summer clicking…

Heat wave happening here in Toronto… the radio tells us to turn off our a/c and stop watering the geraniums lest we catch fire in a blackout. Wipe the sweat off your mouse and grab a cold drink, clicking need not take a lot of energy.

Ok time to unstick my fingers from the keyboard and pick up my parasol to find a shady patio, a cold beer, and a fashion friend to talk shop with…



Another excellent Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch at Brassaii. Today’s attendees –

Carolyn Rohaly of the Toronto Fashion Incubator blog

Nana Aba Duncan of Quiller and Blake

Jessica deMello of Red Flag Deals and Women’s Post

Readers Kasia and Marija

Giselle Rojo Del Ponte of Rojo Del Ponte

Ali de Bold of Chick Advisor

Danielle Meder of Final Fashion

Tiffanie Ing of

Anita Clarke of I want – I got and blogTO

As always we found lots to talk about, and took the opportunity to let eachother know what we’re up to. Ali is collaborating with Alliance Atlantis to produce a series of street style videocasts. Carolyn’s fashion-hardcore rock group Satan’s Candy is preparing for their debut performance on July 28. is hosting a clothing swap with a DJ and drinks on July 8th. Everyone is having a fantastic summer with lots of fashion, fun, and full schedules.

Yet there is always time for Brunch! Keep an eye out for TFBB number nine happening late July.

sew sew

Today I finished everything on the dress except for the hems.

The neckline was easy. Nice and neat.

Clean finishing the armholes using the old “sausage technique”…


OMG, I’m in a tight spot!


Gently, gently… the trick is to pull the entire dress through a tube 3″ in circumference without tearing the fragile silk. (Actually, the real trick is to pull the skirt through first and then the bodice.)

Now it is hanging up all ready for the final fitting and hem-cutting tomorrow.

Of course I couldn’t resist trying it on, though this dress is created for a womanly goddess body and not skinny little me. I want to see what it looks like on K – mostly I just want it to fit.


*crosses fingers*

clothing swap


If you are in Toronto, are female, and like clothes, is presenting the event for you. I had the chance to attend the first swap, dropped off some ill-fitting vintage dresses and walked away with some very cute tops that I actually wear. This is my kind of shopping, you know, the free kind. Please email Sonja for all the pertinent details.


It is the longest day of the year and I am feeling terrific. Everything is wonderful – great weather, fun projects, tasty food, good people. The present moment is filled with appreciation and pleasure, even as I type this post.

Lately I have not written much about my life. If you are wondering, here is a brief synopsis. Ray and I celebrate our fifth anniversary today. So happy. We are immersed in city life at the moment but we are dreaming about building a studio back up in the country and planning the steps we have to take to get there.

Even though there is a lot to look forward to, life in the city is going well right now. I have been dabbling in various niches and find myself being drawn to, well, drawing. How many projects does it take before you begin calling yourself a fashion illustrator? Because with more than a few projects filed, I think that perhaps a fashion illustrator is what I have become, which pleases me.

I also have a part time job helping out at a boutique in Yorkville, a neighborhood in Toronto with fancy restaurants, designer clothing, expensive coffee, million dollar condominiums and other luxuries. It is nice to get out of the studio a couple days a week, freelancing is so solitary sometimes. Work has a pleasant atmosphere with friendly and interesting people. My job description is not particularly impressive, but I get to do a bit of everything – including patternmaking and cutting for the house label, tasks I enjoy.

These days I spend a lot of time walking… to work, to market, to this and that. Toronto is beginning to feel like a small town as I often bump into people I know. I try to take the shady routes through various neighborhoods, and can often be seen carrying a parosol as I have taken an interest in sun-protective accessories.

There is always things to see in the city, and a rich variety of new foods to try, and so many events happening all the time. As a rural Ontarian I had an erroneous assumption that Toronto was snooty and rude.  Yet once the city becomes familiar it is a very friendly and fun place to be, especially in the early days of summer. Strange to admit, I really like living in Toronto.

Speaking of the friendly side of toronto, Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VIII is this Sunday. If you’re a fashion blogger or reader and you would like to come, please do – to RSVP, click this link.

One other announcement – you still have time to enter my challenge at The Fashion Spot’s Project Runway Game! I am giving out memberships to The Fashion Spot to anyone who wants to submit an entry. Just contact me and let’s play.

That is all for today, thanks for reading, hope you are having nice, long, day. =)

stitch stitch

The grand plan was to take some snapshots while I was sewing, but once I get into the rhythm of making something, I always forget to take pictures. Here is one of my new eighth-inch hemming foot.


At first it was pretty rough but once I got the physical flow it is so easy to make the neatest, narrowest hem.

Here is the narrow hem on the sash.


Here is the work in progress hanging up. It is probably over 80% done.


On the left is the back view where you can see the outer layer, which will be a full 360 degrees when it is done with a handkerchief hem. The hem will have to be trimmed down when K comes down for the fitting this weekend.

On the right you can see what the inside lining looks like. It is a simple dress with a bodice. The bodice is interlined with a tightly woven cotton so the dress provides a certain amount of support.


The invisible zipper.


A peek inside.


So far so good… I will breathe a bit easier if the fitting goes well.  If there is a problem, I will have only one week to make a fix. The big day is on the 30th.

beyond fashion blogland…

…there is the wider blogworld.

I am deeply indebted to many other bloggers, some famous and some not so much, for sharing information about who they are and what they do on the internet. I have learned a lot not only about blogging, but also people. Since becoming a blogger I find many of the qualities I pick up on the internet are social qualities. So oddly enough, my introduction to the internet has benefitted me in real life. Now I am less isolated, more sociable, less self-conscious, and more confident than I have ever been.

Or is a fresh awareness of human nature just a byproduct of being older than 23? I can’t help but think blogging might have had something to do with it.

So since I am too immersed in real life this week to blog properly for a few days, I thought I might link some of the bloggers in my feeds who blog about things other than fashion.

Accordion Guy, is one of Toronto’s most charismatic characters both on the street and in blog form. He works in tech and his archives have funny stories about dating and room-mates and stuff.

On the other side is The Grumpy Owl, the compellingly misanthropic musings of another Toronto character, a disaffected dandy, author of ultra violent science fiction and professional dilettante book reviewer.

I’ve been reading Gaping Void ever since I first had access to a personal computer. Must reads in the archives include that classic of online writing How To Be Creative. More than the content or the structure, but the attitude towards blogging is what I admire most about Gaping Void. Thank you Hugh for inadvertantly introducing me to the the internet and for the strong influence on the way I use the internet for my own purposes.

Seth Godin is a marketer and business book writer who demonstrates the ability to maximize both media for an elite audience with a wide appeal across all our niches. Reading by proxy (as he’s a huge influence to everone online) and then by RSS, Godin is one of the best bloggers out there because he is talented at ideas, writing and marketing… and that’s what great great blogging is all about.

HorsePigCow is Social Media techie stuff. Tara Hunt is a clever, opinionated Canadian woman blogging among the startups in San Francisco. What caught my interest was the documentation of her personal growth online. Through the archives you can watch her take stands, make mistakes, recover, piss people off, confront adversity, and learn. Hunt is fearless enough to admit when she is wrong, and she changes her mind – these are attributes that most people see as weaknesses but how can that be when it take so much strength? HorsePigCow showed me that blogging is best done with an open mind.

I Will Teach You to be Rich is a personal finance and entrepreneuship blog written for new graduates by one particularly precocious new graduate. Excellent archives – Ramit Sethi is a smart guy and well worth reading no matter what your age. He makes reading about personal finance inspiring – that is good blogging.

What else? For my local news I hit up Torontoist and blogTO. I lurk at Something Awful. I follow recipes on Tastespotting. Of course I have a profile on that devil dot com Facebook.

What about you? What are your favourite non-fashion clicks?

generation click

At the Fashion-Incubator, Kathleen asks What Will Become of Us? Great comments, and gets me thinking about me and my generation…

with apologies to the who

This is one of many outstanding comic strips at xkcd.

These days I am thinking a lot about fashion illustration, entrepreneurship, information, personality, networks, entertainment, minimalism to the point of survivalism… and truth. What will become of us, indeed… well I have an idea of what I am going to do… actually many small ideas.

The Toronto Fashion Incubator has to move to make way for condos. By chance I spoke with Susan Langdon, who reassured me that the TFI is dealing well with the inconvenient situation – taking the opportunity to move up. Currently there are only 4 resident designers, and I notice all of them seem ready to move up to the next level in terms of getting their own spaces, so the TFI will have the chance to turn the situation to advantage. I look forward to seeing the TFI continue doing the good work they do for the next generation of fashion designers in Toronto, and I hope to help too, in some way…

Last time I looked at Threadless the cheque they gave their artists was a lot smaller than $1500. I am going to be doing this and I already have an idea, I mean it this time I am really going to do it!

Cute incoming linkers – Patterns, Fabric and Thread, Oh My!Clichés á la ModeFashion Graduate.

Here comes the backlash – cheap chic and celebrity designers have peaked and are officially on their way out. The end of these trends will create millions of refugee fashion victims…

See what families around the world eat every week. I am fascinated by visual representations of consumption. Look at images of real life in the past, I try not to forget how unprecedented our present is.

In the fashion industry, we are at the cusp of something. Luxury houses are going public, which strikes me as a strange stumble that will make fashion’s veteran players a lot less relevant. I am reading Joseph Abboud’s wonderful biography Threads right now. He talks about how buyers once relied on independent instinct, and now crunch the numbers of the past in a vain attempt to predict the future (or else they are fired). The culture of fear and greed and boards of investors kills fashion leadership. (Or does it?)

Designers like Gianni Versace made fashion alive, and interesting, even if the appeal was narrow. Now, Versace the corporation, without genuine human personality, hedges its bets. Compare the old pictures of Linda and Naomi laughing and leaping in exhuberant, loudly extravagant but enjoyable Versace clothing with modern images of a waxwork-worthy Madonna frozen in luxurious yet unwholesome Versace environments.

Why does it seem to me like even the the legacy of the superstars of fashion is on the verge of victimhood, and fashion’s history nothing but relics without relevance? 1994 might as well be 1904, but I still look back, trying to tease out patterns from the past, trying to answer the question what will become of us.


The possibilities are endless. Time to get back to cutting and sewing.