Dear Readers, I am SO excited to present the first collaborative post on this blog! Please welcome my friend, Rose Gonzales! I immediately thought of Rose when I was working on my DIY Fairy Princess Cape made from a Shirt post. As you will see, making gorgeous, ingenious capes is part of Rose’s prolific, artistic life. But, more on that in a minute. First, here’s some backstory!
Rose and I met during the summer of 2007, when we were both college girls, performing at Leavenworth Summer Theater. Baby faces!
Our favorite thing was saying each other’s names backwards. (Actually, we still do!) I called Rose “Esore Selaznog”, and she called me “Nasus Stooms”.
Okay, back to the present! Rose is an amazing creative on so many levels. She is currently writing and recording music and fronting a band. Oh, and she’s an incredibly talented makeup artist, too!
Rose also moonlights as a real Faerie, and she cleverly solved a very real Faerie costuming dilemma with her Faerie Capes. So, without further ado, here is Rose’s story, and I hope you will visit her Etsy shop: FromFairieland
Faerie Capes by Rose
A few years ago I relocated to the bay area (Emeryville, CA) from Washington state. I began looking for a job to fund my music work. I front an alt rock band called the E’ville Experience and studio time is very expensive. Scrolling through Craigslist, I found an ad asking for people interested in being a pirate, mermaid, or faerie for a living. An application was sent in the same day, and I had a response shortly after. I quickly earned my wings as a Happily Ever Laughter Faerie!
It’s an incredible company that is fully committed to a bringing magic to children’s parties. We are in character from the second we walk to the door, whether we’re faeries, mermaids, pirates, or circus girls! It was the perfect side job for a performer.
One of the *very few* downsides of the job is cold weather and outdoor parties (that, and carrying a large magic trunk up a million stairs at every party in San Francisco). Our costumes are so fancy and special, especially the wings for our faeries.
We are issued a small cape that covers our shoulders, but that was the extent of our warming costume pieces, because anything else would get in the way of the wings. I wondered if we could just make a longer cape with a hole in the back for wings.
I made a cape like this for my wedding, because I wanted to wear wings (duh) in November (cold!). It was my first cape, with a basic hole in the back, but in order to put it on or take it off, I had to take my wings off.
There was a major problem with that idea for our faeries.
Our faeries are REAL faeries.
They can’t take their wings off.
So, if you went to a children’s birthday party as a Happily Ever Laughter Faerie in a regular cape with a hole in it, you had to commit to wearing that cape for the entire party. We couldn’t take our wings off in front of children, we are REAL faeries with REAL wings.
That’s why I invented Faerie Capes. They are stretch velvet capes with one detachable side, so they can be put on and taken off AROUND wings.
I made the first cape for our wedding photographer, Jacqui June Whitlock, as a gift. She’s a children’s entertainer among her many other talents. It was light blue, stretch, crushed velvet with a burgundy, stretch, crushed velvet lining, when I had never worked with stretch velvet. It was a huge challenge, but I’ve always felt confident in my engineering skills. The reinforcements I made for inside the collar make it possible to detach and reattach the cape without worrying about anything tearing.
Initially I’d used Velcro to attach the cape to the collar on the right side, the left side is sewn to the collar. Now I use magnetic clasps, like purses sometimes use, on the right side. They are very strong, easier to line up, and don’t itch like the Velcro sometimes did.
My capes are beautiful and functional. I’ve made about 20 custom Faerie Capes.
Making Faerie Capes inspired me to branch out into other capes. I make short wool capes, side shoulder capes, and reversible capes. Mostly, though? I have Faeries commission a Faerie Cape from me. I love that they get such practical use.
My main love is music, and all of these commissions help fund my band and music career (@EvilleXP on Facebook). I’m so lucky to be able to fund my first love (music) with another creative endeavor that is so satisfying (sewing). I keep Faeries warm, it’s magical.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and artistry with us, Rose! We may not be acting on the same stage, these days, but I love that we can still do artistic collaborations through the wonders of the internet!
Once, again, you can find Rose’s music at Rose Gonzales and the Eville Experience and her cape creations at FromFairieland.