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The Incurable Hobbyist Seven: Fun with Fashion

Posted by Christine / January 7, 2012

IMG_0206.JPG The Incurable Hobbyist is a highly subjective monthly series that examines various hobbies and the areas of the city that offer means to facilitate their practice. The goal is to inspire curious readers to develop hobbies they'll grow to love dearly, filling their hearts with the singular joy that comes with learning something special, something new.

My first experience with fashion design was at age 15. I chose to design and create a tea dress modeled after Titanic-era fashions (roughly 1910-1915).

If you're making a garment for yourself, you will first need to have yourself measured. Concern for accuracy will depend on how tailored or form fitting you'd like your design. For women, we typically must have a height, waist, hips and bust measurement. Men tend to opt for height, waist, hips, chest, sleeve, inseam and collar measurements.

You also might also want to invest in a dress form. I recall, not so fondly, putting the unfinished dress on myself and pinning it clumsily (pricking myself several times in the process), until it bore some resemblance to a tailored dress. I was 15 and untrained, afterall.

If you're choosing to draft your own, unique design rather than strictly adhering to a pattern you've purchased at the store, your process will be more difficult. However, it will also be arguably more rewarding. As a general rule, it's best to treat parts of the body as separate, thinking in terms of seams and where they ought to go.

Whether you're creating a period piece or something more contemporary, inspiration is a Google toolbar away. However, you can also find a litany of fashion-related books at your local Chapters or Indigo.

My design consisted of a classic A-line short sleeve dress, a long lace vest over layer with ruffle trim, and a gold sash belt with pointed, tassel embellished ends. Finally, a brooch I purchased at the thrift store would secure the belt in place.

I traveled to my local Walmart to find a pattern that best matched what I sought to do. An A-line short sleeve dress was incredibly easy to find. You may also purchase patterns at Fabricville. Both these places can also cater to your fabric needs. This directory is particularly useful.

One must pay special attention to the fabrics they're choosing and ensure they're harmonious with the design. Stiffer fabrics, for example, are better if your design is very structured.

I used to purchase dresses from Value Village and shorten them or add lace trims to them. If that's the case, you can easily make these minor adjustments by hand. You may purchase sewing kits in many places. Again, Walmart and Zellers have them.

Sewing machines are almost always necessary for more ambitious projects. If you're lucky, you've inherited one from a parent or grandparent. If not, you may purchase them at several locations. If you want to go the second-hand route, you'll easily find one at Value Village or any number of thrift stores and flea markets. If you'd like to purchase one brand-new Laine Couture Decor, located on Sherbrooke street is an option. Canadian Tire has a more modest selection. Singer is the brand you'll likely come across the most. A classic, reliable choice.

Accessory design is another fashion venture. Accessories are typically easier and quicker to make than garments, making it an optimal choice for the more casual hobbyist.

I once went to the St. Michael Bazar and acquired a handful of disassembled watches for about 50 cents.

I made three of the watches into pins for a white denim I bought at American Apparel. I took the watch parts and brushed a small rectangular bit of super glue on the backs. I then glued down pin backs that I purchased at Dollarama. I cut out circular pieces of felt fabric and cut out a small rectangular shape in the middle of each. I brushed super glue on the back of the watches and pressed down the felt pieces. The rectangular cut out leaves a space for the pin back to slide through. I sewed down the watches to keep them in place.

I also super glued (albeit sloppily) one of the skeletal watches onto a circular pendant to create a necklace. Voila, you've got yourself an edgy, Steam Punk-inspired embellishment with only a little effort.

To my surprise, these pieces have gathered many kind compliments. They're a great example of how a truly unique, home-made jewelry piece can bring life and whimsy to an outfit.

More recently, my grandmother gave me a watch part jewelry kit made by Curiosity Kits. The box boasts an objective, to "turn tiny timepiece parts into unique, timeless jewellry." Included in the kit are: watch parts, kidney wires, medium hoop earrings, bar pin, barette, glue, brush and illustrated instructions. These kind of kits are great fun and can gently usher in the more hesitant or unsure hobbyist. You can find such accessory kits at places like Ted's Hobby Shop or Le Valet D'Coeur.

So said the maestro:

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."

-Coco Chanel

Photograph by yours truly.

Discussion

11 Comments

Michelle / January 11, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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Clever write up! : )
Auntie Lou-Lou / March 8, 2012 at 04:53 am
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Incredibly, fascinating journalism, I'll say!
Your creativity is truly captivating.
Christine / March 10, 2012 at 03:06 pm
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Thanks!
Kanchipuram sarees / June 5, 2018 at 10:56 pm
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nice post
golu dolls / June 5, 2018 at 10:56 pm
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nice post
Kanchipuram silk Sarees / July 1, 2018 at 10:15 pm
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nice post
golu dolls / July 1, 2018 at 10:16 pm
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nice post
kanchipuram Silk / January 8, 2019 at 06:18 am
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Nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 8, 2019 at 06:18 am
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Nice post
navarathri golu / January 8, 2019 at 06:18 am
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Nice post
herbal powder / January 8, 2019 at 06:18 am
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Nice post

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