About Me

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This post is to catch up with all the little bits and questions I've been asked! In no particular order...

Our trip next fall, to North Eastern India; this will be my EIGHTH trip to India and I have wanted to go to Nagaland since my very first trip in 1990. Why?

"The uncontested 'wild east' of India, Nagaland is probably one of the reasons you came to the Northeast in the first place. A place of unparalleled primeval beauty, Nagaland's dazzling hills and valleys – right on the edge of the India–Myanmar border – are an otherworldly place where until very recently some 16-odd headhunting Naga tribes valiantly fought off any intruders. Of course, the place is a shadow of its once savage self today, and much of the south of the state is fairly developed. In the north, however, you still stand a good chance of meeting tribesmen in exotic attire who continue to live a lifestyle that is normally only seen within the pages of National Geographic" 

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/northeast-states/nagaland#ixzz3GkOk0Z2Y

I was attracted to their textiles the first time I saw them...maybe you can see

I must have been a Naga woman in a previous life... travel to Nagaland has been difficult in the past, but Lesley Robin, who specializes in textile tours, is
inaugurating this new tour next year, so we're on! I've traveled to South India with Lesley in the past. I'll let you know more details as I get them.

That's not to say we won't take another trip between now and then....

Several readers have asked about my fabric data base which I showed a picture of here. I use Bento, a Mac program that was developed by FileMaker, and unfortunately is no longer offered or supported. Since I had already set up my own templates for my fabric stash and my patterns, I continue to use them.
I have experimented with Evernote, which would probably work, but to tell the truth, I haven't spent the time necessary to set up the application as I would like it.

This is the "form" view which consists of a picture of the fabric and all the data elements I determined I needed. As often as possible, I copy the description of the fabric from the website of the vendor (in this case, Emma One Sock). This is the first step.

This is the thumbnail view, which shows the picture of the fabric and the description.

This is the list view, which can be sorted by all the different fields I chose...I really like this app, and will continue to use it as long as I can. Like any database, it only works if you keep it up...:(

I set up a similar data base for Sewing Patterns...if anyone wants to see it, email me and I'll go into the details.

The giant hook and eye tape I've used here

and here

came from (I think) Fabric of Vision in Ashland, Oregon. It appears to also be
available on Vogue Fabrics' site.

And one last share...my mother studied at the San Francisco Art Institute (then known as California School of Fine Arts) in the late '20s and early '30s. As well as Fine Art, she studied dress design and designed and sewed most of her own clothes, as well and mine and my sister's, all her life. When I last cleaned out my studio (waaaaay too long ago) I found some note books she kept in the early '50s, chronicling her designs, mostly of my sister's high school graduating outfits and the wardrobe my mother made for her when she went to the University of Washington. There are a few outfits of my mother's and one or two for me (I was about 14 at the time).
I thought you might like to see some of them...

Aren't those fun?



  1. I am so jealous of your trip to India. Love the sketchbooks--did your mother make you the corduroy suit?

  2. How precious that you have your mother's design/sewing journal books! This gives me an inspiration that perhaps I need to create something similar. I don't draw well and I don't make my own design, but some kind of sewing journal book would be great to keep...

  3. Well, the fruit didn't fall fare from that tree!

  4. How wonderful to have those drawings by your mother--as well as fabric swatches! Clearly you share her talent and skill...and developed a few more of your own.

  5. Your mother's notebooks are wonderful! I know you are so glad to have them. Thanks for sharing them with us, as well as your organizational and travel info. I started with evernote to catalog my patterns, then dropped the ball. I need to get back to it.

  6. Your mother's sketches are absolutely gorgeous. I love the powder-blue dress. So ethereal.

  7. Those notebooks are gold! I love the shirts and pedal pushers...my mom's uniform during the late 50s :-)

  8. I love vintage. As a child, I used to watch my mom put on lipstick, powder and a dress just to go to the 'market'. An era worth remembering. Your mother has certainly captured that era in her drawings and her gift seems to have continued through you.

  9. Your mom's notebooks are priceless. What an amazing remembrance.

  10. Wow, your mother's sketches are amazing. And what fun it would be to do that when planning an outfit.

  11. How wonderful to have those sketches! If my mom had sewn designs like that for me, I would never have been able to weed my closet. They are so rare and beautiful, Margy, thanks for sharing them.
    I found an old photo of my mom that I keep on my pressing table, just to keep me honest in the ironing department. I think it works! It's good to keep our moms in our sewing places, in some way.

  12. What a treasure to have your mother's drawings!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. What a great post! I'm emailing you about that pattern DB...

  14. Your mother's notebooks, your amazing travel history, your database. So much talent in the family.

    Have you thought of sending those patterns of your mom's to the Mad Men costume designer for inspiration?

  15. What a treasure you have in your mother's notebooks!

  16. I am enthralled with your travel plans and your mother's design illustrations. Looks like you inherited your mom's sense of style!

  17. Thanx for sharing the notebooks. What a treasure. How do you plan on preserving the notebooks? Have a donation site in mind?

    And, yes, would appreciate learning more about the pattern and fabric databases.

  18. What a treasure. Would you think of framing the sketches? They are truly works of art. My mother was a wonderful baker, but unfortunately I didn't get that gene. On the other hand, she couldn't sew a stitch. Aren't families wonderful?

  19. Great little update! The sketches are gems to be treasured. The cropped pants with mandarin style tunic....HELLO...so you! It's so interesting to see bits of ourselves in our parents, I think! I'm happy you shared!

  20. I can see where you got your fantastic sense of style from! What a wonderful family heirloom. I have been to the Jaipur area of India, found many verrrry tricky people there, which made shopping or even browsing difficult (but the food was fantastic!!). I also had items stolen from my locked suitcases - Mumbai Airport. I would like to visit a calmer part of India, but right now my sights are set on Argentina! Thanks for the info on the hook and eye tape. It is mightily attractive!

  21. I also use bento for my patterns, but haven't got around to using it for my fabrics, although seeing your display makes me think I should get going on that - I too love it.

    Your mother's books are beautiful and would make a lovely framed picture too - seem a shame to keep them in a drawer.

  22. Wow, India looks amazing! If you only brought a bigger suitcase, maybe you could pack me, too. ;) Your mother was a very accomplished designer. I especially love that second illustration with the pedal pushers and tunic tops. They look so current!

  23. What a wonderful post my dear! All of these bits and pieces … the makings of such an extrodinarylife! Thank you ever so much for sharing!


  24. From someone who doesn't like vintage clothes...thank you VERY much for sharing some of your mom's drawings!!! I loved looking at them...I'm in awe of the drawings and also the beautiful fabrics she used. Such a visual gift of memories!!!!

  25. Great inspirational post, wish I read it before my recent trip to North India, I took great inspiration in Rajasthan colours as can be seen from my latest blogpost.
    Lovely blog you have!