About Me

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cape Redo

No good deed goes unpunished...Maggie brought the cape up for "adjusting" after it's debut in the desert. Too long, interior pockets too slippery, hood doesn't stay on head. 'Kay. Took some pix while she was here for Christmas:

Today, I cut off 3 inches, re-attached trim on bottom, added patch pockets on the front, re-hemmed (grrr). I couldn't figure out what to do about hood without ruining "the look". Called on Shams, my go-to-guru, and with her suggestions, came up with a "skunk stripe"; a 4" wide strip of the wool fabric, on the inside of the hood.
It looks ok, and, most importantly, it WORKS! It's off to the Post Office in the morning, and I can start on my wardrobe for Ethiopia; we leave on January 14th!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What the Elves Made

Our Christmas gift-opening is over, and now I can share what the elves and I have been working on in the studio!

I made a faux Persian Lamb jacket for my daughter; I used CLD Anything But Ordinary, lengthened, zippered and lined, and a Purple fabric from Emma One Sock.

                                      The buttons on the collar are vintage carved mother-of-pearl which belonged to my mother.

I made a plaid shirt for my husband, using McCalls 4079 and a poly/rayon twill from my local store.
 I also made a cardi from Marcy Tilton's V8430 for a friend; I used a remnant of Leopard-Printed Ponte knit from EOS.

  And here I am in a lovely merino/cashmere turtleneck, a gift from my husband;
 I hope your holidays were bright and happy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Cape in Action

My studio has been taken over by Santa's Elves, so no reporting till after Christmas. However, here is a picture of Maggie, dj-ing in her cape!
She's bringing it up next week to be shortened, so I'll try to get another picture.

Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once More, with Mirrors!

I finally finished my fancy jacket to wear to a party next Thursday. It is another iteration of Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8620, this time in a fabulous embroidered, sequined, mirrored black silk dupioni from Hyena Productions, a wonderful source for incredible silks.

I've been to India seven times, and each trip I fall in love all over again with their over-the-top use of mirrors. I have them all over my house, both inside and out. Now I'll have them on my body!

I'm wearing the jacket with a pair of flame-colored silk velvet pants I made many years ago.

This was also an opportunity to use my new labels!

While waiting for the Swarovski rhinestones to put on the reverse-that-shows zipper (a great idea from Shams, at Communing With Fabric), I made a quick tunic, Vogue 8542 OOP, View B. I used a black and gray knit from Marcy Tilton, and, because I didn't order enough, a black ponte knit from JoAnn's for the neck and sleeves.

A very productive week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Style Arc Linda Pants

I've joined the bandwagon and become a fan of the Style Arc Linda Pant. Everyone seems to love it and now I see why!
I made these out of a strange black stretch denim from EmmaOneSock. There are red flecks in the black fabric, although from far away, it almost looks maroon. I have noticed this in many red/black fabrics and I'm not fond of it.

I cut the pants making only one change, to add to the front waist, and I shouldn't have bothered. The pants fit perfectly, although I needed to make a 3" hem instead of 2".

I'm wearing them with a beloved vest that I got second-hand last year;
and also with my TNT McCalls red sweater jacket
I am almost ready to share my mirrored and embroidered evening jacket...I'm just waiting for some Swarovski rhinestones to arrive so I can finish it off!
It's been a good week for sewing!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Cape

As I mentioned, I promised to make a wool cape for my daughter to wear while D-J-ing in the desert. She had brought me one to refashion, but it was pretty yucky, and I figured I might as well invest in good material, as long as I was investing my time. I used Simplicity 5794 view C.

I ordered black wool melton and silver poly satin for the lining. Capes like these take a LOT of fabric...6 yds of 60" for each. All went well untilI began to sew the 4 pieces together. I recalled, 10 years ago, after sewing several King Size duvet covers, vowing NEVER to sew a voluminous project again. Too late!

Here is the cape, on me. The trim is silver flocked velvet. Needless to say, my entire studio is covered in silver sparkles! I added some interior pockets to the lining.

The clasp is a lovely heavy pewter celtic ornament, salvaged from the original cape.
Because my DD reads my blog (Hi, Maggie!) suffice it to say I'm glad the project is over(!!!!); I walked into her house yesterday, surprising her with it as she was getting ready to host our Thanksgiving dinner.

Now, back to sewing for ME (after a good cleaning of the studio)!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're about to set off for our daughter's house in Venice (the California one, not the Italian one). I am, of course, wearing The Boot! (Maybe the 10th time I wear them I won't feel the need to blog about them)
I am wearing a black wool skirt/pant by Shirin Guild which is very similar to the Sewing Workshop Origami skirt, and the Barbara De Jounge sweater that Shams
and I bought at AIF.

I am also taking THE CAPE, which I will blog about next time...
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WOW! Clowns + Zebras!

TWO items to share! First is Vogue 1116, unfortunately known as "Clown Pants".
Unfortunate, because these are uber-stylish pants designed by Andrea Katz, and some of us LOVE them! I made these for a friend who can DEFINiTELY
work them! They are made out of a crisp nylon taffeta-like blend which makes the unusual seaming visible.

Please notice that she is wearing THE BOOT!

Then, because this is all about ME... I made a quick and satisfying Style Arc Debra Zebra Top which is rapidly becoming a TNT for all who have sewn it...
like Shams, who made TWO in no-time-at-all!
This is in a rayon/lycra black and gray knit from Marcy Tilton from 4 or 5 years ago. It's very similar to the Burda Funnel-Neck Tee which I made a few weeks ago. I will probably wind up morphing the two to achieve the "perfect funnel-neck tee"!

Next? If I'm a good Momma, I will make the wool/satin cape promised to my daughter for her desert parties. BUT, I'm not always a good Momma...we shall see!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Deconstruction of an Idiosyncratic Fashionista Wanna-Be

Today was my debut as an Idiosyncratic Fashionista Wanna-Be. I have been eagerly awaiting my opportunity to wear The Boot and I decided that this was

the day. I was going to a meeting and lunch with a group of women who have been meeting for 25+ years. I knew they would not only accept my outfit, but I would disappoint them if I didn't wear something "over-the-top".
   I have on a RTW striped tee, a pair of Spirithouse pants, a CLD Anything But Ordinary jacket, striped socks, and The Boot.
I don't quite have the "je n'ai sais quoi" yet, but I'm working on it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Fashions and Food

I had a lovely, uninterrupted Friday and Saturday to sew, and made my second
McCalls 6408 in a wonderful Ponte from EOS. It's gray with black "leopard" spots, and plain gray on the reverse. Lovely to look at, easy to sew.

The only change I made from the red one was to add inseam pockets, plus a few shortcuts that made the already easy-to-sew jacket even easier. I was so inspired by finishing it by mid-day Saturday that I immediately made my second pair of Vogue 1197, the slim pant. I'm wearing them in the above picture, but I need to tweak them a little before I show them off. Plus, they're black!

My next two projects will be for others; I'm making a cashmere/wool lined cape for my daughter to wear in the desert, and I'm making something for my friend Joan, who chose...Clown Pants!...AKA Vogue 1116.

I'm one of the seemingly few who love pants like these, and I'm excited to sew them. She wants them without the bow in back, and we're making them in a faintly sparkly black poly blend.

Remember my #1 Role Model Jean? She and her buddy Valerie are the subject of a cool new book, Life Dressing: the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, by Joanna Avilluz.

It's drawings of them dressed in their wonderful ensembles. I got mine last week, and I love it!

The Food part of this post?  Yesterday I made this Red Wine and Beef Stew in Claypot from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Andrea Nguyen. It was/is 
outstanding, if I do say so myself. We have cold weather upon us (California Cold, that is) so a hearty stew with a good Syrah is just the ticket.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Burda Funnel Neck Tee

I made my first from-the-magazine Burda, the very popular funnel-neck tee from the September 2010 issue. I'm very happy with it, but OMG...I stared at the pattern sheet for 15 minutes, trying desperately to focus on one of hundreds (or so it seemed)of patterns, all on the same sheet. I finally outlined the 3 pieces I needed for this tee and traced away. I see why there has been so much hue and cry about Burda consolidating their patterns!
I made this in a polkadot rayon/lycra knit from Marcy Tilton, and it falls somewhere between droopy and drapey!

The assembly and sewing was easy, except for a couple of operator errors. I have Jilly to thank for documenting her journey with this top, and several shortcuts she advised. I made it straight from the pattern, but next time I will definitely alter the sleeve cap; it's so high that I caught it in my serger (one of the operator errors).
Here's the back (memo to self: stand up straight!) and here is is with the BFF
red jacket:
I rarely have had this off my body since I finished it last Thursday. I think another one is in my future!

My workshop last weekend in Petaluma was wonderful...I can wholeheartedly recommend it. There were 12 people in the group, the youngest were in their early 50's, the eldest in their mid-70's.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Droopy or Drapey

When I made this last week, Sewing Workshop Stella, I bemoaned the droopiness of the fabric, a rayon knit from Emma One Sock. I was trying to find the difference between droopiness, which I don't like, and drapiness, which I do like. I made another Stella top this week, out of a rayon knit from Marcy Tilton.
This one is drapey, IMHO, but not droopy. What is the difference?

The first fabric is 96% rayon, and 4% lycra. It has a silky feel, and very little body.

The second fabric is 92% rayon, and 8% spandex. It has a more cottony feeling, and enough body that the neckline doesn't lay flat.  That seems  a small difference, but it is definitely enough to notice. I wore it under my new McCalls 6408, a knit jacket out of red JoAnn's ponte knit.

You can see the difference here.

I am off for the weekend, going to a workshop on "Conscious Eldering: Aging with Intention and Passion", with a college friend from UCLA.