Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring home fashion

Spring is in the air!! The snowdrops are peeking up. New buds on the rose bushes are forming. Time to clean up after the holidays and freshen up the home.

One quick way to give your home a new look is some custom throw pillows for your living room, bedroom even kitchen! They are an quick and easy way to change a colour scheme or look without redoing the entire room.

Metallics are the trend for both garment and home fashion for Spring 2012. How about some gold or silver doupioni throw pillows for the bedroom? Elegant without being flashy.

Cushion form sizes that we carry are 16" square, 18" square and 20" square. Made in Canada from a Canadian company, Nusso Textiles. Yeah Canada!

Got some great fabric in the stash that you don't know what to make into? Perhaps something with a big graphic print? Another popular trend to add detail to a room, is to stretch fabric over a canvas or inserted into a picture frame.

Here is a handy link on how to make these canvases yourself.

Some quick easy projects for a weekend sewing marathon. Ready, set, sew!

Friday, September 9, 2011

fun fashion facts for your next Trivia game

Fashion may be frivilous to some people, but it is really just a reflection of what look or style the general population is wanting to protray at a particular time. As Karl Lagerfeld said, "Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality."

Here are some fun fashion trivia morsels you can throw out there when you're at your next cocktail party wearing your little black dress. BTW, according to Karl again, "One is never overdressed or under dressed in a Little Black Dress."

  • Before 1850, clothes were hand stitched by those who wore them. Clothes were not made for fashion but rather for commodity.

  • Would you believe the bra wasn't patented until 1914? The bra was created by a young New York socialite named Mary Phelps who grew weary of having her camisole show when she wore a lace blouse. Using handkerchiefs, she designed the first rudimentary bra which she eventually had patented in 1914. Women everywhere loved Mary's new design and the first bra took off in a big way. It was later that a woman named Ida Rosenthal started designing bras with different cup sizes.

  • The year was 1964 and a CANADIAN (woohoo!) company, Canadelle, invented the first Wonderbra. It was designed to "lift and separate" the bust. This line was greatly successful and became modernized by Eva Herzigova's "Hello Boys" ad campaign in 1994. This campaign was ruled indecent by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents because the ads caused many car crashes. Male drivers became distracted. Women were major fans with an estimated sales of 3000 bras every day.

  • Madonna's famous "Bullet Bra" worn during her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990 was designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and based on an antique breastplate worn by Italian soldiers.

  • Most people think that Whitcomb Judson invented the zipper, but it was really Elias Howe. Elias was so busy inventing the sewing machine that he didn't get around to selling his zipper invention which he called a "clothing closure".

  • When zips in clothing were tentatively introduced to Britain in the 1920's, people were worried about their reliability. To show off the practicality of this device, a huge zip was put on show at the Wembley Empire Exhibition of 1924. By the end of the exhibition, it had been zipped and unzipped three million times without catching.

  • When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right. This tradition has been kept to present day which means women who dress themselves, have the buttons on the left.

  • What is the point on having those small buttons at the end of your jacket sleeve? This tradition was first implemented by Napoleon Bonaparte. He dictated that buttons be attached to jacket sleeves to stop the annoying habit soldiers had of wiping their runny noses on their jacket sleeves.

  • Women across the world started wearing slacks after Marlene Dietrich looked so good in them in the 1930 film, Morocco. The director, Josef von Stenberg, outfitted Dietrich in trousers to emphasize the lesbian tendencies of her screen character.

  • When Clark Gable removed his shirt oncreen to reveal that he wasn't wearing an undershirt, sales of undershirts dropped by 40%.

  • False eyelashes were invented for producer D. W. Griffith. He wanted to enhance Seena Owne's eyes for the 1916 film, Intolerance. The eyelashes were made out of real human hair.

  • The modern thong was supposedly invented after the 1939 NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia became enraged that the city's nude dancers were exposing too much flesh. The thong was developed to keep the NYC dancers covered enough to placate the mayor.

  • An item of clothing is considered vintage if it dates back from 1920 to 1960. Anything after this date is considered retro.

  • In the royal courts of India, blue-blooded women used to change their clothes several times a day. They never wore the discarded garments again but gave them to slaves instead.

  • It was the style of 18 century Englishmen to wear pantaloons so tight they had to be hung on special pegs that held them open, allowing the wearer to jum pdown into them. This was the only way fashionable gemtlemen could get their trousers to fit properly.

I wonder is that is the same as women lying down on the bed in order to zip up their skinny jeans?

"Fashion does not have to prove that it is serious. It is the proof that intelligent frivolity can be something creative and positive." Karl Lagerfeld.

"I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A women is closest to being naked when she is well dressed." Coco Chanel

Sunday, August 21, 2011

making cloth paper

Perhaps you have been busy sewing up cotton clothing for everyone in your family for summer? If that is the case, you probably have an overloaded scrap bag kicking around your sewing room.

But what to do with all those scraps? Throw them away? Surely not!

How about trying your hand at making cloth paper? Here is a link showing the instructions.

Here is a youtube video of a fair trade company in India that makes cloth paper for sale.

Or if this is just not your thing, any Women In Need location will gladly take the scraps for their own use.

Friday, August 5, 2011

a new addition to our eco-fabric selection - tencel fabric

Welcome to a new addition to our eco-fabrics line. Tencel is a natural man-made fibre that is hitting the fashion runways because of its soft, luxurious breathable drape as well as its environmentally conscious production.

This fibre starts as wood pulp from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees farms. The wood pulp is broken down chemically into a soupy sludge that is squirted out a showerhead spinneret and reformed as fibres. This cellulosic fibre is generically called lyocell. Tencel is a brand name owned by Lenzing Fibres of Austria. The production of this fibre uses an advanced 'closed loop' solvent spinning process resulting in a minimal impact on the environment and economical use of energy and water. This closed loop system means that the solvent and water is reclaimed and reused for the continued production of fibre.

Here is a video clip from Lenzing Fibres describing the manufacturing process.

Available in both knits and wovens, Tencel has become a popular choice for any ecologically minded sewer. Come down to the stores to see what colours we currently carry.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

fall fashion 2011

Alright, I know it's still summer, but it's feeling more and more like fall. I guess, we on the West Coast can be thankful we are not getting the 40' + heat in the East, but a week straight of sunshine and 20' heat would be nice :) For you eager beavers who like to start your next season's wardrobe early, here is the fall 2011 forecast.

Big surprise! Black is back. (Did it leave?) Textured, lacy, quilted even transparent. Dig it out from the bottom of the stash and wear it with panache.

Don't want the all black look? Throw in some bright royal blue, pink (esp. nice mixed with grey), red or your typical fall greens and reddish browns. Beeswax yellow is a new highlight for a pop of something different.

Leather is showing strong in anything from tops, skirts, pants or jackets.

The ever classic polka dot and a typical fall favorite, plaid, is also showing strong. And for those of you who like shiny - bring on the metallics! Everything from gold to silver to copper to bluish or pinkish hues.

Skirt lengths are getting longer, either just below the knee or the maxi length. Thank goodness for that! Nothing like freezing your legs/butt off with a short skirt in 0' weather.

Duster coats are long as well. Channel your Matrix vibe. This is the season of fitted and tailored jackets, especially double breasted jackets. Don't want to be so formal? The poncho is also a popular fall favorite - easy to sew too!

During those too many rainy days the West coast is getting, start those sewing machines humming with your new fall wardrobe. Afterall, we are coming to the end of July!

Monday, June 27, 2011

pacific design academy grad fashion show

Some pictures from the Pacific Design Academy's 2011 graduating class fashion show. Held at Market Square in the evening, it was quite cool so i missed the tail end of the show. Too bad!

Friday, June 17, 2011

abbotsford quilt guild show

Attended the Abbotsford Quilter's Guild show at Tradex in Abbotsford June 10 & 11, 2011. Over 400 quilts were on display with a heavy emphasis on traditional quilts. Here are some of my favorites.

This quilt was made by using old T-shirts. Because T-shirts are stretchy, the fabric must be interfaced so the blocks don't stretch out of shape. A light weight fusible pellon is fine for this. A great idea for a guy's quilt. Those old rock concert/high school gym/vacation spot t-shirts he doesn't wear but can't bear to part with .....

These two plaid fabric quilts had quite a touching story attached to them. The hanging quilt with big and small triangles was the first in this series. This quilt was made in 2002 for the quilter's son's Tour of Duty in Afghanistan. She made the quilt out of used men's plaid shirts because her son loves to wear them. The quilter chose this particular design because it symbolizes her feelings about the war and her son being there. The strife being the thunder and lightning
and the flying geese bringing him safely home back to Canada.

This second quilt on the bed was made for her son's second Tour of Duty to Afghanistan in 2010/2011. She chose used men's plaid shirts again but used a string pieced method to symbolize her feelings of worry for his safety. The cream background fabric had words of the Canadian national anthem on it which is fitting for a man serving his country. The son is now safely back home and will receive this quilt after the quilt show. I was attracted to this quilt because of the bright colours and the fact it is made from linen. Apparently linen has a bit of stretch to it as the quilter found it tricky to try to match all the angles.

I have tried my hand at quilting. Must admit I like the choosing and piecing of the fabric but the quilting part I could do without. Oh well, to each their own!