About Me

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Los Olivos, California, United States
You can reach me at fool4fabric (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, May 1, 2016


It's full-on spring; the flowers around my valley are in vibrant bloom and the sun is shining. I pulled out a wonderful Japanese Cotton fabric designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji, bought some time ago from Marcy Tilton...

It was so much fun to play with pattern placement on this fabric, particularly because I had a limited amount, so I had to be extra creative.

The pattern, once again, is Vogue 1453 by Sandra Betzina; since this is my 4th make, I guess it qualifies as a TNT...

Those little striped circles are "porthole pockets" lined with a black and white stripe remnant...

While I was making this, I listened to The Sympathizer, written by Viet Thanh
Nguyen, which just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It is beautifully written, somewhat difficult to listen to, due to the subject (the war in Viet Nam), and especially interesting to me, as I lived in Saigon for two years during the war, so many of the descriptions of places, and names were familiar to me.

Big news in our family...our granddaughter Stephanie gave birth to our first great-grandchild,
Amethyst Elizabeth...

Mother, father, grandmother and baby are all doing well!

Our next-door neighbor's farm stand is bursting out in all its glory...I made White Beans with
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) and Lemon  the other night

and also Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Raisins and Bread Crumbs, a favorite when the fresh cauliflower arrives.

I think this is my favorite time of year to cook, with all the beautiful young vegetables and fruits making their appearance. We're also enjoying baby potatoes, peas and radishes from Dave's garden.

Between Dave, me and our housekeeper, we keep Paddy's grave decorated with flowers all the time....

How we miss that beautiful boy...Thank you for all your kind wishes.

After I finished the vest, I dove into my stash in the studio and managed to cull at least 20% of my fabrics (and that's A LOT) and found an additional way to organize them, my left brain being in the ascendant last week! Now I have to deal with all those discarded fabrics...

This week, I am visiting BOTH Visible Monday AND Hat Attack...thanks to Patti and Judith for being such wonderful hostesses!


Sunday, April 17, 2016


The weather is warming up (82°F as I write), so I am shifting for the moment from the Fall Paris Wardrobe to Los Olivos Summer!

This outfit was inspired by my new Trippens...

The style is called Union, and it is in one of my favorite Trippen colors...
"Black Ice".

The pants are V8712, an OOP Marcy Tilton pattern...

I made View C, added a band at the bottom, and made sure to use these cute
pockets..they are particularly fun in stripes!

The fabric is a woven stripe in shades of gray on white, from Marcy Tilton.

The top is Style Arc Daisy, without the extra hems. The fabric is from the mists of time (i.e. I don't remember where I got it). It's a very drapey smocked rayon.

Hanging with Buddha...(and yes, I'm showing off the glorious roses :)

Maggie was up last weekend and we did our "fun in the kitchen routine" as
usual. The April cover of Saveur Magazine caught my eye in the market; Dave and I enjoyed our trip to Sicily so much, and particularly the food and wine, so I knew we would enjoy this:

substituted Quinoa for the Couscous, as Maggie is GF 

and we also made Sicilian Caponata, from the same issue.

The peas are from Dave's garden! It was a delicious dinner!

And on to the sad part...we lost our beautiful Paddywack 5 days ago...
He was only 6 ½, he went suddenly and way too soon. He was, of course, a 
part of the family, and as readers of my blog know, my beloved Fashion Accessory.

R.I.P., Paddy

I'll be showing up at Patti's Visible Monday later this afternoon, so pay us a visit!


Sunday, April 3, 2016


As I've mentioned before, I am going to Paris in November with Marcy and Kathrine Tilton (squeal!)My friend Shams is going, and possibly my friend Joan.
As you and I know full well, I could simply use the wardrobe from my recent trip  to Portugal...it worked well, I loved it, it was fall-in-Europe, etc. 


I would miss out on one of my favorite parts of travel...MAKING A NEW

so here is the first key element of the wardrobe...it's the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic which I auditioned here 6 weeks ago. You will notice I am changing
my color scheme a little   by using a claret red. I fell in love with this French
Jacquard from Emma One Sock...

Linda didn't have quite enough for my jacket, but my dear friend Shams had
bought the last yard on the bolt and generously let me have it! THANKS, SHAMS!

Isn't that a gorgeous color? The fabric was quite light weight, so I interfaced the whole thing with a medium weight fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply. I will still need a heavier coat/jacket but this was the fabric that sparked my creativity.

I also made the turtleneck top, a modification of V 8691,an OOP pattern by Katherine Tilton. The fabric is a silky double knit from JoAnns.

(showing off my roses and wisteria a little...)

I wore the jacket to a funeral yesterday so that I could assess its wearability...

It got an A+!

We have been blessed here in our valley with a really superb year for wildflowers...the first in several years. Friday, Dave, Paddy and I took a
picnic up our local mountain, 10 miles from our house, and enjoyed the beauty.

This is known locally as "Grass Mountain" and right now, it's glowing neon orange from the poppies (and lupines, which you can't distinguish here)

Such a beautiful place...Dave and I spent the New Millennium Eve here,
toasting the end of the century with a bottle of champagne.

HOWEVER, there is no gain without pain, or something like that...and we have both been suffering from horrendous allergies all week. Luckily I recovered by
the weekend, as my eyes had been looking just like my friend from Papua New
Guinea, here...

Here's a photo of Paddy, me and the roses (and the sunspots)....


I will be hopping over to Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style in a few hours...come on over!


Sunday, March 20, 2016


I've spent A LOT of time in my studio lately...I'm listening to "A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara, short-listed for both the Man Booker and National Book Award for Fiction. It is a long, long, sad and dark book...but the writing is so
luminous, and I love the characters so much that I am hooked. I have come to love listening to Audible Books while I'm sewing; it encourages me to do a lot more hand sewing (good). When I come to a tricky bit in my sewing, I turn the book off, then start up again when I am ready. (I don't multi-task very well)

My first item was part of an ongoing attempt to find a very high scrunch turtleneck that doesn't collapse. I'll post about that later (it's pretty, and I'll wear it, but the neck isn't what I'm looking for).

Then, I made long OOP V8192, as a vest; I learned why there are only two reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review, both somewhat negative.

So, I was well-warned. I love the collar and decided to try it anyway. The main problem is that, in order to hang properly, I needed to add SIX sets of snaps to the interior. The top is essentially a double breasted vest without the necessary "buttons".

Here it is in my studio, as I figure out where to place the double-welt pockets.

And here it is, on me (with background of emerging wisteria) The fabric is a 
wonderful rayon-blend two-sided crinkle woven from Marcy Tilton which I love.

I like it, although I'm not sure it was worth all the bother...it's lightweight and drapey, perfect for my climate.


Next, as I was rummaging around in my studio, I found an almost completed knit top which I had totally forgotten about. It's B5954, adjusted somewhat to take advantage of a paneled knit with a border from Emma One Sock. So I added a neck finish, hemmed the sleeves and bottom, and voila!

A women's group I've belonged to for more than 30 years had a meeting this month in the studio of Seyburn Zorthian. We have two paintings of hers which I've written about before.

I've known Seyburn for a long time, but I was still fascinated by her telling us of the history of her painting...

and I found a new painting to love...

As a parting shot, check out my new polka-dot cat eye specs!

I'm heading over to Patti's site, Not Dead Yet Style, to join the Visible Women. Come  see what we've been up to!


Sunday, March 6, 2016


Almost five years ago, in this post, I wrote about my dear friend, cherished role model and beautiful human being, Laura.

At 104, Laura is presently transitioning to the next life, and in love, gratitude and honor, I finally made the quilted garnet silk vest I wanted to remember her by.

Laura taught me so much, by example, by her everpresent interest and fierce support in whatever
I might be doing, by the way she dressed, and by the love which she carried within her that was unmistakeable and available to all.

I bought this quilted velvet 5 years ago and made another Vogue 1453.

I'm also introducing my new hat, a gray felt handmade '40's type hat, made by 
UnaHats and sold on Etsy.

Maggie and David were up last weekend and lots of cooking and hanging out took place. Lovely as always! I have a new cookbook, Gjelina, named after a much beloved restaurant in Venice (CA) that Maggie took me to several years ago. I dipped my spoon into the waters with
Roasted Beet Salad with Avocado, Oranges, Toasted Hazelnuts and Sherry

Vinegar, recipe here.   YUMMM! It was particularly wonderful because the baby beets were from the farmstand next door to me, which recently reopened after a few months off for the winter. Their baby spinach is to die for, too...

And last night I made Roasted Mustard Chicken by The Barefoot Contessa...

which we will have tonight, also, along with a bottle of champagne, to toast 
the last (sob) episode of Downton Abbey.

I'm sliding in under the wire at the beautiful Style Crone Judith's Hat Attack...
come see who's wearing what!