Sunday, April 06, 2008

Please come and visit...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On to the Next...for real!

For Christmas, Erica (that would be the #1 daughter of "The Fashion Critics X 5", gave me my very own website.

So from now on, set your dial to



for any further posts.

Please feel free to add me to your blogroll!

It is not too "pretty" (hey doesn't Iman say "fashion isn't always "pretty"!!!! but give me a chance - remember I just started a new job!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Overdosing on Project Catwalk!

It was a glorious sewing day today! I was expecting Daughter #2's boyfriends parents to come for a visit- but noone showed. Or if they did, I was in too much of a zone to notice them!
I found Project Catwalk on Youtube. I embarked on a marathon viewing/sewing session and got so much done! I really, really hated Project Catwalk though! In general the designers were, um um not good at all! I am watching to the bitter end though!
I finally finished the rejected New Years dress. I will wear it to my parents 50th Wedding anniversary party this week instead. No pics on me - you will have to settle for my dressform supermodel.

I also started on Laurens new coat. I am making it in a grey tweed wool that I got from Metro Textile in NYC. I am using Burda 7878. I don't really use Burda patterns often, although I am a BWOF fan. When I read these instructions through- after cutting out the fabric, I found out that there were instruction sheets missing. A trip to the fabric store was to no avail, as the only copy they had left included the same instructions. I have left a message with Burdamode and hopefully they can remedy my problem. I know you are all saying "Connie you do not need the instructions", but still I would like them to know about the problem.

It is constructing itself very well andvery quickly, although it looks a titch BORING to me. Lauren requested a double breasted coat and this one, while it has cute lines, does not really avail itself to much in the way of embellishment.
Lauren darling if you read this- what do you think of something like this to pretty it up?
Some sort of deconstructed look involving black wool, net or chiffon and beads? I was also thinking of handstitch outlining some of the seams in black.
Let me know!

Oh yes - I just finished watching the runway episode of Season 2 of Catwalk. They have vindicated themselves - Wayne's runway was "brilliant"!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is this YOU?

'Cause it is me to a tee!

I have a lot of interests outside of sewing. I ski, I cycle and I play golf. All of those I do regularly. Other activities such as curling, hiking, and cross country skiing, I do occassionally.

Let's take last month for instance. We were invited to a fundraising curling bonspeil. So do I read up on curling, the correct stretches, the techniques etc..?


I research what one wears while curling and proceed to make an outfit!

How about cycling? I try to do 15K 3 times a week during "Ontario Cycle Wimp Season" That would be May to October for us cold wimps.

I have 6 cycling patterns, including shorts, shirts, jackets, and panniers, but have yet to design the "perfect outfit". Hence I cycle in 10 year old Dragon Boat racing shorts and an old tee.

Golf - same story - Lots of ideas - just no just the right attire. Have you ever PURCHASED golf wear? You can spend an entire salary on a skirt! I am crazy not to develop a golf line of women's wear considering I am part owner of a course for goodness sakes!

Skiing- I am a Ski Patrol (hoping by the way to Patrol at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver)
What do I wear under my jacket and pants? The rattiest old fleece in all of Thorndale! Either that or handme downs from the girls and their racing/instructing wardrobe.

Okay I admit that I did make a great pair of ski pants and gloves, but even THEY need replacing after 8 years of hard wear.

So tell me - does THIS cartoon describe YOU to a tee?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Did you sew when the kids were little?

I get asked this question often. Either that question or "how long have you been sewing" are questions people ask when they notice something I am wearing.
So to answer those-

Yes I sewed a lot when the girls were little. I came across this photo yesterday for example.

My mother and father in law were celebrating an anniversary and the entire family was getting together for family photos. (Mike has 3 sisters who live locally and 2 brothers and their families who live in Alberta)

So, very pregnant with baby number 5, and with the assistance of Mike's sister, I seem to recall, I decided to make new outfits for them all. Baby Lauren was only a few weeks old in this photo, Erica 6, Micaela 5, Kate almost 4(it was close to her birthday), and Leah was 2 1/2. Yes I was nuts. I was also only 29!

I made dresses or outfits for them every Easter and Christmas. Here is a "what were you thinking?!" Christmas photo. They remember me saying " don't look at me, look at the doorway"! I loved that overalls that little Lauren was wearing. I used pink flannel for the lining and contrast and it was really cute as well as warm.

And the beauties now! We used this shot for Mike's advertising campaign when he was running for council, with the caption "We're not on the fence, we're voting BONTJE" He won, but I am hoping for his platform, not for the good looks that run in the family!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

So WHAT did I end up wearing for New Years??

Ah you want to know do you? Actually I should tell you what we did first! Usually we do one of two things- go to the local town dance, where we know pretty well everyone and dance up a storm, or go to a house party with some very close and dear friends. This year we decided to mix it up a bit- friends of ours invited us out to dinner at a well known, small (holds 32 customers) restaurant run by two hilarious gay guys. We always meet the most interesting people when we eat there! You end up talking to almost everyone in the place just because the place is so small and intimate feeling. The owners play up the alternative card in a very clever manner- the "girl" in the hidious dress behind the bar is really a guy, they have posted every letter and card they have ever recieved on the wall on the way to the bathroom, the drinks they offer have embarrassingly funny names- you get the idea. Most people in the area know of the restaurant, including my 82 year old mother in law!

Yes Connie, but did you end up wearing the dress you were working on?

Sorry readers, but no I did not- hanging my head in shame as I was galloping so happily on my high horse of going beyond the "glitsy" New Years Eve dress trend.

I ended up loving the dress- it fits well and looks good. The "Fashion Critics Times Five" (or the ones who were home anyways) decreed that the dress was cute and all, but infinately more "going to a meeting" or church worthy than attending a soiree for New Years. "sigh" I promise photos and a review soon.
Back to the drawing board it was. I found some black sheer fabric with beading in the stash. It needed a simple design so I chose McCalls 5425. It was in the stash and was quick and easy.

I lined the dress with bright teal and made the scarf/tie from some black chiffon.

I did not want to ruin even more needles by doing a rolled hem on the hem, so (whispering here) I used fusible stuff!! It worked, but is not, not up to Couturesmith standards!

Here is what it looked like! I was so excited about my hair. I hate doing my hair because I really suck at it. French braids for the kids easy. Making my hair look presentable - not so good. I have been channeling Debra Messing lately though after watching reruns of Will and Grace on DVD while sewing. I love her hairdo's and tried pinning mine up a la messy organized Grace. It actually worked! This is me mugging for the camera and totally eclipsing Mike! This one is better of Mike in all his splendor. We had an awesome time, met some fun and interesting people and were back to work- yes work on New Years Day!- by 9 am.

Happy New Years Everyone. Now time for Resolutions!
Oh here is a heads up as to what is going on in the Bontje house soon- a NEW website all my own courtesy of Erica. As soon as we can get together - and honey that should be soon you new graduate you!- it will be ready for all to see. Second is my new job which begins next week. I am very excited about it. By the way it is in addition to not replacing my current job so I am a bit worried about sewing and blogging time!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dressing for New Years Eve

For New Years this year I decided that I don't want to be sparkly or glittery. I want to be classic and understated (riigghhtt Connie!)

With that in mind I am in the middle of this Christine Jonson wrap dress. Yes I have finally admitted to myself that a REAL VonFurstenberg wrap will not be gracing my pattern stash in the near future. $150.00 (ebay) for a pattern is more than I am willing to spend! I can live with that! There have been times that my bid finger has been itching to hit the button though! But keep looking for me Louie!

So here it is so far. Recognize the fabric?I added a collar. It was not originally a pattern piece, but the company sent a pattern addition to me last year and I like the look of it. I know, I know- a collar is basically a rectangle. But they WERE nice enough as to go through the trouble of mailing the addition to everyone who bought the pattern. It was the least I could to to try it out.

I think I want to add cuffs to the sleeves. Not the cuffs that are included in the pattern. By the way the sleeves are 3/4 length.

I am in the middle of deciding how I should treat the bodice attaching to the skirt. The skirt is a bit heavy feeling, and I think some twill tape or something like that is neccessary to help stabilize it.
Any suggestions?

Have you ever made a wrap dress? If so, which one, and did you like it? Did it compare favourably to the Von Furstenberg classic?

On a similar note, I fell in love with this Von Furstenberg dress at Holt Renfrew Last Chance. Even at the clearance price I couldn't justify it- and it WAS a size O, so it would fit my right leg perfectly!