Saturday, January 23, 2016

NY, Snow, and Mood

This beautiful art piece welcomed us at the airport.

It was nice and sunny the first day. We aren't here purely for vacation. We had some 'business' to take care of.  We were hoping to catch a show or two if we had time in the evening. Love musicals.  Nothing else was in my plan. Shopping? Forget it. Fabric shopping? No, not this time. No time. 
Our 'business' took us to an area where I began seeing lots of fabric stores...... then I realized that we were just a block from the heart of the garment district! Our appointment ended an hour early. So, off I went.  Saw several shops. Paron Fabrics was one of them.  Bolts and bolts of fabrics.

I thought I'd just check one more place. Mood Fabrics. What kind of a sewist am I if I don't even visit Mood while in NY?

This cutie greeted us at the door.

Again, and as expected, bolts and bolts of fabrics. But here, everything was organized and categorized.  Floors of fabrics.

Since I came here with no plans whatsoever, I headed for knits, that is my go-to fabric. Love to sew and wear knits. Well, there wasn't a knit section.  There was the wool knit section, rayon knit section, poly knit section, etc. all on separate floors!

These are not knits.  Beautiful wool blend woven. I really loved the brown/black dots fabric. But since I didn't have any plans for it, I left it behind.

Exercising extreme self-control, I came out Mood with only two pieces of fabric.

Mmmmm, these colors are just not right.  Gray rayon ponte in front, and black/purple textured wool/poly blend knit, more like a sweater knit.

The color is closer to this one here. Dark black with purple. I'd love to make a tunic with this.

And, rayon ponte. It's more charcoal grey than the photo. It really is yummy. I plan on making pants, much like Style Arc Linda. 

We had another appointment today in the same area, so I almost didn't buy any fabric, thinking I'd return today. Then again, I remembered my old rule in shopping while traveling -- Trust your gut feeling.  Get it when you see it. I'm so glad I did! Because.....

Here is today!

Can't believe it snowed this much! Last time I saw this much snow was when I was on a mountain skiing. And, it's not stopping.

My underdressed son - he's plenty warm with wool clothing but no shell for wind and snow! - (well, I did warn him that there was snow forecast when he was packing, but you know about teenagers and jackets), but the umbrella came in VERY handy.

Broadway is shut down, there is a travel ban in the city, subway is running on a limited schedule. We did make it to the appointment (Wow!) But we had to bag our plan to go to the Chelsea market or to a museum to see Klimt, or to see a show. Nothing stayed open anyway. Instead, we hurried home after the appointment.

Our flight home tomorrow is canceled. Brooklyn Tabernacle canceled their services tomorrow morning. (Any choir fans out there? Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is beyond awesome. My choir sings their songs occasionally, so I was looking forward to hearing them live. Aw, so sad.)

So glad I brought my new knitting project. I didn't get started on my flight over, so I shall now. Besides, I got to write a blog post.  It has been, how many months?! (Life...)  If you live in the northeast US, stay warm and have a wonderful snowed-in sewing and knitting time.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cardi McCall's 6844, V. 3

It's McCall's 6844 again. Third time I made this pattern. The version 1 I made was a light weight sweater knit, and I wear it quite often.  This one is a light weight silk blend sweater knit.
The length is between A and B on the pattern.  I took the usual 2" waist petite adjustment, and cut the hem on the line for B, then shortened it to my liking.  I omitted the interfacing on the collar this time.

I made it to go with my M6559 dress.  Since it's a silk blend, it's perfect for cool evening breeze of the Pacific Northwest summer and early fall days. 

Turn the collar inside for a bit different look.

In retrospect, I think it looks better with a t-shirt and jeans. Like my other versions (there is actually an unblogged V. 2), this one is going to get a lot of wear. Love the feel of the silk blend in the fabric, and how it hangs casually.

Think it's perfect with this RTW top. 

Happy sewing. 

Chocolate Ice Cream Bonbons Summer Dress M 6559

This is my 3rd version of McCall's 6559 dress. This time, in shorter length.

The last maxi version I made, the neckline stretched and got lower and lower as I wore it. On this one, I raised the neckline by 1.5" and widened each shoulder by 3/8". I just wanted to feel a little more secure wearing this version as I planned to wear for work.

As always, 2" petite adjustment at the waist, added the 2" I took there to the hem.  As with the last maxi version, I cut size 8 but graded it to size 10 from the waist to hip and down. It is just a bit more comfortable from lower ab and hip area. I think this gives cleaner silhouette, too.

I wore it for work, indeed, with this vintage butter cream colored silk jacket.

I took it to Japan this sumner. 

And wore it with a short black cotton eyelet jacket. (RTW)

Made with a light weight knit from Marcy Tilton's. I got this fabric at this year's Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup. This fabric is so smooth, soft, and I love the color combination of the chocolate brown and the cream polka dots. Perhaps a little lighter than you'd want the dress to be, but in the middle of unusually hot summer, I actually appreciated the light weight dress.

I think that the 3/8" wider shoulder worked out very well for me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

McCall's 6559 Summer Dress - Maxi

I know. Everyone is wearing one of these, and I know why now. It is so comfortable. It's McCall's 6559

I made this with cotton/poly blend knit. It feels very nice against my skin. I stay cool in this dress during this unusually hot summer in Seattle. 

Stripes matchy-matched pretty nicely. I'm very happy with this dress. 

This is actually the version 2 that I made of this pattern. I considered the v. 1 (unblogged)  as a wearable muslin and it was a shorter length version.  For this v. 2, I graded size 8 to size 10 from the waist down. I wanted to make a loose fitting, cool summer maxi. Took my usual 2" petite adjustment for the waist height. The whole thing came together very easily and quickly.
Love this pattern, and I already made the v. 3.  I'd say, however, that the neckline is a bit too deep especially if your choice of fabric is a light weight jersey. It stretches and the neck line gets lower, and lower.  Something to think about.  I've made an adjustment on my v. 3 which I will blog about soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fabric Shopping in Japan (Osaka)

First, I thought I'd show you the pretty Chirimen and Chirimen-like fabrics. They look SO Japan, right? Typical fabric designs for traditional Kimono....  Beautiful.  But that isn't all they have, of course.  Go on.

This is Ebisubashi-suji in Osaka.  Ebisubashi-suji continues on to Shinsaibashi-suji, this is just one looooong covered street of shops, shops, and more shops of all sorts. Lots of people, both local and tourist shoppers!

The fabric shop, Toraya, is located closer to Namba although you can say it's between Namba and Shinsaibashi on subway Midosuji line. If you are ever there, I'd recommend you get off at Shinsaibashi, and start walking toward the direction of Namba, enjoy window (or real!) shopping along the way.

You'll eventually find Toraya. It's located at a corner of, I don't know what that street is called but it is on Ebisubashi-suji. You can't miss it if you keep walking straight from Shinsaibashi station.

This two-story shop is full of fabrics.  Most made in Japan, with exceptions of Indonesian batik, and some Indian cotton, some Chinese wool blends, Italian, French, and some Swiss made fabrics.

On the ground floor, you see this type of arrangement.

All sorts. Cotton, wool, silk, rayon, poly, gauze, linen; woven & knit, everything. They were doing the summer sale, so, many light weight fabrics were discounted.

"These are all samples. Please do not remove the fabrics, but just get an attention from store staff. We will cut a minimum of 50 cm [that's about 20" or half a yard], and in 10 cm increments"

Quilted cotton. Grade school children often have a bag made of fun pattern quilted cotton to carry gym clothes and other things that don't fit in their regular "Randoseru"

Pretty, pretty.  Partly due to the horrifyingly humid and hot summer in Japan, I was mainly interested in cotton woven this time.  (Besides, the quality of Japanese cotton -- you know.)

Fabulous quality cotton, from about $4.50/meter, 45" wide.

I stood in front of this bunch for a long time, and touched many of these, trying to decide which one I want to go home with!

Wool. Some of these are made in China.

I told you. Summer fabrics were very attractive to me.

Upstairs, they had finer fabrics. (Although there were plenty of FINE fabrics downstairs!)
Yuwa's cotton and cotton/silk. These are all made in Japan. On Yuwa website, they sell fabric in 10 cm increments!

So fun. So pretty.

I wanted them all.

I stood in front of this rack, pulled the red one off the rack, draping it on me in front of a mirror several times, in fact.  I decided not to get it this time : (

When you know what you want to buy, you talk to a store staff.  She or he will come to you and snip two small pieces of the fabric you want.

And attach the piece onto two separate slips, one for you to keep and give to the cashier when you are done shopping, and the other slip with the sample piece is sent in a tube (think drive through banking) that gets shot up through a long tube to the "warehouse" where the fabric is cut to the length you specify.

Here are the pieces I bought. All quilting type cotton but a little thicker and bit more stable than what you'd typically see in the US as quilting cotton.

Then, there's this outside the store. Pre-cut fabrics, most at discount. Reminiscent of my fabric shopping in Paris last year.

There was also a small stack of pre-cut stuff upstairs in the finer fabrics section.  I picked up this beautiful light weight linen.

I'd better get busy and sew more.  Before the summer is gone.  All these summer fabrics!

Osaka has a textile wholesale district called Semba. Most shops now sell to consumers directly as well as their wholesale business.  Unfortunately, my time in Osaka this time was very limited and I wasn't able to make it there. (Next time, for sure) Below, some links for fabric shopping in Japan.

Tokyo's Nippori textile district
Osaka's Semba Center Building (wholesale/retail fabric district)
Toraya (Osaka)
Yuzawaya (Many locations - a big chain of beautiful stores)

Have you gone fabric shopping in Japan? If you have, which stores did you go?