Monday, May 23, 2011

New York Knits, Snoop Shopping and a Book Club Selection

Still no finished pictures of me wearing one of the four Simplicity tops I made recently but here are pics of the fabrics I bought in NYC, all at Metro Textile.  I had only planned to buy maybe two prints, but Kashi was nice enough to open the store on a Saturday so I ended up with six of them.  The first five are ITY knits, $6 a yard and four of them will be tops and one a dress.  The last one is a rayon knit at $10 a yard and that on will be a top as well.   He has a wonderful selection so try not to miss Metro if you are in NY.

 future top

future top

my favorite....wish I had gotten more

future top

future dress

rayon knit

The bus trip from Virginia went smoothly (thank you, Debbie), the weather was so cooperative and NYC was full of people having a lovely day.  Sewing Guild members who experienced the fashion district for the first time were as overwhelmed as I was years ago.  It definitely helps to have specific projects and swatches with you since the selection of trims and buttons is just endless.  I get to visit NYC a few times a year so I went empty handed on this trip, having learned not to just collect those items for the future.  I only spent a few hours in the area before heading to see a play.  I had hopped off the bus not far from the Times Square TKTs half price ticket booth.  Stood in line for about 15 minutes and got tickets to see Dan Laurino and Judith Light (I love her!) in Lombardi which it turns out was closing this weekend.  It was an interesting story about the rise of Vince Lombardi as the powerhouse coach of the previously perennial loser Green Bay Packers team.  Since is set in the mid '60s there are themes that we see played out today in extreme:  players unions and salaries,  the media hype and spin, celebrity and its challenges.  Not being an avid football fan nor sports historian, I was unfamiliar with some of the players at the time and the controversies around them so it made me want to understand more about Vince Lombardi and how the business of football was changing.

After the show I had time to snoop shop for about an hour in Bergdorf Goodman.  It was a busy, busy day in the shoe salon but I was free to wander the designer collections looking at construction details and drooling over fabrics without too many salespeople hovering.  Since I am on a summer sheath dress kick I was immediately drawn to this  Michael Kors dress.  It was a wonderful, heavy lace with only silk organza as an underling and bound neckline and simple is that! I have several pieces of lace and eyelet that I would like to sew this summer so I was on the lookout for ideas like this.  Here's another for combining ribbon and yarns woven into  fabric to create texture and a whole new look.  Marc Jacobs did it with crocheted yardage but it would work just as nicely with that eyelet I have.  Marc Jacobs jacket  (thanks for pointing this one out, Michele)

On 5th Avenue I saw lots of women, young and not so young, wearing long dresses as casual day wear.  Now I will readily admit that I had an outfit back in the '70s exactly like this one in Bergdorf's window:

But once again, for me to try this look again would not be a good thing....definitely a taste of "mutton dressed as lamb."  I can see the long dress at home for entertaining, or lovely at the beach or resort, but as daily wear it looks cumbersome and not particularly flattering, IMNSHO.   As a matter of fact, if you look strictly at the clothed silhouette of this look, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a burka-like garment whose purpose is to fully clothe a woman's body, after all, not reveal its outline or form.   I did see terrific designer details and embellishment ideas that I hope to incorporate on projects this summer.  Once more, so many ideas, just have to make the time to work them out.

For something entirely different I'm trying out a new book club tonight.  Our county library system is absolutely fantastic.  They were early pioneers decades ago of popularizing libraries by focusing not on the breadth of their collection but on the volume of transactions.  It was very controversial at the time but the library's leadership wanted to stock dozens of copies of the latest Danielle Steele or Tom Clancy novels because that's what the vast majority of people were buying and reading.  That's a different approach from the standard library concept of collecting one of everything that is published in case someone somewhere wants to borrow a copy.  Since we do have a county system, not a township municipality, the former system can work and also accommodate more specialized needs through inter branch borrowing.  Long story to say that we have large, vibrant well supported libraries throughout our county.  Tonight I'm heading to one of those branches to meet and discuss Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  I've never read any of her previous novels and might try some others based on this experience. However I would agree with one Amazon reviewer who said I liked it more than I didn't like it but I would hesitate to strongly recommend it.  But just like with sewing projects i love hearing what others think about a book so will enjoy the evening no matter what.


  1. Lovely fabrics.
    Those will be fun to make up.
    I am a reader as well. Love books. Enjoy your book club.

  2. You chose some wonderful fabrics!

  3. Jane thanks for visiting me over on Retired in Alaska. We sure do have a lot in common I'd say. I'm getting back into sewing for myself personally these days and found I had a lot of new techniques to to learn, improvements on the way I learned in the 50's. We both love dogs as mine are such a big part of my life. Your trip to NYC sounds just fabulous. That fashion district sounds like a dream, no problem finding anything there you are after. I am going to look up this book Winter Garden, it's ringing a bell and I think I may have read it. We too read constantly, have a Kindle now too. Nan

  4. "Mutton dressed as lamb" is one of my favorite expressions! Sometimes I ask my husband if an outfit is too mutton dressed as lamb, and he says, no, it's mutton dressed as mutton!

    I found you via Retired in Alaska. Check out my blog if you like!


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