Ugly Sweater Suits

If you don't already know me, fellow readers, you should know that my passion and love for textile design and patterns runs DEEP! That's why when I stumbled upon Shinesty  and their collection of mens Ugly Sweater Suits, I nearly fell over!  (The rest of the site is dedicated to kitchy holiday and themed attire) 

Naturally, each suit is 100% polyester and the brightest of colors. I would love to show up to a holiday party wearing one of these jackets over a black dress, or the pants with a solid top. Anyone interested in splitting up the red, white and blue suit?

70's Vintage Florals

As I sit curled up in blankets on my couch, staring out at the snow falling out the window, it's funny to think of anything floral related. However, if a little vintage flare is added to the mix, florals for a fall collection totally works.

 Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. 

Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. 

Last spring, when the design team at Mata Traders came together for our seasonal brainstorm session, I kept feeling drawn to images of antique and vintage flowers. My favorite was a piece of 70's wallpaper bursting with mustard, pea green and brown flowers. My first reaction was "Gross!  The colors are horrible!", but the shape of the flowers caught my eye and I started to sketch them over and over again. I finally created a repeat that everyone on the design team loved, and then we started to play, what I like to cal "the color game". We tried using darker muted colors, bright colors, pastels…I'm pretty sure we tried every combination of colors under the sun. In the end, we chose a few purples, a cream and a punch of orange. 

 Left: Hello Dolly Dress. Right: Oberlin Dress. Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman.

Left: Hello Dolly Dress. Right: Oberlin Dress. Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman.

After receiving a sample pieces back, we knew we had made the right color choice. The colors are a nice change from the monochromatic winter wardrobe. The print came back so well that two dresses were created from the fabric. The Hello Dolly Dress is so cute and pairs nicely with chunky sweaters for fall, and elegant Oberlin Dress

I am Pro Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It is a holiday meant to be celebrated with family and friends, though sometimes it isn't possible to be with them. Some of us are even lucky enough to eat or serve a marvelous meal. Either way, as a national holiday, I believe it should be spent reflecting, giving back and paying forward. 

 Yes, I am that much of a pattern nerd that I made my own Thanksgiving pattern :)

Yes, I am that much of a pattern nerd that I made my own Thanksgiving pattern :)

Last year I wrote a piece on Black Friday, the notorious day after Thanksgiving where all of America goes bananas over deals. My attitude toward this crazy post holiday fiasco hasn't changed. Im happy to see that a few large companies like Costco and Kmart are giving their employees Thursday off and will open their doors Friday morning. Other stores like Toys R Us, J.C. Penny, Macy's, Target, Best Buy and Walmart plan on opening as early as 5pm Thursday night! It makes me so upset that these large companies have stepped way over the appropriate line and are having employees miss Thanksgiving all together! 

Madeline Kahn's reaction is exactly how I feel about large companies on Black Friday!

Now, onto the subject of all these "magical" deals America is so obsessed with. My question is is it even worth it? Don't get me wrong, I love getting a good deal as much as the next person, but if the lines for these stores open before Thanksgiving even starts, what's the point? If saving a few bucks on holiday gifts is so important, there are other ways to get a deal (and probably a better gift).

 Line outside of Best Buy in 2011.

Line outside of Best Buy in 2011.

In recent years, a few alternatives to Black Friday have evolved, such as Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Fair and Giving Tuesday. I will be writing about some of these in the next few days. For now, know that standing in line in the cold, just to get a deal and maybe get trampled on in the process isn't worth it. Please opt to stay indoors with family, friends on Thanksgiving day. 

 

My Deer Print

Last spring, the design team at Mata Traders gathered around and decided that for Fall 2014, we wanted to design a print with an animal. We started thinking about what would work best for Mata Traders' aesthetic. 

 Paisley Ducks from Cukoos Nest Clothing,  Foxy sweater dress by Ravelry and Zebra dress by Anthropologie.

Paisley Ducks from Cukoos Nest Clothing,  Foxy sweater dress by Ravelry and Zebra dress by Anthropologie.

While researching, we found some awesome prints that already existed. Check out the crazy paisley duck print shirt by Cukoos Nest Clothing, this awesome fox sweater dress print from Ravelry (what did he say?), and this sophisticated zebra dress from Anthropologie. 

 The  Buck Stops Here  skirt and the  Near and Deer  top. Loving the puns!

The Buck Stops Here skirt and the Near and Deer top. Loving the puns!

After getting inspired by all these cool animal print ideas, we finally decided to focus on deers! I played with adding different textures in the initial deer shape, like spots and stripes. In the end, we thought that hatches would look the best. It was traditionally screen printed and the samples came back so well, that Mata Traders designed a snazzy shirt and funky skirt! 

  Buck Stops Here  skirt and the  Near and Deer  top.

Buck Stops Here skirt and the Near and Deer top.

Check out the Buck Stops Here skirt, and the Near and Deer top! Gosh do I love those puns! They are both great casual looks that are a fun statement piece perfect for fall. On a side note, I am starting to fall more and more in love with neutral colors and the brown is a great change from my go to gray. 

Stay tuned for more goodies!

Designed to Carry a Cause: Textiles for Malia Designs!

I am THRILLED to announce that I can now add wallets to my textile design list! Last winter I was approached by Lia Valero, one of the founders of Malia Designs. Malia Designs is a fair trade bag company working with women in Cambodia, rescued from human trafficking. They are such an inspirational company and their tagline "Designed to Carry a Cause" is beyond appropriate.

 Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Designs. 

Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Designs. 

During the initial design meeting, it was pretty clear that Lia had a direction and gave me the reigns to run with it. In the past the textiles have gravitated more towards organic floral designs, inspired by the natural flora and fauna of Cambodia. However, times are changing and she felt Malia Designs needed a fresh new perspective. I designed a few patterns for them, but in the end we chose two variations of this triangle print for their Fall 2014 collection. Together we played with colors (there are some fantastic bright colors in the lining!)  and decided the pattern fit the signature collection of silk wallets. 

 Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Design.

Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Design.

Rumor has it, they are so successful because I haven't even gotten my wallet yet! The first shipment instantly flew off the shelves! Thankfully the second shipment is in and you can get your own wallet by clicking here

 

Malia Designs also supports Stop Traffick, is a Chicago-based, grassroots effort to raise funds for victims of human trafficking and spread awareness about this critical human rights issue. One of the 2 organizations they support is Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, known as CAASE. Please consider donating to CAASE.