See Us at the Night Market!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve got one more event coming up before the year ends. You’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume at the Life:Forms Night Market Holiday Shopping Soiree. This event will be held at Om Culture, a beautiful yoga and event studio just blocks away from Gas Works Park in Seattle.

Be there: December 15th, 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Life:Forms Night Market

The Night Market is not your typical arts and craft fair. For one, there’s this awesome thing where it runs until 2 a.m.. There is no getting up early on a Saturday morning to get the best stuff. You can get done with work, enjoy a little dinner, and then finish your holiday shopping.

We’ll be among more than 30 great local vendors. Not only will there be lots of handmade goods, but there’s will also be crystals, tarot readings, tea, and kombucha.  DJs will be creating the perfect soundtrack for your shopping experience. It’s a very Seattle kind of event.

Black velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Black Velvet Ruffle Mini Skirt with black pinstripe ruffle. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

If you’ve got some witchy types on your shopping list, this is the place to find the perfect gift from local artists and business owners. How wonderful is that?

Sakkara Clothing & Costume will be bringing a selection of our handmade, eco-friendly clothes, and drawstring dice bags (which make great gifts, or reusable wrapping for other gifts).

Dice Bags from Sakkara Clothing and Costume
Drawstring bags. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

There’s no cover to attend the Night Market, so even if you’re one of those organized people who already has their holiday shopping done, it’s worth just coming out to browse. You never know when you’ll find something perfect for yourself, or discover a new-to-you artisan.

5 Reasons Why We Love Bamboo Fabric

You may have noticed that most of our garments are made with a blend of organic cotton and bamboo. The reason for the organic cotton is probably obvious (I mean, it’s the fabric of our lives…wait, is the author dating herself here?), but why bamboo?

We’re glad you asked! Let us tell you five reasons why we love bamboo fabric.

1. Bamboo is a hardy plant. If you’ve ever had bamboo in your yard, you know how persistent it is. Whether you tend to it or not, it just keeps growing. Not only does bamboo grow fast, but it’s drought-resistant and needs little to no fertilizer or pesticide. The qualities that make it a low-maintenance addition to your garden also make it a sustainable crop. Eartheasy has some great information about the environmental benefits of bamboo. For instance, did you know that bamboo forests are so dense, they return 30% more oxygen to the atmosphere than trees? Cool!

2. It has moisture-wicking properties. You’ll find bamboo in a lot of eco-friendly active wear because its unique structure breathes and keeps you from getting sticky. This also tends to make it feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, allowing you to wear your favorite yoga pants in comfort year-round. According to Textile Exchange’s Bamboo Fiber Analysis, bamboo  is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton fabrics.

Organic Cotton and Bamboo Pants
Black organic cotton and bamboo cinch leg pants. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC.

3. Bamboo is anti-microbial. This is another great property for active wear, as it will keep your clothes smelling fresher longer. That’s why bamboo is especially popular for socks!

4. It’s just so soft. Bamboo lends a lot of silkiness to the cotton blend fabrics it’s added to. You may just find that you want to wear your Sakkara items all day every day; the fabric feels that nice. When we started making pants, only 100% cotton was available. It was the best we could get at the time, but cotton pills and tears faster and is not as soft. Bamboo is amazing because it essentially fixed all of those issues.

Cotton and Bamboo Pants
Charcoal and black striped cotton and bamboo pants. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC.

5. Finally, because it’s a natural fiber, bamboo is biodegradable. We’re dedicated to sustainable fashion here. We make every garment to withstand years of wear, but nothing lasts forever.  When your favorite pants finally go to the great laundry basket in the sky, they won’t leave behind a synthetic mess in the landfill.

Now do you understand why bamboo is so popular for slow fashion designers? It’s one of our favorite materials to work with and we look forward to producing ethical active wear from it for years to come.

See You at BurlyCon!

BurlyCon X

BurlyCon X is happening in Seattle this weekend, November 9-12. It’s always great to see an amazing event celebrate a milestone anniversary, so a big congratulations to BurlyCon on 10 years! We’re looking forward to celebrating with you.

What can you expect at BurlyCon? First, this is a burlesque education convention. Learn from some of the best performers on the scene who will be covering topics such as The Art of Seduction to Zippers, Snaps, and Hooks, Oh My!  One thing we really love about this event is that it goes beyond dance technique, featuring instruction on the business side of dance, like The Producer’s Tool Kit.

There’s also a lot of opportunity for discussion, with caucuses and panels happening throughout the weekend. Check out the subjects and get your schedule here!

BurlyCon X anniversary poster design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like any good convention, there’s great vending, too! You’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume vending this weekend, with ethical fashion pieces for performances, classroom, and street wear.

Ruffle Bootie Shorts
New Ruffle Bootie Shorts! ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

These ruffled bootie shorts are fabulously simple, yet super cute. Fully lined and designed with the expert fit we’re known for, these shorts layer great with your favorite leggings! By the way, the gold highlights in the fabric pick up stage lighting perfectly. 😉

Silver Gloves by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Silver fingerless gloves with button detail. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

Cute, fingerless gloves (that won’t break the bank) are a timeless accessory for any dancer. We’ll have them in a variety of materials and colors to match your favorite costumes. Our gloves are also a great gift for your dance friends back home as a souvenir from BurlyCon!

Teal velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume
Teal crushed velvet ruffle miniskirt. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

Our velvet ruffle mini skirts can go from classroom to stage to nightclub. Teachers, these really help accentuate your bootie, making it easier for your students to follow what you’re doing, especially if you choose a color that contrasts with your pants.

We can’t wait for a fun, powerful weekend at BurlyCon X. We hope to see you there.

Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion

Depending on what corners of the internet you hang out in, you may have heard the terms “slow fashion” and “fast fashion”. If you have any lingering questions about what these terms mean and why they matter, read on.

Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion

What Is Fast Fashion?

If “fast fashion” makes you think “fast food”, you’re on the right track. Fast fashion is to clothing what fast food is to cuisine. Both are mass produced to be quick, cheap, and convenient. Neither are particularly good for you.

Where fast food tempts us with the idea of a meal and a drink for under $10, fast fashion offers us the allure of a new Fall wardrobe for $200. While fast food taps into our cravings for salt, fat, and sugar, fast fashion taps into our craving to have something new and to feel cute, on trend, or stylish.

Beyond that, fast fashion also taps into our fears of being the opposite: ugly, frumpy or out of style. The constantly changing landscape of the fast fashion market means that what you purchased is unfashionable almost as soon as you walk out of the store.

Worried about being left behind, you keep returning to the store for new clothes. This creates an unending cycle of filling and purging your closet. It seems easy to justify: with how cheap the clothes are,  what does it matter if you only wear them a few times?

This leads us to our next point: even if you’re not a slave to style trends, fast fashion is not a good investment. Because you’re expected to replace them every few weeks, the garments in these trendy stores are not made to last. Crafted hastily and poorly out of shoddy materials, they often fall apart or fade in the wash.

Thanks to this cheap construction, fast fashion not only wastes your money, it’s also bad for the environment. An alarming amount of textile waste ends up in our landfills. According to Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, America ‘generates 30.6 billion pounds of textile waste per year’, more than any other nation in the world.

Finally, fast fashion is often created in unethical and unsafe sweatshops in developing countries. These factories pay pitifully low wages, insist on long hours,  sometimes even employing child labor.  Earlier this year, an NGO (non-governmental organization) set up a show in Amsterdam that allowed shoppers to experience what it’s like to work in a sweat shop, as reported by Fashion United.

What Is Slow Fashion?

Just like its counterpart “slow food”, the “slow fashion” movement is the antithesis to everything we discussed above.

Slow fashion could more accurately be called…fashion. It’s the way things were done. Rather than a constant churn of new styles, slow fashion houses do only one or two new collections a year (either one annual collection, or a Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collection).

One of the hallmarks of slow fashion is that it’s created conscientiously. Mindful of the sins of fast fashion, slow fashion designers strive to source sustainable fabrics and are ethical in their hiring.

Slow fashion businesses are a single person operation. They may work with contractors here in the US, or they may have a Fair Trade workshop overseas. For a more in-depth analysis of the benefits of slow fashion, see what Trusted Clothes has to say on the matter.

Many slow fashion designers also decrease textile waste in different ways. This includes efficient pattern layout, creating accessories out of scraps, and donating scrap fabric to schools and charities.

Slow fashion lasts. Fleeting trends are ignored in favor of timeless basics that are worn year after year. Many slow fashion designers gravitate towards solid colors or classic patterns such as stripes. The goal is to create a versatile line of clothing that are mixed, matched, and easily accessorized to express your own sense of style.

Why Sakkara Clothing & Costume Embraces Slow Fashion

At Sakkara Clothing & Costume, we create slow fashion for the street and festival wear market. Because we vend in person at many festivals and dance events in the Pacific Northwest, we see our customers year after year. We build a relationship with the people who love our work. We want them to be happy!

We design the sort of clothing we want to wear — yoga pants that last for years, shrugs and skirts that layer well for that unpredictable Pacific Northwest weather, and clothes that pack well for travel.

We also have our eye to the future, which is why we work with environmentally friendly fibers like organic cotton and bamboo, and upcycled textiles. Fibre2Fashion does a great job of explaining why bamboo is great for clothing, especially active wear.

Everything we design is sewn in the USA.

Slow fashion is about knowing what you’re buying and what sort of culture you’re supporting. We stand for handmade, ethical, long-lasting fashion. You can call that “slow fashion” for short.

5 Things We Love About Steampunk

We love the steampunk aesthetic and the community around it! If you’re not familiar with steampunk, it’s a subgenre of science fiction that imagines a world powered by steam — usually a Victorian-era world, but as you’ll find out in a minute, there are endless variations. This literary genre has inspired costumers, cosplayers, musicians, prop makers and more. Conventions around the world give steampunks a place to gather, show off their latest creations, shop, hear their favorite bands, drink tea, and generally escape the mundane world for one powered by steam and imagination.

Here’s just a few of the things we love about steampunk.

Steampunks Are Makers

The steampunk community values handmade items. Many steampunks make their own costumes and props, and what they can’t make themselves, they often buy from other artists.

And as if that’s not enough, many makers in the community share their techniques freely on the internet, as shown in this fun tutorial for a top hat.

Steampunks Are Green

A lot of steampunks love to recycle, upcycle, and repurpose in the creation of their costumes and props. From taking a ho-hum blazer and turning it into a sweet jacket to assembling a ray gun from random bits of hardware, they’re always looking at things others would discard and asking themselves “How can I salvage this?”

In a world that treats so many things as disposable, it’s refreshing to see an entire community built around giving old things new life, and keeping perfectly good materials out of the landfills. In the process of learning how to remake things, you can also learn valuable skills that will help you repair the non-costume items in your home and give them a longer life, too.

Sakkara Clothing & Costume belt made with upcycled textile scraps.

Steampunk Has So Many Permutations!

Although the steampunk literary genre started out with stories that imagined a Victorian England powered by steam, people took that idea and ran with it. Now you can find steam-powered adventures taking place in every corner of the globe, in imagined worlds, and in a post-apocalyptic future. Some steampunk stories rely only on science, while others add in magic.

In its alternate history variations, steampunk can serve as a lens to look at some of the problematic issues in our past, such as Imperialism, colonization, racism and slavery. Many steampunk novels feature anarchist heroes, or at least an element of civil unrest. Others serve more as a fun romp through an imagined past, and can be an enjoyable escapist read when the real world becomes too much to handle.

Gail Carriger’s books feature airships, parasols, vampires, and werewolves.

Steampunk Music Rocks

The funny thing about steampunk music is that it’s a genre bound together by a general aesthetic and subject matter, and not any sort of musical style. As such, no matter what your tastes, you can probably find a steampunk band that appeals to you. There’s steampunk rap, steampunk metal, and steampunk earworms, like this popular track from Seattle group The Nathaniel Johnstone Band.

Steampunk is Fun for All Ages

Although some steampunk conventions will have adults-only events like burlesque revues and absinthe tastings, over all the genre is great for the whole family, Kids can really get caught up in the sense of wonder engendered by floating airships and talking automatons. We love to see whole families dressed up and enjoying an event together.

Steampunk can be an opportunity to introduce your kids to the joy of creating a character and making their own costumes and props. It can also be used as a lens to explore history and culture. If your children enjoy a specific alternate-history steampunk book or movie, it can serve as an excellent springboard for them to learn about how that period in time played out in our own world. Ask them to explore what was the same between the book and reality, and where the author took some liberties. What a great learning opportunity and thought exercise for older children.

Of course, the really little ones just look adorable in tiny boots and aviator’s caps.

This steampunk baby carriage posted by Zoluna on DeviantArt is a thing of beauty.

If you love steampunk too, we hope you’ll come see us at Steamposium 2017 here in Seattle! The event is happening October 27-29 and there’s a great lineup of guests and events, plus vending (that’s where you’ll find Sakkara Clothing & Costume).

Why Local and Handmade Matter

Shop local. Buy handmade. The rallying cries of the small business. You see these phrases as memes on social media, as stickers in the window of your favorite independent book store. But sometimes, you may question why you should spend a little more, and go out of your way, when the local big box store is just so convenient.

Today I’d like to argue that buying local and handmade not only benefit your community, but in the long run it will often save you time and money. Additionally, working with a small business or artist is usually just more enjoyable than dealing with a big corporation.

Shop Local

If you want to see your neighborhood and city thrive, shop local. Multiple studies have shown that when you support local small businesses, more of your money stays in your own community. The most commonly quoted numbers are that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in your local economy. On the other hand, if you spend $100 at a non-local business, only $43 dollars stay in your local economy. And that’s for businesses that have a store front in your community. How much more of your money is leaving your city if you’re purchasing from an on-line only company?

Economic impact of shopping local

To see the full-size graphic and read more statistics, check out Why Shop Local? on SuperSavings.com

But the benefits of shopping local go beyond just the economic impact. Local vendors better understand local needs.

Have you ever had to buy a jacket in the Spring? Often it’s still a little cold here in the PNW as late as May, especially at night. Maybe something happened to your favorite jacket and you suddenly need a new one, or a visiting friend didn’t pack one and is freezing. So you head down to the local big box store to pick up a cheap jacket, only to find out that the clothing department is a sea of swim suits and short-shorts, because as far as the retail world is concerned, it’s summer and everyone is having fun in the sun.

Of course if you pop into a local clothing store, they probably have hoodies and scarves displayed year-round. They know that sometimes you need a little extra layer at night, especially if it rains, even in the middle of summer.

Buy Handmade

If you want to take it a step further, don’t just support a local business, support a local artist. Handmade goods are made with love, and they’re made to last. When I spend hours cutting out and sewing a garment, I don’t want it to be worn-out and unfashionable in three months. I want it to be something you’ll treasure for years.

An artist or craftsperson’s reputation is entwined with their work. As such, we strive to design things that look good, work well, and stand the test of time.  We pay close attention to materials and construction, to make sure that they are up to our standards of quality.

This dedication to quality shows in the longevity of handmade goods. To use my own work as an example, I have customers who are still wearing pants they bought from me seven years ago. And even with daily wear, a pair of my cinch pants lasts for an average of about three years.

Black Organic Cotton Pants, made to last

One thing that local business owners and artists have in common is that we’re tuned in to what our customers really want. A large business takes a macro view of things — they analyze trends, look at sales numbers from stores, maybe do some focus groups.

I talk to my customers.

I listen when you say “I love these pants, I just wish they came in green” or “This is my favorite skirt for the summer, have you considered making a heavier one for winter?”

Of course I can’t fulfill every customer request, but I can pay attention to themes. If I’m hearing the same ideas over and over again, I know they’re worth exploring. And if I’m hearing the same complaints, I also know that it may be time to retire or redesign a product.

Artists and craftspeople pay attention to how our products are integrated into your life, and we plan accordingly. We make yoga pants that aren’t see-through, shirts that don’t disintegrate after three washes, skirts that can go from work to happy hour.

The Human Connection

What local businesses and artists have in common is that you develop a real, human connection with them. Even if your favorite local boutique has several employees, you probably still run into the owner from time to time. Even if you buy from your favorite artists on Etsy instead of face-to-face at a craft show, they’re still the one answering your messages and hand-writing a note to go along with your purchase.

By contrast, big business often feels faceless and soulless. Even if you have a great conversation with your cashier at the big box, there’s no guarantee you’ll see them next week. Big business is driven by profit and share holders, not by meeting the needs of customers and communities.

As corporations grow bigger and bigger in an endless series of mergers, that human connection gets harder to find. But it’s right there if you look for it, in your own community. Take the time to find that local business or independent artist who really speaks to your style and ideals. I promise it’s worth it.

5 Reasons to Attend Hexenfest

September is already almost halfway over, which means Hexenfest is just around the corner! If you’re still on the fence about whether to attend, allow me to give you five excellent reasons to buy your tickets today.

5 Reasons to Attend Hexenfest

1 – Fall in Wine Country. Hexenfest is held in Sonoma County, where the average highs for late Sept/early October are in the upper 70s, and lows hover around 50. Sounds perfect for a festival, right? Warm, inviting temperatures during the day and the crisp bite of fall at night. And let’s face it, Sonoma County is a beautiful place year-round.

2 – I’ll be vending. Not only will I have everything that you can find on the website, but also some great designs that haven’t been posted online yet, like my velvet ruffle mini skirts. Don’t forget to also check out the sales rack. One of my JamBallah customers found a great sample of a discontinued style of pants… what will you find?

Teal velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume
Teal crushed velvet ruffle miniskirt. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

3 – Live music and dance performances all weekend long. Since its inception, Hexenfest has been dedicated to featuring the best pagan and mythpunk bands, as well as dancers who draw on mystic influences to create their art. Here’s a taste of what you can expect from event organizer and musician Sharon Knight

4 – Workshops! It’s not just music and shopping all weekend. There’s opportunities to learn, create, and grow. For instance, Sydney Miles (aka Belladona Atropa) is offering a beginner-friendly belly dance class called “Sensuality in Dance.” What an incredible way to get in touch with your body! Check out the event schedule to see what other workshops and rituals might appeal to you.

5 – Participate in a clothing swap with people who actually share your taste. Sakkara Clothing & Costume is dedicated to slow fashion and keeping textile waste out of our landfills. What better way to ensure that the clothing that no longer quite fits or doesn’t match anything in your wardrobe goes to a loving new home? Best of all, anything that doesn’t get swapped will be donated, so you won’t even have to pack it up and take it back with you.

If that all sounds as good to you as it does to me, then I hope you’ll make plans to attend. Hexenfest is happening September 28th-October 1st 2017 in Geyserville, CA. It’s being held at the Isis Oasis, a truly magical location. You can get lodging on-site, in the cabins or camping. Day passes are also available if you’ve got other accommodations (like if you’re lucky enough to already live nearby).

What part of Hexenfest are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

The Big Move

Have you heard the news? I’m in Seattle now!

Yes, that’s right, after years of living and working in Portland, I’ve decided to move north.

Moving is always a big undertaking, but even more so when you’re not just packing up your personal life, but also your business. Moving a studio requires going through years of fabric and supplies and deciding what makes the cut to come to your new studio — and what needs to go in the destash bin!

Destash fabrics

While this is a big change for me, it shouldn’t impact my customers much. I’m still in the PNW, and it’s still influencing my design aesthetic. I’ll continue to do my favorite Portland events (I was just at JamBallah NW, in fact). I’ve just moved a little further up the road.

In the meantime, I hope that my Seattle-area fans will share with me their favorite local restaurants, shops, and events! Help me get to know my new home a little better. Leave a comment here, on my Facebook page, or touch base with me at Steamposium in October.

Join Me at JamBallah NW!

JamBallah NW Banner

This weekend is the fabulous JamBallah NW festival in Portland, OR. This celebration of Middle Eastern dance and American fusion is held at the Artists Repertory Theatre, a beautiful venue in downtown Portland. There will be great workshops all weekend, afternoon showcases and evening gala shows, and of course, a stellar vending area!

Silver Gloves by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Silver fingerless gloves with button detail. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

I will be there with all of your favorite Sakkara Clothing & Costume wares, including some new items not yet available on the web. My Velvet Ruffle Mini Skirts and Fingerless Gloves are great costume or classroom accessories for the upcoming Fall and Winter season. They’re available in a variety of fun colors, and as always, I’ll have sizes XS-3XL!

Teal velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume
Teal crushed velvet Ruffle Mini Skirt. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

In addition, I’ll have some gorgeous fabric and costuming supplies from my studio destash! This is the perfect opportunity to pick up a few things if you want to make some costuming to match your ready-made Sakkara Clothing & Costume pieces.

Here are a few of my favorite JamBallah NW tips:

-Parking can be a headache, especially if the Timbers are playing (thankfully it looks like they don’t have a home game that weekend). Give yourself extra time to find a spot if you’re driving!

-The best way to get to the Theatre is to take the MAX Light Rail. Thank you Portland for having great public transportation.

-The Artists Repertory Theatre is air-conditioned! The vending is free and open to the public. The afternoon showcases are only $5, so it’s a good way to cool off, be entertained, and find some nice additions to your closet even if you’re not a belly dancer.

-Don’t miss the evening shows! Show up an hour before the doors open to enjoy a glass of wine and some light snacks at the theatre bar. It’s an elegant evening of top-notch performance by the event’s teachers and professional dancers from around the country.

Black velvet mini skirt by Sakkara Clothing & Costume.
Black velvet Ruffle Mini Skirt with black pinstripe ruffle. ©2017 Sakkara Clothing & Costume.

Will I see you at JamBallah NW this weekend? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Flame & Ocean

Teal and orange make interesting friends, don’t you think? 🙂

After a fantastic event like JamBallahNW wraps up, the best place for a designer to go (mentally) is a mood board. Every designer/artist has their creative process, and for me sometimes it is to create colorful fantasy lands that I’d love to live in.

I look for vivid, impactful images in colors that don’t represent the palate of what you might have seen in the #Sakkara booth, and then I happily geek out by arranging them just so. The benefit to playing with different color combos, and imagining life in the Flame & Ocean world, is that sparks will ignite towards new designs.

Want to be the first to know when the new stuff drops? 😉 Sign up for our newsletter!

-Kim

#Etsy #Summer #Inspiration #newstuff #creativeprocess

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