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Hello everyone!  Some of you might be wondering what I’ve been up to over the last week or so.  The answer is… a lot.  But I can’t share most of my projects with you right now, because they are birthday gifts and I would hate to spoil the surprise for those people receiving them.  However, I am happy to share this skirt! Like the best of projects, this one started out as a simple idea and then grew into something better.  I found the green fabric in my local store on sale and was immediately in love.  I took it home, carefully measured, and began to sew.  However, when it was complete and I put it on…. my waist was the wrong size!  I’m pretty sure all women know the frustration of a waistline that changes with the phases of the moon.  While I knew I would shrink down enough […]

I try to make every creation a balance between doing something great, and learning something new.  This gown has been a heavy lean on the learning for me, and I am so excited to finally show it off to you! When I first envisioned this gown, it was with the thought that I had fallen in love with cape sleeves and just had to make something with them. When picturing the rest of the gown, I decided that I wanted to keep it simple.  I love the feel and drape of quality fabrics, and I really wanted to play on the idea of using two colours in layers for a different overall effect.  I picked a simple A-line cut in sandy gold crepe-back satin, and made an overlay of emerald chiffon.  The idea was to show off the range of colours and textures the overlay would have, from the gold […]

With some exciting projects coming up, I’ve been doing a lot of the beginning steps of design today.  Often it’s fun to envision something beautiful, but a few things need to happen before it can become a reality. Firstly, I decide on the “feel” of the design.  This can include ideas such as “an elvish gown with cape sleeves” or “a nautical cloak” or something more specific, such as a cosplay outfit. From there, it is a good idea to sketch out the design.  Sometimes things can change as the project happens, but having a starting point is extremely helpful for gathering materials.  It also saves a lot of time in the long run- I might love an idea in my head, but once it is on paper I can find it is too busy, or too plain, or just not the right “feel” I was envisioning. Once I’ve decided […]

This Saturday I am really looking forward to a photoshoot. My first business, Belle’s Wish (hair and makeup artistry) has been going for several years, so this is nothing new to me. Just like a little kid at Christmas though, I never get over the excitement. It’s like prepping for a school ball and presenting something special with other beautiful artists, all in one great package. After the hours I’ve put into making a gown, I now have a chance to show it off in a way that does it justice.    It starts with the gown itself. Everything is checked over to make sure there are no errant threads, everything is smooth and hanging just right. It’s a lot of time and love to make a project, and a small detail out of place would be a shame.     Next is finding the model. I see this as […]

I’m a perfectionist.  Really I don’t think it’s uncommon among us artistic types.  Whether you’re painting, decorating a cake, sewing a gown, or applying makeup, you know that the little details are the important ones and that anything less than your best isn’t something to be proud of.  It’s also said that artists are their own worst critics, and this is true. Today I am working on perfecting a gown (keep your eyes open at the end of this month for the photo-shoot!).  I’ve been happily sitting in the sunshine, watching the metallic gold thread work its pattern among the soft emerald green fabric.  Suddenly, there’s a sound of protest from my machine and the entire thing skids to a halt, puckering my beautiful fabric with it.  And of course I reach for my seam-ripper. This is a tool that pretty much anyone who has done any sewing can appreciate.  […]

Welcome to Cloak N’ Mirrors! I’d like to open this blog by giving a little history of what sewing has meant to me over the years, and to thank the people who have nurtured it and made it happen. Firstly, I don’t think I would be the seamstress I am without my grandma. When I was little, she would make all sorts of wonderful clothes for me, my brother, and even our dolls! I was always excited to see what she would create next. As I got older, we would go to the shop and look over patterns and fabrics, then go back to my house and make them happen together. This became a tradition every time she came for a visit. Another person who deserves a lot of recognition is my mom. She actually doesn’t like to sew, but despite this she has spent many hours with me helping […]