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Posts Tagged ‘dress’

Poplin Skirt from filia.

Evening, kittens!  We’re happy it’s the weekend, too.  We’re brightening it up even more by featuring Kate O’Toole of filia.  You can find her on Etsy here, or if you’re more of the continual narrative type, her blog here.  Check out the before/after picture at the bottom of the page of an ottoman she reupholstered that was featured on the blog!  Ooh, ballsy!  We loved you and yer work already, Kate, but now we’re just jealous!

Geometric Print Cotton Sundress from filia.

BT:What does filia make and sell for Big Thaw shoppers to fawn over?

Kate O’Toole:  filia is a collection of modern, feminine apparel and small personal accessories that I design and sewn from my home on Munjoy Hill. The collection ranges from casual, brunch- or farmer’s market-ready skirts, tops and tunics to flirty, floaty party dresses, and includes many one-of-a-kind items. The filia aesthetic is distinguished by classic, stylish shapes updated with of-the-moment details and vibrant colors.  I work mainly with natural fibers like wool, cotton and silk and finish each garment with special detailing, such as grosgrain ribbon facing, hand-stitched hems, and pockets in nearly everything (they’re so useful!). Each filia design is produced in limited quantities and custom orders are always welcomed. Accessories include small bags, zipper pouches, envelope wallets, yoga mat bags, and iPod/tablet sleeves.

Black and Tan Skirt from filia.

BT:  How has your own mother (or mother figure) influenced your art, craft or endeavor? 

KO:  My mum has always been a huge inspiration in my creative endeavors. In the most literal sense she provided the foundation for my business by teaching me to how to sew as a little girl, but more importantly, as I watched her pursuit of several different types of crafts and creative expressions through the years, she instilled in me the fun and satisfaction of making things with your own two hands. When I decided to turn my love of sewing and creating clothing into a business in May of 2011, I named it filia (which echoes the Greek word for family and friendship) to honor the influence my mum all my loved ones have on my work. My mum occasionally helps me with the finish work on some garments if I’m finishing up a big order in a time crunch, is an invaluable consult on fabric choices or working out the construction of a item, and is generally one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. If I end up as a vendor at The Big Thaw, she will probably be with me at my table as my right-hand woman!

Tank Style Dress in Purple Floral from filia.

BT:  What new products or finds will you have available for shoppers at The Big Thaw that you would like featured on our blog? Please write a little about them and attach pictures (or links) if you’d like!
KO:  I’d hope that at The Big Thaw shoppers would find great gifts for their mothers and the special women in their life among my clothes for women of all ages and fun, stylish accessories. This spring I’ve got a ton of new fabric in bright spring and summer colors and patterns, ready to be turned into fun, warm-weather fashions! Designs will include drawstring-waist tunics, gathered skirts, blouses, and a variety of dresses in different styles.  For accessories, I have useful little linen zipper pouches, embellished with ruffles and geometric designs and lined with patterned cotton. I also have a line of stargazer linen zipper pouches that are hand-embroidered with different constellations – a fun gift to personalize with someone’s zodiac sign or for someone that loves looking at the night sky! I also have my popular yoga mat bags in a variety of colorful new patterns. I use a lot of the extra cotton from my yoga mat bags to sew cute little envelope wallets, which are great for holding small gifts like jewelry or gift cards, and iPod/iPad sleeves, which are lightly padded and make fabulous gifts. I’m always working on new items, so more would probably be added to this list!

Before

After

Come see Kate from filia at The Big Thaw on Saturday, May 12 from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St.  Happy weekend, jellybeans for everyone!

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Leather and Horn Necklace by A New Heirloom

Happy sunny Sunday, everyone!  I am about to go out the door for some breakfast at Marcy’s, but in the meantime let’s ogle over some goodies from Ashley Tyler:  A New Heirloom.

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Ashley Tyler is a recent Maine transplant whose work in the fashion industry is bringing muchas cosas to the Portland, ME apparel opportunities available to fashionable women in these region.  At Picnic last December my booth partner, Kate, and I were set up across from A New Heirloom and I think we were slobbering and drooling at the prints, shirts, scarves, necklaces, ponchos for the entire two days.  Tyler’s work is inspired by Native American prints, customs and animals/nature — she says “it lights my brain up” which is just about the best way to describe inspiration I’ve heard in a long time.  This influence is clear in her design, but a deeper level reveals her love for space, stars and technology as well.  Her prints are modern reflections of ancient designs.

Black Printed Scarf by A New Heirloom

When you swing around the floor at Mayo Street next week you will find A New Heirloom stocked with her signature scarves, shirts, bags and necklaces with some sweet summer additions.  How’s about some Aviva t-shirts, tops and skirts, dresses and (drumroll, please…) braided bikinis!  I can’t even believe how awesome these are, and A New Heirloom will be selling them at a steep pre-season discount for all you Maine ladies who just can’t wait to get in to an ocean-state-of-mind.

A New Heirloom: Bikinis! Yes!

And if you’re worried about missing Ashley’s booth at The THAW, never fear:  you can pick A New Heirloom out of a crowd quite easily:  in addition to executing beautiful, luscious silk creations and soft and tactile leather work Ashley also happens to be a whiz out of making something out of nothing:  her craft fair booth set up is one of the most creative we’ve seen at the Maine fairs.  Flashback December 2010 and Kate and I are setting up our Picnic table — Ashley shows up (in wool plaid and jodphurs!) and starts setting up apple crates, towered high, on her table.  A rickety wooden ladder goes on top and garments are hung from the rungs to weight the apple crates which hold folded items.  Oh my gosh!  We asked her how on earth she came up with such a creative way of displaying her work that still did justice to her inspirations and materials.  Here’s what she said:

Just look for the awesome booth set up to find A New Heirloom at The BIG THAW

I’m so glad you liked my improvised booth set up.  I knew I wanted to do something tactile and unique and needed to figure out a way to utilize a small space w/ only a table without a rolling rack.  sooo I decided to use whatever I had around me: Our barn in Limerick is full of apple crates and old ladders so…I literally awoke one morning with the idea to stack the apple crates on the table and then put the ladder across the top of the crates to create a place to hang the garments and stabilize the crates. The end effect was a sort of ‘stage.’

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We can’t get enough of Ashley’s goodies.  See below for some more pictures!  Or better yet, see her next Saturday at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage sale at 10 Mayo St (Mayo Street Arts Center) in East Bayside, 10am-4pm.  One block down from the big Catholic church off Cumberland Ave/Franklin Arterial in Portland!

Ladies and Gents' T-Shirts

Braided Bikinis by A New Heirloom

Amazing, versatile Diamond Dove top from A New Heirloom

Tree Top in a spring ensemble from A New Heirloom

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Hoo lordy, lordy.  Server was down tonight so although today’s vendor spotlight was ready to go HOURS ago I had to wait to put it up!  Argh!!  Today we’re featuring Threads of Hope, and guest writer Malaika Picard of Hand-Me-Down-Designs has been so kind as to write it!  Here we go:

We’re so excited about all of our great vendors, each and every one of them an artist in their own medium.  Who knew Maine had such talent?  WE DID!

Wow! Splash of Summery Color from Threads of Hope

Today’s spotlight shines in a little woodsy neighborhood in Waterboro, home of Threads of Hope, started by Donna Hebert.  She and her daughter, Elizabeth, have taken ‘home-spun’ to new levels.

What started as a desire to make modest girls’ and women’s clothing became a labor of love as the Hebert family embarked on the journey of adoption.  Seeking to raise the funds to give two Ethiopian children a loving home, the Hebert women set to work making skirts and dresses for sale with all of the proceeds going to their adoption fund.

Easy, Over-the-Head Clothes for Girls and Young Women by Threads of Hope

Their simple styles, coupled with warm, cheerful prints will get you feeling bright and cheery in no time!  Spring thaw….bring it on!

Did I mention…they have snoods, too!

Snoods! Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes.

Thanks, Malaika, for such a nice review!  I’m especially excited to get my hands on some of those snoods.  For those of you who don’t know but are terribly curious — snoods are like big, chunky hair nets a la 1950s diner waitress or medieval fairs – style it however you like, I think snoods are the best thing since sliced bread.

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