Monday, April 28, 2014

Leaving Santa Fe

It was such a wonderful time with wonderful women in a wonderful place. We made memories. Nancy (and Tony, who learned quite a lot about the ways of sewing friends, and that Nancy's behavior re textiles is perfectly normal) were perfect hosts and guides, and everything went so smoothly. Her suggestion that we stay at La Fonda masse for a wonderful stay. I recommend this fabulous hotel for anyone wanting a relaxing, pampered getaway. Meeting Margy and Sharon (Shams) was so much fun, and I know we'll be getting together again. Ann was with us for what seemed like a very short time. She is such a delight that we wanted more.
And Patti. The originator of our group, she is a masterful mixer of personalities, always congenial and of course, she's a Legend!
This dragon was in front of a gallery on Canyon Road, a delightful art district with lots of outdoor art as well as lovely shops. Jan and I took a short walk from La Fonda on the advice of Margy, and it was well worth it. I loved this little Frog Prince.
We enjoyed visiting the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Palace of the Governors, which is also a museum. We had the most fantastic tour guide there,a former librarian from USC, who really made it comes alive, and drew everyone into the narrative.
I will probably be writing more later about this trip, and especially about the wonderful Snoop Shopping we did. Santa Fe Dry Goods, you are a wonderful place!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Santa Fe Fabric Shopping

It wasn't all fabric shopping, but the fabric shopping was very successful. Patti and Ann would not arrive until afternoon, so Nancy led Jan, Margy, Sharon and me to Santa Fe Fabric, stopping at the fabulous bakery next door for breakfast first. Blueberry scones and Almond Croissants, that's all I'm saying. Very nice fabric shop and they have some things I hadn't seen before.
I found a wonderful bird print in a stretch cotton for a summer Marfy skirt.
This is an unusual poly that has almost a brushed nonwoven look, with couched yarns on a floral print. I think it's very southwestern in feel. I want to use it with some navy knit for a top.
Nancy found a bolt of stretch overall sequined fabric in a deep navy that I agreed I should have. I'm thinking the DK cowl front dress in a floor length. Awful photo, but the sequins are hard to photograph. Then I found a cute knit stripe that has palm trees under the stripes for a cute summer top.
Finally I was all done, but at the last minute found a wool spandex tweed knit with a lovely weight for a pair of knit pants in my favorite Marfy pant pattern.
After the fabric shop, Nancy, Jan and I went to the Puma outlet and bought shoes. They are very cute, and look to be comfortable as well, which is always hard to find together.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fun Fabric

Yes, I'm at this moment on my way to Santa Fe to, among other things, shop for fabric, but when Elliott Berman has their annual sale, I usually order. It came yesterday, and I'm pleased with all of it, especially the neoprene for the Marfy dress I'm working on. It's the floral. The wild fuchsia is a brushed brocade for a retro 60's coat, and the other two are knits.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Squirrel Fluff & Phone Update

It's been quite the day. As per my last post, my phone was immersed this morning, dried out and apparently it's now as good as new, albeit with a cleaner screen. Needless to say, I do NOT recommend this method of screen cleaning. So now, a post from my newly dried and useable phone. This picture is the end of a long story.
I looked out the window this afternoon and laughed. That squirrels nest in the tree, probably 40' in the air, has a rather fanciful topknot of polyester batting. Originally I saw this batting at about eye level in the corner of my fence in some dried vines I was going to remove. It didn't look like much until I started pulling it out, but believe me there's more there than you'd think they could stuff into a place that small. I realized it was some kind of a nest and got a little nervous about what I might find. I had gloves on, so it was okay. Well, I found one squirrel sleeping, seemingly pretty good sized. I stuffed him and the fluff back where I found him. After that, apparently, the nest builder decided it would be safer to be out of my reach, and moved it to the nest in the tree. Somehow I don't think I'll be climbing the neighbor's tree to remove it again. The really strange thing is that when I first found it, I couldn't figure out where they had found all the nice, clean white fluff. I gave them credit for good instincts though. The next day I figured out their source. I have a very faded outdoor swing I was planning to recover. Well, I now have a reason to get to it quickly. The squirrels jumpstarted my project for me. Who knew they were un-upholsterers?

Rice! I Need More Rice!

Yeah, well, now that I have a nice phone app to do blog posts, I tried dropping my phone into the fish pond.  It doesn't help.  So, it is now taken apart and sitting in a bowl of rice after I dried it out as much as I could, first with a linen tea towel (the best, as we fabric lovers know) and then with a hair dryer on no-heat.  Sigh.

I'm hoping for the best, and after some research and questioning my brother (the IT guy) about it, next time I do this (never I hope!) I will try this method, using alcohol to first displace the water in the phone, and then drying it out in rice.  Can't hurt, and apparently has been the go-to method for underwater cameras for years.  Who knew?

A small bit of sewing content:  I thought I finished the patternwork on the Marfy 3507 dress last night, but of course this morning I realized I had forgotten a couple things I wanted to check.  It's always a good idea to sleep on it when it's a big project.  My brain sometimes seems to work better when I'm asleep than awake.  Sad, isn't it?  Anyway, I'm almost ready to do a muslin.  I think I have a suitable not-too-stretchy knit to use that will somewhat mimic the neoprene, which I don't have yet, so basically I'm guessing.  Oh well, onward and upward.

I will say I  hope you have a blessed holiday weekend, whatever holiday you're celebrating.  They're all very inter-related, which I find very nice.  I will be singing tonight at Good Friday services, and again Sunday for Easter, then having my family over for Easter Dinner.  Should be fun, especially if it stays warm.

My daffodils have recovered pretty well after being snowed on immediately after they bloomed, and the first tulip is out today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pattern Work

I'm beginning to alter the pattern for a Marfy dress I'm going to make. It's from the new 2014/15 catalog, #3507, and as soon as I saw it in the catalog,I knew I had to have it. I've been thinking if a neoprene dress since a trip to Chicago with Mardel. We saw some wonderful examples at Barney's, and when Elliott Berman had some, AND it's their 50% off birthday sale, I simply had to get the fabric. Here's the pattern as it comes,
partly unfolded,
and laid out to check.
Pattern alterations are never any fun. We would all like to just have the pattern come out of the package perfectly sized for us, ready to cut. Well, at least in my case, that's never going to happen. I will shorten above the bust, enlarge the bust, do a swayback alteration which will add a CB seam, and probably enlarge the sleeves slightly, as they are exactly my size now, with no ease. It would be okay for this fabric as is, but I think a little ease it's a good thing generally. Wish me luck! I'm trying an app that lets me blog from my phone, so I'm hoping it will mean more posts from me.

Thanks to becki-c, I now have the correct pattern illustration, too!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another "Design Opportunity". FSG#1960 Plaid

I love design opportunities, but not as much when they appear because I have made a mistake that needs to be rectified. You get a hint of the solution on the right.  The third photo will show you the problem that I fixed.  All of the photos are also at my photo site.


I naturally planned to match the plaid on this top.  I didn't think much about it, and since the most plaid I've matched were all the shirts I made for Pearle, I just used my fall-back plaid matching method, and matched the lower armscye points.  It always worked beautifully on his shirts, but as you can see in the following photo, there was a little problem when I got to the dart.  Duh.  So, now I had a design opportunity camouflaged as a mis-matched side seam.  Although something like the seam shown below would be unremarkable in a lot of RTW, it is almost unthinkable in what I make for myself. 

I think my solution is rather fun, and it was fairly simple, although the spongy knit made it tricky to do a horizontal tuck very easily.  Not like pressing a beautiful tuck in say, linen.  But with a little hand basting, it all worked out, and the side seams are fine, and the back is FUN, if I do say so myself.