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Sunday, October 16, 2011

"UpCycling" The New Couture


I would call it a way of life, in a society obsessed with instant gratification, novelty, and conspicuous consumption, it’s easy to dismiss fashion design as frivolous and unnecessary. Skirt lengths and platform heights appear inconsequential when compared to real-world concerns like climate change, economic strife, water shortages, and hunger and malnutrition. But if you consider the fact that clothing and style for that matter is something we envelope our bodies in every single day, to ignore the apparel industry’s environmental and social impact would be foolish and not to mention foolhardy as loosely quoted by the web blog a site that high lights the art of "up-cycling" at it's finest.

Nonetheless, a good number of designer's including myself perform a significant amount of up-cycling to create new garments that can be easily classified as Haute' Couture or High Fashion. To frown upon the deconstruction and reinvention of these garments is obnoxious in my opinion and somewhat irresponsible. The process of bending your mind to re-create a garment that is already finished is not an easy one. 
In my newest endeavor to make a splash on the fashion scene. I've linked up with fellow designers, fashion editors, bloggers and other enthusiasts creating a platform to showcase up-cycled designs. With the sponsor of all sponsors in this genre being Goodwill North Georgia. Goodwill's mission enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work. Now I'm all for empowerment, you know each one teach one.   

But, Did You Know???

Gucci Staff in China Claim Severe Abuse That Resulted in Illness and more

With a countless number of headlines such as the one above, as a designer the choice to up-cycle is not a difficult one. As a consumer the option to seek out clothing and accessories that are not developed in a sweatshop environment takes some thought but is really a no-brainer. So fittingly, my runway inspiration for this show will be the incredible 70's inspired Gucci RTW line for Fall/Winter 2011. Yeah, I love designer style but it can be a hard pill to swallow when the possibility of others livelihoods are at stake.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Take My Coffee Black

The color black is a guaranteed no-fail when personal style is concerned. Using inspiration from a set created with my Polyvore account.  I got creative by remixing a pair of faux leather pants and jersey knit fabric into a  pencil skirt with loads of appeal. I don't know what "style" or fashion era this look is from.  However, words that come to mind are vintage, classic, rich and detail. The sketch I created, long before coming up with the skirt shows a pencil skirt with faux ostrich paneling inserted in the front. and back. I opted for a nice blend of comfort and style by using the stretch panels at the sides as well as the waistband, my curves rejoiced instead of suffering in the name of style! Of course my spirited toddler B joined me adding fun to the photo shoot done by my good friend Nikki G! So go ahead and get more details about the skirt and one shoulder top by visiting my Etsy store or place and order for your perfect color combo by request. Besides, it’s all about pieces that fit your style!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Makings of a Fledgling Blogger

I've spent roughly 3yrs learning, testing and practicing the art of blogging and each time, I learn or see something new, fresh and exciting - I'm also glad that I didn't give up! And let myself become intimidated by techy terms such as Blogosphere, Trackbacks, RSS, Meta-blogging and the like. I mean isn't that what glossary's are for?  Blogging is not really something you just roll out of bed and do and become an instant success. I mean from what I've observed from friends and awesome bloggers I admire is the fact that one actually has to work at it! Well unless you happen to be a huge celeb receiving thousands of hits from the occasional Youtube, Twitter or Facebook post.

Well for some it may seem like that's exactly what they did! Eh, but for me perfect photos and catchy blog titles are not my forte' however practice makes perfect! In fact, I know of really good bloggers that have taken photo classes to just ensure that they at least deliver quality to their audience. Right now, my virtual budget won't allow for a camera upgrade but it's definitely on the list

Anyways, I'm a pretty good writer and spending the time to develop your writing and what you want to convey is also fundamental. In the beginning I struggled to develop my voice and exactly what I was trying to say. But with practice I've realized that simply getting your voice out there is a huge part of it. 

So today, before work I decided to try a "photo shoot" of sorts in my living room. I'm currently working with a simple $100 Walmart brand camera and Picasa photo editor!lol! Yes, certainly I would love a Nikon D500 thingamajig or even my own paparazzi to follow me around - umm, second thought nah - just kidding! But just like many bloggers before me creativity in photos is paramount.

So introducing my first attempt at taking photos that are not for my own personal reference but instead for reader enjoyment hopefully curing the boredom of my ramblings. I will admit that this process was super fun with my own daughter "B" as my muse! Check her out as she helps mommie with her posing. You guys can also find out more details about the skirts I created for myself and baby at my Etsy store. 

So For all of you wonderful blog-a-be's don't give up just because you wrote a sentence, took some great pics and posted to world! Do this thing because you get joy from chronicling your life and adventures no matter how big or small. Besides blogging is the new diary - Right?

Well...Thanks for relating!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bag Lady, You Gon' Hurt Yo' Back!

Pssst....lemme tell you guys a little secret! This is the first handbag I have ever made! Not too shabby right? Well I'm proud of my effort and found it enjoyable and exciting to create this custom messenger for a client and friend who needed an awesome carry-all

Now lately I have been on the concept of stepping up my sewing game to feature not only a line of clothing that represents my design aesthetic but a label name that would define me the person and my work simultaneously

A one word affidavit that articulates 
  1. who I've always been.
  2. who I am
  3. who I will always be
And well, I've uncovered a truth that I am aphoristic! No, that's not some unknown terminal illness. Aphorism by definition is


a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).
 (courtesy of 

Hence the introduction of my new label name *Aphorism* ©
(by Anarnia). To know me, you will know that I am a lover of all things genuine and truthful, thoughtful and profound. To be able to design, create and sew with those virtues are what makes my heart sing! 
So enough with the self-expression and on with the sewing! Wish me luck and look for my collection one of a kind handbags to launch Fall 2011!❤ 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Designing on Hiatus, Can Be Difficult & Dicey

Just in case you've been wondering..."What the hell happened to her!?"
My Very 1st Blogger Background!lol!
Well this post may answer just that, No I didn't give up on the one thing that makes my heart sing. I just simply found my craft being forced into hiatus. "Well what is a hiatus?" You ask - why sure, I'll be happy to give you mental picture.

Main Entry: hiatus
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: pause, interruption
Synonyms: aperture, blank, breach, break, chasm, discontinuity, gap, interim, interval, lacuna, lapse, opening, rift, space
(Definition Courtesy of

After my last post here on The Sewful Life, dated October 2010. I started keeping status of my smaller, low-pay & no-pay dealings on my Facebook page. Starting the sewing and production work of clothing line samples for other designer's trying to break into the business. Encouraging them to focus first on the sewing and craftsmen-ship of their work and not so much on fame and popularity. That seems to cause many of us to derail from the craft. However,sewing for folks in this capacity helped me as a designer realize two things:

  1. People don't know what they want, so I will always have to tell them.
  2. Practicing my skill set in any capacity, paid, low-pay or unpaid is good for learning opportunity but not good for business.
Like one of my Facebook friends said and I quote:
 If you are not getting paid, it is not a job or a business. It's a hobby. Nothing wrong with hobbies--some DO turn into jobs/businesses. But until that time, quit lying to urself & others because the ppl who REALLY know are laughing & they are ultimately the support U need. No one really wants to go out of their way to help/support "posers".

(Profound Quote Courtesy of Nikstar)
Now something I didn't realize and actually took for granted. Was the fact that I opted not to put a portion of my income sewing for others, alterations and teaching private lessons back into the most important aspect of my business, Which was REPAIR and MAINTENANCE and my did I pay a heavy price.

So when trying to return back to my own projects, such as the POA Early Spring | Summer 2011 collections that I was able to create and photograph but didn't even get to really market due to my computer crashing as well! So not one but all of my equipment goes into disrepair in addition.
  • 2 Home Sewing Machines
  • 1 Heavy Duty Home Sewer
  • 1 Serger
Making it impossible to me to deliver a beautifully finished product. Being in this predicament was difficult, I found myself lost and frustrated tapping all of my resources even creating some new ones.
Quite possibly not my best work :\
  • I tried to just focus on my sketching and artwork for new ideas. That only lasted about a month. 
  • Then I evolved to other crafts like rock painting, crocheting and hand embroidery that I thought may hold my interest until I found the right repair shop to fix my old faithfuls. 
  • I also spent lots of time researching and reading about "Sewing Machine Repair for the Home Sewer". As well as consumer reviews on the best commercial grade sewing machine.
And after months of meditation, diligence and a little work, the universe decided to answer my call! I finally located the perfect repairmen, not through a Google search but good ole' fashioned word-of-mouth! Now, my fave sewing machine is BACK!

My home-sewing work horse!

I simply love this piece of nuts and bolts that has fed my hunger to create and fed me, helping me create the goodness that is Pieces of Anarnia!(sigh) During my search for the best repair shop, I kept finding losers trying to hustle me out of $200 or more just to repair my machine! 
Well you guys, Kirby's Repair in Mabelton, Atlanta is the place to go to get your sewing & vacuum repair done by trusted pros. Walter Kirby and his family have been practicing repairmen-ship for more than 50 years. This dying art is their passion and you get a since of it as soon as you enter the shop. These guys greet you with an attitude of professionalism and respect each customer like the sewing professionals they are. Even if your only a home-based sewer!

Walter telling me the in's & out's of commercial sewers.
Walter was able to help me determine the best decision for me to take with upgrading to a commercial sewing machine. He also to the time to explain the differences between home sewing machines vs. commerical sewers. Or maybe because I'm just such a babe that he even offered to put my purchase on a special payment option! Either way, the customer service was phenomenal and worth the time and the service was first-class.

Even though it has been difficult to be a on hiatus, only now that this cloud of uncertainty is starting to drift away, can I see the light and really appreciate what I've always had and what will never leave me...
My Vision Board which sits in my workroom
   The DETERMINATION and PATIENCE to keep believing in my work! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hollow Designs

A Custom request was made for self-taught designer and seamstress Anarnia to re-create the character look from the popular 2003 movie, "The Mummy Returns". Anaksuna Mun the sultry and villainous Egyptian queen played by the beautiful actress Patricia Velasquez. Here is the Youtube video and pictures that helped the designer embody the true essence of the Anaksuna Mun character.

I don't personally celebrate holidays, however Halloween is a perfect time of year to design outside the box. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to create such an exotic and intoxicating look. Now if only I can get my work photographed buy an equally talented artist, then I'll be in business! Any budding and talented photog's looking to build a portfolio and collaborate using my designs contact me via Facebook @!/pages/The-Pieces-Of-Anarnia/59078150241

Material Notes...

sheer stretch fabric, fabric markers, t-shirt paint in black, Neopauqe fabric dye in Metallic Bronze. hand-strung beads and suede for accessories The pattern was draped on the client initially using muslin and cut by me. The trickiest portion of this design occurred when I was hand dying the sheer fabric in a metallic bronze. Trying to dye fabric mesh was extremely challenging, so I had to hand paint the fabric to get the all over bronze effect. Also a note to anyone considering getting a custom look (especially one that comes from a motion picture movie) please consider giving that designer at least a two month time window to complete your design. Let me know what you all think by leaving your thoughts and comments!

Monday, July 12, 2010

!!!Haute Mama!!!

With only four days away from the reveal of a custom dress created by Pieces of Anarnia, I Nikki Nunu, fashion stylist for POA is officially declaring that it's crunch time! Anarnia has been locked away in the "sweat shop" for weeks, only to emerge for basic food and water! Okay, so not quite that extreme, but she has been working so diligently. her fingers are sore from hand sewing all those tiny beads on this custom dress. Oh, a day in the life of a passionate designer.

In my opinion, Anarnia does an awesome job balancing the many "Pieces" of her life, between
caring for her home and family, she manages to fit in going to the gym setting up play-dates for her daughter and even the occasional lunch with her husband while visiting him at work! Heck she even does her own hair and nails, now that's thrifty at it's finest. And all of these things are centered around her passion for sewing and designing unique one-of-a-kind "Pieces". I recall Anarnia telling me that her inspiration and drive for what she does comes form the many facets of her life. "These are the "Pieces" that inspire me to create." She says. For this custom garment the anticipation of seeing the finished product was definitely heightened during the fitting last week. The dress fit the client perfectly!! The client kept repeating how beautiful it was as she viewed herself in the mirror.

It was exciting and interesting to see this plain, basic, flat fabric being transformed into a chic, sexy, mini dress - heads will definitely be turning and people will be asking where this "Piece" came from! Not only has she covered the front of the dress in fine, pearl - like beads, but the stitching and interlining is precise and defined. Sometimes it just all in the details.

She's working against time with the dress, but somehow Anarnia has squeezed in time to create a matching bikini for the client and her own complete look for herself! It's definitely ambitious but she's always pulls through by pulling what she likes to call "all-nighters" The traditional two – piece bikini will be a haute original with the same detailing as the dress. As the designer her own look will an all black one sleeve tunic and legging outfit that will have detailing that mimics her clients look. Still lots of work to do, but it's almost show time!! We’ll post more pictures of the finished pieces from the actual party, as I’m sure you’re curious to see how these "Pieces" of Anarnia turned out! Until then, why not let us know what you think about custom design work by POA?