Monday, 26 March 2007

Rat race

I have been so busy with my last year semester coursework. I dont even want to see another textbook for a long time!. It one after the other, no rest and there's work - shift work. The nightshift is not so bad, at least i get to type out my ideas in relation to my coursework when things are quiet. But the dayshift, you have to look smart and totally busy and as the only girl in my department you can be sure that whatever i am doing all of a sudden of great importance. Once i am done with these coursework i will be up to date and can start updating. Blogs i always have to check out everyday includes - order of obsession:

Couture et Tricot (best of sewing)
Hooks & Needles (with style and skill)
Diary of a sewing fanatic (inspiring)
Bellanaija (ebony mag = )
Naijagal (girl with all gist)
drastic measures (getting quiet)

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

They arrived today!!

Well, i got my corsetry kit in the post this morning. I didnt order any fabric with it, since i have a tonne of fabrics - no need for that. So, i got the simplicity pattern, plus all the bits, washers, eyelets, busk etc...
I haven't decided on fabric to use, but i think i will use calico first and once i get the garment construction right, and they have to be right. I kind of have something for corset, so i am thinking maybe my first official collection corsetry might be the main feature. But the problem which i know seem to have a solution for is that i have no clue as to making one. But i got hold of a place online and ordered the DVD of how to make one and the kit to try one out. Anyone with major interest in corsetry please give me points!!!

Just look at that craftsmanship, perfect!! I am going to order the homepro package as well, soon!!

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Elena Miro

This is a designer i stumbled upon on another blog and for someone that designs for plus size, the style are just so chic and corporate, right up my alley! The models don't exactly look curvy now - for real women i mean - not tooth pick models! But i think with the look they look very real and give you an insight into what it might just look like on you.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Grace Shannan

New designer on the Horizon is Grace Shannan, she is Nigerian and we met at LARC on Advanced Pattern cutting class in 2006 and we have been encouraging each other. In the picture, a modelled outfit from her new collection. She has stepped out with her first collection using African prints with a western twist and i love it. Well, please visit her site, or her space at . She's a real encouragement to all those who are trying to get their business up - present company included, yep!! And she's showing her collection on the 14th, here's the Invitation -

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Fashion illustration

Illustration has always been a process of fashion design that is quite essential by todays standard. And i find it very useful and also professional, especially when the need to present portfolio arises. I did an intensive course at LARC and made sure i went through the art of fashion illustration, sketching the conventional way, but now - Thank God for technology. I got hold of the book 'From pencil to Pen tool' By Jemi Armstrong to learn this. You will require Photoshop, pentool etc.
I think its a very valuable skill to have inorder to develop one of a-kind design. I am sure any fashion design student or ever dressmaker would agree with me that sometimes you have this mage in your head, but i guarantee that this is such an easier way to get it on paper or to convey it. I am just learning it anyway - but i am able to apply my moodboard or generate my themes inline with the designs. Will post up what i come up with in future!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

BHF Magazine - New Naija fashion Magazine

This is the new fashion magazine that is coming out soon and there is so much raving about the quality. I personally, am looking forward to it. What does BHF stand for really ? At last the magazine that will satisfy my appetite for Art & Design through the eyes of a Nigerian. There was some talk of another magazine by Linda Ikeji, tried to find one, but i don't think there's much of it in circulation. But as for BHF i can't wait!
Looking at how fashionable Nigerians are, we seem to have lacked the premise to show how also creative and talented we are and can be. Fingers crossed! Go BHF!!

Monday, 12 March 2007

New Career, New Image - Day 1

Since i am going to be diving into a new career, i think it is only prudent PR planning to make some attempt on myself before doing so on others. Therefore, i am going for a bit of image adjustment, nothing plastic, just a bit of weight loss, wardrobe change, stuff like that. since the most difficult for years for me has been weight loss, that the area i am going to tackle first. Not sure exactly what kind of diet to follow, as i have tried the lipotrim, SCF christian control diet is a guide i am going to continue using. And then I've got to get back to the Gym and using my Taebo tapes again.
The Fashion business is a fickle business, so although we say its all vanity. Well, looking good has never done any harm - em!! debatable!
The Lipotrim consists of 30 food packets and you have one each for your meal, when i did it , my first week i lost almost 9lbs and i looked great. Then, i travelled to Naija on family holiday and kaput!! Everywhere we went they have prepared food and this diet only way is no food, just your shake powders. Before i could say - controlled diet - 9lbs+ was riding back on my thighs.
check out the video -weightloss, its encouraging...,,20004741_20004362_20004361,00.html

I mean way to go Janet Jackson - if i could get to look something like that in 3 -4 months - then people i have arrived! I mean from this to this, you work it out, so image change must work especially if looking good is imperative to your work. An d it is in the case of going into fashion.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

End of Year Report...

I can't seem to settle down and start writing my end of year report for my university final year. Its in my head, in fact when i am seated i am writing the essay but i need to put word to paper. And i am determined to answer at least one question tonight and type it up, that way i will get into the spirit of academic world. Can't wait to get it done and dusted though!

Then, my next point of call is to start on my new collection, which means scouting for fabrics and trimmings, this will be by the end of March/April. Then i need to get the website up - though i havent even decided on a name yet.
Then there is the models to hire for design draping and so on...

I have a couple of designs that i am going to start with as soon as i am done with my coursework in two weeks, i think they are a definite addition to my wardrobe, unless i get request from outside. Then i will definitely shelf it in favour...

Sewing is taking a new turn in the UK

this is another article by daily mail published in january 2007. This might just prick more interest in sewing.

there was another article in woman & home or was it Easy Living last year , i will try and find it and post that one too.

Getting back into pattern cutting!

I find the japanese way of pattern drafting so much easier and faster. I am trying to master both methods including the japanese pattern magazine, which i order from
I ordered quite a number of them before christmas and now they are here. But i find the quaterly stylebook for Mrs most inspiring for casual wears.

Daily Mail Article on Reviving dressmaking by Charlotte Kemp 'Rise of the Machinists'

The coat is exquisite and incredibly flattering. Made from green cashmere with a contrasting burgundy lining, it has an elegant funnel neck and skims Helen Doyle's slender figure to perfection.

Indeed, the garment fits the 31-year-old marketing executive so well, several people have commented it could have been made for her.
And that's when Helen feels rather smug, because it was. And she made it.
"When I started sewing classes I was a total beginner, but after four lessons I had made a skirt," she says.
"Now, I've made everything from knickers to jackets. You really can't beat the satisfaction of transforming a piece of flat fabric into something 3D which fits you really well.
"It's a different sense of achievement to the one you get when a presentation goes well at work.

"After a recent trip to Morocco, I made a patchwork bag out of leather I bought in a market.
"I've agreed to make a wedding dress for a friend who is getting married next year. And at the moment, I'm working on my summer wardrobe, which is great fun."

Helen is not unusual in making clothes rather than buying them.
Just when it was feared the art of sewing was dying out, DIY is the latest buzzword as fashion lovers try to bring back some individuality to their wardrobes.
"Customers are finding it harder to find exclusive clothes and so the need for individuality has pushed up the sales of dress-making materials and equipment," says a spokesman for the haberdashery department at John Lewis.

Meanwhile, in Yorkshire, such is the demand, a sewing machine shop which has been in business for more than 30 years has set up a needlework academy.
Beginners can master the art of dressmaking, with classes on everything from tailoring to lingerie making, millinery and appliquÈ.
So why are we reverting to the traditional skills we spurned at school? (Did anyone actually finish their soft toy, petticoat or apron?)
Is it a sign our love affair with cheap, fast fashion is on the wane and a desire for individuality is returning to centre stage?

There is certainly a move away from wanting to look like everyone else. TopShop has been quick to pick up on the DIY revival by running craft workshops at its flagship store in London's Oxford Street.
Customising is popular with teenage girls, who are getting creative with their High Street buys so they stand out from the crowd.
For women like Helen, dressmaking is also the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day at work.
"I wanted something practical to do at home rather than just going out all the time," she says.
"First, I took a City & Guilds evening course in lingerie design. Then I got in touch with Imtaz Khaliq, who runs one-to-one bespoke tailoring classes at her studio in Dalston, North London.
"I didn't sew at school, so I was a total beginner, but Imtaz taught me how to make my own patterns.
"I'm not the best seamstress in the world, but with a machine you can do anything."

Imtaz is not surprised her classes are increasingly popular with City traders and high-fliers like Helen.
"Lots of jobs can be stifling with no outlet for creativity, so women are coming to me to get away from all that," she says.
"My studio doesn't feel like the sewing classes at school or college. It's relaxed and they get results very quickly.
"I've taught a whole range of women, from housewives who have given up highprofile careers to focus on more homely things to City career women who want to learn how to make something for themselves.
"Most tell me their mothers used to sew, but were too keen on them having a career to teach them. "But the tide is turning. Sewing isn't just about darning socks or making soft toys; it can be a form of expression, an outlet for the stresses of the working day. Recently, two colleagues came along from an advertising agency.

"They wanted to make funky skirts, which they did. But they also enjoyed the social side to sewing.
"They found it relaxing to come here after work to sit and chat while producing something amazing at the end of it. You can't beat wearing a garment which has been tailored to you."

Opera singer Juliette Pochin got interested in dressmaking out of practical necessity. As a performer, she is in constant need of concert dresses and so childhood experiments with skirts and tops graduated to evening gowns. Friends nicknamed her "the domestic diva".
Earlier this year, the 32-year-old mother from South London was signed up by Sony BMG in a £1 million record deal, but old habits die hard.
"For the launch of my debut album Venezia, I was given a designer dress by Bellville Sassoon to wear," she says.
"It's really beautiful, but I was taken aback by how much it cost. The most I'd ever spent on a concert dress before was £80.
"My great find is Rolls & Rems in Lewisham, South-East London, which is stacked from floor to ceiling with fabric. You have to rummage because there's everything from pink fur to faux leather, but I've found some incredible stuff."
Juliette's spare bedroom is devoted to her hobby, and her latest creation on the tailor's dummy is awaiting a few final touches.
"It's a strapless number in a greeny-blue silk chiffon with a fitted bodice which flares from the knee," she says.
"I'm going to wear it when I'm on tour this summer, so I've got to get it finished.
"A dress like that will take a few weeks to make, especially as I only have time to do it at night when my daughter is in bed. But it will cost just £60.
"My mum is helping me to finish it off by making some tiny flowers to go in a diagonal line along the bodice.
"My pride and joy is my shiny new sewing machine, which I got for my birthday.
"I have given my old one to a friend, which inspired her to go to evening classes. She's now made two skirts and a summer dress."
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Juliette even bones her evening gowns.
"My mum taught me how to do it and now I've done a few corset styles, I adapt them to suit," she says.

But sewing for the 21st-century woman need not mean poring over pattern books or even learning how to hem, insists Eithne Farry, author of the new book Yeah, I Made It Myself (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £10). Instead, she espouses the art of what she calls 'no sew sewing'.
Total beginners can run up a simple skirt without even knowing how to put in a zip or fix a waistban.
"As I've learned, you don't have to be brilliant at sewing to make something really special," says Eithne. "I was hopeless at needlework at school, but through trial and error I can now make everything from a dress to a coat. You can make a basic summer wardrobe with minimum skill."
Eithne's favourite dress was made from a pair of curtains which used to grace a holiday caravan in Margate.
"It sounds like a scene from the The Sound Of Music, but the material cost only £2.50 and I fell in love at first sight with the pattern," she says.
Despite its humble origins, the end result is eye-catching and unique. And the colourful Jackie O style shift is just one of dozens of unique handmade dresses hanging in Eithne's wardrobe.

Emily Wright, 29, from York, is a self-taught dressmaker.
"I learned how to do it by taking apart skirts, jackets and coats and seeing how they were made," she says.
"I've never used patterns, so it's been a process of trial and error and I have to admit some things are not perfect.
"But that adds to the character of a piece. Last summer, I made a long silver skirt, which I wore so much it got all bobbly.
"My favourite skirt this year is two-tone in blue and red, which hangs from the hips.
"The skirts I make myself fit much better and are far more flattering than shop ones.
"My favourite place in the world is the Goldhawk Road in Shepherd's Bush, West London. There are four fabric shops there which sell amazing stuff from as little as £3 a metre."
Eithne, Emily and an army of trendy dressmakers are boosting an industry that has long been in decline. Fabric shops are springing up in our towns and cities.
Eithne's favourite is Fabrics Galore in Battersea, South-West London. Another new dressmaking boutique is Fabric 205 in East Dulwich, South-East London.

Anita Armitage-Joyce runs a successful mail order business from her shop Fine Fabrics Of Harrogate, sending out material to women all over Britain.
She started her own business a few years ago when her former employer closed down the haberdashery department where she worked to focus on interiors and gifts.
A passionate dressmaker, Anita snapped up the stock and set up her own shop.
She now has an academy room at the back of the shop, complete with sewing machines and tailor's dummies, where two colleagues run back-to-basics courses and more advanced lessons on tailoring and trouser-making.
"When I was young, women made things out of necessity," says Anita.
"Then, as we moved into the workforce, there was no longer enough time to make things and clothes were available on the High Street at much cheaper prices.
"But I am noticing a sea change. Dressmaking is coming up from the younger generation. Many of my customers are professional women who regard sewing as a pleasurable past-time.
"I'm also pleased to say that several of the schools in my area are starting to teach dressmaking again.

"But instead of boring aprons, they are creating ball-gowns. That's the inspirational part of sewing - you just can't beat it."

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Swap for Japanese Magazines

Gimme Your Stuff

Well, i have since discovered that Japanese pattern books feature more recent styles than the western ones, and i want to give it a go. But it is virtually impossible to order online directly when i can't speak one word of japanese. So if you are interested i would like to have Copies of Mrs Monthly, Mrs stylebook bag craft books. i am trying to attach a picture hopefully its visible.