Pattern Drafting

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Developing a skirt pattern is so much fun!

In the pattern drafting course at the workroom, I decided to create a split tulip skirt, that will hopefully look something like this (second from right).

Learning to pattern draft feels like going back to school – but in a good way! Like elementary school geometry or something. There is pivoting and basic arithmetic and even transparencies. These are my quarter scale models. I’m currently working on the full scale pattern and am looking forward to picking up some fabric for the skirt this week.

Will post the finished project when it’s complete!

Natural Dyeing

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(Click on each image for which dyes are pictured above)

I love pattern and textile design, and jump at every chance I get to experiment with fabric. Last summer I took a natural dyeing class at the workroom with the lovely Julie Sinden. We used a number of natural dyes, my two favorites probably being Madder, which can range from a brown to red, and Logwood, a bluish grey.

We even did some shibori with Indigo. Indigo is actually quite interesting – you have to keep it alive like yeast, and it’s not dark blue – the dye vat is more of a clear greenish yellow. And when you remove the fabric you are dyeing from the dye vat, exposing it to oxygen, it is then that it turns blue. To get it a dark blue, you must dip it many many times. The shirt I dyed ended up a pretty pale blue (due to time constraints) but it’s still great. I’ll try to take a picture and post it.

This week, natural textile dyer India Flint (blog) is giving a lecture at the Textile Museum of Canada on Wednesday – check it out if you’re in Toronto!

Weekend Brunch

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Had a delicious brunch on the weekend, and yes, there was food – I just had to document the Ayala champagne properly, as well as the white sangria with cinnamon and mint…alongside these, we had lots of berries and mangoes with maple syrup on crepes made with an interesting pancake pan from Iceland.

Then it was off to Jonathan+Olivia for the Top Shop opening, and then along Queen to Preloved and Heel Boy (serious audio on the site). A really nice and sunny day to be out!

Big Chill

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My first visit to the newly renovated Big Chill in Little Italy (and the flowers I encountered on the way home).

It’s nice that there is an indoor space now, and no longer the awkward doorway, though I still think pre-reno spot was charming.

Portfolio Case – DIY WIP

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I’m currently working on a custom leather case for my portfolio. Last week I laser etched my logo onto the leather. Now I just need to figure out the lining and draft a pattern.

Excited to finish this work in progress!

Pretty Paper Products

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Washi tape + Anatomical stationery + Letterpress frog card = Awesome

thanks dudes!

Luminato: Friends With You

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Last week at lunch I checked out the Friends With You installation at Queen’s Park for Luminato. We tried to get some shots of some of the characters walking around, but they were going on break (Rosalyn posted some great pictures here).

Overall, it was super cute, and there were lots of kids having fun – the white character in the last picture was even a bouncy castle. Art is fun when it’s interactive!

Luminato: Mark Fast

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Winnipeg-born, London-based fashion designer Mark Fast worked with Lancome to create an installation at Brookfield Place for Luminato. He is known for his stunning knitwear, and is doing well: recently there was a lot of press over his show during London Fashion Week, and his collaboration with TopShop with be available soon.

After a visit to Luminato, I created an illustration of it for The Style Notebook. This image above is a little part of it in progress. Check out the finished illustration here!

Virginia Johnson: Coin Purse Feature

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I’ve been a big fan of Virginia Johnson since I first discovered her shop on Ossington when I moved back to Toronto. She is an amazing textile and fashion designer, and is also an accomplished illustrator. She has been a big inspiration to me, and her designs have found their way into my What I Wore Today illustrations on more than one occasion.

Over the years I have also made a number of things with her textiles, including some little coin purses.

Today one of the coin purses I made is featured on the Virginia Johnson Design Studio blogCheck it out!

Thanks Rebecca!

Holt Renfrew Party with Todd Selby

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Last night I had a great time at the Holt Renfrew party for Todd Selby at Parts & Labour (thanks Laura!). I had been hoping to check out P&L since it opened a few weeks ago, and with their serious line up of events, I’m sure I’ll be back soon. It was kind of a who’s who of the Toronto fashion scene; there were many designers, and familiar faces, including the lovely Erin.

You may recall this post from last year – one of my favorite aspects of the Selby project is the interview. They’re often handwritten and come off as casual and fun.

At the party, amidst the collage of images from his book on the walls, there was a mural in which he asked a few questions in the style of his typical interview. There were Sharpies in an assortment of colours and by the end of the night, the wall was pretty full. I think it was a great interactive idea.

Being an illustrator, Todd suggested I draw something on the mural. But by the time I got around to it, there wasn’t much real estate left, so under his “What is the sexiest thing about Canada?” question, I wrote www.ayalahhutchins.com. And he totally caught me!