About Me

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013


A quiet week and weekend, compared to WWWWW last week! After doing 17 loads of laundry, I was able to escape to my studio and play around with the
StyleArc Barb's pants pattern that Shams and a few others have had good luck with.

Unfortunately, my experience was not so good; I made the first pair out of a cross-dyed stretch linen from Marcy Tilton (for those of you who wonder, a cross-dyed fabric has two different threads that make up the weave, one that goes across the grain, the other that goes with the grain). This fabric was black and ivory, but "reads" as a tweed.

The fit was so-so...I am very spoiled by the custom pants pattern Lynda Maynard made for me last year; it's hard for me to settle for anything less.

So here are the Barb's pants, worn with my Black TKO jacket from June.


I tweaked the SA pattern a little and attempted a second pair in a stretch gray denim from EOS...they were worse than the first pair and went in the wadder
tub (the trash). So I'll stick to what works, for a change!

FYI, I have updated and reposted the SHOOZ page on my blog; it started out as a record of my Trippen shoes, but I have branched out a little and have added some other brands!

And here are some closeups of the jewelry I'm wearing above, from some of my favorite artists:

This is from savage salvage on Etsy...she calls it "mermaid farts"! It's made from recycled faux pearls...

This is a pair of earrings from Keith LoBue, an American artist based in Australia...I've taken 3 or 4 workshops from him in the past.  One earring says "Silenced", the other "Confused".    

And this is a wonderful bracelet made for me over a several-year period by the artist Charlotte Valestra; unfortunately she doesn't have a website.
This is based on a YA series by Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising, one of my favorite book series that I read over and over...

After being AWOL last week, I'm showing up on Patti's "Visible Monday" again; come over and see some beautiful, visible women!


and I have a new camera lens!!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


That's Wonderful, Wacky, (pre)Wedding Work Weekend...Bride2B, fiancé, and four of their dear friends came up from Los Angeles for the weekend to help us get our place ready for the wedding in October.

There was LOTS of landscaping happening...

occasional dips in the pool to deal with the heat and humidity...

planning for magical spaces...

food prepared and eaten...

many tools used....

and margaritas mixed to celebrate awesome results!

Talk about GRATITUDE! What wonderful friends!

Meanwhile, when I wasn't cooking, I was off in
my studio, making a shirt...

That's M6124, View D (and that's Paddywack to my right). Sorry about the fuzziness, I'm having camera problems...

The fabric is a light-weight cotton ikat from Gorgeous Fabrics

The shoes are new Trippens, found on eBay

A girl can't have too many red shoes...

Talk to you later...

Sunday, July 14, 2013


because...I made a dress!

I think it's the first time in 35 years that I've made a dress...i've been strictly a trousers/jeans/pants girl, with an occasional skirt, for a long, long time. 

I just had this urge last week to sew a dress...not being loaded with dress patterns in my stash and needing instant gratification, I resorted to downloading B4443

and made View C out of this knockout fabric from Marcy Tilton

This is the style of dress that was so popular for young girls in the '50's...my mother made many of them for me, and I made a lot, too. Binding the neck, armholes and hem with a contrast fabric took me right back to those days...
talk about deja vu!
Since I'm not that young girl anymore, I will wear this with a tie-top in black like this one... (yet to be made)

What about the MOB jacket, you might ask? Well, it's coming along fine; I'm just beginning to line it and am liking it very much. But a girl needs a break occasionally...

Yesterday I went to an indigo-dying workshop in Santa Barbara with my friend Joan...we had great fun learning how to dye and do shibori, among other techniques...

There were 10 of us in the workshop and these are some of our dyed items
hanging to dry in the sun. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of all of us with our blue hands...

This is one of my favorite times of the year to cook, when the produce is outstanding and so colorful. Tonight we are trying Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce from the wonderful recipe book  PLENTY, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Jonathan Lovekin. Everything I've ever tried from it is FABULOUS!

The fresh corn and tomatoes are from our next door neighbors, who have a wonderful organic farm, the eggplant and oregano are from Dave's garden.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Studio Dreams...

Since my current sewing project, a Mother-of-the-Bride outfit, is a "secret"
till the wedding in early October, I decided to show you a few pictures of my wonderful studio, wherein I create art and, in the last 10 years, garments. Several people have glimpsed the studio in pictures and wanted to see more...

When we bought this property, in 1994, after selling our winery, there was this wonderful old redwood barn, built in 1910. 

There was a small, rundown house, also dating from 1910, a workshop-that-used-to-be-a-chicken-house, and a
 garage that had been converted into living quarters. I don't have any pictures at hand of the original buildings, but the old barn was the selling point for me.

The barn was single-wall construction (which means you could see through the very holey walls), had no insulation, no foundation and dirt floors. The north side was partially covered in a wonderful chartreuse lichen, which has been the backdrop for many of my outfit pictures.

We took it apart, numbered each board and put them in a safe place; the same with the aged metal roof. Then...we poured a foundation and cement floors,  built walls, added
insulation, plumbing and electricity and some recycled windows to capture the wonderful northern light. Then we put all the boards and the roof back on.The barn had 3 bays, and a hayloft; we kept the bays and added stairs to reach the loft.
You can see the loft here.

We left the rafters exposed...those are the old windows. The original barn had lots of industrial shelving, which I kept.
You can see some of the shelves in the background. For 10 years or so, it
functioned as an art studio...I held many workshops there and hosted a weekly painting group for 3 years. Then I decided to return to sewing and transformed the studio to suit my needs.

This is the middle "bay"; (it's not curved, it's a panoramic shot!)

When we renovated the barn, I had a table built by a carpenter friend; it has morphed from a painting/art table to a sewing table with ease.
It's 4' x 8', so with the addition of a cutting mat, it's perfect to cut out fabric. I had it made tall enough so I don't have to lean over...bliss! I use the right hand bay for storage, the loft for storing fabric in large plastic tubs, and the left hand bay for dreaming and planning...

The sink and lavatory are very useful, especially when I'm working on various
fabric embellishments.

Now the studio is my retreat and my creative cauldron, where I think up and carry out all manner of ideas! I am so lucky!

I'm joining Patti's Visible Monday again...come and visit!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Happy 4th of July to my American friends...and others, too...a good excuse to celebrate!

My Yankee Doodle Dandy took off this morning to play with his band before the 
parade in Solvang...

I, on the other hand, stayed home so I could finish my two-day "what was I
thinking of" clean up of my office. I couldn't believe the stuff I'd hung on to...the paperwork and software for my first computer, maybe 16 years ago?
The original iPod? Bills and receipts from 10 years ago? My old desktop and monitor which hasn't been turned on for at least a year? Anyway, you get the idea...I am ever-so-slightly compulsive (stop laughing, those who know me!)
so I wind up with things like this

I DID get a little sewing done the other day...one of my pet peeves is the fact that most women's pajamas and nightgowns are either pastel colors (mint green, anyone?) or red or black satin bombshell type things...so, I made a pair of summer  pajamas in...you guessed it...black and gray!
The chevron knit is from Girl Charlee, using the same Vogue Pattern I used for my polka dot jacket, 7281, the lovely comfy shorts. The top is Cutting Line Designs Pure and Simple shell, a TNT of mine. Unfortunately, it appears to be OOP. They are extremely comfortable, just the way I like them!

I'm off to finish cleaning the office...tomorrow I hope to start on the MOB

I hope you're all having a good holiday...