Tips to get your costume together

It’s officially carnival season- are you as giddy as I am? While I’ve already got most of my costume supplies, I haven’t done a lick of sewing yet. I’m keeping it all a secret this year, but three words: orange short shorts. Want another hint? That’s what my husband is wearing. 

If you need a little help figuring out what in the hell you’re going to be for Mardi Gras, fear not. I’m sharing my tips to get your costume together at the East Bank Regional library on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00pm. From what to look out for when shopping, to a list of stores you’ll need to make it happen, consider this DIY Costume 101.  For more information check out the library’s calendar listing by clicking here or sign up on the Facebook event page. Have a question you’d like answered? Leave it in the comments below, or send it to

Mardi Gras 2012

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DIY Teen Craft Day

Back when I was in high school,  fancy nails were the trend du jour. Girls would get garish fake ones- always square across the top, preferably with a french manicure. My mom would never condone such a frivolous thing so I learned how to spackle my own. I was pretty damn good at it- I played flute for years so I maintained great dexterity and control of my fingers. My weekends were spent adhering minuscule decals and rhinestones onto my natural nails with toothpicks and tweezers. It was a fun way to express myself, especially since I went to an all girl Catholic school where uniforms hindered personal style. I’m not sure where that level of patience went. These days I’m lucky to find time to paint my paws, and when I do I usually manage to tarnish my handiwork with a smudge here and a chip there.

If you want to start your young artist off right, the Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public Library is hosting a DIY nail art class for girls ages 11-17. Space is limited, so make sure you call in advance to reserve your spot.
DIY Teen Craft Ages 11-17
New Orleans Public Library
8700 Orleans Ave
Saturday, September 8th 1:00-2:00pm
Call (504)596-2654 for a reservation

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Summer School: French Seams

I’m happy to announce a new weekly series that I’ve been scheming up for a while- welcome to Summer School.  Each week we will be delving into a different topic, from mini sewing lessons, terminology, to fashion history. Fashion is so much richer than just trendy, mass produced items that get hyped up by grocery store magazines. It’s an art form, cultural touch stone, and a way of expressing oneself.  So get ready to learn something new every week, and please let us know what y’all think in the comments below.

 Finishing touches are the hallmark of good quality clothes. Call me a fashion geek, but whenever I’m trying to figure out if a piece of clothing is worth spending a few extra dollars on, I start inspecting the guts of the garment.  It’s a habit I’ve developed thanks to working with secondhand clothing for over seven years- if I don’t recognize the name brand, construction is always a telltale sign that I’ve stumbled upon something special.

French seam, as seen on an Andrea Loest tunic

 Seams are everything- no matter how luxurious that silk skirt feels, if it’s shoddily stitched together then it’s a waste of good fabric. One nice detail seen on higher end clothing is a French seam. Best used on light to mid-weight fabrics, this technique encloses the edges of the fabric for a clean finish. The seam is sewn with the wrong sides together, then the seam allowance* is trimmed and pressed. A second seam is sewn with the right sides together, enclosing the raw edges into the original seam allowance encapsulating the raw edges. It’s not difficult to do, but it does take a bit of extra fabric, thread, and work. In other words, you won’t see this on a cheaply made run of the mill dress. That additional cost is worth it- you’ll get a piece of clothing that’s built to last.

 If you’d like to perfect your own French seam, check out this excellent instructional video I found on You Tube from Detroit Knitter. 

*A seam allowance is the area in between the edge of the fabric and the actual seam. Just think of it as a little wiggle room- you wouldn’t want to sew right on the edge and risk ripping the seam open once the garment actually gets tried on.

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Yoga For A Good Cause

Every Tuesday in July Life yoga+boutique is hosting a class to benefit the New Orleans Dress For Success career development and employment retention programs. Dress For Success assists disadvantaged women with not only supplying them with a professional wardrobe but also supplying them with tools the tools and resources they need to be successful in life and in the workforce.

LIFE yoga + boutique is very excited about our partnership with Dress for Success New Orleans,” said Suzy Rivera, LIFE yoga + boutique Owner. “It is a great organization that focuses not only on empowering women in the workplace, but also encouraging them to focus on health and wellness.”

The Vinyasa Yoga class is $9 per person for a drop-in session, while package pricing varies. Interested in participating? Learn more about LIFE yoga + boutique or register for a session at, or call 504.627.0380.

 What:          LIFE yoga + boutique Vinyasa Yoga to Benefit Dress For Success New Orleans 

 When:         Tuesday, July 12, 19 and 26                                         

                                9:30am – 10:45am

Where:         LIFE yoga + boutique
                                    5422 Magazine Street
                                    Between Jefferson and Octavia Streets

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Slow Southern News

  • The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is conducting a 4 week long jewelry making class. Jewelry Making 101 will be taught by New Orleans’ own Vitrice McMurray, an award winning jewelry designer. Students will learn basic techniques like wire bending, piercing, filing and finishing. Register by Tuesday, January 5th to reserve your spot.
  •, the online home of Vogue, takes a look back at the best party frocks and red carpet looks of 2009.
  • Need a new look for the new year? Swap BoutiqueLife yoga + boutique, and Paris Parker salon are giving away a complete re-do. Just fill out an application available at all three places and enter to win a designer outfit, hair and cosmetic makeover, and a free month of yoga. 
  • Need a fancy frock for graduation or a dance? How about a debutante ball? Yvonne LaFleur is having a trunk show Sunday, December 27th through Saturday, January 2nd. Prices are in the $200-$300 range and are appropriate for 8th graders and high school girls.
  • Help ring in the new year at the Freret Market on Saturday, January 2nd from noon to 5:00pm. As usual there will be live music, food, art, and plenty of handmade clothing and accessories.
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