The importance of colour in our clothing

Colour is important; it effects how you feel and how people respond to us. Industries used stimulating colours to increase production, hospitals use soothing colours to enhance recuperation, advertisers employ eye-catching colours to entice us to buy their products.

Researchers have found that colours evoke certain responses. For instance, navy blue suggests authority. Red is exciting, stimulating; pink, sweet and gentle; Orange is friendly, outgoing; yellow, sunny and cheerful. Green makes us feel tranquil and blue is also a soothing colour. Purple is regal, dignified; Brown, dependable; Black is sophisticated and mysterious; White is innocent and grey is safe, comforting and protective.

So colours are important in creating the look we want to achieve and influencing other people’s mental reactions to us. A navy suit teamed with a white shirt is especially authoritative and commands respect. Neutral colours (such as black, grey, beige and cream) in various shades of the same tone create an elegant look; contrasting light and dark colours create a dramatic effect. Of course the colour can also have negative associations. For example, too much pink can be saccharine.

Obviously not everyone responds to colour in exactly the same way, but general responses are so well proved that they can be relied upon. Men are attracted to women wearing pale yellow, pale pink, navy, shades of blue, red and tan. They do not like mustard, chartreuse or lavender shades.

Women are instinctively attracted to the colours that most become them, but unfortunately, they do not always select the most flattering colours because of the influence of parents, friends, salespeople and childhood associations with colour.

Women are also influenced by colours and styles currently in vogue. Each season designers show their new rangers in particular colours, and fashion conscious women are the first to wear them. But the latest colours may not always be the right ones for every woman. The right shades of those that accentuate the natural hair, skin, and eye colouring.

In recent years the Chinese and Japanese influence on fashion has resulted in a new simplicity with products like the white t-shirt and a rethinking of colour and design. They use neutrals as important basic colours.

Colour is the most important element in either enhancing your appearance or detracting from it. The easiest way to look your most attractive is to wear your best colours. If someone complements you on the way you look, it probably means that colour you have chosen is right for you.

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Emboidery Sewing Machines

A sewing machine is one of the most creative embroidery tools at your disposal. You do not need to spend a fortune on the latest model is even a basic machine can produce a wide range of wonderful effects.

To ensure successful machine embroidery, your sewing machine must have the following:

  • straight and zigzag stitches
  • feed dogs (the teeth feeding the material under the needle), which can be lowered or covered
  • adjustable lower tension.

You may also wish to have:

  • built in stitch patterns
  • computerised pattern design, but these are not compulsory.

Before you begin to stitch, it is worth spending a little time getting to know your machine. You will need to consult the manufacturers manual to verify the settings, so keep the manual handy. Make sure your machine is clean and warm – it should be stored at room temperature, so that the oil lubricates well. Clean the bobbin regularly to remove any fluff and bits of thread that may build up. If you’re manual advises it, oil your machine when needed.

Make sure your machine is threaded correctly, and test the stitching on a scrap of fabric. If the quality of the stitching is poor, the tension may need to be adjusted, by following the manual. If the machine has been oiled, the stitch test will also remove any surplus oil that could otherwise damage your work. You will need to replace needles on a regular basis, as a needle that has become blunt may result in either uneven skipped stitches.

Most manufacturers produced sewing machines ranging from the basic straight/zigzag-stitch models to the most sophisticated, computerised machines. Before purchasing a machine, establish your needs. Although machine embroidery does not require all the features provided by the top of the range models, you may find a machine with a good range to be more cost effective.

Extra bobbins are quite cheap and always useful. Different machines use different bobbins, so use those recommended for your machine rather than universal ones.

When using a machine, this thread creates a groove in the eye of the needle that is unique to that type of threat. If you then change to another type of thread, the group will not match and the thread may snap or shred. In order to avoid this stick a label on the needle box to identify which needle was used with which thread.

Use a universal needle for machine embroidery. Large needles, size 90/100, are ideal for most threads as they cause less wear and tear on the threads, but for metallic threads use a needle with an extra large eye in order to prevent shredding. Spring needles will allow you to work free machine embroidery without the need for a foot. Use twin needles to stitch with two threads simultaneously, checking that the hole in the base plate of the machine is wide enough to fit both needles.

Use a standard foot when working general stitching and automatic patterns with the pressure foot on and the feed dogs up. Darning feet are used with the feed dogs down for free machine embroidery. Use a zip foot to insert zips, make piping and for general make up techniques.

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Top 10 Best Ever Wet T-shirt Pics

In 10th place
Best ever wet t-shirt Number 10

No. 10


 In 9th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 9

No 9


In 8th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 8

No 8


In 7th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 7

No 7


In 6th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 6

No 6


In 5th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 5

No 5


In 4th place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 4

No 4


In 3rd place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 3

No 3


In 2nd place 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 2

No 2


and finally Number 1 

Best ever wet t-shirt pic No 1

No 1

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What makes a woman a good dresser? What makes you turn around and stare when she passes? She may not be exceptionally beautiful, she may not wear the most expensive clothes or jewellery, yet her appearance is pleasing, she looks “ polished” and complete. He knows which are her “best colours”, and what type of clothes suit her the most. She has style and flair. Do you gaze at her with envy and wonder how she has achieved a special look? Does she know something you don’t know? Achieving your own “total look” needn’t be a lot of hard work, provided you learn some fundamental facts about colour, clothes and cosmetics. The right combination of these three Cs can help you change your image completely. It can enhance your best features and camouflage your shortcomings. It can give you the confidence to wear what you want when you want. It can transform you from a dowdy “nobody” into an attractive, exciting eye-catcher.

It isn’t difficult to put the theory into practice. Fashion models do it, film stars do it, public relations people do it, and I know how they do it. This blog aims to make their beauty secrets and techniques available to you. I will show you which colours flatter you the most and which fashion styles are best for your figure type. I will teach you how to select the right hairstyle and hair colour, how to assemble a versatile, colour co-ordinated wardrobe, and how to choose accessories that adds sparkle and elegance to your outfits.

I am certain that by following my advice you will buy right, getting the maximum use and pleasure from your clothes and cosmetics, and avoiding costly mistakes.

I want to help you achieve that very special look you admire in others; enable you to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, project the image you prefer, create your own flair, style and individuality, and get your colours and dress right. You’ll know when you’ve achieved your “total look” – you will feel good, you’ll feel attractive, and you will look exciting!

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Embroidery techniques

There has been a great upsurge of interest and innovation in the art of embroidery in recent years. Modern embroiderers have a new, experimental attitude to their art and use a wide variety of fabrics and threads, some of them far from conventional. You will find both the traditional and the modern techniques of embroidery explained in future blogs.

If you are already well versed in the art of embroidery, you will no doubt be keen to explore some of the more difficult techniques. However, even if you are a novice embroiderer, don’t be afraid to try them. I will try and explain clearly how to work the stitches required and you will soon discover that many techniques share certain stitches. Familiar and adaptable, old friends such as backstitch, cross stitch, French knots, satin stitch and couching are used in many different techniques, blurring the boundaries between different styles of embroidery. As a result, techniques that are generally considered difficult are in fact quite closely linked to traditionally easy forms by common stitches. So if you can master those stitches on a counted fabric such as Aida or canvas, there is nothing to stop you from trying them in stumpwork, crewel work, silk shading or free surface embroidery. Once you see the connections, the mystery of these many different techniques is exploded, and you are back to what you know – needle, thread and fabric.

The same applies to that apparently magical group of techniques that can turn ordinary fabric into something resembling lace: pulled work, drawn thread work,  Hardanger and cutwork. It is hard to imagine being confident enough to pull, cut and remove threads of the fabric. However once again you will come across reassuring names for stitches you already know, and what could be more frightening about buttonhole and running stitch?

Posted in Aida, backstitch, buttonhole, couching, crewel work, cross stitch, Embroidery, Embroidery techniques, French knots, Hardanger, running stitch, satin stitch, silk shading, stumpwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The history of Embroidery

The art of decorating textiles is almost as old as the human race, and the study of its history affords fascinating insight into the social, economic and religious aspects of Art and design throughout the centuries. Embroidery has been used in countless ways and for many different purposes: to embellish elaborates trousseaux and funerary wrappings, to proclaim the glory of God and the majesty of kings and queens, to display great wealth or simply to add a little colour to the homes of peasants.

For many non-stitchers, embroidery is an activity from the past. They imagine a refined pastime enjoyed by aristocratic ladies, as depicted in formal portraits by court painters. Of course, there is a great deal of truth in this. Many images confirm it: Queen Elizabeth I in her extraordinary blackwork ruffs; Mme Pompadour at her elaborate tambour frame circa 1764; or one of the Ladies Waldegrave stitching white sprigs on to muslin in  Joshua Reynolds painting of 1780. To the people depicted in these paintings, embroidery was a pleasure and an accomplishment.

However embroidery was not just a past time for wealthy women; it was also a way of earning a living for those at the other end of the social spectrum. The privileged lives of the purchasers of embroidered goods, whose rapidly changing fashions and foibles insured constant innovations in design and techniques, stand in stark contrast to the hardship and drudgery of the people who laboured to produce the work. Embroidery may have represented incredible luxury and finery, but it also equated with hard labour. Early 19th century descriptions tell of Irish women working fine white work collars in only 10 days. They had little choice in their work at a time when Ireland was in the grip of famine. Paid a pittance and working against harsh deadlines, they save time by using children to thread their needles, and were reputed to splash whiskey into their eyes to help keep them going. For them, embroidery must have been an arduous chore, undertaken to feed themselves and their family.

Small children would often spend hours at their own embroidery. They would master their sewing skills and perhaps their alphabet by working detailed samplers. The aim of their painstaking work was to gain a job as a lady’s maid, when they would spend long hours stitching the family linen.

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Our clothing buying habits

The end of the 20th century saw significant changes in the fortunes of the various retail outlets for women’s clothes in Britain. The majority of retail sales were by specialist chains, well-known names such as Dorothy Perkins, River Island, Etam and Benetton, with outlets in the high streets of most major towns and cities. Department stores were increasing their market share, at the expense of variety stores – smaller high-street retailers selling a range of goods including clothing. Discount stores showed increased sales, but falling profits. Mail order was becoming less popular for buying clothes, partly because high street chains had become more competitive, but partly because consumers have more money to spend, and were less likely to need credit. The independent retailers were also being squeezed out by the chains, being unable to compete on prices.

Woman’s clothing budgets.

Price remained the major factor influencing consumer demand, but there was also a growing emphasis on quality. Generally younger women tended to look for the cheaper clothes, and regarded fashion as more important than quality, but older women were demanding higher quality of both goods and services in shops. The most commonly purchased items were essentials like skirts, dresses, trousers and knitwear. Perhaps surprisingly, skirts and dresses were now more popular than trousers and jeans, but this was due in part to the increasing numbers of women working and needing to dress reasonably smartly.

Who are the women doing the buying?

An ageing population, due to the lower birth rate and higher life expectancy, meant an inevitable change in buying habits. The largest growth of female population at the end of the 20th century was in the range of 35 to 44 years, with a decline in those aged 15 to 34. Fortunately for the fashion industry, it was clear that women of all ages, not just the young, were now demanding fashionable clothes. Retailers were beginning to appreciate a new phenomenon, that of older women returning to work after bringing up children, the so-called ‘empty nesters’. These women now had higher incomes and fewer family commitments, and were thus able to spend more on non-necessity items, such as the latest fashions. There have always been risks in catering solely for the young consumer, owing to the fickleness of fashion, and the increased spending power of older women now encouraged a change of emphasis.

Women’s size and shape.

In the late 1990s, the store group Debenhams commissioned a study from Nottingham Trent University to find out if the ready-to-wear clothes sold to women with suitable for their sizes and shapes. The results, achieved by accurately measuring 2500 women with digital technology, prove surprising. In the previous 17 years it was found that women had put on an average of 4 kg in weight and that 40% were wearing different sized tops and bottoms. Only a third were wearing the appropriate size. The average woman increases a dress size every 10 to 15 years, but she gradually loses height, and so her overall proportions and shape are altered. Debenhams were prompted to adjust their silhouette for all women’s sizes as a result of the study.

Menswear: still the poor relation?

Although expenditure on menswear show signs of increasing in the late 1990s, it was still way below that of womenswear. Men have been traditionally more reluctant clothes shoppers than women, but certain factors were beginning to change this. The main shift of buying habits had come about through casualwear becoming more acceptable and replacing the formal in many men’s wardrobes. Many workplaces were now tolerating casualwear, and even encouraging it with the American practice of ‘Dress down Friday’ being adopted in some offices. The traditional suit for work, always a major item of expenditure, was now no longer always necessary, and so men had more money to spend on other items of clothing. Another factor encouraging men to spend more on clothes has been the growth in the sports culture. Sports shops now take a significant share of the clothing market, and sportswear, however functional, is now seen as desirable casualwear. Men’s choice of clothing remains more limited than that of women, but retailers are beginning to recognise that the new conditions in the clothing market for men mean that there are opportunities for expansion.

Posted in Buying habits, Menswear: still the poor relation?, Who are the women doing the buying?, Woman's clothing budgets., Women's size and shape. | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment