Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Top, New Pants, and New York!


The Rei Kawakubo exhibit at the Met

On a random street in NYC

Hola!

Since my last post, I've sewn a couple things, and I've traveled a bit. Just a few days after returning from Italy, I went to Seattle for work. About a week after that, I went to NYC, meeting up with Kathryn Brenne. I also spent a morning with Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic.

I'm glad to be back! All this running around tired me out and I caught a virus. I haven't been sewing as much as I'd like, but I did make a top and a pair of pants. I also had a dress made in New York City.

Contents


Elliott Berman Fabric Top

If you are on Facebook, you may have liked the Elliott Berman Textiles page. Every Thursday they post a #fabriclove post. If you've liked their page, liking the post enters you into a drawing—the winners are announced on Friday. Winners are sent 3 or 4 yards of fabric, usually two different pieces. The fabrics received are a mystery—you don't choose them.

I won the Friday before I left for Italy. The fabrics arrived while I was away and consisted of two pieces: a) two yards of a beautiful lightweight rayon challis border print and, b) two yards of a viscose/lycra knit. Actually, the rayon challis is a double border print as the same border appears along each selvedge.

I thought it would be fun to sew up the fabric and wear it when visiting Elliott Berman in NYC. I used a TnT pattern that I've made twice before, McCalls 7194. This top has only 4 seams, so most of my time was spent finishing the neck and armholes with self-made bias tape and finishing the teeny tiny hems.

For my visit to Elliott Berman, I met up with Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. She seems to enjoy watching me spend money in the garment district. ;)

As soon as I walked into their warehouse, the owner and the manager almost simultaneously exclaimed, "I like your top! Great fabric!" They recognized it immediately.

The good folks at Elliott Berman: Mathew and Eugenie

Melissa Watson posted a blog post a few days ago about her mom's (Patti Palmer's) summer sewing. I noticed that her mom had the same fabric as my Elliott Berman rayon challis, but in a pink color way!


Copying RTW Pants

Before I went to Italy, I bought a wonderful pair of drapey stretch crepe pants from Simply Bella. I loved wearing these pants in the hot, humid weather of Italy and NYC. I especially liked the full leg, which tapers at the ankle.

I decided to trace them off and make a pattern.

Once I'd made the pattern, I dove into my considerable stash to look for a drapey stretch woven fabric.

I came up with nothing. Drapey stretch wovens are something of a unicorn fabric. This pant really sings in a drapey stretch crepe, but I wanted to test out the pattern, so I sewed them up in a ponte. This pair will be fine in the cooler climate of San Francisco, but I'm still on the lookout for a drapey stretch woven or two.

Unfortunately, some of my pics have sun spots

I used up my stash of black ponte on these pants, which was well-timed, because I bought more in NYC.


A Custom-Made Dress by Martina Dietrich Couture

I did something in New York that was rather foreign to me, but lots of fun. I had a dress custom made!

Originally from Germany, Martina Dietrich spent many years working as a designer in Italy and Paris, and has now built a custom business in NYC. I wasn't sure what to expect when Kathryn and I visited her studio, but the process of having her make me a dress was a fabulous. She is a total delight.

I love my dress, especially the flutter sleeves! One of her trademarks is incorporating orange into her designs, even if it's just the exposed seams and bindings. I wasn't sure about the orange when I first saw her collection, but I now love it!

You can read more about Martina here, and you can follow her on Instagram. As you'll see on her Instagram feed, she hangs out with some of the Advanced Style ladies.


Antonio Marras Garments

When I blogged my Antonio Marras presentation, I said I'd bought some pieces at his high-concept store in Milan. I promised photos.

I finally took pics of both pieces: a jacket and a cardigan. I've worn the jacket quite a few times and I love it. I haven't yet worn the cardigan, but I'm sure I will this fall.

The print features Marras' artwork—his interpretation of camouflage—it's a beautiful woodland scene. When I wore this to work recently, my colleague took one look at my jacket, burst out laughing, and said, "Blinged up camouflage?" My response was a delighted, "You GET it!!!" The right front of the jacket features an applique from the same fabric, embroidered with beads and sequins.

My second piece is a shibori-dyed knit cardigan. I first took pics with my new pants, and then I took pics with slim-legged pants. I think it's interesting to see both, though I generally prefer a slim-legged look with a long cardigan or jacket.

Full-legged pants

Slim-legged pants

Full-legged pants

Slim-legged pants


New York 2017

I'm not going to write a separate post about my visit to NYC, but here are a few pics. Enjoy!

Carolyn and I in Kashi's (Metro Textiles)

The black ponte had a hole!

Measuring my silk

With Kashi

Kathryn and I visited the Cydwoq store.

Wearing my first pair of Cydwoq shoes and a necklace made by Martina Dietrich in front of the colorful Fluevog store

Closeup of the shoes

Meow

We visited the Rei Kawakubo exhibit at the Met

The Irving Penn exhibit, also at the Met, was wonderful. Here is one of Irving Penn's original backdrops. A woman behind me offered to take my pic, then told me that she is a portrait photographer by profession.

We saw Hello, Dolly. It was amazing!!

We met Dayle at the Museum of Art and Design where we saw three wearable-themed exhibits. You can follow Dayle on Instagram, as well as Kathryn!

The first exhibit at MAD, Counter Couture, features hippie clothing from Haight Ashbury in the 60s and 70s. I first saw this a year ago in Bellevue, Washington. It's ironic that this exhibit seems to be going everywhere except San Francisco!

Also from Counter Couture

Next we saw an exhibit about the future of fashion, including the mix of technology with fashion. This exhibit of interchangeable sleeves, conceptualized and made by Lucy Jones, is for people who are seated, such as people in wheelchairs. (Though even standing people usually have bent arms, so it's rather universal.)

The third exhibit features purses by Judith Lieber. This is the last purse she made before retiring in 2004


That's it for now. I have other sewing projects in the works. I have work deadlines looming. More fabric has arrived from NYC (most places are happy to ship it home). I have a blog post about Italy started. I've even booked some upcoming trips. In fact, I've signed up for Kathryn Brenne's trip to London in March 2018. It's a one-week tour—this trip has no sewing component. I think she still has one or two spaces left, so contact her if you are interested!

On a sad note, Lucy Spector, founder of Britex fabrics, has passed. Her daughter, Sharman Spector, still runs the store. You can read more on SFGate. My condolences and best wishes to Sharman and her family.

Please join me on Patti's Visible Monday! You can also follow Patti on Instagram.

46 comments:

  1. You have been a busy girl. Fun to get new clothes, especially the dress made just for you by someone else. Lovely design.

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  2. Glad to read about these exhibits. It's always a treat to read your stories. Thank you!

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  3. Always look forward to your posts and what you have been up to--this one was marvelous! Thanks for sharing; it's always a treat for me since I don't get to travel. Those pants are wonderful. I'm been thinking of sewing one of S Betzina pant patterns that has a similar leg (probably not as full) even tho it seems to be out of my comfort zone, LOL. Time to try new things!!

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    1. Do you mean Sandra's Harem Pants, Linda? I've made that pattern several times, and I've seen them on many sewing friends. They are universally flattering!

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    2. The pant from 1355 is what I'm thinking about. These do look like harem pants. Don't know if she had another pattern I'm not aware of. Pretty sure I'll give them a try. Thanks

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    3. YES! These are FABULOUS pants! I've made them 2 or 3 times and they've been very popular with my local sewing group. I even posted a pic in Italy of a pair that Ann Smith made from a Marcy Tilton fabric. I think I was the first person to make them from a woven, which works so long as you make sure the ankle opening works. You can see my first pair here: http://communingwithfabric.blogspot.com/2015/09/harem-pants.html You can see Ann Smith's pair here (posted on my Instagram acct): https://www.instagram.com/p/BVA_fF9gxo7/

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    4. Thanks so much for the link to Ann's pants. I have that same Marcy fabric in the navy colorway--never would have thought to use it for pants; her's are perfect, tho! Now to go back a re-read you post on your first pair. Thanks!

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    5. Yes! I have the same fabric in navy and black, also from Marcy. I told Ann, after I saw those pants, that now I can't see that fabric in any other way! Though I also like how Manuela used it: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWj4TvtgDCj/?taken-by=manuela_in_hong_kong Not sure what I'm doing with it, yet...

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  4. Just fabulous as always! I really like the fuller pants on you...they have the airy floaty look of a designer skirt and really balance out the drape tops (I am surprised that I think this and am going to try some flowy pants/tops on myself!)

    I REALLY love all your jewelry . Seems like you have a standout piece to go with every outfit lately! Are any made by you? Also how do you store them?

    I am loving following your blog/pics lately....seems like you have refined your "look" to a new level...and glad to see you wearing them to work! Sew on!

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    1. It's so good to hear from you, Peggy! In this post, I made the necklace I'm wearing when I visit Elliot Berman and Kashi's. I have a wall in my house full of command-strip hooks. I hang my necklaces in plain view. :) Thanks for your kind words!

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  5. I love, love your new glasses - they make your face look animated! As always your new garments - sewn by you, RTW, and made for you - are so stylish. When visiting the garment district in NYC I visit the post office around the corner from Mood and mail fabric home in their priority boxes with no weight requirements. Some times I have to go there a couple times to mail all my treasures. Karen

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I had my glasses made in Florence. I had quite a bit sent home. Ponte is very bulky. ;)

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    2. Karen - you don't have to do that. Places like Metro and Elliott Berman will combine purchases and ship for you. I think that's alot easier and gives you more time to shop!

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    3. YES! I would throw purchases from one store into the box at another. They were fabulous about it.

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  6. For a drapey stretch woven, take a look at the Matte Hybrid fabric at EmmaOneSock. It's dreamy. (NAYY)

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    1. Thanks, splainer. I've considered that one (Margy is a huge fan and Linda has lots of colors). I may try it but I am also hoping to find a print.

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  7. Fabulous post about your fabulous adventures! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Those black pants look wonderful on you! I usually like a long cardigan with narrow pants too but in this case....I don't know, it looks equally great with the fuller cut as well. It may look a teeny bit more dressy with the full pants? Nice to know you could wear it during the day with a knit top and narrow pants then at night with a sparkly top and wide legs. That dress! Honestly I think that is the most flattering dress I've seen on anyone in a long time. It really suits your figure. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and there are more adventures ahead...I live through you since I can't get around much anymore and I live for gorgeous fabrics and wonderful patterns. Please keep your pictures coming!

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I liked the cardigan with the fuller leg more than I expected. Thanks so much for your kind words on the dress! It was such a treat to select the design from her rack of clothes, comb through her shelves for two coordinating fabrics, and have HER do all the fitting work!!! We met with her 3 times, the second for a fitting, and the third when she delivered the garments. She really is lovely!

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  9. You crammed a lot into five days! It was great to spend the morning with you at two of my fave shops. And it is fun to watch you decide what to buy? Also it gives my wallet a rest! *LOL* Can't wait to see what comes out of your sewing machine now that you're back home and creating!

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    1. Yes, it was run, run, run, but so fun! It was great to see you!

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  10. I love how they put hair on the mannequins at the Met exhibit, so often those shows have plain heads and the wild hairstyles adds so much. What a fun summer you are having!! that fabric you won is beautiful and you made a really pretty top with it. Hope you catch up on your rest and feel 100%. also that portrait photo is fantastic.

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    1. Yes, those mannequins were fascinating. I think you saw the Met exhibit last year, right? This one was smaller, but fascinating.

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  11. What a "rich" post! Your life is so busy with all your trips and all your purchases, as Carolyn said, it's fun to watch you and it gives my wallet a rest!
    How fun to have a dress made for you...as sewers, I think we appreciate that more than many!

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    1. Thanks, Margy! We'll have to give your wallet a workout when you come visit. ;) You are so right about appreciating it more when someone else sews for you, especially when she has mad skillz.

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  12. So much beauty packed into one post. Thanks!

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  13. What a treat to see all your pictures! Thank-you for sharing.
    And I love all your new clothes!

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  14. So many beautiful textiles, Shams! And I enjoyed knowing of your wonderful travels.

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  15. What wonderful adventures you have. Pretty stunning materials - you've got some gorgeous pieces and fab necklaces. Jacqui
    www.mummabstylish.com

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  16. Love reading about your adventures - they always make my day! You're so buzy, some day you must tell us how you manage everything you do! It's amazing. My only sewing for the last few weeks has been work - a few fairies, an ogre, some corsets, bodices, and victorian underware. Just theatre! I absolutely love that tunic - the fabric colorway is divine, no wonder they noticed you right away! And enjoy those Cydwoq shoes - my theory is its always all about the shoes!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Yes, the shoes are so important! Your theaterical sewing sounds like a lot of fun!

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  17. Cydwoq has its grip on you now! Luckily easier to source than Trippen, and this means you need to venture south to Burbank to see the source.
    No pressure! As ever, thanks for going on the vacation for me!

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    1. LOL. Thanks, SJ! You are right, Cydwoq is easier to source, but I think that Trippens do fit me better. (Cydwoq are a bit narrow.)

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  18. Please, please do a post on your fabulous necklace that you wore at a Elliot Berman!

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    1. I did, byginny! You can read about the necklace workshop I took here: http://communingwithfabric.blogspot.com/2017/03/paisley-blue-silk-chiffon-duster-more.html#necklace-workshop I have pictures of that top with two different necklaces. In NYC I was wearing the necklace I made and at home I was wearing a necklace I bought. If you're thinking about the necklace with all the "strings" hanging down from the bobbles, that is a Teresa Goodall necklace that I purchased. You can find her through her website: http://www.teresagoodall.net/ or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Teresa-Goodall-Jewelry-193933710629596/

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  19. Dear Shams,
    Thank you for these wonderful glimpses of art and fashion. My palette is bland and I'm realizing I'm more of a dressmaker/tailor who can sew a good seam, rather than a cutting-edge artiste. Love the inspiration you provide and I'll continue to push forward with an artsy, wearable wardrobe in mind.

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    1. Thanks, Calico! I've gotten more adventurous as I've gone along. I have a lot of fun with my clothing and don't really care if I stand out. I do live in San Francisco, but most people seem to be the jeans and tee shirt sort. :)

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  20. Hi Shams - I love love love your blog! Heading to NYC next week and thinking about checking out Metro Textiles instead of my typical visit to Mood. What did you think of the Met exhibit? Going there too! Thx for all your inspiration- Liz

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    1. Hi Liz! Thanks! Mood and Metro are really different. I visited both. :) Metro is a jobber, meaning they get leftover fabrics from manufacturers. You can find treasures, and great deals, but it is not a consistent buying experience. I say, do both. ;) Be aware that Metro is not at ground level, with no signage until you get off the elevator, so make sure you have the address and floor number. Enjoy!

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