Now most pinup-styled girls have at least one (if not MANY!) MAK cardigans from Pinup Girl Clothing. After all, they come in a rainbow of colours; they’re cheap and they’re exactly the right cut for the pinup-style frocks we love so much.
However, as you will know if you’ve worn them for any length of time, you get what you pay for, and these cardigans do tend to “pill” and “fluff” quite quickly. Pretty soon you’re left with a cardy that looks a bit “less new” than you’d like.
So when that happens, I reach for this little miracle machine, which I purchased from the $2 Shop for the princely sum of $8 including batteries.
This, my friends, is a lint remover. Basically it is a little machine thing with blades inside the metal holey cover (technical term!) and a little “catcher” for all the fluff it removes.
How to …
Basically you just get your cardy on a smooth flat surface (I use the ironing board) and then GENTLY run over it – I find a circular motion works best) and watch it remove the “bobbly bits” like magic! Unfortunately it’s not ACTUALLY magic, so it’s not going to take a worn, pilled MAK cardy and turn it into brand new again, but it will definitely “freshen it up” for you.
Here are some before and afters I took of my de-fluffing session with my Fiesta Orange MAK cardy – this is my most recent one and I must admit, I’ve worn it quite a bit. (And by the way – I know the colours look a bit different in this before and after, I swear to you it IS the same cardy!)
And here’s another …
To give you some idea of how much it removes, this is the “catcher” after my little de-fluffing session.
Hmmmm … quite a bit aye?!
Tips and tricks …
Make SURE you have it on a flat surface; if there are ridges or folds you can be sure it will catch them and cut a wee hole in your cardy – take it from one who knows!
Use a circular motion and don’t press down too hard – just do it really lightly and go over it twice if you need to.
It is more effective on “pilling,” but it still helps with “fluffing.”
Be very careful around seams and raw edges (i.e. the bottom) – don’t do circular motions on the bottom of the cardy or it will catch. Just gently move it in a straight line down toward the bottom.
It quite often stops – this seems to be normal. Push the little “on button” again and off you go!
It’s a weirdly relaxing and satisfying process!
And one last tip which I learned from the fabulous Flo Foxworthy, to “freshen” your cardy without washing it (because let’s face it – you don’t want to wash them TOO often or you’ll get pilling and fade!) … just spritz it with vodka. Put vodka (any type will do) into a spray bottle and spritz the garment in the areas it’s likely to get sweaty (i.e. the underarms) – don’t soak it though. Then just hang it up and leave it to dry. The alcohol in the vodka kills the bacteria that can make them smell and doesn’t damage the fabric. This is a really good tip for any of you burlesquers who may have delicate costumes with sequins and beading that you can’t just put through the washing machine. Another hint: Flo says if you’re going to hand wash that kind of stuff; use a mild body wash rather than laundry detergent, as it foams less and it’s easier to rinse out.
So there you have it – Mumpty and Flo’s tips on how to de-fluff and de-smell your MAK cardigans!
Another little round-up of what’s up!
To kick the week off, I thought I’d do another little roundup of what I’m doing, wanting, reading etc etc. The last one I did was here – and the one before that was here. So, here goes:
Doing: ♥lots of helping my daughter get her lamb ready for Ag Day – testing her on what she needs to know; holding her lamb while she cleans it etc. Much as I love these little lambs, I am pretty pleased this is the last one! ♥ being extremely jealous that I didn’t go to the NZ Burlesque Festival in Palmerston North over the weekend. Every year I think “right, next year I’m going” but I just never seem to get there. Next year it is then! ♥ being thrilled to bits with my new dress, made for me by the wonderful Judy Dee♥ tackling my weight via Dukan! ♥ smiling, laughing and just having fun!
Wanting: ♥last time I said more petticoats and that is still the case. Since the last edition I have added a black version; however I’m still in want/need of baby blue, lemon, purple and green versions ♥ a nice, fitted leopard print shrug – I’m thinking this one from Wheels & Dollbaby♥the Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing in purple harlequin – I believe this dress is what’s called a “unicorn” ♥ M.A.C Velvet Teddy ♥ a Range Rover Evoque – STILL ♥ Not to sound horribly materialistic – too late right?!
Reading: ♥ I am in the middle of a book called “The Shack” and so far it is pretty good. It received glowing reviews from my Book Club and that’s always a good thing in my books! ♥ And I’ve re-read “The Plains of Passage” by Jean Aeul because I ADORE all of the books from this series – it’s called the Earth Child series – if you haven’t read them, I HIGHLY recommend them – aside from my Tudor history books, they are my favourite things to read.
Eating/drinking: ♥ squeaky cheese – every night-of-the-weekly-shop we have it! ♥ carbonated water ♥ the chocolate birthday cake my nephew made me – so good ♥ soy lattes from my local and MUCH-LOVED cafe, Punnet (you can read about Punnet here – and also, I stole my opening pic for this post from them!) ♥ salted caramel protein bars (she says, trying to kid herself and failing, that they are better for her!)
Loving: ♥ life in general; our daughter and her Daddy specifically! ♥ Daylight Savings ♥ rainbows; ♥ emerald green grass ♥ Instagram ♥ my Book Club (read why you should join one here) ♥ pink blossoms everywhere ♥ surrounding myself with clever, sassy friends ♥ New Year’s resolutions (early, I know!) ♥ my family ♥ growing older and learning what is, and what’s not, important to me.
Proud of: ♥ soooo many things, most of them too personal to talk about. ♥ But … our daughter – always. ♥ My friends, some of whom do amazing things like perform burlesque at shows and festivals and put their hearts and souls into it. ♥ My family – who are incredible and supportive and just cool.
Obsessed with:♥ frocks ♥ my new eyeshadow palette from SauceBox ♥ my new The Manizer Sisters palette from The Balm ♥ my new purple dress; my new black Jenny dress; my new orange cardy and my new gothic lace bolero. So many new pretties – aren’t birthday’s fabulous!
Grateful for:♥ my family; ♥ my friends; ♥ health ♥ success and happiness – for everyone ♥ living in the country – all that space and fresh air is bliss ♥ plus all of the above! (I know right – this hasn’t changed since last time – but why fix it if it ‘aint broke?!)
Flo has received many awards, including appearing numerous times on the coveted Top Costumiers list for the Burlesque Top 50 awards. She also works at the world-famous Weta Workshop where she creates costumes and creatures for the likes of the Hobbit Trilogy!
Flo really is all the “f words” (except the naughty one!) … fabulous, fascinating, fantastic, fun and freakin’ awesome!
So, without further blathering on my part, here is my Q&A with Flo Foxworthy …
1) Mumpty: What inspires you; what keeps you going at this wonderful work you do? ‘Cos I’m thinking there seems to be A LOT of intricate beading and gluing and such-like – do you get sick/bored of it? Flo: I honestly love my work, and I feel really lucky that we live in a time and place where it’s actually possible to do this for a living. Each job is different and I’m always planning for the next one, so I’m always being inspired and I don’t have much time to get bored.
When it comes to putting in the long hours embellishing a costume, I binge-watch shows … did you know the entire series of The Golden Girls is available on Youtube? Haha!
2) Mumpty: How does Flo unwind – what’s your happy place? What would constitute a perfect day for Flo? Flo:A cocktail with Mr Foxworthy and an 80’s horror movie marathon – that’s my happy place!
I’m a textbook workaholic, and am not terribly good at sitting still for very long … but I’ve discovered that I love yoga, so I try to fit in a bit of a stretch every day. I also have an ever-growing container garden out the front of the house, and I enjoy pottering around with that when I need a break.
3) Mumpty: If I were to come to you with a costuming idea – what would be the process you’d follow? What’s your favourite part of the process?
Flo:I’m quite fluid in the way that I work, so I often don’t work to a rigid plan or design. When a client comes to me, we usually begin by discussing their ideas – what their act will involve, colours, styles etc. It’s great when a client has reference images or sketches to give me an idea of what they have in mind – that’s always a great starting point.
The next consideration is budget and time – I’m usually booked solid about three months in advance, so the more notice a client can give me the better.
Depending on what the costume involves, I might make a toile (mock-up) for the performer to try on before I begin making the actual costume pieces, but often I’ll just jump right in and make it up as I go along.
Most of my clients are from overseas or out of town, so I rarely have the chance to fit them in person. I rely on measurements and luck!
I don’t have a favourite part of the process really, as each part is so different. I love the technical aspect of pattern drafting (I prefer flat drafting with a pencil and paper to begin with, rather than just draping on a mannequin.)
I find sewing very rewarding, and I love the relaxing aspect of sitting quietly in my office embellishing the costume at the very end.
My least favourite part is cutting the fabrics, as I have a nasty case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which gives me hand and wrist issues.
4) Mumpty: Do you have any hints or tips/tricks for performers with regard to bringing their costuming ideas to life?
Flo: Before you go to your costumier, it’s really helpful to collect images, sketches, video clips etc to give the costumier an idea of what you want. The more reference images you can find, the better understanding the costumier will have of your vision.
It’s also a very good idea to have a set budget in mind so they can work with you to get the most bang for your buck.
If you have to send measurements to your costumier, try to be as accurate as possible – even if that means finding someone to take the measurements for you! The extra effort will pay off with a costume that fits you properly.
5) Mumpty:Do you have a favourite costume you’ve created?
Flo: It might sound cheesy, but it’s true – each new costume becomes my favourite 😉I am particularly fond of the navy lace ensemble that I created for Leda Petit though.
6) Mumpty: What is the most expensive embellishment you’ve used/heard of?
Flo: Time. Honestly, it’s not the price of the embellishment itself, but the time it takes to apply it that can make a costume cost so much. When you think about it, 100 Swarovski rhinestones may only cost $12 – $30, but they each take time to apply (including planning the design, marking it on the costume etc.)
A costumier has to charge for the time it takes to apply each rhinestone/bead etc, so you can imagine how quickly it can add up when you have thousands of stones on a costume!
7) Mumpty: Is there a fact or figure or secret about the industry that you can share that you think would shock or intrigue us?
Flo:No secrets – haha! The main fact is that costumiers do it for the love of it, it’s an unpredictable business and you never really know what’s going to come along next (if anything.)
A few costumiers I’ve spoken with have joked about giving it all up for the security of a mundane job answering phones, or stocking supermarket shelves, where there’s a regular income and the job is the same day in, day out – but in the end we’d never give it up because costuming is just what we do and it’s who we are.
8) Mumpty: Is there a performer (past or present) who you’d give your right arm to dress?
Flo:I’ve been super-lucky over the past few years in that I’ve already been approached by some of my absolute favourite performers to make bits and pieces. If I were to choose a performer from the past to dress it would be Lili St Cy as she was so incredibly elegant.
9) Mumpty:Do you have suggestions for a “skeleton wardrobe” for a performer starting out?
Flo:That’s a tough one, every performer is so different!A bra that makes you feel glamorous, panties that cover the parts you prefer to cover (and reveal the parts you like to show off!) and a big smile.
10) Mumpty: Do you have any top tips for performer wardrobe maintenance?
Flo:Be nice to your costumes and they’ll be nice to you. No matter if you’ve paid a costumier to make them or if you stitched and glued them together yourself, they’re an investment in your performance, so it’s in your interest to take care of them.
Some costume pieces can be hand washed – I usually suggest washing them with a mild body wash rather than using laundry detergent, as it takes less rinsing to remove the soap. Don’t put them in the dryer!
For costume pieces that can’t be washed, try to air them out as soon as possible after wearing them – don’t leave them in your suitcase until your next show or they’ll end up stinky (or worse!)
I make a costume spritz formula that helps to kill bacteria, but you can make a home-made version using vodka in a spray bottle. Simply spray the vodka onto your costume (particularly around the sweatiest areas), and then let the costume air out in a dry place. Don’t soak the costume, just a light spray will do.
11) Mumpty:Do you have a “dream costume” floating round in your head?
Flo: I have a few of them – haha! I’m planning to make four costumes this year as a special project, and will be displaying them later in the year, so I can’t give away the surprise – I’m really excited!
12) Mumpty:Do you sew your own clothes? Make your own wedding dress?
Flo: I never have the time to make my own clothes, but I did make my wedding dress – it was a very simple navy pencil dress with little rhinestone buttons at the waist.
(Mumpty– And because I recently found this wedding photo of Flo’s on her Instagram account (@flofoxworthy), I am going to share it here because I think this quite possibly the BEST wedding photo I have seen!)
13) Mumpty: Do you have a favourite crystal colour or favourite embellishment you love the most?
Flo:I can’t pick a favourite, they’re all my favourites at one time or another! There are a few Swarovski colours which I particularly love using – Crystal Golden Shadow (a lovely warm beige tone), Crystal Moonlight (a subtle alternative to Crystal AB) and Crystal Silver Night (a sparkling steel grey.)
14) Mumpty: Do you find it hard to let your creations go sometimes?
Flo: Not really, because part of the enjoyment I get from a job is packing up a costume and shipping it to the client, and the completion of one costume means I get to begin another. 🙂
15) Mumpty:And last, but not least – where to for Flo Foxworthy in 2015?
Flo:I have so much planned for this year, and time is already running out!I’m making costumes for some gorgeous performers over the next four months, and then I’ll be focusing on my special projects till November.
I’m looking forward to a couple of collaborations with some really creative people, I can’t wait to see where the process takes us!
Thank you Flo for being such an AWESOME and generous interviewee! I so appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions, and I KNOW my readers are going to love hearing about how you work and who you are behind-the-scenes. I for one, am VERY excited to see the results of your special, secret project later in the year!
Check out Flo at the following spots:
Website: click here.
Facebook: click here.
Yours in sparkly, Flo Foxworthy rhinestone-encrusted g-strings …
Back in mid-December (and goodness that seems like a long time ago now doesn’t it?!) I was lucky enough to be asked by the fabulous Ms Tittle Tattle to be a backstage helper at her annual Christmas burlesque show; Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge. And, as with all Bombshell Burlesque productions, it was a fabulous night of burlesque, tease and high-spirited fun! I had a blast, and judging by the obvious enjoyment of the audience and their feedback, so did everyone else!
For those of you who haven’t taken yourself along to the The Nivara Lounge in Glamilton … you must! It’s a fabulous, intimate little vintage-styled venue with comfy chairs, a great little bar and although I didn’t try it, the food looked and smelt fabulous.
I was so excited when I saw the lineup of talent; this is the first time I had seen some of these ladies perform, and yay – there was even a boylesquer!
Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge was MC’d by the effervescent and actually, quite hilariously irreverent (!) Miss La Vida. Miss La Vida, of course, is an extremely well-known burlesque performer in her own right and has taken the stage from London to Las Vegas and New York to Sydney! Her MC style is funny, engaging, slightly bossy (believe me you do NOT want to be caught taking pictures or doing any other naughty stuff!) She had the crowd in fits of laughter with her bawdy antics and bogun jokes about Hamilton (clearly someone forgot to tell her we prefer to be known as Glamilton!) Her lightening-fast costume changes between acts were very well received, with the most popular ensemble appearing to be the rhinestone encrusted g-string and bra by New Zealand costumier to the stars, Flo Foxworthy. She posed with a flourish between the stage curtains and sauntered on to much applause – Miss La Vida is, most certainly, a showgirl in the extreme. And that, of course, is what you want in a burlesque MC!
The opening act was the first act of two by the inimitable Pixie Twist, which was later followed by her controversial Lady Cxxt act (if you want to see the pics of that one, visit her Facebook page!) Miss Monique Sweet and I had a rather interesting time helping the Pixie out with her latex and glitter props – ya’ know what – backstage at a burlesque show is never quite as glam as you’d think! I have to say though, burlesque girls (and boys!) are VERY MacGyver-like with their props!
Pixie’s acts were both designed to encourage us to question the wisdom of trying to conform to the mass media’s ideals of physical perfection and what is appropriate behaviour for young ladies. Pixie is very much of the opinion that you should love your body, no matter what it’s shape, and do what feels right for you – and who can argue with that?!
The fiery Ruby Spice was up next with her fabulous Born to be Wild act – I love this one – I remember a while ago when I saw it for the first time with my friend … she said to me “oh, I didn’t know you could do that with burlesque – I thought it had to be all slinky and slow” – HELL NO! Burlesque can be whatever you want it to be! Ruby’s Born to be Wild act is high-energy, raunchy and the audience loves it!
This was the first time I had seen the wonderful Miss Cherry Lashes perform, and what a treat it was … she did a gorgeous, classical routine and I really enjoyed watching her. That girl sure knows how to peel a glove to maximum effect!
And finally … a boylesquer! Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge was lucky to showcase the incredible talents of Mo’ Cachino (Mr Burlesque New Zealand 2013) Mo’ Cachino describes himself as “a velvety hot chocolate, with a double shot of samba for extra shimmy.” Sounds good right? Well he is. You can totally see how he won hearts and the main prize at the Mr Burlesque NZ competition back in 2013. Miss Cherry Lashes – you are one lucky lady!
Fun fact:A “boylesquer” is a male burlesque performer. They’re a relatively rare breed, but their numbers seem to be on the increase on the New Zealand burlesque scene. Hahhhaaaa … I’ve made them sound like a new species that’s been discovered … and perhaps they are?! Anyway, they’re a welcome and wonderful addition to the “scene” – they perform quite differently to the ladies, and it’s always great to have a variety of acts and “new blood” to keep things fresh and exciting.
Well … if you’re ever looking to see a stunningly beautiful, classical burlesque performer, look no further than Coco Valence. Move over Dita … this beautiful girl from Raglan will give you a run for your money! This was the first time I had seen Coco perform and she was a pleasure to watch – fan dances are so beautiful and Coco and her fans were no exception. If you want to find out where Coco Valence and Alegra Fantail are performing this summer, check out their website here. They are both part of the Blue Sapphire – Electroswing Collective.
Seasoned Glamilton performer and audience favourite, Miss Ooh La La Paree – Chic, Unique and Magnifique strutted her glamorous stuff with her lively Samba routine – she’s always so much fun and it’s fabulous to see how much she gives to her acts and how she lights up the stage every time. A true showgirl.
And last, but my goodness, certainly not least (!), was the curvaceous, fabulous bombshell that is Ms Tittle Tattle – producer of Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge. She showed her usual mastery of the audience and gave as good as she got – and managed to ooze old-school glamour all the way. Superb Ms Tittle Tattle – well played!
Guests at Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge were treated to a pre-show and an interval set by awesome Auckland-based DJ Netti Page. She also rounded off the evening with some fabulous after-show dancing – great to see some of the performers – and Netti – kicking up their heels! Performer’s music for the evening was very efficiently handled by the King of the 2014 Burlesque Festival NZ, Mr B Frank.
And would you look at these two huh?! This is a not-so-great photo of moi and a gorgeous-as-always photo of Miss Monique Sweet – we were the stage kitties for the evening, and we had a wonderful time backstage, onstage, around the stage, at the barstage – everywhere really!! Miss Mollie Tov did an admirable job of Door Dollying, and it was awesome to see Ruby Spice, resplendent in Christmas lights and Hershey’s Kisses perched (somewhat uncomfortably unfortunately!) on the bar as a welcoming gambit!
So there you have it … a rundown of the fabulous evening that was Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge – I hope you enjoyed!
All photos were taken by the magical David Rowe from David Rowe Photography. Check out David’s website here and his Facebook page here.
Oh … and here we have a picture of Mumpty on her way to what was clearly very SERIOUS business – I think I look like someone ELF’d me!!
Now the gorgeous redhead on the left claims not to have many photographs of herself she likes, however this one is pretty great don’t you think?! This, ladies and gentlemen, is the immensely talented burlesque costumier to the stars, Flo Foxworthy – pictured here with Australian burlesque sensation, Sina King.
I’ve admired Flo’s incredible work on SO many of my burlesque friends and every piece is a sparkly work of art. Can you tell I’m pleased as punch to feature the sassy, savvy Flo Foxworthy on Pinup December?! Also, I’m beyond excited that Flo has agreed to an interview right here on MumptyStyle – squeeeeee! Keep your eyes peeled for it in January 2015.
What Flo is most proud of this year… making it through another year of self-employment as a burlesque costumier!
Flo says “but seriously, I would have to say being named on two of the 21st Century Burlesque Top 50 bonus lists was the most surprising and exciting news I got this year, I was totally stunned for most of that week!”
And who can blame her … it’s pretty impressive stuff! The Burlesque Top 50 is now running for 2014 – this is a fabulous competition that honours the burlesque industry’s players and performers on an international level – click here to vote for Flo (or any of our December Pinups too!)
And just before we go … I don’t think a Flo Foxworthy day in Pinup December should go by without at least one of Flo’s stunning creations. Here we have the spectacular Leda Petit … if I looked like that in something wee and sparkly I think I would be tempted to wear it at all times! (Click here for Leda’s December Pinup day.)
Flo’s charity of choice … Women’s Refuge
Join Flo on Facebook: click here.
Follower her on Instagram: flofoxworthy
Visit her website: click here
AND DON’T FORGET… you can get 15% off your purchase at Flo Foxworthy Costumier from now until the end of the year – just enter the code mumpty at checkout. ♥
Heheeee! This image is PERFECT for me right now because I AM just so excited about these announcements! Okay … get on with it Mumpty!
Firstly … I am running a special feature on MumptyStyle for the entire month of December – called “Pinup December” (bet you can’t work out how I came up with that title!)
Essentially, for each day of December, MumptyStyle will feature a beautiful local (and international) pinup or burlesque performer, and my goodness, I am blown away by the incredible women that have agreed to participate!
As well as sharing their favourite image with us, these beautiful ladies are going to share what has made them proud this year; a special achievement, a win, overcoming an obstacle – whatever has made them happy in 2014.
Also … I’ve asked each of them to nominate a charity and in the New Year, I will make a random draw, and donate $50 to the charity of that lady’s choice.
So as these ladies turn up on MumptyStyle, please share, like their Facebook pages and follow them on Instagram. Let’s share the pinup/alt/burlesque love this silly season!
The second very exciting announcement is that the incredible Flo Foxworthy, costumier to the stars, is offering my readers a discount code of 15% until the end of the year … just enter the code mumpty at checkout. Wahooooo! Enjoy ladies – I can just see all the sparkly numbers winging their way to your Santa Sack now!!!
I CANNOT wait for December to start now! And thanks to my good friend Miss Monique Sweet, who brainstormed this little idea with me. She’s the best!
One of my favourite images … oh, and how to care for your feather fans!
As the title of this post states, this is one of my favourite images of Marilyn Monroe. What a stunner – she looks so happy and that feather fan is so beautiful. Ostrich feathers really are the ultimate luxury aren’t they?
To be honest, when I started this post it was solely to share this particular image of Marilyn, but then I decided I might as well do something useful with it, so I decided to include a little bit of information about how to care for your gorgeous ostrich feathers – if you are lucky enough to own a pair of course! If I was in the market for feather fans, which sadly I’m not, I would most certainly be blazing a trail to the fabulous Flo Foxworthy – because really, there is simply no better!
Anyway … onto the care information:
How to care for your feather fans …
Store them in a solid box whenever possible to protect them against being squashed and knocked; plumes facing up so you don’t break the spines.
To remove any odours … ♥ You can leave them out in the sunlight for a couple of hours. ♥ Alternatively, you can gently place them inside a pillow case and put two or three anti-static dryer sheets inside the pillow case with the fans and then leave them for a day or so. The anti-static sheets will absorb odours. DO NOT put them in the dryer!
How to re-fluff your feather fans …
Feathers naturally dry out over a period of time and consequently start to lose their fluffiness. ♥ Rub them firmly but carefully – this makes them more fluffy. You can also shake them gently – this helps remove dust and fluffs them out. ♥ Steam them – basically just boil some water in a pot and put a lid covering 90% of the pot; this will help you direct the steam. Be careful of your fingers though! Once the feathers have opened a bit you can stop, as more steaming makes little or no difference. You can also use a steamer if you have one of course!
How to wash your feather fans … Feathers pick up oils from your hands really easily – make sure you wash your hands before you use them; also don’t wear lip gloss when working with fans! ♥ Use luke-warm, soapy water or baby shampoo and be super gentle. The colours are most likely not colour-fast. ♥ It’s probably best to quarter-fill a bath and swish the feathers gently around in that. ♥ Let them dry naturally – never use direct heat; i.e. don’t hang them over a heated towel rail or anything like that.
Fun fact: The pink ostrich fans that Dita Von Teese uses in her tribute act to Sally Rand were made by her friend and fellow performer, Catherine D’lish. They are constructed with four graduated shades of pink and hundreds of rose-colored crystals. They measure seven feet across and weigh 2.3 pounds each – wow – I’m surprised tiny wee Dita can carry them!