[00:00:00] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa wool fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.
[00:00:40] Lisa Woolfork: Hello everyone. And welcome to the stitch. Please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. I am delighted to be joined once again by a repeat guest, miss Kora, Irvin of Kora, Rene. Fabrics, um, joined us very early on in our podcast [00:01:00] presentation. Um, she appeared in an episode back in October of 2019, um, that's episode three, where she was talking about fabrics that start a conversation, and she has continued that conversation with this next group of fabrics that she is releasing from her company.
[00:01:19] Lisa Woolfork: So welcome Kenora and thank you for coming.
[00:01:22] Queenora Renee: Thank you for having me, Lisa, I'm really, really excited. Glad to be back.
[00:01:28] Lisa Woolfork: It is so good to talk to you again, hooray. So, um, we're gonna be talking about custom fabrics again. Y'all and I know that a few episodes ago we spoke with a. Emerald curtain fabrics in Pamela, um, who I think is recently celebrating her one year anniversary.
[00:01:45] Lisa Woolfork: And so this is a chance for us to, um, and so you all, please go check her out. I know Kenora, um, shares this same value that I have with black women's dish that we really believe in community, not competition. Um, [00:02:00] so I'm rooting for everybody black, you know, so right. You know, I, anybody out there, if you are, if you are a black woman and you have a sewing related business and venture hit me up because I wanna talk to you and I want to elevate and amplify what you are doing.
[00:02:16] Lisa Woolfork: So. So, um, Pamela was on the show a few weeks ago and that was a lot of fun. Um, and so to have Kora back is also amazing. Um, Kora, let's just get started talking. Let's just start with like an overview. Well, actually, before we get started about the fabric, we also, I did not mention that Kora is also a podcaster.
[00:02:37] Lisa Woolfork: Um, she, she and her husband have a podcast called married and shit. So tell us about that, where folks can.
[00:02:46] Queenora Renee: Um, so folks can find it apple podcast, your favorite podcasting sites. We're on, um, apple podcast, Spotify tune in Google podcasts. And you can also watch us, um, on Facebook and [00:03:00] YouTube. And, um, we started the podcast.
[00:03:03] Queenora Renee: We just started a few months ago in March. Um, My husband, Chris, he's been wanting to do a podcast for a while now. And I finally broke down and was like, all right, let's do it. Um, so it's just basically us giving our personal views on our marriage, the way we do things, societal norms, um, finances parenting, just, uh, overall, um, podcast.
[00:03:28] Queenora Renee: So it's not just for married folks. It's not just for. Folks with kids. It's pretty much for everyone. We talk about a wide spectrum, um, of topics, just about our opinions, our views over the last 10 years. Well now 11 years that we've been married, um, and just everything that goes on in current event.
[00:03:50] Lisa Woolfork: It's like hanging out with two fun people.
[00:03:52] Queenora Renee: Yes, exactly.
[00:03:53] Lisa Woolfork: That's what it's like hanging out with two fun people. So check out their podcast and I'm so [00:04:00] excited, um, to see, um, Kora and Chris, um, and you know, talking about like their, their love and their life and history and just response. I don't, it's pretty cool. So do check out that show, but so let's get talk.
[00:04:12] Lisa Woolfork: Let's get let's. Get into the custom fabric world. Um, this, if you go back again, I'm asking everyone to, again, check out episode three with Kora check out. There was a pre episode just before episode three, where I explained a lot about the custom fabric world. Um, also Pamela talked about that, um, with Emerald curtain fabrics, can you share a bit more Kuo about why you got started with custom fabrics in the first.
[00:04:41] Queenora Renee: So I got started in custom fabric. Um, when I. Looking mainly the, so for my daughters. And when you go to your general hobby, lobbies Joanne's or other fabric, even online retail, uh, fabric stores, you cannot find fabric with brown and black [00:05:00] faces. It's just not possible unless it's a specific Disney, you know, movie that's coming out.
[00:05:07] Queenora Renee: And that's the only thing, um, that you will pretty much find not your normal. You know, little girls with makeup or little boys superheroes. They're not, they're not gonna have faces that are representative of me, my family and our culture. Um, so that's what got me into it for myself and for the girls. So that way, when we wear clothes, it looks like.
[00:05:36] Queenora Renee: Um, and also to, as you had mentioned earlier to start a conversation, there are a lot of things in the black community that are taboo to talk about that are not spoken about. And so one of the things that I want with my fabric, um, is to have a conversation and that. Um, opens up the world a little bit, whether it's the Juneteenth fabric I [00:06:00] have, where people will look at and say, you know, we're, we're showcasing, we're broadcasting Juneteenth, or the breastfeeding fabric that I had.
[00:06:10] Queenora Renee: Um, I love that one. I know, I love that fabric so much. And the same thing goes with the, you know, anime that we have coming up. I mean, how often do you see anime characters that look like us? um, and, and cosplay and anime is such a, I don't wanna call it taboo, but it's not talked about, and it's not common within the black community, but these black cos players out here are doing the thing. So I just wanna also highlight that with the fabric.
[00:06:41] Lisa Woolfork: Absolutely. And I would say that, I don't think, I don't know if it's that so much that it's taboo, that it's forbidden. It just goes unnoticed. Yes. You know, I mean, there are a lot of black co players. Mm-hmm, , it's not that black Coplay is secret. They have con they have conventions.
[00:06:58] Lisa Woolfork: Um, they participate [00:07:00] in majority white conventions. They, they create their own projects. They, you know, they do these amazing videos. And of course, because we sew. I'm always just enamored of the outfits that they've made and the details and, you know, so they are there. Mm-hmm, , it's just like with anything with black folks, it's like, we have been there it's that people just aren't paying attention, you know?
[00:07:21] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. And that this it doesn't, it doesn't. It doesn't conform to this standard or expected idea about what we are supposed to like and what we are not supposed to like, and those kind of limitations. I tend to just call them what they are, which is essentially white supremacy. Right? Mm-hmm , which is this overall ideology that says that at least in, in the United States, that what is normal is also what is.
[00:07:50] Lisa Woolfork: What is standard is also what is white. And I can't, I can't tell you how many times I have gone to a store and looked for [00:08:00] pictures of seeing like photo, you know, pictures or images of children on fabrics, because I wanted to make something cute from one of my boys that had like a bunch of kids' faces on it, or make like a, a shirt or make a, a, some, some napkins for their lunch box or something like that.
[00:08:17] Lisa Woolfork: And it's all white. Or they think they're doing us a favor by having 10 children and three of them being light brown. Yeah. I mean, I have found more fabric with bears on it. Like I walk by, I'm like, Ooh, look, brown faces. And it's like, no, that's a bear bear. Yeah. You know, like they are, they're more committed to putting bears.
[00:08:38] Lisa Woolfork: And round dogs with smiles on them. That, I mean, that's where you're gonna find. If you looking for something brown, you can pretty much believe it's probably some little animal face. Exactly. Which is deeply offensive on another level. Right. Mm-hmm, , it's the same reason that people say that, um, In terms of thinking about how folks have these really negative views toward the continent that [00:09:00] folks care more about Africa's animals than they do about African people, right?
[00:09:04] Lisa Woolfork: That the lion king, which I do love, I do love the lion king. I can't talk bad about the lion king cuz my mother loves lion king. She's seen the film, she's seen the Broadway show more than once. She, I think she might have even seen the movie, the live action movie with the actual. You know, she loves it. Um, but some would say that pretty much.
[00:09:25] Lisa Woolfork: It's just, you know, it's essentially Hamlet. Um, and why would this not like how could this happen, um, with animals instead of with black people, right? Like what does that mean? You know, so it's those, it's those kind of things that when you, one of the things I love about what you say, Kuo was like, there are many issues in our community that are very meaningful for black sous and for black women.
[00:09:47] Lisa Woolfork: And. They don't get erased when we sew mm-hmm they don't disappear, you know? Right. Um, and so we are black women with black children, and we want to have our children [00:10:00] represented with some cute little ballet dancers and spa people. But when we go to the store, we cannot find them. Right. Um, and so like, that's one of the wonderful gaps that I think that you are closing.
[00:10:12] Lisa Woolfork: Um, and one of the things that you are starting to help us have this conversation about is to make things visible that have been there all along, but are invisible. And one of those is, you know, is this structure that says, when we put people, when we put people on fabric, those people are gonna be white people.
[00:10:31] Lisa Woolfork: Right. And. That, that it just seems so like lazy as well as dangerous. Um, because it just, it just limits. It's just, it's just laziness that limits the imaginative possibilities for other people. Um, and that's why I'm so glad you came along. So thank you for what you are doing. Thank you. So let's get into this anime round.
[00:10:57] Lisa Woolfork: Um, tell us, tell us a bit about [00:11:00] how. Buying custom fabrics works. If someone, and we're gonna talk about the details of the designs, that there's a couple of photos of the designs. That's part of the episode notes. Um, they're also gonna be part of the episode art. So when you look at this episode, depending on where you look at the.
[00:11:17] Lisa Woolfork: Where you listen to your podcasts, you will see, um, these images of some of these fabrics. Um, so, but before that even happens, let's talk about how does someone buy this fabric from you? How does that work from beginning to end?
[00:11:31] Queenora Renee: Okay. So the first thing is, um, customers will either follow me on Instagram or they are, um, a member of the Facebook group.
[00:11:42] Queenora Renee: So on Instagram and in the Facebook group, I'll release and say, okay, these are the patterns that's coming up. Um, and I'll give dates and information. We do sneak peeks. So that way you, you have a way to know what's coming. Then we have a round, each round will open. Um, I generally keep my rounds [00:12:00] open for two to three weeks.
[00:12:02] Queenora Renee: And when the round opens, that means the fabric is available to pre-order on the website. So you'll go to the website like you would any other fabric retailer shop, you'll go, you'll make your selections. And you'll check out after you check out, you'll get your email. And even on the website, we'll put in there because this is a pre-order.
[00:12:23] Queenora Renee: It's not Amazon two day prime delivery.
[00:12:27] Lisa Woolfork: cause I was like, don't be call don't be calling. Ask me about my fabric. It's been 10 days. Where's my fabric
[00:12:32] Queenora Renee: lady. Right, right. And I know I'm, I'm an Amazon person. I I'm online shopper, but this is one of the ones where patience is a virtue. Um, because after the two to three weeks is over.
[00:12:44] Queenora Renee: So, um, Once the round ends after the, those two to three weeks, I submit the order to the printer and then the printer will actually, uh, print all of the fabric for all of the orders. And then it's shipped to me. [00:13:00] After it shipped to me, I go through each and every yard and I cut it to order I package it to order and then I send it off, um, to the individual customers.
[00:13:11] Queenora Renee: So the total process can easily take two months. So if I have a round, um, let's just say that ends today. It will be about four to six weeks, which is about a month to a month and a half before I even get it here. And then once I get it, I usually try to get my stuff out within three to four business days.
[00:13:35] Queenora Renee: So that way tracking numbers are sent and you have it. So generally I say, uh, whatever the round closed date is, you will have fabric in hand within two months, which is why we try to do, um, a lot of our themes, um, designs. Really early and ahead of time, like when Christmas is getting ready to come around, my fabric is already out into the hands.
[00:13:58] Queenora Renee: Like you're ordering Christmas [00:14:00] fabric in the summertime. to make sure right. You have it well in advance.
[00:14:05] Lisa Woolfork: And do you also, um, I know that that there's folks that, um, would like sometimes prefer to order retail from you as well. Mm-hmm mm-hmm can you talk about like what a retail offering might be and what the difference is between ordering through this presale process that you're describing and just buying it directly from the website?
[00:14:23] Lisa Woolfork: Do you do a lot of.
[00:14:25] Queenora Renee: I do retail. Um, I don't do as much, but, um, I do retail. Usually I keep retail to whatever 10% of the pre-order was. So let's just say for instance, total pre-order was 50 yards, you know, combined. Then what I'll do is. The I'll see what's the most popular. And then I'll order retail based off of the most popular presale, um, designs.
[00:14:51] Queenora Renee: Now, the difference between presale and retail is your presale price is gonna be at a discount because you are making, um, the [00:15:00] decision ahead of time to go ahead and purchase this fabric. So you're essentially buying it, you know, without seeing it. Versus retail retail means that I put up the upfront cost of everything with the hopes that it will sell once it gets to me.
[00:15:17] Queenora Renee: So for retail, it is gonna be a higher, uh, markup on it. But flip side, you do have the, um, You do have the positive of you don't have to wait the two months, but it is definitely limited. So if you know that you want something, I tell people all the time, get it during presale, you pay a lower cost and you know that the fabric is going to be there.
[00:15:39] Queenora Renee: So if you're one of the people that likes buying, you know, three to four yards of a design, That's not always gonna be guaranteed with retail retail. You may only have, you know, one to two yards that's available as orders come in. So if you know, like for me, for most stuff, I buy three to four yards. [00:16:00] Get it during presale,
[00:16:02] Lisa Woolfork: right. Because, you know, because you, as a, as a business owner, you don't want to have all this stuff sitting, you know, you're not gonna order like this much extra, because like you said, you've calculated that 10% extra could go for retail, but you're not gonna say, okay, let me do 20% because that's so much more money and so much more risk for you.
[00:16:22] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. Um, to have retail offerings. So, and
[00:16:26] Queenora Renee: that's for, you know, and fortunately I don't have a w. To where I can house, you know, yards and yards of fabric. You know, this is ran out of our home. So I don't have the space, uh, capacity to be able to hold, you know, yardage, uh, that large. So that's why another reason why retail is definitely limited.
[00:16:48] Lisa Woolfork: And what let's talk about the types of materials that you will be using. Um, if you are new to the custom fabric world, the word that, um, folks use in this community [00:17:00] is bases or base B a S E. And if you think about base as a foundation, um, you can have a particular image and you can print it on different foundations or on diff in this.
[00:17:11] Lisa Woolfork: Different bases, which is the type of fabric. Can you tell us about what bases or fabric options will be available during this round?
[00:17:20] Queenora Renee: Yes. So we use cotton, we have cotton woven, which is your non stretch. 100% cotton we'll have available. We'll also have cotton spandex. Um, our cotton spandex is 96% cotton with 4% span.
[00:17:35] Queenora Renee: Mm-hmm . Um, and then we also have bamboo spandex, so it's made from rayon from bamboo, but it also has spandex in it to give you a nice stretch. Um, we also have double brush poly, which is that soft buttery. Type feel. I think double brush probably has kind of made like a real in the last few years, a real, um, presence in the fabric world, because it's similar to those [00:18:00] leggings.
[00:18:01] Queenora Renee: Um, right. Yeah. I,
[00:18:03] Queenora Renee: I can't remember the Lu Lulu.
[00:18:06] Lisa Woolfork: Oh yeah. What were they called? Not Lulu lemon. I know exactly what you're talking about. Yeah. It's like a lot of women were selling them. Yes. Lula
[00:18:14] Lisa Woolfork: LuLaRoe, LuLaRoe. I think LuLaRoe, I think that's who it was. Was that BETTERY girl? I don't
[00:18:20] Lisa Woolfork: know. I make my clothes.
[00:18:22] Lisa Woolfork: I don't know what, what people buy I, I know it's the it's like I buy Lululemon because I get gift cards. Um, even though they're problematic and they keep like doing racist shit and I'm like, why, what, you know, first, first of all, you sell this J this jacket costs $200 and you can't stop being racist.
[00:18:40] Lisa Woolfork: What is wrong with you? Right. Um, and then, um, but I think maybe it is Lula.
[00:18:46] Queenora Renee: I think it is okay. But that, that buttery, so that's double brush, uh, polyester, and then I also do, um, swim. Okay. Uh, yeah. So that's, what'll be available for, [00:19:00] um, this particular round and each round, the bases will kind of change up depending on what the design.
[00:19:08] Lisa Woolfork: Can we just spend a few minutes talking about three of the fabrics you just mentioned, and I'm asking, because I want to know because I'm trying to think about the sewing that I do and the sewing that I enjoy and that, um, in two months when the fabric arrives, it'll still be summertime, right? Yes. Um, summertime maybe heading into fall.
[00:19:28] Lisa Woolfork: And so what is the difference between cotton ly? Bamboo Lira and DBP on double brushed poly. What is the difference between the three of those? Because you know, something that we've been, I've been very interested in, and we're gonna have an episode about this next week. So I hope you all are following along.
[00:19:45] Lisa Woolfork: We got a great contest coming up or a giveaway rather coming up about bra making. I've been making a lot of bras and underwear and I already. The underwear I always made a lot of, but the bras are kind of new. And because I now am like pretty [00:20:00] fanatical about bra making. Now, um, you can use them, you can use stretchy fabrics if you stabilize them.
[00:20:07] Lisa Woolfork: And so what of the three fabrics? I guess the first question is talk a bit about cotton Lyra, bamboo Lyra, and double brush poly in terms of recovery and breathability. One of these fabrics would make good panties. What of which of these fabrics would make good leggings, which would make a good drapey, um, cool kind sundress Maxy dress to kick around in, in.
[00:20:32] Queenora Renee: Okay. So the main, main difference, and what's probably gonna answer most of those questions is the main content, uh, fiber content of all three. So cotton Lira is obviously cotton. Bamboo Lira is, uh, bamboo and double rush. Polyester is polyester. Those three differences is what's really gonna tell you what it's gonna be best for cotton Lyra.
[00:20:56] Queenora Renee: Gonna have the best recovery. Um, this [00:21:00] is the one that you wanna make panties out of. You can make leggings out of it, but you wanna make sure you get, um, a heavier cotton spandex, one that has a, um, maybe like a 10 to 12 ounce, um, cotton spandex, um, for bamboo. That's gonna be a lighter weight because it's made from rayon from bamboo.
[00:21:21] Queenora Renee: So it definitely has breathability just like cotton liker does. So you could make panties out of it, but it's gonna be a lighter weight pan, um, recovery on it is not as strong as cotton spandex. But it still has good recovery. It's not gonna, um, waiver on you like rayon. Um, likeon
[00:21:42] Lisa Woolfork: not rayon will make you wanna fight and, or lose your religion.
[00:21:46] Lisa Woolfork: Exactly. Because like, sometimes I I'll get these fabrics and I'll just love them. They're so beautiful. And I get 'em home and I'm. What happened? What was I thinking? First of all, I think I can sew pretty well, [00:22:00] but the Reho fabric is like, bitch. I don't think you can. Exactly. Because, um, I'm gonna move over here and then now I'm gonna move over here.
[00:22:07] Lisa Woolfork: It's like advance
[00:22:07] Queenora Renee: and what I want, and then I'm gonna drape over here and then I'm just gonna lose all, all my stretch and just be exactly. Now
[00:22:16] Lisa Woolfork: you make a, you make a dress, you hang it up and you come back and it's like, how are you growing? Are you a child? How are you growing?
[00:22:25] Queenora Renee: Exactly. So that's why I love bamboo, uh, knit because it's the rayon from bamboo.
[00:22:32] Queenora Renee: So that's what makes it the difference. So instead of it having that horrible stretch recovery, it has better stretch recovery and it's still breathable. It's still lightweight, but it's not that flimsy stuff that you be getting from, you know, the other rayon. Okay. Okay. And double brush poly is, is not as breathable.
[00:22:51] Queenora Renee: So. If you were to make it with panties, I would definitely use a cotton like lining, um, lining on the [00:23:00] inside. Cuz it's not gonna be as breathable. Okay. I don't even use, um, double brush poly for like infant clothes, just because I'm extra fearful of how it doesn. Yes. Um, since they don't have that regulation yet.
[00:23:16] Queenora Renee: That's right, right. So I would use, you could also use it for leggings. Um, it's gonna give you that warmth to kind of like trap the heat in. So I wouldn't use during the summertime.
[00:23:26] Queenora Renee: Definitely not , but it's probably like, it's good for like a long, it could be like a good fall thing. So if you look at like, for example, a rap dress, a rap dress in double brush poly, I know, um, a lot of folks, you know, a lot of us say black women, stitch, we like the Appleton dress by Ette.
[00:23:42] Lisa Woolfork: Perfect. Have you made that one yet? Have you ever the apple? I have not. I have not. I'm telling you friend, you have, I, me too. Got to make this dress. I feel like it's so it looks good on every. I have not seen anyone who's made when I'm like, oof, that was a miss. No, I have not seen it [00:24:00] every I'm serious. You know how sometimes like, yeah.
[00:24:03] Lisa Woolfork: You know, you know, pattern designers, they might be, you know, you know how with the size inclusivity issues, blah, blah, blah, you know, but cash red. I really like, because they do, um, they start from a block that's based for. Actual women's bodies, you know? Yeah. Instead of like the idea's actual average of the American woman.
[00:24:22] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. A woman who has, you know, who is not a pencil. Right? Yes. And so like that, I really like, and it, it is just, it just feels really good on it. Doesn't gap in the front. And so whenever I think about double brush poly, um, which sounds like I think about it a lot, but I actually don't. Um, but whenever I think about it, I think, oh, this is gonna be a good rap dress or this will be something that's good for.
[00:24:42] Lisa Woolfork: Like mm-hmm, the fall, you know, when it starts to get a little bit NiPy something cute with boots. Yeah. You know what I mean? Or long sleep t-shirt turtlenecks, um, you know, something with layers, so, yeah. That's cool. Okay. Good. Well, that's helpful. Thank you for taking the time to, um, to go [00:25:00] over that with me.
[00:25:01] Lisa Woolfork: Let's take a quick break. Uh, and when we come back, we will talk more about the art itself. So I, you are listening to the stitch please podcast. We are talking with Kora, Renee of Kora, Renee fabric. And we'll be back in just a minute to continue this great conversation. Stay tuned.
[00:25:36] Lisa Woolfork: Here it's stitch, please. The official podcast of black women. Stitch, we talk a lot about sewing, but if you want to see and not just hear about some of the things we've been discussing, feel free to join us on the socials. You can find us at stitch, please on Facebook, and you can also find us on Instagram at black women's stitch.
[00:25:59] Lisa Woolfork: You can [00:26:00] find photos of projects that we've been working on. Really interesting social commentary and on Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern standard time, you can join black women's stitch for a live Instagram chat. Again, that's every Thursday at 3:00 PM. So find us on the socials. Follow up with us. We are happy to hear your direct messages.
[00:26:23] Lisa Woolfork: You can reach out to us at the black woman's stitch page on Instagram, and we'll help you get your stitch together.
[00:26:46] Lisa Woolfork: All right, we are back. Uh, thank you so much. Listening to the stitch, please podcast the official podcast of black women. Stitch. I. Happy happy, happy to be back talking with Kora, Irvin of Kora, Renee fabrics, and she is gonna, we're gonna talk about, [00:27:00] um, and I know this might be a little, kind of weird to talk about some of the imagery, because like sometimes I think Kora, like your podcast is such the way to go because.
[00:27:10] Lisa Woolfork: Yours is video based as well as audio mm-hmm . And sometimes when I'm doing sewing things, I'm trying, I feel like I'm trying to describe things in really, really good detail, but sometimes you just kinda just have to see it. So someone I did the episode a couple weeks ago about using, uh, wax free tracing papers to do darts and mark things on your pattern.
[00:27:29] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. And I was doing really good details about it. but I was like, gosh, this just be easier to show somebody. Um, and someone like wrote to me and they were like, I'm still having trouble. Can you maybe make a little video or something? And I was just like, I am thinking about it, but, and if I, if I do I, will you be the first to know?
[00:27:48] Lisa Woolfork: I, I, I just cannot add another thing to this plate. I just cannot, I cannot figure out like, when you're talking about, um, we were having to hang out, you're talking about the ring light and this and that. I'm like, uh, [00:28:00] I'm just gonna have to have people use their imagination. Contact me directly, if they need a photograph because I do not have it in me to do, uh, video.
[00:28:12] Lisa Woolfork: Um, but the images that you have, uh, created and presented here, um, everyone, what we're gonna be looking at are talking about are six images of really powerful, unique, um, black. Anime characters. I think you have it pretty evenly divided. It's um, three women, three men. Um, and can you talk a bit about what makes your six anime characters for this black anime round?
[00:28:42] Lisa Woolfork: So unique?
[00:28:45] Queenora Renee: Um, well, first they're black there is that there's that. Um, but this was really a collaboration between me and the artist. Um, I went to him on. [00:29:00] What I was looking for. And I drew inspiration from anime that, um, I watch with my husband and that he watches, cuz I don't watch all the anime that he does.
[00:29:10] Queenora Renee: He's the one that kind of got me really watching different anime outside of the typical dragon ballsy. Um, and um, I went to him and I was like, this is, this is what I know that I want. I want to represent the, um, a range of skin tone. I want to represent a range of hair texture. So Afro locks, I wanna range, you know, because I, even though there isn't one that looks exactly like me.
[00:29:48] Queenora Renee: There are ones that I can see myself. And that was the most important thing for me. So it's like, I may not have a six pack, like, you know, the, one of the [00:30:00] sore gladiators, but she has that fro that I rock every other day. Right. Um, so that was kind of like the, the beginning of it and threw it all. He was like, okay, well, you know, how do you want this person?
[00:30:13] Queenora Renee: What type of weapons do you want? You know? So he created the act each, um, Individual. And then I just kind of added the other things
[00:30:23] Lisa Woolfork: around. It's really. It's really fantastic. And so you're saying that you and an artist collaborated with inspiration, um, that from, from like, from your, from your husband and like, you know, since you guys watched anime a bit together, um, and then you wanted this variety and range of characters, I really think that's so thoughtful and it makes it.
[00:30:50] Lisa Woolfork: Broader and more expansive mm-hmm because it's not like you're trying to be based on any particular character. You're not trying to, um, [00:31:00] you know, replicate what some anime already has and just, you know, you know, you're trying to instead make something completely new. So talk a bit about the, the drawings themselves.
[00:31:11] Lisa Woolfork: Like, I think you said that the artists that you work with, how did he, um, pull these together? Are these digital drawings, are they hand drawn? Like how. In terms of the craftsmanship of the art itself. What are your thoughts on that? Cause I think that you really did hit the mark with the different hair textures, the different skin colors, the different body types.
[00:31:32] Lisa Woolfork: Like all of that I think is really very powerful.
[00:31:35] Queenora Renee: Yes. So they were all hand drawn. Um, and then he digitized them for me to be able to use. Um, and yeah, we took a lot of different elements, so it was like, I like the sword from Innu Asha. So I was like, I want one of 'em to have this really big, massive sword.
[00:31:53] Queenora Renee: I like, you know, one person to be. Phoenix. I want one person to have a [00:32:00] tail. I want one person to, you know, do this or do that. So, and I wanted different poses. I wanted, um, just each one to be able to stand alone, uh, for when people would buy just. This one panel. Um, but at the same time, still tell a story in whatever position they were in or whatever elements we incorporated in with it.
[00:32:22] Queenora Renee: Um, and he was really, really awesome at taking, um, my suggestions, even when I wasn't a hundred percent sure what I wanted. Um, I'd be like, I want, you know, it's hard to kind of really. Uh, explain what it is that I, I want when it doesn't exist. You know, if I know that I want some fries, I'd be like, oh, I want some fries, but if whatever I want to eat doesn't really exist.
[00:32:47] Queenora Renee: And I just wanna try and make it work. You know, you kind of describe what you want. And he was able to really take all of that word vomit and just, you know, and put it together into something [00:33:00] that was really, really awesome. Like when he sent me even. Just the beginning stages of him drawing it. I was like, oh my gosh, I'm going to love
[00:33:10] Lisa Woolfork: it.
[00:33:11] Lisa Woolfork: Now, do the characters have names or are you just thinking about, do you identify them based on certain attributes?
[00:33:20] Queenora Renee: Um, just certain attributes. So, um, in one of 'em there's, um, a gentleman who is behind a red sun, so I just called him the red sun warrior, mainly because. um, for most, he would identify as a male, but you know, who knows, maybe he that's true, identifies as something else.
[00:33:40] Queenora Renee: So I don't have any of 'em with specific, like. Girl gladiator or anything. So I use more of the elements that they're, um, presented with like, uh, the one with locks who I would present as female. She's just the orb Energizer because she has these [00:34:00] orbs that's surrounding her. Um, so that way, no matter how someone may personally identify.
[00:34:08] Queenora Renee: it doesn't matter. It shouldn't directly relate to what the fabric that they wanna choose.
[00:34:13] Lisa Woolfork: And that's so really it's so powerful because what it's saying is that, you know, you are recognizing that just like race and racism are, you know, constructs. That are invented so too is gender. Um, and that gender presentation has to be, has to be, is a, is a matter of, kind of personal relationship, right?
[00:34:34] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm and that it's not, it's not meant to be imposed from, with, from the outside. you know, and so someone could, instead of saying, you know, this is sword girl or sword, boy, you know what I mean? Yeah. That you're not trying to put these things on people instead, you're looking at them holistically. Mm-hmm um, and that's something that I think is just really powerful.
[00:34:54] Lisa Woolfork: I wanna, I wanna talk about my favorite character. Um, I like the person who. [00:35:00] To me looks as female. She's got a, it's a pink back, like a pink watercolor background, and she's got cargo pants on and those sandals mm-hmm um, that I think that I've seen in different Japanese film where you wear the sandals with the socks.
[00:35:14] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. Um, I don't know what those are called, but she's got those on and then she's got these like just this, this sleeve on one arm and then like another sleeve. It's just a really great. Outfit, and I love her hair and I love the look of determination on her face. Um, can you talk a bit about her and what your inspiration for her was, um, was, was about?
[00:35:38] Queenora Renee: So she is the one, um, That I probably identify the most with. Um, she was one of the ones. I definitely wanted her to have an Afro, but I wanted her to have, um, dimension to her Afro, which is why, if you look kind of close the bottom part of her Afro is colored like purple and purple. Yes. Blacks and brown.
[00:35:57] Queenora Renee: Like this. It is not just the black [00:36:00] circle. Like I hate that in artwork where people would just put a big black circle on someone, be like, oh, what's a Afro. Like, no, that's, that's not.
[00:36:09] Lisa Woolfork: That's, that's not what our hair does. Exactly.
[00:36:12] Queenora Renee: There's there's dimension, there's texture. And I feel like you can really see that, um, in her.
[00:36:17] Queenora Renee: And I mean, honestly, I wanted her to be a total badass that was like, I want her to be a badass. And actually the sword that she has is, um, from my, in inspiration with, in Asha, one of the anime that my husband watches, um, in that, uh, anime, the main character, he. A really huge sword. So like when it's holstered, you don't think that it's as large as it is.
[00:36:43] Queenora Renee: And I was like, I want the sword to be literally as large as she is. Um, so we had to kind of go back and forth cuz I think he took it a little too literal at first.
[00:36:53] Lisa Woolfork: It was like, wait a minute, that's off the scale off scale. How someone supposed to wield that thing?
[00:36:58] Queenora Renee: so we, we scaled it back a [00:37:00] little bit. Um, but it still gives that like, don't fuck with me.
[00:37:04] Queenora Renee: I will mess you up with my sword inspiration. And that's what I wanted from
[00:37:08] Lisa Woolfork: her. It's one of, I think that when I look at her and I look at the other, um, character, um, the one that's in front of the fire, it really is, you know, it gives new meaning to, I came to S. Yes.
[00:37:23] Queenora Renee: Yes. And I love that's that's my Phoenix.
[00:37:26] Queenora Renee: Like she was the one that I wanted. Um, I just wanted to add, uh, just a little extra so that you can tell that she is human, but maybe she's not human. Like, I want people to think like, is it a tale that she has? Is it maybe a. Special attachment from our costume, you know, a weapon. I thought it was some
[00:37:51] Lisa Woolfork: kind of weapon.
[00:37:52] Lisa Woolfork: I thought it was like something that she can wield. But if, if you're saying tail, then of course I'm thinking scorpion because of the way it's. So, you know, it looks like this is [00:38:00] something it's this gold sharp point. Um, like if you get touched with that, then you are really gonna be, you know, breathing your last few breaths, um, kind of situation.
[00:38:11] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. .
[00:38:13] Queenora Renee: But yeah, I love, I love that one. That one was, and then just even the, the wardrobe that he did on everyone is terrific
[00:38:24] Lisa Woolfork: really? Cause I know, cause I'm looking right now at the one who reminds me of the old school video game street fighter, the one with it's in front of, I'm not sure if this is as this dark blue with this like light blue orb around it.
[00:38:36] Lisa Woolfork: That's kind of like a, I dunno if it's like a swirling planet or a vortex of some kind. Yeah. So, what is this person's story?
[00:38:43] Queenora Renee: So he's the one that I kind of made. Um, this person I made, um, to kind of give a little bit of, uh, To be a little form, more familiar, like most of the black people that I know that watch [00:39:00] anime probably started off with dragon ball Z.
[00:39:03] Queenora Renee: Oh, okay. So I wanted something that looked kind of familiar, you know, kind of like, oh, he looks like I would know where he's from, but we all know that he's not really from there. He's not . Um, so that's the kind of vibes that, you know, kind of like the beginner anime. So it's like, mm I'm not really into it, but I think he's real cool looking.
[00:39:28] Queenora Renee: Yes. He was my inspiration for, for that. I
[00:39:32] Lisa Woolfork: like the visual references that you are making that someone who is familiar with anime. will be able to say, oh, I can see the attributes that she's drawing on, or I can see this person's pose. Even if you have no familiarity, like as I don't, mm-hmm with anime at all.
[00:39:49] Lisa Woolfork: I mean, I know where I know what it is. I know where it comes from. I know that people cosplay it. My own boys watch these very esoteric. Series, um, that I [00:40:00] have no idea what's happening. People can fly. Um, they have journeys, they fight a lot. There's a lot of fighting. Yeah. Um, but other than that, I, I don't follow it.
[00:40:10] Lisa Woolfork: But what I love about what you've created is that there's another vocabulary behind thee vocabulary. And that's the vocabulary of black beauty of black imagery of, you know, centering. Things that are, uh, normal for black folks. Um, and we can see this in the care of the work that your artist and you have collaborated to create.
[00:40:32] Lisa Woolfork: So congratulations on that. I wanted to hear more about, um, something I thought you did. That was really unique when we were talking earlier is how you have organized these images on the fabric itself. Um, I think that's really, uh, really unique and I'd love to hear you talk about that. So, uh, what I'm, what I'm speaking of here is if you decide, for example, to order some or pre-order some of Kora Renee's fabric, what you'll find [00:41:00] is the, I find that custom fabric is a bit wider than buying regular fabric and that the way that the printing works is that you can, that the printing might.
[00:41:11] Lisa Woolfork: It's different than what it's not, it's not like going to the, uh, to the fabric store and ordering like five yards of fabric and it's all gonna come in one continuous piece and it'll all be the same thing. Um, yours is a bit different or custom fabric in general is a bit different, but yours in particular is doing something really cool this round.
[00:41:29] Lisa Woolfork: So can you tell us about that?
[00:41:31] Queenora Renee: Yes. So, um, with custom fabric, uh, you. We can sometimes do the designs and what's called panels. So a panel is just a block of, uh, fabric with one particular design. So for all six of these characters, if you just wanted that character, you're just gonna get that one character on a block of, uh, fabric.
[00:41:54] Queenora Renee: Now, of course we know, you know, fabric comes 45 to 60 inches in width, but you want it [00:42:00] to be scaled to your size. So normally what custom fabric companies will do is they will take a yard of fabric. They'll put one design, the one panel on one side of the fabric, however large it is, cuz it can come in different sizes.
[00:42:13] Queenora Renee: And then for the remaining part of the yard, they will give you a coordinating design. So that, you know, you have your main kind of like your main topic and then you have your supporting details all on one yard of fabric. Yes. Yes. Um, so what I decided to do with this, starting with this round, that kind of dabbled a bit into it with the breastfeeding round, um, to kind of like as a test, um, what I'm doing with this one is I.
[00:42:41] Queenora Renee: I'm making it. So if you are a person like me, for instance, where it is myself and I have three daughters, if I wanted to order a person, a character for each. For each of us, I would have to order at minimum four yards just to get [00:43:00] the four characters for me to make a garment with. That's a lot. That's a lot , that is
[00:43:07] Lisa Woolfork: a lot cause custom fabric.
[00:43:08] Lisa Woolfork: Y'all just as a reminder, you know, as we, as you might have deduced from here, Cornor talk about, or, you know, a hiring an artist, um, sending the art off to be like approved and digitized. Taking that digital image and turning it into fabric, having it be printed, having samples come to her, having all the fabric, come to her and then cutting it all herself.
[00:43:30] Lisa Woolfork: This is not 9 99 a yard. No, no, not. So when someone said I've seen customs, I think pre-order is between 18 and 22. Yes. And retail. Some of the retail y'all I was just like, woo. Yes. People are, people are paying $22 for a fat quarter. Yeah. $60 for a yard of fabric that they could have pre-ordered for [00:44:00] $18.
[00:44:00] Lisa Woolfork: If they had known how popular it was gonna be. So. So I just, that there, it can definitely get up there. So the idea that, um, a mom who wants to sew for three girls needs to buy four different yards of fabric that might have the image printed and then all this stuff around it. So that the image is what eight inches tall.
[00:44:21] Lisa Woolfork: And then it's like, yes, you know, yards of fabric. It feels like all around the edge. So tell us what you did differently with. So, um,
[00:44:29] Queenora Renee: first I, uh, decided to really nail down the sizes of the images and see what would I want, um, in panels and seeing how it's me and my daughters and having the different sizes.
[00:44:44] Queenora Renee: So I have different sizes of panels, which that part isn't uncommon, but it's the way that I have the sizes organized onto a yard. So the name is still pending, but it's gonna be a yard that you can [00:45:00] individualize. So if you know that you want three, uh, different characters, depending on the sizes, you can fit all three of those characters on one yard, and you're only paying for one yard of fabric.
[00:45:15] Lisa Woolfork: Um, that's really amazing. Yeah.
[00:45:18] Queenora Renee: so that way, if you're you're, you're like me where I would, let's say get a large panel of one character. I could get a small of another character and then two craft sizes of a third character. And that's where the sizes really is gonna, um, be the most important. And that's what I really wanted to focus on is having the craft size.
[00:45:42] Queenora Renee: Small, medium and large so that when you're buying this, you know exactly the dimensions you're gonna get, you know, exactly how large the, the character is gonna be. So that way you can make your plans accordingly. And I think having the new craft size, which is, [00:46:00] um, 15 inches by nine inches.
[00:46:03] Lisa Woolfork: So that's 15 inches across and nine inches tall or the other way
[00:46:06] Queenora Renee: round?
[00:46:07] Queenora Renee: No, no, exactly what she said, 15 inches across. So the stretch would go across the 15 inches. Okay. And then nine inches, um, down. Okay. You can easily do. Some of my testers are gonna do Tumblrs. Um, we're gonna do cloth pads. We're gonna do, um, we're gonna try and see if we can make, uh, uh, panties out of it.
[00:46:28] Queenora Renee: See if there's
[00:46:31] Lisa Woolfork: yeah. I'm telling you that. That's what I was. That's what I was thinking of. I'm like that size if 15 across in the nine inches tall, depending on what panty pattern you chose, that can make a pretty cool pan.
[00:46:43] Queenora Renee: Yes. Yes. And then if not, we have the small, so the small is gonna be 30 inches, um, wide and then 18 inches, um, down.
[00:46:54] Queenora Renee: So 30 inches would be, uh, with your stretch and then the size of [00:47:00] your character is gonna be eight by eight, which, and that's like the whole totality of it. Not just. You know, so you can have some space, some negative space around the character, right. So that would also be, um, suitable for panties. So we're gonna try and see if we can get it out of the craft size.
[00:47:19] Queenora Renee: Yes. Um, just to see, but yeah, you can easily, depending on, and I'm gonna have examples, um, on the website, but depending on. Exactly which sizes you choose, you can easily get, you know, up to six panels on one yard of fabric.
[00:47:36] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, my word. That is so impressive. And I'm, I'm hoping, I think that your description has been really excellent Kor.
[00:47:43] Lisa Woolfork: I'm hoping folks understand it. Yeah. Well, I think, and I think I'm not saying that people aren't bright. I think that it's just, you know, I think it's hard. This is, I guess what I was saying about the, kind of the limitations of an audio podcast versus the video podcast. But one way to think about it y'all is if you've ever done something like pick stitch or if [00:48:00] you've ever made, um, Of of so collages a collage on your phone to kind of pun, to cram a bunch of pictures in, you can do that.
[00:48:08] Lisa Woolfork: For example, like with Instagram, Instagram is only gonna allow your pictures, your, your frame to be only so big mm-hmm . And if we think about that, similarly, um, as what Kora is describing about the yard of fabric, you can get you, you can get this yard that will have, you know, 18 inches of it can have this piece.
[00:48:26] Lisa Woolfork: And then the other 18 inches can have. Several of the, you know, four of these going along the side. And so like, I, I think that's really cool. People can basically build their own yards. Yeah. I was thinking of a name, um, as you were talking, I was like, what if you call, like, make my yard or, um, yeah, make my, make my yard or me make yard or my personal yard or something like that.
[00:48:47] Lisa Woolfork: You know, mm-hmm, do it yourself yard or I don't know. Something like that, that just helps people realize that what they are doing is choosing their favorite charact. From this collection and putting them together in a [00:49:00] way that makes sense for them. Right. Also Kor Renee has a strike team that though I have known her for like almost a whole year.
[00:49:08] Lisa Woolfork: She has, um, yet to, um, um, I don't know. Invite me or, um, ask if I wanted to sew something. I think it's a really long list. I, I already had the women on the podcast two times and I don't know what else a person has to do to get on that strike team, because it sounds like a really great thing to be doing.
[00:49:28] Lisa Woolfork: It's called a strike team for goodness sake, which means that, which also makes me wanna like cross my arms and Wakanda forever fashion. Whenever I hear somebody say strike team. Um, cause it makes me feel like a bad. But I don't know. Maybe I just haven't demonstrated enough, you know, value to my sew for her to see, oh, whatever, Lisa, I'm just saying.
[00:49:47] Lisa Woolfork: I don't, I, I, you know, I, I dunno what else to say about that, but, um, I'm pretty sure I,
[00:49:53] Queenora Renee: no, it's actually funny that you mentioned that cuz it'll be on the group, but um, I was actually gonna bring to the [00:50:00] group, uh, you guys being my exclusive, uh, strike for a new round that I have coming.
[00:50:09] Queenora Renee: You guys. Um, cuz I really like, I'm really, really excited. Don't get me wrong. I'm really excited about the anime round, but the one that I sent you with the multiple
[00:50:19] Lisa Woolfork: faces. Oh
[00:50:22] Queenora Renee: yes. So I, yeah, so I'm a, I'm trying to put it all together, trying to see what's the best way. Cause I know everyone's not on Facebook, everyone's not on Instagram.
[00:50:31] Queenora Renee: Um, but I definitely want to give you guys first dibs on that round, cuz I'm really, really excited for that one to be coming. So I was debating between that one or my. Inspired and Kara, um, African print, one
[00:50:48] Lisa Woolfork: of the two, I mean, you all, Kora has so many different fabrics and designs and drawings and art. Um, she is really incredible and she's [00:51:00] done.
[00:51:00] Lisa Woolfork: She, I think she continues to innovate. Um, and she's also like one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. So, um, except for when she's not letting you sew strikes for her, she's like super. And, um, yeah, I just feel like y'all, we all need to go out and support and cuz I've already decided, what did you call the woman with the purple the purpleish Afro because I see her as my person.
[00:51:22] Lisa Woolfork: And so I wanna find out when I go to your website, like how I can, like who I should be looking for. What'd you say her
[00:51:27] Queenora Renee: name? What's again? Uh, the, so gladiator. Okay. And then the, the names will be there. Um, so that way everyone can see all of them. Uh, I'll have the little pictures with their name underneath.
[00:51:42] Queenora Renee: So that way there's no confusion. Um, hopefully cuz I build my own website. So. We're gonna say, hopefully
[00:51:50] Lisa Woolfork: it's gonna be awesome. This all sounds so great. Um, I am so glad you were able to join us today, Kuo to talk about this new black anime round. Um, is there anything [00:52:00] else you want us to think about as we move forward to looking forward to the fabric?
[00:52:04] Queenora Renee: Um, you know, join the Facebook group and Instagram, we try to not only promote our fabrics and the things that we have coming up, but you know, like you said earlier, we promote, um, other black, uh, Sewist and pattern designers, you know, just like Pam, I recently bought some fabric, um, from her custom shop. Um, and just try, you know, more about community versus competition.
[00:52:33] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. Yes. I, you know, I'm about it. I'm about it. Well, thank you so much. I will make sure that there are notes in the episode notes, you'll be able to find links to K. Instagram Facebook pages in addition to her website. So that'll be there. I'm also gonna include some notes on, um, or a link to dragon ball Z for those folks who might not know about it or in the, um, In new Oche, um, show as [00:53:00] well.
[00:53:00] Lisa Woolfork: I think that's what you called it. You might have just have to clarify that for me, because I was trying to sound it out. I messed it up. it's OK. I, I have no idea. Um, I told you, I dunno about anime. I really don't. I'm sure my, my boys would be utterly mortified. They like, how did you get a PhD? And you don't know about this anime, you know, like, cause my PhD is not in anime.
[00:53:23] Lisa Woolfork: That's why. Um, and I love the custom yard that you're working on the make my yard, or however you're gonna describe it because I would like to have some variety without having to buy yardage, yardage, yardage. And that I think is really great. Exactly. I think it's nice. A nice way to look out for the consumer, giving people options and choices without overburdening folks.
[00:53:45] Lisa Woolfork: So that's really very, exactly, very thoughtful. Yeah. All right. Well, Kora, once again, it's been. Great to talk to you. Thank you so much for taking the time and doing this. Thank you.
[00:53:56] Queenora Renee: Thank you for having me, Lisa,[00:54:00]
[00:54:01] Lisa Woolfork: thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the stitch. Please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right. By listening to the pro, by listening to the podcast, it does help us grow.
[00:54:21] Lisa Woolfork: Another way to do that is to rate the podcast, review it, subscribe to it. All of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all. If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well. You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions, as well as one time contributions to.
[00:54:44] Lisa Woolfork: Cash app or Venmo. And finally, we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the black women's stitch project. It's a pin, a P I N enamel lapel pin. That's very cute. [00:55:00] It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall. And it's of the black women's stitch logo. And that is $15. With free shipping to the us.
[00:55:10] Lisa Woolfork: And so if you drop $15 in the, a PayPal, Venmo or cash app accounts, and then send me your email. No, not email. If you send me your mailing address to my email, either at black women, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you send me a direct message on the black women's stitch Instagram page. We will put the pin in the mail to you.
[00:55:34] Lisa Woolfork: Um, again, free shipping, $15 for the pin, and all of this goes to support the black women's stitch project. Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together.[00:56:00]