San Francisco Day at Britex Fabrics

So many fabrics, such little time. Here’s the scenario: Four floors of fine fabrics just off Union SquareBritex Mohair on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. On the first, floor to ceiling wools, mohairs, and silks. The sales staff climb library ladders for access. On the second floor are cottons. linens, and rayons. Three offers walls of buttons and trims. The top level has remnants and specialty fabrics.

This year I started on two. In years past, especially when I was a young mother, I started on the remnant floor seeking bargains in wools and silks. But the top of this year’s list was washable rayon and cotton blouse and shirt fabrics – some for me, some for Patrick. (I’m now into blouses and shirts because I am so tired of wearing the ubiquitous t-shirts.)  As I started pulling out bolts and rolls, Sharman asked if she could help. Turns out she’s Britex’s fabric buyer. She knows fabrics. She’s more of a fabric snob than I am. And that’s saying lots.

On the remnant floor I found a green, black, and gold plaid shirt fabric for Pat and gorgeous raincoat fabric for me in a subtle black and purple paisley. On the first floor I found inspiration. Sharman’s advice and expertise made my shopping trip easier and gave me more certainty about my choices. She ran up and down the ladders a lot. We found perfect fabrics and  figured yardage, coordinated outfits, and fulfilled my next year’s sewing and wardrobe needs. (I write this as if I really NEED new clothes.)

As we figured yardage, I heeded my husband’s  “no more tears” advice – always buy more than you think you need. An extra half yard may seem pricey at point-of-sale, but it hurts more later at the cutting table if you don’t buy enough. Among my selections were fabrics for a wool aubergine jacket and slacks, a plush highly napped color-block mohair coat in teal, aqua, and adobe orange, and a gold wool jacket with black dash detail. Blouse/shirt fabrics in gold-brown, brown, blush, soft fuchsia, and mid-tone gray.  A couple silk blouse prints, and one for a dress in a brown/black/cream print. After four hours, I was getting to the “TILT” point. The point after which I couldn’t think straight and would need food and time to recover.

As we reviewed my list, all that was left were lining fabrics and buttons. Sharman and I called it a day and set a time to meet in two days as the next day was her day off. On Friday, we found linings and the buttons. Ah, the buttons can make all the difference in a garment. Plain run-of-the-mill buttons can make a great jacket or blouse look run-down. Great buttons add uplift, style, and grace. Choosing buttons with the in-house button expert took over an hour. To riff on my husband’s “no-more-tears” philosophy, buy an extra button if it’s a one-of-a-kind.At Britex

Britex’s button selection is as unique and classy as their fabrics.. Hand-chosen. Beautiful.

UPS delivered  within a couple days. I’m pondering what to sew first. Most likely the mohair coat as the leaves are now falling and the nights are near freezing. Next up is finding the perfect coat pattern and beginning the pleasurable journey of transforming the fabric into a coat – one with gorgeous buttons.

P.S. Britex sells fabric online at www.Britexfabrics.com.

 

Save Your Face – Lose the Botox

no more BotoxI succumbed to the allure of Botox a couple years ago. It made me look more relaxed. Not younger, but better. It’s addictive. When I’d see the sags starting as the muscle relaxation effect was wearing off, I’d phone Brooke and ask how soon she had an opening. Cost lots. My husband said he couldn’t tell any difference.

But then, one day the gals at Fox Pilates were talking about Yamuna Zake’s new Body Rolling system for the face. I use Body Rolling on my back and shoulders to ease tight upper back muscles at the end of a long writing day. When my right foot was set upon by plantar fasciitis, I used Yamuna’s Foot Wakers and Foot Balls to ease the pain and heal my foot. Soon I was wearing regular shoes and hiking in the Utah Wilderness. I went dancing. I didn’t need any more cortisone injections or chiropractic sessions.

So why wouldn’t I try the “Save Your Face” system? I waited until I was due for my next Botox injection, so my skin was sagging and wrinkled. I purchased the balls and instructional DVD on Amazon for $69.95. I used the balls on my face for 30 minutes every evening for the first 3 weeks, and now 3 – 4 times a week.

The above photo of me is not altered in anyway. I had it taken 4 weeks after I started using the Save Your Face program. I have on no makeup with the exception of a trace of eyeliner and pale lipstick.

The first person who noticed a difference was my husband. Who is not exactly effusive and instead is known for being as he puts it, “a devil’s advocate.” Then the gals at the Pilates studio noticed. They had taken a “before” picture so we could verify changes. They said my eyebrows were lifted, and the jowls under the corners of mouth were almost gone. One said my eyes looked larger. The lines between my eyebrows (those lines that Botox targets) are gone. My hairstylist said it tightened up my skin. The Pilates group started using the face balls. I’m including a link to Save Your Face so you can click on the box below and check it out for yourself.

Considering that the cost of Botox ranges from $300 to $500 every 3 – 4 months, the cost of Save Your Face is more than worth it. So is the relaxation I feel when I use the balls on my face. Add in the relaxation of taking a couple quiet minutes at the end of the day. I’m wondering how the face balls will work for you and other folks. I already see a difference in the face of my Pilates instructor. I am so excited about my results that I want to learn more and am seriously considering attending a certification program on Save Your Face in the near future.

Let me know if you use the balls. And tell me about your results. I am so satisfied that I’ll continue using the balls. For me and my face, they are a miracle.

 

 

Sewing a shirt for my husband

Pat shirtIn New York last winter, I asked Pat to select a fabric for a sport coat at Mood Fabrics. He chose a Harris tweed wool Prince of Wales plaid in ginger and brown. Late this summer I realized that I hadn’t sewn a tailored coat in over 20 years. What was I thinking? As September approached, I decided to sew him a men’s office/work-type shirt. It would give me a chance to see how he likes things to fit and let me “dip my toes” in the menswear water without drowning and ruining the gorgeous wool.

I am so glad I did a practice run. I seldom sew plaids and have none in my wardrobe. Oh, but plaids need to be matched in two directions. I had to rip out the front placket by hand – all those tiny stitches and top stitching! To get the plaid to match perfectly, I sewed it back on my hand and only then used the machine. This took 5-6 hours, but the result was terrific.

All else went well until he tried on the finished garment. The buttonholes on the collar for the button-down shirt were in the wrong place, about an inch from the collar point. Huh? How did I make that mistake? Because the pattern was wrong. Use caution if you use McCall’s 6613 subtitled, “Palmer/Pletsch Fashion That Fits”. Figure out where to place the buttonholes on the collar by checking out a shirt in your husband’s closet. To make the collar functional, I removed the collar from the collar band, made a new collar without buttonholes and inserted it into the shirt. I had extra fabric for the collar because I was practicing my husband’s first rule of purchasing yardage – “the No More Tears” approach – always purchase more fabric than you think you’ll need. Fabric shrinks and plaids need to be matched. And … you may not know exactly what pattern you’ll be sewing.

The sleeves are a bit too narrow when he bends his arm to use the computer on his desk at work but this isn’t a deal-killer. Next time, I’ll make the sleeves fuller. Interesting that on this garment making the sleeves longer wouldn’t have solved the “tight around the elbows” problem.

Yes, a next time is coming soon. I just returned from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco with 3 pieces of cotton for future shirts. Next up for Pat is his sport coat. I’m hoping it can be his Christmas gift. Now I need to search the Internet for shoulder pads made with hair canvas. Or else make them myself.

I’m happy with the shirt. Pat’s happy with the shirt. I love to sew.

Changing “homemade” into “hand-sewn”

black sweater w/earringsEver wonder what makes some clothes look homemade? While some look fabulous? It often isn’t about the sewer’s expertise. But rather about how the garment is styled. This is very complex, actually. It takes time and thought to get it right.

Here’s what I think about, ponder, and deliberate over just to get out the door and avoid the homemade look. I prefer the hand-sewn look. Here’s a list of questions to consider as you fit the fabric to the pattern:

  1. Is the fabric a color that flatters my skin tone, eyes, and hair?
  2. If the fabric is printed, does the size and shape of the pattern flatter my body shape and size, as well as the size of my features?
  3. Does the fabric fit the pattern? Or is it too drapey, too stiff, too thick, too sheer, or too warm?
  4. Does the color and pattern coordinate with other pieces in my wardrobe? Even if you have coordinating colors and separates, make sure that you’re not pairing incompatible garments. For example, a blouse with dolman sleeves won’t fit under a sweater with tight-fitting high-cut sleeves. If you wear this, you’ll be fussing with it all day.

After the garment is completed, try it on in front of a full length mirror, preferably a day or two before you plan to wear it for the first time. Look in the mirror and start the styling process. You’ll need quick access to coordinating garments, such as slacks, skirts, blouses, coats, and jackets. As well as access to your jewelry, scarves, belts, shoes, and boots. Plus undergarments, Spanx, and hosiery.

This process can get challenging and at worst, aggravating, so try to think of it as play. That way, it’s more like fun and less like hard work. I like to start at the neck and work toward my feet, but if you have a fabulous pair of shoes you are determined to wear, start with the shoes.

Try on jewelry pieces until you feel the prettiest. You’ll know when. I have a black sweater (purchased in Vail at Pepi’s) with an array of silver toned zippers in an asymmetrical pattern. I looked lost and my face looked lost in all the hardware. As a last attempt to style a super look, I put on very large silver post earrings that measure about 1 ½ inches around by 3“long. Their drama pulled the viewers eye up to my face, I paired it with an above-the-knee slim black skirt, a pair of ankle high boots, and black tights and the whole outfit worked.

Use scarves and jewelry at your neckline. Now look at your waist and add a belt or a scarf. Select a coordinating handbag. Finish with shoes and leg wear.

At times, I’ve had friends or professionals counsel me. I learned lots. Their unique perspectives informed my skills, gave me new ways of viewing plain-old garments and enlivened by style statement. Be sure to look to friends and professionals.

 

 

 

 

Summer Style – Blouse and Jeans

Vogue patterns 2634 and 8774

Vogue patterns 2634 and 8774

I was excited and a bit intimidated to sew these jeans. Jeans need to fit well. Tailored wool slacks are easier to fit. I wasn’t sure I had the fitting skills I needed to be comfortable enough with the finished product to actually wear them in public. But as you can see, I did.

The fabric is a cotton/spandex brocade in a soft muted pink that surprisingly blends well with all the colors in my wardrobe. I purchased the fabric at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago last summer. The pale color has the somewhat dressy appeal of white jeans, but lends a bit more style interest. I used Vogue Pattern 8774 and cut them to be true to my hip size. I cut out a size 14, as my hips measure 37-38 inches. Whoa! Before I sewed on the waistband, I tried them on to check for the normal alterations I make. I swear this is true: they fell off. The pattern is sized very generously. I could have cut out a size 10 if I didn’t have a long torso.

To fit them correctly, I took in about 4 inches in the side seams, cut about 1 inch from the back upper inside leg seam, and about 2 inches from the back waist. In other words, I lowered the back waist, omitting the belt loops. The pants fit fabulously – smooth, but not super tight. I usually tuck in my shirt then add a hip-hugging lower-slung belt. Perhaps in gold metal or gray leather.

The blouse fabric is by Nanette Lepore from Mood Fabrics in New York City. It’s a heavy silk broadcloth that had a 3-4 inch wide solid green selvage from which I made the cuffs, front band, front band, and collar. Vogue Pattern 2634 in a size 12 is very slightly narrow in the shoulders for me, but the blouse fits fine for “dress-up.” I won’t be wearing it to Pilates or for housework though.

This summer I’ve been sewing lots of “practice” shirts and blouses to master the fit. I love wearing blouses and shirts. A size 14 is sometimes a bit too big, and a 12 is sometimes a bit snug. But this generalization isn’t always true for every pattern. I have wider shoulders, longer arms, and wear a C cup.  When I started sewing again after 15 years, I assumed that all patterns would fit me as they did in the 90s. They don’t at all. The fit often has no relation to the pattern’s size as in the jeans in the photo.

To determine how the pattern will fit, I’m now measuring the shoulders, bust, and sleeve width on the pattern pieces and then deciding which size to sew. I already know that my shoulders slope 1/4 inch more than a pattern, so I adjust for that. My shoulder is 1/4 inch forward of the shoulder seams, so I redraw the sleeve head and move the center point forward. I seem to have longer upper arms than the patterns allow for, so I modify the sleeves to give me more length in the top half.

Since I love the Vogue Designer Patterns from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, I’m slowly acquiring some from Etsy.com, eBay and occasionally from Amazon.com. They’re hard to find. Now that I know how to re-size them with a pattern-grading ruler, I can purchase any size. If you have any Vogue Paris Designer Patterns of Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Claude Montana, Christian Aujard, or Valentino, Please let me know. I’d love to purchase them from you.

 

On the Road to Sedona Arizona

Romantic memories waft from my recent adventures in Sedona and the desert Southwest. Unromantic memories linger from all the mosquito bites. Even now, some of them still itch. Somehow they bit me about 30 times on my face and neck and in my hair.

Up Schnebly Road

I put pieces of scotch tape on the bites after swabbing them with witch hazel. The tape seems to draw out some of the poison, and is a tactile reminder to NOT scratch. Yes, I may have looked a bit weird with the two pieces of tape on my face and couple on the back of my neck (I have short hair) but, hey, I avoided scarring by not scratching when I slept..

As to bugs, we encountered a tarantula at Doe Mountain, a huge glowing green beetle on a restaurant menu sign, and a camouflaged moth on our door.bugs

Sedona is a small town in the northern third of Arizona that’s in the midst of dramatic red rock cliffs and canyons. The prickly pear cacti grow abundantly beside mesquite trees, other desert flora, and bugs. We took 4 hikes, visited Montezuma’s Castle, a Sinagua cliff dwelling, and spent a day at the Out of Africa wild animal park. There we fed giraffes, saw tigers playfully belly flop into a pool of water, observed a sprawled five-ton rhinoceros, and took a bus ride through the “Serengeti” to espy camels, zebras, elands, and other exotic creatures.

On a hike at Fay Canyon we met a “medical intuitive” dog and her owner, a self-designated Medicine Woman. She invited us to her Sunset Healing Ceremony at Airport Mesa’s ages-old Medicine Wheel. The area was a happening place at dusk. Hundreds were gathered for the sunset – glorious, but we were the only participants at Marybeth’s healing. We may or may not have been healed. After an hour of chanting, breathing, and offerings, we could say that we had finally experienced the New-Age mystique of this vortex-laden area. Vortexes being spots where spiritual reality slips through the veil covering our daily existence. The mosquitoes and gnats view these vortexes as significant feeding opportunities.

The next day, mosquitoes again feasted on me as I ate steak au poivre at a swank restaurant in the Tlaquepaque village while relaxing to soothing guitar melodies.

Some firsts on our trip included playing darts at an Irish pub, discovering Chuao dark chocolate honeycomb hunks at Whole Foods as well as dark chocolate-covered pistachios in bulk. We viewed a Taos Indian hoop dance at an outdoor square, purchased dark chocolate cherry-infused balsamic vinegar (worth the 10-hour drive to Sedona) and visited the utterly amazing Dahling It’s You Boutique (inexpensive clothing) where I found both navy and teal tight-fitting knit jeans that are sort of like leggings only a bit more refined and two camisoles – medium gray and medium teal.

The pool at our vacation rental DID NOT contain chlorine so I thoroughly enjoyed the water. I never even knew such a thing existed. This means a person doesn’t need to detox after taking a swim. Yeah!

 

Sandcast turquoise ring and cuff bracelet

Sandcast turquoise ring and cuff bracelet

As to jewelry, on the Navaho reservation, I purchased a signed sterling silver cuff at the Camaron Trading Post. It’s pawn – older with a beautiful patina. At a roadside stand, I found a prize – a sand cast silver ring set with a pale turquoise stone from the Kingman mine. Sand cast jewelry is harder to find these days as it requires more silver and a higher level of craftsmanship. Great additions to my collection.

Lake Powell

I love this photo from our first-ever boat ride on Lake Powell. It’s so evocative of the southern Utah/Arizona skies that I intend to do a watercolor painting of it soon. Pat wants to set out in a house boat for a week of family bonding. That’s very tight quarters for all eight of us, But perhaps a 2-night trip would provide the right amount of fun.

The Vogue Paris Original Pattern Quest

 

The BEST blouse/shirt pattern EVER

The BEST blouse/shirt pattern EVER

Yes, I this is my quest. About 20 years ago I gave away. Yes, where was my brain? But I did it. I gave away all of my sewing patterns including my Vogue Paris Original Patterns – size 14. From the 70s and 80s – yes from the fabulously creative decades of London Street Fashion, the time of women initially wearing pant suits, motorcycle-style jackets, mini-skirts, safari suits, le smoking. The time when Yves Saint Laurent opened Rive Gauche – his Pres a Porter – Ready-To-Wear shop and placed couture design within the reach of millions of us.

I didn’t shop the Rive Gauche stores, but I snooped around them whenever I visited New York or San Francisco. I studied the seams, the hems, the stitching. I touched the gorgeous fabrics and appreciated the self-assured designs. I yearned. I couldn’t begin to afford the garments, but I could sew them. Those wonderful designs still look great today. The sewing patterns I used – my old patterns – are most likely in landfills, or have been recycled into amazon.com shipping boxes. Makes my heart shrink inside. I feel guilty, and worse than that, I feel really stupid.

The designers I love are Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Christian Aujard, Claude Montana, Nina Ricci, Givenchy, and an occasional Valentino. For the past year, I’ve been buying up as many of my old favorites as I can find on eBay and Etsy. Even Amazon.com has them for sale once in a while.

IMG_1070

To my utter delight, I just learned how to grade patterns, as in take a size 10 and change it into a size 14. It’s changed my life!!!. Now I can buy any size of my favorite designer patterns. Finding the style I want in a size 14 is often impossible, as the supply is highly limited.  An important side note here: in ready-to-wear, my size is a 4. But in sewing patterns, it’s a size 14. Go figure. It’s all about size inflation, and the modern desire of women to never need “double-digit” sizes.

The Pattern Grading system I use is from www.fashionpatterns.com. The set has a grading ruler and instruction book and is very easy to use. In a sense I feel liberated. However, I’m still cruising the Internet looking for the YSL evening dress that Jerry Hall modeled, and a Nina Ricci safari pant suit. They are no where to be found.

Another favorite top - easy to make, totally versatile, delicious in silk crepe

Another favorite top – easy to make, totally versatile, delicious in silk crepe

To be fair to our American Designers, I also collect Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, and Donna Karan.
I’ve written to the Vogue Pattern folks many times and they simply ignore my request to re-issue these patterns. But, perhaps you have some in the attic or basement. If so, let me know. I’ll copy them and return them if you like. I’ll buy them if you like. Let me know.

 

 

 

Yes, I Sew

I think folks look at me weirdly when they find out I made the clothes I have on. Usually my husband is proud to tell them. If they know much about sewing, I suspect they’re scrutinizing my clothes looking for mistakes. Possibly they recall Home Economics classes with dread and distain. Or else they wonder why I can’t afford store-bought clothes. Which is why I initially learned to sew. And why my mother sewed all my clothes until I took over. When I was in my early teens, she told me that I was “on my own” for sewing. She’d buy me the fabric, but after that it was up to me. I had four younger siblings that she had to sew for.

At about the age of 11 or 12, my youngest sister was totally shocked to discover that one could actually purchase already-made clothes at the store. Before that she’d assumed that everyone sewed. No, we didn’t live in the deep woods nor were my folks survivalists. Dad worked at IBM, we went to Mass every Sunday, and lived in the suburbs of major cities – Baltimore, Trenton, Youngstown, Pittsburg, finally ending up in Denver through my high school and college years.

So I’m not sure what people think about a person who enjoys sewing. Since my favorite types of fabric are seldom inexpensive, I’m sure I spend more on my wardrobe than if I bought them. This certainly holds true if I purchased similar quality in fabric, linings, style, buttons, and fit at a department or specialty store. If I even could.

How can I describe in one or two sentences the thrill of touching and playing with great silks, wools, cottons, and linens. About the sensitive creativity required to match the fabric to a garment pattern so they make a happy marriage. About the challenge of cutting out and sewing a garment so it fits well. How  I carefully select buttons and trims. How much thought goes into pairing blouses with slacks, and jackets with blouses, and shoes, and handbag and jewelry. How delightful it is to create a garment that perfectly compliments what I already own.

For example, I made a plain short-sleeved black silk crepe blouse styled like a t-shirt that goes with all of my slacks and jackets. And jeans.

How can I explain the joy of finding or creating the perfect t-shirt or slacks pattern that fits like a dream and that I can wear season after season? I don’t think I can say all this in a quick sentence. So instead I say that I “LOVE” to sew. It makes me happy. Then I change the subject.

I still haven’t forgiven myself for giving away all of my Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, and Claude Montana, and Christian Aujard Vogue sewing patterns about 20 years ago?.I yearn for them. They looked great. They had style. Sure, today I’d need to modify some of the big shoulder pad looks, but those clothes were amazing.

Recently I’ve been cruising Etsy, Amazon.com, and eBay looking for size 14 Vogue Paris Original patterns, and Vogue American Designers. I find them once in a while. I’m building a new collection. I sew them. They look fabulous today, in 2014. So if you have any old patterns, let me know. I’m on the market and still trying to assuage my guilt for giving them away in the first place.

Summer Style – Sew McCall’s 6400

Summer's best look

Summer’s best look

When I first saw this asymmetrical top I knew I was destined to sew it for summer patio dinners that called for more than a t-shirt or camisole, yet were still casual. McCall’s pattern 6400 has all of 6 seams, and is very easy to fit and sew. I am wearing a size Medium, which fits size 12 to 14 in standard pattern sizing. It’s confusing to me, too. I wear a size 4-6 in ready-to-wear, making it essential to carefully read the measurements on the pattern envelope before cutting into the fabric.

I purchased this creamy polyester fabric last summer at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. While I used to get push-back at home about my fabric stash, turns out it was simply a misunderstanding. My husband has come around to understanding the importance of the STASH. I’d never have found this creamy off-white/yellow novelty fabric or even a similar fabric at one of the 3 fabric stores here in Utah. And certainly not when I was looking for it. Finding the perfect fabric is a serendipity sort of experience. One needs to be in “the Zone” just as a sports superstar is in the zone when they perform seemingly super-human feats.

Finding the “right” fabric requires vigilance, practice, and planning. And for most of us, it requires out-of-town trips. I know this is true because when I lived in Denver, I often found the best fabrics in Aspen, Boulder, or San Francisco. That is once Wonder Fabrics closed it’s doors many years ago. Today I actually go to Denver for fabrics. Allyn’s just north of Cherry Creek is amazing.

My school, the Fashion Institute at Salt Lake Community College, offers annual field trips to LA to shop for fabric. Forget about taking an extra suitcase. Instead take stick-on address labels. Ask the shop to ship home your stash buys. Since you won’t be paying tax on out-of-state purchases, but will be paying shipping, the costs balance each other out.

I’d been wondering for months how I was going to sew this fabric. I’d look at it every month or so. Wondering. When I saw this pattern, I knew it had found a mate. The 3/8-inch cross grain “tucks” show off the asymmetry of the design. The short sleeve sets the stage for a great statement bracelet or ring. The fabric is a bit translucent, and looks best with light-colored slacks and a white or cream camisole. Dark ones would interfere with the visual impact of the top.

So far I’ve worn it for at home entertaining, dinner on the patio, evenings of bridge. The top isn’t au courant or highly fashionable, which is great. That means it will look interesting and timely for many summer seasons to come.

 

 

The Perfect T-Shirt – Vogue Pattern 8536

the perfect t-shirtI finally found it, then sewed it. And now I love it. “It” is the perfect t-shirt. Here’s why:

  • It has a close fit and shows off curves. But it’s not so tight that I feel uncomfortable or showy.
  • It has 1 1/2 inch slits on the side hems that adds a bit of interest at the hips.
  • The short sleeves are easy for summer. The pattern offers several variations for a v-neck and a surplice neck, as well as sleeveless, wrist ,and bracelet-length sleeves.
  • It has charm and is cut with a bit of attitude. It’s feminine.
  • The neckline can easily work with a choker, a pendant necklace, or a strand of beads.
  • It pairs well with white jeans, as in my picture, or a casual skirt, shorts, or capri-length pants for summer.

While the perfect t-shirt can and should stand alone as a favorite go-to item, the secret to a GREAT T-SHIRT LOOK is in the styling. Think carefully about how to wear each garment you sew. Here’s are the style factors I considered when planning the garment, and then wearing it:

  • As I chose the fabric, I knew a poly knit would be OK for summer evenings. I would have chosen a cotton or rayon knit if I had planned to wear the t-shirt for active all-day wear. The fabric is from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago.
  • When I selected the print, I asked myself these 3 questions: Is it dramatic? Is it animated? Does the color fit with my profile? Many years ago I worked with Personal Style Counselors in the California Bay area to create my personal color palette and to advise me on my personal fashion style. I am a dramatic/classic type with animation. This print works very well. (Personal Style Counselors is still doing color profiles and style coaching. You can check them out at http://www.pscjohnkitchener.com/an_index.html.)
  • Pairing it with white jeans gives a casual dinner alfresco feel to the t-shirt.
  • I added a pearl and chain link necklace and mabe pearl and gold earrings because  the pearls play up my secondary classic type but the necklace has a bit of a dramatic edge as the pearls are about 1″ long and irregularly shaped and the chain links are long and irregularly shaped. Pearls feel cooling to me in middle of a hot summer.
  • I wore – which you can’t see – aqua Sanita clog sandals with a cut-out pattern.

The t-shirt pattern will work well in a solid color cotton knit and other interesting prints for summer. I think it will pair well with blue jeans, too. And look good under a jean-type jacket or a black linen blazer for cooler evenings.

I plan to sew the t-shirt pattern with longer sleeves when the weather cools off.