went home but it did make Under the Gunn stand out from the other Project Runways.

Mondo seemed rather lost and not able to advise his designers, which I did not expect. Anya did a good job mentoring, but she sure led Brady and Nicholas down the wrong paths with her definitive statements, landing them in the bottom three with a loud thump.

Thankfully Nick backed off and let his team do their thing, which was not easy considering Isabelle is insane and Oscar has a need to overdo everything. I wish we could see more of the designers, instead of the edited version – I think the whole story is much more interesting and resent the editing for drama content.

Go Team Nick!

Almost Famous!

Thursday was incredibly busy after a very busy Wednesday. Heck, the whole week has been non-stop running in the very best way. Lots of new ideas and projects in the hopper for upcoming events and hopefully the website will be up in the next week or two. Sleep? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Last night I shut down the computer after putting out a few fires so I could get the last 10 rounds done on the sock for class today. It was 9:00 PM and I turned on the TV for some soothing distraction and what did I find but Tim Gunn’s new Project Runway spin-off Under the Gunn. I had looked at the cable listings and thought it was on at 10:00 – too late for me to stay up – and had planned to catch it today or Saturday. Boy, am I glad I decided to watch!

If you aren’t familiar with it, Under the Gun brings three Project Runway winners (Anya, Mondo and Nick) back to mentor a group of designers through Project Runway type challenges. Last night was the first episode and eight designers were tested to see if they could impress the mentors enough to be chosen for their team – each mentor gets to choose four designers.

Imagine my surprise to see Natalia Fedner among the designers! You might recall that I spun some angora rabbit yarn for her line back when the weather was somewhat warmer than witches’ boobs in brass bras. Here she is wearing my yarn –

Can I get a squeeeee?!? Okay, the yarn is only embellishment, but hey, it was on TV. Not only that, but they showed pictures from each designers portfolio on the show. That’s right! A picture of my yarn was in the same room with Anya, Mondo and Nick! On TV!! Tim Gunn actually LOOKED AT something I spun!!!

Yes, yes, I know that no one looked at my yarn and thought to themselves, “Gee, I wonder where Natalia got that fabulous yarn? Maybe I can contact the person who made it and have her make me some that I will buy for a gazillion dollars and make her rich and famous…” but it could happen, right?

So, yeah. I was almost on TV last night. Natalia made it through to the next round so maybe we’ll see more of my yarn on the runway.

Go Natalia!