Friday, September 24, 2010

Style Bits and Pieces

For day to evening looks
With a suit add a delicate camisole, a romantic blouse, a statement shoe, jewelry or sequined or glitter top.
With a mini dress wear tights during the day and in the evening add jewelry, clutch purse, scarf or heals
* Consider wearing a sash
* Consider choosing sunny yellow scrubs
* Consider wearing black or dark bottoms
* Choose a red or bright top
* Don’t overlook white for top or bottom
* Wear your school colours
* Remember why you wear the scrubs: germs, easy to clean, easy to change into.
* Clear out your bag every night before you go to bed to help downsize the weight you are carrying
* Consider buying vintage online or through a specialized dealer
* Avoid black and beige and look for ones that fit with the majority or your wordrobe
* Purses are the most versatile way to complete your wardrobe
For the best eye glass frame for your face choose a shape that is opposite to your face shape.

Use accessories as a conversation starter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aunt Sally's Story

Aunt Sally was at one time a single lady. Because she has desires for different adventures she decided to ride a motorcycle.  She is also artistic and loves to dance and garden.

Aunt Sally was on her motorcycle and had an accident.  She now feels that she wants drivers to stay in their lane so that she can enjoy every freedom imaginable.

Aunt Sally went to Simcoe hospital in an ambulance.  While at Simcoe hospital the doctors examined the nature of the injury to the left leg and discovered that she needed urgent care.  She was then flown to Hamilton General.

A team of hospital staff, which included a resident doctor and nurses, made Aunt Sally’s hospital stay as effective as possible.  She had her first operation to heal her broken hip, pelvis and knee.

The next day Aunt Sally was introduced to her surgeon, Monday she had surgery on her knee and Wednesday she had surgery to her pelvis.  Since she needed more work done to her pelvis and opted for bone graph, she had a forth surgery a week later.

While at the hospital Aunt Sally had a lot of nurses that were very helpful and friendly working with her to help her heal.  Her first nights were spent on the burn unit. 

Aunt Sally moved to the Spine unit, West Wing and stayed in room 6-2 where she shared a room with Lady Carol.  Carol had a lot of work done on her spine but Aunt Sally was jealous that Carol could walk but was happy because her leg started to heal.

The West Wing Spine unit had a lot of nurses, health care workers, janitors and diet team to help patients that need surgery to their spine, pelvis and legs.  The nurses have had training at either College or University and had one to plenty of year’s experience.

The personal support workers (P.S.W.’s) often are new Canadians or training nurses and help with moving and cleaning patients.  The janitors clean the rooms and mop the floors; the diet team brings the food to all of the patients for breakfast, lunch and supper.

While Aunt Sally was at the hospital she had to wear a gown, which was provided by the hospital.  Since it was May she was quite warm so she asked Aunt Thressa to buy her some summer bed outfits.  Aunt Thressa went shopping and bought clothes for herself and Aunt Sally. 

Aunt Sally was introduced to physiotherapy, had a boot put on her foot to help stabilize it and moved into a bed chair so she could go outside.  Aunt Sally and Aunt Joanne spent a whole afternoon outside at emergency and at the patio by the cafeteria.  It was great.

Aunt Sally had a lot of visitors which she really enjoyed.  One Sunday Aunt Joanne, Aunt Martha, Martha’s boyfriend Mark, Grandma, Aunt Cindy, Big Uncle John and Lara and Sally’s friend Rita all came by.  We’re healing.

After two and a half weeks at Hamilton General Aunt Sally was transferred to Grand River hospital.  It was nice to change hospitals but she was put in a ward, waiting for a semi private room.

Sally’s roommates included two ladies 88 years old and one lady her age.  The nurses have been very attentive so far and the hospital is very effective. 

After one week at KW Grand River hospital Aunt Sally went with About town Medical Transfer to Sunnyside.  She stayed there for 2 months and then started to learn to walk again.

Aunt Sally is working with the Physiotherapist and his assistant to start walking with the help of a walker.  She also does exercises with her right leg and arms to strengthen them.

Aunt Sally was able to leave Sunnyside for a day trip.  She and Dave went to the beach which was about an hour drive.

Aunt Sally had a lot of time to draw in the hospital. This is when she starting writing and illustrating this book.  Most of the pictures are done in crayon.  The picture on the following page was drawn by Alexia.

Aunt Sally was able to go home but she still needed a lot of help.  She found a physiotherapist, had the help of her occupational therapist, and had attendant care and housecleaning.

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Construction of Style


1. Be sure to plan the alteration before you start.  Do an online research, read books or consult others for the best way to alter your garment
2. Part of your research should include working with the type of material.  Look at the garment tag to see what you’re working with.  If need be compare it to other clothing.
3. Practice basic sewing skills on samples.
4. On your comfortable with the basic you can do your own repairs.

Distressing Denim

     Look at an older pair of jeans to see where they are naturally worn out.  For example the bottom, hips, cuffs and knees.  Mark the area you want to distress with a pencil.  Use a mild bleach solution, wear rubber gloves and mix bleach with water.  Using a sponge dip solution, wring and apply to areas you would like to distress.  Wash jean immediately in cold water.  Fray the bottom edges with scissors.  Consider also using sandpaper, cheese graters, or steel brush.

A Full Understanding of the Construction of Clothing

     Sewing your own clothes is an effective way to express you personal style and create something unique that no one else has.  It also allows you to add pockets and details to be specific to your preferences.

     To begin the process of seeing first it helps to be aware of the tools that you can use.

Types of sewing machine accessories:
Straight stitch, zipper foot, invisible zipper foot, gathering foot, zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, over edge foot, narrow hemmer, pin tuck foot, button foot

Seam gauge, blind hemming guide

Types of Fabrics

Plain weave, basket weave, rib weave, twill weave, herringbone weave, satin weave, pile weave, swivel weave, dobby weave, jacquard weave
Tricot knits, raschel knit, plain jersey knit, purl knit, rib knit, double knit and pattern knits
Taffeta, metallic fabric, crepe, sheers, lace, leather, velvet, double faced fabric, stretch knit

Types of Hand Stitches

Backstitch, even backstitch and half-backstitch, prick stitch, even and uneven basting, diagonal basting, slip basting, blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch, chain stitch (decorative)

Slant hemming stitch, vertical hemming stitch, uneven slipstitch, flat catch stitch, blind-hemming stitch, blind catch stitch

Types of Seams
Pinked, stitched and pinked, zigzag, turned and stitched, serged, bias bound, net bound, French seam, mock French seam, flat-felled seam, self bound seam, double top stitched seam, welt seam, tuck seam, corded seams

Parts of a Garment (pattern pieces and language)
Facing, bodice, sleeves, cuffs, waistband, collar, belt

Strip band also called crewneck or mock turtle, turtleneck, flat collar, rolled collar, standing collar, shawl collar, rolled collar with stand

Sleeveless (with facing), set in sleeve, raglan, kimono

Patch pockets, in-seam, front hip, slashed pockets with welts

Chain, coil, invisible, separating zipper
Application-centered, lapped, fly front, invisible and separating

Athletic Style

Athletic Wear

      Athletic wear is available for many active occasions.  There is specific clothing for yoga, tennis, golf and cycling.  Many of the principles that you use to dress your best at home and at work can also be applied to active wear and swimwear.  There is a vast array to choose from that can be used for many activities such as sport skirts, sport dresses, running clothes, hiking apparel, workout clothes and jersey crossovers.

      One area that requires special attention for active wear is in the line of undergarment particularly bras.  Sports bras are found in sports outlets and specialty bra shops.  Different levels of activity require a various support.  For activities such as yoga, golf, walking and gym training you can use a low impact bra.  Hiking, cycling and paddles sports require a medium impact bra.  A high impact bra is used for running, tennis and mountain biking.

Yoga Wear

Pants* Harem, Capri, short, Bermuda, tights

* Tank tops, racer back tank top, camisole, halter bra top

Cover ups
* Hoodie, tunic, pullover, cardigan, larger tank
* Head band


     Many of the principles for fashion can be applied to swimwear such as dressing for your body shape and colour analysis. When choosing the best swimwear for your body, remember that various swimsuits are made in longer sizes. Swimwear can also be purchased with large cup sizes. Hoodies, tees, tunics, dresses, tank tunics and rash guard can all be worn as cover ups.

One piece* Halter, twistini, bandini

Tops* Banded halter, triangle top, twistini bra cup, tankini, halter style

* Short, medium brief, skirt(with sewn in brief), skort, tie side, boy bottom, low brief

Performance Swim

Monday, September 20, 2010

Organizing and Caring for Style

Organizing the Closet


     Closets can acquire clothes at alarming rates and some times it seems like there is still nothing to wear. By organizing the closet you will be able to take inventory of all of your clothing and determine essentials that may be missing. You will also purge your clothing, shoe and accessory inventory making room for more and the ability to organize your clothing in a way that you will able to make better connections and appreciation for what you do have. It may be a daunting task but the results will be rewarding. The first step is to take all of you clothes out of the closet.

      Next sort you clothes into various piles. These may include clothes that you will be giving to charity, your friends, throwing away or using for rags. Consider selling select items on the internet or consignment stores. It is recommended that clothes, shoes, undergarments, etc. that haven’t been worn in a year be disposed of. At this time you can also sort your clothing into separate colours and into piles for tops and piles for bottoms. As well it is recommended that you sort through accessories and undergarments, disposing of what you wont be wearing and whats to keep and organize.

     The next step is to plan your wardrobe placement. Keep a separate spot for outerwear, find a separate spot for off season clothing and also designate a spot for future repairs. Analyze your clothing to see what you need to fold and what you need to hang. At this time take inventory of everything that you have and carry this in your purse to help you make smarter purses. After you have fit your clothing back into your closet find a separate spot for accessories. You will enjoy your accessories more if they are displayed. When you are ready to return your undergarments to home consider using a separate drawer for socks, bras and underwear. If you cannot use a separate drawer find dividers to better organize your undergarments.

      Next step back and take a look. Rearrange anything that you may have missed. This could also be a time to consider upgrading your storage. You could use under bed storage, drawer organizers, drawer dividers and clear shoe boxes.

Caring for Natural Fabrics


Wash in warm or cool water.
Tumble dry at hot settings
Iron while damp


Dry clean to retain crisp finish
Can be wash is softness is preferred; shrinks when washed

Usually dry clean
If washable done by hand in mild suds
Avoid chlorine bleach
Iron at low temperature settings


Usually dry clean
Sweater can be washed in tepid water and mild suds
Do not use chlorine bleach
Some wool can be machine washed; follow instructions


Caring for Synthetic Fabrics


Usually dry clean
If washed done by hand or gentle cycle
If tumble dried use low setting

Machine wash


Wash by hand or on gentle cycle in warm water
Fabric softener
Tumble or drip dry


Wash in warm water by hand or machine
Tumble or drip dry
Fabric softener


Most needs dry cleaning
Machine wash on gentle cycle in warm water
Iron while damp on moderate setting


Wash by hand or gentle cycle
Avoid chlorine bleach
Drip or tumble dry
Iron at low temperature

Tumble dry with fabric softener

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seasonal Archetypes-Colour Analysis

      Finding your seasonal colour is one tool to find your best look. There are a few way to find out what your seasonal colour is. First we need to find your undertone. One way to do these is by determining whether gold or silver brings out your skin. If gold is the colour than you have warm undertones and are either a spring or fall. If silver is the colour that highlights your feature than your undertones are cool and you are either a summer or winter. Another way to determine this is by studying you skin tone and if you have peach or gold undertones you have warm undertones and once again you are either a spring or fall. If you have pink or bluish you have cool undertones you are either a summer or winter.

     Then how do you determine whether you are a spring or fall, summer or winter. If you are a spring you will have strawberry blond or light auburn hair and if you are a fall you will have true red, auburn or copper hair. As a summer you have a gentle contrast between your hair and skin colour. As a winter you have a drastic contrast between your hair and skin colour.


As a spring it is best to wear rich warm colours. For outerwear, suits, pants and jackets choose green, browns and warm shades of purple.

For dresses, scarves and tops choose yellows, red, orange, sailor blue, peach, warm pink, salmon, coral and turquoise.

The book Work It by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo, forward by Lisa Airan, M.D.  explains the colourtype with different terms.  Spring is Sun, Summer is Moon, Autumn is Earth and Winter is Star.  For Sun (Spring) they add cream and warm blues.


     As you summer it is best to choose cooler tones.  Think of the tones of the summer garden.  For jackets, suits and pants it is best to choose grays and blues.
For dresses, tops and scarves it is best to choose blues, silver, greens, cool violets, blue green, cloud white, pinks, lavender, fuchsia, rose, mauve and watermelon.

I n Work It, for Moon (Summer) they add sandy tones, yellow, fuchsia and magenta.


     As an autumn it best to choose warm colours.  For jackets pants and suits choose browns, warm shades or purple or forest or olive greens.

For tops, dresses and scarves choose yellows, reds, orange, copper, bronze, gold, deep teal, cinnamon, rust, olive, and sage.

In Work It, for Earth (Autumn) they add creams, light orange, marigold and warm blues.


As a winter you will look best in cool colours. Often an objective will be to wear a strong contrast in pieces of clothing to match with the strong contrast or your hair and skin. For jackets, suits and pants choose shade of gray, white and black.

For tops, dresses and scarves choose silver, blue, green, soft grays, cool violets, white, ruby red, emerald green, royal blue, purple and hot pink.

In Work It for Star (Winter) they add sandy shades, pales blues, yellow and pale cool greens.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Foundation to Style-Thoughts on Undergarments

Goodevening Readers,

The Bra

      It is believed that seventy to eighty five percent of ladies wear the wrong size bra. Wow! Why would this number be so high? One reason could be that women buy the size that they wan rather than the one that fits. Our bodies are ever changing with weight fluctuations and this is always evident in the breast. With these changing weight fluctuations many women do not consider the importance of fitting our bras accordingly. Bra shopping can be a very difficult experience made even more difficult due to each country having a slightly different sizing system.

The area of incorrect fit is in the both the band size and cup size.

The solution to finding the right bra size can be in finding bras at a specialty shop and get professionally fitted. Some carriers do not carry a full range of sizes and therefore one need to find a specialty bra shop. A professional fitter will carry AA to K. When trying on bras you could also have a friend help point out that the band size and cup size is the right fit.
When founding the right bra measurements are only a starting point. First measure around your rib cage directly below your bust and add a couple of inches and this becomes your band size. Then measure the fullest part of your bust. Subtract your band size and you will have you cup size according to the following chart.


An important thing to remember when trying on bras is to try them on using the last hooks because as they relax you want to be able to tighten them. As well understand that band size and cup size compliment each other, when you need to change your band size you might need a different cup size to compensate for the change. Don
t get hung up on the number and letter combo.
Every wardrode has different requirements for foundation garments.  This is a sample of a few:

 Contour Bra 
                                Sport Bra
         Lacy Bra                     
      Strapless Bra
      Demi Bra 
       Caring for Lingerie, Bras, Swimwear and Shape wear
      There are some guidelines to keep your lingerie, bras swimwear and shape wear lasting, maintaining its shape and looking its best.
      1. Wash by hand with a gentle cleanser.
      2. Avoid washing in hot water.
      3. Wash bras after three to five wearing.  More often with increased perspiration.
      4. Wear dark bras under dark clothing.
      5. Never use bleach on swimwear because it will eat the spandex.  Find alternative solutions for removing stains.
      6. Squeeze out water and hang to dry.
           When organizing you intimate apparel use separate drawers or dividers.  Choose one for socks one for bras, one for underwear, and another for slips, shapers, hosiery, etc.  Through out any lingerie that you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing, has little elasticity, is worn out, frayed or thread bare.  As well get ride of anything that hasn’t been worn in over a year and doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable.  Consider using sachets to help keep you undergarment smelling fresh.
      Making Lingerie
                 Making your own lingerie can be an enjoyable place to start sewing. You could start with easy project such as half slips, full slip and camisoles and enjoy a custom fit. Then move on to projects such as tap pants, sleep shirts, robes and pajamas. As well as enjoying custom made nightwear these could be fantastic gifts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Accenting All The Right Places

Hi Readers

Accenting The Waist

     One of the most important places to accent is the waistline.  Coco Chanel was certainly a pioneer in design but looking back at time she seemed to loose the importance of the waistline.  No matter what your shape is the majority of the time is is best to emphasis a waist.  Creating the waistline can be achieved by tucking in seperates, style lines and wearing a belt.  A dress, top or swimsuit with a surplice design drawing the eye to the waist is also very effective in creating an attractive waistline.  A fitted top can also emphasis the waist.  Just one tip thoug if you wear an obvious belt, never wear a big necklace.

The surplice top

Style lines

Tuck in separates

Wear a belt

Accenting The Face

      Accenting the face is important because this is the most attractive and interesting part of all of us.  As well accenting the face draws the eyes upward achieving the appearance of height.  This is achieved by a statement necklace, statement earrings or a hat. Huge earrings bring all of the attention to your face with no need for a matching necklace. Long necklaces add length to a short neck and bring attention away from hips and to the front and center of your body.  Wearing a scarf is also a great way to draw attention towards our face.

Accenting The Arms/Hands

      A statement bracelet helps to make the arms appear long, lean and slender.  The hands being another interesting and attractive feature wearing a statement bracelet brings attention to this. 

Attention to the Feet

     It has been said that a good quality pair of shoes can make any outfit look polished.  Wear the hem of your pants so that they fall to the shoes and don't touch the ground or rise above.  A knee length skirt will help to lengthen the legs and further show a great pair of shoes. Round toed high heeled give a perfect curve to your calf and don’t look trampy.
      Help keeping your shoe wardrobe looking great by polishing shoes and throwing or giving away shoes not worn.  In addition to the common black shoe consider variations of dark brown, tan, plum, red, rust and olive green.  These colours are more complimentary and stylish than the basic black.  Remember it is better to co-ordinate shoes to an outfit than match it.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Is Your Personal Style?

Good afternoon;

      What is your personal style?  Looking through fashions in magazines and out on the streets it is enjoyable to make a connection between what you see and styles that you have chosen in the past, are wearing right now or hope to wear in the future.  My hope for this piece is for you to make connections to the various styles.


The country style consists of cowboy boots, denim, suede, plaid, corduroy, button up shirts, equestrian, vests, short shorts and white cotton.


The classic style consists of simplicity and chic wardrobe and accessories.  Cardigans, blazers, diamonds, boots, pearls, button down shirts, heals and ballet flats are often worn with this look.

Bohemian Chic

The Olsen twins and Sienna Miller are famous for their boho style.  This style consists of
chunky bracelets, vegan friendly sandals, cowboy boots, big dangly earrings, tunics, floral prints, printed maxi dress and scarves.


Black, black and more black. Goth styling is often tattoo inspired and consists of stripped pants, leather, zippers, plaid, dark red, brocade, hardware, chokers, fishnet stockings, studs and leopard prints.


Courtney Love and Johnny Depp are often styled in grunge.  It consists of plaid shirts, ripped jeans, Doc Martens, distressed denim, layered knits, plaid flowery dresses, leggings, cut off jeans, sneakers, tie dye and coveralls.  Grunge is also defined by natural fabrics.


Lace, pearls, Coco channel, ribbons, ruffles, satin and sequins help to define the glamorous style.
Black, grey, pink, peach, mauve, red and white are often colours associated with this look.


Ruffles, flowers, tea dress, drawstring and chiffon help create the romantic look.

Rock and Roll

To get the rock and roll look wear sequins, satin, leopard prints, corsets, halter styles, skulls, horizontal stripes, stilettos, angel wings, symbols, black leather, big hair, t-shirt dresses, studs, chains, white denim and skinny jeans.


The futuistic look has modern lines, daring looks, metallic, padded shoulders, plastic, geometric patterns, synthetics and padded hips.


Deta VonTeese is a really good example of a celebrity that wears the retro style.  It can consist of
sixties full skirts, velour, headbands, princess lines, darts, beehives, polka dots, bell bottoms, pleated skirts, argyle, ruffles, tunics and ties.


Golf shirts, cardigans, sweater tied over shoulders, argyle, pleated skirts, plaid, button down shirts, knee high socks, ties, dark denim, cable knit sweaters, T shirt dresses, flats and sweater vest.

s and tanks, jewelry made of earthy materials and safari jackets.


Casual jeans, sweatshirts, hoodies, sneakers, casual T



Camouflage, boots, army green, fishnet stockings, trench coats, military waist coats, military jackets, harem style pants, pockets on pants, mesh clothing

Also Minimalism, Nautical and Funk