June 2013


You might laugh at me when you hear this (my children think it’s hilarious), but I sometimes get choked up by O Canada. A tear has even been spotted once or twice. This patriotic emotion dates back to a powerful moment I experienced ten years ago, and I don’t expect it to ever change.

It was a cold wintry Monday morning, and I was rushing my sweet four-year-old to her kindergarten class, in a daze of exhaustion but eager to show off my new baby daughter in my arms. It was more challenging getting ready with two, but we made it just in time, well bundled against the wind.

After leaving Izzy at her classroom door with a kiss, I was caught in the hallway when the national anthem began to play. I froze and listened, gazing at little Samantha as she gazed back at me.

We had come home just two days earlier from an almost unspeakably wonderful adoption trip to China. Samantha was 9 months old, curious and beautiful, and unbeknownst to her, had just become Canadian. I couldn’t help but wonder how this new identity would take shape for her.

My new Canadian posing for her first Canadian passport photo a few days before leaving China

My new Canadian posing for her first Canadian passport photo a few days before leaving China

I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, the jetlag, or the thought of having just transplanted a child to a new country, but I felt a very strong and unexpected wave of emotion in that frozen moment. Ever since then, I have been unable to listen to O Canada from start to finish without choking up (and singing it with a straight face is still impossible), when I am with my Samantha. That feeling stuck. Nowadays when we’re together and the anthem starts to play, she squeezes my hand and sneaks a curious glance at my face, just to check.

I know that things are far from perfect here, in a number of ways. But everything in life is relative. And anthems aside, on this Canada Day weekend I feel very grateful, as always, to call Canada home. Here’s why:

1. Kindness rules. There are few nations on earth, if any, where racism, ableism and homophobia are less tolerated than in Canada. Yes, we have bigots, but their voices are far from dominant. My children know about racism because they learn about it in school, not because they witness it in their daily lives.

2. Canada is a good place to be a woman. As the mother of three daughters, I know that even though they will face challenges, they live in a society that values them. They have the freedom to contribute and to shape their own futures. And having experienced the end of my marriage just last year, it’s baffling for me to imagine living in a place where women do not have the right to make fundamental choices that will shape their own lives.

3. It’s boring. Clichés aside, it’s true, in a good way. We rarely make the international news headlines. And as my now ten-year-old daughter Samantha replied when I asked her what she liked most about Canada, “there’s no war.” Nuf said.

As a Canadian designer, I’m very proud to make my clothing line here in Toronto where I live, contributing to the local economy, and I’m grateful to have fantastic, supportive customers across the country and beyond. I have met so many other designers and entrepreneurs on a similar path, keeping their production Canadian despite the higher costs, because it just feels right. Thank you for helping make this possible.

A very happy Canada Day to you and yours!
Devorah Miller
http://www.redthreaddesign.ca/

p.s. What do you appreciate about Canada? I would love to hear your thoughts, hope you’ll share.

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SONP2013-pantsoff-250x250It’s just as exciting as it sounds, depending on your perspective. I’ve joined Summer of No Pants 2013, a special summer challenge in which the participants commit to making four skirts or dresses in the four weeks leading up to the first day of summer (May 27-June 21). Everyone posts their creations online, and pledges to not wear pants all summer long. I practically live in jeans, so this will be an interesting change.

I love to design and sew, but it’s always for Red Thread. I’ve designed dozens of women’s skirts and dresses in my head, but until now most of them have stayed there. No longer!

For week one I created a pleated skirt from a pair of jeans, and if this interests you, you can check out some images and an online tutorial here.  I’m also posting images of skirts and dresses I love on Pinterest, where I always share my colour and design inspiration. You can follow me there if you like what you see. I’ll be posting my four creations, and my inspiration along the way.

I’m looking forward to taking my pants off, and to sharing my projects with you!

Happy summer,

Devorah
Red Thread Design
Studio Fabric Shop