Sunday, May 22, 2016

Teal Minoru for Paris


Teal Minoru

I've finished a cornerstone piece of my Paris wardrobe!

As you can see, I've selected a teal, cobalt, and black color palette. I bought this gorgeous brocade from Marcy Tilton over the Christmas break. When I first saw it, I sent Marcy's team an email asking for more information—I had a question about the color—but I didn't actually order it. Then my friend, Patti F from Chicago, emailed me that she had just ordered a gorgeous fabric from Marcy and she sent me a pic.

It was the same fabric!

Marcy often doesn't carry large amounts of a fabric, so I quickly put in an order. Once her team returned from the holidays, they informed me that they only had 1.5 yards of the brocade left and did I want it. I said yes and figured I'd find a way to use it.

When Patti received the five yards that she had ordered, she decided that she didn't want to use it for the project that she originally had in mind. She offered to sell me 1.5 yards.

Thanks to her kindness, I was able to make the Minoru that I originally envisioned.


I made my first Minoru over the holidays. That coat quickly became a wardrobe staple. I LOVE it! I knew I wanted to make it again for my Paris wardrobe, when Margy pointed out that gorgeous brocade.

I actually started this project at a sewing retreat last March, but I couldn't finish it. I ordered a custom zipper that didn't arrive in time, I needed decent shoulder pads (the shoulder pads available at Hart's were nasty foam pads by Dritz), and I didn't have the right lining fabric. I finished the shell of the coat and moved on to other things.

The project languished for awhile until I returned to it a couple weeks ago. The zipper arrived (though I didn't notice at first that it wasn't the double-ended zipper that I thought I had ordered), I bought some nice shoulder pads from Britex, and a gorgeous silk charmeuse lining from Emma One Sock.

Sewing in the sleeve lining

In addition to the changes I made for the first coat, I made a few additional changes for this version:

  • The brocade wrinkles badly, so I underlined the entire jacket with Pam Erny's ProSHEER Elegance LIGHT Fusible Interfacing. Her interfacings are fabulous, but this fabric was a bit resistant and wanted to peel away, so I also sewed around the raw edges of each pattern piece.
  • Shortened the sleeves by 1" and drafted a sleeve hem facing.
  • Omitted the hood.
  • Stiffened the collar stand with rows of machine quilting.
  • The jacket, as designed, gathers into the collar. I took a note from Margy and replaced the gathers with darts.
  • In addition to the welt pockets on the coat, I made two internal patch pockets on the lining—it's perfect for stashing travel documents, cash, or credit cards!
  • This fabric also ravels like crazy. I could have serged around the raw edges, but I didn't. I just dealt with it.

I'm mostly happy with this coat. I wish I had done a bit more shaping at the side seams but I'm not sure I feel strongly enough that I want to open up the lining to address that. I love the color. Look for more teal, blue, and black coming from my sewing room!


Since I know someone will ask, so...

I bought this "button" necklace at Style 16 from Judith Content. Judith is a textile artist and she also sells these wonderful button necklaces and earrings. She starts with white plastic buttons and she stencils and paints them. She mixes them with fibers and creates delightful jewelry. In fact, I found a Pinterest board that someone created of her work. You can also follow her on Instagram.

I love Fly London footwear and these are the Fly London Simi boots in Petrol. A cool feature of these boots is that they have four functioning zippers - one on the inside and outside of each boot.

Google I/O

Last week was Google I/O, the conference for developers who use Google services and APIs. For the first time it was held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. I had a deliverable for this event. As part of that effort, I also worked two shifts during the show.

This meant I was compelled to wear a tee shirt.

This is sartorial hell for me. I love wearing tee shirts, for sleeping in.

I feel frumpy in a boxy tee shirt. In order to get a tee that fits my uber bust, I take an XL... in MEN'S. (The women's sizes are so small...) The sleeves end at my bust line, emphasizing my uber-ness. The crew neck doesn't flatter me. It's super long, which is great in a sleep shirt, but adds to the "tent-like" effect.

Yes, I could do some tailoring, but I don't see the point for a shirt I will wear in public exactly once. I mitigated the frumptastic effect with some fun earrings and shoes, purchased from Simply Bella. (You have to call as these aren't listed on her site, but they come in at least five colors.)

One of my favorite displays at the show is the new self driving car.

It's so CUTE! I want one.

I wonder what the pedals are for...

They invited graffiti on this giant Android

We've had a rainy spring, at least for us. I have never seen a mushroom like this before—I took this pic near my office in Mountain View.

Do you know what kind of mushroom this is?

CBS Sunday Morning

I know I've mentioned before that one of my favorite TV programs is CBS Sunday Morning. Once a year they have an episode dedicated to design-—this is my favorite. Today's design episode had a piece on Dressing Down: the Rise of Athleisure, which you can watch at that link.

They also had a wonderful piece on the home of Christian Dior in the south of France, which has recently been re-opened: The House of Dior.

But I think my favorite story was about British architect, Thomas Heatherwick. Wow his work is STUNNING. I particularly love the "garden bridge" he has planned for over the Thames, which reminds me of the High Line in NYC. (I've never seen the High Line in person, but I hope to remedy that this summer.)

When I was reading up about his amazing work, I saw that he has designed a new campus in Mountain View for Google. Somehow I missed that announcement last year. Sheesh, it looks unreal. I wonder if this will happen in my lifetime...

I have more projects in various stages of completion. My daughter's graduation is in a couple of weeks and it may be hot, so I need to address that wardrobe need.

Have a great week!