Friday, April 13, 2012

A Meetup with Luz Clara!

The sewers in their native habitat, Fabrix

Luz Clara, a blog follower and friend from Stitcher's Guild, was in town recently. Actually, she was in town last summer and we hoped to meet up, but it was the first week in my job of 12 years where I had to go into work every day for long hours, so it didn't work out. I was determined that we should make it work this time around! In fact, both daughters had asked separately if they could get together with me the same day, but I said no!!

We met for lunch at Squat and Gobble, one of my favorite local eateries. After a long, leisurely lunch (she is so easy to talk to!), we headed to Fabrix. I hadn't been there in a couple months and we both found a tidbit or two, as you can see from our bags in the top photo.

Afterward, we decided to visit Japantown. I hadn't visited the bookstore, Kinokuniya, in quite a while — they have a very good sewing and craft section. I bought one of the latest Japanese sewing magazines as well as a book on Shibori dyeing. In fact, the skirt I wore is a version of shibori. I did a little shibori dying about 20 years ago and would love to try it again — particularly now that I have a new clothes dryer and can do my own laundry once more.

Luz Clara also found a book and then we visited the incredibly cute Kunikuniya stationary store. For lunch I had a delicious Greek Crepe, but we both decided that we needed a Japanese ice cream crepe from Sophie's Crepes for dessert. The freshly made crepe was still warm and filled with Mocha Java chip ice cream. Yummmmm.... I really blew my dairy-free, gluten-free, lifestyle that day. ;)

It was so much fun to hang with Luz Clara! She is a fascinating person who makes jewelry, speaks Spanish and American sign language, and is incredibly well traveled — we talked for hours. She gifted me with a gorgeous piece of wool challis from Paris as well as a very cute medal from a Paris flea market. Thanks so much, Luz Clara, and I hope we get to do it again!

The Garment Formerly Known as Tablecloth Skirt

In early February, Rhonda (of Rhonda's Creative Life) posted a picture of a piece of fabric that a friend had gifted to her. This friend had purchased the fabric in Africa — it was a cotton jacquard that had been tie dyed with indigo and kola nut dyes. I drooled all over it, and Rhonda generously gifted it to me.

The first thing to do was to follow the instructions on the handwritten label and give the fabric a vinegar soak to set the dye. I used the bathtub and an entire bottle of white vinegar to give the fabric two soakings. What surprised me was that the water turned quite brown, both times — I had expected the indigo blue to bleed, but it was the kola nut brown. After two soakings, each followed by a thorough rinsing, I machine washed and dried the fabric. Afterward, I thought the fabric looked very much the same as before, the blues and browns didn't visibly change, so it truly was "extra" dye remaining in the fabric.

Rhonda approved of my idea of sewing the fabric into my tablecloth skirt. In fact, several weeks ago she asked me to write a guest post on her blog about the skirt for Fabulous Free Pattern Friday, which was posted today.

For this version of the skirt, I cut the center square a bit larger, so the resulting rectangles are a bit more narrow. The larger the center square, the fuller the skirt and the larger the hemline. The corners are less pronounced.

I am really going to enjoy wearing this version of the skirt, so many thanks again for this thoughtful gift, Rhonda! Again, check out Rhonda's blog for my guest post with details on how to sew the garment-formerly-known-as-the-tablecloth-skirt. (Too many people assume that this skirt is made from a tablecloth, so I do regret that name.)

More Pictures