The Best Gift My (Fashion) Friend Gave Me

Gifting at times is not all that easy, especially when it comes to buying for a close friend. Often deciding on what the perfect gift can be or if that perfect gift may even exist can be also frustrating.

I've learnt early on to think of it how my mum succinctly puts it to "never give someone anything that you haven't thought about, or anything that you yourself would not love," of course in actuality it may vary, because I myself do not love or have the need for barbecuing utensils. However, when I recently purchased those for a passionate grilling friend it was well thought out and something that he's now enjoying to use quite frequently.

With that being said, I love giving and receiving gifts that have a purpose. It might be a handmade card with words of encouragement, a special photo, a smile, statement pieces of jewellery, or an incredible vintage/thrift find to just name a few.
Almost 2 years ago I received one of my all time favourite fashion gifts from my dear friend, Jin. It was a fantastic notebook! In fact, this (what seemed to be a blank notebook at first glance) was filled with loads of data that included fashion related websites, helpful blog addresses, important must-know dates of fashion weeks, button sizes, a fabric dictionary, inspiration layouts for mood boards, and so much more!

The notebook is called Fashionary. If you haven't heard of this book yet be prepare to be inspired! 

As I carefully turned each page I was consumed with excitement, anxious to create, and inspired to see what the next surprise page would bring. This one book is essentially everything that I want to fit from 3 other books that reside on my reference shelf. There's also a folder pocket in back of the book where I keep all of my extra tear sheets, trims, and other random discoveries that I choose to toss inside. 

Today, this brilliant concept gives more to the "apparelista," fashion designer, or fashion drawing enthusiast offering additional references and new bold book colours than its initial launch. You might be pondering the question of, what if I don't draw much? Not to worry there's guidelines lightly embedded on pages for you to start inspiring works, progressing with each sketching effort. 

I've been using this book along with a few other notebooks that I keep nearby since the moment received, and cannot wait to purchase their men's wear edition. It's loaded with technical info that I was taught in design school, yet arranged in such a sophisticated and orderly way. Fashionary provides necessary fashion related resources all compiled in a sketchbook be it used by an ambitious creative, or seasoned designer it's a wonderful contribution to the fashion design industry.
Here's a few of my sketches & inspiration that I keep within the notebook.

If you're wanting a different suggestion for a fashion loving friend this book is an inexpensive way to tell them, "okay, so you love creating something do ya? Well, here's a book to keep it all in!" With computers and other technology just about ruling the creative world it's nice to take a walk down memory lane, in retrospect an encouragement of the doodling process as you cut and paste a few ideas here and there.

Perhaps you will even remember what a 28L button actually looks like or what the tailor meant by when he/she said, "set-in sleeve."

Working primarily with patterns and operational modifications on a daily basis, I am forever fascinated with a consolidating source that can fit merely in my stylish envelope clutch! So here's my gift to you sharing a token of what I deem as a great fashion aid, my Fashionary from one friend to another. 
All photos:  Ladyofashion    originals,  and   Fashionary.org
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55 comments

  1. This is such a kind thing to do. What a sweet friend you have.
    And how thoughtful of her to think of a such a delightful present for you.

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  2. Just by browsing through the Fashionary website I can imagine how useful thatd be for people into fashion. yay great item put onto my list for future gift ideas :D Your sketches look very nice too! Are u in the process of making them?

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  3. I just love this! I might have to get myself one. Especially since it comes in a limited edition hot pink! What a wonderful gift! 

    XX!
    YvonnaLivianna
    YvonnaLivianna.blogspot.com

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  4. I agree. Personal and heartfelt/sentimental gifts outweigh materialized purchases. One time I was really sick, and had just came out of the hospital. A friend gave me a card with a teddy bear that said stay strong. It was purchased, but something about it had so much meaning to me that I still treasure it till this day. Whereas gifts that were probably higher in monetary value or were perhaps, "trendy," didn't make the cut. 

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  5. what an amazing gift!!  Thanks for the hot tip - btw could not agree more with your comment on the Celine on my blog - thank you! x

    http://fashionandfrank.blogspot.com/

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  6. Fashionary is genius!!! My friend gave me something similar this past Christmas and it was definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received. We're so similar :-)

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  7. Oh to Be a Muse19 June, 2011

    that fashionary book sounds amazing--i am totally loving it. going to check out the site now!

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  8. I shall definitly keep it in mind.
    Thank you my dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  9. I never knew of this kind of books. I like what your mom said about giving to others a gift that we ourselves may love. That is a great philosophy to live by!

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  10. What a great gift! I absolutely want one!



    Shasie 
    Live Life in
    Style

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  11. That's a great gift.  Even though I don't design or make anything I would love to go through it and see what kind of funfacts I can learn.

    Veronica
    @bestofpbconsign 

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  12. Hi Claire! Thanks! Enjoy your day! -xo

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  13. Hi Winnie,
     Yes, these are all made, one was just a design suggestion for a friend's re-purposed wedding dress. I'm also working on a new skirt. Check out this site they are amazing notebooks. Thanks for the comment dear!  :)

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  14. Your enthusiasm is contagious! Fashionary sounds like something all women interested in fashion should have! Are those your sketches in the notebook? If so, they are amazing! I like your philosophy on gift giving. I have never given anyone a gift without putting some thought into it. It's important to think of what the person likes and needs.

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  15. Popped in to say hi!  I love your belief on gift giving.  So many people give what they would want. 

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  16. Ohmigosh I LOVE this - it sounds like such a fabulous gift to give, or receive!  :)

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  17. What a lovely gift!! So thoughtful! I want one! :)


    xoxo,
    Mel

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  18. I'm always so intrigued by little notebooks like these. Will you do a future post and show us what's in yours, more sketches, etc? Pretty please?

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  19. that is great! I didn't know such notebook exist :D That would be really useful and a good source of inspiration I think

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  20. A Brit Greek20 June, 2011

    I love the sound of Fashionary - plus I love gifts that have been carefully picked out -no matter the price.

    Just finished reading Tim Gunns 'Lifes little lessons in making it work' - fun read and also 'Secrets of Stylists' - a great coffee table no. filled with an insiders knowledge on Styling.

    Thanks for stopping by doll.
    x.o.x.o

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  21. Wow that looks like an absolutely amazing notebook. 

    --Ellie

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  22. How awesome. I sure wish I had sketching skills!

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  23. Hi lovely! Of course I will... Those above in the second photos are some of my sketches that's in my notebook. More to come... -xx  :)

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  24. Hi Bella & Welcome to my blog! 
    Yes, these are my sketches and a few other things that I keep in my notebook. Gift giving in my family is important even picking out the right card. Mother seems to know a few things, haha! Looking forward to reading more from you!  :)

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  25. Yes, there's nothing like receiving something big or small, simple that really makes you feel good, knowing that there was though behind such a gift. 
    Thanks Lauren! :)

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  26. Goooorgeous gift! Madison, you are quite the artist...your sketches look amazing. I kind of love gifts with tons of thought put into them way more than super flashy gifts. definitely bookmarking Fashionary. 

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  27. Madison, you are so talented!! I love your sketches! Thanks for sharing the Fashionary. I personally think the same way. Gifts, even the smallest need to be thoughtful and personal. It should not be a chore. Your friend truly thought about your interests and gave you this beautiful notebook!

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  28. I know isn't this such an interesting book. Visit the website for more info. Thanks Melrod -xo

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  29. I agree! Thank you, Erika.

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  30. I encourage you to have a look on the site, it's really a great tool to view, especially if your're interested in learning a bit more about fashion from a technical view point as well.

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  31. Your'e absolutely right, I see we have very similar tastes. I'm still thinking about those neon shoes. lol  I love this special gift. Thank you.

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  32. Thank you Ellie. Have a wonderful week. ;) xo

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  33. Hi there,

    It does have a nice ring to it... "Fashionary." Tim Gunn's book I read a little while ago, it was a good read. I love styling anyway & these both are good titles to share. 
    Thanks so much! xxoo
    Madison

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  34. Yes, dear I have a few others... but I'll wait to share those at a later date. This notebook goes up high on my list of helpful gifts. Thanks for your comment.

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  35. Hello! Thanks, I'm excited that you were able to view this post. Giving in general is such an important quality, yet alone the gesture of gifting. Sometimes it's difficult, but I find that when you really think about it, often it's the simplest of things that may be the perfect gift. In this case, a notebook. Thanks for popping by. -xo

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  36. Yes, she has great philosophies that I find myself living by from time-to-time. there are so many wonderful books, but none like this one! Check it out Ofelia dear.  :)

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  37. Wow, thank you Jamillah, dear I am  s l o w l y entering a few sketches into posts - very subtly. As for Fashionary = I highly recommend. :)  

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  38. Hello Ambu lovely, thank you very much! I agree entirely, gift should never be a chore, yes some we may find it a tad harder to think about, but the thinking is the key element & what's important. I must say my friends tend to know me quite well. :)

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  39. Hi Debbie,
     Goodness, I feel that I knew you'd appreciate this notebook... This is a great book so do check it out, I think you will agree.

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  40. Yes, I actually used to have them on my portfolio site with computerized sketches as well. Perhaps you've inspired me to put them up again in the future. Thank you. xo

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  41. Hi Alexis,
    Thank you. I did not expect the overwelming response that I've been receiving, so I really appreciate it and I'm excited to post more sketches... Yes this book is pretty wonderful. :)

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  42. The Compassion Fashion Project21 June, 2011

    Wow!  Thanks for the tip!  I adore fashion illustration, obviously you can tell from my blog...lol.  Girl, you need to donate one of your sketches to our t-shirt line and let me write an article about you!  Thanks for all the support you have given us since day 1! Love you, lady~Meredith xoxo

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  43. This sounds interesting. Mail me, how exactly would this work... with my original artworks, details, etc.? I'm always so thankful when you visit Meredith. Have a great day. -xo

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  44. this is so wonderful! I'm going to try an track this down! What a wonderful gift! Any fashion lover would love this!

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  45. Jewellerybijou21 June, 2011

    Your sketches are gorgeous!

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  46. Jewellerybijou21 June, 2011

    Your skecthes are gorgeous!
    jewellerybijou.com

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  47. Thank you! Welcome to my blog, Fashion Tales. Hope to see you visit again soon. 
    ~Ladyofashion  :)

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  48. Hi Sara, 
    so glad you liked it. It's most definitely a winner! -xxoo

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  49. Wow, what amazing illustrations!  Gosh, your talent is what I can only wish for, lol!  I would love to see more...
    -Christine
    http://un-stitched.com/

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  50. THAT is an awesome find!  I definitely need to get that. What a wonderful friend to give that to you!

    xoxo
    Cyrillynn

    PS, you are such a lovely person Madison. :)

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  51. Thank you Christine! will probably share a few more now, since it seems many have an interests. :)

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  52. Thanks for the lovely post Madison. So happy to see your sketches!

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