lost my mind, blew the budget and basically shot any chance of stash parity for a while to come.
In other words, I went to New York. I went with good intentions, and considering that (a) I went to New York, and (b) I visited Kashi while in New York, I didn't do too badly.
Unless you consider 15 yards bad. On top of the 10 yards earlier this week.
On top of the 7 yards last week.
Yeah, yeah, I did the math. You can check the sidebar.
Yesterday was great, though. I took train up in the morning, wandered around a little, stopped in a store on 35th Street called - I think H + M Fabrics - that's been going out of business for at least the last year. From there came the first score, 2 yards of black/white/pink cotton stretch novelty print (dress or skirt) and 5 yards of white batiste for underlining. Note: the batiste is not included in the fabric totals. I don't count lining, therefore, I'm not going to count underlining. All this cost $14 - $2 per yard. No guilt there.
After that, I wandered up to 39th Street and stopped in another store (don't remember the name, but it's 2 doors down from Beckenstein's, which was my destination. But first, I went into this little store, which was stuffed full with bolts up to the ceiling, and fell for this coral, black and white, vaguely Asian-inspired, Betsey Johnson semi-sheer cotton (see, a use already for the white batiste!) I think it wants to be a nice floaty summer skirt.
I did make it to Beckenstein's after that. Beckenstein's is menswear heaven - suitings, shirtings, tie silks, linings, seersuckers, wools, gabardines. Lovely stuff, amazingly high quality, with prices to match. I broke down and got a shirting cotton anyway - Italian, almost glossy, a maroon plaid with a muted light blue thread running through it. Perhaps it will make up for Jackson Pollock in space. And if not, it'll look good on me.
At 12:30, I met up with Elizabeth of Sew a Beginner at Metro Textiles, a lovely place to have lunch. Kashi was his usual welcoming self, and had lots of new goodies on offer. There's a navy cotton suiting with white flecks that feels vintage to me. Also, I got rayon jersey in heathered navy and brown - the flecks are darker instead of lighter, which looks particularly interesting in the brown. The photo of these fabrics is much lighter than they are.
I also got one stretch knit for a summer dress, a turquoise and green floral. Another goodie: blue fine-striped cotton with stripes of embroidery. This one warrants going through the vintage patterns for an appropriate summer dress.
After Metro, we went over to Pacific Trims and I scored more buttons for the endless collection of buttons I seem to need to feel secure.
The best part of the whole day, though, competely wiping out fabric shopping (not that I'd give any of it back, mind you) was our trip down to FIT's museum for the Isabel Toledo exhibit. I have to admit that other than the Inauguration dress she did for Michelle Obama and a few other pieces, I really wasn't all that familiar with her work. But I am now, and it killed me that photography wasn't permitted in the exhibit because I would really love to share what I saw with you all.
My brain is still swimming, trying to figure out how she constructed some of those dresses, even though the cards at the feet of most of the mannequins had lovely little diagrams of the pattern pieces that somehow resolve themselves into dresses that in no way resemble those strange little collections of pieces.
But actually, she had me at hello. When you go down the steps to the exhibit, the Inauguration dress is in a case, and there's a wall of photos in chronological order of Toledo's career. There's also an excerpt of the brochure posted there, and this is what got me: "I never thought of myself as a designer. I'm a seamstress. I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else. The seamstress is the one who views fashion from the inside! That's the art form really, not fashion design, but the technique of how it's done."
Let us all bow down and worship - or at least really, really appreciate - a designer who proudly calls herself a seamstress.
Last but not least, Vlad, still living large in the guest room. Starting to go downhill, even slightly aware of it some days, but for a cat who was given two weeks to live back in January, he looks pretty good.