Friday, April 21, 2017

What's that booth with a button got to do with me?


Updated, since much of this information has changed since I wrote this post on 5/12/12.

Here's the new link.

If you have wondered why that official-looking kiosk sits there on the corner of 39th Street and 7th Avenue, and then walked right past it, wondering "What's that booth with the button got to do with me?"... Well, here's your answer. A whole lot, actually. Daunting as it may seem, it is there to serve the professional, the aspirer, the student, the hobbyist - anyone with questions about where to get anything related to the industry in the garment district. You may just learn that there are plenty of ways you can improve your projects, or simplify your projects just by finding the right business or service provider. Today, I walked in, rain soaked, and asked my question. "Do you know of a company that will fuse interfacing to fabric? Just a small length, for one garment?" "Hmmm..." said the cheerful young woman at the desk. A few keystrokes, and she handed me a list of 21 businesses in the garment district. The only drawback is that they are addresses, short descriptions, and contact info, so we only know that they all do some sort of fusing, but there is still additional legwork for me to do to find out which business is the right contact for me. Since you can't really expect to drop in on most of these places, you do need to go home to do the homework/research, but hey - so much better than doing your own Google search, right? Using this service effectively requires you to know the correct terminology, and be patient with the answer(s). There are so many possibilities, fabric types and manipulations possible, that their resource database is VAST, and only YOU know what you need, your budget, and what type of business you want to work with. The best part, is that when you do research the companies, you end up exploring paths you never even knew were available to you. Who knew pleating, shirring, smocking, and jean stressing could be done just for you, just for one project, too? They also give you a free, lovely Fashion District neighborhood map, listing the restaurants and other common needs in the area. This is ideal for the tourist, but it does feature many of the true garment district neighborhood haunts. The Fashion Kiosk... Click the link above for more detailed information. So, in a nutshell, the booth is great. Step inside... but this is New York, folks... Have your question ready. And use the right terminology. No guessing and sentences filled with "You know what I mean?" No one's got time for that.

Here's the booth as of yesterday (10/9/15)




Months of construction.  Vacant for now.

Oh well, you can always buy a map instead!

On pleating...

Re-posting (from 4/23/14... for the love of pleating...)  Note: I still wear the skirt.

I admit to having a healthy dose of chiffonophobia.  You know, large expanses of chiffon move freely when you try to cut them, bias can be an amorphous nightmare, so needle and thread choice, correct cutting, and careful sewing are paramount to success...

I also find it irresistible.

On this project, with some trepidation, I headed into unfamiliar territory.  I knew I wanted to make a sunburst pleated skirt, and I knew who would do the pleating for me, but I had NO IDEA how to plan and cut it.  Because the skirt pattern is a sophisticated circle,  I did not know how to get it to work for the skirt I wanted to make.

I had already scored some fabulous James-Bond-esque golden/black chiffon from Kashi at Metro Textiles, and embarked on the dream.  This is a project you cannot engineer on your own; you need a permanent pleating process to make this work, and I knew just who to call. 

So, I sat down with George of International Pleating.  To do what I did here, you do not need an appointment.  Nope.  All you need is this link, and you can cut it yourself, send or physically take the fabric to International Pleating, and have it pleated.

The wonderful team at International Pleating gave such perfect instructions (with a printable pattern), that this was just as easy as pie to do.  I know, because I've done it.

Oh... and the pattern is FREE.  Yes, I said FREE.


Pleated version, laying beneath the original (unpleated) chiffon.

And the end result is why I couldn't resist the step-by-step instructions for a sunburst pleated bias skirt, provided by International Pleating.

What did I do?

Step 1: I read the instructions.  Note the fabric recommendations, length of skirt, and waist sizes given. You can request help from International Pleating if you need to make something outside of the size/length range provided. The instructions I used can be found here.

Step 2: I printed and assembled the pattern.  Using an ordinary printer. No special equipment or paper required.  The pattern can be found here.



Step 3: I followed the cutting instructions.  Pay attention here - follow the instructions exactly as they are written, for the best possible results.

Pleated chiffon before sewing
Step 4:  I gave it to International Pleating to pleat the fabric.  This is an EXTREMELY affordable service, by the way. $14 per panel for pleating.

I cut my waist out after getting the fabric pleated (I thought I could hang the bias more easily this way) , but if you are at all uncomfortable with properly cutting your waist after the pleating is done, doing it first gives you better accuracy.

Step 5: I followed the rest of the written instructions to complete the skirt.

Step 6: I let the bias hang...


While letting the bias hang, I worried about a "twist" I was worried I couldn't fix at the side seam.

But then I let it hang... and hang...

and hang...

And, because of my busy schedule, it hung longer than I planned, and the side seam "twist" self-resolved!



Awaiting full bias "drooping"!

Step 7: I hemmed the skirt.

A bit of experimentation led me to a rolled hem done with a fine zigzag stitch.  Done here on a test piece on the straight grain,  it gives the hem a bit of a wiry feel, that I wanted to use on this bias hem to give the skirt some energy!  


Step 8: I fell in love with the "dancey" quality of the hem method I chose!


I will wear it over a fitted black stretchy mini-tank dress, that will create my "slip" beneath the skirt. 

Now... Shall we dance?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Exhibits to see...






While it was my intention to go to a museum exhibit today, my belly has prevented me from doing so.  Instead, I have a cup of tea at the computer, waiting for my insides to settle down, so I will try again once I feel better.

Spring in NYC seems to always turn my attention to beautiful museum exhibits.  There are so many alluring ones right now...

Here are some to get excited about - both current and upcoming!

Museum of Art and Design:

Handmade Fashion in American Counterculture

Judith Leiber handbags

Upcoming later this month: Fashion After Fashion

Museum of the Moving Image:

Teen Digital Lab - costume design

Cooper Hewitt Museum:

Scraps: Fashion Textiles and Creative Re-use

Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Antique Textiles and Modern Design


Museum of the City of New York:

Online Exhibition - Worth and Mainbocher


Museum at FIT:

Upcoming: Force of Nature



Merchant's House Museum:

The Merchant’s House collaborated with 3D modeling firm PaleoWest Archaeology to create an interactive 3D model of the two-piece spring and summer cotton dress, 1862-1865 (MHM 2002.0840), on display through April 29, one of the 39 dresses in the Tredwell Costume Collection. The model allows the viewer to look at the dress from all angles and zoom in on details. In the coming years, as each dress is displayed, we plan on creating similar models of dresses.








Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NYC Fabric Store Review: Paron's Fabrics (revised) - now closed

In an effort to clean up old information on the site, I am revising old posts, and adding new, relevant information for those seeking what these old businesses once offered.

Looking for the Paron experience?  I suggest Fabrics and Fabrics (for fashionable beauty and variety), B&J (for quality), Metro (for price and unexpected finds) and Elliot Berman Textiles (for designer fabrics).

 Paron has since closed.  The post below was written on 3/5/08.

Address: 206 West 40th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-768-3266
Hours: Monday -Thursday 8:30 am - 7:00 pm; Friday 8:30 am - 5:45 pm; Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Sunday 11 am - 4pm
Online store: Manhattan Fabrics
Best for: the 50%-off deals in the sales annex


 
Reasons to wander over to 40th Street in the Garment District for a visit to Paron's:
  • The staff is a friendly, cheerful bunch. They're eager to help you pull bolts off the shelf, and they quickly came to my aid when they saw me walking around with my hands full. I appreciated that they gave me a little extra fabric with each cut.
  • You don't get that claustrophobic feeling you can have in some garment district stores. You know, that any minute you could get swallowed up in an avalanche of falling fabric bolts, never to be heard from again. In the main part of the store there's plenty of room to unravel bolts and play with your fabric.
  • The sales annex part of the store features some great bargains. I spent most of my time in here marveling over the wide variety of fabrics and the wallet-friendly prices. 
  • Paron sells Kwik-Sew and Burda patterns. They also carry the latest BurdaStyle magazine, though while I was there they only had the plus-size edition.
  • The assortment of fabric they have per square foot is pretty amazing—there's a little bit of everything, from silks and wools to cottons and knits. Wonderful prints and colors. And I appreciate how their labels identify the fabric content and the RTW company who produced it.
This store has a happy vibe. When I was in it I felt proud to be a woman who knows her way around a sewing machine. Sounds dumb, but you'll see what I mean when you visit Paron Fabrics in the Garment Center. (By the way, it's pronounced "pear-in.")

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Netflix delight...

I'm not in the business of promoting Netflix series, but this I do straight from the heart.  It requires both your visual and auditory attention, so you can't really watch while you work, but it is well worth it.  Trailer below:



Do you appreciate a good drama?

Beautiful cinematography?

A love story?

Suspense?

A war story?

A historical drama?

Beautiful clothes?

Unexpected sewing, designing, and dressmaking wisdom?

Imitations of Fortuny's technique, and inspirations from Schiaparelli?

If you have Netflix streaming, watch it.  If you don't speak Spanish, read the subtitles - I assure you it isn't tedious.  A really wonderful series.

Where to find coutil in the garment district

** Reposting (From hundreds (600) of posts, it is silly never to repost, right?)

We get stuck on names and labels for things. Armed with sewing books, dictionaries and lexicons, we scour the district, searching every store for the thing we've been told we need...


Coutil (or Coutille) is woven cloth created specifically for making corsets.] It is woven tightly to inhibit penetration of the corset's bones and resist stretching. Coutil has a high cotton content. Cotton has good dimensional stability, or a resistance to stretching, which makes it a good choice for such a stressed garment. Coutil may be made to be plain (similar to 100% cotton facing), satin, or brocade. It is common for coutil to have a herringbone texture, or a similar woven texture.
- from Wikipedia

Order coutil via mail from Richard the Thread or Farthingales


Shopper:
"Do you have any coutil for sale?"

Fabric store employee (annoyed):
"Cou- wha?"

Coutil, when sold specifically by name, is a firmly woven cotton with a herringbone weave, used for foundation garments.  

That's why no one knows what you are talking about.  

The fabric is specifically designed for use in corset-making. Can't find it? You'll have a hard time finding a good substitute, although some poeple use duck or twill when they only want to mimic the look of a corset, and not necessarily rely on its functional role in a properly made corset. Word on the street is that it has no equal. It is strong, it breathes, and not many other fabrics will serve as a suitable substitute.

So, where do you find coutil in the garment district?  In my experience so far, you don't!  Order online from Farthingales or Richard the Thread, but get the rest of your supplies right here in NYC.

Now, once you've got the  right supplies to make your garment function as it should, get as fancy as you like with supplies to make it beautiful from some of our favorite garment district haunts:  







Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let's Talk Leather...

*Reposting

If you sew with leather, here are some photos of my recent (2014) findings to whet your appetite...

Feels like magic in your hands.

Texturally exciting, and great color...

Rhythmic, erratic shapes that fuel the imagination, and create the illusion of depth and uneven terrain.


North American Tanning Corp., simply called "NAT" for short, is a quiet, cozy, welcoming leather shop that recently appeared on my radar, after a warm invitation from the proprietor, Nick Kamali to come and pay a visit.

And I'm glad I went!

While there is a company website, what you wouldn't know after visiting the site, is that they will serve anyone with a serious interest, whether purchasing small quantities or large ones.  Current trends suggest that most leather shoppers are likely to be doing more accessories, handbags, shoes, custom pieces, home decor, craft items or creations for the hospitality industry these days, nothing but your own imagination what you can create.


North American Tanning Corp.
248 East 35th Street
Suite 505
New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212-643-1702
Fax: 516-808-4015



The quality of the goods is clear.  Simply touching many of the pieces in the showroom reveal their quality.  The pricing is reasonable, with many of the pieces being offered between $4 and $10 per square foot.  Allow yourself to explore the offerings, and don't be afraid to ask for pricing when you see something you love.  One of the great things about my conversation with Nick, is that he knows you need no convincing of the quality of his goods.  You can simply feel it.

The colors and dye quality of the leathers in the showroom is just fantastic.  Nick works with forecasters to establish a season's color palette, but, in my opinion, ask him to show you a color named "horizon", which defies any adjective I can give it.  You'll just have to see it for yourself.

Pay the company a visit.  Don't be shy.  You won't be disappointed. 

And yes... while this blog has explored the idea of sewing with leather before, you really need to know that not all leathers are equal, and it is great to know exactly what you are buying and how to evaluate it before you work with it.  Different places serve different  clientele, and the vendors are as unique as the audience each serves.

Leather does create fear in the hearts of many who have yet to explore, and for good reason.  If you've been dreaming, and have yet to commit, I have listed some classic objections, and links to the answers for your consideration below:

Can my machine handle leather? Well, maybe, maybe not.  Follow the link to understand the considerations you will need to take.  You can also sew leather by hand, if you follow the proper techniques. See the book links below. What does a leather mallet look like?  How/why do I use it, and what other things can I make the leather do?

Are there any books that can help me learn, improve, or evaluate my options on my own?  Where can I take classes?  What if I want to become an expert? (For future reference, (if you read this post months from now, the link takes you to Fashion Institute of Technology's leather program - their links tend to expire over time.)

Are there any special garment district businesses that will help me finish my project?  Sure!  Wanna add closures, studs, sculpt your leather into something amazing?

Where can I buy a leather needle for my machine? There are many choices, follow the link for one of them, but also feel free to visit may other stores mentioned on this blog... there are plenty of places! Where can I buy a leather needle for sewing by hand?  What kind of thread should I use?

Where can I buy leather glue?

You likely knew the answers to those questions already, but if you didn't, consider this post to be your virtual arrow to the businesses and services you need.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fabric has no expiration date...

***Note: This post is particularly funny, as I had rescheduled it for a time when I just knew it would have been turned into something great... and, as of today, it still hasn't! (further proving my point?)

And thank God it doesn't...

Heaven knows I'd be swimming in a sea of "expired" fabric by now, if that were true.

But... let's say you bought some silk fabric years ago, that you just loved, but never fully committed to a project? Well, you take this beautiful, irregularly striped fabric, and hand it over to International Pleating, to make it magical.


Tight, mushroom pleating takes those stripes to different textural magic (below)... but, creatively paired with its unpleated version (above), 



 it becomes...

Stay tuned...


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

On being REAL...




Just this past weekend, I attended a wedding (reason for the dress in my recent post) where the above passage was read to my friend, the (mature) bride by her mother. Total tearjerker! 

At the reception, I talked to a Silicon Valley professional tech-savvy person (another close childhood friend's husband), and asked him "So, what is it that you ACTUALLY do?"  His patient reply gave me serious food for thought.

"Well, in a nutshell," he said, smiling, "people hire me to make  jobs go away." (He's a systems engineer)

He went on to explain that ANY job a person currently does that can be done by a computer, or automated in some way, eventually will be.  People will be replaced wherever they can, and that's where the future is headed. Hmmm... So what can go away?  What can't?

The things/functions that are currently done as jobs by human beings, which can be broken down into facts/stats/data and analyzed will go away.

"But what about creative professions, and the things you can't measure?" I asked, confidently.  After some really engaging conversation, I offered the example of clothing design.

Well, here's the thing.  There's the practical side of things...  We all understand the purposes of a basic t-shirt.  Versatility, color, fit, softness, and durability are all considerations, but, frankly, a computer program can analyze your preferences and suggest a t-shirt for you to buy that will likely be better than anything you might have chosen or described on your own. Technology is already proving that. Now, we can't quite account for things we haven't yet seen, innovations, and functions/features we haven't yet thought of, but the foundation has already been laid.

So what's left? Well, tech jobs, for sure.  Did you know that English is the primary language of 75% of internet users? Also, the things computers can't do, like sort through trash to find things of value. Problem is, the types of jobs you NEED people to do are generally also the lowest paying. Then, there are things that HAVE to be felt, lived, experienced in person.  In real life. For me personally, that is the tactile experience of making things with my own hands, and the things and feelings that effort creates, for myself and for others.

Sure these thoughts had occurred to me before my conversation at the wedding, but I really look at my clothes in a deeper way now.  Too much in my closets and drawers, I only want to own what makes a difference, and multi-season wear is vital. I am starting to genuinely dislike and eschew excess, and among my friends and family, the rejection of excess seems to be a growing trend.  Not only that, when you consider your purchases more carefully, what you are willing to spend changes, with quality and beauty becoming your focus.  This way of thinking, I feel, is more respectful of the marketplace, of yourself as a consumer, and of the enterprise or individual maker (especially if that person is yourself!), as a business.  I also no longer expect, require or seek anyone else's approval or permission to create or wear anything of my own choosing!  Maybe I'm just a grownup now.  Who knows?

I look in the mirror now and see the person I am, not anyone else's idea of who I am or should be. REAL. Some grey hair, a little extra weight/softness here and there, some wear and tear... but not too shabby (grin)...

Versatility, uniqueness, beauty, comfort, practicality, ease of wear and laundering have all become primary considerations for my clothing now.  The things that don't meet the requirements can go to charity.

In this deep thinking mode, I looked online for a TED talk or something similar, to help me process the abrupt quicksandish-seasick feeling that conversation left me with - but I saw nothing that jazzed me enough to watch.  It all feels ego-driven, feel-good, "you're the greatest!", when what I wanted, was something else ... something real. 

So I fired up my sewing machine. 

REAL.



Monday, March 27, 2017

How long did it take you to make that dress?




A day.  

Shrug... 

Really?


Well, 

sorta...


Fell in love with this silk from NY Elegant in 2012...

But... add all components together, and it took just about all my adult life so far...

Blogging has let me keep track of so many tiny details over the years, that I can now share them with you, and marvel at/share the ACTUAL timeline, which is kinda crazy.

I loved this pattern, and grabbed a copy when I was a Butterick/Vogue employee in 1999. Always wanted to, but never made it for myself.  Worries that it was costumey, and maybe a bit too youthful for my age. Nowadays, you can still purchase it online, if so inclined. It was the inspiration for the very similar dress I made... (with quite a few changes)



These fabrics above were purchased (and some of the silvery-grey 4 ply silk was wasted.. until now!) for the creation of a client's Waterfall Dress (2013)



The jacket, hanging off the shoulder, to give an idea of the translucency...

video

A fabric I was so excited about when I bought it, I made it a little video! (October 2010)


This is a killer silk from Rosen & Chadick that has lingered in my stash, too pretty to cut, for years.  People really loved the kimono-inspired jacket-thing I made with it to wear with the dress.
The waist of the dress...


I made my dress close with a wide strip of the organza I used to make the jacket.
Silver/grey silk peeks out as front skirt inner layer. (this pic taken during dress construction - before finishing edges)




So now that I have danced and celebrated at my dear friend's wedding in it, I've taken some pictures of the (already partied in, above) dress on the floor and form before posting this!

I like that this dress has no closures, has a shape that is great for dancing/twirling, and is fairly simple in design.  The pattern is actually designed for cottons, but my choices were silk, which required some changes in finishing techniques and handling.  I naturally subscribe to an anatomical design/construction method, so my own patterns never have straight lines in any of the fitting elements (dart, seams that need to conform to the body's contours). I had to change that.  My version of this dress has only one closure point, which is at the waist, so I needed my under layer to encircle the body at the hips for modesty. This, I just did with a wide/strip band of fabric that is at hip/rear end level.

How long will it take you to make your next project?  Who knows? 

Well, you can always look at it this way... you may not realize it, but you've already begun!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

As I work...

Making a dress... thinking, planning, cutting, fretting... I happened upon this on Netflix streaming...




A delightful watch so far...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Writing (which is what a writer should do)

The boot-strappy resilience and tenacity of this man is wonderful.  See my earlier post on my meeting with him, where we discuss the future, past and present "garment center" and his work, in particular.




Friday, March 17, 2017

10 Surefire ways to Maintain your (or someone else's) Faboulosity (I don't pretend to have original thoughts, BTW...)

Let's say you are attending Fashion Week events, or just need to look drop-dead fabulous for your own reasons...


Eva Gabor - from my father's collection of TWA publicity photos... many years ago.


*Update to an old post from 2014



You'll need some supplies to maintain your gorgeousness, won't you?

Today, I read another fall-down funny post on Man Repeller, and while I do not possess her brilliant comedy writing skills, I do know a thing or two about fashion/prop life kits, and feel a desperate need to elaborate on the subject. Having worked in live theater, TV, movies, and worst-of-all... weddings, I've got information to share, based on personal experience.  A very experienced person will know these things already, but some of us need a little help.

Here are some things you will absolutely need:

Stains?  Yeah, I see your Tide-to-Go Stick and I'll raise you a mighty Mme Paulette Stain Removal Kit.  The famous dry cleaner has certainly saved many garments for me over the years, and a few ties for my husband! I once wore an expensive sea foam green silk ensemble to a wedding where Chinese food was served, and... well, you know the rest... That experience led me to this product, and I just keep extras on hand now. When you can't just ask for club soda, and you know your ensemble is dry clean only, nothing beats it!

Thread clippers/Scissors, 'cause you know you'll end up needing them to trim those getaway threads and/or store tags you forgot to clip before leaving home.  Portable, with a protective cap or sleeve is best.  Small and non-threatening, let's avoid getting them confiscated by security, wherever you'll be.

Lambs wool padding for shoes that hurt! Beloved comfort for ballet dancers on pointe, this wonderful, soft padding will cushion sore areas, and help make life more bearable!

Double-stick body tape/ fashion tape.  Too late to lift those babies up now... I'm just trying to keep your dress closed, and your lining hem from being exposed!

A stapler (or an equivalent) Seriously. I know no one would recommend this under normal circumstances, but can I just tell you... there are some things only a stapler will do.  Believe me on this one.  (Paper clips come in a close second.) Don't believe me? I've got a couple of A-list stars whose situations I've saved that you could actually ask.  They'll remember!

A portable steamer.  For events where you have a place to put it.  It would be kinda crazy to lug one around just for yourself.

A lint-roller.  Because you have a cat.  Because you have a dog.  Because you have a fuzzy carpet/sofa or occasional wild trysts in the coat closet... That's none of my business, though.

I must disagree with Man Repeller on the deodorant suggestion, though.  What you need if you're already out, is a way to prevent the sticky situation, or a way to clean up.  A stack of Stridex pads and/or deodorant wipes can cure just about anything, really.  That's all you need.  After all, you took a shower, right?

A sewing kit.  Whatever ripped or split, just disappear into the ladies' lounge or some quiet area and fix it, if you can.  People around you will be impressed that you can do this on the go.  Good conversation starter. (comes with black safety pins!)

Granola/trail mix/and the most delicious, refreshing beverage ever (depends on your particular favorites, but what I've linked to are garment district specific) - or simplified, a great portable snack that carries you through when you're hungry, and something to wash it down with. Use a straw, just to be safe. Do that, and you're good.








Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wealth, fun, intellectual pursuits, love...

I asked my dad if I have ever made him cry in front of me before, because I don’t remember ever seeing him cry. He said, “Once.” He told me that when I was 3 years old, he laid out a pen, a dollar, and a toy of some sort in front of me. He wanted to see which one I would pick. I think that a lot of Chinese people do that… It represents what you’ll value most when you grow up. Like the pen is intelligence, money, is well, money, and the toy is fun. He was just doing it out of curiosity and boredom. It was interesting for him to see which one I’d pick anyway. He said that I just sat there and stared at the items. He sat across from me and waited patiently. According to him, I crawled towards them, he held his breath, and I pushed everything aside and went right into his arms. He didn’t realize that he was one of the choices. And that was the first, and the only time I made him cry.
-author unknown (to me, at least)

I don't know if this story is true or not, nor do I know who the original author is.  Does it matter? Not really.

Today is a snow day.  I made biscuits and sausage.  Drank coffee and ate yogurt.  It is really coming down hard. Had quiet time with the kids at the breakfast table.  Looking out at the snow, my son (11) quietly said "Wow".

"What?"

"You look so pretty right now."

Did my son just say that to me?  His mom? I think he just earned himself that flannel shirt he's been longing for. "I know you're busy, Mom.  You don't have to make one, really.  We can buy one..."

No.  We won't buy this one.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

We spoke. We eased.

Yesterday, despite the miserable weather in the morning, I led our intimate scheduled Speakeasy as planned.  As always, we all "ooohed" and "aaaahed" the day away, jumping in and out of several carefully curated garment district stores.  There were just a few of us, but we had an excellent rapport, and it made the experience more curated to individual tastes than is otherwise possible with a larger group.

at B&J Fabrics...


At Mood...

At Mood...


So, what did we do?  We talked fabrics, looked at fabrics, notions, and projects.  I nudged, nodded, and encouraged/discouraged purchases based on other things we had yet to see and experience. We asked questions, absorbed, and had a wonderful, warm meal that left us all peacefully satisfied with our day, and happy to have experienced it.

Doggone it, I'm still swooning over some fabric I wanted so badly to buy... and I think I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it... Darn it.  Fabric shopping is horribly addictive...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Adrian: Hollywood and Beyond... An exhibit at the Museum at FIT


Gilbert Adrian (1903-1959) built his career as a costume designer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he worked on more than 250 films, including The Wizard of Oz.

I could say more, but really, do you need to know any more than that before coming to see this one?

The recently opened Adrian exhibit is easy to miss, if you aren't looking for it.  Tucked to the side, in the gallery space to the right of the main space, a narrow hallway gives no hint of the beauty it holds until you enter and gaze at the walls.  And seriously, this exhibit is special.  It offers technical (construction, technique and materials) information, as well as beautiful examples of his well-designed garments. This concise presentation is the epitome of a curated complete thought.  This is the kind of presentation the thinking designer could absolutely devour, and a visual explorer would enjoy.


caught my own reflection in the glass there... spooky...

Details on grain lines and technique hangs beside the jacket...

Printed pamphlets explain techniques and methods used...








The literature accompanying this exhibit are very informative and truly expand on the simple appreciation of the garments.

"While best remembered for his tailored daytime looks, Adrian was also a skillful and inventive draper. He used his technique in both his film and fashion work to create glamorous evening gowns."

Can't get here? The exhibition website allows a virtual visit with additional information and a body of work that is sure to amaze and overwhelm you. 











Truemart - Where'd ya go?


Remember Truemart?  I've talked about them on this blog.  I walked past the store's normal location today, and saw this...

Where'd they go?



Just right around the corner, apparently!  Neatly organized and safely navigable inside, the new space holds less inventory, for sure, but still fun for the bargain shopper.



A pile of DEEPLY discounted rolls stand in bins outside...

Truemart Discount Fabrics
120 West 25th Street
NYC