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Sewing Patterns For Autumn

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Over-sized woolen coats, ombre stockings, lace blouses, hand-dyed silky shifts, pointy shoulders, tailored jackets: this Autumn beckons romance. When the weather turns and we spend more time indoors (or spend even more time figuring out how to stay warm out-of-doors), nostalgia seems to creep in and thoughts turn to old times. It’s a wonderful time to cozy up and make a new coat, our Nancy pattern has romantic and vintage inspired elements and it comes in most sizes. Layering can be so fun and our Sarah capelet is the perfect ingredient for warmth. Our leggings pattern is so versatile you can virtually make a pair in every color. A cute pleated skirt is one staple you will want to make for Fall, pair it with a lace camisole and colored tights!

Happy Autumn!

Love the 80s?

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The images above are not from 30 years ago. They are fresh off the international runways emitting an 80s decadence so BIG you cannot ignore. Shoulder pads. Flat tops. Androgyny. Leather. Fringe. I have MTV’s “I Love the 80s” computer voice intro ringing in my head as I look at these images. I was born in the 80s and went through some of the fashion trends with innocent dignity (over-sized sweaters with tight black stir-ups, jazz pants even when I wasn’t dancing), but I was very young, too young to get into boxy jackets, enormous shoulder pads and androgyny of the time. These silhouettes have humor, are ironic, bold and brazen. Do they make you nostalgic for the good old days or simply want to never see shoulder pads again?

Fringe Benefits

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Do you <3 fringe? Lately there has been a resurgence of fringe- and no offense to those who have been rocking fringe all along- a la suede jackets from the 60s and moccasins- but there is a new kind of fringe on the horizon. This fringe is soft and slinky (Rodarte), conceptually cut in leather (Balenciaga), dyed in an ombre fashion (Topshop), and quite feminine, yet is has an edge that is very current.

I used to be a dancer and my costumes always seemed to have some sort of neon fringe attached to them, and this same fringe is now on skirts, t-shirts, bags- but it is dyed neutral tones creating an almost gothic look, like Marchesa Casati might have worn. I am really loving the comeback. Do you?

Faux Or Against It?

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Do you wear fur? Last weekend, while visiting home in Massachusetts, I went to an old big barn which has been converted into an antique shop filled with turn of the century furniture, chandeliers, vintage notions and more. I found this old fur stole and tried it on for fun. My boyfriend’s mom thought it was so cute she bought it for me. The smell of the antiquated fabric made my nose itch and my skin prickly- but there was something about the silhouette I found so charming. Also, I like old things, and the fact that this stole holds a story, a history, makes me wonder in awe about who used to wear it & what her life was like. I have yet to wear it out yet though- it sits in the back of my car wrapped up carefully, away from judgement and harm.

Is there a difference between wearing vintage fur vs. purchasing a new mink coat? Do you wear fur, or sew with it? Are you anti-fur? Is it the same as being against leather? Do you like the look of fur? Do you wear faux fur?

Independent Designers Guide

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I wrote an entry last week asking for questions you all have about being an independent designer and which areas you need advice in. The majority of comments led me to first touch on online sales & marketing, particularly selling your wares on websites such as Etsy, or your own. I spoke to editor-in-chief of Etsy’s blog,

Music Makes Fashion Makes Music...

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The connection between fashion and music is one of everlasting glory. Taking Londoners by storm in the early 1960s, fashion’s influence on music (and vice versa), became something incredibly meaningful and symbolic to a generation of young revolutionary minds. Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm Mclaren dressed the Sex Pistols early in the decade in ripped up t-shirts with safety pins and bondage gear- which literally kick-started the “punk” fashion aesthetic. Mary Quant invented the mini skirt and hot pant which every hippy & freedom lover of the 60s adapted into their wardrobes. The bikini made it’s

The September Issue

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If one is expecting a psychological breakdown of who Anna Wintour really is and why, one may be disappointed upon viewing R.J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue. But if one is keen on witnessing the inner-workings and staunch editing that goes on behind the gilded doors of the fashion magazine American Vogue, one will be thoroughly enchanted.

How Do You Do Denim?

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Denim has been around since the late 18th century- it’s origins residing in France, where the French once created a sturdy cloth called “serge” in the city of Nimes; hence denim’s original title “serge de Nimes”, which was soon thereafter shortened to Denim.

For Lovely Mothers-To-Be

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Does “maternity fashion” sound like an oxymoron to you? Nora recently mentioned to me that many expectant mothers on BurdaStyle have been asking for maternity-wear tips and tutorials. This week, we bring to you (courtesy of Nikkishell’s pattern altering know-how) fashion tips & patterns to accommodate a swelling belly- whether it be your own or a loved one’s.

Fall Off The Runway Into Reality

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Fall is coming- I know, I know, you don’t want to hear it, but I have pulled together a transitional outfit you can wear from now until the holiday season and look fresh & cool depending upon how you style it.

Spotlight On: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

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Have you heard of the conceptual brand Slow and Steady Wins the Race? I am very late catching on to this label but while I was looking for shoes this Spring I kept stumbling upon these cute wedge heels and flats (which are literally labeled “ballet flat”) by a seemingly understated label. I began to dig for information on the brand. As you can see, the website is set up with chapters,

Amuse Me

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The images above are photographs of a few of fashion’s extremely influential women. Beneath each photo are a few examples of how these iconic women’s styles have seeped into modern fashion consciousness. These women are certainly not your typical role models- they stood out for their idiosyncratic fashion style and legendary eccentricities; one paraded around Venice with a pair of leashed cheetahs while wearing live snakes as jewellery, one single-handedly pioneered the modern woman’s new look, one became a muse to some of the 20th century’s most distinguished writers and artists, including Wyndham Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Tristan Tzara, Ezra Pound, and Louis Aragon.

Do you know who they are? Whose fashion sense do you admire? Who (or what) is your muse?

The T-Shirt: How Do You Style It?

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How many t-shirts do you own? Lately, and I don’t know if this is only in New York (nevermind- I think Tokyo wins), I have noticed more t-shirts on girls & boys than ever before.

Open Studio: Hammered Silk & Lace Wrap

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I heart lace. Did you know that lace-making is an ancient craft? A true lace, or passement is created when a thread of flax, cotton, silk, gold or silver is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric.

The Look: How to Make it Yourself

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I’ve been so excited for June to come as this month we’re focusing on folk, vintage and ethnic influences in fashion. Ever since my father had me singing Rolling Stones songs & playing his guitar I have romanticized living in the 70’s- from music to fashion, it was a wild time. This post explains what’s we’re channeling from decades past and how to make these looks yourself!

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