Friday, 30 August 2013

Weddings: Liuna Gardens

On Saturday, August 24, I worked with Maissa Jessup of ' Ruffles & Twine: Floral Designs & Vintage Rentals '. I helped her to set up for a reception at Liuna Gardens, for a wedding she and her partner designed flowers for.

Starting with the front entrance where Marissa decorated the mantel with wonderful pictures of the Bride and Groom and added some 'Rustic Cottage' themed arrangements. Moving into the 'Ballroom' where Marissa set up the front table beautifully, as well as the bar, placed advice cards on the tables and added many other touches through out the room.  In the 'Ballroom' I set up the seating plan, center pieces with the menus and placed several of the favours on the table settings.  Everything went amazing with the theme and was put together perfectly, we were so pleased with the results of the day. Congratulations Sarah & Ryan!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Fabrics: Wool

Wool comes from several types of animals; sheep(wool), goats(cashmere/mohair), oxen(qiviut), rabbits(angora) and many kinds of camels(alpaca,lama etc).  It grows in clusters and has a crimped texture which makes it easier to spin the fleece because the fibres attach to each other like velcro.  The crimp in the wool gives it a greater bulk than other textiles so it insulates well, retaining heat.  The oldest known European wool textile was 1500 B.C. found preserved in a Danish Bog. Wool has an enormous history behind it and much more in front of it as we will continue to use and infuse wool into many fabrics for many, many more years to come.

This fabric/textile is incredible, wool can be used for so many different things. I have a wool blanket my grandmother made and its lasted for many years.  Wool is fantastic for lasting, with the consideration of the person who made the blanket, jacket, etc. It can keep you warm on those cold winter nights, getting cozy next to a fire with some wool socks, a sweater, and a blanket can be all you need for those chilly nights, well maybe a hot chocolate too.  I think its amazing that it comes from so many different types of animals and each one feels completely different on your skin.  My friend bought some alpaca socks which she found warm and soft but to me they were itchy and hot on my skin, I found it interesting that we felt the same type of wool and yet it felt so different to each of us.  Yet, I still love wool and all it is used for, which makes it a wonderful fabric to use!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Fabrics: Felt

Felt is a non-woven textile that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres together. Felt can be made of natural fibres such as wool or synthetic fibres such as acrylic. There are many different types of felts for industrial, technical, designer and craft applications. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can vary in terms of fiber content, colour, size, thickness, density and more factors depending on the use of the felt.

Although felt seems to be used more in arts and crafts projects there are a few clothing lines out there that do you felt as their main fabric source.  Used for costumes, hats mainly and is very environmentally friendly, which is awesome for those who are very green oriented. I found a clothing line in Hauwert, which is a Dutch province of North Holland, by 'Anneke Copier', she does have a website but it is in Dutch and you can translate it to English, take a look at her work because it is fabulous  I also found that Alexander McQueen has felt infused clothing (bottom right corner), which is amazing because I love his work and that of those who have created for him since he passed.  Who would have known that felt could be so diverse, I think felt is an amazing fabric and maybe one day I will use it for clothing myself.

Bridal Showers are fun!

A Mini Wedding Dress

The bride in which I am making the wedding dress for had a 'High Tea' bridal shower with big sun hats and amazingly creative facinators. There were loads of great games and an awesome craft project as well, that I could not wait to sink some pins into.  This was a great shower, Congrats Mike & Meghan!!

  All photos are taken by 'Adventure Studios' - Michelle Gerovac 

This final picture was taken on my phone as it was the Mini Wedding Dress I created and was bedazzled by my friend Lisa Fanous.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Fabrics: Tweed

In about 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area. The goods were then advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since. Tweed is a closely woven, rough, unfinished woolen fabric and is made in either plain or twill weave.  It may also have a herringbone or checkered pattern.  

I chose this fabric because I am a big fan of ' Coco Chanel's ' tailored suits in which most are made of tweed.  Never worked with the fabric myself, but seems to be a great one for structured  clothing, jackets, pant suits etc. The only time I may use this fabric is when tailoring a jacket for myself.  I find that tweed seems to fit in with modern times of the business woman or the fashionably capable girl who loves the boyfriend styled blazers. Chanel comes out with a modernized tweed collection every year, very chic, very classic. Tweed is one amazing fabric.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Dress Making Report: A Wedding Dress

I'm excited to say that the wedding dress I am working on, is so close to being done and it is so wonderful!

Today I worked on the alterations and some of the final finishing touches of the dress. As well as the construction of the skirt, which makes this wedding dress a two in one.

Serging seams and finishing raw edges:

Creating more of a defined Sweet-Heart neckline:

Pinning the ruffled skirt together:

Sewing the skirts ruffles on:

to be continued..

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fabric: Tartan

Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or in reality a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.

I decided to look up my family Tartan because I think it is really important to know history about your family.  Also, I think it is great that my family chose this type of woven fabric to represent their "clan"(bottom left/bottom centre picutre). Tartans are chosen by the wearers preference and was not until the 19th century that they were associated with clans and families of Scottish heritage.  There are several types and colours of tartans, my favourite is Burberry for obvious reason. , Wilson is my mothers maiden name which is Scottish and Irish, I am proud to be part of such great heritages.

WILSON Motto: Ever Watchful The name literally means ‘Son of Will’ and certain Wilsons of Caithness and Sutherland descend William, son of the Chief of Clan Gunn in the mid 15th Century. Another association of the Wilsons of Banffshire is with the Clan Innes of Aberchirder whose Chief at the time was a prominent Covenanter and a Privy Councillor. The most famous Wilsons however are those of Bannockburn. They were pioneers of industrial tartan weaving and marketing of the clan and district tartans. Not only did they supply the highland regiments with tartan cloth but also became a great manufacturer of tartan products in the ‘Tartan Revival’ at the beginning of the 19th Century. Indeed, William Wilson of the Bannockburn firm designed the Wilson Tartan at this time for his wife Janet.[1]

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fabrics: Velvet

Traditionally, velvet is associated with nobility. King Richard II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed in velveto in 1399.
The earliest sources of European artistic velvet's were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, which continued to send out rich velvet textures. Later, the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the sixteenth century, Bruges attained a reputation for velvet's that were not inferior to those of the great Italian cities.
Velvet is woven on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of velvet at the same time. The two pieces are then cut apart to create the pile effect, and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls. Velvet was expensive to make before industrial power looms became available. Velvet is difficult to clean because of its pile, but modern dry cleaning methods make cleaning more achievable. Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns.
I have yet to use velvet but, to me it is an amazing fabric, as it can be made with many types of fibers, most commonly silk which gives it a very lustrous finish. Cotton, a more breathable fiber, can also be used but results with a less lustrous sheen to the fabric.  I think I would use Chiffon when sewing a dress because it seems very light weight and can be woven with a silk or rayon chiffon base, making it very soft and flowing. Velvet would be an amazing fabric to work with for costumes for plays, because it seems to make structurally wonderful pieces. Overall this is a beautiful fabric.

Types of Velvet:

Wedding Ring

*Types of Velvet for different wear

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Fabrics: Rayon

Rayon was the first manufactured fiber developed, it's made from wood or cotton pulp and was first known as artificial silk. The Swiss chemist, Georges Audemars invented the first crude artificial silk around 1855, by dipping a needle into liquid mulberry bark pulp and gummy rubber to make threads. The method was too slow to be practical.

In 1884, a French chemist, Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented an artificial silk that was a cellulose-based fabric known as Chardonnay silk. Pretty but very flammable, it was removed from the market.
In 1894, British inventors, Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle, patented a safe a practical method of making artificial silk that came to be known as viscose rayon. Avtex Fibers Inc. first commercially produced artificial silk or rayon in 1910 in the United States. The term "rayon" was first used in 1924.

Rayon is a beautiful draping fabric used to create dresses, skirts, blouses and some gorgeous drapes.  The fabric hangs well on the body and  feels wonderful too.  Sewing together a bodice can some times be tricky but using interfacing gives it enough structure without ruining the lovely drape rayon has.

For more helpful tips visit ' Prudent Baby ' she has some great advise on sewing with rayon.

Fabrics: Silk

When silk was first discovered, it was reserved exclusively for the use of the ruler. It was permitted only to the emperor, his close relations and the very highest of his dignitaries. Within the palace, the emperor is believed to have worn a robe of white silk; outside, he, his principal wife, and the heir to the throne wore yellow, the color of the earth.

Gradually the various classes of society began wearing tunics of silk, and silk became more of a general use. As well as being used for clothing and decoration, silk was quite quickly put to industrial use by the Chinese. This was something which happened in the West only in modern times. Silk rapidly became one of the principal elements of the Chinese economy. Silk was used for musical instruments, fishing-lines, bowstrings, bonds of all kinds, and even rag paper, the word's first luxury paper. Eventually even the common people were able to wear garments of silk.

During the Han Dynasty, silk ceased to be a mere industrial material and became an absolute value in itself. Farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk. Silk began to be used for paying civil servants and rewarding subjects for outstanding services. Values were calculated in lengths of silk as they had been calculated in pounds of gold. Before long it was to become a currency used in trade with foreign countries. It is possible that this added importance was the result of a major increase in production. It found its way so thoroughly into the Chinese language that 230 of the 5,000 most common characters of the mandarin "alphabet" have silk as their "key".

Types of silk:

Chiffon - Works really well for wedding dresses.
China Silk
Crepe de Chine
Charmeuse - Works really well for wedding dresses.
Jacquard Douppioni
Raw Silk

Silk is one of my favourite types of fabric to work with because it doesn't have to much stretch, it is easy to cut and sew. Anything I have made with silk has always turned out beautifully. For example, my sisters wedding dress, which you can take a look at in the "Portfolio Pieces" post. 

Portfolio Pieces

My sisters wedding dress, sewn from the pattern on right. Hand embroidered around the finish bottom edge and high waist line. Made with chartreuse and a flowered lace over lay, was perfect for her shape, and was exactly what she wanted.

Hand beaded belt, for a Lucian Matis fashion show.

Created in my computer design class at Humber College.

Created for my Styling class group project at Humber College. Each dress was stuffed and has attached fishing line to give the illusion of someone wearing it (both styled by me).

Created in my computer design class at Humber College.

Created in my computer design class at Humber College.

Created in my computer design class at Humber College.

Created in my computer design class at Humber College. Also, was a group project and photo shoot.

'The Batman Dress'

The two below are a 2-in-1 Wedding dress I made for a client

There are a few more that will be added shortly.