Monday, September 28, 2009

Galliano for Kids!

John Galliano is joining with Diesel to create a children's collection!

The collection contains 100 pieces from clothing to acessories, for girls and boys ages 4 to 14. The line, is expected to launch January in Italy, France, the U.K., Russia, the U.S., Japan, and Eastern Europe.

As Diesel chief Renzo Rosso told WWD, "Galliano likes to play and create fairy-tale worlds even for adults. Imagine what he can do for kids."

Wow! I wait in excitement!!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

50 Years of Pantyhose!

In the 50's women's dress meant you had to wear intimate pieces of clothing such as nylons. The only way to keep one's nylons up was with a garter belt and sometimes squeezing into a girdle.

In 1959, at the request of his wife, Allen Grant Sr. invented the first pair of pantyhose. Being a proper lady, Ethel Boone Gant would not be seen in public not wearing her hosiery. She was pregnant at the time and traveling on an overnight train. With her expanding belly it was uncomfortable for her to keep her garter belt over her belly for her stockings.

It was first called, "Panti-Legs", when Mr. Gant and a colleague of his developed a pair of panties fastened to a pair of stockings. Commercial sales began in various department stores, but sales they didn't really grab the attention of many women, until the rise of the miniskirt in the mid- 1960's. Also at this time the cost of pantyhose were more affordable with new sewing techniques and fabrics such as spandex.

Later in the 1970's and 80's more women were prominent in the workplace, sales grew. Today you can definitely find customers of pantyhose in conservative work environments, and of course on the fashion runways!

I love the assortment of colors and texture that are now vastly available!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

United Bamboo- Summer/Spring 2010

Glancing through the Spring/Summer 2010 Ready-to-Wear shows I stumbled upon United Bamboo. I thought the designs and construction of the garments to be unique.

So reading up on I found out that United Bamboo is made up of a team of two. Thuy Pham- Vietnamese-born and Miho Aoki- Japanese-born and F.I.T alum. Their New York runway debut was in 1998.

Asymmetrical shapes, innovative fabrics and patterns, and origami type pleating are some of the elements present in their collections.

It was interesting to see their headwear made of black sinamay!

When time permits I always enjoy learning about talented active designers in the wonderful world of fashion!!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sewing Technique- Flat-lining

An active stitcher or costume technician can spend so much money on interfacing, they certainly are costly. I have have found over the years that I rarely us them. Of course they are some things in which only interfacing will do. For collars, waistbands, and cuffs are a few examples. But mostly for my creating I only use flat-lining.

I was slightly surprised that not everyone uses this technique. As I found out through private sewing classes that I teach, many had not even heard of it!

I have vastly used this technique in the construction of theater and opera. In classic tailoring it is a must- only it is done by hand. What is Flat-lining? Basically it is a technique used to stiffen or to give a different feel or body to a fabric which does not. I usually use fabrics that are firm and stiff but not heavy, fabrics such as denium, or canvas. Therefore you can go shopping at Joann's or Wal-mart in their bin fabrics! It can be any color or fabric as long as it has the right body.

Note- The most important thing to remember is that you must wash and press the fabric before you use it. You definitely do not want it to shrink!

It can be difficult to explain so I decided to write a tutorial of sorts, with step-by-step photos. Here goes:

1. Chose your fabrics

My Fabrics:

I am using a white canvas fabric and a almost sheer silk I will be making one of my cuffs with lacing. After washing and pressing I am ready to go.

2. Draw pattern pieces on to canvas

These are my three pattern pieces which I have drawn onto the canvas.

Take note of the third piece containing stitching! You will see it again in step 4, I got a little ahead of myself.

3. Place canvas on to fabric. This is the fabric you are wanting to show.

The Pins:

I placed my canvas piece on to the wrong side of my silk. Then I begin pinning - first the center, then the corners, and the sides. Note that my pins are placed perpendicular to my stitching line with the points towards the seam-allowance. Placing the pins in this manner allows you to easily pull out the pins as you stitch.

As you pin, make sure your fabric is smoothed so your fabrics are completely flat.

4. Using a basting stitch, stitch the two fabrics together.

I find it best to stitch along the sides first, lengthwise, then the tops and bottoms. Removing the pins as you stitch. Make sure you stitch 1/8 of an inch outside the stitching line towards the seam allowance.

After stitching all the pieces, press them. Make sure they are nice and flat.

5. Stitch the pieces together.

Just stitch normally right on the stitching line.

Final step

After stitching the pieces together, press. Then finish off your seam allowances as your normally would.

Here you can see the silk has a stiffness which is needed for my cuff. It now has it's own body and form.

This technique can be used with any two fabrics. It just depends what your project is. It is certainly nice not to have to shell out all those bucks for something you can do for less! I find it also works better for me.

Hope this was compressible. Please make sure to contact me if you have questions!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September is National Fall Hat Month!!

What is National Fall Hat Month?

It is a point of the year where everyone should know to stop wearing summer hats, the straw stops here! It is time to start wearing some fabric , some felt , and fall hats in general !!

Even though I found information regarding this "National" holiday I was not able to locate the origins of it. In various sites, you can send in E-greeting celebrating Hat Month. Or if you prefer to shop, you can find fall and winter hats available for purchase.

"Jubilee" by Stephen Jones

In honor of National Fall Hat Month I chose some of my favorite Stephen Jones creations from his Autumn/Winter 2005 "Jubilee" collection.

In this collection Master Jones celebrated a quarter of a century of millinery madness.


Blithe Spirit


Four design essentials were present in his collection- Innovation, Individuality, Romance, and Frivolity.

And what else would we need for the wonderful fall in come!!

Photos courtesy of

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