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!

~Megan


DIY ‘Leave Me Alone’ Sweater

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It’s winter and I’m an introvert, so I already get the isolation I need most of the time, but sometimes….sometimes people just don’t get the message. Instead of running off though, I can now do like I did as a child and hide in my sweater thanks to this awesome instructable!

So what will you need to make this awesome custom refuge? Not much actually; though understanding of sewing clothes/patterns does help.

– Sweater that fits you (to use for sizing)

– 2 yards of fabric: Ideally a thick warm knit

– Zipper: She used a 22 inch zipper and cut it down to 14 inches. Use a longer zipper if you want your sweater to be able to go more off the shoulder. YYK is an excellent brand from something sturdy and long lasting. (~$3)

– Thread ($2)

Tools required:

– Sewing machine

– Zipper foot

– Hand sewing needle

– Jean needle for Sewing Machine (for use when sewing the zipper on. The thick weave will break normal needles)

The full instructions can be found here on instructable, but the quick and dirty has you taking the fabric and cutting it to size, using a current sweater you own as the template for sizing. From there you can alter the bottom length, but the top will be extended to give and extra long cowl that the zipper will get attached to. The idea of not having to talk to anyone will certainly be a big motivator for me to finish it. ^_^


Kids Animal Coats

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In the spirit of staying warm and enjoying Halloween, I found a clothing maker who can help your child dress up all winter long. ūüėÄ

This adorable coat (and many more like it) were designed by British best friends (Naomi and Nat) to create a clothing line they’ve called Oliver and Vince. It’s all clothing specifically for children that’s made in bright and bold colors and patterns that children are drawn to. Their coats are so popular that you can only pre-order right now for coats to arrive in Spring of 2017. If you know how to sew however, there may be hope!

They’ve just released a new pattern book that you can order right here, and make your own super cute coats and clothes for your own kids! It ships world wide and you can even chose the option to have your copy signed for no extra cost. ūüôā I was already thinking of experimenting with clothing making, and now I think I’ve found some motivation!


Sweater Pillows! – A DIY Tutorial

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Hi there Thursday readers!

 

I found something that I thought was super cool, and easy to do if you have a little bit of sewing skills. It’s also a great way to re purpose your old wintertime sweaters to have new use, or if you’re looking for a great way to give a unique kind of gift, this may be an answer. You don’t need a lot of materials, but you do need some basic sewing know how and a sewing machine.

There is a full tutorial at the Tidbits website here, including lots of photos of the finished products and the process, but I’m going to give you the short version and perhaps some ideas for twists on the idea. ¬†Your materials are simple: an old sweater – preferably one with texture, and one that’s knit. though you can turn any sweater you would like into one of these beauties. ¬†You’re going to need a pillow form of a size that is smaller than your sweater or pillow stuffing. You can buy pillow forms at any local craft or sewing shop. ¬†You will also need some iron on (fusible) interfacing – preferably a light weight. ¬†Interfacing can be found at any fabric store, though you may want to ask an associate for help to find the type that you need. Remember: Fusible and lightweight. You may also want to pick up a piece of fabric chalk so you can draw on the fabric and know it will come out. You’ll also need an iron to heat the interfacing.

If you are using a pillow form, you will need make sure to leave enough extra room for the fluffiness of the pillow when you cut the sweater. ¬†So make sure that you have a little extra room on your sweater to be able to add seam allowance which – for those who aren’t sewers – is the amount of fabric that you will be sewing inward from the edge. ¬†You will be marking the outline of the pillow on the sweater, so when you do this, you will be wanting to leave a minimum of 1/2 inch extra all around. If you have an extra fluffy pillow, you may want to leave a little more. Keep in mind though, sweaters are stretchy, and though you’ll be using interfacing, there should be enough stretch left at the seams that you will still be able to put your pillow inside, even if it’s a little small.

So like I said above, your first step is to lay your old sweater out flat, and place your pillow form on top of it. If you’re going to be using stuffing, you won’t need to do this step as you will be filling it as opposed to stuffing with a form. Using a fabric marker, or some fabric chalk you will need to trace around the pillow for size. Remember to allow an extra 1/2 inch minimum for sewing space. ¬†As pictured above (and below) if your pillow reaches the sides of your sweater, you don’t need to cut them out. You can leave them closed, if you’d like.

Remember you will be using both sides of the sweater, so if you’re keeping the sides together that is an extra seam you don’t need to sew.

Your next step is to cut out two pieces of interfacing that are the same sizes as the pieces of sweater that you cut (see above picture). This is an extremely important step as this will keep your cushion¬†edges looking sharp and square.¬†When you are ready, crack out your iron and iron these two pieces to the¬†WRONG sides of the sweater. These are going to sit inside the pillow to keep it square. ¬†Follow the directions on your interfacing packaging for how to sew it to fabric. This is going to stick to the sweater, so make sure it’s placed accurately. This will keep the fabric from unraveling and moving when you’re trying to sew it, which is key to having this DIY turn out well. See below for the alternative.

Because sweaters are a knit as opposed to a regular cotton fabric, if you don’t have some kind of stiffener, they will collapse in on themselves like some kind of horrible cotton black hole, as is evidenced by the photo above. ¬†To avoid black holes… interfacing.

Take your sweater pieces with the interfacing fused on, and line them up right sides together. ¬†Pin all around and note a space to leave open for the filling or pillow form. ¬†If inserting a pillow inside, you will need a larger opening. ¬†If simply inserting stuffing, you can leave a smaller opening. Keep in mind, if you’re going to want to have your pillow to have a zipper, then this is the point when you would install it. I recommend this step for more experienced sewers. For less experienced sewers, you can continue on.
Sew all around all four sides, except for the hole that you are leaving for your pillow or your stuffing. Remember that if you’re putting a pillow form inside, you will need a hole that is almost the full length of one side (leaving maybe 2 inches from each corner if you’re planning a zipper. The hole can be a little smaller if you’re not planning to leave an opening). ¬†Trim the edges when you’re done, so that it’s neat and tidy and a little easier to flip inside out.
When your sewing is done, all you need to do is turn the pillow case inside out. You will need to make sure to form the corners so that they have a pointy edge, but you should be able to do that with a finger. If you need a tool, pick something that has a rounded end to push the corners out like the end of a toothbrush or a pen with the cap on. Something that won’t rip through the knit or the interfacing.

Your last step is to pin your opening closed and do some hand sewing to seal that last end. ¬†The only disadvantage to this is that you will not be washing or changing this pillow out. A great alternative to this, if you’re going to be making a number of these, would be ¬†to leave one edge on one side of the pillow about 4 inches longer than the rest. ¬†If you finish the outisde seams that would be left open, you can fold this extra flap over the back of the pillow like an envelope and add some velcro, or some buttons or even some toggles to seal your pillow in. You have lots of different ways this can be done.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I think they’re a really cool winter idea either for your home or for a gift that doesn’t have to be holiday related, and can be done in an afternoon. It also saves old sweaters that you don’t wear anymore from the trash, so what a great way to recycle!

 

Happy sewing!

~Megan


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.

 

Enjoy!

 

~Megan

 

 


Retro G Couture – A Lesson in the Fantastic

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and fellow Crafthackers!

As you know, Anime North¬†in Toronto¬†is coming up soon and I’m presenting another artist who will be attending it as a vendor this year (after a 4 or 5 year absence) – Retro G Couture. ¬†If you haven’t heard of Retro G, and don’t know the fabulous things that Georgie creates, then pay attention. Class is now in session.

A taste of this year’s offerings.

I have also personally known Georgie (as with Matthew in last week’s post) for quite some time and I have always been spreading the word of how wonderful her creations are. ¬†She designs and makes the most fabulous hats and jackets. ¬†They’re fit for everyday wear since the quality is supurb and they are certainly one of a kind pieces. ¬†I even own a couple of these lovely works of art myself and they look almost brand new, though I bought them probably about 7 or 8 years ago ¬†now.

Retro G¬†has been in different conventions and shows throughout the years. You can always find her at the One of a Kind Shows as well as the Canadian National Exhibition, but I’m happy to announce that she’s back at Anime North and she will be easy to recognize. Her creations are all reminiscent of carnivals and magic and of a time when people dressed to impress on the regular. ¬†Her garments are all fantastical creations that your eyes will just devour. ¬†When you go to her booth, don’t be intimidated by the outspoken garments you might see. Just wander on in and you’ll meet Georgie (and if you’re really lucky, you might also meet Stevie) who is so chock full of charm that you won’t even notice when she puts a hat on your head and a jacket around your shoulders. ¬†Be careful though, before you know it, you may be in love and go home with something new and spectacular!

Who’s wearing who, now? ūüėÄ

What I think is one of the coolest thing that Retro G does is that Georgie designs very distinct lines over the years. One year was themed around playing cards, another around Alice in Wonderland, others in stars and this year you’ll find something else that’s new and exciting. This always leaves you wanting more, and keeps you coming back for her different styles.

You can contact her on her website¬†and connect with her own blog as well as finding out what shows she will be doing throughout the year. ¬†Oh, and don’t forget, she doesn’t do clothing for just women. She has a men’s line as well (though it could be argued that the hats can go in either direction pretty easily. ¬†If you’re like me and have fairly broad shoulders for a lady, you can find some very lovely and flattering men’s jackets too. The biggest difference between the two is sometimes the broadness in the shoulders and sometimes the amount of lace. ¬†This is yet another thing that I love about these designs.

 

Drop on by to see Georgie along with all the other lovely vendors that are selling in the Dealer’s room. We are going to have some marvelous finds!

 

~Megan

 


Artist Feature: Chrononaut Mercantile

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Spring has been upon us a while now and we’re only now just feeling the warmth of the Sun and the fresh breeze that isn’t followed by a face full of snowflakes (just rain). The bright yet erratic weather constantly has me questioning what to bring with me when I go out… do I bring an umbrella? A hoodie? A jacket or maybe a light coat? What about in the Summer as nights get chilly? In fact, these very thoughts were going through my mind as I stared outside at the grey sky when Toni, our very own (p)resident Craft Hacker, mentioned having visited some amazing booths at C2E2. The one that immediately caught my attention: Chrononaut Mercantile, specializing in capes and various steampunk accessories, as well as pirate and Middle Age-inspired work. I like all of those things. And capes?¬† Well, they’re the perfect solution to my earlier predicament!

Chrononaut Mercantile, with their easy-to-navigate homepage, features some amazing photographs of their work throughout their well-organized catalog, allowing you to see their work from different angles, which is important when looking to purchase anything online.  Not only that, but they even feature a handy sizing chart to help you figure out your best fit.

Black Pirate Coat

Unique¬†and a perfect addition to any ensemble, whether you’re dressing up as a pirate, or you’re at the office trying to earn your own booty.

Beautiful and delicate detail can be found in all of their pieces.

Their homepage isn’t the only place you can browse and purchase products, the Chrononaut Mercantile Etsy is absolutely¬†replete with one of a kind treasures such as mudcloth bags, bead-embroidered necklaces, Steampunk earrings, and even scrap wool! I’m not sure what they don’t have, but I probably don’t want it.

Great variety of products in styles you wouldn’t think to put together, but you should have.

Their products are clearly made with the utmost care and artistry, showing years of hard work and dedication which, in itself, is truly inspiring. I couldn’t possibly post as many pictures of their work as I wanted to, so if you’re looking for some qualities pieces of art to wear,¬†be inspired by, or¬†slay dragons in, be sure to check them out!

WebsiteBlogEtsy

– Shalyn


Hooded in Warmth

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With temperatures dropping into the freezing range over here on the east coast by this weekend, I’ve been keeping up my search for things to help keep me warm. I’ve always loved the ease of hoodies, though I tend to lean towards the zipper style instead of the pull over ones and both of these artist make excellent designs in that style.

Princess Mononoke Hoodie by heartcard-cosplay

Heartcard-cosplay added a nice change the typical custom hoodie by changing the material. It does a nice job of mimicking the fur hood used by the character it was inspired by and it really makes this design work imho. She does brilliant cosplay work as well so be sure to give her gallery a look thru!

Glaceon Hoodie by Monostache

Monostache has been designing some brilliant character adaptations for the past two years, but it was her eeveeloution designs that caught my attention. They are made from a warm soft fleece and have such attention to detail. Each one captures the essential features of the character and the little addition of the pokeball on the zipper (or as a chest decal) really make her work stand out. Give her shop a look at if you’re in need of a new hoodie this winter.

~Nicole


Wearing your Fandom

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No matter how many times I’ve been to the same convention, there is always one thing that I will never know for sure. The temperature.

Now, I can already hear some of you saying ‘Isn’t that what the weather forecast is for? How can you not know what it’s going to be like?!’ Nay my friends. The weather forecast will help you not, as most cons take place in a hotel/convention center, and they, are your controlled climate overlords. It may be a hot summer day outside, but inside? I’m huddling under layers of clothes freezing behind my table that was unlucky enough to be under the A/C duct.

Thankfully, several talented artist have come to my rescue to provide me with not only a great clothing solution, but one that also lets me show my fandom love. ^_^ Today I want to show off the fantastic hoodies by envylicious.

 

BATGIRL HOODIE by envylicious

She is a Polish Artist that just has the cleanest lines on her hoodies that I’ve seen outside a manufactured design. Clearly she is one of those talented magical people that have mastered that strange sewing machine thing, as I just have no idea how these are done. I’m hoping she will branch out beyond comic book characters one day, but if you love hoodies and comics be sure to giver her gallery a look see. You will not regret it. ^_^