Saturday, December 26, 2009

Choose Your Dress



                                                      by Glutnix,  flikcr.com

 Merry Christmas everyone!  It's the day after Christmas.  Already!  As I get older,Christmas just sneaks up on me even faster, and I cannot believe that Christmas is gone for 2009.  I think I'd better start buying presents from January 2010 and put them away for 2010 Christmas season...  Got a surprise for my birthday.  The flu.  The day before I thought I had allergies.  Luckily, the flu was 70% gone by Christmas day so I could celebrate with my  family.  Hope your day was much better! 

I declare 2010 the year of the dress.  That's because I would like to start wearing them.   I wear skirts, and it's usually to go to church.  Skirt and blouse.  Mix and match.  Various combinations.   Simplicity is to throw on a dress, voila.  Add a belt, jewelry, shoe or boot, sweater, jacket, shrug (pick one or two please, not all).  I was visiting a church one Sunday, and was looking at the clothing women were wearing, and saw there was a need for distinctive but understated dresses.

What is (or is going to be) the SK Clothes dress style and silhouette for 2010?  Well, I like knee length, short or 3/4 sleeves dresses with a straight or subtle A-line skirt and a semi-fitted bodice.  Details of some kind are a must, whether willowy ruffles, a few sharp pleats,  buttons,  or gathers.

I have two questions for you women out there.  Choose your dress for the occasion.  I don't mind if you let me know as well.  What dress would you choose to wear to:

1.  A New Year's Eve Concert?

 
                     
               Oneworld, www.google.com                                    www.amazon.com 

2.   To dinner with friends?



   London Times, www.eBay.com                       Kathy Robertson, www.google.com 

I'll let you know my answer next week.   Enjoy the rest of the Christmas season with family and friends!

Til next blog!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ideal Winter Coat


On Monday, I went shopping for a few things.  Took the transit.  People watched.  Maybe I wasn't having a great winter last year, and noticed only black winter coats, or maybe this year more women like myself want to wear more color for the winter season.  All I know is I was pleased with the amount of color women in particular were wearing as outer wear.

The older women get first prize for wearing winter coats of color.  Quilted and padded nylon coats are still  the particular coats of choice, and I saw medium green, blue, red, purple(not a common color ) coats on women over 40 years of age.  I have to add that my coat is a purplish-blue for this winter season.  For the past how many years I've been wearing a beige winter coat made of a polyester/nylon fabric with padding.  An A+ for the mature women!  The younger women still tend to stick to blacks and dark browns.   Coats with hoods trimmed with fake fur, zippered fronts, and waist or hip lengths are still the favorites.

A color choice that I'm warming up to is the white winter coat or jacket.  When I saw women wearing that color as outer wear a few winters ago, I was not a fan.  This year, I like the look.  It's most attractive when there isn't too much snow on the ground and the outdoors is just colorless.  The white coats just give a brightness and a clean touch to the grey scenery. 
  
The future for winter coats?  I think future popular coat styles will soon be made of a fake suede-type fabric, padded, with detailed trims and faux fur, and the popular lengths will be mid-thigh, knee length and calf length.  We need to cover up more for the cold winters we're experiencing more often.  

Check www.zuki.com for some beautifully crafted winter coats.  The prices for these coats most likely would take several life times for many of us to purchase just one, but the colors and designs are beautiful.
  
white hip-length coat with hood - www.himfr.com
white suede-look mid-thigh coat - www.fashion-era.com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Liven Your Look with Beaded Jewelry

The women in my family don't wear much jewelry, and I follow the same rule.  I don't know why that is.  The late bloomer that I am is just beginning to wear rings and learning that jewelry can add just the right completion to an outfit.

by Catherinett Rings Steampunk, www.flickr.com 
                                                
Two years ago, I bought beads to keep my daughter busy during the summer.  She had a problem concerning attaching clasps, so I took out a library book on beaded jewelry to get the answer.  In doing that, I started making beaded jewelry myself.  My daughter and I have sold quite a few pieces of our designs.  Now I have an appreciation of the art of handmade jewelry.  We're on hiatus right now.  I'm focusing on clothes.

by SDCDeaCer , www.flickr.com  
                                             
Jewelry (and I've just started wearing rings ) are a wonderful addition to an oufit.  If the clothing worn is a  crew-neck t-shirt and a pair of pants, a necklace can add quite a bit of interest to the look.  A simple dress can be spruced up with a pretty pair of earrings.  Jewelry can add an air of sophistication, whimsy, romance, or what ever it is you're trying to portray, to an outfit. 


Women don't have to spend large amounts on jewelry.  I have a particular interest in beaded jewelry because it's affordable and comes in all shades and colors.  If you're the creative type, borrow a beaded jewelry book from the library, buy beads on sale, and create your own!  It's a lot of fun.

www.lplusbjewelry.com 
                                                          
For those of you that want to buy rather than make-it-yourself, check out www.bijouxdefantaisie.com and www.lplusbjewelry.com.  Bijoux promotes Canadian jewelry designers, some of whom use gemstones and metal as well as beads.  L Plus B Jewelry designs unique and beautiful pieces from understated to sophisticated, bursting with color.

Till next blog!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hats, Hats, Hats!


I have to talk briefly about hats this week.  Hats are one of those accessories I love to see on others but hardly wore myself.   I just started wearing hats more often during the winter of 2008 - 2009.  Why was that?  Because I had started making my own fabric hats out of need.  

My head seems to be a little bit larger than the average woman (or so the department stores want me to think).  Any time I shopped for a hat, my size was never found.  What I ended up with was a hat that would attempt to cut off my circulation and had to be forcibly stretched to fit my head.  And so I decided not to wear a hat unless it was absolutley necessary.  Well, I need to wear more hats this 2009 - 2010 winter season, for my bad hair days and to add more style to my look.

Did you know that September is National Fall Hat Month?   I've never heard of this before so it must be quite new (as in just began a year or two ago).  The fourth week of September is National Fall Hat Week.  People are encouraged to wear felt or fabric hats as fall begins.  No doubt this is to promote the hat industry.  I'm sorry I was ignorant of the celebration.  Won't miss it next year.

The styles of hats that are favorites for fall/winter 2009 - 2010 are the fedora, the cloche and the military hat.   These are simple styles, as seen above, that many women can wear.  Simplicity, overall, seems to win every time when it comes to regular lifestyles.  For me, originality combined with simple lines is a plus.

While looking at hat websites, I viewed some very elaborate hat designs that look like art work, and the costs reflect this.   A very confident woman who loves attention and excellent craftmanship would be the ideal customer to purchase such hats.  I would love to buy one, and display it in a glass case proudly for my guests to admire.   

Till next blog!

golden elaborate straw hat - www.ransomsboutique.com
lilac military hat - www.nextag.com
black fedora hat - www.nextag.com
grey cloche hat - www.harlemsheaven.com 


Friday, November 27, 2009

Modest Fashion



When I hear the word "modest" in connection with fashion, I instantly imagine clothes that cover properly certain parts of the body.  While many people believe modest clothing has to look functional rather than interesting, I beg to differ.  I've come upon a few websites that sell stylish and modest clothing.  Style, that's right up my alley.

The owner of Mika Rose started her business because she found a shortage of stylish modest clothing in Utah, where she went to university, and upstate New York, where she's from.  She started designing clothes for herself for the functions she attended.  Mika Rose was born out of this need.   What this designer offers are clothes that please fashion conscious ladies. (www.mikarose.com)

Funky Frum is another clothing business that provides forward fashion with good coverage.  The blouses, skirts and dresses are suited for ladies who want to look unique without revealing parts of the body that don't need revealing.  (www.funkyfrum.com)


 One more modest clothing website I have to mention.  Check C-Virtue for more stylish skirts, blouses and dresses for the woman of the 21st century.  C-Virtue was introduced this year, 2009, to the Toronto and GTA community.  Wishing C-Virtue success in clothing women in Ontario and abroad.  (www.c-virtue.com)

As Mrs. Garret, a character from The Facts of Life, (one of my favorite if not my absolute favorite 1980's sitcom) stated to one of the students on the show that was dressed a bit provocatively, "If you're advertising, you must be selling".  As girls and women, let's advertise integrity, decency and respect for ourselves and for others.  What we portray is what we'll receive.

Till next blog! 

black dress with white trim - www.mikarose.com
brown skirt with ruffle hem - www.funkyfrum.com 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fashionistas Clothing Must Haves for Fall/Winter 2010

My list of must have clothing pieces for fall and winter 2010 is somewhat different than  other lists I've looked at today.  At least the lists, and mine, agree on three pieces of clothing, the boot, the military jacket and the knit sweater ( theirs mention chunky sweaters and mine mention the fitted turtleneck).  I'm not doing too bad!

According to www.womensfashion.suite101.com and www fashionising.com, the clothing pieces to add to your wardrobe are:

  1. Thigh high boots
  
  2. Sheer clothing      (blouses, dresses)
  
  3.  Leather clothing  (skirts, jackets)  
  
  4.  Asymmetrical tops

  5.  Military jacket

  6.  Chunky knits
 
  7.  Capes and cloaks






The three items from this list that weren't on mine that I would also like to have are  the sheer blouse and dress, asymmetrical top and a chunky knit sweater.  I've been wearing sheer blouses that I've made over tank tops for the past few summers.  I'd like a sheer dress to wear over a strap dress, this is something I'll have to make.  I love loose sheers, they're easy to wear and allow the skin to breathe (but this doesn't apply for winter).  Asymmetrical blouses I find refreshing, somewhat out of the box, a bohemian look.  And for those of you that know I design bohemian style clothing, asymmetrical is definately up my alley.  Who can let a winter pass by without having a comfy sweater to wear,  especially for outings such as tobogganing and skating?  

Till next blog!


















Thigh high boots - www.shoppingedge.com
Asymmetrical top - www.aswechange.com
Chunky sweater - www.tradercity.com


Friday, November 13, 2009

A Bit of Information on SK Clothes

I'm a designer that doesn't like to follow the crowd too much.  I thrive on designing something I haven't seen before and with a lot of color.  My style has a bohemian flare to it.  I work casually with a friend who's also a designer.  She had asked me to sketch some designs for her last year for a fashion show, but when she saw my sketches, she was very quiet.  She's a very sophisticated lady which is reflected in the clothing she makes. (I love what she does, they are beautiful pieces, but I can't see myself wearing her clothing 24/7.  I have a younger spirit.)  I'm keeping the designs to use myself in the future.


My aim right now is to create original clothing that is marketable.  I have to reign in myself sometimes, but I like what I come up with.  The two designs below look semi-futuristic.  Bringing up futuristic, check out a designer who's clothing reminds me of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985, starring Mel Gibson, co-starring Tina Turner) His name is Rick Owens.  The first Rick Owens' collection I saw online was the womens fall/winter 2009 collection, and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.  Here is a man that could work as a stylist for every futuristic movie that will be made.  View his designs on www.nymag.com and www.luisaviaroma.com.


SK Clothes 

SK Clothes 
The clothing I try to make are easy to wear pieces with a combination of colours, especially if they are spring and summer clothing.  My fall/winter clothing will follow the same vein but with a little more detail.  Yes, I'm still working on it!  Hard times now.  Hopefully the day I show you some pictures will be the end of December. 

My daughter is quite the designer.  I have a collection of her clothing sketches and have made a few of her designs already.  Whenever I see her new drawings, my mouth drops, I'm quite inspired by her originality. 

Sweety bag, SK Clothes

She sketched this bag a couple of weeks ago, and I made the pattern and sewed it yesterday.  This was made with recycled fabric.  I really think it's cute, though I have to fine tune it a bit.  The girl has great potential!   While making it, I kept telling her it was a sweet bag, hence the name, Sweety Bag.   I'll be making a few more in different coloured fabrics.


Till next blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Must Haves for Fall/Winter 2009-10

Many of us love to watch what the stars are wearing.  Many of us love to watch fashion tv.  Many of us love to dream of having a fabulous and expensive wardrobe.  But most of us have to watch our budget.

 I don't change my wardrobe too often.   I usually buy a few pieces each year to add to my wardrobe.  Yes, I sew, but I find I'd rather sew for others so I don't find time to design fantastic clothing to wear myself.  I do alter some of my old pieces to modernize them though.       


 

                                                
My must haves for  2009-10 are:    
1.  Turtleneck.  Fitted, monotone colour, narrow neck.               
2.  Scarves.  Long mult-coloured or one coloured scarves   
3.  Plaid semi-fitted shirt.  Narrow plaids please.
4.  Fitted jacket.  Traditional or military style.
5.  Long a-line skirt.  Preferably in denim or a dark colour.
6.  Ugg-style boots.  I don't need the original, just affordable.  

These are basic but stylish clothing that mixed and matched can change your look from business to casual.  
 
I've been following fashion websites and viewing what has been considered must haves for this winter.  Comparing my simple list and the fashionistas' lists will be interesting.

Till next blog.



turtleneck - www.sierratradingpost.com
military jacket - target.com
boots - onlineshopreviews.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who's Getting Married?

                            apesara
                      www.flickr.com
For some time, wedding dresses and marriage have been on my mind  this year.  And I don't know why.  I suspect that someone in my family may be getting married soon.  My friend said that her long-time boyfriend told her he wanted to talk to her about something, but at the right time.  Now, both of us have tried to figure out what this could be, and a marriage proposal is at the top of both our lists.  

flippinyank
www.flickr.com

While I wait to find out who may soon be engaged, I've been watching wedding reality shows, combing any bridal magazine I can find, and sketching wedding gowns I may soon attempt to make.  One of my favorite wedding reality shows is called Say Yes to the Dress on Slice tv.  I just love to watch the brides-to-be trying on different styles and cuts of designer wedding dresses. 

 
 Wonderlane
www.flickr.com

 For those of you who are budget minded and watch this show, you can imagine what I'm thinking when I hear the prices for some of the gowns.  Nothing against women who believe that the higher cost of the gown makes the day more special, but I don't think I could spend more than $500 on a wedding gown (but then I'm stingy).  Actually, if I could buy one for $200, I would do it.  Weddingdress.com is an online store that sells gowns from $99.00 (wow!) to about $400.  Let me throw this in now if you're really super- budget minded. There is a video on Youtube called $10 Wedding Dress - Threadbanger Projects.  I couldn't believe the simple but nice looking wedding dress that came to life using t-shirt fabric!

My favorite wedding gown designers so far are Vera Wang, Amsale, and someone new to me, Angel Sanchez.  Vera Wang uses a lot of tulle, giving a lot of her gowns an ethereal quality.  She experiments with volume and shapes and her dresses are unique.  Amsale uses both soft and structured fabric for her designs.  The bodices of her strapless gowns are unique in that she uses diagonal pleating on some of them to personalize the dresses. She's also bringing in the short wedding dress for 2010.  Angel Sanchez uses firm fabrics for most of his collection for 2010.  I appreciate the flower neckline on one gown, and the assymetrical flounces on others. 


View these three designers' 2010 collections on Youtube:

Vera Wang Bridal Gowns - Spring 2010 Lookbook
Brides.com - Amsale Spring 2010 Runway Show 
Brides.com - Angel Sanchez Spring 2010 Runway Show


Enjoy!  Till next blog.




Friday, October 23, 2009

The Good Old 70's...

I was watching the Jackson 5 singing "I Want You Back" on Youtube a while ago, and I was just gawking at their brightly coloured tops and pants with the platform shoes and thinking "Whoa... a lot of colour..."  The 70's was certainly a time of freedom of expression clothes- wise among other freedoms.  I was looking in a Sears catalogue for fall 2009 and saw a nice pair of women's pants in a grey and black plaid.  Last time plaid was really in style was the 1970's.  Plaid looks pretty good now a days...
 
Designer is Y-3
                                   www.fashionweekphotos.com

I remember my sister and I proudly posing, around 1976, in our living room,  for pictures in our newly purchased plaid striped pants (one was red and blue plaid on white), two-colour platform shoes(brown/black and burgundy/black I believe) and I believe our knit tops had stripes in them as well, but I don't think they matched our pant plaids though.  But then, you didn't have to match, that was the style.   Put two colours or prints together that didn't quite make sense (well...the pairing made sense then) and you fit right in.  Aahh, the 70's...  

www.fashion-pictures.com

www.fashion-pictures.com   

Think Brady Bunch, think the Partridge Family, think the Evans family from "Good Times".  Striped flared pants, winged collars, bright colours, loud prints.   I remember those good old days of good family values, innocence, the innovative music... I miss that decade... 

www.fashion-pictures.com

I've noticed quite a few designers have plaid clothing among their collections from about 2007.  It hasn't become a favorite so much among the general public, but I think we may be seeing more people wearing plaid fabrics in some clothing form soon.  The teens are wearing a lot of checked shirts now, which I remember was a must have among teens in the 1980's (especially in the form of a lumber jacket...  I live in Canada). 

We can take some note from the 1970's.  I often wish, especially during the winter, that a few more people would experiment with colour.   After all, colour is what makes life a bit more interesting and fun to view.   Let's try to make this winter more interesting by experimenting with colour.
Till the next blog!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Design - My S Saks

I've been working on some designs for accessories in between designing the ever late fall/winter sample clothing for SK Clothes.   The accessory is the bag.  I just love bags.  If there is any clothing or accessory I would collect, it would be bags.

Right now I love long strapped bags which leave hands free for doing other things like shopping, reading on transit, eating, etc.  I wonder about us women always having to carry big bags containing everything with us when men only have a wallet in their pocket.  But I myself will not travel without my  wallet, lip gloss, tissue,  pen, novel,  you get the point.  So I've designed a convenient bag for those teen girls and women who need a bag, but only for necessities and want to travel hands free.






The S Sak, which I call my design, is made of two to three fabrics for attractiveness.  The strap is sewn in diagonally and made of two fabrics as well.  It is lined with the contrasting fabric. The entrance to the bag is made of the same contrasting fabric as the lining and opens and closes with a drawstring.  What's good about this sak is it's washable, it's attractive, functional, and it's worn diagonally to prevent the strap from slipping off.  (When I carry the long strap bag the traditional way, over one shoulder, I'm forever tiring of slipping the strap back in the correct place.)  The S Sak is a type of backpack with one strap and one storage space on purpose, so females can only carry what's absolutely needed.  






These four saks are for sale on my ebay store page.  If you would like to purchase any one of them, my store link is www.stores.ebay.ca/SK-Clothes.  

Till the next blog.





Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Little History on Clothing We Can't Live Without

As much as some of us love to dress for success, dress to express ourselves, dress to convey a mood, don't we all just love the basic pieces of clothing?  I'm talking about the must must haves.  The denim jean and the t-shirt.

Now, I love an opportunity to look nice anytime, to show how good I can look, to get a couple side glances when I look just right.  And then there are always the times when I just want to look casual.   I read or hear of women always saying that " I'm most comfortable and myself in t-shirt and jeans".  I used to think that women who said this were the one's who always had to dress for their career and were in the limelight a lot.   Well, I'm not in the limelight, at least not right now (wishful thinking)  and I have to agree with them myself.

I remember my mother telling me about her girlhood days when people dressed up to go for a walk down the street or to the park.  And they most likely dressed for the movies, a concert...Now a days, we think that's a waste of time and money to  dress somewhat formally for the purpose of looking good to have casual fun (although people still dress for the theatre).    Well, how many of you still wish dress-up days were like the past?  I don't know if I do.  


 
Target Rocks Red Market 1 : March 2008 Australia
Picture courtesy of FashionWeekPhotos.com 


I'll give you a bit of history on the t-shirt and the denim jean.  The t-shirt was first introduced to American soldiers by the European soldiers in WWII.  The American soldiers appreciated the comfort of the t-shirt and started wearing them as undershirts.  By 1955 the t-shirt could be worn alone and be acceptable (thanks to stars like James Dean).  The denim jean was made for workers in 1873 by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss (a popular brand name for jeans).   Women were free to live in jeans from around the 1950's and on, whereas before, the acceptable clothing were skirts and dresses.

These are two pieces of clothing that can be dressed up or dressed down or even in between, timeless pieces we can't live without for now and some time to come.  I think the hoody and the sneaker also should be added to the list of things we can't live without.   

sneakermaniac.com








 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Complicated Clothing

I'm having a good time looking at fashion websites where mere mortals can view what the popular fashion designers have concocted past and present.  I like what I see, although I'm surprised at what I like now.  What I like is not what I would wear though.  I'm just very impressed with the complicated ideas and the construction of some of the garments.

When I see a garment with a lot of draping and applique and embroidery (hopefully not all three together), my designing and sewing juices want to get going.  The more complicated the garment looks, the more of a challenge it was to create, and I love challenge.  Fashion is functional for most of us, and it can be art for those looking to make a bold statement.


Right now, I'm interested in making wedding gowns, I've had an interest in doing this for quite some time.  I'm planning soon, though, to make a mock wedding dress out of  sheer drapery fabric just to get going and see what develops. 
  
On Aura Tout Vu, Mode a Paris Haute Couture Spring Summer 2007-08


 On Aura Tout Vu  is a designer I'm not familiar with, but this designer's gown inspires me.   I would never wear this gown (too ostentatious), and pink is not my colour, but this is a shade of pink I find appealing and would wear,  and the amount of ruffles and where they are placed is attractive to me.  The ruffles are placed in such a way on this semi-form fitting dress to balance it evenly.  I would love to find out how long it took to make this.


 Lefranc Ferrant, Mode a Paris Haute Couture Spring Summer 2007-08


Lefranc Ferrant is another designer I haven't heard of, but I love how he draped this black dress.  The shape of the dress is simple, the length elegant and the amount of draping and where it's draped adds so much interest.  This I would definately wear.  The simple line with the interesting neck and torso would get appreciative looks for any woman who wore this.

Well, this week I'm working on a bag/backpack design.  I've made one sample and it looks cute, so I'm making more this week.  I may be reworking my fall/winter clothing designs, but once the bags and the clothing are done, I'll post pictures.  


Till the next blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall 2009



Summer is over, fall is here already. I can't believe it! The days are going by very fast... Which reminds me, time for fall and winter clothing.

I'm currently working on my fall/winter sample clothing for 2009-10. And it's already September 21. I know I'm late. Blame the lack of finances, but I hope to finish the samples by the end of October. Spring/summer sample clothing for 2010 will have to be worked on simultaneously so I can promote the spring/summer clothing from January on.

My fall/winter clothing will incorporate a bit of structure, some ruffles (ruffles are all the rage now), and of course a Bohemian flare in some pieces. I won't be using too much black, if I use any black at all. You'll be one of the first to see my designs, so keep reading my blog.

The above design is from my spring/summer samples for 2009, but it could easily translate into fall because of the navy blue colour. I used two pairs of pants(as seen above), one light blue and one dark blue, to make this semi-fitted puffed sleeve j
acket. The facing and collar are made from navy blue cotton mix fabric I purchased at a fabric store.

Currently I'm looking at all the fashion websites I can. It's amazing what some of the successful designers are making. Some designs are really exquisite, some are mediocre, and some clothing designs made me really wonder what the designers' were thinking! There are ruffles almost everywhere for the fall/winter designs for 2009.

One of my favourite websites is www.nymag.com. If you love fashion, even though you may not be able to buy some of the designer pieces, take a free look at what's being sold on Bloor Street (Toronto) and Hollywood Boulevard ( California!)