Paco’s draped top

Yay! Back to ordinary sewing.

I’ve made a top I can wear everyday if I choose to, not something that only get out of the wardrobe once a year for an art gallery exhibition opening or a black tie event.


This lovely top is from a designer in Barcelona: Paco Peralta. I’m not sure if he is still trading in Etsy but I knew quite a few sewing bloggers have his patterns

I’ve had the pattern for a while. Lots of sewing bloggers before me have already made this top. I’m not an early adopter it seems (much worse than you Gail!)

Size: S-XL (bust 80 to 104 cm). I traced off between L and XL based on my bust measurement being in the middle of sizes L and XL. Flat pattern measurements suggested a L would be ok, but experience told me that its easier to take out width than put it in.

After construction I took the side seams in by 1.5 cm at the waist, grading from the armscye to the hip. I could have cut out an L.

The top is loose, but this seems to suit the style, and I don’t need a zip to get it on.

I also added an extra 6 cm to length. This is probably a little bit too much. The bottom of the top shows when I wear it with one of my jackets. The next version will be made about 2 cm shorter!

Fabric: Cotton voile. The cowl would work better with a drapier fabric, but it’s okay in this too.

This fabric was a large remnant from a previous blouse and skirt combination made before blogging or Pattern Review. It was purchased on my first visit to Cleggs in Melbourne about ten years ago. I’ve loved this fabric for a long time, even after wearing and wearing my first makes from it. You know how sometimes you get sick of a print after you’ve worn it a lot? Didn’t happen with this one. I still love it! I have a white skirt under construction that this is going to look great with too.

About the pattern:

The bias insert for the cowl is clever. You get lovely draping in this section without the disadvantage of shifty bias in the rest of the garment. The lovely insert detail is perfectly camouflaged by the busy print in my fabric, so I’m pointing it out for you here!

There is a lot of ease drafted into the back shoulder (I don’t think I cut it out wrong?)

These pieces needed to be sewn together.

Gathering helps

The busy print and the gorgeousness of cotton meant that lots of steaming hid the easing, but this would be more obvious in a solid. Next time I’ll either add a small dart, or trim the extra off.

Paco’s instructions (here and here, and thanks to Google translate and photos!) for the sewing order of the cowl and back neck facing are useful. I sort of followed them, plus the way Vogue instruct for the cowl for dress 1250.

After sewing the back facing onto the back neck, the shoulder seam is stitched together with the neck facing to the cowl facing,

then the back neck facing is turned back down, in line with the shoulder seam and, after turning the cowl facing to the back too, stitching over the same line of stitching (where the orange pins are)

trimmed and overlocked,

then the cowl facing flipped back to the front.

Here’s how it looks turned over to the right side

It makes for a nice finish, even if the shoulder seam allowance ends up ironed to the front rather than the back.

The armscyes are finished with bias strips, before sewing the side seams:

First step after sewing on the strips was trimming the edges (I like using my pinking shears!),

then I flipped the strips over and stitched the edge of the bias strip down from the wrong side.

A simple and neat finish is easily achieved.

It’s a very comfortable top to wear and will be great for hot summer weather. I see some more in my future…that is, after I clear my ridiculously long to sew list…





Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art Gallery Frock

An exhibition opening at an art gallery demands a New Frock. When the exhibition is designer fashion, the Frock specifications get a little more exacting.

Luckily, I had just the fabric in my stash for an Art Gallery Frock: embroidered black chiffon with largish bronzy paillettes.

Technical details


Pattern: 03/2011-106

I shortened it considerably, like 03/2011-104 without sleeves

I like the sleeves, I just didn’t have enough fabric.

Size: 36 to 44. I made a 44. My normal size is 42 with 44 hips and I could have just traced a 42 with this style, but I’ve had trouble before with raglan sleeves being small so I went for a 44. Then I didn’t have enough fabric for sleeves anyway!


The outer fabric is a polyester chiffon with pleather paillettes, from the last Gay Naffine/Lucy Giles fabric sale. It’s lined with poly cotton ‘Siri designer’ lining from Gorgeous Fabrics. This is the first time I’ve used this lining and it’s lovely.


I stabilized the armholes by fusing interfacing on to the lining.

After sewing the side seams of the outer fabric and of the lining, I stitched the lining and outer fabric together at the armhole edges, trimmed and turned and then under-stitched.

The collar pieces had all the paillettes removed except one in the centre. The shape of the pattern pieces meant all the other ones were in odd places.

I underlined the collar with lining and then used lining on the back as well. The back piece was interfaced. It’s stable enough to hold its shape yet comfortable to wear.


The centre back gave me some cause for thought.

If I cut the pieces out so the paillette ‘stripes’ matched at the side edges, I would have a line of paillettes almost perfectly down the centre back. That would look lovely. But could be a bit tricky with the zip.

Perhaps I could cut both the paillettes on each side of the seam in half and they could match up?

I left them mainly intact when I cut the pattern pieces out and gave a few things a try.

Happily, leaving them whole on one side worked just fine, and the zip was functional. Pity I snipped one or two of them when I cut the pieces out!

Sewing with these paillettes was not as tricky as it looks. These ones are large and soft and only attached at the top, so they were very easy to push to one side when sewing. I imagine sequins would be a whole other story.

The invisible zip and centre back seam really does look invisible from a distance!

This photo also shows where the lining ends. The lining was cut to the shorter dress length, with the outer fabric cut a little longer. That Burda pattern is short!

It’s a fun dress to wear. Now I just need to find some more occasions to do so…




Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Fashion Icons in Adelaide

Masterpiece’s from the Collection of the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Paris at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

You need to go!

I was very lucky to be invited to the official opening on Friday night.

A very elegant crowd awaited in the forecourt for the formalities.

There was even a street fashion photographer with all the essentials: pink hair, designer sports-inspired ensemble, camera.

Style continued at the reception

This event definitely needed a New Frock.

The Gallery thoughtfully provided a photo booth to record your outfit.

Both Melissa and I were in frocks we had made. She was wearing a floaty dress in a wonderful floral Rorschach silk print. Mine was a halter neck from embroidered chiffon with pleather paillettes. More on that in another post.

The exhibition itself was wonderful. Photography wasn’t allowed but this wasn’t well signposted so I did take two, before being asked to cease.

Christian Dior’s 1947 Bar Suit: self covered buttons. Ruth, this one was for you!

One of many beautiful gowns.

Some images from the Art Gallery website:

I loved all these gowns, and many more.

It is a wonderfully curated collection. I’ll be going again. I strongly encourage you to go too!

Posted in Sewing, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Yellow Dress: Marion Bay Sewist version

This dress was constructed at a beach house in Marion Bay, South Australia.

The beach house had all the essentials: Burda magazines, fabric, sewing machine, a table, good light. Oh, and a fully equipped kitchen.

The esky was just the right size for transporting my sewing machine.

There was some disappointment expressed when those cool drinks in the esky didn’t materialize, but my machine was nicely protected on the trip there!


So why was I sewing at a beach house?

Felicity and a few of her friends were on a three day hike in Innes National Park.

Two of the Dads accompanied them. I got to stay in the beach house with one of the other Mums to provide before and after hiking support.

And to sew!

Technical Details


Pattern: BurdaStyle 03/2013 #110. This is a simple pattern with the style lines highlighted with petersham ribbon

Size: 34 to 44, I made a 40 with a 2.5 cm FBA.

This added a horizontal dart, but it’s not so noticeable with the busy print (and I didn’t highlight it with ribbon like the other darts)

I added an extra 1 cm to the neck all the way round. It was very wide before. Now bra straps are covered and the scoop is still flattering.


Japanese textured cotton from Tessuti Fabrics. I’ve seen this same print in Spotlight since, but as a heavy twill. This is not heavy, and the texture is delightful!

I did a terrible job cutting out the back pieces. So close and yet so far! Why didn’t I check ?!

The pattern includes a back and front neck facing. I didn’t use the facing. Instead, I cut out iron on interfacing with the facing pattern pieces and ironed them onto the neck,

then used bias tape to finish the neck edge.

The stitching lines are covered by the petersham ribbon and the neck is nicely stabilized.

This was my first time shaping petersham ribbon. I love the way you can iron it into a curve! Awesome!



Yellow. It makes a happy dress, happy daughter, happy mum. The sewcation helped too..

Posted in Sewing, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Writing Secrets Blog Hop

Have you, like me, been enjoying the blog hop about blog writing that’s been going around? Imagine my delight when Catherine of Cyberdaze asked me to be part of it!

So, here goes.


What am I working on now?

This dress for my daughter is the current WIP

BurdaStyle 03/2013 #110.

I’m using a gorgeous textured Japanese cotton.


How does my work differ from others in the genre?

It really doesn’t. There are lots of sewing blogs like mine, and most of them are more interesting. Some have recipes too, and post about travel and fabric purchases, just like mine does. Lots of sewing blogs have lots of technical detail too, just like mine. Nothing to see here, just another sewing blot.

One very minor point of difference is content. I make and blog about a lot of BurdaStyle Magazine patterns. A lot. Almost everything I sew is a BurdaStyle pattern. My first blog post was about a BurdaStyle pattern.

What a cute little girl she was in 2010! Burda Style 02-2008-114

How amazed I was with the first comment I got on this trench coat blog. How did they find that post so quickly? What an amazing world the sewing blog world was! I still feel like this.

More grown up in 2013. BurdaStyle 08-2012-113

Lots of BurdaStyle isn’t a deliberate point of difference to make me stand out of the sewing blog crowd.

It’s just the way it is.

BurdaStyle 08-2009-124 and 12-2012-117

I like lots of things about BurdaStyle Magazine patterns.

BurdaStyle 04-2010-125

I like the fit, the edgier European styles, the fact I get lots and lots of patterns every month for a moderate price.

BurdaStyle 03-2009-107 

I also don’t mind the bit about the issues being the wrong season for Australia. This gives me time to see the patterns made up by others before I dive in.

The jacket is Burda World Of Fashion 12-2005-113 (sometimes it takes me more than one season to get around to sewing up the patterns!)

Why do I write what I do.

I started* this blog a year or so after I discovered the wonderful world of online sewists. I wanted to be part of this fabulous community!

Since then, I’ve also found my blog to be like a very useful journal. I like having my makes documented for my own future reference. Even the images of my fabric purchases are a useful reference for me when I’m not home and am thinking about sewing

My first online fabric purchase!

I find it amazing that other people like to read the stuff I write. And comment. And I love the community that we have as sewing bloggers. It’s awesome that even one thing I share might be helpful to someone else, because I have been helped so much by others.

* I didn’t really start this blog, He Who Cooks did. It used to be a cooking blog called Beurreblanc before I started posting. He graciously changed the name to He Cooks…She Sews.

For a while posting was a joint thing, but his contribution slowly petered out. Now it is me who writes the baking posts. He Who Cooks might have found the attention the sewing posts were getting a bit discouraging ..



How does my writing process work?

Most of the time, blog posts are about finished projects, so nothing happens until I have photos of the final garment styled on my daughter or myself.

Then I write the blog post. Usually after Sunday lunch or late at night. Blogging feels a bit like stolen time. Anyone with children, elderly parents and a demanding full time job will know what I mean!

It’s usually stream of consciousness stuff with a section of technical details at the end, for my future reference. I do a bit of editing to try and improve readability (but not much, as you already know because you read this blog!).

I enjoy putting together blog posts and I love being part of the online sewing community. I don’t want to spoil it by making myself worry too much about perfect writing. You, my wonderful blogging friends are delightfully forgiving of the poor quality of my expression.


Thanks for reading. I’m passing the baton on to Gail of My Fabrication, Allison of Allison.C Sewing Gallery and Ruth of CoreCouture.

I have enjoyed these three blogs for a long time. They are inspiring, stylish, talented and thought provoking. I’d love to know more about how they do it!

Posted in Sewing, Uncategorized, WIP | 17 Comments

Knit evening dress in “action”

Thank you for your lovely comments on my knit evening dress.

Here I am on the night with the gloriously glamourous and wonderfully gracious Catriona Rowntree, the MC for the event.

Catriona was wearing a dress by a local Australian designer, Rachel Gilbert. She was stunning.

Thanks to the Hon. Senator Sean Edwards for the iPhone snaps. He understood my need to have a photo of Catriona’s dress and made it happen!


We were away for the weekend at Pt Willunga a few days later. I could have taken my evening wear out of the suitcase before I put my swimwear in… but I did hope that a beach photo shoot could be possible..

He who Cooks graciously agreed.

The godet at the back.

It was very windy, and very bright. Windswept hair and sunglasses was the only way to accessorize.

Unless I needed a wrap..

The organza wrap was the perfect colour for this dress. Thanks Jann!




Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Knit dress #3; the evening version

I’m on a knit dress roll.

What better than a metallic knit to make an outfit for a black tie event? Especially when you are time poor? And that metallic knit is already in your stash?

The back story to this knit was another evening dress that needed to be made in a hurry several years ago. I used this same fabric in a lovely Burda magazine pattern from 2007 (12-2007-109).

I loved this dress. It was before I was blogging or even posting on Pattern review and, sadly, I have no photos to share. The Slapdash Sewist has made this pattern too, but as a short version. I agree with all her comments about the dress!

Fast forward another few years and the dress was adjusted to fit Felicity for a school costume party. That was its demise. All I had left was the rest of the fabric.


Technical details

Pattern: Vogue 1250

Size: I made a 16. Last time I made a 14 and thought it was a bit snug. This one is a teeny bit less fitting than it could be. A 14 was probably about right.


Knit synthetic with metallic thread, a bit on the sheer side with only width wise stretch, not lengthwise. The pattern calls for four way stretch. As it turned out, the lack of four way stretch in this metallic knit as a maxi dress seems not an issue.

I underlined the dress with a black viscose knit. The viscose knit has four way stretch, so I basted the lining and fashion fabric together by machine with the lining underneath (and let the feed dogs control the lengthwise stretching for me!). Sewing the seams was then without incident. Without the basting I got a horrible puckered mess.

I used a long straight stitch on a regular sewing machine for all the seams then overlocked the raw edges together, with the overlocker seam on top of my straight stitch. Hopefully that will give enough stretch to the seams when I wear it to the event.

The only exception to constructing the dress this way was the cowl edge and the back neck edge. For these two I treated the lining like a facing. Then flipped it over and basted the other edges together as if the lining was an underlining.

It’s made a lovely neat finish to the cowl under lap and the back neck edge.

For the sleeve edges, I overlocked the lining and outer fabric together, turned it under and then hand stitched.

This lining feels divine (just like it does in the vase dress!)



Other changes I made:

As you can see, I lengthened this to a maxi.

To add a little bit of drama to the hem, and for walking ease, I added a godet to the hem. It is one layer only (no black viscose lining) and about 40 cm in length on both sides and across the curved bottom edge.


The ‘hem’ is a raw edge. time poor. did I say that already?! Lets hope this dress stands up to the event!

The event is in Canberra, our national capital, tomorrow night, and early spring means overnight lows close to freezing.

My wonderful sewist friend Jann has loaned to me one of her hand crafted silk organza wraps for the event to add a bit of warmth. It is just the perfect colour for my dress.

I still might need leggings underneath …




Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Another boring knit dress?

Not with this fabric!

I wondered about my chances of keeping this fabric for myself. There was a remote possibility. I might have even mentioned this, while it was being cut out at Stonemountain and Daughter fabrics, to the San Francisco Sewing BABES who organised a fabric shopping meet-up for me in Berkeley …

Very remote as it turned out. Felicity loves bright fabrics as much as I do, and when I suggested this fabric wanted to be a maxi dress with a solid back, that remote possibility turned to zilch.

This fabric was a 90 cm wide panel running selvedge to selvedge with orange and yellow and hot pink stripes at each selvedge. Now all I have is teeny tiny scraps.

I didn’t even have long enough scraps to cut the neck binding in one piece. I could have if I used black, but I thought yellow would look better. There’s a join just south of the shoulder seam, and the underside of the binding is pink.

I really got my money’s worth out of this piece of fabric!

The front was cut out with grain running selvedge to selvedge; in other words, aligned with the weft, not the normal way aligned with the warp. That means maximum stretch runs up and down the body.

Felicity is tall, so the dress runs selvedge to selvedge on her.

This fabulous fabric makes it look like I’ve been very creative with stripe and print matching.

The back is a black viscose spandex knit (the same fabric I used it as lining for the scuba knit vase dress). I cut the back with the grain line the same way as the front. Both fabrics have excellent four way stretch and there is still at least 50% stretch around the body, so it all worked.

The sleeves are the only pieces were cut “properly” on the warp grainline, because that’s the only way I could fit them onto my fabric.

Not much more to say really. This is Closet Files Nettie Bodysuit as a dress and its super fast and easy to make: shoulder seams with a ribbon to add stability, neck binding, sleeves inserted in the flat, sleeve and side seams in one pass, then double needle hem on the sleeves. No skirt hem because it’s the selvedge, and Felicity likes the length as it is.

Cut out and sewn up in an afternoon. Gotta love knits!

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Scuba knit vase dress

It’s done!

So glad I took your advice and used this pattern. I love the shape. It will work with a thin merino top underneath and tights for cooler days, and on its own for warmer spring weather.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 09/2012 #121

Size: 17-21 (petite equivalent of 34-42). I made a 21 with a 1 cm sway back adjustment and an extra 4 cm in length in the skirt.

I’m not petite but I am short-waisted, so Burda’s petite sizing works well for me. I just need to add a little to the skirt length and check sleeve length.

After flat pattern measurements I added 6 cm extra in width across several pattern pieces. I then took 5 cm back out after trying the dress on. It would have been fine as drafted. The only piece that I didn’t change is the front vase shape. This is an extra 2 cm wide. Because the back doesn’t have an extra 2 cm, the neck gapes ever so slightly.


The floral is a poly lycra scuba knit from EmmaOneSock, the black is a ponte (viscose nylon spandex) from Tessuti’s. I lined the dress with a viscose spandex knit from one of my local bricks and mortar stores; DK fabrics. This knit is not sold as lining, and it would make an awesome drapey top, or dress or leggings, but it’s also wonderful as lining. It makes wearing the dress feel like wearing pajamas.


I used a narrow zigzag stitch for the seams of the ponte and scuba knit.

Neither of these fabrics fray so overlocking wasn’t needed. A narrow zigzag meant I could press the seams allowances open and flat.

The neckline needed to be stabilized, but my knit lining was too stretchy to take fusible interfacing and I didn’t want to add extra bulk with a ponte facing. So I trimmed the seams at the neck line

and then fused the interfacing to the fashion fabric. I pinked the edge to minimize show through on the right side.


I under-stitched the lining at the neck edge and the sleeve edges, and then, to make even more sure it stayed in place, I stitched through all layers ‘in the ditch’ of the shoulder seams


Allthoughtswork suggested I style this dress with hair up, turquoise purse, metallic gold sandals, steaming cup of take out coffee in hand, and a hot guy waiting in the car. Sounds good doesn’t it?

How’d I go?

  • Hair up? yep
  • Turquoise purse? still working on that
  • Metallic gold sandals? not warm enough for bare legs today
  • Take out coffee in hand? wrong location
  • Hot guy waiting in the car? He who Cooks was taking the photo instead ;-)


Final musings

I had thought about adding hot pink topstitching to the interesting curved darts at the back, and an exposed zip, but I’ve done neither, so far. No need for a zip in this ponte. Not sure about topstitching. What do you think?




Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

The dilemma has been solved

My cluttered sewing nook is now graced with this work in progress.

Yikes, it that a rose on Eliza the dressmaking dummy’s breast?

In my eagerness to get the all the bits I liked onto a fairly narrow panel it looks like I have managed to centre a rose almost perfectly over a nipple… Let’s hope the viewer’s eye is drawn away by the diagonal swathe of pink!




Posted in Sewing, WIP | 12 Comments

The dilemma of which pattern

Thank you for all your lovely comments on the blouse I made for Felicity.

I’ve made a lot of stuff for her recently. But now, the selfish seamstress in me has forced its way out: the next project is going to be all about me!

Using this delightful scuba knit from EmmaOneSock

Why is it this fabric, apart from it being gorgeous?

It’s thick.

If I delay too long, it will be summer and a scuba knit is too thick to be summer weather appropriate in Adelaide. So it has jumped to the head of the queue.


This fabric has already been very clear that it wants to be a colour blocked dress partnered with black.

I have two patterns vying for its attention.

BurdaStyle 09/2012 #121


My Image 1412 (thank you Melissa of FehrTrade for gifting me with this)


I love the bottle shape of the insert in the BurdaStyle one and the cute cut-on cap sleeves and the wrap around side seams but I know the My Image pattern will be more practical with its longer sleeves. And I have no doubts about how good it will look: Timmithea has already made this pattern up with this same scuba knit and black lace.

Perhaps I should redraft the My Image dress centre panel to be more like the BurdaStyle one?

So, dear readers, which pattern do you think it should be?

Posted in Sewing, WIP | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Does this blouse measure up?

I was so torn this last weekend.

I have a stack of beautiful new fabrics from San Francisco.

But I also had a cotton blouse cut out for Felicity from fabric from Scotland. This project was sitting, waiting for me by the sewing machine.

So I was a good little sewist mum and worked on the project for her.

Yes, Felicity loves this yellow skirt and is very happy to have another thing to wear with it!

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 10/2012 #122

I like the architectural lines of this style. Merche made a great plaid version.

Size: 36-44, I traced off a 40 then added a 3 cm FBA. It’s a bit loose under the bust so I probably should have taken it back in at the waist in a bit. The bagginess is obvious in this poor posture photo.

However, Felicity is perfectly happy with it and it was worn all day, so that means it will probably never be adjusted.


This cute cotton was purchased in Edinburgh. It was only 110 cm wide. I was very happy to manage to squeeze this pattern out of my 2 metres! The printed plaid wasn’t quite on grain, so that added to the challenge.

Due to these constraints, some of the seam allowances were not exactly generous and the sleeves became bracelet rather than full length. She is just missing the bracelet in the photo below!

The shoulder flaps are cute aren’t they? They are like a yoke but only attached at the shoulder seam and armscye.

They are cut out doubled so they end up with a fold at the lower edge. BurdaStyle suggests finishing and turning in the neck edge, but I sewed these edges together with right sides to right sides..

..and then turned the flap so the right sides were outside. This made it neater, but also a bit flatter and less like a looped piece of fabric.

The style only had 5 button holes but I felt more buttonholes would be better for the size of button I had and for the design. So I made 7 button holes. Then I realised I had only 6 yellow buttons.

The one red button at the top is a design feature ;-)



Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

More fabric shopping in San Francisco

Fabric shopping with fellow fabricaholics is the best. See my previous post if you need to be convinced.

Fabric shopping at places recommended by the local fabricoholics is also pretty good.

I was lucky enough to do both.

Britex Fabrics

The locals said that Britex was high end and expensive, but worth a visit. It was just around the corner from my hotel, so of course I went.

Expensive? Yes.

It’s location alone would demand that – sandwiched between Chanel, YSL and other designer names.

I expected this visit to be similar to a museum visit. I would ooh and ahh but nothing would be bought.

It was like a museum visit. It is a beautiful store. The silks, boucles and wools were exquisite. And beautifully displayed.

The trims were lovely. And the selection of buttons extensive.

And, to my surprise, there was a rayon challis with my name on it on the sales floor



Fabrix isn’t downtown but was very easy to reach by bus.

It was, as described by the locals, the polar opposite of Britex.

It is not a beautiful store. Fabrics are arranged by price rather than fiber or colour.

The prices are very good.

I restrained myself and bought only one piece of fabric, a printed poly satin with a silk like look and feel.

And this 20cm wide guipure lace could not be resisted, not at $10 per yard!


Thanks to everyone for their great advice. I highly recommend all four stores I visited in San Francisco, and of, course, meeting up with the sewing BABES was the best fun.

My fabric stash has been enriched.

Posted in Sewing, travel | Tagged , | 4 Comments

San Francisco sewing BABES Berkeley meet up

I have some new sewing friends:

Jennifer, Wendy, me, Heather, Jilly and Glenda, from the San Francisco Sewing BABES group

What a great group they are. I was welcomed and felt at home straight away. Sewists are the best people!

They took me to lunch in Berkeley and then to two great fabric stores; Stone Mountain and Daughter and Piedmont Fabrics


Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics.

I loved the atmosphere in this shop. Suzan Steinberg (the Daughter) and her staff were genuinely welcoming and love fabric. There was a warm positive vibe to this store. What can I say? I was in Berkeley.

The shop is medium sized with a lovely selection of knits, silks and wools, plus lots of cottons. The quality was good and the prices reasonable (just like those in the know said on the last post). Upstairs is a space for classes, and the half price bargains.

Part of the cotton selection.

I found some wonderful rayon knit panels.

The pink is a 70 cm square, repeated twice across the width of the fabric. I have two panels.

The bright rainbow butterfly print is one panel running the width of the fabric (140 cm) and 90 cm across. Only half of it is in the photo. There is a solid border both ends, about 20 cm deep. I have one panel of this too. I’m thinking it will be a dress, combined with black.

This lovely silk charmeuse was half price.

And a bargain polyester chiffon made its way into my bag too. I do like a classical themed print!


Piedmont Fabrics

A short drive took us to Piedmont Fabrics, another shop in Berkeley. This is smaller shop, but again a nice selection of fabrics and notions, includes some pre-loved (vintage) buttons

Outside the store, hugging my purchases.

Polyester stretch lace

This piece of charcoal and blue wool embroidered cotton needed to escape from the remnant bin.

This stunning fabric has beautiful texture and sheen. It had to come home to Australia.


Thank you Heather, Glenda, Jilly, Wendy and Jennifer. I had an awesome time!


Posted in Sewing, travel | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Advice needed on fabric shopping in San Francisco

What advice can you give me? Apart from ‘take large bags and a credit card, and don’t exceed your luggage limit’?

(image source)


I’ll be in San Francisco next week for an American Chemical Society Meeting. I have some time free on the last day before I start the long and boring plane flight back to Australia. Thanks, Qantas, for scheduling flights out of the West Coast at midnight!

Last time I was in San Francisco I stumbled on a vintage fabric shop (Urban Burp) by accident. This was an awesome store, and I have a skirt to remember it by but the shop has moved since and is temporarily closed.

So, where should I go?

My googling tells me I could try these spots:

What do you think? Have I missed something? I’m staying close to Union Square, I’ll be relying on public transport and have about 5 hours to shop…

And if you’re in San Francisco next Thursday, would you like to meet up?


Posted in Sewing, travel | Tagged , | 30 Comments