Sunday, November 27, 2016

Meeting Kathryn Brenne & Other Stuff


Meeting Kathryn Brenne

Kathryn Brenne is one of those sewing luminaries that, until recently, I hadn't met. She designs patterns for Vogue, writes articles for Vogue Pattern Magazine, Threads Magazine, and EmmaOneSock, and runs a sewing school. (A real underachiever, this one.)

She was recently in the Bay Area giving a talk and some workshops for PenWAG. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend her talk because I was still in Paris, but she contacted me and we arranged to meet up on Saturday, just a few days after I returned.

We met for coffee and then spent the entire day together and, OMG, she is a total delight!

It was a rare rainy day, and we started at Cumaica, a coffee shop in the Richmond district

We spent the day shopping for fabric and clothing, eating, and visiting a museum. (More on the museum in the next section.) I also learned that she, too, leads trips to Europe! She has led trips to Paris in the past, but has been leading trips to London in the last few years.

While shopping, I found a new hat...

...and a fun pullover

In fact, Kathryn just announced a trip to London early in 2017, London Couture in the Country. I told her I'd love to take a trip like this minus the sewing component. If you are also interested in a trip to London with Kathryn, minus the sewing school, let her know!

Yes, a completely self serving plea. ;)

Museum of Craft and Design

Kathryn had heard about a Marianne Lettieri exhibit, Marianne Lettieri: Reflections, at the Museum of Craft and Design. I had never even heard of the Museum of Craft and Design, but I was game to check it out. This small museum is located in Dogpatch, an area in the south-eastern part of San Francisco.

In this exhibit, Lettieri focuses on repurposing collections of objects that "reflect domestic objects and homemaking." It is not a large exhibit, but it featured some intriguing work. I particularly loved her pincushion "window" and her crocheted doily "wall sconce".

Rose Window, 2012
Plywood, plaster, muslin, hand-etched mirrors, 100 used pincushions

Concupiscence, 2013
Birch wood, found crochet work

This piece was over 6 feet high

Art of Manliness, 2016
100 old tools, sisal fibers, red string unravelled from a rug

27,000 Breaths, 2014
Sewing machine, table, 27,000 inches of fabric, thread, canvas

What she calls fabric is actually red twill tape

The Sisters of Biscuits and Pies, 2014
24 used rolling pins, dishtowels, buttons, twill

Besides the Marianne Lettieri exhibit, there were some other wonderful pieces in the museum. For example, there were several carved books by Guy Laramée.

Histoire de l'art by Guy Laramée, 2012
Carved book

It's actually two carved books! The pages were not glued together

There was a gorgeous tapestry by Don and Era Farnsworth.

Alluvion by Don and Era Farnsworth, 2005
Belgian cotton tapestry

Thanks to Kathryn Brenne for introducing me to a new resource in my own city!

Member in Focus

I thought I had blogged about this but I searched the blog and couldn't find it.

I was profiled as the Member in Focus on Pattern Review for October.

It was an honor!

You can also check out all of the Member In Focus posts here.

Fashion Fund, Season 3

I've blogged before about one of my favorite TV shows, The Fashion Fund.

The Fashion Fund profiles the annual competition held by the CFDA (The Council of Fashion Designers of America) and Vogue Magazine to ferret out the best upcoming fashion designers in the U.S. The winners are given a large cash award and mentorship to help develop their business. This award was conceived by Anna Wintour (editor in chief for Vogue Magazine) and Diane von Furstenburg (president of the CFDA).

I love this series because it is not "reality TV", per se. It's more of a documentary series about the process. They choose 10 designers and put them through a several month series of challenges. It is not an elimination competition—all ten designers remain for the entire process. At the end, the winners are awarded a large cash prize and mentorship. Some amazing American designers, like Alexander Wang, Rodarte, and others have been helped by this award.

Seasons 1 and 2 were televised on the Ovation channel, but Fashion Fund, Season 3 was purchased by Amazon Prime. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch this show for free. Season 4 has also been purchased by Amazon and will be available in January 2017.


I was so excited when I realized that it was on Amazon Prime! I binge watched the entire season over the Thanksgiving break.

I should mention another good series on Amazon Prime that I've been watching, Videofashon Designers, Season 1. Each episode highlights a designer, giving a retrospective of past and recent work. I highly recommend it!


I'm sorry that this post had no sewing, but I spent the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend mostly sewing! I've been working on a Britex project using a gorgeous wool plaid. It's finished, but not yet blogged.

A gorgeous wool plaid from Britex

I hope those of you who celebrate had a lovely Thanksgiving! Since returning from Paris I've been recovering from bronchitis, so besides sewing, I've been resting and trying to kick this thing. I've been tired and horribly congested, but am slowly getting better. In fact, I didn't eat a thing on Thanksgiving—I just wasn't hungry. My kids celebrated with the other side of the family and I love the pics that their cousin shared!

DD1 and DD2

DD2 was visiting from university in Canada for Thanksgiving and we had dinner on a rainy evening in San Francisco

I hope you have a great week! Please join me on Patti's Visible Monday.