January 8, 2012


So far, so good!  The patterns were done!  The embroidery samples looked cute!  The organic fabric I got was great!

I just needed to tell them where to embroider on the pants and the jacket and I didn't know this part would be the most pain in the ass part at this moment!!

Printing out st. caveman and his fellows....

What I had to do was to put the creatures on the patterns.  Each pants has front and back.  The jacket is more complicated..it has front and back, then side panels, collar and 2 pieces of sleeves. 

Laying out the characters and wiping them off and starting it over,  I repeated this routine like a hundred times.  sometimes I went back to my computer and even changed the colors and the sizes of the details.    A lot of researches of woven patterns helped me.  I was even checking embroideries on curtains I could see from a cab without noticing.  Brain storming!!

Once I could figure out the trick to make it look good, the rest went smooth.  It's always like this.  It takes long time to figure out the trick but once we figured it out, everything goes so smooth and quick.  It's hard at the beginning but we should not give up there.  Just keep struggling and getting some hints from everywhere and eventually we see the tinny light at the end of the tunnel and once we can see the light the exit is so close!  This is squirrel's wisdom. :oB

Anyway, this small fight with tiny creatures took me for a week...
In other words, I must have been experiencing the same feeling as the people who did that illuminated manuscript in the medieval era.  I was experiencing the "devotion" I sensed from their works...

(I know.  I hear you are saying mine is a lil more easier comparing with their works...but still check the pics down here!)

↓ I put the characters on the samples and check the position of the characters...

then lay them out on the patterns.

jacket pieces...

Piles of the patterns.

It was hell of a work. 

I sent out the patterns and fabric and waited for 2 weeks or so...then they sent me this picture to let me check if it was OK to go ahead.

These are all done by hand. 
This IS a real devotion. 

Sadly, in this capitalist modern life, the devotion must be for money...Still, we could call it the devotion for art but you know, we are the generation after Andy Warhol...we all know there's no such devotion motivated by one pure love.  But it is too sad to say it out loud here in the squirrel's blog, so let's just say this is a pure love to "PIZZA"!! 
St. caveman would definitely say that!

The trial embroidery looked great and I told them to go ahead. 
After 1 month or so,
One sunny Monday afternoon, I got a package from India.

In the package.... here you go!


They wrapped each pieces in this thin soft papers.  They even smelled foreign county smell! ha ha!  Both Caveman and I smiled and even laugh out loud when we saw the st. caveman through this thin paper.

The jacket back.

The next step is sending these embroidered parts of jacket and pants out to a seamstress who has 20 year experience.

The good thing is the sewing factory she is working at is close by the leather wholesale place where I always get leathers from.  So I took Muni train and Bart and walked down to the sewing factory.  This part is the best I like.  My works are done by the squirrel actually walking around in San Francisco. 

Waited for another 1 month...and these are what I got.

It is super duper wide but I carefully chose the interfacing so it has a crispy shape, which I wanted to get!

The rabbit pants with my new jacket!
The first outfit is finally done.

cute, huh?

 Even inside looks great! 

The jacket!

There was nothing but an idea first and I made it from the scratch.  No one knows if it goes well or fails. No guide book, of course.  And I got this result.  How cool this whole thing I am fascinated with is! 


January 7, 2012


So my cute brand label (click here for the article about my brand label) made me start thinking I wanted to make a fabric like a tapestry which has st. caveman and his fellows were woven in.  I needed to make a couple of a pair of pants to style with my leather jackets for my new collection.   Models cant walk runway with only leather jackets, you know.  It would be too "ooh la la", if they walk without any bottoms.  And I didn't wanna use the items which I didn't design. 
It would be cool to make those pants out of the original fabric I designed.  So I decided to make an original fabric with st. caveman woven in.

I started to google the weavers.  alibaba.com!  even though we have these convenient tools, they never work without a correct keyword.  I couldn't find anything I needed.  At that time I was still working for a local couture designer's place and the designer had done tons of fancy Indian embroidery stuff.  So I contacted the embroidery guy in India to ask for a help!  and thank god...the embroidery guy replied me and told me what I needed would be a "hand loom".  He didn't know any hand loom mills but still, knowing the correct keyword was a big step for the squirrel.  I went back to alibaba.com and started looking for the hand loom mill and easily could get one! 

However, man, there are so many hardships to get over once we decided to do something new and original.

The next hardship was a "minimum order". 

The minimum order was 1000 meters.  So I negotiated and reduced it to 250 meters....Still 250 meters of fabric are about enough for 125 pants.  It is way too many pants for the tiny lil squirrel brand.  But I really didn't wanna miss this chance....so what this squirrel did was to ask around people if there were someones who wanted to share the loom.  Fortunately this squirrel has a lot of cool artist friends and she could get more responses than she expected!!...but still, while I was calculating the shipping cost and custom stuff, I started being scared because too much money flows.  It was too risky and too complicated.  And I didn't wanna involve my friends in this risky situation.  Being too stubborn and sticking to our first ideas would provide nothing.  Could be even dangelous...but still it was too quick to give it up.  We don't really need to give it up as long as we prepare alternative plans... I remembered the hand loom person told me what I wanted to make might also work with embroidery...so I got back to the embroidery guy.  It is more safer because the minimum order is less than hand loom...Thus my plan B started....

Meanwhile my illuminated manuscript was getting done...This is the one.

But this pattern was too complicated to be embroidered.
So I made a lil more simple version and sent the image to them.

This is the first sample they did.

How cute!!

St. caveman looks great in the embroidery!

Acorn bug looks even cuter in the embroidery!

My best favorite part is this.  Hedgehog!  She came out very profound.  Looks like a dark star!! This reminded me of my favorite song which title is "dark star" by Grateful Dead.  "Daaark star crusshing...♪"

They told me if the background has a texture like twill, it will get more "woven" look.

So the squirrel ran to the organic fabric whole sale place in my town.
This is their website if you are interested...they have tons of cool organic fabric in reasonable price.  (10 yards minimum)


This is the one I got.

A beautiful hemp fabric with a beautiful texture and color.

The next step I had to do was finishing up the design of the pants I had been working on to send the patterns of those to the embroidery guys so they can mark on the fabric with my patterns for positioning where they should embroider.

I made two pants, and guess what?  I even made a jacket, too!  I was so excited these would be an awesome st. caveman suit!!

This is the sample.  I always make a sample in cheap canvas fabric.

As you can see, the jacket looked a lil too heavy so I made it shorter but still I didn't wanna make it too short considering when people wear it with jeans.  We the designers always gotta imagine various situations. 

Also made the pants a lil narrower and made the shape like a streamline shape to avoid to get a wasted part of the fabric.  The fabric is 60" width and when we cut pattern pieces out, we have to layout the pattern pieces effectively within the 60" width to keep  it low cost.   This is a very professional detail so it would be a lil hard to understand for you guys but  this pants were too wide and that could be the cause of providing a lot of wasted space on fabric.  So I had to reduce the pants width but still needed the pants to look super duper wide...reduced it lil by lil, and stopped at the point I think this is the most I could reduce to keep it look super wide!! 

you know, fashion designers always struggle in between their budgets and design ideas.  We gotta work effectively in those restrictions.  Being a fashion designer is like this.  Not fabulous as you guys think..... 

And at this moment, I didnt know the next step would be more pain in the ass!

oops, it is time to get back to work....I will tell you the rest of the story tomorrow nite!  

"Can the squirrel get over the hardships and get this projcet done?!"  
Wait until tomorrow!