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

Sunday, August 24, 2014


We leave for Sweden on Friday, August 29...and I THINK I am ready to pack...I always reserve the right to change my mind, but next week is busy with non-sewing activities, so I probably won't make anything new. The only change I might make is if everything doesn't fit in the suitcase...

Here is the wardrobe at-a-glance:


I have been tracking the weather in the countries we are going to...Sweden,
Denmark and Norway. It's been rainy off and on, with temperatures in the mid-60's during the day, and mid 40's to mid 50's at night.

Here are the details, row by row...with links to my blog, when appropriate...

Row 1...Eileen Fisher reversible raincoat (similar), abstract sweater-knit tunic,
            printed cowl-neck tunic, striped tee, black RTW tee, and Patricia 
            Underwood felt hat.

Row 2...gray RTW tee, red RTW tee, lightweight RTW turtleneck, boxy RTW
            wool sweater tunic.

Row 3...Montbell Ultralight down jacket, red LM pants, black RTW trousers,
            two lengths, and striped ankle pants.


Row 5...Red Nylon Crossbody "Highway" Bag, (which I've had forever), red London Fly boots, Patent Dansko wedges, Cole Haan patent rain boots and my 
trusty ECCO walking shoes.

Hmmm...one of the patent leather shoes/boots may have to go...it really helps me to have it all laid out like this...it's much easier to see what's missing or too much. Not shown are scarves, jewelry, etc.

I'm headed over to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style Blog to join the other women for
Visible Monday....come see the visible women!



I managed to plug up one hole in my wardrobe...I needed a pair of gray pants and couldn't find the right shade in RTW...so I dived into my stash and came up with the PERFECT fabric (that's what stashes are for, aren't they?). It's a wonderful cotton/poly fabric that I got from Marcy Tilton um....FOUR years ago...a perfect age for a fabric!

The black stripe made it exactly what was needed. I used my TNT Lynda Maynard pattern and whipped these babies up in two hours.

So I'm finished with sewing for the trip (famous last words) and now I will concentrate on the wardrobe plan...it's almost done, and I'll probably post it
later today...

Till then...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


...in my travel wardrobe, that is. I decided NOT to take my new Claude Montana Jacket; this trip is a whirlwind and decidedly not fancy, and I need to take clothes that stand up to wind, rain and bus trips!

Once I made that decision, things began falling into place. Instead of my new jacket, I will take an Eileen Fisher reversible raincoat (black/gray) which I've had for a few years...

In my stash, I came across a gorgeous sweater knit in an abstract design which
came from Marcy Tilton a few years ago. I love the tunic I made from B5954
last spring, so I used that pattern again.

and the back

Oh, how I love this fabric! It's a fairly substantial sweater knit which will be welcome if we hit cold weather.

Here's a picture of the EF Coat over the top

DD and DSIL were up for the weekend, so not a lot of sewing went on. As a belated birthday present Maggie took me to a lovely spa in Santa Barbara, where I had an 80 minute massage...the fastest 80 minutes I've ever experienced! Afterwards, we went for a late lunch of mussels and a bottle of wine...it doesn't get much better than that!

Feeling like stretching my creative muscle, I took an ikat jacket by Yasuko Kurisake which has been hanging in my studio for a couple of years, whacked the sleeves off and remodeled it into a little vest which is just perfect for a bit
of contrast when I wear all black...

I also got a chance to use more of my giant hook and eye tape for a closure...

I think this will go in the suitcase...

I'm haunting the weather apps to prepare for what awaits us in Scandinavia...so I'm sure there will be a few more "hole pluggers"!


Sunday, August 3, 2014


I'm back...and without the boot! My foot has healed nicely, I am walking again
(although only 3 times a week, so far), and am wearing pants again. Talk about comfort zone...

After my spurt of sewing skirts, I started a project which I knew would be longer and more detailed than usual. I have been collecting out-of-print Claude Montana patterns from Vogue (I made one here last April); I love most of his designs and find the superior styling worth the  problems of dealing with the bigger shoulder. Oh, how I wish Vogue would reissue some of them!

My favorite one is this, Vogue 2974.

I was looking for something to make with this luscious quilted fabric from

and my friend Shams suggested I dig into my Montana treasures. So I did! It was perfect to showcase both sides of this wonderful fabric. It was probably one of the most detailed patterns I've ever used, even though it looks fairly simple.
Lots of pieces, lots of hand work, etc. But I think the two and a half weeks of work was worth it...

I lined it with a gray bemberg and found some perfect buttons from my button collection.

There are zippers in the sleeves and in the side seams (!) and two double-welt pockets.

I'm very happy with it, and am trying to decide if it will go to Scandinavia with
me at the end of the month.

Yes, we are going on another trip, to Sweden, Norway and Denmark. And that
means, PUTTING TOGETHER A TRAVEL WARDROBE! Which is one of my favorite parts of travel.

What I do first is identify a key piece (Jacket, etc.) and then go play in my
closet and pull out everything I might consider.

As you can see, the color palette will be black, gray and red. My new jacket is roomy enough to wear sweaters under, and even my red travel vest.

Since there are so many pockets in the vest, I chose not to add any additional ones to the new jacket. I also found some red London Fly boots on eBay last week, and they will accommodate my new orthotics and are very comfortable to walk in, so they are going, too.

We leave on August 29, so that leaves me 3 ½ weeks to put together my wardrobe and fill in any "holes". You'll be hearing more about it!


Sunday, July 13, 2014


I have been VERY busy the last two weeks, stocking my closet with enough skirts to get me through the "boot" phase...

I made M6608 in a lovely rusty red tencel I bought from Smuggler's Daughter

I made View C, shortened considerably, with a cut-on waist a la Louise Cutting.

I'm wearing it with a pretty ruffly linen blouse from Orvis

Then, because I have houseguests...here we are at brunch this morning...

and didn't want to change clothes so many times, I hung my recent acquisitions on the fence...

From the left, a linen plaid from who knows where  in Louise Cutting's 
"Relax a Little", a polka-dot knit, also from the stash, in Sewing Workshop's
"West End", then a RTW ombre sundress by Luna Luz.

Then, a reversible  georgette skirt from Orvis, a linen bias skirt from eBay, another Luna Luz skirt, and a black linen button-down skirt, also from Orvis.

I think that's enough for now!

My local sewing friend, Robyn, loaned me two dress patterns last week, and is trying to talk me into sewing a couple of dresses...

I start with a physical trainer tomorrow, who will provide me with some exercises not requiring a left foot...and see the doctor on Tuesday with the possibility of wearing running shoes with my new orthotics on a part-time
basis. Yay!

Check out Visible Monday, where the ever-gracious Patti provides us with an
opportunity to be VERY visible...


Sunday, June 29, 2014


No, I didn't forget the "S"...

My new shoe is an Aircast Walking Brace, size medium. I tore a tendon in my left foot several months ago, but didn't realize what had happened, so I walked on it in Santa Fe, in Chicago, and on my daily 4 mile walk. OUCH! When the pain got unbearable (I'm fairly stoic), I had an MRI and found out what I had
been making worse for 3 months. So now I get to wear this lovely boot 24/7
for 5 or 6 weeks. The good part? I'm 95% pain-free. The bad part? I can only wear shorts (NEVER HAPPEN), "Elephant Leg Pants" (as in the '60s) or skirts.

I do own a few of them...and will be making some more shortly!

I DO love this Luna Luz "Cheerio" Skirt which I blogged about several years ago

and have found a few more similar ones which are on their way.

The necklace that I'm wearing in the above picture with Paddy was made by my
friend Joan and given to me several years ago.

I'm lucky to have such a talented friend!

If any of you sewists have a favorite skirt pattern which DOES NOT involve pleats or gathers around the waist, let me know in the comments! Thanks...

I will be participating in Patti's wonderful Visible Monday show on her blog
later this afternoon...


Sunday, June 15, 2014


Yes, I said FLORALS... I decided to join the trend of floral pants before it
passed me by. I couldn't find any apparel fabrics I liked, so I jumped over to home dec sites and found what I wanted at Online Fabric Store

I used my trusty Lynda Maynard pattern, making them ankle length.

I was afraid they might be a little too splashy, but I think I like them and they
feel very summery.

The stripes are in a pair of pants designed by Marcy Tilton, V8929, and the fabric is also from her.

 The fabric is a real workhorse, a black/gray/silver stretch cotton and the seaming on the pattern is very interesting.

The dots are left over from my V1385 jacket; I was intrigued with Shams' 
Print Block Tee on Communing with Fabric, so I rummaged in my scrap pile
and made this (V9004)

This fabric is a jacquard, so both sides are usable. I didn't have enough for the sleeves and back, so I used a black crepe and lengthened the sleeves.

Excuse the headless shots...

In other news, I celebrated a birthday with 3 very dear, very long-time friends

and had visits from a daughter, teen-aged granddaughter and her friend. Also a niece stopped by on her way to pick up her son after his first year at UCSB...(University of California at Santa Barbara). Our guest house has seen a lot of traffic lately!

At some point, we were visited by the resident skunk family, who stopped by for
a bite to eat...we DO live in the country, and they ARE black and white...

I hope your summer is proceeding with joy...

Catch me on Visible Monday, where Patti makes sure we have a place to be visible!