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1ST Annual Costume Fashion Show at Colorado Fabrics

March 28, 2018

 

We are incredibly excited to announce our first annual Costume Fashion Show! We’ll be exhibiting amazing costumes that our customers have created using our fabrics. We get to see the materials in their unaltered form, so it’s a real treat to see what our fabrics become!

The Costume Fashion Show is a free, all-ages event being held at Colorado Fabrics on Saturday, March 31st from 1-3pm. We collected submissions for several months and selected the best pieces to represent the skill and creativity of our talented customers. Submissions fall into three categories- Historical Costuming, Cosplay, and Costume Fashion. You don’t need to know a thing about costuming to appreciate these creations, but in case you’re curious about what these categories mean, read on for a brief primer on each style!

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Historical Costuming

The category features designs that recreate authentic historical fashion. Costumers use artwork, photographs (if available), advertisements, fashion plates, and surviving clothing items to inform their pieces. Some work to recreate an existing outfit exactly, while others use the techniques and styles of the time to inspire a new creation. Some historical costumers avoid all modern fabrics and techniques, using only materials and methods available during the time they are exploring. These highly accurate creations are truly labors of love!

Historical costuming is about bringing an era back to life and is a great way for sewing and fashion traditions to continue in our modern culture. Historical costumes are generally worn for events, historical reenactments, or just for the fun of escaping to another time.

Check out Denver blogger The Closet Historian, then follow her recommendations for other great historical costuming blogs. These blogs show the amount of research and consideration that goes into a historical costume!

http://theclosethistorian.blogspot.com/2015/08/7-historic-costuming-blogs-you-should.html

Visit The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, to explore their wonderful online collection and see the fashions that inspire these costumers.

https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/the-costume-institute

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Cosplay

Cosplay generally focuses on recreating a pop-culture character from TV, movies, comics, or video games. This type of costuming may seem new to some people, since the term “cosplay” (a portmanteau of “costume” and “play”) first appeared in only 1984. But the beginnings of cosplay (originally known as “fan-costuming”) were first seen in notable scale at the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939! Back then fans used comic books and pulp fiction covers to inform their designs.

Today, many cosplayers go beyond dressing up just for the fun of championing their favorite character. Serious cosplayers challenge themselves to achieve total accuracy, devoting a large amount of time (and often money) to their creations. They attempt to capture every detail of the inspiration character in their design. Finished costumes include hair, makeup, accessories and props in order to express the character as faithfully as possible.

Cosplay also contains a unique competitive element. Competitions are commonly judged on Accuracy (to the original design), Craftsmanship (the level of quality and detail), Presentation (embodiment of the character) and Audience Impact (overall stage presence). All cosplayers take great pride in bringing a beloved character to life, but cosplay competitors add the aspects of technique and innovation for absolutely stunning results.

Cosplay explores a wide array of pop-culture influences. Designs can range from sweet and innocent, to mature and intense, depending on the source material. However, our Costume Fashion Show is an all-ages event, so all cosplay submissions are family appropriate, and well worth a look!

This is a great site to see the level of creativity and detail that goes into cosplay! Bear in mind, some cosplay can be risqué.

https://cosplay.kotaku.com/

If you’ve got the cosplay bug and want to see more in person (or participate yourself!), get to Denver ComicCon! We’ll be there with our Costume Repair Booth, so come see us!

https://denvercomiccon.com/attractions/

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Costume Fashion

This last category is where all other costumes go! Halloween costumes, history with a twist (like steampunk), stage performance costumes- they all go here. Though the category’s parameters are less specific, there is no shortage of creativity and skill in this eclectic group.

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Now that you know, come see the show! Costume models will walk a runway first, and will be available after for questions and a closer look. You can chat with models and designers to learn more about their category, their methods, and why they love what they do!

The store is open for shopping during the show, so you can still get what you need all day long. And should you get inspired by the amazing costumes, you’re right where you need to be to get started on your own design!

See you at the show!

 

Mud Cloth

By Meghan Hart

February 16, 2018

Mud Cloth

Celebrate Black History Month!

Let’s talk about one of the coolest textiles to come from Africa, namely, mud cloth! Many of us can recognize mud cloth, with its slightly rough woven texture and striking patterns. It’s a sturdy fabric with tons of potential, from home decorating to fashion. Mud cloth fits a range of decor, from clean and traditional, to layered and eclectic- add a little or a lot!  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-decorate-with-mud-cloth_us_59b95f68e4b086432b0397e7

 It’s also a great way to bring graphic, ethnic flair to your personal style. You can use it anywhere you would use medium weight fabrics, or simply hang it on a wall for a one-of-a-kind work of art. Beyoncé even wore a gown made entirely of mud cloth panels for L’Officiel Paris magazine! It’s absolutely amazing- check it out here! https://fineartamerica.com/featured/new-upload-abodiya-idakwoji.html)

However, mud cloth is more than just a versatile and striking fabric. It is a traditional handicraft and labor of love. The textile originated in Mali in about the 12th century, and is still created through a multi-step process that is much the same as ever.

Mud cloth is also known as “bògòlafini”. Bògòlafini comes the Bambara language, meaning bogo (“earth” or “mud”), lan (“with”) and fini (“cloth”). The process starts with a piece of fabric made from woven cotton strips. This sheet is soaked in a bath made with n’gallama leaves, which turns the fabric yellow. The fabric is removed and dried before the mud is applied.

This particular mud is gathered from riverbeds and fermented in clay jars for about a year. It has a high iron content that oxidizes when in contact with the tannins from the n’gallama bath, which creates the familiar black color. The patterns are made by carefully outlining the intricate shapes with the mud, then filling in the background. The mud painted cloth is left in the sun to dry completely, then rinsed free of excess mud.

Lastly, the craftsman makes a soap/bleach paste, and traces over the patterns, to remove the yellow tint from the initial dye bath, and leave the detailed designs a stark white. This step is how the graphic contrast found in mud cloth is achieved. Modern mud cloth can also be found in black on white, and shades of brown. Learn more about the process and history of mud cloth here! https://folklife.si.edu/malian-bogolan/smithsonian

Mud cloth was traditional material for clothing in Mali, worn during times of transition or significant events. The patterns were laden with symbols to help bless, protect, or convey meaning to the wearer and those around them. Now days you can still find specific traditional symbols used in the patterns. These are just a few of the more common symbols and their meanings- https://i0.wp.com/tomacadesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/african-symbols2.jpg?resize=768%2C994)

Another exciting feature at Colorado Fabrics for Black History Month is our display of quilts from Wa Shonaji, a quilting and fiber arts group here in Denver that focuses on creations from an African-American perspective. The name Wa Shonaji is Swahili for “people who sew”, and this great organization has generously lent us several quilts from their artisans to exhibit around the store. Each quilt has a distinct style, but they all represent talented African-American artists from our hometown. http://www.washonaji.org/

Come see us and check out these exceptional quilts, along with our selection of African motif fabrics (including a limited supply of mud cloth!) and get inspired for your next handcrafted work of art!

 

CF hosts: Stash Swap!

By Meghan Hart

fabric stash

 

Colorado Fabrics hosted our first Fabric Stash Swap on Saturday, January 27 and it was a raging success! We had never done one of these before and we were very excited. The event was FREE, and was a great opportunity to switch up your fabric stash while also meeting other interesting folks in the sewing community.

So, what could you have expected at the Stash Swap? People from all different sewing backgrounds brought in fabric they no longer needed and offered it for sale or trade. You were able to find anything from quilting cottons, to home decorating, to high-end special occasion pieces- and much, much more. Pieces generally range in size from small (ideal for patchwork, details and accents) all the way to several yards (ready for anything!). The fun is in not knowing what treasures you will find!

Everyone is welcome to attend this free event, whether you are hoping to sell, buy, or both. Colorado Fabrics rents out tables to those who need a place to sell their stash. The next Stash Swap will be June 2, 2018, and we will be providing more tables and extending the swap outside. You are still welcome to carry in-hand whatever fabrics you want to offer, or feel free to come empty-handed and just do some shopping! This will be your chance to exchange, build, or purge your stash as you wish.

The ground rules are:

  • Fabric must be clean, smoke-free, pet-free (fashion, home decor, quilting, bridal, etc.)
  • If you plan on selling/buying YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR OWN CHANGE. We will not make change for this event. No exceptions.
  • Fabric must be clean and pre-priced, if selling.
  • All transactions are strictly between swappers, so bring your negotiation skills!

Colorado Fabrics proudly hosts the Stash Swap, but are not participating in the event. You are responsible for your fabrics, money, and any arrangements made. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so that when we arrange the next get-together, you’ll see it there first!

***Colorado Fabrics will gladly accept donations of any fabrics you don’t want at the end of the swap. We put donations to good use through local sewing charities and the local organization “We Made This”.

 

 

December 28, 2017

 

kitten under blanket

 

 

The holidays are a wonderful time of year! They are fun, festive, and a great way to distract from winter creeping ever closer. But, let’s be honest, the holidays are also a time of stress and endless to-do lists. Once that blissful season is over, and the glittery decorations are all packed away, you may be left with a sense of exhaustion and nothing but months of winter looming before you… (or maybe that’s just me?) In case you feel the same, we thought we’d give you something to look forward to after the holly jolly has ended! For January, we recommend you only do three things... Get warm. Get some rest. And get creative!

We’ve gathered together links for some easy projects that will help you unwind from the busy holiday season, while staying cozy through the winter months ahead!

 

First, prep your space against the winter chill:

Draft Stopper - this is a great one to reach into your stash for.

Draft Stopper- should you need something heartier, try this upholstery fabric option.

 

Next, get cozy and unwind:

Fleece slippers- a little tricky, but oh so worth the effort!

 

Rice Bags- a super simple stash project, or a fun way to use seasonal fabrics. Whip up one of these babies, toss it in the microwave and get warmed up. Ideal for sore muscles!

 

Flannel blankets- incredibly easy, and great to curl up on the sofa with.

 

Faux Fur Pillow and Throw- luxurious and incredibly soft. This is a great, easy way to experiment with faux fur, or try using Cuddle/Minky fabrics instead.

 

Now that you’re relaxed, get some sleep:

Pillowcases- a great way to keep seasonal style all winter long. Try any super soft fabric, like flannel, fleece, or minky and you’ll be off to dreamland!

 

Sleep Mask- a must have if you want to sleep in…

 

Enjoy your post-holiday hibernation. You’ve earned it!

December 13, 2017

 

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Owner Nada Watt’s take on Colorado Fabrics’ first year in Aurora location

 

We have come a long way since our beginning in 1979, when Bill and Judy Cisney opened a small fabric shop named Buy the Piece. As a newly married and expectant mother, I was introduced to Buy the Piece two years after it opened. From that day on Buy the Piece, later to be named Denver Fabrics, became my favorite fabric store. After 8 years of shopping at the store, I decided I wanted to work there, so in 1989 I was hired as a Home Decorating sales associate…soon promoted to Decorator department head, buyer/merchandizer. What started as a hobby job shortly became a career that ended in the purchase of the largest fabric store in the multi-state Rocky Mountain region, now known as Colorado Fabrics. One year ago, this month we moved Colorado Fabrics from Littleton to Aurora and are thrilled to finally be settled and celebrating our first year in Aurora.
What makes Colorado Fabrics so unique? I feel our Mission Statement makes that very clear.
SEWING IS OUR PASSION, FABRIC IS OUR SPECIALTY, SHARING IS OUR PURPOSE
This store is owned and staffed by people who love to sew. Our staff members are skilled and excited about all aspects of sewing. We love all our customers whether they are newbies or long timers. It is so much fun to see a young sewist come in with their energy and excitement and just as much fun to serve our experienced seamstresses and learn from their expertise. We are so excited about this new location because a 40,000-sq. foot store allows for the addition of our sewing classroom the CF Academy and our new Long Arm room used for quilting and teaching others how to free motion quilt using our machines. Sewing truly is our passion.
Colorado Fabric is everything fabric. If it is fabric or used with fabric, we have it here. We are the one stop shop for all things sewing! From fabric to notions and from budget to high fashion silks, wools and linens, we even have special direct from NY Designer Fabrics. No matter your fabric need you should be able to find it here. We strive to be everyone’s favorite fabric store. We proudly state FABRIC IS OUR SPECIALTY.
We are excited to be part of the Aurora/Parker business community and are looking forward to the many opportunities that are ahead of us with our membership in the Aurora Chamber. We love doing our part to support and give back to the Colorado sewing community. We have several great partnerships already including Quilts of Valor, Local Quilt and Sewing Guilds, Front Range Angel Gowns and many more. One of our favorite partnerships is with “We Made This”, part of the African Community Center, they work with refugees, teaching them sewing skills and helping them to rebuild sustainable lives in our community. There are so many opportunities to support the sewing community. We are always looking to make new connections and do our part to help the art of sewing grow. SHARING is our purpose.
We ask you to share your awareness of our fabric store with your family and friends and other businesses so that Colorado Fabrics can enjoy a long successful membership in this community and the Denver Metro area.

 

 

November 17, 2017

 

Sewing Machine Repair and Scissor Sharpening1

 

A Must Have Sewing Notion

            It is necessary to have a good pair of scissors. They need to be nice and sharp. If you have a pair that is in need of sharpening, we have a gentleman in the store who would be happy to sharpen those scissors for you. You can find him in the back of the store under the sign “Sewing Machine Repair and Scissor Sharpening.” His in-store hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 10 am – 4 pm. But feel free to bring those scissors in to drop them off during regular store hours. Any one of the sales associates would be happy to assist you.

            Bent-handled scissors are the best for multi-purpose needs, it is also a good idea to have a smaller pair for more detailed work. One thing not to use your fabric scissors for, is cutting paper. If you do this then you will need to sharpen those scissors more often.