Small Business Feature: Oddity Apparel

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was at a local Anime convention a few weeks ago and was booth neighbors with a lovely lady whom I discovered was the creator behind Oddity Apparel.  Though she wasn’t at that convention selling her wares, we certainly got to talking about them as, of course, I’m a fan of nerd fashion.

She is based out of Montreal, Canada, but goes to conventions all over North America. Not only that, she sells lots online (she’s on Etsy and Facebook) and will take on a custom order if you ask nicely. She sells a dress style that is flattering on many different body types and makes plus size clothing as well. If you would like to see a dress or skirt in a style that you don’t see in her shop, just send a message along and see if she can put together what you’re looking for.

Her fabrics are amazing, and I learned, are created by her. They’re beautifully balanced and avoid the things that I hate about repeating prints. That they either look too repetitive, are too big or are unattractively stretching in inappropriate places.  I’ve even seen patterns that were so unbalanced that the dresses they were printed on made the body look unbalanced. She avoids that by having her own designs printed, and just looking at the fabric, you can see what I mean.

Make sure you go check out her shop to get an idea of the vast array of fabrics that are available. I guarantee that you’ll love the Timelord fabric, and find so many more that you didn’t even know were a thing. Remember, these are hand made, and you’re supporting a real person and their art. Go and have fun with fashion with these prints that are all just so fabulous, you’ll have to start collecting!

Happy shopping!

~ Megan

Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!


Custom Fantasy Wedding Gowns

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It’s wedding season again, and this year I’ve got a really kick-ass designer to share with anyway of you getting married! Well…married next year though cause these beauties take time to make.

This stunning gown is just one of many design by Firefly Path Bridal. They’ve been making custom fantasy based wedding gowns and accessories for over 10 years and it shows. Every dress is custom made to fit the bride from the ground up and can be made to match just about any fantasy theme. Fairytale wedding? Boom! Beauty and the Beast dress.

Anime themed wedding? No problem! Check out this Tsubasa Chronicles inspired dress.

And then of course the one that drew me to this fabulous collection; Legend of Zelda based gown:

This is just barely scratching the surface of the collection of gowns Firefly Bridal has created. I wish I’d known about them 4-5 years ago cause hot damn, I would’ve been all over this for my own gown! If you’re interested in getting a design idea/quote you can reach them here. No location is too far either as they have no physical shop so all orders are done online and through the post. If you do live where their workshop is in LA, you can rent some of their gowns for photo shoots or events. 😀 If you’re just looking for some kick-ass accessories to go with your dress then you may find what you need over on their etsy page instead.


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When I meet fellow sewers at conventions the first thing I do is flip the seams.  Those that sew know exactly what I am talking about.  For those that don’t it is how we look at the quality of what was sewn.  If the seams are sewn nicely (and reinforced when possible) then you know it is very well made.  So of course the first thing I did when I saw Brittnee Braun’s table at Wizard World Chicago was flip the seams.  I was very happy with what I saw.  Her skirts were some of the best made I have ever seen.

Her skirts are very reasonably priced at $40!  I almost bought a few at Wizard World, but decided I would let my husband pick the fabrics and have her custom make me a few.  That’s right, she makes them to fit your body.  Take a look at her website, Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram to see what she can do as well as some of her cosplay photos.


Leather, Leather Everywhere….

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Hey there Thursday readers!

For those of you who have dreamed of having a custom made leather something, well, your dreams can be made into a reality! I’d like to introduce The Leather Lair.  This company, based out of Pennsylvania, USA, specializes in custom leather work made by Suzanne.   She makes original designs that have an American Indian style with a Medieval-Fantasy twist.

Even though there are a number of off the rack pieces, each of those pieces are their own unique item. Each item is hand crafted.  I cannot stress how important this is. Hand crafted means that there’s an innate uniqueness that you can’t find in factory produced merchandise and it gives life and character to the garment.  She prides herself on this uniqueness letting her garments choose their owners, rather than the other way around.

Her pieces have a huge range from jackets (seen above in Batman on these dashing bekilted men) of the nerdy variety to those that are reminiscent of a lab coats and steam She also makes many beautiful bodices and tops for ladies where her inspiration can range from the woodland pixies to a badass steampunk fighter.  Whatever piece catches your eye, you will easily be able to see the care that goes into the workmanship and design.

Make sure to check out the facebook page here for a lot of pictures to peruse and enjoy. Not only does The Leather Lair do clothing for pixies and pirates alike, but they do so much more.

Whether you’re in the market for a new vest, some boots, some cuffs or something else that you never thought you’d be able to find, The Leather Lair fully welcomes custom work so don’t be shy about sending an email to ask about that thing you’ve been dreaming about for years.

Some leather wings, perfect to accent… well… anything.

Make sure you keep an eye on their event’s page for conventions and other events that they will be vevnding at, though you can order online through their website.  From someone who makes a lot of custom work, don’t be afraid to send a personal email if you don’t see a picture of something you would like.  Artisans like this can often do so much more than they’re able to showcase on their website and can often work with your imagination to make something you will love.  Just make sure to share any time constraints as custom work does tend to take a little longer.

It may take a little extra time…. but just look at the jaw dropping results.







Little Petal

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I first saw Little Petal at Wizard World Philadelphia.  I didn’t have time to stop and introduce myself so I was excited to see them again this past weekend at Awesome Con.  I was very impressed with their great convertible dresses they had for display at the conventions.  From their website:

Little Petal creates custom comic book convertible dresses and other garments inspired by any character from any fandom. This means our customers are not limited to just our incredibly vast selection of already existing dresses. They can order any character, or any color combination!

We do not believe in sizes, so all dresses are custom made to the customer’s measurements. Whether you are petite or voluptuous, these pajama-soft dresses will fit you perfectly and make you feel beautiful.

Some of the dresses they offer include:

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I discovered on their website they don’t just make convertible dresses.  They also make wedding gowns!  I wish I would have known about this before I was married.  I would have had them create my perfect gown for me.

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Afraid they don’t have anything for men?  Fear not, they are coming out with a Bow Tie line this summer!  If you would like to check out their entire line you can find the Little Petal website here, their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and their Tumblr here.


Artist Feature – Darling Army

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms-to-be, dadmoms, moms of humans, and moms of non-humans! As my blog today will not be focused on Mothers Day, I encourage you to check out Nicole’s recent post for quick, last-minute gifts, PLUS a list of breakfasts to make for her… or yourself. I know you didn’t forget or anything, I’m just, you know, throwing it out there!

Now onwards into a magical land filled with Totoro aprons, TARDIS skirts, and Companion Cube kimonos! Yes, you read all of that correctly, I am talking about the amazing and original work of Darling Army.

The idea behind these designs was to create ‘girly girl’ outfits out of typically masculine cosplays. Not only does it achieve that goal, but they also provide an option for those who prefer to more modestly display their love for their favourite shows and characters.

The awesomeness is over 9000!  …I’m sorry, I had to.

The website is full of amazing work, all complimented by original commissioned artwork, like those in the Style Guide meant to show the many different ways the outfits can be worn.  It’s really great seeing crafters utilize the work of some of the amazing artists out there.

Darling Army also makes a full range of accessories that both compliment their costumes but also do a great job of adding a bit of fun to an everyday outfit.

Capelets, and earrings, and bows; oh my!

What I most love about these designs is that they’re so original and far from the hyper-accurate costumes that a lot of people go for, yet they retain the spirit of what they’re designed after. They give a new perspective on cosplay, allowing one to dress up as a catbus without needing to, say, employ people to act as the extra feet in the back.  Now if they could get that TARDIS skirt working like the real thing that’d be great, cause I’m going to need a few of these, like, yesterday.


– Shalyn

Pi Day – Week 4

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Saturday March 14th was the ultimate Pi day.  Pi is of course 3.14159.  I was at the Indiana Comic Con and decided to celebrate Pi day by spreading the love with miniature pies.

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I shared these miniature pies with all of the amazing crafty people I found at the Indiana Comic Con.  Every Saturday in April I am going to share pictures and give you information about these crafty people.

I think I saved the best for last with Patterns Optional.  When I first walked by their table on Friday I saw one of the most amazing dresses.

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So of course I had to share some pie with them!

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I immediately asked if they could make me a few custom skirts to go with the custom corsets I was having Megan (our new Thursday blogger from Absynthetika) make me.  They said yes and I am excited to unveil my first outfit today at C2E2.


I LOVE the skirt they made me and can’t wait to get more.  What you don’t see in the picture is the awesome Batman embroidery on the skirt.  You can find their website here full of custom dresses they have created.  Check out the Craft Hacker Facebook to see the amazing dress they made me that I wore yesterday.


Some Corsetmaker on Corsetmaker Action.

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Hey there folks!

You might be wondering what that title is all about. It sounds sexy, doesn’t it? Well it is, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking.  As you may remember, I am the corsetmaker behind Absynthetika.  In my travels, I have met many clothingmakers and of course, within that group, I’ve met my share of corsetmakers, especially at the various cons that I attend. I always try to walk around at these cons and get to know the other vendors. I have my regular group of buddies that I look forward to seeing every year, and in one of my con wanderings years ago I ran into Heather.  We got to talking, about business and about sort of being competitors – since she also makes corsets – and we realized that we have a fair bit in common.  We kind of became friends, and we root for each other to do well at our cons. We present different things to our clients and so we felt our competition wasn’t so much with each other but with some other people out there.

corsetHeather is the owner of Apollonie. She does make corsets. Very well in fact. Though my focus for this post isn’t going to be  her corsetry – for a reason other than our not so competitive competition –  as where I think she really shows her amazing skill is in her cosplay and historical garment making.  I want to showcase this amazing seamstress.  I’d like to give you a little history on Heather as I think this really helps to show that she knows her stuff.  She attended George Brown College which is a fine institution of learning.  At this hallowed place she took courses in fashion design and techniques and millinery (which is hatmaking, for those who may not know).  Where I am one who certainly believes that you can learn from experience, this background has lent an ease and professionalism to her craft that you don’t always see in independent clothing makers.


Another thing worth mentioning, and this is something I found personally endearing, was that she is a stickler for quality workmanship. Like myself, Heather doesn’t have patience or sympathy for those who like to cut corners and do things cheaply which means that anything she makes you is going to be a quality product.  Which is important. I know we are so used to living in a disposable culture, but let’s take back quality. When we buy things that will last, it means that we’ll come back for more. I know that if I find a great pair of shoes that last forever and are beautiful, I will go back to that store to find more. It may not be big bucks brought in super fast, but it does ensure client longevity and a solid business relationship. This is something that you often get with handmade items and doubly so when you have someone who pays attention to the details in their work.


One of the first pieces of work that I saw of hers was a cosplay costume that she did for a character I hope all of you recognize:


She did some fabulous leather and metal work of amazing quality to create a cosplay of stunning proportions.  I can’t express how I love this piece.  I love that it looks cinema quality, and you can see so many of the tiny details that were added on.


Next comes the historical garment making.  This is a difficult one as you really need to have someone who can do some fantastic pattern drafting. Making a historical garment wearable for the modern woman is not as easy as it sounds, and trust me when I say, anyone who asks me about this kind of costuming gets a referral to her. Take  a look at these gorgeous pieces.


Ladies        Lady
Take it from someone who makes clothing and who also makes corsets, this type of historical costuming is not easy.  It is not easy and it also takes a heck of a lot of time, energy, and attention to detail. From the fabrics that she chooses to the designs, these are such great examples of what I want to highlight about Heather.  I should note as well that she also does bridal sewing so if you’re looking to do a cosplay or themed wedding and want to have someone with experience and skill make you what you want…. Heather’s your lady.




Whovian Gowns

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A skill I’d like to learn to develop more (okay, let’s be honest one of MANY skills) is how to sew. I have a sister who works in the fashion industry and is more than willing to help me out from time to time, but there really is something to be said for being able to make your outfits. Especially when you get results like this:

TARDIS Wedding Gown

This is a custom Wedding Gown by DA artist Stahlrose and it’s just gorgeous. My husband and I went very traditional with our wedding, which is why I love to see the creativity that people will pour into their fandom themed weddings. The layering of the ruffles gives the piece some great movement, and I just adore how they used star fabric to incorporate the time/space travel element. ^_^

Human Dalek

Giusynumo went for a more cosplay interpretation with their piece, but the end result has a loose enough interpretation that I feel it could still be used for a fun dance or masquerade. While the finished design seems to have more Spanish influence, I can see how having the right hairstyle would help obtain the Victorian feel this artist was going for. Either way, it’s a stunning piece that is way beyond my skill level, lol.