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Game of Thrones Embroidery

20 Apr

Ok so full confession I don’t actually watch the show.  I would like to- but I am far too cheap with my TV bill.  One day…. one day….

But how amazing is this? Michele Carragher is my new hero.


Check out Buzzfeed for more.

Cersei Lannister


Adventures in Artiness with MAB Studios

28 May

I got to set off for North Vancouver in the rain today carrying a bulging garment bag full of dresses (imagine trying to board a bus with a dead walrus over your shoulder) to visit MAB Ventures Studios.  If you think this doesn’t sound like an amazing way to spend your day off then you, sir/madam are incorrect.  MAB is an arts and entertainment agency involved in all sorts of amazing art stuff around Vancouver including shows, art classes, summer camps, an art collective, networking, and the Art World Expo.  It is the brainchild of Monika Blichar who is a lovely person, has a new idea every time she takes a breath and, I can only assume, never sleeps ever.  MAB art studio

This is the welcome sign, how cute is that?

I will have a selection of dresses (mostly one of a kinds) from my clothing line Crow and Gate Clothing on sale there for the summer and hopefully beyond.  I am super excited to have something I made hanging out in an art gallery.  I like to think of fashion as art, and I hope that being associated with a gallery will push me to be more creative.

crow and gate clothing


The studio is such a lovely welcoming space.  It was like a little oasis of colour and creativity in the middle of soggy, grey Vancouver.

MAB ventures studios

MAB ventures studios

Even the coffee maker has style.

If you are interested in taking a class or checking out some great merch by local artists and designers MAB Ventures Studios is located at 1335 Pemberton in North Vancouver.  You can also check out their website at

A Confession and Some Doomed Projects

3 Feb

Contrary to how it seems from the title this is not going to be a depressing post.  I promise. The confession is that despite the fact the I spend a crazy amount of time sewing, half of my job is sewing, my hobby is sewing, I went to fashion design school blah, blah, blah I have never in my life used a commercial pattern.  In fact I am afraid of them.

If I make my own pattern I know what I’m getting.  I know I haven’t wasted any gorgeous fabric on a garment that isn’t going to fit right or look good on me.  I read a bunch of sewing blogs like We Sew Retro and lately I have been getting curious.  I have also been noticing how time consuming it is to make new patterns all the time.

The other problem is that being a fashion designer by trade when people ask me if I made something I’m wearing and I say yes I want to have really made it.  Using someone else’s pattern seems like cheating.  Is this weird? No matter. I’m weird, why shouldn’t my sewing compass of morality be weird too.

That being said my lovely Aunt gave me a bunch of patterns a while ago and I’ve just had a look through them and picked out a few that look makeable.

Now most likely these will never get made, but it would save me so much time not to have to make a pattern every time I want to make a new dress so you never know.  I have to say I love the vintage-y illustrations.  Also most of these seem pretty simple to make.  They seem to take up a HUGE amount of fabric though.  Perhaps because I am broke and stingy I just make patterns to use the least amount of fabric possible.  For example I would never make anything without shoulder seams.  I usually buy 2m of fabric per dress, 3 if I’m feeling extravagant.  The kimono dress take 7. Gulp.

peanut butter

Oh I also got gifted some peanut butter today. mmm peanutty randomness

vintage sewing pattern

This is a pretty serious contender. I love the mixed prints on the middle view. Although it is pretty clear that views 1 and 3 think view 2 can’t really sing as well as she thinks she can.

vintage dress pattern

This kimono sleeve/ neckline combo is always a win. I would shorten it though I tend to get lost in long dresses.

Vintage sewing pattern

Accessories! I loathe making bag patterns, and I’m for sure making the top belt in some really funky yet-to-be-bought fabric.

vintage sundress pattern

Sundress with huge pockets? Yes please! If the pockets are not big enough to keep kittens in than they need to be bigger. (I learned this from a friend at design school, and I assume she is correct.)

vintage sewing pattern

I’m kind of dying over the illustrations on this one. I want all of these outfits. ALL of them. In orange. With the shoes. And I want her legs. I’ll finish this post later, I’ve got to visit the gym.

Well that is the tour of things I am probably never going to make.  Maybe I will come out of left field of this one and surprise myself.  I am always surprising myself.  The other day I found a pair of socks in my freezer.  Have a Happy Super Bowl everyone!

Victoria Day Skirt (Of the tilt your head and squint variety)

22 May

As a part of my recent initiative to make an outfit for all holidays I made this Victoria Day Skirt.  You kind of have to work with me here on how this is for Victoria Day, pretty much I typed ‘Victoria’ into the search box in the fabric section on Etsy and I ended up falling in love with this.  It’s a print from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is a bit of a stretch  for a stunt skirt but I couldn’t not buy it.  Hiding in this picture you can also see two of my other current projects, and one weird-ass cat hangar that I consider sewing-room art.

Also try as one might it is nearly impossible to find fabric printed with little images of Queen Victoria so my options were limited.  I was planning of making buttons out of some left over British change but it never happened.  Are you even allowed to make money into buttons?  Or is it like cutting up a flag where the government sends dudes in black to take you out as you wait for the bus?

Oh Right Yes I have a Blog

2 Apr

Hullo Internets!  I feel like I should post something because I generally keep abandoning this blog to do really important things like watch really old episodes of Mythbusters with my boyfriend which is clearly a) really worthwhile and b) a priority.  I am currently procrastinating feeding my frog. Yes, that is right, I have a frog and she is immortal but enough about that.  Here are some dresses:

Also this…

Sooo these are two out of three dresses that are comprising the first season of my little clothing line The Crow and Gate.  Exciting!  I am starting extremely small (were talking a company with $200 worth of start-up costs here people) and it will probably mostly be Etsy based but these dresses are going to be in Blushing Boutique a lovely Vancouver dress shop (and my former employer).  They also have a pretty cute little blog (which is the main reason this blog has been neglected)

Here’s my logo.  My very talented sister and her cohorts at Cassia Creative made it for me.  Yes she is aware she gave the crows people feet.  We both like them that way.

A Post By Any Other Name

22 Feb

Do you remember this dress that I posted about a looooong time ago?

Well, when I made the dress I also started making a matching jacket to go with it but of course that didn’t get done.  The poor thing sat the ‘I’ll do it later’ basket in my sewing room growing more and more morose.  Occasionally I would spare it a few words of encouragement such as “oh right this, I should finish this”, but generally it was a pretty depressing time to be a half finished jacket.

Basically the idea was to turn my sleeveless dress into a not-so-sleeveless dress for occasions of incliment weather.  I used some white vintage rick rack with gold threads in it for the sleeves and neck which was almost as fun as saying ‘rick rack’ but not quite.

Extra karma points to anyone who spots my neon chartreuse panda print PJ pants sticking out the bottom of my skirt but doesn’t comment.

Remnants of Chirstmas Sewing

22 Feb

Due to brokeness I decided to make all my presents this holiday.  Bascially I put out a collection.  I made three jackets, two dresses, an apron, a night gown, four scarves, and bally knows what else.  Of course I planned to photograph them all and of course I did not, but due to two rounds of alterations I still have this in my possesion.  It’s a wool jacket I made for my dad.  I used a plaid wool my destashing aunt gave me and some lining fabric from the endless series of nearly identical lining fabric my project advisor at FIT caused me to buy because she kept not liking any of them until she finally settled on the first.  Seriously. True story. I might add for catharsis’s sake that she also made me change a collar on a coat six or seven times before deciding on- I kid you not- the original collar.

My favorite part is the buttons which I made myself out of an old leather belt. Turns out I have got to a place in my neuroses where I can’t look at anything without thinking ‘how can I make this into clothes’.  Oh well at least I’m not making bombs.