Monday, September 27, 2010

Trendy Top & Pant

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Well, I think it's kind of trendy, anyway. I've been thinking about the whole leggings or no-leggings question since it's been on Stitcher's Guild for a while, and I went so far as to buy a pair of leggings and wear them around the house. I love them for the comfort, but I haven't quite been able to get out of the house in them, and I think that's probably a good thing. I like the general idea though, so I thought maybe I'd try some very narrow pants. This is what I came up with, along with the top from the print knit I got in California.

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I haven't quite decided if it's better with or without the belt. I think it needs something, and I thought of pockets or something, but I hate to break up the print, as I think it's very graceful, but perhaps the belt breaks it up anyway?

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The top is FSG#1960 once again, but with the funnelneck from Christine Jonsen's Travel Basic #3 added. I also lengthened it by a couple inches, as I think it is imperative that a top worn with these pants must fall below the rear.

Since the pants are a kind of trial pair, I used some old doubleknit fabric I had, and pulled out a couple of simple knit pant patterns. This one (Stretch&Sew #100) has an 11.5" hem circumference. I faced the hem, and then used a twin needle to stitch around once as an edge-stitch, and once at hem length. Together, this gives it a little bit of a band effect, and I remember seeing this kind of finish on Givenchy knit pants in the 1980's. I would think about putting a vent in the hem if I make more of these, which I think I will. I think a fairly high spandex content would be appropriate as well. This fabric has none, and I don't expect it to hold up terribly well, at least in the knees. I'm basically happy with the style though. They could be a little narrower toward the thigh, and that's something I may experiment with. I feel comfortable wearing these however, which is a good change from leggings.

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California Fabrics

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I should have posted this a while ago, but here are the fabrics I bought in California.

Clockwise from Lower Left, with proposed uses:

Crocodile Vinyl - A purse.
Brown with Green Print Poly Knit - Top.
Taupe & Mauve Silks - Silk Tee top or tops. I'm thinking of color-blocking, as the blend of these colors is truly lovely.
Gold/Black Satin Print - Dress (with black silk chiffon.)

I didn't take a photo of the black silk chiffon, as I think you all pretty much know what that looks like, and how well black fabric photographs. I've already made up the knit print, and I like it. Since I'm always cold, poly knits are not a problem for me, and I loved this print. It makes me think of ginkgo leaves, but it's actually some kind of flower or weed (I hesitate to say a thistle).

The crocodile vinyl is a nice weight, and it has a very nice knit backing. I've seen a lot of vinyl on this order, and this is an extra-nice piece. I also just saw a bunch of purses in a booth at an art fair yesterday, and I think I can do much better. She had one pretty cute bag with a faux-fur panel that I'm thinking of, though.

Finally, here is the fabric I got for my kitchen chairs, etc. It doesn't really have any pink in it. I think that's coming through from underneath somehow. It's just blue and white. I also put in a photo of it in my kitchen, which makes it look kind of washed-out, but it gives you an idea of what it's got to go with.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

California Round-up

Typical gorgeous California photo, but I took this one myself in Laguna Beach where Pearle and I used to spend the winters. We hadn't traveled for a long time now, and it was very interesting to return. It certainly brought back memories of many good times.

Of course there has been some shopping. Besides the fabric which was shipped to me, I bought some yarn in Laguna Beach for a scarf to wear this winter with my cashmere coat,

and I bought some shoes. I happened to really luck out on the shoe front, and you can see what I'm trying to cram into my suitcase.

Vacation Knitting

I've been doing some knitting while I've been visiting in California. After finishing up the third pair of heavy socks for my brother which I began on the plane out here, I began a Birds Nest Smoke Ring. You can see the pattern photo below.

It's almost finished, and I think I may be able to finish it tomorrow on the plane, and during a layover. I'm using Peruvian Baby Silk from elann. It's baby alpaca and silk, and really soft. It's been fun to knit so far. You can see the provisional cast-on at the right. There will be a picot edge there when it's done.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Sewing Lunch

Lisa, Liana, Kathi, Sue
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We had a wonderful time yesterday at Sue's lovely home. It was such a treat to get to meet Sue and Kathi, and yes, we did talk sewing, but also just a wide-ranging conversation such as you might have with old friends anywhere. I do consider them 'old friends' since we've been sewing together for a long time online. Sue thought about 8 years, and I think that's probably about right. It certainly doesn't seem that long.

Sue's home is just beautiful. We saw her sewing room, of course, and 'consulted' on a skirt she's cutting out of a lovely crinkle cotton fabric. It's going to be really nice. We had our lunch al fresco. These California girls really know how to live it up! I wish you all could have been there too.

One thing we discussed was the LA Fashion District, and we found out that Kathi is quite the expert on it. She wrote an article on it for PatternReview, and we all agreed that next time we go (and yes, there really must be a next time) we'll make sure she is our guide. I have to show you the goody bag she brought me, with black and brown foldover elastic and white picot elastic, and the most darling snips wrapped up like a fancy Japanese package. The bag is pretty cute, too! Thanks Kathi!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

You're All Invited To Lunch!

Seems I've had this internet sewing friend thing going for quite some time now, and it's something I wouldn't trade for almost anything. You guys are the best!

Just yesterday, DrSue, a SG and PR member of long-standing, invited us all to a potluck luncheon on Friday (Sept. 10th) in her orchard in North Tustin! I'm very excited, and if any of you can make it, just let me know, and I will have her send directions to you.

Kind of short notice, but sometimes that's how it works out. Do try and come if you're in the area, please.

On another note, Lisa and I are going to the LA Fashion District today to look at fabric, etc. That is our plan at this moment anyway. We are taking her Eames chair into LA for repairs, and wanted to try to do both things at once.

My poor kitty is staying home alone with only the loving care of my brother and Dad to make the time pass. The Peep is used to going out all night (fenced back yard that he can't get out of) and so it's been pretty boring for him to stay in all the time. They were wary of letting him out since he might decide he wasn't coming back in while they were there. He can get into the garage through a cat door, so he has shelter, but still... Last night he was insistent with my brother that he WAS going out, no matter how stupid Chris might be, since he was obviously so dumb he couldn't even tell what a cat wanted. I finally said he should let him out and my Dad could let him in this morning sometime. Well, he went out like a shot, and less than half an hour later, he wanted back in desperately. I'm not sure if he suddenly realized that getting back in might be about as hard as getting out was, and thought he'd better go while the going was good, or what. Who knows what a cat's plans are? He's had a little outing though, and is probably happier and more content. I'm missing him, and I am pretty sure he's missing me too!

Monday, September 06, 2010

California (Fabric) Dreaming

Upper Newport Bay and the Back Bay are great bird-watching spots. It's so close we've been running over quite often, and spotted 2 Egrets and a Great Blue Heron only this evening, to say nothing of gulls and many smaller birds.

It's been so nice to hear all the ideas for where Lisa and I should go fabric shopping while I'm out here in California visiting her. Thank you all for thinking of us! We may not get everywhere we'd like to, but so far we've been to two fabric shops and one yarn shop. We are hoping to get to the Fashion District in LA, so I'll let you know if we make it.

The first fabric shop we hit was Button Boutique in Newport Beach (no website that I can find.) It's a very small place with gorgeous fabric of extremely high quality, and fantastic buttons, of course. There's a dressmaker on site, and the woman who runs the fabric part used to manage Left Bank Fabrics, which was a fantastic place also in Newport Beach. When they quit, she started doing this. I used to go to Left Bank way back when. It was rather famous, and for good reason. This lady knows her fabric.

Today we stopped at what is a home-dec fabric shop, but a really amazing one. It's called Home Fabrics and is in Lake Forest. I bought a few things there, but since they are being shipped, I can't show you yet. Lisa had told me we would go here before I came, since she knew I wanted to recover my kitchen chairs, and perhaps do a valance as well. They had the perfect thing. My kitchen is basically blue and white. I have dark blue countertops, white walls, dark blue with white pindot roman shades, and white cafe curtains. I used to have wallpaper with narrow blue lines and a fairly colorful bird border, but I recently changed it to plain white. Since I do have dark counters and oak cabinetry, I have white appliances to lighten things up, and thought white walls would be my best bet. I like them a lot, but now it's time for the chairs, etc.

The fabric we found is a gorgeous blue floral on white. It has more of a 'drawn' feeling to it than a lot of florals, and it was quite the bargain so I got enough for chairs, valance, perhaps an apron and placemats, etc.

That's all I was really looking for, but I found two other pieces that called my name as well. One is a dull gold satin with a sketchy blackish abstract print. I want to make a dressy dress from it. The other is really different. It's an unusually nice alligator vinyl on a knit backing. It's dark brown, and will become a purse.

We also went to the knitting night at Yarn Lady Friday night, and are planning to stop in again this coming Friday. They have a very nice group of ladies there, and there was even pie! How can we resist?

I finished another pair of hunting socks for my brother. I did the first sock on the plane, and the second one since. These are a 2-yarn blend like the last pair, except deep green for the plain yarn instead of navy, but with the same variegated sock yarn along with it. 3 pair should hold him for a while, but they're a great mindless project. perfect for travel knitting.

I'm posting from Pacific time, but my blog is set on Central time, so it's only about 10:15pm here right now. It's funny to see the time on the blogger site versus the time on the computer itself.