About Me

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

Friday, January 13, 2012


We leave tomorrow morning for Ethiopia; I had hoped to get all my sewn wardrobe photographed, but not only am I running out of time, I changed my mind last night at 9:00PM!   I am simply not comfortable with matchy or "coordinated" clothing, and too much of the wardrobe fell into that category.
So...the tweed ABO jacket that I spent so much time on, is not only staying home, it's going to be given away! It's way too big and boxy on me and I don't really love it.

Last night I dove into my off-season closet and pulled out this 2-piece Giselle
Shepatin outfit:
It's lightweight black cotton with extensive white zig-zagging; the pants are reminiscent in cut of the "clown" pants I made my friend. It's cool, in both senses of the word, so it's going with me, with a white cami underneath.

Also coming along is this crinkled shirt/jacket from Babette SF

this very lightweight  shirt from Itemz

this tie-dyed tee shirt
and this crinkled rayon 3-piece that I made 20 years ago!
Once again, a consistent color scheme over the years has paid off! The fact that they were all right under my nose all along is being ignored right now!

The last thing I'm leaving with all of you is a link to our new travel blog, "Where in the World Are We?"
I'm going to try to post some photos and comments from Ethiopia, dependent totally on internet accessibility...probably ok in and around Addis Ababa, the capitol, but questionable elsewhere...we'll see!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Travel Wardrobe!

We leave for Ethiopia a week from today...I have been sewing extensively, trying to meet my (self-imposed) deadline. I could actually leave tomorrow without sewing anything, but where's the fun in that?

I made another pair of Style Arc Linda Pants in a wonderful rayon/cotton/poly/lycra from Marcy Tilton. This is the fabric I'd most like to be wearing on a 13 1/2 -hour flight...

It impressed me so much, I ordered more to make a jacket (not to be worn together) from my TNT, CLD Anything But Ordinary.

I changed it to a zipper front, added pockets, and lined it with a wonderful pleated poly taffeta from my "neighborhood" store (Betty's). I also used the taffeta to trim the pockets, sleeves, and the collar. I put 8 pockets inside, one of my favorite things to do with a jacket for traveling.

Next, I made Style Arc Adele Tunic in a rayon/lycra knit from Emma One Sock. It fit perfectly out of the envelope, as has been my experience with all the SA patterns I've used.

I made a separate cowl to wear when I need more coverage. I made the neckband in a contrasting ponte knit.

And lastly (although I don't think I'm finished yet!) I made Vogue 8582 out of another rayon/lycra knit from Emma One Sock.

I made the longer length, long-sleeved version and used some fun black trim
from Marcy Tilton for the neckband.

I found this in my closet...many sewists will recognize this 1980's Carol Horn for Vogue
1907, long OOP.

It, of course, goes with my travel wardrobe (one of many advantages of wearing the same colors all your adult life!)and I think I will take it. It's a lightweight cotton ikat and will be useful when it's hot and I want to be covered up.
I have one more tank to make, and I hope to photograph the whole wardrobe
before I leave...such gratification!

                                       MORE PICTURES


A WORD TO THE WISE: My  6-month-old Bernina 430 started wailing like a banshee during my 3rd project; it's still under warranty, and probably is reacting to all the fuzz, glitter, fur, etc. I've subjected it to in the last 3 months...:D. I had always planned to take my SM and my serger in for spa treatments while I am gone...just not until I FINISHED my wardrobe! My humble $350 Brother was waiting in the wings, and stepped up to the plate like a trooper. Moral: always have a backup sm if you HAVE to finish something NOW!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As I've mentioned, I'm in the process of putting together a travel wardrobe for our upcoming trip to Ethiopia. This is one of my favorite things in the world to do; sometimes it's the best part of the trip!

Over the New Year weekend, as I was planning to try out a new version ofVogue 8709, I learned my friend Shams, from Communing With Fabric, was also going to be sewing the same shirt/jacket. Voila! A mini-sew-along was born...and was it fun! Countless emails, rapid texts, several long phone calls, quick pix to illustrate button choices and knotty problems...and all along, great support and lots of laughs.

I had made this once before; I loved the lines of it, but my fabric? Not so much.
I wanted to use this fabric, a rayon/nylon/lycra crinkled ikat that I had bought, 4 or 5 years ago, from both Marcy Tilton and EmmaOneSock; this fabric will now be known as BFFH...Beautiful Fabric From Hell. I had made a favorite pair of pants, Vogue 8397, in this same fabric
with no problems, probably because the fabric was used on the straight grain, and the pants are very loose.

To keep you from abandoning me and my litany of what went wrong, I will say right off that I LOVE the jacket I made:

I lengthened the "drape", or bottom of the jacket, by about 10 inches, using as inspiration some versions of this jacket on Marcy Tilton's site. I wore it last night and got a lot of compliments on it. I changed the collar to a mandarin style, in keeping with the Asian feel of the fabric.

What went wrong? Well, the fabric "grew" unbelievably, especially when off-grain, but also on grain as well. For instance, the difference between the interfaced placket and the uninterfaced placket was over 4 inches! Some of the lumps and bumps that resulted, along with the interior as drafted, relegate this jacket to button-upped status only, and therefore will probably not be versatile enough to make the travel wardrobe cut.

But...I have a good looking jacket and the memories of a fun sew-along!