Fabric choices for plus size formal garments 

If you are a plus size you need to make sure you choose the right thickness and quality of fabric to suit your body. You can’t just buy a thin shiny satin. It just won’t look right on a plus size. Always go with matte and do not risk on an especially shiny fabric. A thin silk might drape lovely on a size 10 model but on a plus size will drag on your hips and lumps and bumps excentuating all the parts of your body that you do not want excentuated. You need to purchase heavier fabrics or fabrics that are stiffer that can create more panelled garments that draw attention to your face or bust if you want to draw attention away from stomach and hips. Also if you insist on a certain thin fabric buy a light interfacing that is the same thickness as your garment fabric that will move with your body. the thinner the fabric and the interfacing on a fitted garment the more attention will be drawn to your shape where the fabric clings to your body. Better to choose a heavier silk or rayon or even a thick taffeta rather than a light draped fabric. Remember that a dressmaker cannot improve on your figure if you are plus sized. They can’t magically transform you into a size you are not. Be realistic in fabric choice and in choosing the style you are after. A line always compliments a plus sized woman. Taking the dress in skin tight will never make you look better. It will only make you look worse if your body is plus sized. Choose something fitted but not tight on your body. Tight makes bulges move to other areas that do not compliment you. If you want a light fabric use a nice chiffon to go over the top of the main fabric. That means you get the softer look you are after but also your body has the heavier fabric offering structure to your bust. Without structure your bust will not be held in place.


The bridal lace heirachy- know what your wearing 

Why wear a dress if you don’t know what it’s made of. The bridal lace heirachy will help you define what you are trying on and why your dress has more or less value than others. From chantilly to eyelet, let’s find out what your wearing. Lace ranges from cheap and nasty $10 per metre to average $130-$200 and expensive $500+ per metre. So it’s hard to value exactly by a name. If you can identify where it was from at the time of purchase you have a rough idea. China generally means cheap. France, Italy, Spain generally are more expensive and luxurious as the quality is much better. 


The “queen of lace,” this French style (which dates back to the 16th century) has a distinct floral pattern outlined with corded detail. Usually three dimensional and embellished with seed pearls and sequins.

Example from https://instagram.com/p/BRy7wDhAeoG/

Named after its origin in Chantilly, France, this delicate and dainty lace features flowers and ribbons on a plain tulle background. It’s popular for sleeves and overlay, since its sheerness gives off a romantic appeal. Just a feel good lace. Absolutely perfect for hemlines and jackets!

Example from https://instagram.com/p/BTowiyhg9Mj/

This cotton fabric is perfect for summer. Innocent sweet vibe. Embroidered cutouts give it a vintage feel, while scalloped edges provide an vintage heirloom quality. Since it’s very breathable, it’s the ideal choice for an outdoor, warm-weather wedding.

Example from 



Cotton-based with heavy woven patterns, this lace can look a little like macramé. It’s heavier than most lace and is usually limited to structured silhouettes, but its thick patterns make a dramatic statement.

Example from 


A type of guipure, this particular style looks the real world for inspiration and it’s created by joining together round, heavy floral and leaf motifs almost as if it were woven amongst a web. It tends to lend a royal vintage feel as popular amongst the royals ( check out prince George’s christening gown)

Example from 


Point D’Esprit
To create this lightweight lace, small oval or square dots are woven in a scattered pattern into a tulle mesh fabric. Very sweet and less statement. Ideally collaborated into some design that is sweet and subtle. 

Example from


Another lightweight style, this machine-made lace has an allover delicate embroidered design. It looks great both as an overlay or as edging on a sleeve, hem or bodice of a gown.

Example from



Also known as “Venetian point” or “gros point,” this heavy needlepoint-type design uses floral sprays, foliage or geometric patterns and is often said to look like carved ivory.

Example from 



Making an entrance onto the Australian Fashion arena late in 2016 we have CRBN with lead designer Whitney Duan. The label is so different to regular Australian fashion labels. Which is what makes it so very interesting.

They are here to change the rules on gender.

So you are curious? How can CRBN change the rules on gender?

Well with time staking . Men are wearing skirts. Women are wearing the pants and actually whatever they want.  I mean why as a female should I wear a dress? I want to wear a skort today and I don’t care!

I want to see men in dresses not just because free balling is comfortable but why not? The only thing that has been holding back men from wearing dresses is that dresses aren’t made to fit the male form by the consumer market. Hence why CRBN is a game changer. Men can choose to wear what they want from their range. The fact physically it is a dress or a skirt is just a label and a social image that has been underpinned by oppressive social expectations handed down through generations . Its just a name we gave it to identify what it is but would it be so bad if we named a pant a skirt and a skirt a pant. In the end its the same fabric with the same stitches, the same cotton that holds it together. Just like the difference in gender. Gender is just a label male, female and most recently we have added in no gender which btw is still a label. All these names and boundaries we create ourselves as humans.

‘We have so many people wanting to dress and expand their new style from mundane commercialism. Plus with drag queens now tapping into the mainstream industry with Ru Paul’s drag race/ we have an untouched market’

 Luka Davis

Melbourne Designer & Stylist



Whitney’s background is in Philosophy and Art History so her perception of gender is quite in tune with a general move by society to become less gender specific. We are after all a society who wants whatever we want when we want it. Socially we just want to be able to wear what we want without the backlash of social expectations. In fashion ‘different’ is the new ‘cool’. So as unisex clothing gains momentum and is starting to be seen as the new cool there are so many self styled innovators who are picking up the product and trying it. CRBN is a blend between fitted and baggy streetwear with styles you could wear everyday casually or dress up to go out and party in with an emphasis  on comfort. Now that we already have so many people out there who are innovators gaining awareness of the product and trying samples of unisex clothing in their day to day lives. Its time for early adopters like you and I to support unisex clothing and pick up the trend and deliver it to the growth stage and mass market before unisex is totally accepted and adopted into our society. So I ask you. Can you challenge your own thinking that you have been taught from birth? Can you try something different to see how it fits and feels? If your not excited by now to break the rules and kick back the boundaries of social expectation then I’m probably howling to the moon.

While working alongside CRBN as one of a select group of consultant pattern makers I sat in on quite a few late night fittings and meetings behind the end product. In collaboration of their first range I found Whitney and her partner radio spokesperson and author Eden Duan to be quite unique individuals in fact their strong bond and communication was the back bone of getting things moving at the rate that such a large collection could be developed. Developing a range this large requires so much time and effort away from regular day to day existence and as a power couple they worked together to make CRBN from just an idea to something tangible something that any designer could be proud of. Whitney Duan designer of CRBN is the new kid on the block. I am loving her cool style and needed to share it. She actually gets how contemporary humans are feeling. Lets just erase some of the labels and start again. Fashion is now geometric lines, contemporary, rule breaking, minimalistic, unisex clothing.

Author: Ashleigh Renee Evans (Secret Culture)

all links:

Buy CRBN now https://www.crbnstudios.com/

Follow CRBN on Instagram @crbnstudios

Follow CRBN on facebook https://www.facebook.com/crbnstudios/

Follow this blog for more of my fashion blogging & tutorials

My latest custom designer formal gown for a year 10 formal

The dress is beautiful. Absolutely stunning! Embellished in gorgeous Swarovski crystals and fine lace. The silhouette is off the shoulder panelled with a gorgeous fishtail with lace and Swarovski detail. The bodice is covered in lace as well and embellished lightly in each flower with Swarovski crystals.


Secret Culture Basic Denim Summer Shorts Collection 2016

Some of the photos from our Secret photo shoot have been released. Shop the limited edition capsule collection at  Secret Culture Shop

    Secret Culture Basic Shredded Denim Shorts White $29.99 free postage in Australia 
Purchase at http://www.secretcultureshop.com
Available in sizes 10,12,14
Size 10 waist 69cm, hip 86cm, length 26cm
Size 12 waist 73cm, hip 88cm, length 27cm
Size 14 waist 77cm, hip 90cm, length 28cm 

Comment Sold under image and private message to purchase on Ig
Visit Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DesignTeamSecretCulture/
Proffessional photgraphy by Lavana Dancer IG lavanadancer website http://www.lightmagiclove.com/

Modelling by Jummy Esther IG le_meiux_nigrette_

@secretculture @le_meiux_nigrette_ @lavanadancer 

#denim #shredded #shorts #short #summer #como #sydney #dreams #secrets #frayed #distresseddenim #holes #jeans #club #night lib #picnic #party #beach #casual #sexy #hot #basic
   Secret Culture Basic Baby Blue Booty Shorts $29.99 free postage in Australia
Available in sizes 10,12,14
Size 10 waist 72cm, hip 94cm, length 31cm
Size 12 waist 77cm, hip 99cm, length 32cm
Size 14 waist 83cm, hip 104cm, length 33cm
Purchase at http://www.secretcultureshop.com
Comment Sold under image and private message to purchase on Ig
Visit Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DesignTeamSecretCulture/
Proffessional photgraphy by Lavana Dancer IG lavanadancer website http://www.lightmagiclove.com/

Modelling by Jummy Esther IG le_meiux_nigrette_


Modelling by Will Besly IG



@secretculture @le_meiux_nigrette_ @lavanadancer @willbesly

#denim #shredded #shorts #short #summer #como #sydney #dreams #secrets #frayed #distresseddenim #holes #jeans #club #night lib #picnic #party #beach #casual #sexy #hot #basic#fitness #health #wellness #live #love #bebeautiful #fashion

Behind the scenes at secret Culture Photoshoot with Lavana Dancer 

We started preparation at 4am On shoot with Jummy Esther our gorgeous Nigerian model. Contact her via Instagram for modelling shoots:



Our professional photographer Lavana Dancer was amazing taking photos  from all angles in the beautiful setting at Como Wharf and Como Pleasure Grounds. Check out other photos from Lavana at http://www.lightmagiclove.com and for contact details. 

Bene at Three Beans Kareela 10/10 stars

Have just had the most delicious eggs benedict ever. So delicious I think it’s time I share my local treasure hidden amongst the Sutherland shire Sydney. The area is quite relaxed and cool. Walking into three beans is like walking from a tiki tour in the hottest sun of the shire into the ritz. Beautiful marble tables with old clawed feet on a black and white geometric tiled floor. The chairs are all wooden cane with large sitting lounge that has a beautiful maroon leather head rest. The walls are dark grey blue. The lighting is all industrial contemporary adding a nice blend of past and present that makes this cafe feel like a trendy home amongst the laid back shire lifestyle.  


The eggs bene with spinach and hollandaise at Three Beans Kareela is a bit more than amazing. The flavours melt in your mouth with the slightest and purest tang of vinegar which tells me the eggs have been cooked right. Whilst never overpowering the gooey perfectly poached eggs. The hollandaise is of perfect consistency however tastes like it’s made in house which is a very difficult dressing to perfect. That being said the lovely and gorgeous young barista makes a very delicious chai latte as well. 10/10 stars. Everything was on point. Even admiringly the printed napkins Three beans- “organically grown made with soul”.


Why quality is so hard to find

As you may or may not of noticed we are consumers in a driven market aimed at fools. So often we all purchase items that are heavily marked up under the impression that the purchased item will be of greater longer lasting quality. 

This is not so. Not unless the item is made by hand with quality workmanship or custom made for some end. 

No longer are things made to last. They are made to fail and the price you pay for the item has no handhold on how long it will last. Please remember this as you wander through the iles of your local large electrical store next time. 

What it means to be a third generation dressmaker

sewing is not just a craft to me. It is my life. Something taught from my mother from when I was deep within her womb. The sound of an industrial machine humming to the beat of my mothers foot. Falling asleep to the hum every night while my mother worked to support our family from home as her grandmother did her father. Dressmaking was not meant to be an easy job and can take quite a toll on each and every one of us. The smell of new fabric on the bolt. Knowing where to place that flower, bow or lace come second nature. Drawing a pattern and cutting the fabric so the flow of the garment falls amazingly. It’s just what I do.  It’s something deeply instilled in my person. Not many girls can say they have grown up playing hide and seek amongst rolls of fabric or playing cut out the doll costume when they were 4. Or even that their first injury was from sticking their finger into the turn wheel of an industrial machine while it was sewing.
 I do not sew just because I can sew and I have been taught from a young age how to guide a needle through fabric. I sew because sewing brings great joy to my life. The joy of creation and design. The ability to design from a line to a piece of fabric is something that is a dying art. I have more than ten boxes of fabric that I have hoarded over my lifetime and it makes me feel alive just looking and feeling the fabric. The endless possibilities and innovation I visualise as I run my finger across the fabric. Such beauty to be made. Not just to follow the trends set by other designers but to innovate new trends through my own creation. You can put ten designers in a room and get them to draw patterns of the same design and every one will be different. I don’t care if people copy me or my designs because no matter how hard they try it will never be the same. It will never have the same quality or finishing. I care only for creation and the joy of placing a needle through thread. 

My first Lomi Lomi

I have been working really hard lately sewing and designing from my studio. I also work two day jobs so I’ve been lacking energy for quite some time. I decided to book in for my first Lomi Lomi massage!

Ok so if your a little self conscious like all women the idea of laying naked while another woman massages your whole body can be a little scary at first. 

I came to the appointment willing to try something new as the Lomi Lomi is regarded as an energising massage. That is exactly what I needed today;)

Lauren began by consulting with me on what the massage involves. She doesn’t rub your breasts or anything and it’s normal to feel tingling or other sensations while having the massage. Also lauren wanted to know what I was comfortable with. Did I want a hard massage or a more gentle relaxation softer massage. 

Knowing myself I wanted the softer relaxation massage. So I was asked to drape down to nothing. I was totally naked apart from a modesty sheet.

I then lay there as Lauren drew all the bad energy from my body breathing in universal energy and enlisting that positive energy back into my body.

The oil was warm and made of her own special combination of soothing oils. At first I was a little stiff unable to relax however by the end of the two hour massage I was so relaxed and energised that I left feeling amazing. The Lomi Lomi was definitely something new to me and it really helped that Lauren from Hartfelt massage was so professional in the consultation. 

The massage was so amazing that I felt I should write a blog about it and support local business as I am sure there are hundreds of women out there that could use some energy! 

The best part is that it wasn’t overly expensive and totally affordable. It was like getting a full day spa treatment without having to pay as much! I loved it so much I’m thinking of buying a session for one of my friends as a birthday gift! Anyhow I’m off to the beach so enjoy your public holiday gorgeous people;) 

For enquiries contact Lauren. She is located in Sydney at Gymea and is by far one of the best in her industry! 

Please like and share her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Hartfeltmassage

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