9 August 2013


It may be a little hard to tell how a fabric feels and looks when you just see it online or in pictures, but consider yourself lucky because were going to talk about fabrics in this post! A couple of important descriptors of a fabric are it’s “hand feel” and its drape. Hand feel is how the fabric feels, it could be soft like silk or heavy like wool. The drape of a fabric is how the fabric falls when you are wearing it. For example it could be stiff and jut out or it could be light and soft and fall in gathers. You can also discuss opacity of a fabric, is it sheer like chiffon or solid like jean material? Some fabrics we’re going to talk about today are: Silk, Wool, Cotton, and Knit Jersey. Let’s begin with the wovens (=  fabric that is made by weaving on a loom and is made up of  individual threads that are woven tightly together to make one piece of fabric): Silk, Wool, and Cotton.


Silk is thought to be the most luxurious fabric on earth. It is one of the strongest natural fibres, since it comes from silkworm larvae. The process of developing silk is very time consuming which is why it is so expensive. The hand feel of silk is very smooth and luxurious and even in a way resembles water when worn. There are a number of different varieties of silk, such as organza (sheer, bouncy, dry hand feel), chiffon (sheer, drapey, delicate hand feel), satin (drapey, smooth, soft hand feel). Silk was originally found in China in the 27th century BCE. But then the Silk Road opened up and began spreading silk to places like India and Europe. Silk is used for elegant dresses, ties, shirts, pyjamas, and even ski clothing because of its ability to contain body heat.




Wool, woven from the hair of sheep, is heavy and is great for winter. You can use it not only for clothing, but for blankets, carpeting, felt, and wool insulation. The hand feel of wool is furry, coarse, and a bit itchy!  Its drape varies depending on the weave and can be made in many different weights. The production of wool began so long ago that it’s difficult to know exactly when it was invented, but it is generally assumed to be back in 6000BCE. Wool can be produced from other animals such as goats, muskoxen, and even from the hair of rabbits!  Note: Cashmere =




Cotton is a soft and fluffy material (exactly like a cotton ball!) that grows on a shrub originating from the America’s, Africa, and India. Cotton was used as a woven fabric at least 7000 years ago and became Britain’s main export during the Industrial Revolution. Cotton is used in terrycloth that is used  in bath towels and robes. It is also used in denim for jeans, socks, underwear, and most shirts. Cotton has a wide range of hand feel, the softest being Egyptian and Pima cotton. It has natural stretch but drapes fairly easily and is easy to work with. Cotton is great to wear in the summer since it’s naturally breathable.




Knit fabric is a soft and stretchy fabric that is often for essential clothing.There are two types of Knitted fabric: Weft-Knitted fabric and Warp-Knitted fabric. Weft Knitted fabric is made by looping together long lengths of yarn that go horizontally across the fabric. Weft Knitted fabric is soft and stretchy and is often used for making t-shirts, socks, and sweaters. However there are some differences betweenWeft-Knitted fabric and Warp-Knitted fabric. Weft-Knitted fabric can be made by hand or by machine while Warp-Knitted can only be done by machine. Warp-Knitted fabric is made by vertically locking together the loops. Warp-Knits aren’t as stretchy as Weft-Knits but is still very handy. It is used to make underwear,swimwear, geotextiles.





Knitting Machine




6 August 2013


You might be wondering where you can find some good places for your design projects in Toronto. Well, since we are a fashion school we have some great suggestions for you!


1. Designer Fabrics located at 1360 Queen St. West and it’s a great place to go! We love that they have have a large variety of fabrics like jersey and spandex. They even have a full two floors of fabric including trimmings, waistbands, buttons, and zippers which is extremely convenient.  This is an especially good store for those who are interested in interior design as the main floor has a ton of selection of upholstery fabrics.  The fashion fabrics are found upstairs, and the trim department is also on the ground floor.


2. The Workroom is another one of our favourite spots to hit when fabric shopping. It’s located right down the street from Designer Fabrics at 1340 Queen St. West. They mainly have cotton (super cute!) prints which we love , and have patterns for beginners. They also have machines that are available to rent if you don’t have one for only 7$ an hour!


3. King Textiles  is located at 161 Spadina Ave.  This store is great if you live downtown and is definitely a go-to store for fabrics.  They are similar to Designer Fabrics in that they have a variety of fabrics and even another floor dedicated to zippers and trimmings. Another great thing about King Textiles is that they offer a student discount…and who doesn’t love a good discount?!


4. Lida Baday a renowned Canadian fashion designer based out of her studio at 70 Claremont Ave. She sells left-over European luxury fabrics from her collection at wholesale prices — perfect for that evening gown you’ve been thinking of making. By appointment only.


1. Sewing and Leather Supply Depot located at 204 Spadina Ave. It’s great for you’re sewing needs and is cheap and affordable which is great! You can find the following here:


-shoulder pads




– velcro



-pattern paper


basically all of your essential fashion needs.


1. World Sewing and Supply Depot located on Queen St. is great for machine repair or replacements! They have a great selection to choose from and is definitely a go-to spot for machines and repair.


6 August 2013


Here at RSOF we work a lot with our hands, so music is our favourite way to have fun while making patterns, draping and sewing.  Here is our playlist for August.  Enjoy!

Come and Get it- Selena Gomez

I Knew You Were Trouble- Taylor Swift

Don’t Save Me – Haim

Stay- Rihanna

Only Girl (In The World )- Rihanna

Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke (clean)

Primadonna- Marina and the Diamonds

Lies- Marina and the Diamonds

Blue Jeans- Lana del Rey

Dark Paradise- Lana del Rey

Somebody That I Used To Know- Gotye ft.Kimbra

One More Night- Maroon 5

And we can’t forget  the best song ever!

Best Song Ever- One Direction


31 July 2013


What is Haute Couture? 

Haute Couture is a special kind of fashion that is designed and made according to a buyers specific taste and measurements, unlike regular retail stores that have sizes that people can pick and choose from. Couture is special and unique and requires skill to make a couture piece.  It is a true artform.

Here are some examples:

 images images Unknownimages





What makes a garment couture? 

Most pieces of couture fashion are very different then your average day clothes.  They can include embroidery, intricate beading, layers, and crazy colours and patterns. The possibilities are endless!

How much work goes into a couture garment?

Large amounts of time go into making a couture garment or even only a small part of one. Usually 100-150 hours go into the manual part of making a couture garment and the hours can stretch even longer if the garment has embroidery or beading. But that is what makes couture what it is, because it is hand made just for you.

How much would a couture garment cost?

Couture is definitely not cheap. The amount of time that goes into garments definitely deserves a hefty price tag.  Day wear can cost up to 10,000 dollars, while intricate dresses can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So only actresses, socialites and people with gigantic pay cheques can really afford couture.

What are some couture brands?

Many designer brands (= designer brand is a high end, luxury brand, which although often features handwork, is still made by machine but with incredible fabrics and detail)

Some of the most famous fashion houses have a couture collection as well as a ready-to-wear collection (= ready-to-wear collections include a particular size range, i.e., not one of a kind clothing like couture) so take a look at some of the most famous couture houses like Chanel, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Rochas as well as newer brands like Alexander McQueen (Duchess Kate’s wedding dress was a perfect example of couture — each seamstress had to wash their hands every 30 mins to keep the dress looking bright and new while beading)

Some examples of haute couture:

31 July 2013


Charles James

Charles James was born in 1906 in Sandhurst, England. In 1926 at the young age of 19 James opened his first hat shop in Chicago calling it the name of a school friend, Charles Boucherdon. Two years later James left Chicago with barely anything and went to Long Island. There he opened a hat shop over a garage, where he began making his first dress designs. Through the years James became more successful and showed one his most successful collections in Paris in 1947. Charles wasn’t like most designers he and his customers looked at his dresses as pieces of art and payed little attention to the seasons.  James was well known for his ball gowns, capes, and coats. In 1958 James finally retired and died on September,27, 1978 in New York City, Charles James was known as America’s  first couturier and was considered a master.



Alexander McQueen

Lee Alexander McQueen was born March,17,1969. At a young age McQueen became interested in designing, he used to make dresses for his three sisters. At 16 he left to apprentice at Savile Row tailors, Anderson & Sheppard, Gieves & Hawkes , and at Angels and Bermans who specialized in theatrical costuming. All of his apprenticing got him a reputation for having and creating garments that looked perfectly tailored. McQueen then went to school for fashion school and then later graduated. McQueen was convinced by a fashion stylist who bought his entire graduation collection to go by the name Alexander McQueen. He went on to launch more collections and began designing for people such as David Bowie. McQueen was known for shocking and surprising the audiences at his fashion shows.  McQueen was awarded British Designer of the Year award four times and was named International Designer of the Year.  By 2007 McQueen had stores in London, New York, Los Angeles, Milan and Las Vegas.  Sadly on February,11, 2010 McQueen committed suicide.


Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumer, France on August, 19, 1883.  Chanel was raised in orphanages due to the loss of her mother at a young age and due to the fact that her father could not provide for her. There she learned from nuns how to sew. in 1910 Chanel opened her first hat shop in Paris.  She then opened another store in Deauville. In 1914 Chanel used the war to her advantage and began making clothes that were easy to work in, which revolutionized they way women dressed forever. In 1915 she opened another store in Biarritz . Chanel later on launched her new and first perfume Chanel No.5 which gained popularity quickly. Suddenly things began slow down at the start of W.W.2 and Chanel decided to take a break from fashion. In 1954 Chanel hopped back on the fashion scene and created a new collection which received bad reviews. In 1971 unfortunately Chanel died at the age of 87.