Friday, June 24, 2011

Blooming Roses

Last weekend Allison and I decided to go take pictures of this church near my apartment because the roses are in bloom.  It is one of my favourite places in Toronto in June because all the roses are lined up against this metal fence in a whole variety of different pinks and reds, it's so amazing. We used the diana mini since I bought it months ago and have only used it maybe three times. I have to say, I love photography but I am simply rubbish at learning how to use it. I wish I had a magic wand that I could just say "make it look old timey" (this is probably why I use the iphone so much, even though I love the look of film). Anyway, we took the diana mini out and I think we got mixed results. 
I'm wearing: 
- a thrifted skirt that I must have bought about 5 years ago!
- a blouse that was Allison's great aunt's that she gave to me
- those MADRAS for a.p.c. sandals I always wear
- an aa bow
- and topshop sunglasses
And I apologize for the frown in this image, I was having a lovely time so I don't know where it came from?
Someone yelled "Sailor Moon" at me while we were walking, which I thought was pretty appropriate, even though I hadn't thought of it. Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, and has lots of fun stuff planned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pale Blue Eyes

Alright, so here is the video that Francine and I (well mostly Francine) having been working so hard on! The making of it was really fun, even though it did not go smoothly at all. On the day we went to go shoot I asked Francine how much footage her camera would take and we realized that we didn't have a memory card. Since we were already on the street car we decided to stop at "Mama's and Papa's Electric" (or a shop with a similarly sketchy name) to buy one. The memory card was clearly used, but we bought it anyway because there was no going back at this point. However, about half an hour into filming on the Toronto Island the memory card stopped working. So this entire movie was shot on Francine's I-phone, which was also running really low on batteries. Then when going to edit it some of the effects took us ages to figure out on final cut pro, and Francine may never speak to me again. But I really hope she does because I loved making it and I just love it in general!

In outfit #1 I wear:
- Vintage skirt found at Space, one of my favourite vintage stores in Toronto
- just an old tank top
- Francine's boat hat, I believe it's from H&M
- and another pair of Pretty Ballerinas that you cant really see but they are black, have a small heel, and have a rose on them

In outfit #2 I wear:
- white linen shorts made by me
- Francine's amazing white shirt that actually has rope around the collar that she found at Bicyclette

In outfit #3 I wear:
- navy romper from Anthropologie last year
- thrifted sweater

And finally in outfit #4 I wear:
- thrifted pants
- Francine's hat that she gave to me last year
- and a beautiful vintage jacket that I will definitely be posting about later so you can get a better look at it

Oh and the song we used was picked by Francine and is Pale Blue Eyes by the Velvet Underground.

In other news, I wanted to link you to a great article by Gala Darling on body image and blogging that I found really interesting. I know that I am constantly terrified that someone is going to leave a less than complimentary comment on here, so it was good for me to read it. And I also wanted to say that I saw the new Woody Allen movie last night and it's my favourite movie EVER! So you may want to check that out, I won't spoil it by discussing it any further.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I just wanted to wish my father, Gary a Happy Father's Day, he is definitely one of the best dressed gentlemen I know. The photo above is of him one day at the beach, and it's taken by Paula Thiessen who has actually taken quite a few good pictures of him. He always taught me to have my own personal style and not to listen to what everyone else said about it! I'm not sure if I'll ever achieve this, but I admire my fathers confidence and his genuine love of clothing (not to mention his thrifting abilities).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Picnic

So on Saturday I celebrated my birthday by having a picnic at Riverdale Farm, which is sort of like a park, but with a little museum and a petting zoo. It is definitely one of my favourite places in Toronto because it always has goats, beautiful flowers, and chickens with hammer-pants. There was supposed to be a thunder storm that day, and even though all signs were pointing to rain, I utterly refused to cancel the picnic. The day started off a little rough because I had to carry so much to the farm, but once we got there it was so magical to see all my friends together in such a special place.
My mother gave me that beautiful Edith Ackley doll made by my very talented friend Claire Louise Milne for my birthday. I first saw her on Claire's blog and I instantly fell in love, she has a dress, an apron, an undershirt, bloomers and a petticoat that are all removable. One day I might try making her something, but I doubt that I have the patience or the skill. All my friends gave me the loveliest gifts. I got sewing supplies, tote bags, beautiful china, scented powder, delicious treats, I totally cleaned house! And Jon bought me tickets to the ballet, which I'm so excited about. I also made that lovely cake from Smitten Kitchen and it was very likely my best cake yet. I had to carry it to the farm in a hat box because I didn't have one of those special containers, but it lasted well.
Oh and the lovely Lini from A Scent of Rosewood gave me a blogger award!! Part of the award is that you have to say 10 things about you, which I thought was appropriate since it is around my birthday (a time of reflection for me). I'm not very good at these but I'm going to give it a try.
1) My favourite colour is undoubtably blue
2) I studied art history in university and love nineteenth and early twentieth century paintings the best
3) I have two brothers, one older, one younger who are both so very different
4) I consider myself a cynical person but my friends all tell me I'm not
5) I play the piano but very poorly, which I am proud of because Elizabeth Bennett also does
6) I don't really like to cook, but I can definitely get behind baking
7) I complain about how much work I always have to do, but if I have free time I always fill it up with more work
8) I grew up in Thunder Bay, a somewhat small town that is very isolated from the rest of the world but often in a good way
9. I have very good friends, some of them very old and some of them very new
10. I am addicted to buying sewing patterns, because they hold so much possibility even though I will never get around to making them all
And now I am to elect three other bloggers that I believe deserve this award. So here goes.
Claire from Needlebook: because her tiny sewing is amazing
Bicyclette: a wonderful new blog and boutique here in Toronto that is doing wonders for my wardrobe
Give me Bows: where cute reigns over all
Oh, so I am wearing a vintage shirt from a lady that sells her clothing at the St. Lawrence Market every Sunday, she was very lovely and I wish I could remember her name. She told me that she bought the shirt in Nice, and it is indeed made in France. My slip/skirt and sweater is thrifted, my tights are from topshop, and I bought these beautiful ballet flats while in New York. The company Pretty Ballerinas is Spanish and has actually used a design of a real ballet slipper from the year 1918! They are made in Spain, and are just so beautifully crafted, I feel like a ballerina in them (which is a huge goal of mine).
Francine and I shot a short film today so there will be some photos of our adventures coming up later. I am very excited. I hope everyone has a lovely week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is it Fall Already??

So I know that it's not really even summer yet, but I'm already longing for fall. I just think that I'm more of a fall looking girl? I have short hair which is not really summery? It does not look 70s at all, AND I don't really tan that well? I also get really tired when it's hot. But enough complaining. All I meant to say is that I love the Fall lookbook from Keller that I saw on Jen McCabe's amazing blog Honey Kennedy.

The model Celia Rowlson-Hall you may recognize from her videos for Alexandra Grecco or from something else she has done that is equally amazing. She is definitely one of my biggest inspiration, and she's a ballerina, so obviously I love her. But aren't these images just perfect, I love they are both fun and serious at the same time! Beautiful, they are just beautiful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tiny Pretty Things

Now I love most things that are pretty, but when something is tiny and pretty, well then it's just too much! That's exactly how I feel about these Twylla Charles miniatures from The Little Dollhouse Company. I can't get over how perfect they are. Just so you get an idea of how small these are, the first one is only 7 inches high! I always wanted a dollhouse when I was young but never had one, and I guess I still want one now. But I'm decidedly against getting one until I have children, I have to stop myself at some point or things will get out of control. 
I know I've been a terrible blogger as of late, but this weekend it will be my birthday so I'll have lots to share on that, and Francine and I have been planning something special, so hopefully things will pick up a bit around here soon. But for now feast your eyes on these teensy tiny little treasures.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Slit Pocket Tutorial

Well, I'm sorry that I have taken so long to write this tutorial, but the truth is, writing a sewing tutorial is not as fun and exciting as it sounds! But here it is, and let me know if it makes sense, it's hard to know how much information to include in these thing.
Alright, so to start you cut out the pocket piece with your fabric folded (for a skirt with two pockets do this twice). If your skirt did not come with a slit pocket it's simple to make. Just make this curved shape and on one side make it straight, and be sure to include the two dots where you would like the pocket to open (those two spots need to be on the seam line, so if your seam allowance is 1.5 cm, then make your two slit opening spots 1.5 cm from the straight edge of your pocket.
Now the easiest way to mark your pocket opening is to stick a pin into the marked spot on your pattern piece and flip the pocket over and make an x shape with pencil or chalk right under the pin. So in the picture to the right I have put a pin through the fabric on the underside and am now marking it with pencil. It's only necessary to do this on one side of the fabric, but I often put it on both just to mark it as the right side of the fabric (this is important if your not using a patterned fabric). After cutting and marking, if you have a serger then at this point you should serge all vertical edges (so the front and back of your skirt and the straight edge of your pockets).
Now place your front pocket with the wrong side of the fabric touching the right side of the front of your skirt at the side seam. If you don't have a notch for a pocket, I usually place it one inch bellow the waist, but that's really up to you. Sew into the first x, stop with the needle down, pivot, continue to sew to the next dot, pivot again with the needle down, and sew to the edge.
Now sew a piece of twill tape with the edge of it touching your seam.
Clip the corners. My sewing teacher always says "clip till there's only one hair of fabric before the stitch" but that's a bit too close I find. Just clip really close to the corner.
Now this part may be difficult to do, but probably more just difficult to explain. Your going flip the pocket and starting from the bottom push the seam allowance towards the skirt.  Edge stitch on the skirt (not the pocket) slowly until you get to the corner, stop with the needle down, pivot and edge stitch up to the top pocket opening all the while making sure that your seam allowance is pushed towards your skirt, and then stop at the last corner, pivot with the needle down, and sew to the edge.
Now you can flip the front pocket all the way under, and your skirt should make this rectangle shape. At this point its nice to iron the pocket opening, but as you can see I didn't bother.
Now sew your back pocket piece to the front pocket piece, right sides together. Usually I use a 1/2 inch seam allowance for pockets, but it doesn't really matter. And if you have a server, serge around the pocket edges.
If you're doing two pockets do the same on the other side, and then sew the back skirt piece to the front skirt piece right sides together on the side seam. But, you should have the front of your skirt on the bottom so that when you get to a corner of the pocket you can reach you hand in between the skirt and push away the pocket opening so you don't end up sewing your pocket shut. 
And there you are, a nice little skirt pocket to put anything you want in!
Ok good luck. And if you have any questions let me know right away, and I'll reply pretty quickly, since I'm completely obsessed with sewing and my blog.