Monday, October 28, 2019

Updating...

It has been a while.  I don't want to let a million ten years of posts to go to waste, so I will be reposting and updating as time moves along!  I have finished my treatments, and am feeling better with the passing days, so I'll be back in the wing of being again, as I am doing a bit of creative sewing even today!

LOTS of fabric and notions stores are closing to have closed, so I will be updating my garment district maps to reflect those changes today.

As always, just when I think I have run out of things to say, more stuff comes to mind, and my stats tell me people want to read it, so ... 

yeah...

I'm still here for you.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

On shoemaking

*Originally published 1/16/17


Well, here we are. I am OBSESSED, and frankly, it is just an endless, bottomless, chasm.  Having said that, I can't really form this particular dispatch into one neat, cohesive post, so, please, my fellow mad creatives... please appreciate this weird romp along with me.  Where the heck do I begin?

Well, I found a book at the library on shoemaking.  Let me not forget to say, for the record, that I asked the woman at the information desk in the creative/art section of the library if they had any books on shoemaking, and she literally ROLLED HER EYES, as if that would be a ridiculous pursuit for ANYONE to embark upon.  She referred me to a section, not a BOOK, and I was eventually able to find, after diligent internet searching (on my own!), a book that they needed to retrieve from their basement!


click photo for Amazon link

And I have now studied almost every single word of it. I would like to own it, but, as you can see, if you click on the above link, it has a ridiculously high price on Amazon.  Truth be told, I'd spend less by pretending to lose it, and pay the library for it... hmmm...  I won't do that, though.  It would be dishonest. Darn it.

So... my fascination begins at the point that I really love unique shoes, have very few pairs (by choice!), but there are a million ideas in my head, so I want to experiment and explore.  After about two months of research and supply sourcing, I must say that one can learn the technical challenges and common techniques, but the rest, much like clothing making, is unique, sculptural and magical.

What I love the most, is that while watching a professional make a shoe using factory equipment and tools, finding creative ways to construct something like a carpenter would, using your hands, and carefully planned pieces, calling on your local shoemaker to do the soling part for you (toxic glue fumes, professional equipment) if you want to do something truly special, you discover that you can indeed create something lovely and lasting for yourself!

This video would be wildly ambitious for anyone who has never tried to sew sneakers before, but it is a great education in what all of the shaping and sewing entails.


I like to assemble failing things, toss them all, and replace them all at one time.  More practical than crazy, I would argue.

And here's another thing.  If you're anything like me, you long for some favorite pair of shoes that you had long ago, or are no longer made.  You can't duplicate them exactly without the tools and materials, but you can absolutely use them as inspiration!

Now, explaining how to make a pair of shoes is as complicated as trying  to tell someone how to make a dress.  There are endless levels of quality, complications, etc.

So, let's say you just want to do the sculpting and artistic side of things... you can leave the soling up to your local knowledgeable cobbler or shoe repair person!  If you want to do the soling yourself, you can buy soling sheets and cut them (try Manhattan Wardrobe Supply or Amazon), and/or you can buy pre-made soles, ready to glue.  You can also buy insoles, rather than make your own.  There are many options for comfort. Explore the options online, and you will find some great supplies to help get you to a beautiful result.

I was happy to learn about a great shoe supply resource (in Brooklyn), named Brooklyn Shoe Supply, and will visit once I have completed my first pair/several pairs, so that I will be able to proceed with a bit more confidence.

As for the drooling/shoe eye candy aspect of things, I made a Pinterest Page with ideas and inspiration, and I have watched some wonderful You Tube videos for ideas and thoughts. 

Wrap shoe.  Food for thought:




About ballet shoes (not because I dance, but informs my shoe thinking):






The video below begins the process of making a very basic ballet flat, but if you read the book I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you'll see what advice is given there, and you can improve on/deviate from the suggested methods given here, if you like.  No matter what you choose, it seems some trial and error/discovery will be necessary to your development.


Over the past few weeks, I have explored and learned a lot about fabric choices, leathers, dyes, closures, leather stackable heels, looked at shoes in museum exhibits...  I have DEVOURED every bit of information I have found inspiring, and cannot wait to use my hands to sculpt some shoes.  I will share results when appropriate!

Note: Now there is a shoemaking map on my maps page, if you'd like to know where to go!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

I see London, I see France...

* Originally published 8/3/13

The London Eye

Sometimes the garment district can feel like an amusement park, and the stores within it, a carnival ride. A dizzying assortment of fabrics and notions, offered at a wild range of prices, and often of unknown origin, it is such a win when you find that magical spot, where the collection is carefully and artistically curated, AND you are greeted like an old friend.

If you're like me (and I think many of you are), you crave beauty and an outlet for your own creative expression, appreciating the quality of the luxury brands and the materials they use, but, even if you love exactly what they offer, you may not choose to spend or have the kind of cash those items require of you. 

I was leading a private tour in in mid-July when we walked into Elliott Berman Textiles to explore their selection of fabrics.  My heart nearly stopped when Eugenia pulled out a selection of headers (sales showroom cards for display and ordering information), featuring the beautiful digital prints that were due to arrive a month later. The above panel  (London Eye ferris wheel... and YES, that is FABRIC pictured above) stole the show for me!  This is a wonderfully soft poly print, with the image of perfect dimensions for the front of some fabulous silky T or blouse I have yet to make. The shipment was due to arrive the the end of August.  I couldn't comment publicly here on the blog, for fear that it would just be gone in an instant.  And now... yes, it is gone.  When designers saw this one at the DG Expo, they FLIPPED OUT, and bought ALL of it! And Elliott Berman doesn't plan to have more.

Pictured above, is the panel the store saved just for me.  Sorry, folks... Sometimes, I just have to keep some secrets to myself.  Sorry you missed it? 

But, here's the good news...  There are other AMAZING digital prints they have to offer.  And, no lie... they are just as amazing.  The London Eye just happened to be very ME. Had you been there yesterday afternoon, like I was, well... I can barely put it into words.

Some of the fabrics are so beautiful, that just a very simple sewing project can take a basic garment into the wearable art category, simply because the fabric makes such a powerful statement of its own. 

IMPORTANT... BREAKING NEWS...

A wall has come down.  On purpose. Yes, in the store. As a result,  a new room of new goods is being filled.  NOW. Yesterday, I watched that room starting to come together, at first, about 1/3 full of new fabrics from France, and then a TRUCK arrived, UNLOADING brand new goods from Italy.  Yes, I was there to see them!  A true first look.  Think brocades, high-end swimwear fabrics, Chanel, Etro, Clavin Klein...

 Go there in person.  The magic cannot be effectively conveyed in a blog post.  I will tease you with some photos, but you will have to take the next step.

Digital printed velvet, as used in Etro's collection.  Feels like magic.  Winter 2013/2014 collection.  




Oh, and ask to look at the cool Calvin Klein sorta burlappy coating/handbag/tough stuff that Calvin Klein has used as well.

Believe me when I tell you this.  Go now.  I am not lying when I tell you that some fabrics are actually HIDDEN in the store because they are so wildly popular. Yes, really.


A lovely Chanel high end swimsuit fabric in bright white... for the bravest among you!


Stretch high end swimsuit, snug dress or legging, perhaps?

Stretch high end swimwear fabric.


Another fantastic print.

Need I comment on how pretty and crisp the colors are?

Sparkly, random silver polka dots on a white cotton background.  Check out the textured cottons, too!

Stretchy, fuzzy, and beautiful.  Must be experienced in person!

What I cannot capture, is the fabulous digital prints (like my London Eye), because my photos are terrible, compared to the quality of the photography on the fabric.  You'd have to see it in person to believe them.If you're not local, visit their website here to see what they have to offer! Oh, and by the way, what I am showing you here represents only the very tiniest tip of the iceberg of fabrics they have to show.  The digital prints are just unbelievable when seen in person.

And, it doesn't end here.  To make things, you need notions, linings, complementary fabrics.  You will need to visit  more stores to do your best work.

For more opportunities like this, come along on a Speakeasy tour!







Friday, October 25, 2019

Shop the..... Garment District???

Now, with some of the big fabrics stores closing,  I can hear the death knell ever amplified.  A fairly strict "no pictures" policy is being implemented at several stores, although the older, more established stores still allow it... But I can't decide... does it make my speakeasy tours more valuable... or less so?

On Friday, I led my "hand-holding" Speakeasy, leading some wonderful newbie sewers on a fantastic exploration of interesting fabric store in the district.  Consisting of some stores they would not have found on their own, and some they might have, the information. camaraderie and guidance shared on the trip made for a very inspirational journey indeed. By reducing the intimidation factor, and embracing the fantasy of what kinds of things could be made with the lovely things they found, gave me a beautifully warm feeling that sticks with me now as I write this post.

What I often forget, is how much the tour participants inspire me as well.  My purple-loving participant opened my eyes to some things that may not have caught my eye before (pssst.... the lavender-ish handkerchief linen at Grayline is just so beautiful), and the lovely finds my "non-shopper" participant found herself loaded down with at the end of the day made me giggle...

So, as I consider the future of the "Speakeasy", I wonder if the fact that the best stores are now harder to find, and some of the obvious street-level choices have ceased to exist, makes the whole prospect of a speakeasy more mysterious and intriguing?  I'd like to think so.  

On Saturday, I lead a private Speakeasy, with a focus primarily on interesting notions stores, a small bit of garment district history, some fun upholstery fabric sources, and advice for more places to find the unique items my ladies had in mind.  Lively conversation and beautiful weather made it more fun, and as always, it was great to explore the stores through the participants' eyes!

Without specifics for what led to these stores over the others, between the tow tours, I will tell you where we had the most fun:

Metro Textiles (moving)
Graylines Linen
Daytona Trimming
SIL
Pacific Trimming
B&J
NY Elegant (moved)
Fabrics & Fabrics (moving)


As always, I encourage you to come and explore for yourselves.  There is still a wonderland of beautiful stuff out there!



Thursday, October 24, 2019

On needing closure... This post may be overwhelming...

Every clothing item that opens or expands in some significant way, every bag you carry, and practically every sewn accessory that needs to contain something has to open somehow.  It also has to close somehow.  There are many creative ways to achieve this, but unless we invent something new, when it comes to hardware, we are mostly limited to what we have seen.

Elastics abound at Daytona Trimmings, M&J Trimming, Pacific Trimming, and Sil.  But have you looked at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply lately?  They've got some SUPER strong resilient elastic that would be wonderful in a waistband, and great gripping elastic that would be fantastic for lingerie. Check it out!

Drawstring Cord Stops.  Wildly imaginative ones can be found at Botani, and M&J Trimming.  Pacific Trimming has creative cord stops you never would have imagined!

Toggles. Go to Botani. M&J has them, too!

Grommets. Have them applied at Steinlauf & Stoler (they have moved in fairly recent past) or Star Snaps.

Snaps of all sizes. Magnetic or not... Have them applied at Star Snaps!

Covered Buttons. You can have them done at BT Button.  (But don't say I didn't warn ya.

Buttons in quantity? Buttonology or Pacific Trimming.

Buttons for just one specific project?  Possibly M&J Trimming, possibly Pacific, Joyce Trimming, plus lots of other choices.

Snap Tape. Manhattan Wardrobe Supply and Daytona are the best/easiest places to find it.

Hook & Eye Tape - Steinlauf and Stoller, Joyce Trimmings, Daytona Trimming, Pacific Trimming.

Zippers. Depends on what you need.  Jus function, specific size, or quality?  Is your zipper a design feature?  Botani or Pacific.  Functional?  Sil.  Specialty? Depends... 

Velcro. Manhattan Wardrobe Supply is certain to have what you need, but Daytona has plenty, too!

Leather laces. Leather, Suede Skins, Joyce Trimming, and Leather Impact will have what you need.

Fancy buttons?  Tender Buttons... (updateL now closed!) But you would have had to leave the garment district for that, anyway.

Oh, and a kind reader mentioned that I forgot to remind you that Jonathan Embroidery will do perfect, custom buttonholes for you!

If you need a closure map, that holds all of this information in one lace, you can buy one...

Where to buy closures in the garment district (with descriptions):

This map is $15. Purchase option below:


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Speakeasy maps - updated and improved - and... what does the future hold?




As the district changes, so does the blog, and the maps!  I've been chronicling how it has all changed over time, and I am still excited to do just that!

There have been many speakeasy map updates.  I've been going through, refreshing descriptions of stores, deleting and adding as the landscape continues to change. 

Remember that it is always possible to do the equivalent of a speakeasy tour yourself, on your own schedule!  I can help you narrow down your list if you want to fit it all into a certain timeframe. Just ask me!

$17 later... Curtains. (And my fight for curtain diversity)

Updated -Original post 4/27/15

The simplest of curtains.

*The details of the curtains are unimportant here, no special finishes or hems or anything of note... I just love the colors. On Friday, I was looking up at apartment windows, and noticed the glaring absence of interesting window treatments.  Mostly white, and not distinctive in structure or texture, it seemed, I just wanted to see something different. This random thought led me into a local fabric store on Saturday.  I had grown tired of my old, golden-hued curtains, and wanted an immediate change.

I went to a place one wouldn't likely know to go to... and you can only win there if you can distinguish the good stuff from the crap, because, believe me... they have too much of both.  While I can't say I would "recommend" this store (unless you really wanna beat Manhattan prices, and this place is likely a jobber, a big sign tells you all fabric is sold "as is"!), the prices, eclectic selection, and opportunity for thinking differently absolutely couldn't be beat.  I'm talking $1-4 a yard, mostly.  So, what did it cost me to make these curtains?

$17.

Yup.

I made them on Saturday.  Simple, cheerful curtains. Done.

So let's say you want to do the same?  You can spend more, of course, but the options are practically endless for simple panels.  At that price, you can change your curtains monthly, if you want. 

Note: Home dec fabrics adhere to flammability standards, but you can also spray other fabrics (not leather, though) with this stuff.

Wanna make your own?

Here are some ideas for where to buy the fabric:

NY Elegant (upstairs)
Prime Fabrics (upstairs)
B&J Fabrics
Mood Home
Truemart Discount Fabrics

I just did a rod pocket, but if you need grommets installed for hanging:

Star Snaps
Steinlauf & Stoller

When it comes to simple curtains, make them yourself, and you'll save a fortune.  Pay someone else to do them, and you'll spend a fortune.

If money is no object, you can really have some glorious things made.  Just keep in mind, there are more options in the world than just WHITE!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Much better!

Chemo did the work! No cancer they can see now!  Gotta do radiation and oral chemo to make sure there's nothing the CAN'T see!  Onward and upward!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

So much to say! A long time, and many changes!

So, in a nutshell, I'm gonna tell you all that life has been a whirlwind.

My brilliant daughter, who is extremely dexterous and creative is starting Harvard this fall.  Yes, Harvard.  I'm not kidding. So... looks like I'm gonna be wearing my "Harvard Mom" t shirt everywhere from now on.


My brilliant son is an incredible musician.  He picked up his "sideways piano" (as my daughter calls it about 5 months ago, and you would not believe...!  His playing in insanely beautiful.  He has an amp, and I don't care one bit. I often have to check to see if the radio is playing, or if it is his playing!


Lastly, a cancer diagnosis has thrown me for a loop.  I still have potential customers and long-term customers wanting me to d things, but it isn't the time.  I'm doing chemo, but the road is long, and my prognosis is good.  Treatment is ongoing.  Still love and follow all of you I've been following up till now, and it makes me happy to see your work! And yes, I am still running the Find a dressmaker website!



As yet untitled... (and "Death By Pastrami")

Originally published 6/22/15

*Make sure you read the comments on this post, too.  The comments really expand this post, and really give great additional food for thought! (Originally posted in 2013, I have realized that posts have their moments of popularity, and my stats tell me that this is a post that is igniting a spark right now.) Visit this blog post for more recent thoughts on the same topic!

"I find it interesting that you call your blog 'Shop the Garment District', considering..." he said, tapping the glass table deliberately, "that the Garment District no longer exists."

Leonard Bernstein, author of a collection of short stories featured in an earlier post, was ready to school me on the garment district.  And I was an eager student. I initially wanted to meet him because of his fiction writing, and his unique garment district stories. What I didn't know, was that I actually needed to meet him.  His knowledge of the Garment District is vast, valuable, and needs to be shared.

I met him in the office of his family business, Candlesticks Inc., where he has been at the helm since 1953.  Candlesticks is a well-established company, in business since 1928, selling to the biggest retail chain stores whose names we all know. In a glossy, formal, garment center building, his company produces childrens' pajamas and swimwear.  Leonard, a smartly dressed, happy man, ushered me over to the big glass table in the showroom, and promptly offered me a perfect cup of coffee. "This is a real Garment Center business." he announced.  He was right. There was no sign of the dingy, rough places I have seen and imagined.  This place was corporate and clean.  Efficient and quiet.

With a garment district family history that stretches back as far as his great-grandfather who owned a pushcart on Hester Street at the turn of the 20th century, and a grandfather who owned an apparel company with a factory in New York City, Leonard's unique perspective allows him to understand both where the district has been AND where it is going.  Better yet, his warm, open personality allows him to share this information with us.

And now?  His company produces lots and lots and LOTS of garments, overseas of course, and selling in the biggest retail chains we know.  Macy's, just across the street from his office, is among them.  Quickly, the conversation turned to the topic of apparel manufacturing. We're not talking about the hobbyist, or the little guy/gal who just wants to make a few items here.  We're talking about the businesses that help people buy houses , cars, build savings, and put their children through college.


Myth #1: Greedy capitalists won't produce in America, making it impossible for others to compete.

Here's the thing: Can you still buy supplies, manufacture, and sell goods you make in NYC's garment district?  "Yes, you can - if you do boutique-type stuff.  You can find a small shop to make 27 dresses, or some artistic handmade ties, and yes, you can sell them.  But... you wanna sell to Macy's Target, WalMart, Sears? Then, you've gotta go overseas." Leonard tells me.  "Why not produce it here?"  I ask. "Why not, you ask?  Where are the factories?" He elaborated on this point, explaining  that it's fine when you're just starting out, since at most, maybe some loft in Chinatown will produce the small lot you need, but, eventually you have to be competitive.  If you want to sell to the big stores, the factories in China, Bangladesh, and Cambodia can produce the quantities you need quickly, using workers who are paid $1/hr.  And guess what?  That's a living wage in those places!

Mythe #2: The foreign garment factory workers are being abused and exploited.


Bangladesh factory fire - locked exits - read here...

"We love to believe the story of the poor, abused foreign worker.  The children, the enslaved, the hungry and lame. Making pennies an hour."  The fact is, he goes on to explain, if you tell a factory manager near Shanghai that you hear many of these factories hire or enslave children, he will tell you that he has a MILE LONG line of able-bodied, capable ADULTS who would be happy to work for $1 and hour, compared to the $.50/hr the hard physical labor alternatives offer.  Working in state-of-the-art, efficient factories for a good wage. He has a WAITING LIST of eager adult workers. "Why would I hire a child?"

My brain is spinning now.  This is not what I expected to hear. What I'd been led to believe. "So, can't you use a 2nd class factory somewhere, and pay workers far less?" I asked.  "Well, you can..." Leonard explains, "But when you sell to a store like Macy's, they will only buy garments produced at approved factories, and you (the manufacturer) must have a certificate that states they are manufacturing your goods.  Without that certificate, the big stores won't talk to you."  The big stores send inspectors to those factories, both announced, and undercover, to see how things are being produced, and to check that procedures are being followed.  Without the kind of sales a store like Macy's, Target, or Sears can do, how would you sell the goods?

"But, I've been to stores like Conway," I protest, "and their prices are sometimes lower than I can even buy the fabric to make it myself.  Where is that stuff from?"  (I've always been SURE it was some sort of near-slavery work in a third-world country.) "The stuff you see in those stores are closeouts." Leonard tells me. "These things need to be sold for anything they can get.  Those are just goods they need to move."

We want to believe that the Asian factories have "grabbed" the apparel manufacturing, but we (USA) are a privileged, advanced, over-comsuming country. We open our drawers and closets to find dozens and dozen of garments - more than we need or even want.

So, it comes to this.  What should we have done differently/ What is our future?

"Well, " he confides, "You know those huge campaigns... Look for the Union Label, Buy America, etc...?  Well, they all failed.  Every one of them."

A decade ago, Leonard ran a factory in Pennsylvania, with 350 workers.  "You know what? Far more foreign cars in the parking lot than American ones.  The employees wore affordable clothes made in other countries - and these were American factory workers! The salesmen had to hide the fact that the clothes were made in America just to get appointments, and avoid getting laughed at!  Our wholesale prices weren't competitive."

He goes on to explain that he can make a sample garment, photograph and email it to the Shanghai factory at 10AM, and by 11AM, the factory can give him delivery and price. AND the fabric is already available there, where the factories are!

So... the future?

This was a much longer conversation, not easily summarized in a blog post... but a rising tide lifts all boats, you know.  In time, workers who make $1/hr now will be wanting to earn $1.25 at the new factory down the road.  Wages will rise, and labor will become more expensive for the manufacturers.  It will be at least 30 years before their wages are competitive with our own, though.  So, we move on to other countries.  Bangladesh, Cambodia... all they need are more factories to be competitive.  After that?  Africa can't be far behind.  There are workers in Africa who will gladly earn $.50/hr - and yes, still a living wage.


Rising labor costs in factories force manufacturers to look elsewhere... follow link


We can impose tariffs, for sure... but don't we want other countries to buy our goods? Due to advances in technology, we are more connected than ever.  This has made the other side of the planet as accessible as the office next door.  No one is to blame for this. We can grow exponentially, or we can change, OR can simply stop consuming.

The fact is, the world is constantly changing.

"Okay, so what should we have done differently?" I ask.

"Nothing." Leonard replies.  I believe him when he says that. This guy is no slouch, I tell ya.  Early in  our conversation, I asked him why he wrote fiction, before I had any idea what other pearls of wisdom he had to offer.  "I love to write, so I wrote." Simple as that.  And, by the way, "Death By Pastrami" is his 6th book!

(note: added 1/3/15) And he has since written a new one!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why you should be a dressmaker... or at least, make/change some stuff... (To be followed by Why you should NOT be a dressmaker)



Repost: originally written 10/14/15

Previous (related) post: Why you should NOT create/design your own projects

Yes, you should be a dressmaker/custom sewing professional.  Or maybe not. Seriously. Are you considering it?

Here are some things I've made and redesigned over the years...




A grand entrance

The skirt zips off for the reception dance!

A mother's wedding gown combined with a Sri Lankan sari to make an American/Sri Lankan love story.

Bought at auction, 1890's dress made fun for the bride!

A winter reception dress for a classy bride

Tidy work pants for a minus-size client.

A Valentine's day duvet and pillow set...


Well, for one thing... there is a frightening shortage of creativity and fun in the affordable ready-to-wear and other markets, and far less variety when it comes to costumes, home dec, outerwear, and party-wear.

So why should you do this kind of work?

"You'll be able to earn money."



I may be lying a bit here.  You probably won't earn much, and your income will be BOTH unreliable and unpredictable (fun!), but you can create lots of great things for people who need/want them, and you can be paid for doing it.  How will they find you?  You can list yourself on a site like mine, or on a free site, like Mood, or post ads in your local area for your target market.
"You'll be able to stretch creatively."

You can expand beyond the ready-to-wear items offered in stores, within the limits of your skill level. Bias, cross, or straight grain?  Your choice.  Your design! Your colors! Any size! Will you fail?  Will things go wrong?  Yes!  (Unfortunately.)  But things will also go beautifully at other times.  If it doesn't, you'll know when to stop, for sure.
"You'll have complete control."
Ha!  No you won't.  The client tells you what she/he likes.  But you can get as creative as the client will allow, and it is a fabulous feeling to truly please someone with something fantastic!  It is always at least a bit of a gamble, but if you can keep an eye on quality, technique and execution, you really stand a chance of doing some great work.

"You can think outside of the box."

This is the greatest part of all.  Some of the most fun I've had has been doing things like making convertible wedding dresses (zipping off lower tiers of a skirt for dancing, combining cultures), making clothing suitable for physical challenges and disabilities, answering all kinds of unusual requests - it really can be a joyful experience, should you choose to give it a whirl!

Next post on related topics:  Why you should NOT be a dressmaker (will be posted in the near future)



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Make the things that love the body they adorn... (Body Shaming, cancer, and Pink)

Repost: Originally dated 4/22/15


You may be reading this because you love Pink somewhere around half as much as I do (because any more would be IMPOSSIBLE.)  Let's start with a photo, shall we?

My ridiculous fan-love for Pink has inspired my post today.


Pink, at an event honoring Maggie DiNome (2nd from right), Chief of General Surgery at St. John's Hospital

Curious about what Maggie DiNome has done? 



Curious about what Pink has done?  See below:



So, why am I telling you this? Because the "news" the media chose to embrace was Pink's appearance in a particular dress.  And, this was Pink's perfect Twitter response to all of that noise...


So, let's think about love, life, and cancer recovery/survival.  Chances are, you know a woman affected by cancer, and may have thought about ways to make her feel beautiful.  Here are some ideas:


This is a current McCalls pattern, available online, if you don't have a vendor near you.

Gorgeous patterned silks abound at Fabrics & Fabrics, a fantastic selection of jerseys are at NY Elegant, and you can get fantastically fashion forward with fabrics from Elliott Berman! (Just to name a few...)

Post mastectomy?  Steinlauf and Stoller has some bust cups that will do wonderful things to help even out the bust line (and swim cups, too!), and Manhattan Wardrobe Supply has "petals" to help with "nipple-consciousness".

If this is a current struggle for you or someone you love, here's an even more immediate idea:

The "anti-ouch pouch" is a pattern and instructions offered by the American Sewing Guild's beloved sewing publication, and it is meant to ease the pain of movement following surgery.

And, let's consider the shaming part... Why do people do this to each other?

Thoughts?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Rosen and Chadick - Off the beaten path

Update:  Sad to say, Rosen and Chadick closed for good this weekend.

THIS.


AND THIS.


What can I say that hasn't already been said about Rosen & Chadick? What I can say for certain, is that quality and beauty still rule here.  You've gotta know what you like, be willing to pay an appropriate amount for it, take your time, appreciate quality, and understand the PROFOUND difference between this store and many of the (remaining) others in the district. It is absolutely one of the best kept secrets in the district.  For good reason.

Once housed in a HUGE space on West 40th Street, they have since moved twice in recent years.  The business has changed.  The customer has changed. Their eye for gorgeous stuff has not.

My heart skips a beat when I look through their offerings.  The shirtings, the woolens (which work in all seasons, you know), the denims that least forever and wash like a dream, beautiful silks and specialty silks for ties... all sigh worthy.  Long enduring relationships with suppliers from around the world make their unusual inventory possible.

Big broadway musicals, movies, plays - the wardrobe and costume people come here. The people who want to make to make luxurious clothing for themselves, for clients, for museums, with archival reasons in mind.  They have been working with the best suppliers FOREVER.  When is "forever"? 1952.  Nowadays, that's forever...

It is quiet in this space, which is perfect for the peace-seeking creative.  Do they have EVERYTHING?  No.  But that is why they are perfect in their selection of what they do have.  There are no endless piles of ANYTHING in the store.  Just the diamonds.  

Go. You won't be sorry.

Rosen and Chadick
108 W 39th St #13
New York, NY 10018
M-F open 9-5:30 



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Seriously. Who'd believe it?

Reposting (1/08/19) Still nothing...


MISSING


Seriously.  Sent via USPS on June 15.  Tracking number and all. Delivered June 16 to destination, according to tracking.  My friend did not receive it.  I have to wait 7 15 days to file my insurance claim. (update: Turns out, they make no promise with the priority mail service, since, really, why would you file a claim if your package arrives before day 15? Dirty trick... )

No tears.

No tears.

USPS has been BEYOND unhelpful.

I wouldn't consider her to be something someone would steal, or have any way of knowing was in the box.

Here's the bright side.  I really had fun making her, my kids had lots of input, she gave us lots of laughs, and even IF someone took her, I'll bet they had to giggle a bit...

We can make another one!  We have developed another character, who already has a name, and if 'Bo is found, she'll have a friend!  If she is not found, we can make up stories to tell the other one about her wandering ways... sigh...

It was nothing but fun to make her, so I've been given an order.... HAVE MORE FUN!

Oh, and the United States Postal Service really sucks.  I mean that.

She'll have an Instagram, and I'll link it here.  And maybe, just maybe... (said with a deliberate cowboy drawl) she'll find her way to her home (new or old - we'll take either one) someday!

How can you help?  Follow her Instagram  for updates (if any), and share widely.  Whoever ends up with her should know it!  Her name is in the box!