Friday, July 1, 2011

FAN LOVE: Shannon Garcia

Hello! Here is my second installment of what I like to call Fan Love where I post pictures of people wearing their Nelesc Designs duds and tell you a little bit about them.

This is Shannon Garcia seen here rockin her Nina Simone rust grey tank top from my Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Doesn't she look great? Shannon also has a shop on Etsy where she makes the most incredible jewelry. I especially like her custom spiral gauges. I don't have piercings that big but if I did, I would definitely buy these. So read on. Shannon is multi-talented as she also paints, writes teaches..., well, I'll just let her tell you about herself.

1) How did you find out about Nelesc Designs?

Stumbled upon when browsing through Etsy shops.

2) Why did you choose this top/icon? Ms. Nina Simone is hands down one of the greatest musicians I have ever heard. I remember the first time I saw a video of her performing "I Ain't Got No, I Got Life," I had it on repeat for days. She had such incredible presence, talent, and personality. I have a magical connection with her music and I wanted to have a little piece of her with me.

3) Tell me about yourself.

I am a student, a teacher, scribe, artist--just a lady looking to get up on some extra cash for school books and start up community projects. I believe in having an active conscious and that everything can have a purpose when applied creatively. That's what I try to do. So far, I have put my creative energy into spoken word, painting, and jewelry. I lend my artistic abilities towards challenging myself, inspiring my niece and nephew, enriching communities, and aiding grassroots movements around the world. You can view my work here. You can find my shop here.

4)What would you like to see more of at Nelesc Designs?

More cuffs! And just keep creating beautiful things as you are.

5) What are you reading or listening to nowadays?

Currently reading: The BFG by Roald Dahl, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Versos Sencillos by Jose Marti, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Currently listening: Songs Out Here by That Ghost and Post No Dreams by Brad Hamers aka Phlegm.

Okay, I've made a mental note: more cuffs! Thank you for sharing and for being an inspiration Shannon!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My First Tutorial: Make a Cuff from a Boot!

This is my first tutorial and I'm so excited! As some of you know who read my blog, I have a love affair with cuffs. I started out making fabric cuffs to give as gifts back in 2009. These were fun and easy to make. When my husband's leather coat got torn, I then then graduated to making leather cuffs.  For more about my cuff journey, read this post from 2009. 

This cuff I made from my old boot a long time ago.

My sister loved it so much that I decided to make her the same one from the other boot. I thought this was a great opportunity to take pics of the process to show you all. These are really easy to make and they open the door to a lot of possibilities.  So here goes:

Here's my boot. I re-heeled it several times but the last time I went to the shoe repair, the owner told me there was no hope. I noticed that it had such a cute design detail and I immediately decided to make a cuff out of it.

I believe these are leather uppers. The first thing I did was to cut the top off, cutting around the zipper.

  I then turned it around and cut all the excess seaming . This will make it easier to sew.

This is what you are left with at this point. Make sure you leave enough room on the top and bottom to fold in and stitch. Also note the tiny seam on the middle bottom. I decided to leave it in and just fold over which made it a bit difficult to get it on but I didn't want to lose the finished look it gave it.
Fold in and stitch the top and bottom. I have a factory machine and used a #18 needle. Make sure your machine is equipped to sew leather.

Since it already has a snap, I used that for a closure and stitched the other end.  Like I said, I left that  previous seam. This is what it looked like after the sewing. I guess you could also totally cut it but I didn't want to lose the finished look. Do you think my hand fit through it? 

Yes it did! With a little shove.

My sister and I wearing our cuffs. Now we're ready for action!

I hope this inspired you to turn those old boots into something useful. You can also look at interesting details on purses and belts. The possibilities are endless!  Tell me what you think.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Camouflage Jacket to Camouflage Tote Bag

Face it people, sometimes it feels like there is a war going on out there, and you need to be armed with your camouflage tote bag!

This is a recent reconstruction that I wanted to share with you. It's a camouflage jacket that I turned into a tote. I love the way it came out and I decided to sell it in my, shop

Before picture

Camouflage Tote Bag, $30.00.
Available at
 I transferred the pockets to the bag,  two in the front and two  in the back and I lined it with recycled denim. There are more pictures of it in my shop so check it out and tell me what you think.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Nelesc Designs 2011 Spring/Summer Collection

I apologize for this late post. I have been very busy working on this collection and then had some family issues to deal with which did not allow me to post this as fast as I wanted to it is, my 2011 Spring/Summer Nelesc Designs Collection.

My Spring/Summer collection is centered around three items; a tank top, a sleeved top, and a dolman sleeve tunic. These are all designed and produced by me in various colors and sizes. This collection continues to speak to my idea of the glorified t-shirt; stylish, casual clothes that make a statement, that are conversation starters. It also continues to showcase my love of color combining that is reminiscent of my past work with color blocking, fabric scraps and t shirt reconstruction.

I will continue screenprinting my collection of icons onto the tops but will offer the tops without the icon if the customer wishes. I believe my designs can stand on their own as well.

Hourglass Tunic.
Available in S/M and L/XL

Striped Tank Top. Available in S, M, L, XL

Striped Tank Top also available in these colors with your choice of icon.  

Baloon Sleeve Top.
Available in S,M,L,XL
Balloon Sleeve Top also available in these colors too.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Akawelle Jewelry: Talk About Transformation!

18" necklace, AKAWELLE.COM

I came across Akawelle Jewelry while reading an issue of Lucky Magazine. I couldn't rip the page fast enough as I knew I wanted to write about it on my blog.

These beautiful charms are made from discarded bullet casings by Lovetta Conto. Lovetta was forced to flee war-torn Liberia with her father when she was a little girl. The 18 year old says, "I thought if I could take something that caused so much pain and destruction and melt it down into something beautiful, I would be showing that transformation is possible." All the profits go to Strong Heart Fellowship Program, which benefits kids displaced by conflict. Check it out, these pendants are beautiful!!!   

Founder of Akawelle Jewelry, Lovetta Conto

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Wardrobe Transformation!

So here's another wardrobe transfomation. This past summer, I was looking through my closet and noticed this aqua blue top that I hardly wear. I had to ask myself, why don't I wear this top?  What's up with that? I realized I didn't wear it because it was kind of ill fitting, so I said to myself, either you transform it or it goes to the salvation army. I chose transformation and this is what I came up with.

Here's a pic of the top pre-transformation. My son took the picture so he chopped my head off, lol.

Then I looked in my fabric stash and found this cute polka dot fabric that sort of had the same aqua color as the top. You might recognize it from this post.

I made a skirt out of it. Then I cut the top so that it met the skirt at the waist and sewed the two together leaving enough space so that I could insert an elastic. Voila, instant dress. I paired it with a belt and it looks really cute. I wore it a lot in the summer and even wear it now, with a long sleeve top and boots.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WARDROBE TRANSFORMATION: Maternity Top to Cute Little Shrug!

One thing that I wanted to add to the blog this year is to post more of my wardrobe transformations and tutorials. The whole idea of redemtion and transformation is very important to me and it extends to my own clothes.

So here's a maternity top that I converted to a cute little shrug. Boy was I big! I liked wearing form fitting tops to show off my belly. I think I was pregnant with my second here, although I can't remember because I wore this top for both pregnancies. Anyway, this was super easy. I just cut it in the back and added the ribbing to keep it snug on my shoulders. Voila! What do you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year! I am so excited about 2011. I have so many new things that I want to do with this blog and my shop. I will definitely tell you about them soon in an upcoming post.

For now, I wanted to show off this top which I made at the end of December. I bought this fabric months ago and have made two other things from it. I only had a little of it left so I decided to use if for the sleeves of this butterfly top. It's a little tighter than I wanted, showing off my chichos (spanish slang for love handles!) But I love it because the print actually looks like a butterfly design. It represents how I am feeling these days; full of new life and transformation!

How are you feeling about the new year?