As you you can see in the above blouse Leanna's style is very flattering and feminine. I asked her what influenced her to follow the feminine Victorian lines. In reply she stated she is convinced that she was born in the wrong time period, although, she would probably be languishing in some dark Victorian era prison for behaving contrary to the way a lady would have to in that period. She loves the "freedom to be" that women have now and it wasn't acceptable then. In her opinion, he attention to detail that was prevalent in the Victorian era in everything from architecture to the clothing is fantastic and she tries to incorporate that detail into the clothing she designs today.
I asked about starting the Bits and Purses shop wanting to know if she started that to have the Victorian era accessories. She actually started the shop to show what awesome things can be made with recycled or reusable items. She learned the handmade fabric technique she uses for some of her textured purses about 10 years ago and wanted to incorporate it into beautiful handbags. As with most artisans she try to be Eco friendly and with this shop she is able to use almost all of her sewing scraps in the fabric so that she throws away less than a pound of scraps each year. The purse below is made with Leanna's handmade fabric.
She does make coordinating pieces to items in other shops. Such as the "On Broadway" tunic with the "Burlesque" cuff both of which go with the "Nights on Broadway" purse.
Nights on Broadway
I tried to pin Lianna down as to her favorite but although she likes designing Victorian gowns she gets great pleasure from creating anything that is unique and beautiful. The custom gown shown at the beginning of the interview is one of her favorites. And, below is one of her newest designs.
I asked her if she remade wedding dresses and she said she loves to make them into other fashions and that recently she purchased a bunch of discontinued wedding gowns from bridal shops and is looking forward to finally getting a chance to remake them. Her first reinvented wedding dress Shalimar sold earlier this year and the remake made the dress.
In closing the advice she would give to someone starting on Etsy is. "Join a team, ask a lot of questions and meet as many other Etsians as you can by email or in person. You will feel empowered to succeed if you expand your circle and constantly learn something new.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a wonderful artisan and her products.