lights… focus… action.

Okay… it’s been quite the overwhelming past couple weeks. Besides narrowly avoiding gainful employment (don’t ask), I’ve been pounding the pavement, cold calling, and taking on a few freelance projects. One of which financed something I’ve needed for a long time – an overhead light for my cutting table.



Now, I know it needs to be hanging a lot lower, I’ll have to go out and get some longer chains, but the difference is already completely amazing. Also the hanging rack above the table is kind of in the way but I haven’t figured out where to move it yet. I used to have to put all sorts of lamps on the table and turn on every light in the studio to get what really wasn’t anything close to decent light. My new light is industrial and not-pretty (I almost spent three times as much on a flourescent light that looked like a soft bubble), but it’s full-spectrum and very bright and affordable.

My cutting table, which I’ve shown before, is 4 x 6 feet. My boyfriend and I made it back when we had a smaller studio – today I wish I had used the full 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, though because the table top just sits on top of two heavy duty shelf units, that could be fixed someday in the future… but until then it’s a perfectly suitable, sturdy table.

It’s been great to rearrange and renew my studio. Now that I’m picking up the odd project here and there I need my workspace to be tip-top and there’s always something to do to make it better. I’m working on creating a patternmaker’s portfolio, to pursue my goal of manufacturing work experience. It feels really good to have a stated goal after all my experiences with interviews through school left me feeling like I was pursuing something I didn’t really want. I’m much more focused now and it’s helping me feel a lot more motivated in my search for gainful employment.

Oh, and by the way, the book on my table is The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing… a most useful and fascinating reference! These days I’m also reading Handford’s pattern book.

Guess what? I scored a much-envied volunteer position at Fashion Cares tomorrow! Toronto’s glitziest, most fashionable charity benefit promises celebrity spotting, Canadian fashion, ultra-networking, and over-the-top runway action. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to snap some pics, but at the very least I plan on dishing my experience later this weekend…

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15 thoughts on “lights… focus… action.”

  1. I love your studio- looks very organized in that picture! Does your boyfriend design clothing too?

    Fashion Cares was so much fun last year- have fun!

  2. Hey Danielle,

    Again as I said before on Flickr I love your Studio and that cutting table…I want to make one like it for myself!

  3. I love my studio too! I’m so lucky to have it and it’s a major motivation to stick around Toronto… that and the boy =)

    Eurobrat – he’s actually a special effects technician in the film industry, for in physical (in-camera) effects. His speciality is as a machinist, but he’s just great with all sorts of tools and building things in general – it’s his abilities that really make the studio possible. He helped me with custom hardware and accessories for my grad collection, and he’s getting into leatherworking, but he’s not so much into fashion as he is just into making stuff.

    For the shelving units he made from welded frames and then we built and finished the shelving together… everything he builds is hardcore solid! He’s such a great influence on me and really facilitates and encourages me so much.

  4. Nice studio space! Maybe someday I will have a work area like that.

    It’s so great to have a motivating partner! Especially when he’s nice like your boyfriend! Isn’t it funny how they (our boyfriends) slowing became involved with our work. Darryl began handsewing, and, although I don’t want to admit, he can stitch up a rolled hem with horsehair braid faster than I can! (although he says he’ll never do it again after all those gowns – I think he sorta liked it!)


  5. Haha, I was actually talking about Danielle’s, but your boyfriend sounds absolutely perfect too- where do you find these men? I’ve put out a wanted notice on ebay, but so far no one suitable has bid on it 🙂

  6. Hey, Danielle I just posted a thread on the Fashion Incubator forum about pattern cutting tables ! Good to see yours! I also don’t want to be caught out by making a table that’s too small, so it was interesting to hear that you wish your’s were a litle bigger, Think I’m going to go 6′ by 8′, would like even bigger but I don’t want it to swallow up the room! Your table has great storage underneath that’s a great idea, I’d also like a shelf for bolts of fabric. I’m inspired by your studio, I must say it looks like a really cozy place to work. What wood did you use on top it looks very nice, doesn’t look like plywood?!

    I can fully understand why you wouldn’t want to go running off to new York to a teeny tiny apartment when you have such a fab studio in Toronto!

  7. Aw, Eurobrat! You’re such a great girl, that rules out 98% of all men as not good enough for you. I hope your minimum bid on Ebay is very very high! Just keep doing your thing and you will just bump into him someday…

    Hi Lol! 6 by 8 – that’s mammoth. Tables that big you have to climb on top of to reach the middle so make sure it’s on a very sturdy base. My table is plywood with a 1/8 birch veneer.

    Lol and Jason – that’s definitely filed under “advantages for fashion in Toronto” – “affordable” SPACE!

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