In-Depth #5

The First Garment

Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of time to do research and learn a bit more about my topic. I’m starting to figure out the final garments I want to make for In-Depth. In addition to the bandeau top my mentor and I are discussing below, I’m going to be making two t-shirts and another top. If I can, I want to attempt making a bottom. Ms. Learmonth has told me that they can be quite difficult for beginners, but I’d love to try. I haven’t had a ton of time to meet with Ms. Learmonth not only because of my own busy schedule but due to musical theatre’s many performances. She’s had to focus more on the stage tech for the plays and hasn’t been as readily available as before Spring Break. Nevertheless, I met with her afterschool during costume design this past week to discuss my first garment.


The beginning of the bandeau top:



Ms. Learmonth: So what are you planning to do? What exactly do you want to achieve by the end of this project?

Me: I’d like to create a few garments. At least a few tops and maybe a bottom? I’m not completely sure at this stage.

Ms. Learmonth: Typically, beginners start with skirts. They’re the most simple and don’t take very much expertise or knowledge to begin.

White Hat: If you look at beginner sewing lessons, they typically consist of skirts and pillows. The pattern for a general skirt is relatively simple, just a half circle with space cut out for the waist. The lack of components to the pattern makes it an ideal starting point for people who want to learn to sew

Me: I don’t really have the fabric for a skirt. Could I maybe make a bandeau instead?

Ms. Learmonth: Like a strapless top? Sure. We have elastic bands in the costume design room.

Me: I think I know how to add an elastic band. I’ve seen it enough times in my own clothes that I think I could replicate it, but I’ll check some online videos to make sure.

Ms. Learmonth: That’s great! See if you can find leftover fabric in the bins to use. Is there anything in particular you want to do for the bandeau? Add ruffles, or make it textured?

Green Hat: Ms. Learmonth is asking me about possibilities for variation in my garment by suggesting creative details I could add to make the bandeau top unique.

Me: I don’t think I’m going to do anything like that for my first one, no. I’m not sure I want to try anything like that until I get the basics down. What exactly do you mean by textured?

Black Hat: Here, I think that any embellishments to the garment might distract me from understanding the basics and focusing on the quality of the stitches. I don’t like the idea of adding ruffles or texture, so I’m expressing it in a productive way to my mentor. By assessing my abilities I know whether or not I can handle the suggestions.

White Hat: I’m missing information to understand my mentor’s question, so I’m probing further to fully understand.

Ms. Learmonth: I have to run out, but Zora can explain. She’s actually just about to add an elastic band to the skirt she’s doing, so you can watch her. Feel free to ask anyone for help!

Me: Thanks, Ms. Learmonth. Bye!


Postnationalism in Canada

Is Canada a nation, simply a country, or a “post-national” state?

Source: click image!
Source: click the image!

Canada is well on its way to becoming, as 23rd Prime Minister Justin Trudeau states, the world’s first post-national state. Postnationalism is essentially the transcension of a country in terms of nationalistic ideals in favour of more global outlooks on economics, politics, social and cultural issues, and other important factors of a country’s identity. The quintessential Candian identity has been hotly debated. The Canadian Encyclopedia argues that there may be too much social division for there to ever be a single one (Blattberg, 2016). Rather, we’re made up of multi-faceted cultures and identities, and our current “poly-ethnic” society may make it impossible for Canada to ever become as nationalistic as our neighbours to the south, or even other countries in the world (Blattberg, 2016). This absence of knowledge about our identity, however, is what makes us such a promising candidate for post-nationalism. We’re searching in the wrong place. Looking at Canada internally may not be the right way to find our core identity. Our long-awaited existential answer may lie in our ties to international culture and globalization.

Writer Ralston Saul says that we have “space for multiple identities and multiple loyalties”, which strengthens the notion that Canada’s identity is made of international influences (Foran, 2017).  On the other hand, Candice Malcolm from the Toronto Sun believes that Trudeau’s statement in 2015 fuels “race-based ethnic politics” because those are “the politics and policies… Prime Minister Justin Trudeau [promotes]” (Malcolm, 2019). While both opinions paint Canada and our leadership in different lights, the core of their points is very similar. Canada has become internationalistic. Some may argue that this is solely to “override the rules, customs, and sovereignty of individual nations” and to maximize the flow of “unrestricted global migrants and money”, but I believe that’s the extreme (Todd, 2016). Canada is in no way there yet, which is why it’s nearly a post-national state. Rather than experiencing overwhelming patriotism for our country, Canadians look at the bigger picture. International trade, a multinational society, global politics and economics are all aspects of Canada we’re still attempting to develop. Until we truly change our mindsets from Canadian to global citizens, I don’t think Canada can truly be a post-national state. Working internationally in the best interests of the human race rather than focusing on the borders and cultures that divide us is the next step in making Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement a reality. Canada will be a post-national state. It’s only a matter of time.




Blattberg, Charles. “Canadian Identity.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 29 Feb. 2016,

Foran, Charles. “The Canada Experiment: Is This the World’s First ‘Postnational’ Country? | Charles Foran.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 4 Jan. 2017,

Malcolm, Candice. “MALCOLM: Raced-Based Politics Natural Outcome of Trudeau’s ‘Postnational State’.” Toronto Sun, 16 Jan. 2019,

Todd, Douglas. “Douglas Todd: The Dangers of a ‘Postnational’ Canada.”, 3 Nov. 2016, todd dangers postnational canada/11779069/story.html.

In-Depth #4

The past two weeks I’ve continued drawing and started to research fabrics and patterns. Adding more texture and detail to my drawings has been very beneficial in helping those looking at the drawings understand things like what fabric I’m using and how I want the garments to drape. I plan on starting to practice planning, drawing, and cutting patterns next week and purchase some fabric I can use to start the first pieces I want to sew. This week I implemented the guidelines given to listen and ask questions effectively.


#5 Discuss any new points of view you developed while in conversation with your mentor.

Ms. Learmonth spoke briefly about popular local fashion and mentioned First Nations designer Chloe Angus who creates scarves with designs from her own culture. The media around First Nations designs fuels her sales on the product. This conversation made me realize the impact of culture and trends on the designs fashion designers create. Local and international designers capitalize on trends to create products that will sell.

#9 How do your mentor’s values differ from yours?

Ms. Learmonth told me that she has a background in fashion because she was really interested in it when she was younger. I mentioned this before in a previous blog post, but her taste and inspiration in fashion really differs from mine. I’m more interested in modern streetwear whereas she’s comfortable with more traditional fashion. Ms. Learmonth told me “the clothing you’re interested in may be really difficult to find patterns for, so it’s important that you know how to make your own”. This lead me to learn more about patterns and sizing in my free time this past week.


Asking Questions

#1 Ask questions. Record them. Why did you ask these questions?

Q: How does sewing change depending on the fabrics you use?

A: Different fabrics require different needles, and sometimes even different threads and machines. Leather, for example, needs a totally different needle than typical cotton.

Fabric is really important when creating garments. When buying fabric for my own pieces, I wanted to know what things I needed to consider so I could make the best choice possible. I didn’t want to buy fabric and go home only to realize I needed an entirely different set of tools to work with it.


Q: How can you better represent fabrics when drawing in fashion?

A: The drape of fabrics is super important because it tells your customer what exactly their buying and how it might look on their figure. Focus on pulling things from your memory and applying it to your drawings. Think: “where would the fabric go? Where would it crease? Where would it hang?”.

If I ever want to get into the fashion industry, I need to know how to draw fashion. These are the basics I need to build on my skills. Drawing is the first stage of fashion production, and being able to represent your vision to others is essential.

Romeo and Juliet Act II: Critical Response

Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “’infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? Why or why not? Provide at least two pieces of textual evidence.

Based on our readings, I believe that Romeo and Juliet, while not engaging in puppy love, are infatuated rather than truly being in love. Montague reveals to Paris, one of Juliet’s suitors, that she “is yet a stranger in the world [and] hath not seen the change of fourteen years” while Romeo is around seventeen (1.2.8,9). I think that true love at these ages, while highly unlikely, may be possible. It’s the circumstances in which this “love” of Romeo and his fair Juliet came to be that makes me question the reality of their feelings. Prior to Juliet, Romeo professes his love for Rosaline, a Capulet who swears to never marry. Following the Capulet ball where Romeo first lays eyes on Juliet, his friend Mercutio calls for him, saying “I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, by her high forehead and her scarlet lip… that in thy likeness thou appear to us!” (2.1.17-21). Still believing the claims of love and commitment Romeo made to Rosaline, even his closest friends Mercutio and Benvolio think that she is the only girl in Romeo’s life. His ability to wholely forget her and suddenly transfer the totality of his feelings to Juliet makes the new relationship seem superficial and baseless. When he stumbles upon Juliet’s balcony where, lo and behold, the thirteen-year-old girl is professing her feelings for Romeo, he breaks into a soliloquy about Juliet’s beauty. His lust for Juliet is evident when he says “her vestal livery is but sick and green, and none but fools do wear it; cast it off” because he essentially wants to take her virginity even though they met only hours prior (2.2.8,9). The sole things he knows about her are that she’s beautiful and a Capulet, and I don’t believe real love can be borne out of such superficial knowledge.


To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate? Do some brief online research to back up your claim, providing links/citation to your research at the end of your response.

Kulich argues that Romeo and Juliet were physically and mentally mature enough to engage in what they believed was love. It’s true that in the 15th century when Romeo and Juliet is speculated to take place, marriage typically occurred between girls in their teens and men in their early twenties. The marriages were typically arranged and women never had a choice in the matter, making Juliet a rare case. Ethos, logos, and pathos are often utilized to make effective arguments. By providing a personal story, Kulich is giving credibility, explaining how their life experiences connect to the point they’re trying to make. Logos and pathos aren’t as prevalent in the argument, and that opens it up to more speculation. Why tell of your own experience in the 1940s when you could just as easily give information directly related to the time period of the play? By not giving more concrete evidence about marriage and relationships in the 15th century or appealing more to the reader’s emotions, Kulich’s argument fell a little flat. The information provided is historically accurate and relevant, but in order to truly believe the argument, you have to fill in the blanks on your own.


Works Cited:


In-Depth #3

I’ve spent the last week or so applying the knowledge that Ms. Learmonth has shared with me. I’ve been focusing mainly on drawing figures in fashion and applying my designs to the figures. When drawing figures, you use the head as a kind of measurement. Seven heads tall is a typical figure, but in fashion and anime, a more exaggerated figure of eight heads is used. I first used markers until I became more familiar with the proportions, and then drew them freehand.



I’ve really been enjoying the things I’ve been doing to further my project like looking at new trends in the industry, gathering inspiration for future projects, and teaching myself how to make simple garments by watching online videos. It’s been a busy week for me, so I haven’t been able to see Ms. Learmonth during CL or afterschool like I usually do. Instead, I’ve been working on the last task she gave me, which was practicing my fashion sketches. I hope to meet with her during Tuesday’s CL so she can critique my drawings and give me some pointers on how to add realism to the fabric and garments.

I’ve shared my interests in the fashion industry with many people. When Ms. Learmonth asked me why I was so interested in this particular subject for my In-Depth, I shared that I was considering a future in the industry, and a potential retail business during my high school years. I connected this to a concept that Edward, Valerie, and I had for a venture producing and selling clothes in our community. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up happening, but I expressed to Ms. Learmonth that I hoped to be able to do it sometime in the near future.

When Ms. Learmonth originally asked what my go-to figure was for fashion sketches, I drew a blank. Afterwards, I created a generic figure because I had no idea what guidelines I should follow. When I returned to see her, I asked for clarification and she told me about the basic male/female figure in sketching and about measuring by the length of the head. This gave me a solid base to use for the sketches I have above. By asking for clarification, Ms. Learmonth gave me the information I needed to continue my project.

During the next few weeks, I want to continue sketching and learning more about sewing clothing effectively. I like the sketches I have so far, but the proportions look a little off. I for one enjoy the aesthetic of the sketches, but it would be beneficial to know if it’s hindering the representation of the garments in any way. I also want to be able to add more detail to the fits and the fabrics in the drawings. This and becoming more familiar with sewing machines are what I hope to accomplish in the coming weeks. All in all, In-Depth so far has been a fruitful journey!

In-Depth #2

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve really kickstarted my In-Depth project. Solidifying Ms. Learmonth, a teacher at Gleneagle, as my mentor was a highlight of those weeks. We haven’t had the chance to really meet and work solely on my In-Depth together due to our busy schedules, but we’ve exchanged emails and she’s helped me with projects for the costume design program in the theatre department at Gleneagle. Ms. Learmonth is very knowledgeable when it comes to sewing and garment construction because she pursued a career in fashion design at one point in her life. Her insight is invaluable, and her help on a skirt I’m currently helping to make in costume design has been really helpful. The piece is more of a side project than something I’m hoping to include in my In-Depth, but I appreciate any and all practice I can get.

Because we haven’t had much opportunity, there’s very little that we’ve agreed or disagreed upon. When making the skirt, which will be featured in the upcoming musical theatre play, Ms. Learmonth helped me understand the patterns and pieces of the skirt, as well as how they’d fit together. She then instructed me to begin with the waistband, which was the easiest and most straightforward part of the skirt. I agreed with this because I would get practice pinning and cutting on a simple portion of the skirt. I’m a beginner, and I understood why Ms. Learmonth wanted me to start with a simple piece first.

The fabric she chose for the skirt was lavender with a darker floral design over it. I didn’t quite agree with the choice of fabric because the theme of the play is very “doobop”-y and I though a solid bright colour would be more suitable. I didn’t voice this because it was my first time making a garment and I knew Ms. Learmonth was the more knowledgeable of the two of us. Later on, the original fabric was scrapped and replaced with a solid red but I still respected her initial decision despite my disagreement.

We haven’t been able to really meet, so there isn’t much else that we’ve agreed or disagreed upon. She’s really just popped in to aid in the projects I’m helping out with for costume design. I hope to meet with her during CL and after school at least once this week. As far as my progress, I’m looking into buying a personal sewing machine and have already started practicing sewing by hand at home and studying patterns at costume design. I’m really excited to see how much I grow over the course of the project with the help of Ms. Learmonth!


To what extent is the relationship between beauty gurus and their viewers influenced and/or manipulated by the YouTubers?


ZIP this year has been a very enlightening journey, and definitely more interesting and personally beneficial than last year in my opinion. My question is centred on a topic that’s ingrained in my day-to-day life, and learning more about the topic has brought a new level of awareness during my interactions on Youtube. I was drawn to the topic because it was such a large and entertaining aspect of my life and finding a way to connect it to the English curriculum seemed like a worthwhile challenge. In attempting to do so, I stripped away the reason I had chosen the topic in the first place: the fun. So, I reeled back the unnecessary embellishments and focused on beauty gurus and their interactions with their viewers specifically.

During the inquiry, I’ve learned a lot about motives and what happens in the background during seemingly innocent interactions between viewers and media personalities. I’ve learned about some of the psychology behind certain actions, and the growing influence of social media in the marketing and business world. I know better than I previously did to not take everything at face value, even if it’s coming from your favourite YouTuber. I’m better able to analyze media with a critical and logical lens and identify the credibility and reliability of the source.

The answer to my aforementioned inquiry question has two main aspects that I focused on: the psychological effects on the viewer and how it may be exploited to benefit beauty gurus specifically. In my research, I focused predominantly on parasocial relationships and opinion leaders. Parasocial relationships are relationships that mirror real-life social interactions but are ultimately one-sided. Viewers of media personalities develop bonds and feelings associated with the person without ever meeting them, and this benefits beauty gurus because they gain loyal fans and followers that truly like the persona they present on social media. Opinion leaders have a similar following but as a result of expertise rather than social intimacy. Their knowledge, attractiveness, and trustworthiness entice people to listen to them and buy whatever they’re selling. Beauty gurus are opinion leaders in the beauty industry, and their expertise leads their viewers to trust their reviews of products and brands. Business and YouTubers themselves can cash in on this for good marketing and profits. As a whole, I learned that there are many factors that influence the relationships between beauty gurus and their viewers, and that said viewers should use their discretion and avoid taking everything at face value.


For my final learning artifact, I decided to make a YouTube video to share the information I’ve gathered in an interesting and engaging way. I wanted to use the same form of media as the work I’ve been researching, as I’ve had a lot of experience with it over the past few weeks. My curricular competencies were:

  • Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts

The perspectives that I could use to analyze the relationships between beauty gurus and viewers are plentiful. I looked at financial and monetary benefits to the gurus, which overall is more of a societal lens on their motives and behaviours. The personal and psychological impact of this relationship on teh viewers was also one of my focuses, and I tied all of the information together to create a succinct video. Attached below is the bulk of my research.

  • Respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways

I analyzed YouTube videos, articles, studies, and other research materials in a critical manner. I then synthesized the information into a singular script and performed it in the form of a video. By doing so, I converted the information from words on a computer screen into an engaging narrative. I took a creative initiative in producing and editing the video to my satisfaction. Attached is a link to my planning and script for the video.

  • Select and use appropriate features, forms, and genres according to audience, purpose, and message

The purpose of the video I created is to inform audiences about their interactions with beauty gurus on YouTube, and how said interactions impact and influence them in ways they don’t realize. Thus, I believed a YouTube video would be a good way to get the point across. It’s short and engaging, using visuals to convey meaning to the viewers. My audience is a class full of teenagers, and a YouTube video is an interactive way to give information without making the subject too tedious. Attached is my final product: the link to my video.


In conclusion, I’d say that ZIP this year was pretty successful. I learned a lot about my chosen topic and areas surrounding it, and brought a new level of awareness to myself (and hopefully to those who watch my video) that’ll be beneficial in the future. During my inquiry, I learned about some psychology that occurs on the viewer’s side of things, but I’d like to learn more about how to harness that to create a successful YouTube career. I think that manipulating viewers is morally wrong, but utilizing effective strategies to engage your audience and create a loyal following sounds like an interesting path of study. Obviously, this topic is more subjective and varies from audience to audience depending on what niche you’re in. Still, it seems like a cool path to follow after the findings of my inquiry.



This link leads to a paper done on the subject of beauty gurus by a student from the University of Antwerp. It discusses the concepts of “community spheres” based on the emotional connection of a beauty guru with their viewers and a “commercial sphere” that consists of YouTubers utilizing the platform for business ventures.

This link leads to another paper, this time for The Journal of Social Media in Society. It explores the connection between parasocial relationships and relationship building in relation to YouTubers and their viewers.

This site contains a lot of figures and evidence that I referenced for my video. It contains lots of information and statistics and is also a recently updated article.

This article on beauty gurus explains the connections between the gurus and an “opinion leader” status. It gives real-life examples of opinion leaders at work and explains how they use the status for monetary benefit.

In-Depth #1

This year for In-Depth, I will be learning about sewing and garment construction. Fashion design is an interest of mine, so the project this year is an opportunity to learn how to make my own clothing from scratch. I have basic knowledge of sewing that I’ve gotten from middle school Home Ec classes, but the most they’ve taught me is how to sew a sock monkey. During my project, I will learn more about sewing both by machine and by hand, as well as the basics of garment construction (putting patterns together to form garments). I’ve begun going to costume design afterschool, and I’m amazed at all there is to learn about the production of clothing. It’s a fascinating subject, and learning about it this year will give me the skills to create my own clothing and re-use old ones. This will not only be enjoyable for me but beneficial to the environment.

Over the past few years, my passion for fashion (I apologize for that phrase) has only grown. Designers like Virgil Abloh have fed my desire for a future in the fashion industry. Their vision has inspired me to create my own designs and religiously follow their paths in the world of high fashion. The first step to achieving a future in the fashion industry is to learn to sew and make clothing. This is essential to starting your own brand or business, and I think learning it early will aid me later on in life.

At this point in time, I don’t have a mentor. My goal is to get a mentor who works at or is some way related to a sewing studio or tailor and has adept sewing skills and knowledge in garment construction and/or fashion design. Emails have been sent, are replies have been received, but my letters are currently being circulated in workplaces. I hope to have a mentor by the end of the reading break at the latest because I want to begin doing physical work as soon as possible. I plan on meeting with my mentor once a week over the weekend for around 4-5 hours each session. I hope this gives me plenty of time to learn skills that may be challenging and time-consuming.


In-Depth Mentor Letter

ZIP #3

Reflect on your inquiry question, and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry?


My original inquiry question was “how do YouTube niches effectively target demographics?”. Through research, I’ve realized that the really interesting aspect of YouTube lies with the relationship between YouTubers and their viewers, and the way media personalities manipulate and influence their audiences. Presently, my present question is “To what extent is the relationship between youtube personalities and their viewers influenced and/or manipulated by the YouTubers?”.

My research revealed certain things YouTubers do draw in their viewers and make them more inclined to purchase products they endorse or market. Viewers feel an emotional connection to YouTubers as a result of behaviours and mannerisms they exhibit. This allows the YouTubers to manipulate (unconsciously or not) their viewers into purchasing their products and supporting them in their endeavours. For example, Jacob Sartorius had a loyal following on Vine and, and when he transitioned into the music industry, those fans followed and supported him regardless of the judgement he faced from the rest of the world.

I’m excited to continue learning more about this subject as it analyzes media and audience interactions, and some of the psychology involved in the relations between loyal fans and their YouTubers.


ZIP Notes