Headlines for Sunday:

  1. Snakes on a Plane! 09:41
  2. Sew what? 11:33
  3. Looking for a malong supplier 13:34
  4. A mannequin would be useful 13:38

Work on research



1. Snakes on a Plane!: 09:41

Watched Snakes on a Plane with Leigh Honeywell, Quinn Fung, Jedediah Smith, and Seth Hardy last night. Tons of fun, particularly with the audience participation bits. The movie itself was as cheesy as expected, but hey, it wasn't about the film: it was about the meta-humor...

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2. Sew what?: 11:33

When I noticed the rip in Shane D'Costa's shirt, I insisted that he change into a bathrobe robes so that I could mend the tear. It's nice having a sewing kit handy. I find few clothes that I particularly enjoy, so I like taking care of them. It's also nice to be able to do little things for other people.

I know a number of people who know how to sew. Leigh Honeywell made her own prom dress. Totally impressive. =)

I don't have the space for a sewing machine just yet. I'm tempted to learn how to sew well enough to make things that I'd consider well-made. I suppose I wouldn't do too badly with some sewing and embroidery skills, though, because I can then embellish basic forms.

I enjoy wearing clothes that say something about me, whether it's my appreciation of traditional culture or my quirkiness when it comes to computer T-shirts. I like being able to maintain such clothes and maybe even modify or create new things. Besides, sending something as simple as that out for alteration or tailoring is expensive, especially considering how little time it takes to fix something. =)

So yeah, sewing. S'fun. I like knitting, too, and look forward to picking it up again this winter.

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3. Looking for a malong supplier: 13:34

I get complimented almost every time I walk out the door wearing one of the beautifully patterned malongs from the Philippines. The malong is also worn in several other Asian countries. I love the intricacy of the pattern, particularly when it's embroidered and not just printed. It's a terrific what's-it at parties, sparking plenty of interesting conversations. And yeah, it's hip enough to go casual and ethnic enough to go more formal: all I need are a few safety pins and a nice brooch.

When some friends and I were at the Taste of the Danforth (a Greek food festival), a shop owner asked me if she could buy the malong off me. She wasn't the first to ask me where to get these malongs. I wonder if I can start a little side business that'll also make it easier for me to get the malongs I like... <laugh>

Sourcing the cloth would probably be the hardest thing. Quality is so variable. One of my favorite malongs had a brilliantly coloured red, purple and gold pattern in the beginning. The dye runs each time I wash it, which is a pain. I have to wash it separately and make sure there's enough space between it and the other items on my clothes-drying rack.

I wonder where to find malong cloth: embroidered, printed, etc. I want quality malongs and accessories with the same patterns. Imagine wearing a matching scarf, or a cute bag, or even shoes...

Hmm. It would be a good excuse to learn how to build an e-commerce site, too. Also, I've been doing lots of strange things with wearing a malong that I haven't seen other people do yet, so that might be fun to pick up.

Something to look into. First thing I'd need to do is to find a source for ready-made high-quality malong cloth and make a few samples.

Hmm. I'd love to pass this idea to someone else. It's not part of my core competency (sewing bags? making shoes? I'd have to learn so much first!), but it's something I wouldn't mind taking a risk on to help make it happen...

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From Simon Ditner:

<rant> It kind of throws me for a loop that your blog doesn't have a display of user submitted feedback. It's very unsatisfying putting comments in this little box, and not seeing them go anywhere, like I'm pitching bits to the wind. It seems like the complete antithesis of your research.</rant>

On Queen St., between Spadina and Bathurst, you'll find yourself in the fashion design district with some of the best deals on fabric in town. I sent an email off to my friend Lyn, a local vietnamese fashion designer, to see if she knows of a local source of malongs.

From Charo Nuguid:

I have a friend who lives in Iligan City. He's a photojournalist, and being that your dad was formerly one, you'd know how small the pay is for this job. What he does to raise money for lenses and bodies is to buy and sell beautifully crafted native swords. He'd auction them off on eBay and have people send money to his brother's account in the States.

Selling Philippine-made malongs would be a great idea. It's just a matter of sourcing them out here in the Philippines. :)

From Kelly Drahzal:

I love the ideas of an e-commerce site making(?) and selling ethnic clothes of good quality. I'd be their best customer as well, I think.

I'm also into sewing and quilting. Have an old Bernina sewing machine that is my pride and joy, and have been dropping hints for months that I'd like a mannequin/dress form for birthday/christmas.

If you decide to seriously pursue something like this, let me know. I'd be interested in a joint venture. :-)

From Jay Goldman:

Some thoughts on your malong project:
  • Go for it! It may not be part of your core competency, but you might just surprise yourself. I just read Leila's post about Bob Parson's rules right before yours (http://www.hyperbio.net/fric_frac/2006/08/bob_parsons_rul.html) and was struck by the overlap. His rule #1? Get and stay out of your comfort zone. He's right you know.
  • There are some excellent fabric shops along Queen St. W., in the few blocks west of Spadina. I'm not sure if malongs require special fabric, but there's a good chance you'll find what you need in there (and, if not, some good leads on where to track it down). Take a malong with you when you go and you'll have much better luck explaining what you want.
  • Craislist is a great resource for finding things. A quick search for mannequin turns up a few that might work for you (like http://toronto.craigslist.org/clo/193412155.html, though lacking legs). There's also a "wanted" section, so you could post a request for a proper one in there. You would likely also find people who could make malongs for you (i.e.: a "Production Team") if you wanted to focus on the design and order taking aspects.
  • The Shopify folks out in Ottawa (who are awesome and part of the barcamp crew out there), have a great solution for setting up a simple ecommerce store, which we're about to use it to sell torcamp t-shirts. Although it may offend your open source sensibilities, check it out as a possibility.
  • Last thought: this is a low risk opportunity with a potentially high reward. All you really have to do is set up a website, print some business cards, and see what happens. Your worst case is that no one is interested and you spent some time building a site, and your best case is that it takes off wildly and you end up enthroned on a global fashion empire :)

Good luck!

4. A mannequin would be useful: 13:38

When I have more space, I think a mannequin and some white cloth for a backdrop would make these totally small-time clothing shoots a lot more manageable. Shooting myself with a point-and-shoot's self-timer is way more work than it should be.

Maybe I should take all of my malongs home this Christmas, borrow a mannequin from somewhere, and borrow the studio cyclorama so that I'd have a seamless floor. Would be totally excellent for learning how to shoot. <laugh> Who knows--I might even get into lights!

I foresee constantly tweaking clothes, and it would be nice to be able to document that. Totally small-budget. No models, no model releases, etc. ;) It's not going to be high fashion or anything like that, but it will be fun!

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E-mail sent

  1. E-mail to Simon Ditner,Simon Rowland,Quinn Fung
  2. E-mail to planner-el-discuss@gna.org
  3. E-mail to Roger Yang
  4. E-mail to alain