I often see patterned fabrics and fall in love with them enough to bring them home with me.  It doesn’t always follow that there is an instant happy marriage between the fabric itself and a specific garment pattern or design, but eventually, with thought, I come up with an idea that I think I would like to wear.

Then I lay out the fabric, and stare at it for a while.yardage

And drape it this way.

crosswise – perhaps a bell sleeve?

And that way.


And end up, at the end of a few hours, having not cut even one piece, and a long way back from where I initially started because so many possibilities for the use of the fabric placement come to mind as I play with it, I have accomplished nothing.  I cannot commit, usually out of fear of ruining/wasting such pretty fabric on an imperfect design.

And another block of sewing time is gone.

Happy Day!

Well, if I can’t actually sew because there’s no place in which to set up and sew at the moment, it doesn’t mean I can’t get happy packages in the mail!

fun timesI love EmmaOneSock‘s roll end parties.  C’mon… browse over there… y’know you want to….

BTW, I should be able to set up my sewing space later this week once the basement dump zone is reorganized.  The craziness of chaos is going to be put back into order simply because one room has been re-floored.  Woo hoo!


Well, I haven’t felt much like sewing these days, so I’ve been fabric shopping, and thought maybe you’d like to see some of the new treasures that came to live in my imaginary all-sewn-up-and-ready-to-wear world. First up, a remnant of cotton stretch twill.  There’s just enough to get a shift out of it, and this will be my first spring garment.  Can’t wait!

cotton stretch twill

Then there’s a collection of knits, most of which will be either a series of Tiramisus or Vogue  8379, which is the DVF style wrap dress that’s been so popular for years.

goldchevron knitknitpolka dotspurple graphic knitAnd more coatings, because, well, I don’t have enough.

brushed woolpurple

And some beautiful silks for who knows what project.  The first is a silk taffeta with a blurry print from Oscar de la Renta, I believe.  The second is a Milly silk twill – so pretty!blurry silk tafetta




And a lovely silk/wool blend for trousers.  I have always for as long as I remember, wanted trousers in a houndstooth pattern.  Can’t wait to add these to my closet!silk woolAnd a small selection of completely unnecessary prettiness.  The first is a black wool boucle with a lot of gold lurex.  The second is a lovely piece of sequined silk crepe.  The sequins are 1cm in diameter.  I’ve plans, but I don’t know where or when to wear these lovely examples of frosting!lurex closeup


And wool doubleknit for something Ralph Rucci via Vogue Patterns in a lovely red. red wool doubleknitAnd last, but not least, a piece of Missoni knit that will be a spring/summer tunic.  It’s draped over the stretch denim that belongs with my SWAP 2012 program.  It’ll make a nice outfit.missoniTell, me, do you like to avoid sewing by fabric shopping, too?

So, I blew it

Unintentionally, of course.  I was only looking for stretch twill in a very specific shade of green.  Which I found.  And haggled down the price, too!  It’s all my daughter’s fault.  If she hadn’t been so intent on finding something for yet another pair of those ridiculous utility pants, I would have promptly left the store!

haul 1From L to R:  black silk chiffon, Italian wool suiting, 4-ply silk crepe, black stretch cotton sateen, silk chiffon print, knit, white poly microfibre, black embroidered silk chiffon and 3 different cuts of ivory silk peau de soie

Honestly!  I would never in a million years have looked at the remnant racks.  Even though a bargain is a bargain, y’know know what I’m sayin’?  And there was a sign saying 50% off the already reduced prices of the fabric ends!  Now, how can a savvy girl refuse that offer?  And I do actually have plans for a couple of the pieces:  the loden twill and black cotton sateen will be pants, the graphic knit is for my DD1 – a dress perhaps? – and the green/orange leopardy print chiffon is going to be an Alice + Olivia top for DD1.haul 2

From R to L: ice blue linen, red Italian linen, Solstiss sequin lace, shot silk taffeta, lavender silk chiffon, greeny-ivory silk charmeuse, and the fabric that started it all:  dark loden stretch cotton twill

There’s actually a funny story to the linen purchases on the far right.  Today was a date with a good friend and her daughter who is looking for a prom dress.  My DD1 loves a store in the Fashion district called Original, and we made an appointment to look for prom dresses amongst their 5000+ stock (it includes Vivienne Westwood pieces which I photographed – bad bad bad! – and studied furiously, but more on that in another post).  After wasting the staff’s time trying on dress after dress and learning about a completely fabulous designer called Byron Lars, we nailed down a prom dress idea that could easily be made for considerably less than the retail price, and so went snooping through all the fabric stores that were open.  (Today being Sunday, not many are in this city!)

The second store we wandered into has the dearest proprietor that loves to haggle.  He asks for it.  I’ve been in his shop numerous times but never purchased anything because… well, he just never had anything I was interested in buying.  Today, however, as I saunter into his domain….

Mr. Shop:  Are you a sewer?  Tell me what this fabric is and I’ll give you a yard for free!

Me:  Yes, I sew.  (having a good look and feel at the bolt he’s pointing to)  You’re actually going to give me a yard for free if I tell you what this is made of?

Mr. Shop:  Yes!

Me: It’s bamboo linen. 

Mr. Shop is absolutely beside himself with joy that I correctly identified this fabric.  I don’t think he remembers showing off this very fabric a couple of summers ago and bragging to me that bamboo can be made into any type of fabric, including linen.  Ha!  Anyways, after wandering through the store and not finding what we needed for the desired prom dress, he insisted on giving me the free yard of fabric.  !?!?  OK.  But I had my dear friend choose a colour (the ice blue) because I really wasn’t interested in yet another length of linen in my stash.  She originally wanted the red linen in the picture (it’s a beautiful deep blue-toned blood red), but there was less than a yard and it had a spot of dirt in the middle.  I bought it anyways, because it will wash out, for $5.00.  I did only want to spend $2.00, but Mr. Shop said I was unkind to want to kill him.

Anyways, all this to say… so much for stash-bustin’.

Where did the sewing time go?

stash dreams

Do you ever notice that there’s just not enough time to sew everything you want to sew?  All those wonderful ideas get sidelined by other wonderful ideas, season after season, until you end up with a stash of fabric and patterns that would furnish an eBay store.

This is my “I’m-going-to-sew-this-up-for-summer” pile.  The bottom blue jersey has been a wanna be Vogue 8379 for two years now.  It’s ridiculous!  The ivory broderie anglaise above it was supposed to be a jacket and sheath dress this year.  The nude chiffon was to be the underlining for the graphic chiffon to its left, which was supposed to be the top for a skirt in chocolate wool (sitting untitledunderneath it).  And the olive green silk charmeuse to the right of that nude chiffon was to be the interesting Donna Karan top from Vogue 1039 (see left).  Above that is some wool that I think will eventually become a Chanel-style jacket, although I don’t have a particular timeline set for that.

And then there’s all that dark brown stuff.  Some of it is stretch denim, some Italian linen, and a very interesting snakeskin print stretch denim from EOS.  EmmaOneSock is my nemesis.  The proprietor, Linda,  stocks the most interesting fabrics, and her international postage from NY to Canada is very reasonable.  I’m forever finding something on her website and lusting after it.  Do any of you have this problem, too?  Oh, and hiding in there somewhere on the left (you may have to click to enlarge the photo) is a very uniquely woven wool challis that I have 5 yards of (five yards?!), and no idea what to create with it.  It was just so interesting that I had to have it, and buying 5 yards seemed like a good idea at the moment.  Ha!

And sitting yet above that, at the very top, is rayon jersey, again from EOS, that I intended for I-can’t-remember-what now – some dress or other (there’s 3 yards there), striped linen for summer capris/trousers, and several yards of ivory linen for a variety of summer shirts.

And now it’s September, and the winter stuff is calling my name.  I need some jackets, I’d love to sew up a couple of the latest Vogue patterns from Donna Karan with yardage from my stash (in storage, mostly accrued from double-income-no-kids years), and I’ve been commissioned to sew up a Pippi Longstocking costume for a friend’s daughter for Hallowe’en.

Hey!  Maybe I should hire some fellow sewers to help me out here!  I’m just sayin’….