Once Upon A Time, in a land just north of here, there lived a princess named Stephanie. She loved bunnies and rock ‘n’ roll and had magical colour-changing hair. Above all, though, she liked to make things with her hands and she loved to make people feel good about themselves. When Princess Stephanie was still quite young, she happened upon a magical sewing machine. Being naturally inquisitive and talented, she soon picked up the craft of sewing. The garments she made with the magical sewing machine made people smile and feel good about themselves. Sometimes a prince would try to save her, or people would tell her she needed to be a princess in another kingdom for a while before starting her own, but nothing was as fun and interesting as making things with the magical sewing machine in her own realm. In that time, however, there was a shadow in the land. Many kingdoms had come under an evil spell called Fast Fashion. Princess Stephanie was upset to see how this spell made some kings and queens treat their subjects. Many owed their prosperity to practices which hurt the people and wilderness in other lands. Some even gave their subjects things to wear which were unhealthy or made them unhappy! “This will not stand!” said Princess Stephanie. “I must find out how to break this evil spell!” Princess Stephanie went on a quest throughout the land, and spoke to many people from far and wide. She met a sorceress who gave her a pair of magical knitting needles and taught her to cast spells of warmth and softness with them.
“This is great!” said Princess Stephanie, “But it still isn’t the answer.” She met a prince who was also a smith, and instead of trying to save her he joined her quest. He made beautiful jewellery out of the finest metals instead of the harmful metals the Fast Fashion curse made some smiths use. “I definitely need allies like you.” said Princess Stephanie. “But this still isn’t the answer.” She continued to travel the lands, asking questions and speaking to many learned sages about textile magic. She learned the secrets of bamboo and the lore of hemp and linen. Silk and wool and recycled fibers were also of great interest to her. At last, she felt she had found her answer. “I have a plan!” said Princess Stephanie. And she packed up her magic sewing machine and took it to the port city of Vancouver.
She set up a small kingdom on the Main Street and became Queen Stephanie the First. She sent for the finest sustainable fibers and encouraged other kingdoms to give her materials they would not use instead of throwing them out. This intimidated some of the other rulers. “It will never work, it’s too hard!” They said. But Queen Stephanie had her magical sewing machine and she was determined. Queen Stephanie and her sewing machine made many comfortable and healthy things for the people of Vancouver, but the spell of Fast Fashion was still over the land. “I’m only one ruler! This spell is too strong for me to break all on my own!” she sighed, discouraged. “If only there were more rulers helping to break it.” Then Queen Stephanie had another idea. She started inviting other princesses to come visit her kingdom for a while. They came from far and wide and from all walks of life. One was a fairy princess who liked to write stories, but who had such a love of people that she became a herald to show and tell them all of Queen Stephanie’s creations to help them feel happy. One was from across the oceans and eventually returned there as a queen herself, but while she stayed was Queen Stephanie’s second in command. There was an elf from the Forests of the Half Moon who had come to Vancouver to learn to tell stories through clothing.
There were all these and more. Queen Stehphanie taught them all a lot, and they taught her in turn. Some stayed for a while, then took their new knowledge and skills elsewhere to continue combatting the evil spell. Others stayed to help Queen Stephanie train more princesses. Once the kingdom was strong enough, they established a stronghold on the Isle of Granville, where people from all over the world came to see the crafts and fashion of Vancouver. This stronghold was entrusted to a warrior-queen from Caledonia, a city far to the east, and her good friend, a good witch who wove beautiful things.
They built another stronghold across the water in Victoria, a city on the Isle of Vancouver. The princess who held this stronghold could spin love right into the very yarn she used with her own pair of magical knitting needles. She also found and trained many princesses who then took her lessons out into the world.
Erin Gravelle, Astrid Jackson
Between the Kingdom and two strongholds, Queen Stephanie and her magical sewing machine were able to help many people in Vancouver and all over the world. The evil spell of Fast Fashion started to weaken, but it was not yet defeated. They continue to work to this very day.
Legend has it, if you visit their kingdom they will teach you how to help yourself and others until the spell is finally broken and we can all live happily ever after. The End ~ To Be Continued…
It is that fabulous time of year again to stock up on your favourite DMW undies at our 2 for 1 sale! When you buy 1 pair of undies, you get a second pair free!!! There is nothing better than having a new pair of undies to feel great about yourself coming up to Valentines Day!
Here is a little review of the current styles we offer;
Eco Brief – low rise, full bum brief. Made with production extras, so colours and patterns are unique to each pair.
Men’s Brief – low rise comfort fit. Made with production extras, so colours will be unique to every pair.
French Cut Lace – low rise nylon lace. Sweetheart back with a bamboo blend crotch gusset. Available in Black, White, Tangerine, Pink and Water Spirit.
Bikini Cut – low rise, full bum coverage. Available in White, Black, Heather Grey, LT Grey Mix, Mocha, Cotton Candy, Coral, Cobalt, and Seafoam.
Hot Shorts – low rise, boy cut, Bamboo blend fabric. Available in Black, Cobalt, Petrol, Flame, Magenta, Mocha, Flint, Cream, and Navy.
Lola Sheer Back – low rise, bamboo blend front and soft mesh back. Available in Cream/Cream and Cream/Coral.
Make sure you come out early to stock up because it is only while supplies last on the 11th and 12 of February!! See you all for the V-Day Weekend!
I’m continually struck by the amount of information about the fashion industry’s negative impact on the world. As an advocate of both social and environmental justice, I love working at Devil May Wear because it fits with my values. Just like any business, local retailers need the support of like-minded consumers so we can continue to provide you with the ethical and beautiful objects that keep your body, mind, and heart warm. In addition, there is peace of mind when you spend your money on items that have a positive effect on the world around you — and that’s not necessarily a common experience! Whether you care about the environment, the economy, or fashion (or all three), buying local is the way to go!
Local businesses have a lower carbon footprint, because they usually work with local producers, manufacturers, and distributers. This means fewer things are shipped across the globe, which burns a lot of fossil fuels. Local businesses can also make decisions about environmentally-friendly practices which are easier to implement on a small scale and can be devised to fit with the business’ location. At Devil May Wear, we are committed to sourcing textiles that are eco-friendly, including deadstock fabrics for our dresses, bamboo from family businesses in China, polyester made from recycled plastic, and Canadian-milled wool. We also deliver our products around the lower mainland using car-share programs and hybrid vehicles, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.
Local businesses are more likely to spend their money locally as well. According to www.bcbuylocal.com, for every $100 spent at a local business, $46 recirculates in the
community, compared with only $18 for multinational corporations. This leads to betterwages, more local jobs, and stronger communities around the local business. All of our fabulous stylists and saleswomen are locals! All of DMW’s operations take place in the Lower Mainland of BC, which means that our taxes go to improving BC services like transit, parks, and community centres. We bank with a local credit union, which in turn contributes to other local businesses, non-profits, and community groups. Your choice to buy local directly improves our whole city’s stability now and in the future!
Local retailers work hard to provide customers with the best quality goods. Here at DMW, our goal is to provide long-lasting garments that are uncompromising in fit, fashion, and
while remaining affordable. Our clothing is made from eco-friendly materials and because we are putting so much care into your garments, we want you to have a high quality item that will last for a long time! That’s why we put careful care instructions on all our garments, and we’re happy to talk with you about how to help your clothing last longer. You can feel good about yourself knowing you are supporting a local designer, and our stylists are happy to talk to you about how to show off your shape.
So this holiday season, as you’re wondering where to find the perfect scarf, necklace, or lingerie set for your loved one — remember to support local business!
A few weeks ago, Astrid and I attended the opening of the Layers of Influence Exhibition at the Museum of Anthropology. It turned out to be a sensational stimulus of inspiration for us both as it became very clear early into our wandering of the exhibition that we would leave in a sensory overload of all the amazing textiles that were displayed so beautifully!!
Here are a few photos of what we found the most inspiring and beautiful. We both highly suggest that if you have even the slightest love of history of fashion/textiles, that you attend this exhibition!
After the exhibition, we explored another part of the museum, and found many more amazing textile items from the far north and south of the world!
Christmas is going to be here before we know it and we’re here to help! Our incredible staff got creative with our gift guides with some recommendations to make gift giving easy. Come by and visit for more ideas, suggestions, tips and gift giving tricks!
If you could start a country, what would you name it and why?
Stephanie Ostler- Hyperglobalmeganet and it would go real fast.
Erin Gravelle – Freefrommoneyland, there would be no money and people who lived there would do things for the betterment of their neighbour and themselves. It’s all about love people!
Bea Edilston – CASCADIA4ever. Also political boundaries make no sense and can we just rearrange all the country borders so that people can live in their traditional lands and it’s divided by landmarks like watersheds, mountain ranges, eco-zones etc.
Carly Young – Wooltopia. Everything made out of wool. Sheep, goats, llama, yak and alpaca everywhere! It would have a theme park called Sewing machine land! Looms and spinning wheels are altars of creativity!
Amanda Lee-Rose – Yourheartsdesires. A place where people could live out their desires/creative dreams without judgement or fear of failure. Trading goods and services would be encouraged. There would be copious amounts of dance offs instead of fighting.
Astrid – Dragonheim, a self governing directly-democratic social-minded colony in the mountains where dragons and humans work together for mutual benefit
Let Us Know what kind of Country you would create!
A lot of people avoid buying wool because they think it’s too hard to care for, and they’re afraid of ruining it. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Following a few basic steps knits are dead easy to care for.
First you’ll need a large vessel that can comfortably hold your garment and about 2 to 3 times it’s volume in water. My sweater is a jacket, so I’m going to use the tub. You can use a sink, large cooking pot or bowl, or even a Rubbermaid tub.
Second fill it with water, Luke warm, warm, hot, it doesn’t really matter, what does matter is if you’re using a soap that has to be rinsed out your rinse water needs to be as close to the same temperature as your wash water. If you go from hot to cold it contributes to felting.
Add your soap and mix it in with your hand. I usually use Eucalan, which is a conditioning wool wash with lanolin in it that you don’t have to rinse, but I’m fresh out so regular laundry soap it is. (You can get Eucalan at most yarn stores, you don’t need to use a lot, and it’s amazing. I highly recommend it)
Put your garment in and push it under the water squeezing the air out. You can squeeze it a bit if its really dirty, but don’t agitate it like a washing machine would. Now ignore it, go have a cuppa tea or walk the dog because you want it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes or so.
Next give it some more squeezes to remove any more dirt and let the water out of the tub or dump out your vessel pushing your garment against the side to squish some of the water out. NEVER TWIST OR WRING KNITS. You’ll distort them something fierce.
If you used Eucalan you can skip the rinse, if you used soap refill your vessel but do not pour the water directly on to the garment, this can also contribute to felting. Squeeze the clean water through and soak again, 10 minutes or so ought to do it. Let the water out, squeeze the water out and if it still feels soapy you can do another rinse.
Squeeze as much water out by hand as you can without twisting or wringing. If you have a washing machine you can skip the wash cycle on and just do the final spin you can spin the water out. I wish I did, this sweater is a beast. If like me you’re without that option grab all the towels you were about to toss in the laundry, (unless they smell like wet dog or you just found it in your son’s backpack smelling like must and chlorine because he left it there for 4 days…), and lay one or two on the floor, place your garment flat on it, roll it up and step all over the roll barefoot unless you enjoy soggy socks. It may take more towels than you think which is why I wash woolens when I have a lot of towels to wash anyway.
Lay it flat somewhere out of the way and not in direct sunlight, you can put it on a plastic bag, clean tarp, sweater drying rack, or like I did just a big folded wool blanket on the bed. Block it in the shape you want it in, wool has memory so if you dry it with one arm all stretched out it’s going to look funny when you put it on. If you have cats keep them out because they will lay down on wet wool, weirdos.
Lastly, once it’s dried, store knits folded up in a drawer or a cedar chest, (I love the smell!), please don’t hang them on hangers, it stretches the shoulders all out of shape. That’s one of the things I had to fix with blocking on this awesome thrift store score.
Go forth and wash all of your woollens with confidence!
With our fall theme of Tarot cards in my mind, I felt like a reading for the store was in order. We are half way through the season, and a little boost forward is definitely what the cards had in store for us.
My friend Nabil Blaeser, who is a brilliant card reader, was gracious enough to come to the shop on Granville Island to read for us. There are a lot of ways to interpret the cards and neither of us had done a reading so broad as to read for a company. There are so many ways to interpret the cards and we wanted to think outside the box! We decided to ask a few broad questions to the cards and they really spoke to that. Here is what we were able to read;
What can we do, or what can happen to fully realize the direction of the company?
What is something we can look out for in the future?
Is there anyone we should be conscious of for business advancement?
The first card we pulled is for the present. It was the Knight of Cups. It represents the person charging forward. They have emotional strength but not necessarily stability. They are the hero figure. We decided this is Stephanie, the owner, designer and maker of Devil May Wear.
Keeping the questions in mind for the second card, we pulled the High Priestess. She represents hidden undercurrents. A potential that is hidden behind a veil. Something is about to be revealed. Devil May wear is going to be doing some big things coming up in the future!
The third card played in tandem with the second to create more of the story was the 8 of cups. The figure in the card is walking away, representing detachment. Stepping away to let things happen as they may. Let things take it’s natural course. That represented this stylist! I need to let Stephanie do what she will no matter how much I want to help, she will be laying the ground work for me to come to it at the right time.
Looking at who to watch for in the future was inspiring when the Page of Swords was laid. It represents a new player. A youthful person with and seeking knowledge. They will add to the companies collective knowledge. That was a very exciting card for the future!
In tandem with the Page, we laid the Temperance card. Meaning that the page will have the ability to create synthesis within the company. They will blend and combine things. Possibly with what we are doing and what the high priestess will reveal?
To gain more clarity on the page and the personality to look for we added a sixth card. It was the Hermit. The page will be more introverted and inward thinking. Not that they are against the grain of us extroverts that work with Devil May Wear, but more focused on internal abilities, like temperance?
It looks as though the reading told us to expect changes and keep working towards our common goals while thinking of where to go next. Nothing new for the innovative team at Devil May Wear! Having fun like this is a great way to add something different to your seasonal routines. Wether you believe in the pawer of tarot or not, it can be fun to think outside the box of what it means to read the cards. Have fun this season!
*You can follow our Friend Nabil on Instagram. Not only does he read tarot, he knits and makes amazing things too!