About Me

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

Sunday, July 10, 2016


*Pretty Piece, Possibly Paris?

What fun I had, sewing this silk duster! The pattern is the Fillmore, by Sewing Workshop, and the gorgeous fabrics (plain silk taffeta and matching pleated silk taffeta)
are from Marcy Tilton.

I was inspired by Martha, of Now Sewing, who made this in a lovely red Brussels Washer Linen. I'm a sucker for a cross-woven fabric in red and black...witness my recent raincoat

and my red jeans from my Portugal wardrobe

These are three that come immediately to mind...suffice it to say a cross woven red/black fabric gets my immediate attention!

This pattern has very interesting seaming and was perfect for two coordinating fabrics.

I made the pattern exactly as printed. I had decided not to pre-wash the silk, but when I had finished the duster, the crispness of the silk didn't work with the volume of the skirt, so I washed it in the washing machine on cold/delicate and hung it to dry. Perfect!

Apparently I was on a Sewing Workshop pattern binge...as I wrote back in May,
I am somewhat obsessed with trying to successfully match this fabric

with an appropriate pattern. Since the only success I've had was a pair of loose pants for my friend Joan many years ago, I went back to that pattern (Sewing Workshop Trio Pants) and sewed it again, just for me!

The fabric and the pattern are a good match...and although this style of pant is not what I usually wear, it's "good enough".

What it DOES do, is allow me to wear some beloved items of jewelry which don't fit in with my usual black, white and red...I have always been very attuned to gray-green stones and have quite a collection of them, from precious moss aquamarines and labradorite, to
coke bottle glass (it's true, the silver and green large beads I found in a market in Mali!)So now I have something to wear them with! Although the pants are not terribly flattering, they ARE very comfortable and I could imagine wearing them on a road trip or plane ride.

I tried another iteration of this pattern in a gray Taslan I had in my stash...


 These will probably be passed on to someone else. I hope I'm over my Taslan

My next sewing project will be home dec in nature...I am recovering these chairs and ottoman.
If these turn out ok, I have SIX more chairs and FOUR more ottomans (ottomen?)but I will probably farm those out to a professional.

In other news, we celebrated Dave's birthday Friday with an excellent dinner out

and received a new picture of our great-granddaughter Amethyst...

Isn't she pretty?

We have been availing ourselves of the glorious summer fruits available from our neighbor and having an occasional VIVID breakfast outside on the deck...

As for the puppies...

MicMac is enjoying his last few weeks of being top dog (er...cat). On Saturday, July 23, we will pick up our new baby in Grass Valley and bring him home. Oh,

I'm heading over to Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style...come take a look!


Sunday, June 26, 2016


The sewing mojo chez Houtz has been strong lately! I made another Paris Piece,
a very textured silver tunic to go with many of my already-sewn jackets.

The pattern is my old friend B5526, with added pockets and a stand-up ruffled collar. Shams from Communing with Fabric chose the fabric for me, a textured synthetic from Fabrix several years ago.

It enhances many of the fabrics in my Paris Wardrobe-to-be, so I made it so that I could use it as a layer, as well as on its own.

Here it is under the Minoru

I'm very pleased with it!  Here is a peek at the new hanging rack I got to put the Paris wardrobe possibilities on...more on this later.

After I finished that, I went to work on my "Franken Pant" pattern, which is 
Marcy Tilton's V8929 plus my custom pattern from Lynda Maynard. I'm trying to get the combined patterns (that's the Franken part) to the point that I can cut them out, serge all the edges and sew them together in a day. The first one was a wadder, the second ok, but meh...and here's the third one in a stretch cotton from someone on Etsy...


It gets better every time! While I was doing all this sewing, I listened to the
final two books of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes trilogy, Finders Keepers and End of Watch.  They're pretty good...I've not been a Stephen King  fan in the past, but I enjoyed Mr. Mercedes so I decided to follow through on the last two. After those, I started Barkskins, Annie Proulx's new book. It's loooooong and fabulous. I'm about ⅔ finished. All these audio books are available on Audible Books.

Before I bring you up to date on the puppies (I know some of you are mostly interested in them....!) here's a RTW outfit from Sun Kim that I had to have...

I've already worn it several times and I love it!

Our beloved housekeeper gifted me with this awesome charm "bracelet" for my birthday...her sister made it and I'm so touched by it!

It's a spool of thread, a button, a dress form, a measuring tape, a thimble and a pair of scissors with a rose. Love it!

And one more thing...there were quite a few questions after my last post about  my raincoat...here are some answers...

I didn't line it or add inside pockets as I wanted it to be as lightweight as possible.
I did not shorten it.
The top in "the wineglass picture" was the top of this Alembika outfit that I bought in Oregon


The sheer sleeves belong to my "Sleevey Wonder"!

And HERE are the latest pictures of the puppies...(they are English Cocker Spaniels, blue roan, and we're only getting ONE although Dave has been wondering if we should get TWO
NO I said...


I have a very cute video of them tussling with each other, yipping and GROWLING...
I'll try to up load it.

Well, I tried twice and I couldn't get it to work... 

I'm headed over to Patti's Visible Monday...come see us!


Sunday, June 12, 2016


Lots of time in my studio, working on my raincoat for Paris. I used that gorgeous red/black cross woven taffeta I wrote about last time...

gorgeous to look at, a bear to sew on. Because it's nylon, it doesn't take a nice press, so crisp edges are not possible. But....I'm very pleased with it!

I used Vogue 8934, Marcy Tilton's shapely "cocoon" coat, but used the collar and detachable hood from Waffle Pattern's Tosti Jacket.


I made it sufficiently roomy, to allow for layering over jackets and vests

I hadn't ever made a detachable hood, so I got to learn a new technique, and also learned how to use my new Goldstar Heavy Snap Press Machine.


I'm wearing my birthday present from Dave, a wonderful necklace from Kathleen Nowak Tucci, made from Harley-Davidson inner tubes and stainless steel brake cables (!)

Cool, isn't it?

While I was working on the raincoat, I listened to The Atomic Weight of Love, by Elizabeth Church, which I loved, and Don Delillo's newest book, Zero K, which was just ok. Both are on Audible.

I'm still getting almost daily pictures from the dog breeder...the puppies are alost 3 weeks old, their eyes are open, and they're SO CUTE.

I will be joining the Visible Women on Patti's website this afternoon...come on over and take a look!


Sunday, May 29, 2016


It was never my intent, but I seem to have taken the month of May off! The last few weeks have been busy with houseguests and family, a little sewing, and some cleanup in the studio.

I drove down to Los Angeles for the day, to celebrate both Maggie's birthday and Mothers' Day. We enjoyed lunch at a new restaurant downtown and caught up on news...(and took selfies)

I spent several days on what was to be a  new jacket, from a new-to-me Independent pattern designer

I used a fabric I have sewn before, a four-ply Taslan in a particularly beautiful
gray (you can't tell from the picture, but it has a little green in it, just enough to make it interesting)

HOWEVER...my attemps at using this fabric have been, for the most part, failures. It has no stretch whatsoever, and except for a pair of loose pants I made for Joan many years ago, I have struck out. As I did on this jacket. Pattern to fabric matching not so good!  I abandoned the wadder in my studio and left for a week!

Our grandson Caleb and two of his buddies from Iowa made a quick road trip
after finals and before summer jobs to visit us. They were such fun, lovely boys/young men, we really enjoyed their time with us. They went to the beach a lot, to nearby Vandenberg Air Force base to see the missile launchers, and to
Morro Bay to do some kayaking. (Hey, it was early in the morning!)

Maggie and David came up to see the boys and we had a "farewell" dinner before they left...

My friend Joan returned from a glorious plein aire painting trip in Tuscany with
a side jaunt to Menorca, and we had dinner to catch up.

Then, my dear friend Willie came by for a few days en route to her family in LA,
and we, as always, had much to catch up on...

So...back to our "normal" life...I am making a raincoat for Paris in a beautiful

using V8934 but trying the collar and detachable hood from the Tosti jacket above.

Wish me luck!

ANNNNNND:  This woman I know has a Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniel named Karma,
who gave birth to SEVEN little boys a week ago...6 of them blue roan, one blue roan and tan...

and I get a picture every day of the pups and see how they're growing...ANNNNNNNND
one of them has our name on it...stay tuned!

I'm off to VISIBLE MONDAY to join up with the highly visible women who frequent Patti's site...come take a look!