You Can Make It

Steam vs. Iron

I know you’re all thinking, “steaming is just like ironing, right?”

Well actually,¬† the two have different effects on fabric so let’s go into it for a moment.

Steamer: a steamer is like a wand with a cloud coming out of it. You have to refill them with water pretty often and they are commonly used in retail when unpacking a shipment or on the set of a shoot to take out wrinkles.

Iron: this usually has adjustable heat settings for different fabrics, and optional steam. The iron can be applied alone or with spray sizing or starch and needs a flat cushioned surface like an ironing board.

If you’re working with most wool blends or cotton,¬† pressing with an iron is the way to go. These materials have a tendency to crease, and look best when slightly crisp, so you will find the best results when they are pressed with an iron. The flatness when applied with heat will help to make the garment keep its intended shape.

Slinky or lightweight fabrics like silk charmeuse or silk chiffon are great  when steamed. It is usually best to hang up the garment,  place the steamer inside, and apply the steam rising upwards through the fabric moving downwards on the grain if possible. This technique also helps to refresh worn out old vintage clothes, although the smell wafting towards the face is bothersome. It is much nicer to steam new clothes no one else has worn.

Now you know how to keep up your wardrobe. You can even iron your sheets. Appearing in public wearing anything which doesn’t require care, like jeans or a polo shirt, is sloppy and ill-advised.

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You Can Make It

How to become a Real Life fashion designer

Often I hear from younger fashion & style enthusiasts asking¬†me advice on how to become a fashion designer.¬† Not sure I’m the one to ask, because, well it’s more about being creative for me than anything else.

The fact is, the Fashion & Textiles industry’s seemingly impenetrable heirachy is ruled by heiresses to family fortunes in Europe, and child-actresses with golden noses in the USA.¬† If you’re an average¬†young person without a fashion degree & have an avid interest in sketching,¬†considering¬†designing as a career can be daunting to say the least.¬† Here are a few suggestions to give you an early start to building an empire, and leaving a legacy akin to the Little Orphan Coco.¬† This one is for the young folks:

image by Alexander Thomson

SHOP AROUND There’s no easy start.¬† If you are a teen, or in your 20’s, get a retail job: the more specialized, the better.¬† The sooner you understand how clothing fits an actual body, and how each and every woman wants clothing that “doesn’t make her look fat,” you will then begin taking the steps to identifying your customer.

READ ALL ABOUT IT You may think that all women’s magazines are garbage: they teach you to hate your body and become a man-pleasing robot.¬† Pretty much, but take another good look at them individually.¬† Once you pay attention to each publication’s point of view, you will have a better understanding of how fashion is presented to the consumer.¬†¬†You will also¬†identify trends, influencers & appreciate the hard work of professionals who work in publishing.¬† As a fashion designer, how can you work with¬†Vogue if you are not familiar with their content?

TALK ABOUT IT Start a blog, connect with social media, and voice your opinion on personal style & the latest fashion.  By participating in the ever-evolving discussion, you will develop your unique point of view, and start gaining followers who may shop your collections in the future.  You can also put your lookbook online free using wix utilising your tech-savvy skills to avoid waste & printing costs.

LEARNING TO FLY I can’t tell everybody to get library books about patternmaking & make their own samples, but that’s how it worked for me.¬† Even so, I admit seeing my first collection of samples¬†is now embarrassing to me.¬† But hey, what’s IN one day may be OUT the next, so don’t worry about it too much.¬† Maybe you want to start with jewelry or some simple accessories for hair on etsy, and take it from there.¬† Be prepared to re-invest your sales into getting better materials and grow organically.

BFFS Look to your friends & family to get the word out first about your new creations.¬† Don’t be shy about asking people directly to share your items over facebook or host a trunk show or party once you have a good number of pieces.¬† Kickstarter seems silly to me, but some people recommend it.¬† It could work for you if you’re planning to go to the next level & upgrade materials or outsource samplemaking.

NEW BEST FRIENDS¬†Join a trade association like Fashion Group International, they have chapters in most cities and are extremely helpful with a directory of resources in the New York Garment District as well as a very high-profile members directory, great for finding mentors.¬† Get Betsey on the phone please, let’s have Daiquiris!

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You Can Make It

You Can Make a magical unicorn horn for halloween

Here’s how you can create unicorn magic for your halloween.

First, Take a headband, and some wire.   Create an armiture byt wrapping the wire around the headband and in the shape of a horn.

 

Create form around the armiture by first wrapping/sewing fabric around it, then covering with masking tape, papier mache, and/or acrylic gel medium.  Start at the point, and spiral downwards, tearing the tape when necessary.

Once you’ve got your shape, you may paint it neutral bone color, rainbow & ribbons, or magic glitter sparkle.¬† Dress it up with a colorful wig, or dress it down with bangs pushed forward around the horn.

 

Voila!¬† You’re a Magic Unicorn!

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You Can Make It

You Can Make It: Bike Flair

Andrea & Alisha make stuff.¬† You can too, here’s how:

You probably noticed that Andrea & I are on a feather kick.  Nothing says flair like feathers.  Which brings us to our next You Can: Bike Riding Flair.

 

You will need:

  • A clip-on keychain (andrea’s fancy betsey johnson here)
  • ribbons, fabric scraps, and fluffy feathers
  • a hot glue gun
  • colored strings & threads

Make it in 3 easy steps:

  1. Select a color combination you like, and tie the fabric & strings onto the keychain.
  2. Sew the feather stem onto the fabric, and secure with glue.  For added strength, tie the string over the feather.
  3. Clip onto your belt loop & let your freak flair fly.

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trend, You Can Make It

You Can Make It, Part Deux

Alisha and Andrea live in Brooklyn and like to make stuff and wear it out. You can make stuff too. It’s easy!

Today’s Trick: Learn to fly with Dumbo Feather Hair Clips

  1. You can use crochet cotton thread, embroidery floss, feathers, whatever’s around, and you need a glue gun oozing with hot glue.
  2. Tie the string onto your favourite hair clips.
  3. Braid or knot the string, glue feathers, and wrap the thread around, secure with a knot.

See how pretty they are alltogether?

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the personal fables, You Can Make It

You Can Make It!

By Alisha Trimble & Andrea Kathleen Byrne

A new craft column, for girls like us who like to make stuff and wear it out

“Light as a feather, Stiff as a Board,” Today’s Trick: Fascinator Headbands

You will need:

  • A headband
  • 1/4 yard Raspberry Colored Tulle
  • A scrap of Curtain Lace
  • Feathers
  • Needle & Thread
  • Elmer’s Glue

Step 1: Assemble tulle bow

Step 2: Sew a cluster of feathers together by hand, & secure with glue.

Step 3: Affix bow & feathers to headband.

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