Monday, September 29, 2014

Britex and San Francisco!

Earlier this month I spent 9 days in San Francisco for work. 

Whenever I am of to any area for more than 1 or 2 days I usually try to check out what fabric stores are in the area! I have found some great little stores and have gotten to visit some excellent big name fabric stores this way. 

There are several in San Francisco that were recommended to me. The biggest being Britex fabrics followed by Satin Moon and Fabrix. As well as Stone Mountain Daughter across the bay. Unfortunately my work schedule was packed tight! I only had 2 1/2 to 3 hours of time free during fabric shopping hours! Ugh, in 9 days that was it!! I decided to make the most of it and I choose to visit Britex.

My reasons for hitting Britex... Well it's Britex! And how could I not plus it was only a block and a half from my hotel. Took me an entire 4 minutes to walk there. Mind you those 4 minutes were full of glee and happy anticipation. Of course I was there early and had to wait for them to open. That was ok, I walked around the block and did a bit of window shopping in the surrounding high end shops.

Once in, I took the advice of some friendly Facebook RTW faster friends and took the elevator to the 4 th floor and slowly made my way down. I only made it through 3 floors! Before I was out of time and mentally on fabric overload ;) I really could have used more time just to browse and look at all the delicious fabrics. It certainly was a feast for the eyes and the feel of all those textiles under my finger tips, just lovely!

A couple highlights of the shop. (Besides the entire experience!)

- the wonderful selection of liberty fabrics. I have never had the pleasure of touching Liberty fabrics before. Ohhhhhhhhhh.... Now I get why they are so coveted and so expensive! 
- I had a nice conversation with the owner of the shop.  She took the shop over from her father and she was a nice lady and greeted every employee as she walked through. That was nice to see.
- I got to meet Emily, a contestant on Project Runway. She works at the shop and is a lovely person! 
- The selection of such high quality fabrics was just amazing! The wools, silks, cottons, oh my!

Emily was nice enough to take a selfie with me! I look like a goof ball... Oh well!

I asked her how the experience was and she said it was very stressful. Not allowed to call home unless it was a suoervised call and very short. Personally she missed her daughter very much! On the design front she said it was difficult because you were placed in an unfamiliar situation with none of your regular comforts. For example, no music was allowed and no ear buds so basically nothing to help with stress levels! I figure that when I saw here it was just past NYC fasion week and I so wanted to ask her how she did but I refrained! I'll just have to wait and watch the show :)

Now on to the fun fabrics! I planned ahead and packed an extra small duffel bag to put all my dirty clothes in just so that I would have room for my fabric purchases. Although, it turns out that they will ship everything home for you if you prefer. Seeing that I still had 5 days left of my trip I choose not to just so that I could have my delicious fabrics at the hotel to ponder and inspire me. 

These are my fabric purchases. 

Pink wool, oh I just love this! I got 3 yards plenty to make a skirt or jacket and have some left over!

The wool and the Liberty fabric I purchased. Ahhhhhh... This will be a button down shirt.
A close up of the Liberty

Here I a the wool and an italian silk. It is so beautiful! This will be another blouse.

These are from the remnant area and are 2 cotton/lycra pieces that have a great drape and nice weight. The large print one is also from Italy and I am thinking of a sleeveless summer dress and a button down with the yellow/purple/white pin stripe. See close up below.

I also picked up a couple of knit remnants. The solid brown is a rayon/Lycra mat jersey knit and is scrumptious. 
I also picked up some hair canvas. I have a hard time finding it locally. I got 2 yards of fusible and 2 yards of sew-in. I plan on making a coat sometime this winter and knew I would need it.
And these were my 'other' purchases from the notions/ribbons floor.
Form the notions floor I got feathers!!! Yes those are feathers you see :) they are for a collar of a cape I am making for Halloween. They are quite extravagant :) the rest is just a couple zips, 2 different doggie ribbons, some chain and in the plastic bag is 2 different lengths of horsehair braid in different widths. 

All on all my shopping experience in Britex was super positive and my fabric budget is now severely depleted! So worth it :)

The rest of my time in San Fransico was wholly and completly taken up by work except for one evening when 3 of us scooted away and enjoyed Fishermans wharf. 

Our view from dinner! The sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge! 

Me with wind blown hair... And Alcatraz in the back. Someday I'll get back to San Franscico and play the tourist.

It was a long work trip and I was VERY glad when it was done and I was back home :)

And a parting shot of Little Victoria.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodbye to summer wrap-up!

Oh boy, oh boy! I'm a little sad that summer is officially over this evening. My biggest reason is that I will miss all the lovely sunshine. I think as I get older I crave the sunlight even more and the darker days of winter can make me feel melancholy and a little blah. Maybe time to start taking some extra vitamin D and invest in some sun lights for my sewing room :)

I have realized that between my crazy work schedule and my most adorable granddaughter, Princess V, that I have been a bad blogger. Haven't even found the time to squeeze out my monthly wrap-ups!
So here goes my wrap up for July and August.

In no particular order, mostly because I just don't remember!! Hehe

1.Striped Wrap Knit dress.
Fabric is a blue and white striped ponte, nice mid-weight made using my TNT wrap dress pattern, Simplicity 1653. This dress has been great for work travel!

2. Striped knit sleeveless top.
Same fabric as above I had just enough fabric to make this top. McCall's 6752 view C. In retrospect I should have used a thinner/drapier knit. I had to change the gathers at the waistline to pleats because the gathers were to much with this thicker knit. I worked out in the end but next time I will use a light jersey or an ITY knit.

3. Green/brown poly 'silky' dress
This was a 'silky' from JoAnn's clearance. Vogue Tracy Reese 1343. I have worn this dress 3 times over the summer. Twice accesorized for work and once dressed up for a wedding. Very versatile! I plan to make another version with just some small changes.

4. Silver/black dressy Capri pants
This was from a Fabricmart buy. They described it as a black stretch denim. It is a bit more silver but that makes it lovely. Silhouettes 3300 Lana's Jeans made without the back pockets and belt loops and shortened to a mid calf length. These have gotten lots of use this summer!

5. Red denim jeans
This fabric is from Linda Z's store in Arlington Heights, IL. They have a very nice selection of high quality garment fabrics. This is my TNT jeans pattern Silhouettes 3300 Lana's Jeans. Oh, I really like these jeans! I had the first opportunity to wear theses in San Francisco when I was there last week. 

6. Red/Blue/white high collar shirt
This fabric is a cotton/silk voile from Fabricmart. Lovely to work with! Vogue 1385 Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina. This was FUN to make and FUN to wear. 

Those are my July and August summer makes! Pretty good for having a crazy summer schedule, I think it made for a good balance of sewing and family time while I was not off traveling for work.

So what did I do for fun this summer?
1. A brand new grand baby to snuggle, cuddle and adore!

2. A long weekend visit with my sister :)

3. The Charles James exhibit at the Met in NYC, so inspiring!

4. My hubby and I's 20th wedding anniversary party. Oh what a party!

5. A week with my parents, daughter and granddaughter in Delaware :)

6. Lots of time spent with my little family and my friends, makes me whole and happy. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall/Winter Sewing plans... Or maybe grand ideas or fleeting dreams to be clutched...

Ok, ok, ok....

I know I said I wasn't going to share this for total fear of failure and unfulfilled promises. However, I am woman and have every right to change my mind at will ;) just ask my hubby... He knows this well!

So here is a pictorial view of most of my fall/winter sewing plans. (As it stands now!)

2 jackets. One in this purpley linen blend print from Fabricmart and one in the blue/black/red/yellow printed linen from Linda Z's. Such a beautiful mid weight to this fabric! Both will be completly fused with an underlining to eliminate wrinkles and make them wearable year round.

3 pairs of Jeans. All 3 from Silhoettes Lana jeans pattern. One was the red denim jeans, one out of this blue stretch denim and one out of a black courdoroy. (Not pictured)

2 shirts, I am lacking button down shirts. 
The first was the cotton/silk voile from Fabricmart already made into Vogue 1385
The second is this fun cotton print of dictionary of fabric/ sewing terms. I am thinking view B with the second brown floral as the front band collar and cuffs. A nice retro feel to it.

A pair of knit pants.... I'm taking a chance here but worst cae scenario I will have a new pair of jammies/lounge pants! This is a nice heavier grey heatherd ponte again from Fabricmart, I have not decided which of the 3 knit versions to try...

2 skirts, rather boring basics but needed for my work wardrobe. 
1 self drafted knit skirt out of this thick textured black knit from JoAnn's super sale.
1 Gail Patrice Stockbridge skirt out of this camel/tan colored woven from who knows where! Deep from the depths of my stash!

Two knit dresses...
Both a little different! The first one V1317 and will be made from this maroon ponte that I believe is also from FabricMart. Oh dear, dear Fabricmart, always luring me in with those darn emails and Julie club picks...
I'm not so sure how this will turn out, so, this is really going to be a wearable muslin. At 5$ Or less a yard for the fabric I have no problem with that. Besides I really need to try out a new work appropriate knit dress pattern.
The second dress is a Marci Tilton Vogue dress and will be made from dark grey jersey knit that I got from Vogue Fabrics and the contrast pieces will be from the grey/pink knit that is leftover from a maternity project for my daughter earlier this year. 

AND when all of that is done....... Or maybe in the middle....
I plan to return to pants, actually woman's slacks for work in super nice wool. I just know that is a project that will take patience and several muslins to work out the fit. I am confident it can be done! After all I mastered jeans!!

So those are my fall/winter sewing plans. Hopefully for room to through in a couple easy project a like quick to make long sleeves tees.

Do you have a plan? 
Do you have a hard time sticking to a plan? I know I sure do sometimes.... We shall see how far I make it in this plan before I loose interest in it and become inspired by another great idea or project that just cannot wait! 

Happy Sewing!