About Me

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Alone at Last!

Eleven straight days of houseguests, dear family and their dear ones...it was wonderful and I am glad it's over! Given the quiet life Dave and I normally lead, this is a big change for us. As my friend Shams
said, Sewing Margy was replaced by Cooking/Housekeeping/Hostessing Margy!

Luckily, I had finished my version of V1116 OOP, AKA "Clown Pants"

 which I had originally made for my friend Joan more than a year ago; I had a very special party I wanted to wear them to and I came in just under the wire.

Here is a picture lightened considerably so you can see the details better:

I made them in a wonderful "Issey Miyake" type fabric from Marcy Tilton; I've had the fabric for a long time, waiting for the perfect project. It's  crinkled, silky-like, in woven black checks on a silvery-gray background. I wore them with my beloved Trippen boots and a close-fitting wrapped jersey top.
The look of these pants is quite "fabric-dependent"; the ones I made for Joan were out of a crisp nylon taffeta-like blend and look very different than my lighter-weight "swooshy" ones. It was a lovely party, a celebration of very dear friends' 50th wedding anniversary.

I am eager to start the New Year with a studio cleanup; I also use the space as "Gift-Wrapping
Central", so it's particularly in need of attention.

Happy New Year to you all...I hope 2013 will be a year of peace, creativity and lots of sewing time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

From our house to yours, I hope your holidays are joyous, peaceful, and fulfilling. That's MicMac, a Maine Coon Cat, on my lap, and Paddywack, a Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniel on Dave's lap.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Running Around in Circles...

Embroidered Circles on silk, that is...
This is another version of M5529 OOP...I made one with a fuller peplum last summer.  Several people have asked to see a picture of the pattern envelope since it is no longer visible on the McCall's site.

This is in a black faux dupioni with embroidered silver circles on it from Hyena Productions. This is a very
quick-to-sew top; I added an obi-style belt to emphasize the waist.
I've already worn it for a dinner party and I'm sure I'll wear it again during the holidays.

A recent just-for-fun purchase from eBay was a pleated silver coat from babettesf...for obvious reasons, I call it
my Michelin Man coat...
I'm sure it will go to at least one party in the next few weeks!

I'm awaiting the arrival of my friend Carolyn who went to Puyallup with me last March; she's here for a few days on her way to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with family. We'll see what trouble we can get into while she's here...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Million-Dollar Jacket

Well, maybe not MILLION...let's just say "very expen$ive" But worth it!
The pattern is V2607, designed many years ago by Guy Laroche, but to me, it will always be the
Cruella deVil jacket...
The fabric, a gorgeous abstract European brocade, was purchased for me OVER THE PHONE
by Shams, from Communing with Fabric, at Britex, in San Francisco. Check on her link to read her
trepidatious foray into a long-distance personal fabric shopping service. Suffice it to say, it's the most expensive yardage I've ever cut into, and I made not one, but TWO test jackets before I put this on my cutting table.

The first pattern was KS3738, seen here
it was ok, but wasn't really special enough for the fabric. So then I went pattern browsing, and found
which appealed to my geriatric/goth sense of fashion.  I made it up in a cotton home dec fabric to check the fit, and it was perfect. So...

I "happened" to find the perfect vintage buttons on Etsy, and had a beautiful hammered silk charmeuse in silver in my stash for the lining...
so I was in business. The jacket was completely interfaced, in some places doubled, and I had a little trouble with the coat-sized hooks and eyes called for, so I made some narrow black elastic loops and used my buttons instead. The finishing seemed to take days and days, and I did have a "deadline" for a party where this little number will be worn.

For those of you interested in the details, my pants are Eileen Fisher silk georgette, my magical shoes are Stuart Weitzman (not only beautiful but unbelievably comfortable)
and my earrings are 50's vintage Miriam Haskell...

I'm really excited about the jacket...I could even wear it with jeans, so it will hopefully not be a one-night-stand a la Cinderella!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Playing with Proportion

Remember this?
Well, it's been bugging me! So after I took photos of my new tunic and leggings (at the end of the post), I decided to play with the various pieces of this "Anti- Suit"; I like the pieces separately, and I needed to justify the price I paid!

I think the blouse was everyone's favorite, including mine...here it is open, with narrow pants. Much better! The only problem I have with it is that the collar, cuffs and front band should have been interfaced with some of Pam Erny's Shirt Crisp Interfacing. I always use this in my shirts...you need some crispness to make the collar and cuffs stand up.
Here it is, belted...another good look, again, with the narrow pants.
Next, the jacket...(lightened to show details...)

over polka-dot narrow pants...and the fuller pants
 with the top tied in the back, so it's not so big.
I feel much better, now, knowing that all three pieces will have a place in my wardrobe!

I made another M6607 out of a wonderful French double knit from Emma One Sock
and I also made FIVE pair of leggings/narrow pants...I started out with Christine Jonson's BaseWear One, but I don't like to wear my leggings quite so form fitting, so I fooled with the pattern several times, and finally measured my very favorite RTW pants, Eileen Fisher's Washable Stretch Crepe Ankle Pants (I'm wearing them above with the tunic) every four inches from hem to crotch, and made my own "Frankenpattern". I can cut them out and sew them in under an hour...YAY!
From the left...gray with silver pin dots, black and white polka dots, both cotton/lycra from eBay, and Marcy Tilton's black and gray "Rocket Man" rayon/lycra. Numbers 1 and 2 didn't make the cut!
Off to make a test jacket for my fancy Shams-bought brocade...

Several people have asked about the scarf/necklace I'm wearing in a few pictures...
It's raw edged striped knit strips...very lightweight and soft...wonderful for travel, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even for those of you who are not celebrating Thanksgiving today, the act of expressing thanks for all that we have seems to be universal.

We are off to Los Angeles for our celebration, dinner at DD#3's house...and since she and her long-time beau just got engaged a few weeks ago, we have a LOT to celebrate! We are bringing the wine, and there will be 13 of us, and contrary to appearances, I will not be riding a motorcycle..

We're a casual lot, so I am wearing coated denim skinny jeans, my wonderful unwrinkleable Orvis shirt, and my croc/moto jacket...and studded boots, don't forget the studded boots. And looking at these pictures, I'd better go brush my hair and put on a little make-up. Just pretend I've just gotten back from a very fast ride...:D

It'll be a fun day, though long; it's a 2 1/2 hour drive down, and we will come home late tonight, so I'll be very happy to drop into my own true bed tonight.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lagenlook, revisited...

There has been a lot of posting on Stitchers' Guild, lately, about Lagenlook, a European-style way of layering clothing and accessories. Until I decided to concentrate on more body-conscious clothing at the beginning of this year, I used to dress occasionally in a Lagenlook style; actually, I've been doing it for over twenty years. We have a special store in Santa Barbara, Tienda Ho, and in times past, I dropped a lot of clothing allowance there!

I recently bought the "Anti-Suit" designed by one of my favorite alternative designers, Kalyiana, to revisit the look and see what I thought.
I just got back from a party where I wore this, and these are my conclusions:

1. Big tops and big bottoms make me feel...BIG
2. The fabrics and construction of these items are very high quality...outstandingly comfortable
3. I look forward to wearing the tops over slim pants, and the pants with a closer fitting top
4. Proportion is CRITICAL

I  did have a chance to wear my favorite Trippen Geisha Boots
accessorized (secretly) with polka dot socks...
So, while I'm sure I'll wear these pieces often, it will be separately, with a view to keeping the
proportions attractive...

Monday, November 12, 2012


Another fun sew-along with Shams, from Communing with Fabric. This time, we both fell in love with a shibori-look knit from Marcy Tilton

and each bought 2 yards, which made for a lot of creative cutting out.

I chose to make V8714, View C. 

In retrospect, I wish I'd chosen a pattern which better took advantage of the fabric's lovely drape.

Interestingly, both Shams and I came to the conclusion that the fabric on its own was a little "meh", and
needed the punch of black to make it sing.  I made a muslin out of a red ponte with black and white trim which was worthwhile, as I needed to cut a smaller size.

I had originally hoped to make this on the bias, as the "stripes"  look so good that way, but with two yards it wasn't possible...I did, by judicious cutting, manage to have the back on the bias...
Those inky, irregular stripes were a little hard to match, but it's "good enough"...

The top can also be worn with one lapel open

or with both open...
I redrafted the peplum to have it be a little more "swingy", and did my own interpretation of a lining, as Vogue's instructions were kind of weird...

and a pose "a la Shams"...

It was a quick and fun sew-along...

And LOOK at what I found at the grocery store tonight...

It was calling my name! Does YOUR grocery store carry these?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Little Retail Therapy Break

All sewing and no shopping makes big holes in my closet... fall is here, even in Santa Barbara County in California...we have huge differences between early morning and mid-afternoon temperatures here...it's not uncommon for it to be in the mid-thirties at 7:00 am and rise to the mid- eighties or even 90's  by 2:00 pm. It's one of the things that makes this area good for growing wine grapes; they like cool nights and hot days. So, with autumn in the air, my thoughts turn to sweaters and vests, hats and ponchos...

I seem to have a thing for ponchos this year...

The one of a kind boiled wool vest is gently used, from one of my favorite resale places. The scarf is hand-knit alpaca, purchased at our local "Los Olivos Day in the Country", see previous post. My dear friend Joan, one of the Mothers on Motorcycles, has raised alpacas for 30 years. I also found these alpaca items at the Day in the Country:
charcoal melange slightly fitted jacket,

 a black alpaca sweater vest with a curly lamb collar, and
a black wrap sweater with a fur border. Sorry the black items are so hard to see!
A new felt hat,                                        a pair of boots,

two new white shirts

and I'm set to go! (Most of the RTW in my closet is from eBay and various resale places...it's my kind of thrifting!)

And keep your eyes open...Shams from Communing with Fabric and I are embarking on another sew-along...!!!