Monday, January 31, 2011

My hair accessories at OLD SKOOL CRAFT SALE

To start your year and leap into Valentine's Day, pass by the OLD SKOOL CRAFT sale at St.Michel's Church (105 St.Viateur.W. corner of St.Urbain). I will have a table displayed of my Hair accessories & brooches (all hand made of wool,tulle,pearls,lace,silk and vintage buttons.)Curious? Please check out the OLD SKOOL CRAFTS WEBSITE for more info.!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mini Tutorials : 1st Project : Vintage Apron

I am constantly adding tips on my FB page (Private Sewing lessons with N.Picard)
but for those of you aspiring seamstresses who are taking a peak at my blog at this moment. I have a treat for you! This tutorial is in honor of my talented sister who can seriously WOW! you with her intense baking & cooking skills. I mean when she makes dinner expect to get the whole chicken(lathered in butter) with all the trimmings.
So for the 1st project of the week before you step into the kitchen and get messy, Try this sweet little Vintage Apron pattern. It requires very little fabric and it's a good way to jump into sewing.
Beginners are welcome!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011



January 13, 2011

Handmade clothing is having its fashion moment
By Tracy Nesdoly
Special to the Star
In a world of knock-off fashion, international runways and Toronto boutiques are embracing anything embroidered, crocheted or knitted

You might not think that chunky sweater Grandma gave you for Christmas is on the cutting edge of fashion, but you'd be wrong.

The handmade, mistakes and all, is having a major moment.

No less an arbiter of style and trend than Phoebe Philo, Céline's creative director, made news with her spring 2011 collection by sending a handwoven coat down the runway - and "embracing the artisanal" is something that's Nicole Phelps called an unintentional rebuff to the knock-off artists who copy Céline's sleek and minimalist look.

The Stella McCartney spring offering, found at 119 Corbo in Yorkville, includes crochet bags and crochet-embellished tanks and even jeans, and British Vogue says "granny sweaters are big news again," pointing to Miu Miu sweaters, See by Chloe and Marc by Marc Jacobs coats as evidence in a fashion spread that included some of the hottest It Girls in their best big and chunky knits.

Crediting them with having an unmatched trend-spotting record, asked the founders of Opening Ceremony, the U.S. chain considered a clearing house for international cool, for their predictions for the next 10 years. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim opined that craftsmanship will be appreciated more and more, and often that means handcrafted: "We see American houses employing the kind of artisanal specialists like the ateliers of France. In the vein of Rodarte's hand-knit sweaters we will increasingly see artisanal qualities in American fashion houses."

Trend-devouring mass retailers including Club Monaco are getting in on the handmade revolution, offering chunky cardigans lovingly knit by human hands.

"Everything in fashion is so fast, and fashion is knocked off so quickly, that something hand done, a piece that you will savour forever, seems very special and worth the money," says Toronto designer Rita Liefhebber, who included hand knits in her fall collection, and followed that up with loose hand-knit vests and tanks and hand-dyed dresses for spring. "The economy is such that when you look at a piece and know you can find something similar at H&M, you go that route. Fast fashion has the flip side – I think people want something that took time, and is perfectly imperfect."

"I think people are attracted to the authenticity of the handmade," says Ewanika. "Maybe it coincides with the recession, where the idea of investment dressing and having fewer pieces means you want the ones you do splurge on to be very special and truly unique."

When Kim Newport-Mimran opened Seventy Seven, the Pink Tartan flagship last month, she included knitting kits in the product mix alongside her own ready-to-wear collection.

"I love the graphic element hand knits offer, and a hand knit is so special and luxe," Newport-Mimran says. "And anyone can do it – my 9-year old has a project on the go and I think I'll frame it!"

And she sees a broader societal trend: "Beautiful handcrafted product is appreciated in a world of mass production. It stands out and says 'I am special.' " For her own collection, she says, "I'm currently looking at different techniques with fabric and construction to give the collection an element of hand made."

For some, seeing a gorgeous handmade sweater or scarf is just the incentive needed to embark on a hobby in earnest. Knitting clubs sprung up a number of years ago when news hit that celebrities sometimes take to the needles to reduce stress and kill time on set, and now sewing clubs seem to be hitting their stride.

"I have seen so many blogs spring up about sewing where they go into minute detail about every step of the way in the projects they've started. These are people who have never grown up with patterns or home sewing, and the idea that you can make something yourself is fascinating to them," says Ewanika. "My industrial-sewing repair place said they have never sold so many domestic or quasi-industrial machines."

It seems there's just something scrumptious about creating your very own piece. Americo Original at 456 Queen St. W. sells gorgeously coloured yarns, most of them from South America, and has created a full range of knitting patterns based on current trends. The knitting classes are routinely sold out.

"My original idea was to open a home accessories store," says Nicole Sibonney, who opened Americo four years ago. "But when I was sourcing product in Argentina and saw the raw materials for the fabrics, I was so inspired I changed direction."

Americo is now mostly a yarn and knitting shop for hobbyists, though there remains a smattering of the original idea in the form of cosy woven blankets and other home accents.

"Knitting allows you to be creative, and it's meditative and therapeutic," says Sibonney, explaining the appeal. "Knitting sort of balances our wants. You can't make anything as fast as you can purchase it. It's good to slow down a little."

Please see the full article here: Hand made clothing having a fashion moment

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Creative Start : Sewing into your new year

Hello to all you aspiring Seamstresses and Designers!

First off, Happy new year!...Get ready to start your creative year with a little sewing session with yours truly. I have added 2 NEW courses to my list (visit my FB page!) :for those of you that need a refresher course or perhaps something a little different.

1) Mini Tutorials (a quick fix in 2 hours) /

2) Sewing parties ( create a little something with your friends!).

If your curious & need info. just send me an email at tips & inspirations to come!