Tuesday, August 28, 2012


How do you use your collections?  First In-First Out?  Last In-First Out?

Sometimes, I sew the latest fabric purchase on top of the stack.  Other times, I rummage through the bins for a specific color and unearth pieces purchased long ago.  This project is LIFO because it was sewn up within a week of arrival.

I purchased this costly Liberty of London Tana Lawn during my last visit to Elfriede's Fine Fabrics in August.  (BTW, though the fabric is costly by my standards, it was only $40/yd at Elfriede's for the 54" Tana Lawn vs. $50/yd I've seen elsewhere for the exact same thing.)

I purchased 3/4 of a yard, or $30 worth because it perfectly matched a cardigan I was knitting at the time, I love the feel of Tana Lawn, and the shell in Vogue 1071 uses the fabric very efficiently. 

The last time I made this blouse, it rode up slightly at the hips.  For this version, I added about 1.5" around the hips and it fits much more smoothly.  Of course, I only have photos of it worn tucked in so you can't see that. ;-)

You can see the nice buttons that I recycled from an old and (sadly) shrunken linen blouse (another Calvin Klein pattern).  The front is lined with red/white cotton batiste rescued from the SBQG share table.  I like this blouse so much, I pulled out a cotton lawn remnant purchased from Poppy Fabrics about 25 years ago to make another!  If that is one of the oldest fabrics in my collection, does that make it FIFO?

It's a high-low outfit because I purchased the skirt fabric from barrels at Trash For Teaching for $1/pound. The fabric is factory waste from American Apparel; their factory is only a few miles from T4T.
At T4T we strive to source wonderful, clean, safe, interesting items that local businesses discard in abundance, and make them available to shoppers at the warehouse. Over the past 8 years we’ve collected materials from over 200 companies, most of those original manufacturers still donate to T4T today. Since we first opened our doors in 2004, T4T has diverted over 50,000 pounds of materials from local landfill. Those materials include an abundance of plastic and cardboard thread cones, in all colors shapes and sizes, beautiful wood from a shutter company, plastic color chips, glass tubes, fabric and trim, colorful rubber mats, tiles, tubes, Styrofoam….and the list goes on.
BTW, if you are visiting LA and have a rental car, it's worth visiting T4T and exploring their warehouse neighborhood (near the intersection of I-110 and I-105) to learn just how much (besides celluloid) the region manufactures.  T4T also sells science "teacher kits" made up of trash with lesson plans at bargain basement prices.  The kit for teaching optics is genius!  I say that in earnest.

Anyway, the linen was celadon green and the jersey was light olive green.  I dyed the linen to match the jersey and then lined it with gray rayon lining, which deepens the green of the linen.  Notice also that the hip yoke has darts incorporated into the seams.   The linen is cut on the bias.  I drafted the pattern.  I made a bias top to go with it.  The set deserves it's own post at a later time.


  1. Is there an I-115 freeway?

  2. No, thanks for catching the typo. It should be I-105.

  3. $50/yd? Really? Do you know about http://www.shaukat.co.uk/ who ship worldwide very reasonably?
    Liberty fabric is great if you live in LA, there's nothing quite like it for comfort and durability. But at least with Shaukat you get the full range of the collection, and you're not trapped in little flowers :-). Nothing against flowers per se you understand, but the seasonal collections often have more interesting themes, like there were some great Japanese-themed fabrics last summer.
    You did very good with this one though, very cute shirt :-)

  4. Love the blouse, and I like the combination of it with the skirt. You are really interesting me in dying.

    I was in Elfriede's this summer when I made my first ever trip to Boulder (or Colorado for that matter).


Comments are open for recent posts, but require moderation for posts older than 14 days.