About Me

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

Sunday, April 23, 2017


After too many years to count of speedy sewing, trying to get things done quickly, I have become enamored of slow sewing. Why? For one thing, I don't really need many clothes...I have so much and lead a fairly quiet life (Clothes-wise). For another, I have come to appreciate the steps in the process of making something, which includes A LOT of hand sewing, basting, and experiencing the magical process of MAKING.  And for a third thing, I am able to listen to audible books, music, podcasts for some of the time I'm sewing. When I get to a hard part, I turn off the sound and concentrate on what my hands are doing.

So, as I mentioned, I have been working on another Koos van den Akker
pattern, V1493, a kimono-styled jacket with "tulip-banded sleeves".

I made it in an "embossed velvet knit" in two shades of gunmetal gray from Emma One Sock, trimmed with (LOTS OF) bias binding in a stretch taffeta in metallic gray. This jacket used even more bias binding than my previous one, and was very labor-intensive.

Laying out the criss-crossing bias tape on the sleeve band.

After attaching the sleeve band. I probably spent more than 2 weeks on this, but I am very happy with the end result; I wore it out to dinner the other night and received many compliments.

After that was finished, I moved on to a vest to add to my travel wardrobe for our upcoming trip to London and Scotland.

I'm sure you recognize my TNT vest pattern, V1453; the fabric is a very interesting Black and Red Abstract Embroidered Lacy Mesh which I got from
Mood Fabrics sometime last year. It is embroidered wool mesh on a nylon tuile

When I got it, I knew the red wasn't right for my use, it was somewhat on the orange side. So, I overdyed it...SEVERAL TIMES, with different types of dye, until I got the red I wanted. All that hot water also shrunk the wool a little
so that it's not so see-through. I really like it!

I lined it in a red satin, so it should be warm for the all-spectrum weather we will have in Scotland.

We leave a week from today; we will fly to London and spend a few days visiting the new Tate Modern wing and have a dinner at NOPI. Then we'll take a train to Glasgow for 3 days. After that, we'll go by train to Inverness, whereupon we'll embark on a week-long small ship cruise on "The Lord of the Glens" to the "Heart of the Highlands". Neither Dave nor I have been to Scotland, so I'm really looking forward to it.

For those who have asked, this is what I've been reading/listening to in the last few weeks:

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Blacklight Blue by Peter May
Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves
Earthly Remains by Donna Leon
The Old Man by Thomas Perry

Broken Harbor by Tana French
The Secret Place by Tana French
Celine by Peter Heller


C.P.E.Bach Symphonies and Cello Concerto
Leonard Cohen, Complete Studio Albums

On Being with Krista Tippett

We've been escaping the ongoing construction and termite work whenever we can...last week we took a picnic lunch to our old winery and vineyard (now Beckmen Vineyards) so I could check out some of the many roses I planted more than 35 years ago...

Those olive trees in the back are part of a gift for my 50th birthday from Dave...
50 olive trees!

Here's Dave with his well-loved and used tractor, which came with the raw land when we bought it in 1979!

My travel wardrobe will rely heavily on my past trips to Portugal and Paris... I have updated the pictures, which follow:


As I did during my Paris trip, I will not try to blog, but I will put some photos as we go on my Instagram account, here.  We'll be back the middle of May. This afternoon, I'm heading over to Visible Monday, where Patti is hosting our party!


Sunday, April 9, 2017


I have been a busy bee with family and friends, food, deconstruction and sewing.

Here is my new Koos jacket, V1277...

I was inspired by my dear Paris traveling companion, Ruth, who was wearing this magnificent jacket the day I met her...

I used only stash fabrics for this, sticking to black, gray and silver
(in great number in my fabrics).  The primary fabric, a black and gray parallelogram taffeta, was from Marcy Tilton

 as were the rest of the fabrics.  I was able to use a fun silver trim from Paris for the bias sleeve seam.

Here it is on Ethyl, my dress form , where you can get a better idea of the fabrics I chose.

This was one of the more time-consuming projects I've taken on recently, due to the piecing, and to the making and applying of miles and miles of striped silk bias tape, but I enjoyed it, slowing down and listening to my Audible books. I listened to LaRose, by Louise Erdrich, and the first three of the Tana French Dublin Murder Squad books, In the Woods, The Likeness and Faithful Place...loved them all! I'm on #4 now.

Despite all the work involved, I enjoyed it so much that I am working on ANOTHER Koos jacket, a different pattern, which I will show you next time.

The weather here has been all over the map, and one morning recently, I went back in the house for another layer...and found a coat I had bought in Paris, had
put in my coat closet, and FORGOT ABOUT!!! I'm afraid that may be a sign that
I have too many clothes😜. Here is the coat:

It's by Lauren Vidal. It was in the window of the LV store which Shams and I passed on the way to a fabric store with the group. When we were finished, we whipped back to the store and I bought the coat immediately. It is gray felted wool with an irregular black splotchy design. The inside is quilted silk, and it is piped with silver leather. YUM!

It's hard to believe I forgot about it, and I will be building my wardrobe for an upcoming trip to London and Scotland around this coat.

Maggie and David came up for a few days last week, and were joined by some friends of theirs from Las Vegas. There was the usual amount of companionable cooking in the kitchen...

This was a tasty barley and vegetable bowl, topped by expertly poached eggs
by Maggie.

THIS gorgeous arrangement was a surprise from SIL David. Among the orchids and roses are half a dozen highly fragrant lilies...Over a week later, they are still perfuming the dining room! Thanks, David! You know how to impress your MIL!!!

We enjoyed their visit...we took a picnic lunch up the mountain one day, flew their friends's drone.

The deconstuction I mentioned is the frightening amount of work we are having done for a serious termite infestation. Among other things, our very large deck has to be replaced, and while they were working, they found some dry rot...

It actually makes a lovely abstract painting, but it has to be repaired...😟

I was honored to be the subject of an article in our local paper recently...

Here's a link to a readable page if you're so inclined...it's on page 14.

Our Teddy boy is doing well; he's learning some new hand signals and goes to
doggy day care twice a week; he comes home EXHAUSTED from playing with the big guys, which is such a help!

Then he goes to sleep...

One last picture before I go to roast a chicken for dinner...

Dave came in from collecting the eggs the other afternoon and showed me this...it must be a first attempt by one of our new hens. Back to the drawing board, Henny-Penny!

I am traveling over to Patti's Visible Monday today...come admire the Visible