1960s revisit

Last year Kyle and I bought this fabric at Elliott Berman in New York. 

Hopefully you’ve read Kyle’s epic skirt posts. They’re really detailed and quite helpful.
The neckline has piping and I’ve used a grey zipper.
The pattern Simplicity 2154 is one we both chose without knowing it. Minerva Crafts UK supplied the pattern for my April project.

Kyle’s skirt posts are now my reference point for the pencil skirt so I made a test version using a fabric remnant from Pitt Trading

This fabric has great wool content and Kyle’s allergic to wool so you can follow her techniques if you’re also allergic to wool.

I find wool irritating so I followed Kyle’s advice.

This skirt and jacket are made using Simplicity 2154.

This fabric has no stretch to it but I love the colours in it because they brighten up Winter grey. 

I used a quilting foot on my sewing machine to baste the lining to the fabric but not adding lining.
I used white thread for the inside and grey thread for the outside of the jacket. None of this stitching can be seen on the outside of the jacket.
See what I mean. I’ve still made the jacket as per the pattern but prepped the fabric before construction.
I’m not a fan of binding seam allowances but I did it for this jacket.
The hems also use bias binding too.

The lining was quilted for the jacket so it’s quite boxy as you can tell from the back view.

Once I cut out the jacket, there was enough for the skirt. I made the most of this fabric.


I think I have a ‘thing’ for pockets. Ok, you’re allowed to chuckle.

Here’s how I used a template to make the pockets curve nicely.

Here’s how they worked out.

This is the final closeup of the pockets.
I have to say, this is the warmest suit I have in my wardrobe. The wool fabric is thick and with the lining and quilting, it’s great for a mild Sydney Winter.
I had a meeting in the city and I teamed this suit with boots and I felt quite cosy.

I’m ready to put this pattern aside – for now.

Not your ordinary sweatshirt

Now that Winter is a distant memory in Australia, I decided to make a sweatshirt (not for the gym) using McCalls 6614 and fabric I bought in NYC from Kashi (Metropolitan Textile Corp) in 2013.

This year Kyle and I spent the day fabric shopping and Kashi was our first stop.

This textured knit hasn’t got much stretch so I failed with the neckband but added navy sequin trim on the front shoulder seams. 

A simple sweatshirt

I originally bought the navy trim for a jacket, but I can’t see myself making a ‘french’ jacket any time soon.

Can you see the trim?

Technical info:

This version uses Small at the shoulders and bust by Medium at the waist and hips.
On the sleeve, I moved the shoulder dart forward by 2cm but there’s still a drag line showing. I took 5cm from the bodice lengths and did a sway back adjustment on the centre back panel. I’ll lower the back bodices by 2cm – personal preference.

I could easily hide in that roll of fabric. I bought some too.

But I really wanted to put up this post because I had a great day shopping and catching up with Kyle again; going back to see Kashi and his really neat fabric store; visiting NYC and being a fabric shopaholic.

PS: I had an ‘only in New York’ moment while waiting to Kyle to arrive. I was waiting in the building foyer and a man stepped from the lift and proceeded to sing an aria. He was wonderful and it was the perfect building structure for such a well trained voice.
‘Only in New York’.

Really on a sewing break? Not quite

Holidays means taking a break from everything including sewing. It also means seeing new places, experiencing different cultures and relaxing.

An American indigenous textile display at a trading post in Arizona

Thankfully Mr V is happy for me to ‘pop’ into fabric stores when we travel so here are some of the places I was able to visit recently when there was a spare 20 minutes in the day.

Quilts on Route 66 in Williams Arizona: 

This store is across the road from the visitor information centre so it was easy to find.

Donna at the store was happy to chat about fabrics and quilting. I saw lots of neat shelves with a great range of fabrics to choose from. We still chat on IG.

A peek inside Quilts on Route 66. There’s more fabrics behind me.

The Cloth Pocket in Austin Texas:

This is a small, cosy fabric store. They stock fabric basics and specialise in quilting fabrics. I saw some really cool prints including Nano iro, that I could see using in the future.

There’s another sewing store located on the same block as The Cloth Pocket but I didn’t go into this store because I ran out of time.

Golden d’or fabrics outlet in Dallas Texas:

This store is really a warehouse of fabrics. There were lots of knit fabrics, bargain dress fabrics, luxury fabrics and home dec fabrics.
Some of the knits at Golden d’or
I bought three knit fabrics that I can’t buy locally. The prices were $7/yard.
I bought a moisture wicking knit and a textured sports fabric. Both fabrics came in quite a few colourways so it was hard to choose which colour to pick.
The pieced fabrics at Golden d’or
Near the cashier they had quite a few sewing notions. I was simply blown away by this fabric warehouse.
Some of the spesh fabrics at Golden d’or

Walmart in Page, Arizona:
I found their sewing and craft section while were were driving to Utah. This wonderful section had a selection of patterns and 4 aisles of fabrics.

This is one of 4 aisles of fabrics at Walmart.

Walmart at Arlington Texas also had a sewing and craft section but it was smaller – 2 aisles.

Joanne’s in Dallas Texas:

I enjoyed visiting this store. It had a good range of fabrics, notions, sewing supplies and books among their other goods.

I had fun looking at their two sided print fabrics. These prints were vibrant and I just couldn’t choose a favourite.

New York:
Pacific Trimming – This store is three stores wide. There’s a huge range of every notion you could want.

Elliott Berman Textiles – Lovely fabrics from designers so I had to take swatches and then come back the next day to make my purchases.

Botani Trimmings Inc – This store spans the width of the block. There’s a huge range of all the trims and sewing supplies you could dream of.

Butterfly fabrics – They have evening type fabrics too and a good range of wax print fabrics. Their wax print fabrics were $5/yard.

Karen of Bella Industries came up from Washington DC to spend some Museum time, a spot of fabric shopping and coffee with me. Lunch was awesome at the Museum and yes, DC is on our holiday visit wish list.

H and M fabrics or The Material World – This store has a sign in the window that says it’s going to close and has a cheap fabric prices. I bought a couple of pieces at $8/yard.

Metropolitan Textiles Corporation – or Kashi’s place. Kashi always finds what you’re looking for and gives you a hug too. I did buy a few pieces from Kashi as documented by Kyle.

Thanks to Kyle for shopping with me again this visit.

Spandex House – Two stores wide and two floors high. The top floor was the ‘mother load’ of activewear fabric for me. Meshes, compression type fabric and lace. There’s just as much fabric on the ground floor for vibrant dancewear and everyday clothing.

Grinners are winners.

Los Angeles in the Textiles district:
Michael Levine Loft – They had a 50% off sale. Their fabrics are $3 per pound.
Michael Levine – This is their normal store and it’s a warehouse-sized place.

Ashanti Fabrics and Clothing – This store is more than just fabric and is small but I loved it.

The top two fabrics were from the UK last year. The rest were from Ashanti.

Golden Cutting and Sewing Supplies – If you’re looking for sewing machine feed, sewing notions, this small store is packed with anything you can think of, except fabric. That’s still a lot of stock.

Mood – This store is also a warehouse sized place and not in the textiles district. I bought a couple pieces of their Liberty fabrics. I did resist their NYC store.

Just a few…

PammyOh fabric-enabled me on my very last day in Los Angeles and we managed to grab a coffee with Sandra Ms.Mc.Call. It literally was grabbing a coffee because LA traffic starts to get congested early in the afternoon.

There’s nothing more special than local sewers who fabric enable their sewing friends on holidays. Yes…I did have to buy another suitcase but I did share the fabric shopping budget over 4 weeks of travel. 

I’ll tell you about my morning at McCalls HQ visit in the next post.

Kyle in the city

In case you don’t already know Kyle of Vacuuming the lawn, she’s a sewing blogger who sews a lot and is know by lots of sewers and fabric store owners.

Our Mood purchases – pic taken by Meg

Kyle has her finger on the sewing pulse. That’s how I noticed her blog many moons ago. That and her great passion for sewing, flowers and food. Chicken pot pies and mac n cheese.

Swatch wasn’t at Mood when we visited. Neither was Tim Gunn. We visited 7 stores in 1 day.

I’m still reeling from our NY shopping day. Where do I start?

Was because when we met up we just had a ball?

Was it because the Mac n cheese at lunch was so good – just like Kyle had mentioned on her blog?

Kyle is the most organised sewing shopper on the planet. I’m biased.
We were high fiveing throughout our sewing shopping day.

Kyle is great at tweeting too. Kyle wore her McCalls 6078 cowl top and J Sterns design jeans. Following her sewing experiences on her blog has been a joy to support.

Kyle with her Tim Tams and the bag she made for PR weekend.

Here is Kyle’s write up about our shopping day in New York. I’m so glad we went to Kashi first at Metro Textiles. 

Standing with Kyle, Kashi and Barbara – pic taken by Kashi’s great assistant

At his store we met Barbara, another PRer. Kashi was really warm and accommodating. He does know his fabric.

While the three of us sewers were chatting all things sewing, Kashi was showing me of silk prints so I could see them, tell him how many yards I wanted and still keep chatting with Kyle and Barbara. We had a lot to chat about. 

Thanks for taking these pics Kashi. We were kacking ourselves (ie. having a ball).

A bit of everything from Kashi.
Mood purchases.
Fabric and notions from City Quilter. Can you spy the NY lamninated print here?

I took this pic to get my bearings during the week.

This is Kyle’s favourite row at Pacific Trimming. This store is 3 stores wide!!
The staff are very helpful and will let you know if they don’t have any notions you are looking for.

During my week I found True Mart on West 26th St and 7th Ave.

Searching for fabric around Rockafeller Centre…veering off course

I bought navy woollen fabric. The roll on the shop floor didn’t have enough length for a coat so I was given this end roll at a discount and then bought the full length I needed from a roll they had stored downstairs. 

About NY:
A week in NY isn’t enough even when staying in the garment district. Sightseeing time is at a premium. DH and I did cover 3 boroughs in one day on the subway. My DB and SIL were also in NY at the time. That turned out to be our family day out.

Carlo’s bakery was fun (1 hour wait) but the pizza place next door was amazing. The Puerto Rico parade on the Sunday was huge and its crowd on 5th Ave was truly impressive.

The wharf to Ellis Island re opens on 4th July.

DH and I spent an afternoon circling NY by ferry and we also did a hop on hop off bus tour and we saw a Broadway show.

Grand St in Chinatown had some fabric places too.

We got to the top of the Rock on a cloudy day after visiting Ground Zero.
So the NY Mets were thrashed at the Tuesday night game we saw. The Mets now my team.
What I loved was the whole experience from changing trains to get there with the St Louis fans, being part of the local crowd, watching the planes fly into LaGuardia Airport next door to eating real hot dogs and Crackerjacks.   
Kyle’s bag is now my Fashionary bag.

Thankfully Friday was Kyle in the city day shopping for fabric and notions. Lots of notions.

Here’s the mac n cheese I made on our first day home. Spicy ham and mushroom mac.

Total NY fabric weight tally  – 15 pounds. And I wore me-made clothes everyday.
It’s all about the fabric.

Piece of cake – Kwik Sew 3693

While I was on holidays I did enjoyed a few local delights in the States – with glee. So now I’m back home, winter has arrived and I’m training in the mornings to get rid of those excess kilos of ‘delight’. 

This fleece jacket is Kwik Sew 3693. A good basic hoodie jacket that uses minimal pieces and very few notions. Just one long open-ended zipper in any style or configuration is all you need plus thread. Imagine using a swarovski zipper for a swanky jacket? Imagine…
I really got used to Hawaii’s weather. This cold is such a stark change from wearing shorts and swimmers everyday.
Would you believe these tights/leggings kept me cosy too? The combed fabric and long leg style did the trick. But I digress…

The fleece jacket is a navy colour. I have to play with the camera settings bit more to get the colour right. There’s no lining in this jacket so it was quick to make up.
By the way, the pockets are sewn on after you’ve finished the jacket so the pockets will always sit in the righ position for your hands.

This is ‘as good as it gets’ at 6am in the morning

I followed the instructions and Kwik Sew instructions are really clear and simple to follow. If your zipper is bigger that the pattern suggests, use it because it will bring the hood up closer to your face and keep you warmer in the cold. See the second picture from the top.

I can’t really blame these Hawaiian cookies pictured for my self-inflicted weight predicament. Nor can I blame the cinnabons I ate with Shannon, the great Mexican food I enjoyed with Grace, Chai lattes, cake donuts with icing,  hot dog at the Mets game, Crackerjacks, burgers, pizza or cakes from Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. Oh and not the Mac Attack (3 types of mac n cheese) I had for lunch with Kyle and those donuts!! But I had to try them all.
I can only blame moi.

Next up
I wasn’t able to post much, or reply to comments or sew while I was on holidays in the States but my next few posts will show the sewing aspect of this trip.
I’ve already mentioned the food 🙂

Thank you all for reading the interviews I did post while I was on holidays. I thought this might give you something different to read for a change.
Thanks Mari, Laura and Lena for preparing your responses. I have enjoyed working with you.