Friday, October 31, 2008

Tall By Design - Fashion with Height

Tall Women's Clothing

If you're a tall woman looking for fashionable tall clothing that fits – then check out Tall by Design. They are a specialist tall women's clothing store based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Fashion with Height

At Tall by Design all of their garments are created in the same long lengths no matter what size you order – whether you are a size 8 or size 20. They have created a fashionable range of tall garments that are stylish, essential pieces.

Don't miss their Summer Clothing Road Show this week, with serious bargains and new styles hot off the press.

Tauranga -- Thursday 30th October : 10am – 2pm
Napier -- Friday 31st October : 10am – 2pm
Wellington -- Saturday 1st November : 10am – 3pm
Christchurch -- Sunday 2nd November : 10am – 3pm

Click here for more details.

One off Sale Day at the Auckland store -- Saturday 8th November 10am-4pm.

In this video clip, watch Tall by Design's Joan Oxspring talk to TVNZ about her store initiative, while famous tall girls model Tall By Design outfits.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Season Tops at Ballentynes

The polls on the right-hand side bar, closing in just a few days, show very clearly that the overwhelming clothing need is for modest summer tops. If you haven't had your say yet, please do!

New season tops at for the most part seem to have modesty in mind, with a variety of sleeve lengths and many providing buttons up to the neck.

The range features floral and abstract prints in bright colours, and practical stretch cottons. There's lots to choose from.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Meet Melissa

The woman was overwhelmed by the baskets of clothing and didn't know how to choose.

Meet Melissa, volunteer personal shopper, who helps immigrant Jewish women find appropriate clothing to start a new life.

For more than a year now we have had Melissa volunteer in Open Gates once a week on our busiest day. Sometimes we have as many as 80 people come to us from all over Israel on a single day! We are so grateful to the Lord for bringing Melissa to us, as she is such a valuable addition to the Open Gates team with her cheerful smile and a heart willing to serve. Melissa is a full time student in one of the universities in Israel studying for her M.A. in Jewish History. She has a very busy schedule, but nevertheless, gives of her time to bless God's precious people. Enjoy some of her thoughts about working at the DC.

My mother used to tell me that I should consider being a "personal shopper," because I've always enjoyed helping others find clothes that are simply perfect for them. This is not a career I have pursued professionally, but the Lord has surprised me by using the skill He has given me to bless His people.

For many women, clothes are not just a necessity, but a delight. Our Father in Heaven is responsible for clothing the lilies of the field in greater splendor than even King Solomon (Matthew 6:28-30)! If He takes such tender care of the fleeting flowers, will He not even more so provide garments for His People? Yes, He does each day at the Distribution Center!

Recently, a family of three Jewish immigrants from India came into Open Gates. They had only arrived in the Land days before, and were still awestruck by the newness of the culture they were encountering. The man was the only English speaker in his family, so he translated for his wife and son. His wife was dressed in traditional Indian garb, and was overwhelmed as she surveyed the many baskets full of western-style clothing. Her husband explained that his wife did not know how to choose or size this type of clothing because she had always worn saris in India, but that she wished to have new clothes to look like the other Israeli women. We found long, flowing, flowery skirts for this dear woman that made her face light up in approval. They were not so different from her saris as to make her uncomfortable, yet "western" enough to give her confidence that she could begin to settle into her new life as an Israeli.

From the Venus Bridal & Venus Modest Bella range

Volunteering at the Distribution Center has been lesson after lesson about the provision of the Lord. I have personally experienced the blessings of the Lord through the Distribution Center, especially through the gift of a splendid, designer wedding gown (with accessories!) from CFI's Bridal Salon for my wedding next February. It is beautiful beyond what I ever imagined my wedding gown would be! God sends exactly the items from around the world that will meet the needs and desires of those who come through Open Gates. Clothing donations are shipped to Jerusalem from Christians all around the world. Depending on the region of the world they are from, new immigrants are usually looking for certain styles or items of clothing. The Lord has this in mind, and brings to Open Gates exactly what will make Israelis smile, feel comforted, and be blessed!

Matthew 25 says that at the End of Days, when the Son of Man comes in all His glory, He will bless and give inheritance to those who looked after the needy, including those who clothe them. What a privilege to be a part of this ministry that is providing for the needy and blessing the Jewish People simultaneously! Zephaniah 3:16-17 says the Lord will take great delight and rejoice over His people in Jerusalem, and I sense that is what He does each day in Open Gates at CFI - providing for and delighting the hearts of the precious ones He is gathering back to the Land of Israel from the ends of the earth!

--Melissa, USA
Ed. note: article used with permission.


The CFI Bridal Salon has a crucial need for white or off-white open bridal shoes. They have many closed shoes but need more sandal-type modern open style shoes. Summers are very hot in Israel. New or nearly new would be ideal. If you can assist please send your donations to: CFI - Bridal Salon, P.O. Box 1813, Jerusalem 91015, Israel.

You don't have to cross the world to find a woman in need. How can you serve the Lord by meeting the needs of women and girls right where you are? I hope Melissa's story has inspired you. Click here for more ideas.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sewing Buddy 1

See it. Sew it.

Welcome to Sewing Buddy, Simplicity's newest instructional learning center created to introduce beginners to the joys of sewing as well as to provide experienced sewers with techniques and tips to perfect their skills.

Sewing Buddy makes its debut on with their first downloadable Learn to Sew instructional video, featuring a versatile New Look jumper, pattern 6826.
In as little as fifteen minutes, you’ll discover how easy it is to create an amazing, one-of-a-kind jumper that reflects your own personal style. It’s like learning to sew with a hands-on teacher at your side.

Their convenient New Look jumper video demonstrates how to read the pattern and prepare your fabric. The video shows techniques for pinning, marking, cutting, sewing and adjusting your jumper for a perfect fit. Every step is clearly shown and can be reviewed as many times as you need to produce a professional garment with an original style that’s yours alone.

Note: If you'd like to give this pattern a go but the brevity of skirt is a concern, it's easy to add length when you place the paper pattern on your fabric. Mark as much extra fabric as you need length in the skirt, but if you want walking ease without adding more fullness, don't take it much below the knee.

One thing I would alter in this tutorial is the advice to cut notches inward. Doing so leaves a hole in your seam allowance and for delicate fabrics or those likely to fray quickly, causes problems when you reach the edge stitching stage. My recommendation is that notches are cut OUTWARD, away from the pattern piece (see illustration below). The extra fabric can be clipped away once it has served its purpose.

One thing missing in this tutorial is EDGE STITCHING. Edge stitching is the process of preventing a raw seam edge from fraying, such as overlocking or zig-zagging.

An overlocked seam.
A row of zig-zag.

Edge stitching is usually done once a seam is stitched. Some sewing patterns provide a chart of edge stitch options, but most do not state where during the sewing process these should be utilized. My recommendation is that you edge stitch every seam as you go, unless it is a sturdy weave that will be protected by a lining, or you're not sure that the fit is right and may need to unpick.

Overlocking requires an enormous amount of thread, and with the rise in the price of thread, my preferred method of edge stitching is a converted French seam.

A French seam is made like this:
When stitched at 5mm then 10mm, it makes a neat, classy finish to a regular 15mm seam, wonderful for use with sheer fabrics if you're working on machine without all the fancy fol-de-rols.

My shortcut adaption works like this:

Sew a regular 15mm (5/8ths of an inch) seam allowance, then fold the edges inward on each other so the raw edges are hidden and the folded edges are roughly even with each other. Stitch close to the folded edge.

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There are an abundance of sewing tutorials on and many websites offering tips and discussion forums. Have you found any to be particularly helpful? Let us know so we can link to them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Annie Lantz - summer magic

Annie Lantz' summer range has sprung out in all its glory, inspiring thoughts of colours, cottons, florals and prints. Here are some sample images from their catalogue.

If you would like to receive the catalogue, freecall Annie Lantz at 1800 817 402 (Australia) or 0800 772 203 (NZ).

If you live in Australia and would like to see their garments firsthand, check out the above dates and locations for the Annie Lantz Mid Summer range showings in October.

TIP: If you've found a cute blouse like the polka-dot frill-necked one in the pictures, but it has a neckline a smidgen too low for peace of mind because the designers neglected to include a top button, here's how to fix it. Add a hook and eye.

There are a range of sizes available, usually in black or silver. Select a weight and colour that are appropriate for the fabric and design of your garment. Click on the image below to view a tutorial on how to sew hooks and eyes.

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