About Me

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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Black and White Jacket

After wrestling all week with it, I finished a new jacket this morning; it's KwikSew 2896. I was specifically looking for a jacket that was closer-fitting than what I've been sewing, like CLD Anything But Ordinary, which I made up as a travel piece for my recent trip, and then decided I didn't like it enough to take.
I have loved this pattern and have made it up at least a dozen times, but it no longer is flattering on me. 

So...I was looking for a pattern with princess seams which could be more closely fitted.
Although I have not been a great fan of KwikSew patterns in the past, this one seemed to be what I was looking for.  I was actually waiting for this pattern

but it took a long time to be delivered, and I didn't want to wait!

I like the in-seam pockets
and the close-fitting silhouette
The fabric is from Emma One Sock and I "jumped" on it, as she only had a small amount. It is a very interesting fabric
and, in my opinion, needed a simple pattern that would not compete with the fabric.

Here are more pictures:
I think I like it!  Maybe I'll take it to Puyallup next week!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"The Blouse Perfected"

I just finished sewing Cutting Line Designs "The Blouse Perfected", View C,

in a Nylon Crinkled Taffeta.  The pattern went together easily, with Louise Cutting's usual excellent instructions. (There is an error in pattern numbers in the instructions for View C...be sure to check her website.)
The wind was blowing, so I had to take photos inside...
I'm very happy with the blouse; I cut a Small, and made no changes except to put a larger button on the left front to hold the fold. The smaller button kept falling out of the loop.

I also made another pair of Style Arc Linda pants; I've lost some weight since I first made the pants, so I tried to do a Flat Seat Adjustment, but I'm not happy with the results. The front looks fine, but the back is still full of wrinkles
so I have some more work to do. I used a stretch poly that looks like brushed denim.

I'm finally getting over the cold I've had for TWO weeks...you can tell it in my face, above! It feels so good to be sewing again!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Evolution of a Travel Wardrobe

Several people have shown some interest in how I decide what to take on a trip; I decided to tackle this while my trip to Ethiopia is fresh in my mind.

First of all, I travel in what I wear daily. Yes, even to the dirty, dusty places which we seem to frequent. In other words, I don't have clothes just for traveling. When I started going to India more than 20 years ago, I found that I loved wearing colorful, pretty clothes and interesting jewelry. It's a perfect way to connect with the women in the country I'm traveling to; they ALWAYS notice and often give me a "thumbs up" sign, or ask in sign language if they can trade something of theirs for something of mine. I'm obviously not talking about France or Italy here, although I love "dressing up" for travel to countries like those, too.
So, no nylon travel pants that zip off into shorts for me! At my age, I know what looks good on me and what doesn't...and  being a million miles from home doesn't change that.

I pay great attention to what items weigh; the older I get, the less I want to be dependent on someone to help me with my luggage. I travel with a 22" Eagle Creek suitcase that I check, and a large tote as a carry-on.

On most of my trips, at some point in my travels, I start keeping a list of what I've brought that doesn't get worn, doesn't work, etc. I also keep an ongoing list of what I DIDN'T bring that I wish I had. I find that if I wait till I'm home to make those lists, I forget too much.

For instance, on my trip to Ethiopia, I realized that my long-time practice of packing my clothes in zip-lock baggies needs to change, maybe to packing cubes of some type. As I wear a lot of black, a baggie of underwear doesn't look very different than a baggie of tops, at least to my aging eyes. I reminded myself that I have vowed to tuck silk long-johns in my luggage before; they take up no room or weight, and quite often are welcome.

I need to find a protein powder to mix with water, as I don't like sugared energy bars, but quite often need a helping of protein to get me through the day (suggestions are welcomed!)

I want to download some Audible books on my iPad, as well as ebooks; sometimes I just want to listen to something, not read.

So...here is what I took with me on this trip; if you look back in my blog, you will see that I started "interviewing" clothes a long time ago...and I also allowed myself to make some big changes less than 24 hours before we left!
These are the pants I took; from the top, the black/white tweed pants I made, my TNT Eileen Fisher Slim Stretch Ankle Pants, another TNT pant, Eddie Bauer Bremerton Stretch Twill, a Marcy Tilton Vogue pant I made in a "zen" black and white fabric, another Marcy pant in black and white polka-dot cotton/lycra mix, a black rayon crepe pull-on pant from Loes Hinse (Cruise Pant) and finally, a Giselle Shepatin "clown pant".

The tops I took, from the top: a dark red tee from Target, a black/gray/white shirt from Itemz, a tie-dyed tee from ???, a TNT Blanque cotton asymmetrical shirt, the Style Arc Adele tunic in a rayon knit, a black/gray stripe slinky shell (forget the pattern), a Marcy Tilton tunic in another rayon knit, a black tee from Target, a black/white check crinkle rayon shell (made years ago, forget the pattern), a black and a white rayon crepe tank, also from years ago, a Sewing Workshop Stella t/neck in a black and gray print, and the top part of the Giselle Shepatin outfit (lightweight black cotton with white zig-zag trim).

The "jackets" I brought:

From the top: A white "safari" shirt from TravelSmith; my "can't travel without it" vest from Magellans (lots of pockets), a black and white rayon crepe kimono from at least 20 years ago, a black taffeta Itemz jacket, a reversible red/black rain jacket from Mycra Pac, and a pleated shirt/jacket from Babette SF.

The shoes/accessories I took:

Red Arche shoes, Black and Gray Arche shoes, Red Ecco Walking Shoes, Black Ecco Walking Sandals...and a wonderful selection of colorful bracelets to choose from!

And a few scarves...

So, what DIDN'T work? The Babette shirt/jacket, that was just too tight-in-the-sleeves and hot, the Itemz black taffeta jacket, not practical enough (no pockets) and too hot, and the "Zen" black and white pants, which are great worn for a few hours at home, but stretch and droop something awful on a trip.

A secret...the Eddie Bauer black twill pants were a main-stay, and I never washed them. I brushed the dust off, and spot-cleaned them, and aired them as much as possible...and I don't think I offended anyone!

The black with white polka-dots pants were cool and comfortable; on one day the dust turned the polka-dots beige, but after a wash, they were fine. No wrinkles, no spots, excellent!

The Eileen Fisher pants are somewhere between leggings and a slim pant, and with one of my knit tunic tops, allowed me to feel a little "dressy".

As far as laundry goes, I don't rely on hotels, as many of the places we go have no laundry services. I wash my underwear in the shower every night, and wait for a two-night stay to wash things that need a little more drying time.

One more word, not wardrobe-related; being the techie I am, the development of the iPad has changed how I travel. No more MP3 players, phones, books, etc.
I downloaded both Dave's and my pictures daily, was able to look at them, do basic editing, and add them to my blog posts easily. The blogging was done with simple iPad apps, and saved for those rare times when I had wi-fi access, to post.  I read at least 7 books, and watched the first season of Downton Abbey. I kicked myself for not pre-downloading maps, itineraries, etc. which is easy enough to do. I used a Notes app to make notes as we went along so that I could remember where we went, what we saw, and how I felt about it. And, of course, when we DID have wi-fi, I was able to check in with my nearest and dearest.

Bon Voyage!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

I'm baaaaack! I've been kept from getting back in the studio by a stupid cold; we successfully avoided getting sick in Ethiopia (several of our travel companions did), only to BOTH catch colds on the long plane ride(s) back.

We had a wonderful time; if you want to see some pictures of our trip, check out my travel blog. My travel wardrobe was a success; there were only two items that I didn't wear. Every time I take a trip, I list the clothing I took, what worked, and what didn't, and suggestions for next time. It's something to do on those long bus rides to the end of the earth!

I traveled with only my iPad; it was perfect for blogging, note-taking and picture slide shows, as well as reading and watching the 1st season of Downton Abbey; (I'm hooked!) The only problem was the lack of wi-fi in most of Ethiopia!

I finally got myself in the studio yesterday; I've lost some weight (yay) and I need some pants that fit me. I cut out my TNT  Linda Pant from Style Arc in a light gray brushed stretch denim, doing my first FSA (flat seat adjustment). I'm happy with the fit; I need to hem them and then I'll post pictures.

I also received the eagerly-awaited The Blouse Perfected pattern from Cutting Line Designs
and have cut out View C in a white crinkled poly taffeta. I hope to replace my almost-worn-out Blanque asymmetrical shirt...

I'm going to the Sewing Expo in Puyallup the first weekend in March, and thereafter to Seattle to spend some time with my favorite road-trip friend, so
I'm pushing myself to get a few new clothes made.

I'll be back with pictures soon!