Gorging on fabric and inspiration in the city

Back in early January, when everyone else was making very sensible resolutions to stash diet, I got sent to Los Angeles for two weeks for work. So, what was I supposed to do with that opportunity? Not buy fabric? So I guess I’m a yo-yo stash dieter… because I binged a bit in LA. But from now on! Oh, who am I kidding. I’m not strong enough to stash diet. But here’s my spoils, so all you more scrupulous stash dieters can live vicariously through me.

LA haul jan 14

The top row is my haul from my favorite fashion district haunts: a nice teal doubleknit and a small piece of striped knit from the Michael Levine Loft, and a lovely drapey charcoal jersey, super stretchy drapey avocado jersey, and a great print poly-lycra from the FIDM scholarship store (which I finally arrived at early enough to spend more than 5 minutes there). The blue print is obviously perfect for a DVF wrap dress, and the stripe for the top of another wrap dress if I can find a good contrasting print for the skirt.

What I didn’t find downtown, though, was bottom-weights, so I actually went into Mood for a minute and restricted myself to the denim aisle only. I found a great stretch denim and a black and white striped stretch cotton for (gasp!) more skinny pants.

But by far my favorite stop in LA this time was a new-to-me place on La Brea called The Fabric Store. They’ve been a presence in New Zealand and Australia for a long time, but they just recently opened an LA store to share the goodies with us Northern Hemisphere folks. Ms. McCall of Brown Paper Pattern clued me in to its existence, and was kind enough to take me there (probably because I bugged her about it nonstop once I saw what she’d bought there). From right to left I got: an awesome pink polka dot merino remnant for a skirt maybe, a blue and a green 200g merino jersey that is pretty much exactly the fabric my beloved Icebreaker bike jerseys are made of (finally! I can make real bike jerseys!), a lighter weight yellow merino jersey for a top, and a fantastic navy ponte knit that I’m going to make into a moto jacket with a pattern from the new Burda Easy magazine that Ms. McCall also generously loaned me. Oh, and my weird impulse purchase at The Fabric Store is the green and white print in the middle – it’s a cotton voile-like fabric with a cool abstract embroidered texture under the green bird(?) print – I’m thinking summer tank top.

But lest you think that the only sewing-thing I did down south was buy fabric, never fear! I also caught the (free!) Diane Von Furstenburg dress exhibit at LACMA. (Well, kind of at LACMA. It’s in a building on the corner of the museum campus, but the exhibit isn’t on their website at all, and I found three different addresses for the exhibit online… But trust me that it’s in the building on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax and you enter from the back.) Basically, for the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress this year, they assembled something like 400 DVF dresses and put them all on creepy mannequins on step units sorted by color in a giant room. It was pretty amazing to see all those dresses in one space, and up close! Oh, I so badly wanted to touch them though. Is there a waistline seam? How is the binding attached? Is there a pleat or a dart under there? Ah, so frustrating. But still cool. It was interesting to see how that 70s jersey hasn’t really held up very well, and that some of the older prints were fabulous and some were the ugliest thing ever. Though the more recent dresses also were pretty evenly split between fabrics I loved and fabrics I would never ever buy. But I did find the section I fit in with! (The dress I wore was not my DVF knock-off, but a similar Butterick I made a couple years ago. Gotta wear a wrap dress to a wrap dress exhibit, right?) Obviously I am attempting a creepy mannequin pose:

me at DVF

And there were so many different kinds of wrap dresses! I took pics of the ones I want to copy… I fell in love with the halter wrap. One or two of these are going on my summer make list for sure.

DVF halter wrap

And the lace one is so. pretty.

lace DVF halter

And look at the front gathers on this one. Plus the parachute print!

gathered DVF

Anyway, it was a really cool exhibit and totally worth checking out if you’re in the area. It runs through April 1st.

So I’d call my work trip a resounding success in the sewing department. Except, of course, for all the sewing I didn’t do while I was down there. Ugh, I’m the worst kind of stasher! My stash in/out statistics are atrocious. Well, at least the Orange Terror appreciates my efforts…

OT on haul

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15 comments
  1. lisa g said:

    great fabric haul! maybe it’s not stashing… it’s just planning ahead!

  2. Jenny said:

    Great new additions to the stash! I never plan stash diets – they just don’t work for me. I love all the wrap dresses. I made two already and I want so many more~

  3. Becky said:

    I am so jealous! I wish I had opportunities to gorge, but there just aren’t many fabric stores worth a darn around here. Now that you have gorged, you can diet, yes?

  4. great haul and for a second I actually thought that photo of you was of DVF in the 70’s, great pose and hair channeling the cool 70’s vibe.

  5. Pella said:

    Nice additions to the stash! Got to strike while the irons hot.

  6. Diane said:

    You look like you fit right in with the DVF dresses. I love, love the halter style. I hope you make a knock off like that. Beautiful fabrics, too. Your skinny jeans project turned out so well, I’m looking forward to seeing some in stripes.

  7. omg look at all that crazy DVF inspiration! So many gorgeous wrap dresses, and such beautiful prints. Love the pic of you standing with them in your wrap 🙂 I’ve got to make me another one of these…

  8. I’m such a bad influence! But seriously that is some lovely looking fabric – such fantastic colours. Can’t wait to see it all made up!

  9. Beautiful material and a beautiful cat! They always find the best places to sleep!

  10. Kate said:

    Oh, that mannequin pic is perfect.

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