Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Upcycled Coffee Cozies

Now available in the shop, at 124 Main St. Picton, just in time for the holidays! These coffee cozies are made from upcycled wool sweaters and they are the perfect stocking stuffer. They easily fit in your purse or  pocket.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Recycled Gingham Jumpsuit

One of the fashions I have noticed the ladies about town are wearing this summer is the one piece jumpsuit and I love this look.

So when a friend of mine dropped off some cast offs, a two piece, gingham summer suit inspired me to create this...

from this...

So, what I did was..... I attached the top and bottom (obviously), reinserted the drawstring in the waist and added an elastic casing. I cut the top down across the underarm added elastic to the top of the shirt and shortened the legs to a walking shorts length. Voila, a summer jumpsuit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The One that Started It All

There are a couple of circumstances that led to my love of turning old fashions into new. Once upon a time I worked a short stint as a contract cutter at Preloved in Toronto and got to see first hand how they could take someone else's cast offs and create a wearable piece of art....amazing! But the job that started it all for me personally was the day Cathy called with the awesome idea of wanting to wear her mother's 1960's wedding dress for her big day....only tweak it a little to make it a little more modern looking.
Here's the result!

The before dress....I didn't get to see the back of the dress before all of the original lace was removed.

So I removed the lace and the sleeves above the bust, adding facings and interfacing to reinforce the shape of the now strapless dress! Easy peasy! I used some of the lace from the back of the dress to create panels to cover the obvious spots where the lace was missing and added some to the hem as well to make it a tad longer.

              Cathy in her dress on wedding day.                       Cathy showing mom the dress!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vintage Style Sleeveless Summer Top

This is my first attempt at hand embroidery. I think it turned out pretty well:) The top style I got from the Sew Mama Sew Blog Tutorial for the Spring Ruffle Top! I love this vintage style. It's sort of 70's don't you think?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Star

This is one of my favourite recycled pieces, maybe because it made the Toronto Star (even though there is no mention of me or the dress!) Actually I think it's because it is just so darn pretty. I love the cross over effect in the front like my last post and I love the way the red thread contrasts the white in the fabric.

Summer time

This is one of my favourite summer dresses I've made. It was inspired by a vintage pattern I found at the Sally Ann one day. I really like the madras pattern and colour, it's vibrant and sweet! Instead of the scoop neck design in the vintage pattern I used a cross over front on the bust line for a more feminine touch.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Inspiration Book

Every designer gets their inspiration from somewhere whether it's fabric, some awesome trim or some funky notions. I get a lot of my inspiration from styles I see in magazines and to keep track of what I like I cut and paste the things I see into my inspiration book. Whenever I'm in the mood to design something new I just flip through it and get inspired. As well as the magazine cut outs you can glue in swatches of fabric you love and ribbons and trims and notions too, anything that inspires you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zipper Tips

One of the top requests I get from people is to repair zippers on coats and jackets and hoodies.
Zippers look daunting and impossible to repair to most people because well what do you do when they simply won't zip up? Before you take your coat or jacket into an alterations shop and spend unnecessary cash here are a couple of fix it yourself tips!

Inspect the zipper to find out what the problem is...

First - inspect the teeth. Are they all in good shape? Is there one particular spot where the zipper snags? This is often caused by a thread getting in the way. Unfortunately, if the problem is broken zipper teeth the zipper will have to be replaced.

Secondly ~ does the zipper appear to be in good shape but just won't lock together? This problem is often in the slider. Over time after pulling and pulling on a zipper slider it gradually starts to open up, if this is the case it won't close your zipper. (see top photo)

This is an easy fix. Grab a set of small pliers or needle nose pliers and gently squeeze the slider back together. Be careful not to squeeze it too tight! It's harder to open the slider than close it. Test your zipper. If this doesn't work....

Often a slider will come off or break apart. Go to your local fabric store and buy a slider, they're about $1.50 and come with a top stopper. Remove the existing stopper at the top of the teeth on the side that is getting the slider. The stopper is larger than the rest of the teeth. Slip the slider on the zipper from the top down and use your pliers to squeeze on the new stopper. Test your zipper.
Remember, if you do have to replace the zipper yourself the answer is in the pinning. Pin the zipper like crazy and you shouldn't have too much trouble, oh and use a zipper foot!

A zipper is defined as a popular device for temporarily joining to edges of fabric. It is used in clothing, luggage and other bags and other daily use items.

The bulk of a zipper consists of two strips of fabric tape, each stitched or glued to one of the two pieces to be joined, carrying specially shaped metal or plastic teeth. These teeth can be either individual or shaped from a continuous coil. The slider moves along the rows of teeth. Inside the slider is a Y-shaped channel that meshes together or separates the rows of teeth, depending on the direction of its movement.

Gideon Sundback, a swedish engineer, is credited with the invention of the zipper we use today. Even though Sundback was an American citizen, the zipper is considered a Canadian invention because Sundback had been president  of a Canadian-based company that was one of the earliest manufacturers of the zipper.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Peplum Dress

I first clued in that 80's fashions were making a come back when skinny jeans arrived on the scene, next it was the multi-coloured tennis shoes, then the large belts and slouchy shirts and finally the peplum skirt.
While I was browsing for vintage just before the holidays I was surprisingly drawn to a blue satin strapless peplum dress. It was the colour and the pattern in the fabric that I was initially attracted to but after some consideration I realized that the all over effect was really cute.

I have to admit I am a bit prejudiced against  80's fashion trends making a reappearance so my initial reaction to the peplum was a resounding "ewww" and flashbacks to a three tiered cotton skirt I would not stop wearing when I was 10. I even thought of removing the peplum altogether because as a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline it would be very stylish as well.

As I said the dress grew on me and I took it home and organized a poll asking women between the ages of 18 and 35 what their reaction was to this style of dress. Here are some responses....

Anya - Customer Experience Manager
I just bought a really cute dress with a peplum skirt. I love it, it looks fantastic. I thought it was totally 80s, but because I carry a bit of extra curve (and, that's in) I'm into anything that works with me in a flattering way. It reminds me a little of old Cadillacs and the wings. I think it can be really classic with a pair of heels. It's a really basic look that can add a lot of structure to a fairly ordinary outfit.

Kirsty  - Dental Hygienist

When I first encountered this style of dress/skirt, it was being worn by late teenage/early 20-year-old girls. I didn't initially think "that's so 80's", but now that you mention it, it IS very retro, and I probably would have worn something along these lines circa 1985. That being said, it makes perfect sense to me that girls in their late teens/early 20's would so readily grab onto this style ~ they haven't lived through it before! For someone who has leapt into an older demographic, I however, wouldn't wear it.

Joslin - student
- I don't find it 80s at all to me, but then again I wasn't around then.

Mandi - Hospital Patient Registration
I do not particularly find myself attracted to this style skirt....not because it is too 80's though, I just find it too fussy and it would not be my general style of dress. I think that with the right fabrication and details you can update any style and bring it into this decade, I just think this would be a difficult style to work with.

About Peplum
The word peplum originates in the greek word for tunic. The peplum is a short overskirt or ruffle that is usually attached to a dress but you can create the look by belting a fitted jacket or blouse at the waist. This style was popular in the 1940's where women's coats and dresses were designed in the peplum style to emphasize a small waist and classic hourglass figure. It appeared 40 years later in the 1980's and has been revived in 2009/10.

Let's just hope we don't see giant boxy shoulder pads, neon colours and wave bang hair do's!

                YES                                                      NO