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May 4, 2016

Shopping For Bouclé + "I Underestimated This Fabric Store!"



Friends, I'm not formally participating in Me-Made May since I wear me-mades almost every day.

But since it is May, just for the record, today I wore my Liberty floral shirt and Plaid Burda raincoat (above).

Moving right along, my friend Marsha (below) was in town today from Kansas City, and on her to-do list was to purchase wool bouclé for a Susan Khalje video course she has purchased, The Classic French Jacket.  We had an early lunch and then went shopping.



It may sound strange, but I actually enjoy going fabric shopping for other people more than I enjoy it for myself.  I knew Mood had an excellent selection of bouclés, so that's where I suggested going.

But first let's back up: I got to the Garment District a little early, so I decided to pop into a fabric store I often make fun of, the chaotic, disorganized, eternally-going-out-of-business It's a Material World on 39th St.  Not having been there in many months, I'd forgotten just how fun this store is. There are many bargains to be had if you know fabric, and can tell your silk and cotton from your poly.  This was one of the stores I shopped at most when I first started sewing seven years ago (and it was going out of business then), and while there are fewer $2/yd. bargains to be had, they still have a tremendous selection of $5/yd. fabrics, including some lovely cotton prints.

Here's a sample of some things that caught my eye:

Cotton patchwork: perfect for summer sewing.

Linen print

Vintage-y cotton print - nice for a shirt or dress.

Fun cotton print in a very 70's palette.

Heavy wool knit with a somewhat random patchwork design.

This large-scale "kitsch-exotica" cotton print reminds me of vintage barkcloth

Quilted lining material with batting attached --you could use this on the outside too.

There are no words...

Cotton stretch sateen: would make some wild pants!

Delicate floral cotton, very Laura Mae!

Pure poly but I love the print.

As I was looking around it occurred to me that when It's a Material World is gone -- and it ain't gonna be around forever -- I'm going to miss it terribly.  It really offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Anyway, after lunch, Marsha and I headed over to Mood and -- I was so impressed -- Marsha chose her bouclé in roughly three minutes.  I mean, who's that decisive?  Her fabric choice (below) is gorgeous, and we also picked up silk charmeuse lining which will be quilted to the wool, evidently.







Next, we went looking for trim. Not having found exactly what she wanted at Mood or Pacific, we stumbled upon an amazing store that was new to me, East Coast Trimming.  Gorgeous stuff, beautifully displayed, and excellent service.











Next time you're in the Garment District, check out East Coast Trimming.  Inspiring, whether you buy anything or not (we didn't; decisive Marsha was uncharacteristically indecisive here, but she'll be back in a few months, hopefully with her nearly completed jacket, and can choose her trim then).

And that's it.  My second-to-last Ladies Tailoring class is tonight, so I must do some last-minute prep.

Have a great day, everybody!

May 2, 2016

Things I Don't Get, Vol. 18 -- Red-Carpet Fashion Obsession



Tonight's the night, readers!

It's the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, which coincides with the opening of the Institute's latest show, "Manus X Machine: Fashion in an Age of Technology."

Apr 29, 2016

New Patterns, New Fabric, New FIT Class (Draping)!



Lots to tell today, readers!

Apr 25, 2016

Giveaway Winner + 5 BIGGEST CHALLENGES HOME SEWING FACES



First things first, friends.  The winner of last week's giveaway is....

Apr 21, 2016

My Birthday GIVEAWAY -- 1940's Draping Book!



It's my birthday today and I'm celebrating it with a giveaway!

Apr 18, 2016

Introducing the BOXTOP for Men!



Wait no longer, friends!

The revolutionary new men's garment is here.  It's called the BOXTOP, and you can see me model one right now.

Apr 16, 2016

NAME THAT PATTERN -- Now 100% Caffeine-Free!



Readers, over the years, many of you have reported experiencing sleep disturbances due to the excitement of playing MPB's exclusive pattern-naming game, NAME THAT PATTERN.

Apr 14, 2016

Best Sewing Machine Garbage Find EVER!



Readers, I know: yet another sewing machine found on the street.

I think this my sixth or seventh.  Without a doubt, it's my heaviest.  It weighs 37.5 lbs.  That's 10 lbs. more than my Bernina 930!

Apr 12, 2016

Just Don't Call It a Onesie: Making My Own "Calchemise"



If you follow me on Instagram, today's post won't come as a surprise.

Apr 10, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

Muslining a Vintage Sixties Swimsuit Pattern



I own about half a dozen vintage men's swimsuit patterns, which I've picked up over the years mainly on eBay and Etsy.

Apr 3, 2016

The State of Home Sewing 2016 -- What's Your Perspective?



If you haven't heard already, the Hancock Fabrics chain, with more than 250 stores in 39 American states, is closing.

Apr 1, 2016

My First Brand New Sewing Machine or "Hello, Kitty!"



Readers, say hello to the first brand new sewing machine I've ever purchased!

Mar 29, 2016

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