click here to see video.
Hello all I have been a busy beaver this past while! I have a brand new video up and running on youtube, "How to hem sleeves, the final cut". The title happened quite by accident, it was the final cut of the video but can be the final cut of the jacket too LOL! Love it when things like this happen :) Hope you like it!
click here to see video.
Last night I watched The Passionate Eye on CBC with particular interest, it was about the fashion industry and the voracious appetite for disposable clothing worldwide. The truth is shocking! I had read about the dyes and other chemicals that were emitted into the water supply by garment factories but had no idea the extent with which these companies are polluting the planet! It's disgusting how the people living in the area who depend on one particular river/stream/canal for their drinking/bathing/washing water are affected. They have rashes, are becoming sick with diseases that are totally preventable, there are dead animals floating in the rivers because the water they drink is so toxic making the water supply even more toxic! The water sample shown in the program is BLACK and stinks, no wonder with dead animals floating around in it! A lab found mercury, arsenic, lead among other things in the water and yet the manufacturers keep producing in the name of greed; where can the cheapest labour be found? Where can the officials be easily bribed to look the other way?
This culture will not change unless WE, the consumers fight back with our wallets and really think about where our garments come from before making the purchase. I, for one WILL NOT purchase a pair of stone-washed jeans. They are the largest polluters of fresh water in the garment industry. It's nice to have a soft pair of denim that has that worn in feeling isn't it? Well it's that feeling and all the "worn" looks with the holes that are the most washed in fresh water supplies around the world! Do you want to contribute to this? I don't.
Clothing should not be "disposable", worn once or twice and then tossed just because it's cheap and one can afford it. It should be an investment in quality that will last for years, not just buy clothes for sake of buying it or to "keep up with the Joneses"! We should all aim for quality vs quantity, buy only products that are manufactured responsibly and ask for proof of where they are made materials used etc. Companies should be mandated to disclose this information, they won't do it voluntarily so it should be a global law in my opinion.
I am trying to do my small part by training tailors who can produce quality garments that stand the test of time using discretion when choosing materials to make sure their environmental footprint is minimal or at least sustainable. I usually comment on work issues rather than get political but this is an issue that cannot be ignored, where are the lobbyists/protesters/environmentalists? Why are they not taking issue with the fact that our drinking water, a necessity of life for everyone, is dwindling? Global warming has been recognized as a threat to us why is the loss of water not?
Please purchase responsibly.
Hello all I hope you are enjoying winter so far! I just wish it would go away....
Anyway it has been a bit tough but it too shall pass. The highlight has been the students and clients I have had the pleasure of working with :)
Thursday was the second class of the semester with the Bradford students and they delivered! By the end of the class I was so elated I felt like I was walking on air! These ladies drafted a Raglan sleeve pattern in the morning, with the exception of one who unfortunately had to attend a funeral so she drafted her pattern at lunch time; cut out their fabric shortly before lunch and then completed the top with time to spare by the end of the day! One little speedy Gonzales was finished by 3 at which point she ended up helping others. Some of the students even learned how to use a cover stitch machine to finish the top! Click here to see the picture
But alas there will be homework
Next class will be focused on the set-in sleeve drafting and installation choose your fabrics accordingly for a loose top use something that drapes well for a more fitted top choose something with body the will hold the structure;
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day today and it continues on throughout the year! We need love all the time not just on a given day.
My husband and I celebrated Valentine's day with a Christmas present from our children LOL nothing like having two celebrations in one! We booked a hotel room, had meals out, got to get dressed up and go to the theatre!
Our family very generously gave us tickets to see "Come From Away" the musical about Gander Newfoundland on September 11, 2001 when the US airspace was closed to all aircraft following the attacks on the World Trade Centre....
I can say it is really a very well done performance. It's amazing how with only some chairs, tables and a few costume changes they can really take the audience on the planes, buses, community centres and a bar! It is witty, lighthearted and poignant all at the same time. I learned quite a bit that hadn't even occurred to me before, how long the passengers were on the planes before they were allowed out, how little they knew of the events that took place that fateful day and how hesitant they were to trust their hosts were really doing what they did out of the goodness of their hearts and basic human kindness. How the people of Gander stepped up and did the impossible, host as many people as their total population, housing, feeding, nursing, listening and empathizing. All in a days' work they say, or 5 days. Not only were the guests well looked after while they were grounded, they were also given a packed lunch when they got back on the planes! Friendships were forged that are sure to last a lifetime between total strangers who were forced by unspeakable circumstances to meet and bond.
I wonder if these planes had landed anyplace else if the end result would have been the same....
This performance of true events that took place on September 11, 2001 makes me very proud to call myself Canadian.
The new semester has begun in January but finally got the rest of the dates for the class down!
January 10 – 6 hour class (completed)
February 28 - 6 hour class on more knits and the raglan sleeve for knits along with installing the rib-knit finishings on the neckline and cuffs.
April 11 & 25 – 3 hours each class, content to be decided in the previous class
May 2 & 30 – 3 hours each class
June 13 & 27 – 3 hours each class
The class agreed to an added class on March 28, 2019 for 6 hours when we will be learning sleeve drafting as well as installing them into a bodice, there will be some sleeve variations as well
I will have a syllabus out to everyone soon. It is important to keep up the momentum so the class is continually challenging themselves, not because I don't challenge them enough LOL!
I am so very excited to be teaching this wonderful group of ladies, they are all excellent students!
Hello all it's been a while since my last post, I have been looking after my aging mom who had to have some eye surgery this past week. It was supposed to be simple, but is anything every simple? Anyway she had cataract surgery along with few other things done to her good eye that I can't even explain but were necessary for her to re-gain some of her vision back.
Friday morning we went to St. Michael's Hospital for the surgery, everything went well apparently but in the present state of the health care they have these conveyor belt surgeries and kick a patient out a soon as humanly possible to make room for the next victim! From the long term care facility where she resides to the hospital is a good 45 minutes to an hour drive on a good day, so I booked a wheel chair transport to take us to and from the hospital to avoid any undue stress on my mom to climb up and down my vehicle worked well for us but expensive, whatever one does what one has to do in these situations...
On Saturday we went back for the post-op check up leaving the nursing home at 6:30 am only to find there was bleeding in the front of her eye causing her to have no vision at all. She was beside herself with worry, as was I, that she would not see again. We were told to go back to the surgeon on Monday morning at 8:00 am to find out what the next step is.
Monday morning we took the taxi back to the clinic across from the hospital to find out she had to go back the next day for a second surgery to fix the blood clot that was obstructing her vision making her completely blind. We went back to the nursing home on Monday night with the snow starting downtown only for it to get worse as the day progressed. I booked the taxi once again asking him to pick me up at my daughter's house at 5:00 am, he had been early for the previous pick ups so when he wasn't there on time I called him he said he was running late due to road conditions, understandable as there were at least 30 cm of snow on the ground, I walked outside to check how much snow had fallen only to find the road had not been plowed at all! I knew if the taxi would come to the house he would not be able to get out of the street so I decided to start walking at 5:00 am in -22 temps! Once I got to the main road I was relieved to see it was plowed so I called the taxi driver and told him I would be walking down the main road to meet him, all I could think of was my mom's surgery and the importance of getting her there on time. He also understood the importance of the surgery so he did his level best to get to me. I ended up walking 1+ km when we finally met, man was it cold!
We finally made it to the hospital for the surgery, a little late but we made it, the surgery went ahead and went well and once again it was a kick in the ass go home we'll see you in the morning! Well I would have none of that I was adement my mom was not going anywhere, she would need to be admitted to the hospital to stay overnight, even on a gurney in the hallway would be fine I would be by her side to look after her I just did not want her travelling. Do you know what the surgeon told me? He said that it was not medically necessary for her to stay in the hospital, if the family wants patients to be admitted then they should pay for the room to the tune of $3,000 for the night! I was floored! My mom has a whole host of health issues among which is very thin blood making her bleed easily, I can't help but think that if she would have been admitted the first time the second surgery would not have been necessary because she would not have been subjected to all the stress of the long, bumpy drive back home! He was ready to cancel the surgery if I insisted she stay overnight so I caved and told him to go ahead I would figure something out.
In the waiting area a kind gentleman mentioned that he booked a hotel to stay the night and said they give a discount to hospital patients so that is what I did is book a hotel room at a much better rate than the hospital and we stayed there seeing we had to be back the next morning for the post-op check up at 6:30 am. Best decision I made to stay over even though we were not prepared to stay overnight we made do and at least my mom got some much needed rest.
How is it that in a country such as Canada, the best country in the world to live, we have to put up with this type of treatment from our health care? I agree with most of the regulations but this kicking people, especially elderly people, out after a surgery is ludicrous! This practice is causing more harm than good not only to the patients and their families but to the health care in general. If my mom had stayed at the hospital for one night her eye most likely would not have bled because of little or no unnecessary movement, they would have saved the expense of having to use the OR, all the staff required in the OR, the meds to sedate her, the admitting staff etc all over again. I'm not sure what they think they are saving, it's cheaper to do the job right the first time than to do it twice isn't it?
The Hello all I hope you are keeping warm in this frigid weather! I finally had some time to post a few pix of my latest projects.
So I have been working on a suit for Kyla. It was funny how we met, in the gym change room, there was a conversation happening about how difficult it is to find clothes that fit properly, Kyla piped up and asked why it was that men can get suits made but there was no one around who is able to provide this service for women! Well that was my cue to explain that there is indeed a person able to do this job; ME! Before you know it we were exchanging contact info and the next thing you know I'm taking measurements on Kyla! This was back in the summer, got the pattern and mock up done, we had a fitting then she left for a vacation in Italy so we could not get together until the fall to purchase the fabric when our schedules finally coincided. That is the most time consuming part is the scheduling of the fittings, everyone is pulled in so many directions these days... Anyway the fabric was purchased now I had to get to work LOL! And work I did as you can see in the few pix I did take there was much hand work on the blazer, students please note the tailor tacking around ALL the pattern pieces, just saying, plus all the pad-stitching and much, much more. The whole thing fit like a glove! Kyla was very happy as was I, she said she has never been able to buy a blazer that actually closed at the front, I'm not surprised to be able to close the top buttons I had to add AN ADDITIONAL 2 CM to the front overlap on each side! Now the waist and hips were too big so thank God for princess seams I could remove the excess underneath the bust to make the waist and hips fit properly. Imagine trying to find a jacket that fit well... Now we are going to work on a dress and skirt to go with the suit, the skirt was already planned but the dress is a bonus due to frugal cutting :) Click here to see the pix
The other thing I worked on was for myself, a faux fur cape and hat! I kind of explain the procedure through the pictures so you can follow it if you like. The fun fur is so authentic looking it's amazing, the seams actually look like seams in a real fur coat, the shine, the depth of colour is great! Best of all it's totally man made, no animal had to die to provide pelts for a garment. This makes me feel good. Plus it's very warm even though it's faux fur, today I wore the hat at -27C and it provided a lot of warmth plus fur always looks so chic at least this is the most common comment I get.... Click here to see the pix
Have a great day and stay warm! Til next time...
Welcome back Amanda! Great job with the patterns! Amanda is doing a lot of the work independently booking lessons periodically to have questions answered and guidance in areas that are a bit foggy. We connect on Skype, she sends me pictures of her patterns so I can analyze them and give feedback as part of the lesson. This is working out very well for both and saves Amanda a lot of money.
The work is completed on time and is very neat and clear it's obvious she really loves what she does and is good at it.
Page 58 vest
Page 68, 69
Page 74, 75, 77
These are to be drafted using some with personal measurements and some other measurements to see how different issues are addressed. This is especially good practice to prepare for working within the bespoke tailoring world. Plus it's very good for working with alterations, knowing how to draft patterns makes one a very good alterationist because you know where to touch the garment to fix the issues. We discussed some of these techniques as well.
Have a great day and keep up the good work Amanda!
Welcome back Bradford students! What a fantastic group of ladies! We started around 9ish yesterday the roads and traffic were horrendous so some of the class was late but no worries by the time they left they had a top to wear home! Yes indeed they started drafting the pattern in class, cut out the fabric and sewed the whole thing by 3:15 they were ready for new instruction, unbelievable! The tops turned out beautifully, they fit the students well, some needed to take in the sides, I always like to err on the side of caution and prefer to have it a bit larger and take it in rather than it being too small and have no recourse to enlarge it...
One of the students even decided to really get creative with the neckline finishing and got a top that she likes to try and replicate the collar, well by the end of the class she succeeded, another one absolutely loved here sleeve and how they fit, one decided she wanted to shorten the top once she tried in on and then proceeded to sew on the binding on the right side rather than the wrong side! What to do? Design feature is what, I brought in my coverstitch machine so she stitched it with the chain on the outside instead of the straight stitch, she liked it so much she sewed the hem and sleeve hem in the same manner making a very unique top! Two others decided to challenge themselves with a cowl neck and sure enough the finished product turned out very well much to the surprise of the students!
Anyway homework is to sew other knit tops for other people using different measurements for extra practice. Once the pattern is done the shirts really don't take long to sew, about one hour is all it takes from the time it's cut to the time it's finished. I also assigned homework before the Christmas break and that still stands due in March when classes will resume.
Have a great winter!
Happy New Year to everyone near and far, may the new year bring only good things your way. Everyone works so hard they deserve only the best of luck, happiness, good health and prosperity.
For the new year I'm going to start a new adventure with Youtube, I will have paid memberships for video classes done at a slow pace so even novices are able to follow along and understand the work. I am very excited to be able to reach so many people from all walks of life! This does not mean I will no longer have live classes it only means it will be easier for distance students to learn this wonderful art of pattern drafting, tailoring etc.
As soon as I make myself look presentable I will start with some videos on how to take measurements properly on both yourself and another person, how to record the measurements using the measurement chart, how to use the measuring tape efficiently etc.
I look forward to my live classes with the Bradford group, Skype classes with distance students, there is no place I would rather be than in front of a classroom! Have a great day and an even better year!
Maria Calautti, Jack of all trades!