Saturday, January 16, 2016

Seattle Recap


I recently spent several days in Seattle. I was there for work, but extended my stay to include a weekend. I love Seattle and was happy to have a couple days to check out the sights. So, I have a museum and shopping report!

And yes, this is a long, photo-filled, post!

TOC:

Counter Couture Exhibit at the Bellevue Museum

I had heard about the Counter Couture exhibit in Bellevue (near Seattle), but it closed on January 10th, so I thought it unlikely that I would be able to see it. When it turned out that I would be in Seattle on its last weekend, I was thrilled. Claire, a local sewing pal, offered to pick me up from the airport and take me to the exhibit, and then to Nancy's Sewing Basket in Seattle. Yay!

What a fascinating exhibit, featuring hippie clothing from the 60s and 70s, largely originating from Haight Ashbury. I had to wonder why a San Francisco museum (hello, de Young?) has never had a similar exhibit.

The exhibit featured handmade garments, shoes, and jewelry that was painted, embroidered, crocheted, and covered with studs. It reminded me how handwork was prized in my youth (in the 70s), when creative ideas were "out there", and colors were exuberantly expressed. Some of the displayed clothing was "every day", some was created as performance wear, and some was worn by cult members. It was fun to see the early work of many wearable artists that I recognize: Yvonne Porcella, Candace Kling, Jean Cacicedo, Laurel Burch. I especially loved the studded garments by Billy Shire.

I'll share a few of my many photos.

One of Wavy Gravy's outfits, made entirely from doilies

Crochet jacket by Jean Cacicedo. You may recall that I recently made a coat using the newly released Jean Cacicedo pattern.

A painted leather jacket. (I didn't note the maker on this one.)

A painted dress

A necklace by Laurel Burch

Embroidered jacket for Merl Saunders by Nina Jean Carisi

Chrysalis Collar Eye Necklace by Alex and Lee

Denim jacket by Billy Shire, winner of the Levi denim art contest in 1973. That center piece is a car ash tray—the lid slides back and forth. That must have been a hit at a party.

The front of the jacket features a desk bell.

Detail of Billy Shire's jacket

More work by Billy Shire

Dresses by Yvonne Porcella

Whimsical shoes by "Apple Cobbler" (Mickey McGowan)

Boots and more boots by Apple Cobbler

An entire room was dedicated to the wonderful, whimsical crochet by "100% Birgitta" (Birgitta Bjerke)


Claire's Issey Miyake Coat

I also want to mention Claire, my gracious tour guide, who was sporting a piece of wearable art herself! Claire attended Design Outside the Lines in Fall 2014, the first time that Carol Lee Shanks was Diane Ericson's guest teacher. She started this coat at the retreat, using an Issey Miyake pattern. I think she used Vogue 2182, though she tells me that she had to modify it quite a bit. She finished the coat recently, just in time for this winter. She included some wonderful details, such as gathered organza trim and contrasting boucle details.

I love it!

Thanks to the museum staff, who offered to take a pic after admiring Claire's coat

Claire recommended that we lunch at The Mediterranean Kitchen and I loved their felafel plate, which is more like a felafel salad! After lunch, we drove into Seattle, heading towards a fabric store I have been wanting to visit. On the way to the Queen Anne district, Claire wanted to show me one of the best lookout points in Seattle, just above Kerry Park.

As we approached the street above Kerry Park, we saw this:

It turns out that there had just been a shooting in the park. (Pic from this story.)

So I guess I'll have to save this sight for a future visit.

Bye bye and thank you, Claire!


Seattle Fabric Shopping

Nancy's Sewing Basket

Claire and I ended our outing with a visit to Nancy's Sewing Basket. An independent fabric store in the Queen Anne district, you may have seen their booth at Puyallup. Nancy's carries a very nicely curated selection of fabrics. Here are a few fabrics that caught my eye:

Wool
They also have a nice selection of knits and sweater knits

I didn't buy anything, but Claire found a couple beautiful Japanese cottons


Stitches

On Sunday, as I was taking a long walk from the Space Needle to Pike Place Market, I stumbled across a small independent fabric store, Stitches. A cute little store, with a mix of quilting, garment, and costume fabrics, as well as a limited selection of yarn.

I would support this little store if I lived in the area. I didn't see any fabric or yarn that I needed, but I did buy some cute gift hang tags.



pirkko

Once I arrived in the area near Pike Place Market, I wanted to check out a number of shops. One of them was pirkko, Seattle's Marimekko store. They have bolts of Marimekko fabrics in the back. Nothing tempted me, but it's good to know about another resource.


District Fabric

I've mentioned visiting District Fabric in the Fremont district here and here. This store carries a nice selection of garment fabrics and is two blocks from my Seattle office, so I generally stop by when I'm in town. However, I wasn't able to visit this trip: I worked on Monday and Tuesday, and District is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Oh well, next time!

Have I seen all of the fabric stores in Seattle? Have I missed anything? What about great yarn stores?


Shopping Shopping

When visiting another city, I love to search out shops that sell interesting garments and accessories. Seattle did not disappoint!

All of these shops were in the area surrounding Pike Place Market, a shopping mecca.

Totokaelo

My first stop was a Margy recommendation, Totokaelo. This store sells gorgeous, high end clothing, shoes, and accessories, from designers like Issey Miyake, Dries Van Noten, and Commes des Garcon. I didn't stay long enough to see everything, but I saw an R13 cape that I keep thinking about.

This beautiful green and teal Issey Miyake bag was on sale, though still a bit out of my budget at $800.

Sandylew

For years now I've been following Sandylew's blog. This compact store carries brands like Comfy USA, Itemz, Spirit House, Transparente, Ronen Chen, and Stella Carakasi. Like most of the stores I visited, they were having a big January sale. I had a lot of fun trying things on, chatting with Sandy and her sales people, and enabling other customers. I ended up buying a bracelet and a pair of tattoo leggings, both of which will make an appearance at some point.


Maggie's Shoes

Next, I headed for Maggie's Shoes, Seattle's purveyor of Trippens and other European brands. Even though I was there well within their Sunday shopping hours, they were closed, with a suggestion to ring the bell. I rang the bell several times, and waited around, but finally had to move on.


Baby and Co

I came across Baby and Co as I was searching the internet for Seattle shopping places. This store carries interesting designers, like Rundholz (a favorite) and Kenzo. They are, very conveniently, directly across the street from Maggie's Shoes. By the time I arrived, it was nearing sunset. I'd walked for miles and was losing steam, but I still bought myself a hat, on sale, of course.

Did I miss any great clothing stores? I'd love to hear about it. :)


Chihuly Museum

I feel like I've saved the best for last! I put this last because it has nothing to do with sewing or wearables, but I've been wanting to go to the Chihuly Museum for ages. Many people seem to confuse the Chihuly Garden and Glass with the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, but they are quite different. I saw the Tacoma museum last year when attending Puyallup Sew Expo. It's a nice museum—my favorite exhibits were the glass sculptures made from children's drawings.

The Chihuly museum is located at the base of Seattle's Space Needle. Last year, I went to the top of the Space Needle and I got an aerial view of Chihuly's glass garden and the hall with massive windows. I had seen the Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum in 2008 and it was amazing. The Seattle museum is similar to that, but larger and more impressive.

The museum opens at 11am on Sunday and it was a perfect time to go. It just so happened that this was also during a big Seahawks vs. Cardinals game (leading up to the Superbowl), so the streets, and the museum, were deserted! What a treat to visit this museum with only a handful of other tourists! It was also a blazingly sunny weekend (really unusual at this time of year), which makes the glass glow.

Enjoy some pics!

Looking directly up at the ceiling

Looking up at the Space Needle

Who doesn't love museum gift shops? I gravitated to the children's section in the Chihuly gift shop. I was enamored with the Snooter Doots. After much dithering, I selected the Washington Cherries. Here they are, packed for the trip home.

And here they are, keeping me company in my office. They make me happy!

Finale

I wore my new Minoru every day while in Seattle. It was chilly and rained two of the four days. I love this coat! I received countless compliments on it. In fact, as I was walking along 1st Street, a group of 4 young men wearing droopy jeans, hoodies, and knit caps, passed me, going the other direction. Just as they passed, a voice emerged from the group, "Nice jacket, ma'am." It almost didn't register. I stopped, turned around and said, "THANK YOU!" One of the young men stopped, turned around, and smiled shyly.

It made my day!

In fact, I am planning on making the Minoru again for my Paris travel wardrobe.

If you've hung around this far, here are a few more pics that didn't fit up above.

Near the Chihuly Museum

Maybe it's easy to tell - I'm wearing a Marcy Tilton wide-legged pant from a long OOP pattern.

Pic taken at an outdoor grocer at Pikes Place Market. I love how the produce resembles Chihuly glass!

58 comments:

  1. This looks and sounds like a fanTASTIC trip! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I'm a frequent flyer at the Chihuly Museum. The colors are so inspirational, we are lucky to have this in Seattle.

    Next time you are in town, try Tina's on Madison. I haven't been for some time but it looks like she's still there. The hours are wonky (no website) so you need to call first.

    Glad you had a good time! Love your cherries :)

    jodi

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    1. Thanks for that recommendation, Jodi!

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  3. Wow! I had a great time on your trip! I'm NOT well traveled, and Seattle is on my bucket list. What a great time you had!

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  4. So glad you're enjoying your Seattle visits! Great photos of the Chihuly glass. Not fabric or fashion--but next time you're at Google, try Cafe Turko (practically across the street from Google) for a delicious meal. Oh, and not sure why every visitor inserts an "s" but to the locals it's Pike Place Market.

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    1. Thanks for that recommendation, Elle. I also corrected my usage of Pike Place Market. Thanks!

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  5. It was Big Fun to hang w/you when you came to Seattle! Thanks for displaying my coat, too! You're right, I started with Vogue 2182. And I'm thinking about making it again in the reversible version. And thanks for all the great home town shopping tips!!! Come back soon!!

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    1. So much fun, Claire! Thanks again and I do hope I see you soon!

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  6. A weekend full of colour! And Claire, your coat is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks! She also makes jewelry - she's got a lot of creativity, that one!

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    2. awww thanks. I like to make stuff. And I'm retired so I can spend all day every day making stuff if I want to!

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  7. Woooooow. Such eye candy you've shared! Thanks, you are a great tour guide, enabler, adventurer. I'm adding Seattlto my bucket list.

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    1. Thanks, Meg! I do hope you get there and that the weather cooperates!

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  8. Always LOVE all your tours of your shopping and other adventures! I love Seattle and Pikes Market! Would love to go back; it's been years since I visited.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'd been to Seattle several times, but never to Pike Place Market before.

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  9. Awesome! I love Chihuly too -- I saw a sculpture of his at the botanical gardens in Grand Rapids, MI a few years ago and was totally gobsmacked. (It's this, actually: https://greatlakesgazette.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/meijer_7031.jpg) Been a fan ever since.

    Also, I adore those Issey MIyake bags -- they've been on my "if I ever win the lottery" list for years.

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    1. Oh, that is so cool, duck bucket. If I ever get to Grand Rapids, I'll have to check it out! Yeah, that IM bag was half off, so it was a good deal, considering.

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  10. Love that you love Seattle, Shams! Maybe one day we will hook up for some fun fabric shopping. I think the only place you might have missed is Dry Goods - but the one time I was there they seemed to have more quilt fabrics.

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    1. Maris, I'd forgotten you were in Seattle. Maybe on a future trip we can meet up!

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  11. Such a great post...love the Chihuly, must go soon. I'm glad you had such fun!

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    1. Thanks, Margy! Yes, you would love that museum. :)

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  12. I got to go to Seattle last year, and loved it! Good thing my nephew moved there in the spring so I have another excuse to visit. He lives in Queen Anne, so I'll be near Nancy's, which looks like a great store. That black and white wool is calling my name...~Martina

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    1. Hey, Martina! Yes, that was very considerate of your nephew! Queen Anne is a great neighborhood, if a bit hilly. :) Make sure you see the lookout above Kerry Park! That black and white fabric was a knit, and it was something like rayon/spandex or viscose/spandex. I purchased some of that, long ago, from an online vendor. Maybe you can visit him during a Puyallup Sew Expo! ;)

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  13. Great post, thank you for sharing. I love the Chihuly glass! I have a small glass collection and would love to visit this one day. I'll put Seattle on my bucket list!

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    1. I really hope you get to see his work in person, Anne! And thanks!

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  14. Don't I live in a beautiful city?

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  15. I always love your long posts with lots of photos. I've been in the Chihully exhibit and took some of those same pics. The clothing exhibit was really great, glad you shared that. I live in Olympia but don't get to Seattle often so I enjoyed seeing these places. Thanks Sharon

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  16. Friends who pick you up from the airport are the BEST!!!
    Always love hearing about your adventures. Your Paris trip is going to be EPIC.

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    1. Yes, she was so sweet to offer to do that! I am really looking forward to Paris. :)

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  17. Wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Looks/sounds like you had a great time.
    Marcia

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  18. So glad that you had a great time and so sorry that I'm not going to see you at the Expo this year!

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    1. That is disappointing, Carolyn! So great that you can make it twice in 2 years!

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  19. I knew some of these artists back in the day. Mickey MacGowan had a live/work space in downtown Mill Valley he called the Unknown Museum, with the flat rooftop edged with dead TV sets (later this space became a Smith and Hawkin, have no idea what it might be today, but precious real estate). Brigitte had a shop on Bridgeway, lived behind it, I bought one of her crochet pieces, a little bra thing-y with a doily hung over the tummy....this lead me to crochet my own versions including 2 piece bathing suits. What a great exhibition and trip down memory lane! The book to find that has similar work is called Native American Funk and Flash, Jean's husband David was one of the photographers along with Barry Shapiro who was married to Janet Lipkin, another amazing artist.

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    1. I love hearing your stories, Marcy! I completely missed out on Mickey and Brigitte at the time. Both of their artwork is so much fun!

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  20. If you ever think of going back, try seeing the Chihuly Garden and Glass both in the daytime and nightime...both different and wonderful. We, also , were part of a tour of Chihuly's Boathouse. Absolutely amazing.
    I have the actual Levi Book of pictures of alot of contestants in that contest. That I still have it, shows how much I love this book.

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    1. Nancy, I had hoped to return to Chihuly that evening! But I was just so pooped. I would love to see it during sunset. I'll be going back to Seattle, so maybe I can swing it. That book sounds amazing.

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  21. Thank you so much for the photos of the Birgitte crochet works; I was exhausted with happy at that point and came home without those.

    I am very proud of my home town's fiber story, and another to seek is Our Fabric Stash (http://www.ourfabricstash.com/). They started as a weekend swap in one of the old Navy buildings and are currently in the Pike market, and from my one trip to them way back when, I know I do not possess enough resistance or cash. A great idea, done right.

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    1. PS; I spent happy hours in my teens with the first edition of Native Funk and Flash, which a section of the show represents. There's a website for it, go check it out. Bonus info: same designer as co founder of Folkwear Patterns.

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    2. Thanks for this bounty of info, SJ! I will also look for that Native Funk and flash website.

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  22. Your photography for this trip is absolutely exquisite! (As usual, of course.) Seeing all those unusual and fabulous fabrics, shops, and exhibits just makes me want to go create, create, create. How in the world do you cope with the sensory overload? Cindy, Creative Hormone Rush

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    1. Cindy, I do suffer from sensory overload at times! It's one reason I didn't stay longer in Totokaelo. I OD'd on the rush of wonderful ideas.

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  23. Well, you did warn us there were lots of pictures!! Thanks so much for sharing, I enjoyed every one. The art clothing exhibition must have been absolutely wonderful, I wish I could go to things like that; such beautiful and inspiring creations!!

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I often feel the same when I read your blog - I see so many wonderful things in Australia and on your travels!

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  24. I love your photos of the counter culture exhibit! Takes me back to my youth.

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  25. Wow. The photos! The stories! What a great post--thanks for sharing your trip with us (particularly those of us in rural areas so far from the city). Sounds like a wonderful time. :)

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  26. This post was so much fun to read and the pictures were definite eye candy. Thanks!

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  27. I'll also chime in for Drygoods Design. I know that your Seattle office is in Fremont--an easy way to get to Drygoods from there is to take the 26, 28, or 40 bus--it's a straight shot down to Pioneer Square with no transfers.

    I assume that while you've been in Fremont, you've visited/sampled Theo Chocolates? ;)

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    1. Oooh, thanks for this info, Michelle! I love the Seattle bus system and used it heavily on this trip! The Orca card is exactly like the Clipper card used for transit all over the bay area. Yes, I went to Theo chocolates on my first visit to Seattle a couple years ago. My colleague, Kathy, always stops by Theo's. But I don't eat sugar anymore, so I've not been back. :)

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  28. Wow! That sounds like a fun trip! Wish I'd gone to that show. It looked really fun. If you ever happen to be in Portland, OR, we have a bunch of fabric stores. and a nice museum but no Chihuly. Well, sortof. A few years back we were lucky to have a big Chihuly exhibit at our museum. I love his work. Have you been to Vegas and seen the ceiling at the Bellagio hotel? All chihuly glass. Just gorgeous.

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  29. Cool glass, fruit and architecture. I'm not such a fan of the 'wearable art', as you said it's all a bit 70s...I noticed a very Zandra Rhodes/Bill Gibb vibe there. Must have been a great hol though. Lovely!

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