Canadian Made Clothing Warehouse Sale

You’re invited to our Diane Kennedy warehouse sale online and in our studio! Fall styles are already starting to arrive and to make room we’ve done a huge recount of all the stock in the warehouse. Oh, the things we’ve found! Forgotten items and colours that have never been online plus a bunch of samples from this Spring/Summer season. We’ve filled up the sale racks to bursting in regular sizes S – XL and plus sizes 0X-3X.

Here’s a few items from our Spring catalogue that never got into production for one reason or another.  Sometimes the fabric was just not available like the tiny bird print of the Trilogy Tunic (below).

Diane Kennedy Bamboo Trilogy tunic. Model Carly Stone Curve is 5'5" and wearing a size XL. These samples are available at our warehouse sale
Diane Kennedy Bamboo Trilogy tunic. Model Carly Stone Curve is 5’5″ and wearing a size XL

 

I had fun designing the pattern for this action pant. It was a challenge to make a pattern with no side seams.  But the stores just didn’t order it, so it didn’t go into production. Only two were ever made in size XL.

Diane Kennedy samples available at our warehouse sale

The top that matched the Action pant is the sample version of the Its a Wrap tunic. We made some small changes to the pattern and so it’s slightly different than the final production. But still lovely! (it’s the same as this photo)

This Feature Tunic did go into production, but not in this pretty lime green, only 2 up for grabs in size XL.

While I hope you can make it to our warehouse sale in person,  I know not all of you can.  We’ve tried our best to get as much of it as possible online.  However, there are more items that didn’t get on the website, single samples and seconds that in some cases have just the tiniest little mark (especially on white). So if you live in Vancouver or nearby, please come for a visit. I’d love to see you!

Diane Kennedy samples available at our warehouse sale

Great deals to be had by all!!

The Warehouse sale starts online Friday, July 20th. Shopping in person will be available at our studio:

Friday, July 27 from 2 – 7 pm

Saturday, July 28 from 11-5 pm

Free parking on the street (please mind the parking signs for times) or in the parking lot beside the Flag Shop.

Love Diane

 

 

 

New Fall Season; New Bamboo Fabric

We’re very excited to tell you about the new shipment of bamboo fabric that just arrived. New Fall colours coming from a new supplier. In fact, this new bamboo is very much like the original bamboo we used in the very beginning of the Diane Kennedy brand over 11 years ago.  It’s a beautiful heavier weight and we are very pleased with the quality.

You may be aware that in the past year or so we’ve had some challenges with the consistency of our fabric. We had been using the same mill for many years without making any changes to the specs of our fabric.  But we had some issues with fabric shrinkage in production and it seemed like every season the fabric was getting just a little bit lighter.

So we’re very pleased to be able to offer you a newly consistent weight of fabric. It is noticeably heavier than what we’ve been using. We’ve already started making garments with it including the current batch of Flex pants (regular length in Black) in all sizes. We’ve also repeated a style called the Maxi skirt in it as well. It’s the feature in the newsletter this week  Limited quantities on this one.

This is the first batch of fabric we’ve received for Fall, more on the way.  These are a few of the Fall colours. I’m especially enamored of this beautiful deep purple called Reign (on the left) and a new blue called Moroccan (right). Ok, I may also be partial to the Teal in the middle!

Aside from solid bamboo, we’re also getting matching stripes in new colours. Also, a lovely soft sweater knit that will be available later in the season.
Production is underway and the first Fall styles will start arriving quite soon. We’re excited to show you all our new styles and fabrics for the season!

Stay tuned to the blog for a Fall preview coming soon!

Love Diane

Plus Size Fit & Grading Explained

How do you make plus size clothing that fits well? This post explains the sizing process called Grading. Grading is taking a clothing pattern that starts off as one size and creating all the other sizes. Diane Kennedy makes two (not just one) base patterns: a plus size and a regular size pattern. From those two original patterns, the other sizes are then created. Making two patterns and then grading (sizing) them separately is what gives our garments superior fit.

Making the variations between each size is subjective and up to the designer. We use a C.A.D. (computer-aided design) program called Optitex to make the patterns and do the grading.  Each corner and each segment of the pattern is given a value to increase or decrease the size. If you look at the image below, each larger dot that you see is given a value. These values or increments are often very tiny, often an 1/8″, 1/4″ or 3/8″ of an inch.

Diane Kennedy explains about plus size fit by showing graded pattern pieces using Optitex C.A.D.

Above left is the regular size pattern, on the right is the plus size. While they look similar, the differences are there if you look closely.

When you go plus size shopping, you may have come across a garment that has sleeves hanging way off the tips of your fingers. Or perhaps the shoulder seam is halfway down your arm!  This usually means the person doing the grading doesn’t have a very good understanding of how bodies get bigger and smaller.  This is where skill and knowledge come into play.  Especially on plus-size bodies, as we get bigger in size we don’t necessarily get longer.  We might need more depth in the crotch for example because our bodies are wider from front to back.  This is especially true for North American bodies and why pants graded in Asia often don’t fit well. We probably need more room across the back (but not the shoulder) and in our biceps or our thighs because those parts get bigger as we get heavier.

Recently a customer ordered a size 2X when she should have ordered a 3X,  which was her correct size. She thought they ‘might’ fit.  This is what inspired us to write this blog post just so you can have a better understanding of how size and fit changes. This chart shows how much of a difference there is between one size and the next.

Diane Kennedy explains about plus size fit by showing the increments between sizes

Hopefully, this explains some of the processes that go into making a garment that fits well.  After designing, making patterns and grading for almost 35 years Diane Kennedy knows a thing or two about design, sizing and fit for all sizes.

XOX Barb

P.S. The pattern in the top image is the Point Grey Jacket, back in new arrivals in two colours.

Tips from a Sentimental Rose Gardener

The fragrance of a rose is very sentimental to me. I remember fountains of pink and red roses that grew in my Mother’s garden and the subtle scent that wafted through the window. As long as I’ve had a garden, I’ve grown roses.  From those uninspiring thorny canes sprout heavenly beautiful and often fragrant blooms every year.

Rock n' Roll rose
Rock n’ Roll rose

Queen’s Park

Now in a townhouse, I have space for only a few roses.  But luckily, I’ve only a short walk to one of the prettiest rose gardens in the city.  Maintained with love and attention, the Queens Park Rose Garden in New Westminster is a gem with roses of every colour. Purest white through every shade of pink, apricot, yellow, red, mauve, burgundy and combinations of red or pink and white stripes can be found. The varieties here have been chosen for colour but more exciting to me, also for fragrance. My favourites are the roses where the petals melt from soft yellow to pink to salmon….just like the most beautiful sunset.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Rose
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Rose
Cinco De Mayo Rose
Cinco De Mayo Rose

Living Easy Rose

Organic Growing Tips

If I could share a few bits of wisdom on growing roses, first it would be to pick trusted varieties for health and disease resistance.  This can vary by region, so do diligent research and then also get opinions from knowledgeable gardeners in your area.  Roses get all manner of bugs and problems so choosing well and treating them right will go along way in your overall enjoyment of your rose(s).  The second most important thing is to provide good quality soil, something akin to fluffy chocolate cake by liberally mixing in manure and compost.  Also feed the soil which means using organic fertilizers like bone meal, alfalfa, greensand, kelp and epsom salts.    It’s very important to pick an area with at least 6 hours of sun a day and good air circulation.

Wild Blue Yonder Rose
Wild Blue Yonder Rose
Julia Child Rose
Julia Child Rose
Poseidon Rose
Poseidon Rose

Would a Rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Sometimes we need to look past what could be a slightly less than pefect flower to the hidden beauty, which in this case is the most delicious ‘Fragrant Wave’ of ‘Dee-lish’ perfume you could possible imagine.  Aside from health and beauty, in my opinion, fragrance is a top consideration when choosing a rose.

Fragrant Wave Rose
Fragrant Wave Rose
Dee-Lish Rose
Dee-Lish Rose

Happy sniffing!

Love Diane

Our Designer Wears Many Hats; Meet Cherry Velvet

We like to think we know our Diane Kennedy customers pretty well after all these years. We know you love to wear pants and separates, and that you love to be comfortable, but sometimes the occasion may call for something called …..a dress?!

For example, what exactly are you going to wear when you get that invitation to have tea with the Queen? Hmmmm? What about that garden party on the hottest day of the year, that Summer wedding or semi-formal beach party?  Or maybe you need something nice to wear in front of a judge?  These are all good times to be a little more dressed up, no?

Kristen Meyn models a Cherry Velvet dress designed by Diane Kennedy and a hat by Maria Curcic

Did you know that designer Diane Kennedy has also created a dress line called Cherry Velvet? Cherry Velvet is a line of (mostly) breathable cotton dresses in amazing prints that will help you stay cool while looking hot. Did we mention they all have pockets? Diane has also designed a matching bamboo shrug, for those who like to keep their arms covered.

Kristen Meyn models a Cherry Velvet dress designed by Diane Kennedy and a hat by Maria Curcic

Maybe dresses just aren’t for you but this photo shoot was too pretty not to share. It was shot in the gorgeous gardens of The Burnaby Art Gallery, an elegant heritage building surrounded by rhododendrons in full bloom. The spectacular blossoms in a rainbow of shades were the perfect backdrop to showcase an array of stunning spring beauties.

Kristen Meyn models a Cherry Velvet dress designed by Diane Kennedy and a hat by Maria Curcic

The shoot was actually planned as a collaboration between several designers. In addition to the freshest Spring frocks from Cherry Velvet, the beautiful derby-style hats were designed by Maria Curcic, The Hat Goddess and the jewelry by Pam of Mirror Mirror Bijoux. Classic polka dots, florals, and prints are pretty spectacular among these beautiful gardens.

Kristen Meyn models a Cherry Velvet dress designed by Diane Kennedy and a hat by Maria Curcic

Diane was so enamoured by Maria’s hats, of course, she chose one for herself…

Designer Diane Kennedy wears a Cherry Velvet Dress and a hat by Maria Curcic

If you’re ever in the mood to dress up for any reason at all,  Cherry Velvet Dresses might just be the perfect solution for you.

XOX Barb