Thursday, June 5, 2014

Here's a bunch of cool books I've found on Amazon.  Clicking on the picture links to Amazon, but I don't think I get anything if you buy from my links or from Amazon.  Go elsewhere if you prefer, I know there are lots of reasons to not buy from them, I just find it a convenient place to get information about books.

Amazon Link to Charles James
This is the exhibit book for the Charles James exhibit at the Met.  It doesn't have a lot of the cool stuff the exhibit does, but it's still full of pretty pictures.

Amazon link to Elegance in an Age of Crisis
Perhaps it's just my bias, but the 30's seems to be rather overlooked in fashion history.  This looks like a great book to fill that gap, especially since it talks about menswear, too.

Amazon link to Vogue and the Met
This book looks like it highlights past Met fashion exhibits as well as the parties that surround them.  I'm betting it's a great overview of what the Met has offered without needing a shelf full of heavy books.

Amazon link to Fashion in Detail Omnibus
Fashion in Detail is a great series that focuses on closeups of historical extant garments.  If you don't have the money or space for the whole series this book of highlights is a good choice.

Amazon link to Jazz Age
Twenties fashions seem to be huge these last few years, so to go with that here's a huge book of pretty pictures of sparkly beaded dresses.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WCS 2014 USA Selection Intro Videos

There's a thing at WCS where every team films a short video introduction for their skit.  This year they had teams do that for the Team USA Finals.  Here are copies of all the ones I could find on YouTube.


Green Jello:


Cute Classy Cosplay:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Toronto Fabric Shopping: Part 2

After The Wool house there's not a lot of fabric, so we crossed the street and went back up Queen street towards Spadina again.

One note: it was cold and we had a time limit, so we didn't make the trek but if you're in the mood for the best imported Japanese silk ribbons walk down Queen street a little further to Mokuba at 575.  It's a bit of a walk, and the prices are on the expensive side, but the trim and ribbon selection is amazing!

Starting out, as you cross the street there's a shop called Aroma Espresso Bar.  We decided that the cold day needed some coffee, so we stopped.

I had a HUGE hot chocolate filled with marshmallows.  Just the thing!  They also had sandwiches and more substantial noms if you got hungry at this point.

Next to Aroma is Affordable Textiles at 529.  So big it needed two storefronts!

This is another place that's packed to the gills with yummy fabric so close you can barely get through.  Here's some pretty quilting cottons.


Even the door is crammed full.  But, I found a Maral in all the chaos!

Looking through the bargain bins outside.


The fleece section.

 Maral found a keeper!

Next on to Arton beads at 523-525.  I think this is my favorite bead store because it has funky metal bits!

The funky metal piece section.  Just a sampling.

The nice women behind the counter were eager to help us out and get their picture taken!

LA Boutique fabrics at 495 is an incredibly clean and well-laid-out store.  Check out the stuff in the back!

After what seems like endless trendy fashion boutiques (check some of them out, they can have hilarious and interesting underground fashion) we came upon Queen's Fabric and Buttons at 461.  This is a narrow store packed to the gills with buttony things!

The buttons behind the counter!

One last store on Queen St.  This is Nevren's Sewing Supply/Trillium Button Inc. at 451.  They've got a little bit of everything, but be sure to visit their button section!

After Trillium walk back towards Spadina.  If you cross Spadina and turn right there's an awesome huge fabric store called King Textiles at 161 Spadina.  If you don't know the area I recommend stopping here first to get an idea of local prices, then you can shop the rest of the street and come back for the stuff you couldn't get better deals on.  Be sure to check the bargain basement!

I ended up getting some wonderfully plush fur and this yummy stripey cotton.  Maral and Dawn got some too, maybe we'll be costume twins one of these years!

Driving away from the fabric district I still had a few upholstery-type things I was looking for, so we drove a mile and a bit to the home decor store on Queen West:

This is Designer Fabrics at 1360 Queen St.  Parking is hard here, so try to come in off hours.

It's worth the trek, though!  Although billed as decor fabrics it's actually pretty well rounded, with two floors of choices!

The first floor is interesting.  You don't browse fabrics, you browse samples.  When you find one you want cut you bring it to a cutting counter and they find the roll and cut the fabric for you.


 The cabinet full of expensive, tempting stuff!

One place I haven't made it to that I wish I had: Lens Mill.  I hear AMAZING things about it, that it's huge and full of gems, but it's north of town and a bit of a trek, so I've never made time for it.  I hope to come Costume Con!

 I'm so glad I got to shop Toronto.  It's an amazingly fabric-full town, and I always find gems here.  I can't wait to go back in a month for Costume Con and shop again!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Toronto Fabric Shopping: Part 1

When I was in Toronto for SMoFCon last December I took the opportunity to go fabric shopping in Toronto's fabulous fabric district.  I try to make it up here at least once a year because the area is just so fabulous for costumers!  I thought that you guys would appreciate finding out more about this gem, so I photoblogged it this time.  Here's part 1:

For a city parking in the fabric district wasn't really that hard, especially on a weekday in winter.  We found a pretty empty lot on Cameron street.  I liked that it was close enough that we could return with bags during the day (of course leaving them in the trunk, it seemed safe but why tempt people?).

The fabric district in Toronto is really near Chinatown, so we decided to start with an early lunch.

This is the crazy sheltered midwesterner pointing to the food in the window.  I'd seen chickens and ducks and pigs hanging before, but never squid!

We ended up at this awesome dumpling place called Dumpling House.  Everything was a-la-carte, so we picked up a bit of some good stuff and ate our fill!

Dawn and I are totally happy about our yummies and ready to get some fabric!

The shop has people making dumplings in the window, you can watch them make your food!

On our way back to Queen St. (where most of the stores are) we stopped off at the Leather and Sewing Supply Depot on Spadina.  They have tons of leather and hardware.  I picked up some awesome buckles that I will use for Costume Con costumes!

Leo's Textiles at 400 Queen has yummy laces!  Brocades and furs too!

Next up is Sussman's Bridal Supplies at 420.  Don't confuse it with Sussman's Bridal at 428, they're totally different stores.  This one is full of lots of shiny things including feathers, beads, and accessories like gloves!  There's an awesome wall of laces and trims!

And my favorite, the sequins!  Sliding displays of tons of sequins of every color, shape, and size imaginable!

They have a wall of trimmy bits and sequined and beaded appliques.

Happy to depart with my money for shinies!

Skipping over to Sussman's main Bridal store at 428.  This store is mostly overpriced, but you can find some awesome gems in amongst the stuff.

The selection of shiny brooches here is awesome, and some are really cheap too!

Trendy Fabrics at 422.  A store jam-packed with a little of everything.

I picked up a remnant of gorgeous blue wool for cheap!  Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but it will be great for something.

The fur selection has samples hanging so you can get the one you want without digging.

This is our first bead store stop, Fancy Gems and Findings at 438.  It has tons of chunky natural beads as well as some neat sparklies.

My favorite part of this store was the chain wall.  I picked up some chain for the Costume Con project.

This is the awesome wools at Downtown Fabrics at 436.  They've got an amazing variety of prints, linen, lace, alpaca, and silks too.

This is Chu Shing Textiles at 440.  They've got nice displays of fabric that's accessible and gorgeous for a pretty good price.  Check them out if you're looking for colorful wools, silks, brocades, and fabulous beaded fabric.  There's also stretch spandex and jersey here, the best variety in the city!

Next up is Queen Textiles at 444.  This is one of those stores that's just piled FULL of fabric.  So full there's not a lot of room to walk.  They've got a ton of variety of stuff, though, and it's all yummy!

Fabric is stacked so high, but they do this awesome thing where they attach samples to the end of the bolt so you don't need to pull out the one on the bottom to see what it's really like!  I picked up some great green upholstery brocade for Costume Con here.

The cutting table.  See how cramped?  Worth it, though.  They're cutting some yummy green shot dupioni for Dawn.

Next up is The Beadery at 446.  It's got lots of tribal and ethnic looking stuff.

This is Bling Bling at 448.  It's another bead store that has a really awesome variety.


And found rock-stuff too!

Fabric by Designers is this great downstairs find.  It's got tons of variety, including silks, wools, furs, prints, and brocades.

The last place of real note on this side of the street is The Wool House at 454.  Salim is awesome and really nice, and the rows and rows of wool are so tempting!  It was fairly priced for an in-person buy, too.

If you're into yarn and knitting there's a store next to The Wool House, but we didn't go in.