Monday, August 31, 2009

5 Tips on How to Become Your Own Fashion Stylist

Make it Flatter

Do you want to learn how to look better and choose more flattering clothing? I have some tips here to get you started.

1 Read some of the books that professional stylist's publish. You don't need to buy them just go to the library. When you find one that really works for you buy that one and read it more than once. There is a lot of detail in those books.

2 Look for the books with real women photo's. It will be much easier to find bodies with figure flaws similar to yours if you are not looking a fashion drawings or photo's of beautiful celebrities.

3 Look at celebrity women but not the ones who look like Charlize Theron. Look at people like America Ferrara (dressed as herself and then compare to her Ugly Betty persona), Oprah Winfrey or Hilary Clinton. These are women with real bodies who look good.

4 Remember that dark colours other than black can also be slimming and that they are not quite so drab. Consider navy, brown, dark green, charcoal and burgundy.

5 Notice that jeans come in different colours as well as shades. When you are choosing tops to wear with your jeans think about the complete outfit. Denim is a neutral but it's one that still calls for a little extra co-ordination. You can treat dark wash jeans as though they are navy for harmonious colour matching. You could also invest in black or white jeans to expand your wardrobe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Used to be Afraid that I Would Die Young

I used to be afraid that I would die young like my Mother now I'm afraid that I will live to be old like my Father.

My Mother died of Ovarian Cancer when she was just a little older than I am now. I am very fortunate, due to the Familial Cancer Clinic at The Princess Margaret Hospital here in Toronto my younger sister and I had the genetic testing and we now both know that neither of us carry the gene. I was in my early 20's when we lost my Mother and even to this day typing these words brings tears to my eyes.

My Father is now 83 and has been diagnosed with Mixed Dementia. That means he has both Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia. It's a very sad disease to watch. There is a slow loss of his personality and he is often fearful as the world seems to spin around him in a way he can no longer comprehend. A nurse at the facility he is living at suggested that I go to some of the events that the Alzheimer's Society runs. I highly recommend that anyone in the same situation contact them at provide an outstanding level of support and practical advice as well as contact with many other families going through this difficult transition of relationships.

Monday, August 24, 2009

6 Easy Ways to Add Waistline Shaping

Make it Fit - Tips for Knitters

1 Change to a smaller needle size. Machine knitters do this by changing the stitch size dial on their carriage. It tightens the stitch and shortens the row gauge slightly. When your garment is about 1/2 inch below your waist change to the smaller needle knit for 1 inch worth of rows and then change back to the original needle size.

2 Use negative ease patterns. This idea is for those with confidence and no extra rolls around their waists. There are lots of patterns around that do this for you here's an example.

3 Change to a different stitch pattern. The most basic of these is K1, P1 rib but many stitch patterns pull in and will provide a waistline as well as a little more style in a simple design.

4 Use a row of eyelets to thread a ribbon through. This one is simple K1, YO across the garments waistline weave a ribbon through and tie it in a pretty bow to pull the garment in.

5 Use side shaping. Depending on your gauge decreasing 1 or 2 stitches at the side edges of your garment just below the waistline and then increasing above your waist back to the original number of stitches can easily remove an inch at the critical point. Don't over do this one or it causes the hem to bend at the center front and back.

6 Knit dressmaker darts by decreases and increases. Garments that have internal darts tend to fit the best. We can't always knit the dart shaping in as it can interfere with stitch patterns. Take a look at the beautiful fit of this garment. Its a chunky yarn so the extra shaping makes it much more flattering

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Always Learning Something New

I never get bored as long as I have my knitting I'm happy. Waiting for appointments is never an problem for me for the same reason.

I think knitting has engaged me for so long because there is always something new (old) to learn. I've taken many courses over the years with the fabulous teachers out there. Sally Melville, Debbie New, Maureen Mason-Jamieson Annie Modesitt to name just a few.

My latest teaching medium has been knitting blogs and today I found out about a seaming technique that I am going to experiment with as fast as I can get a couple of swatches knit up. It's called the Bickford Seam and the method is shown here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pattern Seven

This is the pinwheel cardigan. It started as a hat pattern knit in white linen when Karen of Village Yarns asked me to design a summer hat for the store. I ended up with two different styles both started from the center top. I just love that kind of knitting...cast on and go. So next I cast on some Fleece artist angel hair and kept knitting until I ran out of yarn. You can see that version on Ravelry as my avatar.
When I wrote the first version of the pattern as a gauge less design my tech editor worried that I would alienate the pattern dependant so I had a sample knit and we wrote the pattern two ways. One for this great yarn http:/// and the second so that any yarn (from lace weight to chunky) can be used.
Julia over at Patternfish posted it and then suggested a minor name change and we sold a copy faster than I can update and e mail a PDF.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July was Anti-Boredom Month

I spent time during the month of July thinking a lot about the fact that I don't normally get bored. I'm an avid reader and I knit every day. I do get bored at work mainly because I want to move forward with my new career ASAP. I have a very definite timeline and good financial reasons for staying in my job. I have dealt with the boredom in the office in a number of ways. I focus on doing every item in the best and most efficient way that I can. I invent projects for myself that no one has asked me to do yet bring value to the firm and to my role there. I go for a walk at lunch every day to re energize my self. I use dead time at the end of the day to read entrepreneurial and self development blogs. I'm amazed by the blogging community out there and the access they give me to people I would never normally get to meet but who now share their wisdom with me.