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In my recent post, “Closet Refresh”, I admitted to failing miserably at wardrobe planning. I have tried…made lists, prioritized, etc., to no avail. In January I set a goal to declutter my closet, plan a versatile, coordinated wardrobe (me made), and set up a system to track my progress.

Once my closet cleanout was complete, I started my wardrobe planning research. I was overwhelmed by all the information out there for capsule wardrobes, 10 item wardrobes, SWAT (Sewing with a Plan), etc. Here are a few of the resources I found to be most helpful to me:

·     https://bemorewithless.com/

·     https://www.thelifestyle-files.com/10-tips-to-build-the-perfect-wardrobe/

·     https://www.anitabydesign.com/swap-how-to-plan-a-functional-wardrobe/

·     https://www.seamwork.com/wardrobe/design

·     http://www.tauntonworkshops.com/course/how-sew-travel-wardrobe

·     The Curated Closet, by Anuschka Rees

After all my research, I decided to combine the principals of a capsule wardrobe and SWAT (Sewing with a Plan). I did not make a mood board, go shopping to try on new styles or spend time putting words to my personal style, all of which might have been helpful. However, I have been sewing for a while and have a good sense of what I like and what styles work with my body. I began by choosing three colors for my coordinates:

Next, I chose this color for my accent:

I sat down with pen, paper, my fabric stash and began my planning. I wanted to fill “gaps” in my wardrobe (primarily pants) and keep our summer travel plans in mind as I planned. I started with bottoms:

·     Navy linen pants (self-drafted pattern)

·     Taupe linen pants (self-drafted pattern)

·     White denim jeans (ready to wear)

Next, I choose 6 tops that would coordinate with the three pair of pants:

·     White seersucker tunic (ready to wear)

·     Navy & white striped organic cotton knit tee (Grainline Studio Lark Tee)

·     Taupe/white polka dot cotton print (Merchant & Mills Gyo Top)

·     White/turquoise/navy/brown rayon print (hey June Biscayne Blouse)

·     Nani Iro Japanese cotton print (Closet Case Kalle Top)

·     White t-shirt (ready to wear)






Finally, I wanted a lightweight topper that I could throw on in the evenings or on cooler days, so chose a taupe linen with a fleur de lis woven pattern to make the Merchant & Mills Strand coat.

I am fortunate to have inherited some chunky turquoise jewelry from my grandmother, who lived in the Southwest a portion of her life. I can wear these pieces with the taupe and white garments. I also have a navy/white Shibori knit wrap and polka dot scarf that will coordinate with many of these wardrobe pieces.

I have to say, this plan totally changed my sewing priorities, or I should say, created sewing priorities. I feel so good having some direction with my sewing. When these garments are finished, I will take the same approach for my fall/winter sewing. Once these basics are added to my wardrobe, I can start adding some fun, more colorful pieces…next year.

 In the meantime, I need to finish my current project – a Katherine Tilton tunic, B6491.  I’m busy adding some hand stitching in a raspberry hand dyed embroidery floss. Stay tuned to see the finished garment!

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I recently spent 2 days shopping, learning and connecting with friends at Sew Expo, a 4-day event full of learning, shopping and inspiration for sewers of all kinds and levels. My last trip to Sew Expo was about five years ago when Marcy and Katherine Tilton, Sewing Workshop and McCall Pattern Company still had booths at the show. Knowing they were gone, and hearing from friends that the Expo was now all about quilting, I wasn’t in a hurry to go back (I have been a quilter, but not anymore). Yes, quilting booths dominate, but there are definitely vendors and workshops with appeal for anyone who sews. Those quilting vendors offer some great tools and Marcia Derse, a quilting fabric designer, has some of the most interesting “graffiti” style quilting cottons that would make fun garments.

Day 1:

My friend, Bev, and I arrived at the fairgrounds about 10:00 a.m. on the 2ndday of the Expo. We were lucky to find a parking spot on the street near the Gold gate – close enough that we could easily walk our purchases to the car when we tired of carrying them. If you aren’t as lucky with parking, you can check coats and bags at the fairgrounds for a small fee.

Our first stop was the L’Etoffe Fabrics booth, a small fabric store in Springfield, Oregon.  Owner, Ina Mounir, offers a well-curated selection of fabrics and trims, as well as patterns from the French company, DP Studio. 

On to Professional Sewing Supplies, purveyor of fine (and hard to find) Japanese sewing tools and supplies. Hisako and her husband have been importing and selling these supplies from their Seattle home for over 25 years.  They have plans to go online soon, which would be great news for sewists everywhere.

We made quick stops at Billie’s Designer Fabrics (Chehalis, WA) and The Wool House (Toronto, ON, Canada) before heading to our first 45 minute seminar, “Enchantment with Fabrics and Tsukineko Ink”, with Joyce Teng. Joyce talks fast and packs plenty of information into her seminars. Her techniques have appeal for quilters and sewists interested in surface design with non-toxic materials. Her samples were stunning and we both bought her more detailed “how to” book for $10.00.

After lunch we headed to Vogue Fabrics, a Chicago fabric store that brings a very large truck load of fabrics to Expo each year. They are by far the largest fabric vendor at the show and you have to be willing to do some deep digging to find their special offerings. I found a beautiful digital linen print that was gone the next day. It pays to shop the fabric vendors early!



We wandered the vendor aisles for the rest of the afternoon, taking in as many vendors as we could. I was pleased to see so many independent pattern companies with booths. They always have sample garments on view and those samples never fail to reframe my opinions of patterns I might otherwise have passed over.



We had purchased tickets for the Friday evening keynote speaker/fashion show featuring Angela Wolf, fashion designer, hostess of the PBS TV series, “It’s Sew Easy”, and spokesperson for Brother and WAWAK sewing. The fashion show was well done and featured some interested techniques, but the styles were definitely designed for younger sewists. There was a fun surprise guest for the runway finale. She was Daniela Gschwendtner, costume designer for the popular TV series, “Dancing with the Stars”. She talked about the process and challenges of producing elaborate costumes for dancers with only a 6 day turnaround. She brought down the house when the models strutted down the runway modeling a dozen of the sparkly and skimpy costumes!

Day 2:

We began the day with Louise Cutting’s seminar, “Fit, Fit, Fit: What do You Want to Fit?” Louise has been in the sewing, pattern design and education business for a long time, so she knows her subject and is an entertaining teacher. I always come away from her seminars with valuable information and attend her workshops whenever I can.

Before heading to our second seminar of the day, we re-visited our favorite vendors, running into a number of sewing friends. Nothing beats the camaraderie shared by the sewing community! Our next seminar, “How to Choose Fabric, Patterns and Styles to Sew that Flatter Every Body”, with Anne and Bruce Whalley, was pure fun. Anne, known as the “Pattern Whisperer”, and her husband hail from Australia. Anne loves color and pattern and had lively garments to illustrate her encouragement to let clothes reflect your personality.

Anne called this her “Fraggle Rock” dress!

Prior to our last seminar of the day, we took in a portion of the American Sewing Guild fashion show. Sadly, we weren’t in a spot that allowed for good photos, but after seeing the skill and creativity of some of the younger members in the show, I’m sure the future of the ASG is in good hands.

Our final seminar of the day, and probably my favorite, was “How to Pack for a Quick Vacation in a Carry-On Bag” with Sandra Miller. Sandra is a writer for Threads magazine, works with Louise Cutting and travels often. This 45 minute seminar was packed with practical ideas for choosing color themes, sewing a coordinated wardrobe for any climate and safety tips for airports. She showed samples of travel wardrobes and how the garments could be interchanged to make many outfits.

We headed home inspired, energized and anxious to sew with our new purchases. Sew Expo 2020 is scheduled for February 27-March 1. If you are thinking of going, here are some tips:

  • Bring your own food unless you don’t mind fast food, i.e. pizza and burgers. There is a good espresso stand outside the Pavilion.

  • Brig a refillable water bottle and remember to drink the water.

  • Wear comfortable shoes.

  • If you plan to stay overnight, we were pleased with the Fairfield Inn and Suites on 15th, just a few blocks and a comfortable walk from the fairgrounds/expo center. Our room was comfortable, breakfast was included, and we were able to leave our car in their lot after we had checked out in the morning.

Hopefully these tips will keep you going all day, rather than ending up like this gentleman…

Hope to see some of you next year!

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I always welcome a new year and the fresh start it represents. I’m not a fan of resolutions and have tried selecting a “word of the year” to guide me, with mixed results. This year my husband and I tried something new – we headed to the Oregon coast for a long weekend to plan and create some goals for the year. We will definitely make this an annual event. The time away, without everyday distractions, yielded great conversations and energized us for the year ahead.

One of my frustrations that I knew I wanted to tackle this year was my lack of planning when it comes to my wardrobe and sewing projects. Like most of us who love to sew, I have piles of fabric, boxes of patterns and creative ideas to keep me busy for years. Then, since I work in a lovely fabric store, one of our customers will stop by, spark a new fabric/pattern combo idea and I have to have it. Before even starting the previous 3 (or 10) great idea projects, I have another one! This problem is compounded by the fact that I am a s-l-o-w sewist. The result is a project backlog and a closet full of ready to wear to that doesn’t fit or suit my style needs, but temporarily fills gaps until I can get the garments I really want sewn. This year I hope to solve this problem with these three steps:

1.)    Declutter my closet

2.)    Determine what garments I need to create a coordinated, versatile wardrobe and set my sewing goals for the year

3.)    Create a system to track my progress

Decluttering my closet

“Let go of the past. Let go of mistakes or bad choices, and look forward to the next opportunity to get it right.”
— Brenda Kinsel

Sometimes the best way to set aside time and embark on a new project is with help. I had done a closet purge 2 years ago when we moved into this house, but it was time for another. My best friend came from Seattle last week to spend a few days helping me with my cleanout – a sure sign of a good friend! We talked, ate, laughed, shopped a little, and cleaned out my entire closet. I loaded my car with cast offs yesterday and donated them, so no looking back. We also watched a few episodes of the Netflix series “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo. She inspired me to keep at it until the job was finished. Here is a “before” photo, except that I had already done shoes…

Marie Kondo advises only keeping those things that bring you joy. Brenda Kinsel, in her blog, recommends asking yourself, “Is this still me, or have I moved on?” I asked myself, “Do I feel great in this?” Here are my piles at the end of day one:

I know, doesn’t look like much – yet

Day 2 was easier and decisions came more quickly. We finished going through all but my handbags, which we completed on day 3.  Here are some “after” photos:



All my shoes, with the exception of boots, fit on my shelves now. The big basket on the floor used to be full of shoes – it now contains one pair of flip flops and one pair of trainers. There were several shopping bags of knitting projects on the top shelf, so I ended up going through all my knitting. Each project is now in its own box up there. The shelves between clothes racks have empty spaces and clothes aren’t crammed in. The closet feels more spacious and it’s easier to see what I have. I’d like to pare down even more, as I figure out what I like to wear day in and day out, so plan to do this twice a year with the change of seasons.

Now I need to figure out my approach to step 2: planning a coordinated wardrobe. Do I want to try a capsule wardrobe or would it be too limiting? I’ll be reading The Curated Closet to see what wisdom I find there.  Readers, let me know what wardrobe-planning tools have worked for you. Whatever I do, I know I want to incorporate quality, sustainability and slow fashion principles. I’ll let you know what direction I go in my next post.

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We are back with another list of fashion magazines to add to our ultimate list of all the magazines around the world dedicated to fashion! If you missed previous blogs, visit back! You won't want to miss out. Our Portland fabric shop has been listing them all, from around the world!

Fashion Magazines Around the World | Portland Fabric Shop
  • L'Officiel Brasil
  • L'Officiel Azerbaijan
  • L'Officiel Australia
  • Lampoon Magazine
  • LaG Magazine
  • Labb Loves Magazine
  • Kultur Magazine
  • Kult Magazine
  • Kitten
  • Key
  • Jute Magazine
  • Jute Fashion Magazine
  • JC Report
  • Jalouse
  • Issue One
  • Into the Storm
  • INTERVIEW MAGAZINE
  • Institute Magazine
  • Indie Magazine
  • inCover Magazine
  • iMute Magazine
  • Imposter Magazine
  • Imperial Magazine
  • Image Magazine
  • Illusions
  • I-D Magazine Spain
  • i-D Magazine (UK)
  • i-D Magazine
  • Iconique (online)
  • Huf Magazine
  • Hour Magazine (Detroit)
  • Hint (USA)
  • Hightlights Magazine
  • Highlights Magazine
  • Highlights
  • Hi - Fructose Magazine
  • Hercules
  • Harper's Bazaar Vietnam
  • Harper's Bazaar US
  • Harper's Bazaar Ukraine
  • Harper's Bazaar UK
  • Harper's Bazaar Turkey
  • Harper's Bazaar Thiland
  • Harper's Bazaar Taiwan
  • Harper's Bazaar Spain
  • Harper's Bazaar Singapore
  • Harper's Bazaar Serbia
  • Harper's Bazaar Russia
  • Harper's Bazaar Romania
  • Harper's Bazaar Poland
  • Harper's Bazaar Netherland
  • Harper's Bazaar Mexico
  • Harper's Bazaar Malaysia
  • Harper's Bazaar Korea
  • Harper's Bazaar Kazakhstan
  • Harper's Bazaar Japan
  • Harper's Bazaar Indonesia
  • Harper's Bazaar India
  • Harper's Bazaar Hong Kong
  • Harper's Bazaar Greece
  • Harper's Bazaar Germany
  • Harper's Bazaar Czech Republic
  • Harper's Bazaar China
  • Harper's Bazaar Chile
  • Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria
  • Harper's Bazaar Brazil
  • Harper's Bazaar Australia
  • Harper's Bazaar Argentina
  • Harper's Bazaar Arabia
  • Hacid Magazine
  • Grazia
  • GQ UK
  • GQ Turkey
  • GQ Thailand
  • GQ Taiwan
  • GQ Style South Africa
  • GQ Style Russia
  • GQ Style France
  • GQ Style Brazil
  • GQ Spain
  • GQ South Africa
  • GQ Russia
  • GQ Portugal
  • GQ Magazine
  • GQ Korea
  • GQ Japan
  • GQ Italy
  • GQ India
  • GQ Germany
  • GQ France
  • GQ China
  • GQ Brazil
  • GQ Brazil
  • GQ Australia
  • Gothic Beauty

JOSEPHINE'S DRY GOODS | PORTLAND FABRIC SHOP

We understand how busy life can be. That’s why we offer you a way to bring your visions for our fabric to life, without having to take time out of your day to do so! We are excited to continue to offer you the following:

  • Creative trim
  • Distinctive ribbons
  • French laces
  • Inspiring knits
  • Italian wools
  • Japanese denim
  • Best fabric in Portland
  • Scrumptious silks
  • The world’s finest linens
  • Unique buttons

You’ll fall in love with the materials our Portland fabric shop has readily available for you! To find out more about our prices and production schedule, be sure to call soon!

Contact us if you have any questions about the finest fabrics and accessories that we also offer. We strive to inspire your creativity with the highest quality fabrics available.

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One of the most difficult parts of having sewing as a hobby is to continually find inspiration and ideas that help you create beautiful projects. For those that love creating garments to wear and staying in fashion, we have compiled a list of all the great fashion magazines all over the world! These magazines are great for helping us all find new ideas and projects we'd like to try, in addition to staying up-to-date with all the trends! Be sure to read over the list below, as well as check back regularly to see more of our list in other blogs!

Fashion Inspiration | Best Portland Fabric Shop
  • ZooZoom
  • Zoot
  • Zoo
  • Zink Magazine
  • Zink
  • Zeum Magazine
  • Zephyr
  • Zele Magazine
  • XEX Magazine
  • WWD Japan
  • WWD
  • WSJ
  • Wound
  • Wonderland Magazine
  • Wonderland Magazine
  • Wonderland
  • Women’s Wear Daily
  • WIRED
  • Wild Heart Magazine
  • Wig
  • Wad Magazine
  • W25
  • W Magazine Korea
  • W Magazine
  • VVV Magazine
  • VULKAN
  • Volt Magazine
  • Volt
  • Vogue Ukraine
  • Vogue UK
  • Vogue Turkey
  • Vogue Thiland
  • Vogue Spain
  • Vogue Russia
  • Vogue Portugal
  • Vogue Netherlands
  • Vogue Mexico
  • Vogue Magazine
  • Vogue Korea
  • Vogue Japan
  • Vogue Italy
  • Vogue India
  • Vogue Germany
  • Vogue France
  • Vogue China
  • Vogue Brazil
  • Vogue Bambini
  • Vogue Australia
  • Vogue Arabia
  • Vive La Suede
  • VintEDGE Magazines
  • Vintage Life Magazine
  • Victim
  • Veux Magazine
  • Vestal Magazine
  • Verve
  • Veoir Mag
  • Velvet Magazine
  • Vegas
  • Vanity Fair US
  • Vanity Fair UK
  • Vanity Fair Spain
  • Vanity Fair Mexico
  • Vanity Fair Italy
  • Vanity Fair France
  • Vain Girl Magazine
  • V Magazine
  • V
  • Untitled Magazine
  • UCE Magazine
  • Twill Magazine
  • Tush
  • Trend Prive Magazine
  • Treats Magazine
  • Tokion
  • The Blowup
  • Tenebrous Magazine
  • Ten By Ten (USA)
  • Teen Vogue (USA)
  • Teaser Magazine
  • Tatler Russia
  • Tantalum Magazine
  • Tank
  • TANK
  • Syn Magazine
  • SVA Magazine
  • Superior Magazine
  • StyleSurface
  • Style Monte Carlo
  • Style Line (Detroit)
  • Style
  • Storm Magazine
  • Squint (Germany)
  • Sportswear International (NY)
  • Spirit & Flesh Magazine
  • Sphere
  • Source Media
  • Soma Magazine
  • Solis Magazine
  • Sola Moda
  • Smock (USA)
  • Slenderbread Magazine
  • Sleek
  • Side View Magazine
  • Shei Magazine (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Sheeba Magazine
  • Shape Magazine
  • Seventeen
  • SELF Magazine
  • Self
  • Section 8 Magazine
  • Se7en Magazine
  • Scorpio Jin Magazine
  • Schön! Magazine

Are any of these on your favorite list already? Be sure to check back soon for another ultimate list of the best magazines for fashion inspiration!

VISIT THE BEST PORTLAND FABRIC SHOP!

In addition to providing you with the finest Portland fabric shop, fabric and accessories, we also offer couture clothing services for those that aren’t able to create garments. We understand how busy life can be. That’s why we offer you a way to bring your visions for our fabrics to life, without having to take time out of your day to do so! We are excited to continue to offer you the following:

  • Liberty of London Fabric (cotton lawns & poplins, silks, jerseys, wools & twills)
  • Creative trim
  • Distinctive ribbons
  • French laces
  • Inspiring knits
  • Italian wools
  • Japanese denim
  • Luxurious fabric blends
  • Scrumptious silks
  • The world’s finest linens
  • Unique buttons

You’ll fall in love with the fabrics we have readily available for you! We strive to inspire your creativity with the highest quality materials available. To find out more about our prices and production schedule, be sure to call soon!

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Whether you're just learning to sew or you've been at it for quite a while, there are several tips that can help you with your favorite hobby. Below, you will find a few things that will help you with organizing fabric in Portland OR and more!

Tips for Sewing | Fabric Portland OR
  • Make sure you learn how to maintain your sewing machine, as well as keep it maintained so that you can refrain from having any major problems.
  • Talk with your friends and family about reselling knowledge and passion for your hobby. You never know who you might influence to try.
  • Try not to rush through a project so that you can finish it quickly.
  • Try to keep selling oceans organized so that you know where they are and what you might need for future projects.
  • Try using a vintage sewing machine, just once. You might find that it's enjoyable and is a great conversation piece for sewing clubs.
  • When you're tired, consider stopping for a while. Keeping a project going when you're exhausted is not a great way to finish. 
  • Work on understanding the thread tension on your sewing machine. This could take time but it's important information.

If you loved these tips for sewing, be sure to visit back soon! You'll find even more great tips during our next blog post!

Josephine's Dry Goods | Fabric Portland OR

Looking for the best fabric in Portland OR to add to your collection and to use for sewing projects? Look no further than Josephine's!

In addition to providing you with the finest fabric in Portland OR and accessories, our fabric shop also offers couture clothing services for those that aren’t able to create garments. We understand how busy life can be. That’s why we offer you a way to bring your visions for our fabrics to life, without having to take time out of your day to do so!

We are excited to offer you the following. As one of the best providers for fabric in Portland OR, we strive to bring you the best.

  • Creative trim
  • Distinctive ribbons
  • French laces
  • Inspiring knits
  • Italian wools
  • Japanese denim
  • Luxurious fabric blends
  • Best fabric in Portland OR
  • Scrumptious silks
  • The world’s finest linens
  • Unique buttons

You'll fall in love with the fabric in Portland OR we have readily available for you! We strive to inspire your creativity with the highest quality materials. To find out more about our prices and production schedule, be sure to call soon!

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Last month I was in Seattle doing some shopping with my son. Walking by J. Crew, we decided to pop in for a quick look. After all, everything was 30% off. I spotted a floral t-shirt in my favorite shade of blue so, without much thought, I bought it. Back home in Portland, I pulled another J. Crew t-shirt, purchased earlier this year, out of a load of delicate wash and hung it to dry. When I went to fold and put it away, I discovered the front had multiple tiny holes in it. I had worn it maybe a dozen times since purchase and the fabric was already disintegrating. I returned my new floral t-shirt and vowed to sew all my t-shirts in the future.

Coincidently, I found a used copy of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion about this time. This book has been on my radar for several years; the time for reading it seemed right, given my experience at J. Crew. What I learned has changed the way I shop for clothes and fabric, filled me with gratitude for my sewing skills, and sent me on a quest for quality in my closet.

What is quality?

Most of us don’t know the answer because we haven’t experienced garments made of quality fabrics and techniques. Very few quality garments are produced any more. We simply couldn’t afford quality garments if we could find them, and for good reason. Those garments are made of the finest fabrics, in factories that pay a living wage or better and have finishing details requiring hand sewing and hours of labor.

When it comes to quality, the best fabrics were milled in England and Italy (still are) and many fine cottons were milled here in the south.  Synthetic fibers were rare. Men and women used to buy fewer clothes, but the best they could afford.  They knew about fiber content and could feel the difference between quality and inferior cloth.  If you have been fortunate to handle Liberty cotton, you could surely feel the difference between this fine fabric and inferior cottons.

Finished garments of quality deserve a closer look. Inside you will find French or Hong Kong seam finishes, linings in jackets, skirts and pants, blind hems, covered snaps, etc. Outside you will find design details like tucks, pleats, matched plaids, covered belts, ribbon, lace, soutache braid or other trims - details that are too costly in today’s fashion market.

Why did quality disappear?

The simple answer is fast fashion. The rise of fast fashion seems to have started with the social upheaval of the 60’s. Rebellious youth weren’t interested in the fashion dictates of seasonal fashion collections.  At the same time, sportswear became popular with its offerings of lower cost separates. People moved away from making their own clothes in favor of buying cheaper clothing. Consumers began losing their knowledge of quality construction and materials. Fast fashion retailing broke away from seasonal selling to meet constant demand for new styles.  As most of us know, clothing manufacturing moved off shore to meet the demand for lower prices. To keep prices lower, fabrics have become thinner, more synthetic fibers are used and quality control is almost non-existent. Oversight takes time and slows down the fast fashion cycle.

The true cost of fast fashion.

I can’t write on this topic without touching on the human and environmental costs of fast fashion. Undeniably, the clothing industry is labor intense; typically, 20-40% of a garment’s cost is labor. It’s no wonder cheap labor has driven garment production overseas, causing staggering job loss in the U.S.  News accounts have highlighted deadly fires in overseas factories where workers are rarely paid a living wage and work inhumane hours in toxic environments.

The environmental costs are not only unhealthy, but unsustainable. The EPA estimates Americans throw away at least 12.7 million tons (68 lbs. per person) of textiles each year.  At one time 3rdworld countries were happy to receive our cast-offs. As clothing has become cheaper, they can now afford new clothing. Some of our discarded clothing can be recycled, but about half of our wardrobes are now made of polyester, which is recycled plastic. Landfills cannot continue to absorb our textile waste. The microscopic polymers found in synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon and lycra are released into our lakes, rivers and oceans whenever we do laundry. The toxic chemicals and dyes used in producing these fabrics are polluting soil and water unchecked in manufacturing countries where there is no awareness or money for clean-up.

Sew what can we do?

Those of us who sew are the lucky ones. We have choices not available to everyone and our choices can effect positive change in the clothing industry. We can make and wear better quality clothing than we can find or afford in stores. By choosing to sew with natural fibers, organic textiles, or otherwise high-quality fabrics, our clothing can be nourishing. We can create demand for ethically produced, quality textiles by educating ourselves about fibers and where they are milled and purchasing the best we can afford. There is a greater cost to quality, but we can choose to own less. With our knowledge, we can look for quality garments to refashion and recycle. We can mend, repair and extend the life of our quality garments, shoes and bags. We can educate our children to appreciate quality, understand the costs of fast fashion and to be content with less.

We are fortunate to have a variety of independent fabric stores in the Portland area, each offering a selection of quality fabrics:

·      Josephine’s Dry Goods

·      Bolt

·      Modern Domestic

·      Mill End 

·      Pendleton Woolen Mills

I encourage you to get to know them and their offerings.

Resources

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth L. Cline

Laundry, Vol. 01, a UK publication available at Barnes and Noble

“A good fabric should feel good next to your skin, wear and wash well over time, and have a certain texture and beauty that becomes recognizable once you start to look for it.”
— Elizabeth L. Cline
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In this final post from my spring travels to Europe, I’d thought I would share some of my favorite resources for wardrobe planning, packing, and a few more miscellaneous resources from my Paris and London travels.

The two most helpful blogs, when it came to my travel wardrobe planning, were these:

Brenda Kinsel. Brenda is a wardrobe consultant in California, one who writes from the heart and knows fashion. I use her travel checklists (under the “Resource” tab) for all my travel now. Once I’ve filled out the wardrobe plan chart, I follow her advice to make a copy and keep it in my carry on. This way, if my luggage is lost or stolen, I have a complete list for insurance claims – very handy!

 Une Femme d’un Certain Âge. Susan travels often and provides capsule wardrobe ideas with links to the garments for purchase, luggage reviews, and shopping info for cities she visits, especially Paris.

London Resources:

 40 Quick London Travel Tips

Dining Favorites

·      NOPI

·      Monocle Café

·      Scandi Kitchen

·      Quo Vadis

Shopping

·      Sefridges

·      Jianhui London (jewelry)

·      Oxford and Regent Streets

·      Marleybone neighborhood – Noriem, Tracy Neul, Oska

·      Gift shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum

·      VV Rouleau

·      Joel and Sons

VV Rouleau: ribbon, trims, hat making supplies

Paris Resources:

The Essential Paris Travel Guide

How to Spend Five Days in Paris

How to See Paris in Three Days

 

Dining Favorites

Our best dining finds came from David Liebovitz, an ex-pat food writer and former. Alice Waters protégé living in Paris.

·      Le Relais d’Entrecote

·      Breizh Café

·      Poilâne Comptoir

·      Ellsworth

·      Ladurée on the Champs Elysée

Shopping

Oh, my, it’s hard to know where to start on this subject! 

·      Trippen shoes in the Marais

·      Arche shoes in St. Germain-des-Prés

·      Opticiens du Bac if you are looking for fabulous eyeglass frames and great customer service

·      Noriem

·      Petite Bateau for traditional Breton tees

·      Rue Saint-Honoré

Ellsworth – our favorite Paris restaurant

“The best journeys answer questions in the

beginning you didn’t even think

to ask.”
— Jeff Johnson
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THE BATH FASHION MUSEUM

I joined my husband in London for a second time in June. We spent a few days exploring the museums again, then headed to Bath for five days, including our wedding anniversary. Besides being home to the famed Roman baths, this city was full of good food and some amazing museums, including The Fashion Museum. From the outside, it looked small and I wasn’t expecting much. Well, what a mistaken impression! The museum houses an impressive collection of 100 historical garments spanning the period from the 1600’s to present day. It is housed in a beautiful, Georgian building and well worth a visit. Here are some images from this ongoing collection of 100 garments:







There were two special exhibits at the time of my visit. The first was Royal Women, a collection of clothing worn by Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Alexandra and Princess Margaret demonstrating their influence on fashion. Here are a few of my favorite garments:

Queen Mary Queen Elizabeth Princess Margaret Queen Elizabeth

 

The second special collection was titled Dress of the Year 2017.  According to Wikipedia, “The Dress of the Year is an annual fashion award run by the Fashion Museum, Bath from 1963. Each year since 1963, the Museum has asked a fashion journalist to select a dress or outfit that best represents the most important new ideas in contemporary fashion.” The collection included previous winners, as well as the 2017 winner from Dior. These were some of my favorites from the entire collection!

  Dress of the Year 2011, by Sarah Burton for the House of McQueen Dress of the Year 2012, by Raf Simon, House of Dior Dress of the Year 2016 by JW Anderson for Loewe, with its  menswear counterpart Dress of the Year 2017 is an ensemble from Dior’s Spring-Summer 2017 collection. It showcases the white cotton “We Should All Be Feminists” print T-shirt. The T-shirt is worn with a black wool jacket and black tulle skirt with black knitted underwear.

 

I spent several hours at this museum, without realizing how fast the time was passing. For more information on the museum or these exhibits, here is their website:

https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/

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London Shopping

As you can imagine, there is plenty of great shopping in London! I am going to introduce you to two of my personal favorites, Joel & Son Fabrics and Selfridges Department store.

Joel & Sons Fabrics got its start in 1940’s post-war London as a market stall selling surplus parachutes cut into pieces. The business eventually grew to several market stalls, then finally opened at its current location on Church Street in 1979. It is now one of the leading fabric retailers in the world. You know you are in for a treat as you pass its windows on the way to the main entrance.

Inside you are greeted by floor to ceiling luxury fabrics from around the world. I had no idea where to begin shopping! 

Elegant seating is provided for non-shoppers…

I have never seen a larger collection of print silks…

The staff was so helpful, swatches are available, and they will ship your purchases to your home!  I opted to purchase another suitcase at the Church Street Market. For online shopping, you will find their website here: https://www.joelandsonfabrics.com/

Selfridges is a department store like no other! It is full of luxury goods, beautiful displays, etc., but what really sets it apart are the employees. I could personally not afford to purchase much of anything there, but the staff are friendly, never pressure you to buy, and allow you to wander and look without feeling “supervised”. They were also very gracious about allowing me to take photos, so let me treat you to some of my favorite fashions.

Jackets were front and center this season…



Sheer fabrics were popular, as they were in Paris…(check out the Tyvek facing on the jacket on the right below)



There were plenty of raw edge denim designs – my personal favorites were by Japanese designer Sacai…



The Selfridges window designs are pretty spectacular, too…

Some of you may have seen the fictional BBC series about Selfridges, but there is also a wonderful documentary about the founder and history of the store with footage from its construction interspersed with scenes of shoppers in the store today. The history is fascinating and the program can be found here:  https://www.netflix.com/title/70296574.

To see their offerings online, go here: http://www.selfridges.com/US/en/.

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