Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Workout in Style: My New Yoga Pants.

Hi guys!

My friends from CityChicksFitness inspired the topic of this posts. Many girls who are fitness enthusiasts care about not only feeling comfortable but also looking good at the gym. I am not an exception. Good fit and pretty colours are so much more conducive to pushing harder and sweating more, ne c'est pas? Well, that is why I came up with these capris/yoga pants.

Like for so many other of my creations I found this fabric at Fabricland! (duh!). It is a four-way stretch jersey with no "memory" whatsoever and a nice luster. These properties make it perfect for workout gear. I gave these capris two pleats on both pant sides front and back for fullness. I created a yoke which is doubled up and reinforced by an elastic at the top. The pant legs are gathered into doubled up cuffs at the bottom.

Here are my yoga pants in action:

They turned out to be such a good fit, so hip-hugging and comfortable that I do not want to take them off. Which means I tend to work out longer, yay! This is how fashion can "fool" you into living a healthier lifestyle! 

In case you are wondering whether I matched the colour of my top to my weights on purpose, I have to say that it was a happy accident. Accident because the weights were a gift; happy because I just love this colour and tend to own many an item in its various tints and shades. And yes, working out in my favourite colour also turns the chore into a happy event.

What about you? Do you tend to pick a certain colour for your exercising routines? Does it matter to you what you wear to the gym? 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trend Alert. All Lined Up.

Hello trend-watchers,

Another day - another trend. Today I wanted to share with you what I thought would be an overarching styling detail for Fall 2013. Seen on dresses and shirts before, contrasting collars and plackets are evolving into sharper style lines. For upcoming seasons, designers are turning these emphatic lines into trimming and piping details accentuating pockets, armholes, necklines, hems and seams.

This trend is not reserved for dress shirts solely. Dresses are being styled in a similarly sharp way:

Coincidentally, yours truly just came back from Holt Renfrew where I spotted this dress by Michael Kors:

As you can see, the trend is on and it's high time to make a sharply lined number for yourself. A self-made alternative to this trend can be easily found in a Vogue patterns collection.


And if you are interested in making a dress with contrasting style lines, you do not even need a special pattern. All you need to do is simply cut a bunch of really long bias strips and apply them over top of any seams or edges you wish to accentuate. Here, you are the designer!

Happy designing!

Image source:,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Creativity Booster

Hello creative souls!

Do you find yourself complaining about your boring day job? Do you feel that there is never enough time to realize all your creative ideas? Do you catch yourself thinking that since you are not doing what you really want to do full-time, you might as well not do it at all? Then this post is for you! I would like to recommend  you a book that just might resolve your inner struggles.

The Artist in the Office: How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week by Summer Pierre.

I would describe Summer Pierre as a realist and an optimist (No wonder: it's in her name!). In order to ease the tension between the job that pays the bills and you real life's work she suggests turning the negatives into the positives. She recommends:
  • instead of complaining about your day job, finding positive aspects about it: interesting people, free or discounted product, proximity to a beautiful place or store;
  • instead of being bored at work, bringing creativity to your workplace: if you are an illustrator she suggests drawing cards for coworkers instead of buying them;
  • instead of stressing the lack of time, changing your priorities and making time for making art, even if it is only 15 minutes a day. She mentions that the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carol Shields was a mother of five when she began to write. She wrote two pages a day no matter what which in the end of nine months added up to a manuscript of her first novel.
  • Instead of focusing on what you haven't done in your life list your accomplishments and you will see how much you have already achieved and how much there is to be proud of!
Pierre offers many more tips and suggestions on how to break the everyday routine and allow your artistic self thrive. It is a fast, easy and very encouraging read! I recommend this to anyone who has doubts about their path or their creativity. The key, Pierre says, is to not focus on the mundane but to bring in an interest everywhere you go!

A couple of thoughts for the road:

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trend Alert. Colour Blocked Dress.

Hello trend-watchers,

Today I am starting a new series of posts about what is happening in the fashion world. More precisely, I want to share with you my personal finds of what is trending on the runways. Pre-Fall  2013 runway shows have just finished their rounds. With so much visual information out there it can be confusing to distill the essential "in" elements. That is why I spent hours watching the show photos and have come up with a few pointers as to what to prepare for this Fall.

The most fashion forward among us may think that a colour-blocked dress has long become history, however, designers refuse to give it up and have cooked up a whole fresh batch of these brightly spotted numbers.

They come in various cuts and lengths, and the lines have become more fluid. If you are looking to get one of those for slightly less than what a designer label will cost you, then you may want to check out these Vogue Patterns

The beautiful thing about making a runway-inspired item yourself is that you can modify and adjust it whichever way you please. You are not obliged to stick to the pattern you use. You can always shorten or lengthen the sleeve or the hem, change the neckline, or shift a style line. I am not even mentioning the fun and freedom you can have with the colour choices!!! The options are endless!!! So although we have already seen similar dresses these past couple of seasons seems like they are here to stay (at least for now). If that's the case why not experiment and have fun with them!!!

Happy trending!

P.S. Check out my own take on a colour blocking dress here and top here.
Image source:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Timeless BURDA Fashion

Hello fellow-sewers!

I was overjoyed recently because a wonderful colleague of mine brought me a whole pile of Burda Style - English ed >magazines from 1997-1998 and just gave them to me. She was doing her spring cleaning and realized that she would not be needing them any more. All the patterns in them are still untouched!!! 

Imagine my happiness and delight when I laid my hands on them! You might ask, why would I want these old-fashioned silhouettes and clothes which these days looks more costume-y than stylish? Well, I cannot but argue with that. There are plenty of timeless classics in these magazines which can still be sewn and worn as current pieces today. 

For example, this jacket! With the recent masculine-ization of female fashion and the androgynous lines becoming more and more mainstream, this jacket looks nothing but current!

Oh oh, what was the overarching trend for the past spring/summer season? That's right: colour-blocking! What does this dress show? That's right: colour-blocking!

Many a fashionista splurged on a nice jumpsuit and totally rocked it lately. Think that was new?

Finally, a classic safari dress with its clean sharp lines never goes out of style!

As you can see everything old is new again and with the slight modification of hem lengths, style lines, and lapel shapes, all retro styles can be made to look as contemporary as can be. That is why these magazines are such a treasure for me!!! Thank you Dani!

P.S. I am currently working on a project from a contemporary BURDA collection, but stay tuned and I will show a piece I'll make out of these magnificent catalogs.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Comfy Boots are a Girl's Best Friend!

Hello dear readers,

I am not attempting to disrupt your style radar or offend your aesthetic sense with this image. Rather, it is simply me trying to cope with the inevitable - with the fact that sooner or later I do have to part with these boots. 

I am sure every girl has had this problem. You buy a shoe - not because you particularly like its design and not because it was on your wish list for the whole season prior to the purchase - but simply because it was an alright enough shoe. The fit was good; the price was fair. But soon after you start wearing it you discover that it is the most comfortable footwear your precious feet could possibly fancy wearing this season. No matter the other five perfectly new, pretty, high-heeled pairs of boots you have lined up in your closet, waiting for their turn to see and mesmerize the world. Who cares about those? Yes, they are glitzy and fancy! But, let's face it, what can compare to a snug comfort, dry warmth and just enough lift during a busy 12-hour-long day of a school-work-chores cycle of the winter months? I think you sense where I am going with this... For the past two seasons there simply was no other boot that could perform these duties for me quite as well as this miserable pair you see in the picture. I promise they didn't always look this miserable... For a long while, their value of style versus the amount of comfort earned them the perfect spot on the X-Y axes of my fashion radar. This picture is my ode to the faithful old boots, with which, alas, I now have to part. Fare well! You've served me well!

P.S. Coincidentally, this post reminded me of the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman, where the narrator tell the story of her life through the key items in her wardrobe. I watched the theatrical version of it at Panasonic Theatre a couple of years ago (a date idea of my now fiance!) and could totally relate. I too remember life events in terms of the clothes I wear when they happen.

I am curious whether you can relate to this too? Share your experiences in the comment section!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Outfit Idea #11. A Happy Dress for a Happy New Year!

Hello fashionistas!

I think you will agree that New Year's Eve is the kind of an occasion which simply has to be celebrated in style. This magical night only happens once a year. So which girl would not want to feel like a Cinderella at a ball while the clock strikes 12! The only exception is that she can stay at the ball and continue partying until the first day light of the New Year! And if you choose the right attire you will definitely not want to leave early.

For this special night I wanted to come up with a special dress. I have kept this gorgeous brown-and-gold lace fabric in my stash for a while. This time I finally found a perfect design for it in combination with this beautiful champagne taffeta. These fabric choices reminded me of sparkling drinks and fireworks and seemed appropriate for such a big holiday as New Years! I made this dress from McCall's pattern 6647 with minor modifications. 

The front of the dress has a seemingly simple silhouette. However, it harbours a little flirty surprise in the back. 

I switched the lengths around from what the pattern suggested and made the bottom layer longer than the lace layer. This modification created a border at the hem and added an extra design interests.

I love how this dress goes nicely both with the heels (for indoor partying ) and with my new cognac boots (for outdoor fun). This dress-with-boots combination came in especially handy this New Year because I had to travel from one party to the other in the middle of this festive yet chilly night.

My favourite gold-tone jewelry and the sky-high nude heels perfectly complete the look and make me feel like a princess! Cinderella could only dream of the kind of a ball that I had this year!

Wishing You a Happy and Stylish New Year!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Engagement Trip to Winter Wonderland

Hello darlings!

I have very happy news to share with you. I got engaged to the most wonderful man on the planet!!! It all happened in an intimate and romantic fashion at home under the Christmas Tree! Here is the gorgeous evidence of that fairy tale moment!

As a way to celebrate our engagement my man took me on a trip to a Winter Wonderland. We first went to Ste-Adele where we stayed at Hotel Le Chantecler

Hotel Le Chantecler

My fiance was determined to teach me to like downhill skiing (after a previous unpleasant experience) which is what we did for the whole day at Le Chantecler Ski Resort. I must admit he accomplished his mission as the resort had a very nice bunny hill and non-stop flurries ensured fresh powdered surface perfect for beginners like me.

This is our "Aliens" look

On the second day of our stay, we decided to literally go off the beaten path - in snow shoes. Spoiled by mild and snowless winter in Toronto I had no idea what I was up against in the Montreal area. The amount of snow in the region definitely called for warmer and sturdier shoes than what I had packed with me. Yet, I was so determined to go on this snowy adventure that my heeled boots did not stop me. My fiance insisted that he take a picture of my snowshoeing gear. 

Snowshoeing in style in Ste-Adele

My determination payed off: the virgin white fields and snow-clad trees were a magical sight to see.

Downtown Montreal was our next stop. Here we went to the Musee des Beaux-Arts, saw Luminotherapie installations in the Quartier des spectacles, watched Cirque du Soleil's last performance of SaltimBanco and just walked the streets of this lively city. All of the above activities deserve their own posts. I will limit myself to showing you a few pictures from this unforgettable trip!

Luminotherapie installation at Place des Festivals

Inside Place des Arts

Montreal definitely looks more glamorous in winter than during any other season! So there was no better way to celebrate this amazing event!