Category Archives: Sophster-Toaster Brand

Waking up in the Woods

Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog

There is something special about waking up in the forest. Everything is so quiet, calm and cozy from inside the cottage. The soft and hazy morning light filtered through the tall white pines and shining warmly through the old windows is what wakes you in the morning. I love walking the winding and sometimes steep paths surrounding the small cottage my husband’s great grandparents built in the early morning. The lake is still and clear. The air is humid as the first light of day lifts the evening rain from the forest floor. As you turn away from the lake and the cottage to walk up the path that weaves between the boulders you notice that the heavy roar of waves and wind from the day before have been replaced by the ethereal sounds of long ago fallen rain dripping from the leaves, squirrels chewing eagerly upon acorns, and the occasional steady beat of a woodpecker.

Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog

The mornings in central Ontario can be a little chilly, even in August, but if you are lucky (and it isn’t your turn to make the morning meal), you return to a cottage with friends and family emerging from their feather down cocoons, the building warming up from tea brewing and breakfast on the go.

Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog

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Pajamas ModCloth
Shoes ModCloth
Blanket a gift

The best part: I don’t have to walk alone anymore.

Waking up in the Woods | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

The Joan Dress

The Joan Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I remember being on the cusp of preteen-hood and seeing a double page ad in a magazine for a brand that claimed to have products to both make straight hair curly and curly hair straight. As a wavy, messy haired girl, I found this confusing and asked my mom about it. She told me that everybody wants what they don’t have. Luckily, she also taught me to love what I have and not worry about trying to change it.

The Joan Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Even with all the self esteem reinforcement my mother gave me growing up, I still couldn’t help wishing for Christina Hendrick curves to fill out my new dress design. Her character, Joan Holloway/Harris, on Mad Men inspired the dress, so I wanted to have Joan inspired photos as well. I tried to mimic her poses and attitude but it just wasn’t working. Every time I looked at the camera roll, I was frustrated by how I failed to fill the dress out.

By the end, I had fun popping my hip out and twisting at my waist to try to fake the curves, but I couldn’t help thinking about what my mom told me back when I was a girl, just getting ready for the media bombardment all women face. It has stayed with me, mixed with the messages that I am not tall enough, not curvy enough and, somehow, at the same time, not muscular enough. What I always try to remember is the core of what she taught me that day: no matter what, you will always want to be more like someone else, and someone else will always want to be more like you; all you can do is try your best to love yourself for who you are.

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Dress Sophster-Toaster
Stockings What Katie Did
Shoes ModCloth
Necklace gift
Earrings a street market in Panama

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All photos by me.

The Life Aquatic Skirt

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I was late to the Wes Anderson game. I watched one of his movies, Rushmore, for the first time a few years ago. I’m not sure how I avoiding every one of these amazing movies for so long. When I did finally see one, it was only because my brother recommenced it as “something you would like”. After watching Rushmore and loving it, my husband informed me that The Royal Tenenbaums is one of his favourite movies. I’ve now seen them all, own The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions on vinyl and have become quite the fan of Wes Anderson’s signature aesthetic.

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I love Wes Anderson’s use of simple and consistent colour and structure. I especially love the way he uses pinks and blues. Since my newest skirt is inspired by one of my more favourite of his movies (I don’t think I could ever choose a true favourite) I decided to also plan a Wes Anderson inspired photoshoot to go along with it!

The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Life Aquatic Skirt | Sophster-Toaster Blog

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Skirt Sophster-Toaster
Shoes ModCloth
Earrings Designs by Amber
Necklace gift

All photos by me.

Tea Rex Dress

Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I always forget how much I love pencil and straight skirt dresses. I tend to stick to fit and flare styles – it’s definitely my comfort zone. I think I have a fairly balanced, hourglass body type, but on my small, just a little too tall to shop in the petite section, frame, clothes never seem to fit my bust, waist and hip at the same time. I’m always in a pick two situation. Buying dresses with fitted bodices and open hips are just so much easier than finding and then maybe tailoring fitted pencil dresses. But, oh my, do properly fitting pencil dresses make me feel amazing!

Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

This forgotten love and lost confidence started showing up in my designs recently. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I noticed, while planning my new spring pieces, that every dress currently available in my shop was a fit and flare. Oh no!

The design for the Tea Rex Dress came easy, I always admire this particular silhouette when watching shows and movies set in the 1950s and 60s. Making the sample was a breeze too, other than the special attention needed at the neckline, it’s a pretty simple cut. I was dreading photographing it though.

The closer I came to finishing the dress, the more nervous I got – especially after a winter of pants and full skirts. Pulling back the winter layers and showing more shape and skin makes me feel weird every spring. It’s not exactly a self-conscious feeling, more of an uncomfortable increase in the awareness of my body and any eyes that may be on it. Not one to let fear get in my way, I slipped into the dress, out of my comfort zone, and in front of the camera.

I strapped on my favourite shoes, opened the window in my studio to let the cool, spring air in, but some load, feel-good music on and got to work. I felt great. The poses and pictures were almost effortless. It was then that I remembered how much I love the way I feel in a pencil dress. All that worry for nothing.

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Dress Sophster-Toaster
Shoes ModCloth

All photos by me.