About Me

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

Monday, December 14, 2015


I finally got my sewing mojo back, and made this wool vest

It's V1453, a Sandra Bettina design which I made in black taffeta back in 
August, and loved wearing in Portugal. This fabric is an interesting sweater knit from Marcy Tilton, black, red and gray, and perfect for my color scheme.

It also has a wonderful striped selvedge that called for a little design tweaking.
I did not use darts in this version, although I think I may go back and put them in...the vest is a little too boxy as is. I added some "memory wire" in four channels in the collar, so I can adjust it  as I want. That's something I'll do again.
The weight is fairly substantial; I washed it before sewing, but it didn't seem to
shrink any. We're having some cold weather finally, so it will be worn.

As will this, a RTW faux fur vest from Loft in charcoal gray. I've wanted a faux fur vest for a long time...I have several pieces of fabric in my stash, but I finally
gave myself permission to pass on sewing faux fur, just like I won't sew any
more King-sized duvet covers!

I'm wearing it over one of my moto jackets, KS 3764, which you can see here and here.

I'm looking forward to one of my favorite holiday parties on Friday; I will finally have a chance to wear my Mother-of-the-Bride outfit again. 

In final happy news, I have a new car after 10 years...it's a "Smart Car" and I'm having fun learning how to take advantage of all the bells and whistles!


Saturday, December 5, 2015


Well, I DID change my mind... I went from this

back to this
and I never for a moment regretted it. My brocade jacket was stylish, comfortable and layered well. I wore all three of the jackets a lot, and layered the raincoat over them as needed.

I added one of my vests if it was cold.
The only vest I didn't use was the black and white ikat one.

Pants? well of the five I took, the Eileen Fisher and the gray chinos got only one wear a piece...

and that was due more to shoes than anything else. I wore my new Stuart Weitzman boots most of the time (they were fantastically comfortable) only switching to the Cole Haan when it really rained.

and because I wore the boots so often, the pant lengths were more important than I realized...so the black jeans and the red jeans got worn the most.

And...because I didn't wear the Eileen Fisher pants, I also didn't wear the tunics I took...so I could have left those at home!

Live and learn!

I wore all my tees and turtlenecks. Yay!

I wore my hat a great deal of the time...not the rain hat, and the scarves and purse were in daily rotation

 I think this was the most cohesive wardrobe I've ever put together, and I enjoyed and felt good in my outfits.

 So glad I had my red raincoat!

I got into the studio this last week, made a wadder and gave it away. I need to get back into my stride!

One  thing that happened recently was that I was chosen by the BurdaStyle Sewing Community as one of the 2015 Top Blogs for Fashion Sewers", and it was a lovely surprise. For those non-sewists reading my blog, Burda is a publishing company that was started
in 1898. It has been publishing a fashion magazine based on sewing since 1949, and designing sewing patterns  since the '50's. I'm honored to be in such august company!


Edited to add: off to Visible Monday at Patti's blog...come visit!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Portugal Debriefing, #2

After we left Lisbon, we took a train to Porto, approximately 170 miles north of Lisbon.

Our train was not the fastest, but it was fascinating to see the scenery as we went by. I am a long-time train travel enthusiast, I always love to see a country this way. Porto is on the estuary of the Douro River, our cruise route.

A busy plaza in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal.

Dave and I treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner at O Paparico, a fabulous restaurant on the outskirts of Porto.

The next day, we met up with our group of 11, had a brief tour of Porto, and arrived at our home for the next seven days, MS Gil Eanes. It was a lovely place to be, not full, as we were at the end of the high season.

The cabin was comfortable, the food excellent and the bar open 24/7. What more could we ask for?

This ship only travels during daylight hours, so sleeping is very easy. As we left the next morning, I looked forward to the first of 3 locks...

looking up while going through the lock...very interesting!

One of our side trips was to the Mateus Palace...a familiar name to those of us who grew up drinking Mateus Rose in the '60s...

Beautiful place, with lovely gardens.

The vineyard acreage, in the Douro Valley, numbers more than 21,000 acres...
most of it beautifully terraced.

That's our ship down there, waiting for us to come back from a side trip.

We were lucky to be in Portugal in the fall...the leaves and vines were most colorful.

When our ship docked at the last port before the border with Spain, we went by bus to Salamanca, Spain and spent the day there. The University of Salamanca is large, old (founded in 1094),majestic, and home to many foreign students. Our daughter Linda spent a semester there.

 The beautiful towers...

The charming narrow streets...

The magnificent chapel...

and the gorgeous library.  We really enjoyed our day there.

On our cruise back towards Porto, we visited one of the many vineyards and wineries of the area...

had a tour explaining the process of making port...

and finished with a port tasting!

We walked around the charming town and visited the beautifully tiled train station, now used as a Wine House.

The balance of the trip included more charming small towns

complete with public sculptures (the guitar, not me)

Coimbra University...

and a borrowed student gown to mimic the Sandeman advertisement seen all over Portugal!

Back to Lisbon, various activities, and, because Dave and I were disappointed in the contemporary art museum scene, lots of photos of the graffiti, which qualified as contemporary art!

It's a lovely country to visit...I highly recommend it.

Next post, the Travel Wardrobe Review!


PS: sliding into Patti's Visible Monday, even tho' it's Tuesday...

Monday, November 23, 2015


We're baaaack! And we had a wonderful time! It's going to take me a couple of posts to cover our trip,and what's been going on since we returned...so here's #1.

The trip was a total delight, EXCEPT for the return...we had tickets to come home on Lufthansa, they were holding a strike, and many hours and $$$ later, we came home on United. Bah!

Portugal is SO beautiful; I hadn't been there since 1964 and I saw a lot of changes.

The first five days of the trip were a walk down memory lane; we stayed with an old friend of mine, who has a gorgeous place in Lisbon, overlooking the river.

View from Jerry's patio...

 The patio itself...

And Jerry himself, avec moi...you like my new sunglasses?

Jerry and his friend Neil led us up and down the hills of Lisbon

and allowed me a little free time to do a bit of shopping...

(new top and necklace)

We ate and drank well...here's J with his beautiful friend Margarida;

 after this dinner, we
went to a local bar to hear Fado. Next morning, we went to the local very large covered market

and managed to have a GREAT time!  I will continue our trip report in my next post, including pictures from the cruise on the Douro River.

Meanwhile, back at home, DD and DSIL came up for the weekend and I managed to clean out at least ⅓ of my closet...necessary if I'm to have room to sew anything new! Maggie went home with bags of clothes and shoes...we wear the same size shoes.

I've sewed a couple of flannel pajama pants...we have had a little cold weather, and flannel feels so good. I bought a short chenille robe and made these to go with it (tops are 
Uniqlo tees. I used M6474 for the pants and the flannel was from Fabric.com.

Another happening of note, a friend of mine is working on a project and asked to interview me and do a photoshoot last week...here is her website and here is one of the photos she took...

                                                        photo by Robbie Kaye

And I'm off to Patti's site, Not Dead Yet Style,...come on over and see the Visible Monday