Tuesday 16 September 2014

McCall's 2447: Cute Bow Tie!

I purchased McCall's 2447 pattern specifically for the bow tie pattern.  The pattern is listen under the men's section on McCall's website because it includes a man's vest and a tie, but obviously the tie and the bow tie can be worn by both men and women as it is adjustable.

I like making bow ties because they are fun and fast - I'm usually able to sew one up in under an hour.  Also, I'm all about creative ways for using up the huge pile of scrap fabrics that I've begun to accumulate.

I haven't yet worked up the courage to sew an actual tie, but I would like to try it at least once.  If and when I do, I will of course post a picture.  Meanwhile, here are some pictures of various bow ties that I've made.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Plaid Cowl with Lion Buttons

I designed this four-button cowl as another way to use up excess fabric and buttons that have been hanging around for a while in my sewing room.

The cotton, plaid print was purchased from one of my favorite fabric stores in Toronto called, Downtown Fabrics.  The man who owns and runs the shop, Daniel, is probably the friendliest fabric purveyor that you will ever meet. 

Likewise, the buttons were also purchased in Toronto at a store that specialises in buttons.  Although the shop is called Fabric and Buttons, the name is misleading because I have never seen any fabric for sale in this shop, ever.  Only buttons.  Once I took my cousin, Stewart, shopping with my at the button store, and he joked about the button store owners having to take monthly inventory of their stock.  That would truly be a feat, seeing as they have just about any size, shape and colour of button that you could possibly imagine.

Both stores, Downtown Fabric and Fabric and Buttons, are located in the heart of Toronto Fashion District at Queen and Spadina.   There are also many other great fabric and notion stores to visit in the area.

My lion-head button cowl, and others like it, are currently available for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click here to view my shop:  CousteauByCare

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Simplicity 1917: In Several Different Fabrics

Aztec Print
Simplicity 1917 is a skirt pattern with four different views.  I chose to make view B using a floral print stretch denim.  The pattern was easy to follow and I was able to make the entire skirt in approximately three hours. 

I got some great feedback when I first wore this skirt to work.  Therefore, I decided to make the skirt again in two additional fabrics.  I usually like to pair the skirts I've made with a simple black or white t-shirt and then accessorize with a long necklace or a statement ring.

Indigo Tie-Dye Print

I would definitely make this pattern again in the future and I would like to try some of the other views, especially view C, which has the skirt divided into three different color-blocked sections.

Simplicity 1917 (view B) in Rose Print Stretch Denim

Friday 5 September 2014

A Great Sewing Guide by Singer

Years ago, when I first started sewing, somebody recommended a manual to me called The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing.  The guide is produced by Singer and the step by step instructions covering a wide variety of sewing techniques have saved me on more than one occasion.  In particular, I have made very good use of the sections covering kick pleats and mitered corners.  I also recall following the lesson on lapped zippers and looking up the various different ways to finish a seam.  From time to time, I just like to take out the book and flip through the pages.  The edition of the guide that I purchased all those years ago contains at least 1100 full-color photos. 

I was curious to see if this guide was available for sale on Amazon, and discovered that it is.  And not only that but it has been revised to include even more sewing tips and quite a few more color photos. 

In the past, I've looked at sewing guides that contained only black and white photos, or sketches, and I definitely feel that color photos are an asset - they make it much easier to distinguish and interpret what is being described.

If you are interested in purchasing Singer's The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing, I'm sure that you could order it through you local bookstore, like I did, or you can click here to purchase it through Amazon:  The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing

This is the edition that I own
This is the newer, expanded edition - available for sale on Amazon

Monday 1 September 2014

Seneca College Fashion Collection

One of the best things about studying fashion design at college, was that in our third and final year we were tasked with creating a mini-collection for a year-end fashion show.

My collection was inspired by the 1990's cult classic movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  For my collection, I imagined what the terminator would have worn if he had of been a woman instead of a man.  In order to invoke a robotic feeling that is so seminal to the Terminator movies, I used a lot of shiny and metallic fabrics throughout designs.  Reminiscent of the movie poster for Terminator 2, I had all of my models sport sunglasses as they walked the catwalk.

Creating a collection was a lot of work, but it was worth the effort to see designs that I had sketched, pattern-drafted and sewed on the runway.  It was definitely one of the proudest moments in my fashion career to date.