About Me

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

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Sewing Meet-Up!

Although it would seem that 99.9% of the blogger/sewist meet-ups take place in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was actually one today, 300 miles south, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County...
This is Robyn W., who I met IRL today for the first time. She identified herself recently in a comment on one of my posts and we wasted no time in getting together for a cup of coffee and a non-stop chat about all things sewing.                   
Actually, it was NOT non-stop...Robyn waited graciously while Shams and I did
several over-the-phone remote fabric shopping events, like this one, only Shams was at Fabrix in San Francisco this time, relaying in words and pictures some fabulous not-to-be-missed items. Normally, when I am with a friend, I don't take phone calls or texts, but Shams had limited time and the fabrics wouldn't be there very long, so I broke my rule and multi-tasked. I can't wait to see what she bought for me!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pocket Tutorial

Enough people have asked me how I do my pockets on travel vests and jackets to warrant a tutorial...I've never done one before, so be kind!!!

I'm showing you two jackets and two vests that I've put pockets into...

and my recent red vest...

You'll see how I learned from each garment, how to improve the next one!

The first thing to do is to determine what YOU are going to use the pockets for.
What one person needs a pocket for is not necessarily universal. For instance, I travel often, so I need:

  •  an easy-to-reach pocket for my airline boarding pass and my passport; for security, I put this on the inside of my left  side, as I am right-handed and need to be able to easily reach this pocket.
  • a place for a small package of tissues and a lipstick.
  • a secure place for my glasses/sunglasses.
  • a secure place for money and ID, if I'm not carrying a passport.
  • a small water bottle.
  • a pocket for my point and shoot camera, ready to aim!
The rest of the pockets are for various things, depending on what I'm doing.

                               Choosing/Adapting a Pattern

If the vest or jacket pattern you're using doesn't include a lining, you'll need
to draft one. Do not use facing patterns...or you'll wind up like this, unable to access your pockets!

It's a good idea to cut a size larger than you normally would, to allow room for inner pockets to expand when full.

If either the lining or the fashion fabric you're using is lightweight, you may need to interface the back side so the pockets won't sag. I didn't do that on this jacket

and should have. I can't put much of anything in these pockets without the jacket shifting out of shape. It's also more flattering to put the inside pockets up higher and down lower (unless you need extra inches in the waist area!)

On my second try, the fashion fabric (denim) was a little heavier and more stable, so I didn't need to interface the pockets on the front. The lining, however, was a vintage rayon crepe, so it needed the reinforcement of interfacing.

Another thing to take into consideration is if there are belts or waist casings on the pattern.

On my silver vest, I made the pattern pretty much as is, and wound up  sacrificing some of my pocket depth to the waist casing, marked above with the dots. I went back in later and added a few hanging pockets to get the depth I needed (but it wasn't very pretty...)
I also made the pockets according to the pattern, and found they weren't deep enough; every time I bent over, things would fall out of the pockets, especially because both fabrics are slippery.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Vest, in RED!

As I mentioned, I made another Simplicity Vest, 2153, this time in a Cranberry Crushed Taffeta and lined with a Cranberry Stretch Taffeta.

The pictures are taken inside my studio today because there is a 35MPH wind outside; there is a 1800 acre wildfire about 20 miles away, so this is a BAD

I used two of my beloved black and white striped zippers, from Ghee's, and found a matching ribbon on Etsy. The Crushed Taffeta is from OnlineFabrics and the lining I found on eBay. I again narrowed the pattern in the armholes
and at the waist, so it wouldn't be so boxy.

As before, I made a size larger than I ordinarily would, to accommodate the
bulk of the pockets, when filled.

Since I wore the silver vest so often on my trip to Iran, I jotted down as I went along, noting what worked, what didn't and what I could add. 

For instance, because the two fabrics are slippery, the pockets needed to be deeper, or closed, so that things wouldn't fall out if I bent over.

Outside pockets, deeper

Inside pockets, deeper
bottom pocket on the left is zippered
bottom pocket on the right is closed with velcro

Isn't it a yummy color? I often wear a vest in the mornings when Dave and I
walk, so I won't have to wait till the next trip to wear it.

As promised, a tutorial on adding pockets to vests and travel jackets is in the


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Iran Travel Wardrobe Review

Finally! I've been home for two weeks, but being gone almost a month involves large amounts of laundry, bill-paying, catching up on email, and posting on my travel blog, Where in the World Are We?, not to mention recovering from jet lag!

So, this is what was in my suitcase:
and I wore everything, some more than others. I misjudged the amount of long bus rides we took (we drove over 2500 miles!) and found, by trial and error, that stretchy knit pants were best when on the bus for 8-10 hours. I defaulted to the gray EF pants, long white shirt and silver vest for bus-ride
days...not my best look, but certainly practical.

I know I have extolled the virtues of these EF pants before, but on this trip they were perfect! I could easily wash them at night and they would be dry and "reshaped" by morning; they rolled easily in the suitcase. I took two black pair, one ankle length and one longer one, and one "platinum" (light gray) one, which I don't see on the site any longer. I usually buy them on eBay, and seldom pay full price.

I wore all my manteaux...

The only problem with the black tone on tone ponte one, pictured above, is that it tended to pick up...shall we say "odors"...in the suitcase! Not good, and I wound up not wearing it the last week...

My ikat print coat

got a lot of wear, as it did in Sicily. I wore it on the plane, and in Turkey, open
over a silk tee. I wore all FIVE pair of shoes, although I could have managed with fewer...

but where's the fun in that?  And the workhorse of my travel wardrobe? My
silver many-pocketed vest, blogged about here

I was able to wear it over several of the manteaux, as well as over the white shirt. It enabled me to do without purses or totes, and all of those pockets came in VERY handy! Several of my fellow travelers wanted to "order" one from me...but I had to decline...

I am going to make another one (in RED, of course), and perhaps I'll do a tutorial on adding pockets to vests and jackets for travel purposes.

Now, back to the sewing studio...I can't wait!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013