Playing catch up...

Playing catch up...

I am happily learning that it's perfectly fine to admit defeat, and just go with the love how fast life changes and just how little planning really matters at the end of the day.. 

I had a sewing list when summer started, and images of long sewing filled (quiet) days with doors open and dogs snoring at my feet.

but, of course,  in reality its nothing of the kind.  Its been busy and fun, and filled with everything but sewing. 

I've also been very unmotivated to sew.  My jacket is a big long project and I got as far as finishing the collar in a felt (which is gorgeous), and then I kind of hit a wall. 

I know that I need lots of time to concentrate and take all the lessons learnt from Kenneth and apply them to this jacket but right now,  if I am completely honest,  I just can't be bothered, its hectic here,   its nice outside, my middle two girls are home and I am having fun setting up the Mendel website.

Of course, it will get finished, and I plan on writing a really detailed post as there is so much to share but its not going to happen in the next few weeks....and I am ok with that (finally)

There are other sewing projects planned, quick gratuitous ones for when I am home a bit more next month and can be accomplished with distractions,  a dress, a top and a lace jacket/kimono.  

and those I am excited about, so I guess,  I just need a change of pace.


and talking of a lack of sewing.....I should also probably mention here that I have fallen hard off the RTW wagon

I started a little experiment when I first started at Mendel,  I decided to wear something that I had made in the last few years every time that I went to work,  I've worn the garment (s) from the time I left the house, in the car to the station, on the train, and then the subway and walked the two or three miles a day between all these places, before reversing the process at the end of the day.

Now, obviously there is no way I knew when I picked any of these projects,  that I would end up in the city, I choose them purely for the interesting factor ...but its been an eye opening couple of months and all in all a terms of wearable useful clothing.

and while I love for the most part what I have been making in the last few years and am more than happy with the skills I have learnt through making them, for highly wearable day to day wear just no... (and nobody wins the bet for guessing that either!)

(Of course, I should also mention here that I don't need to be super smart, Alice does not mind at all if my tattoos show, or if I wear a cami and nice pants to work....or a dress, or a button down, this has strictly been for my curiosity, to learn where I need to be heading in terms of projects)

and it's made me realise that I need more comfortable and practical clothes its time to make a new sewing plan.

So, while all my jackets are great, and will be useful in Fall, Winter and Spring with jeans and work wear,   I have no simple tops to match my made skirts (which did pretty well) , no dresses that I can walk or sit just anywhere in and of course no made by me pants.

Now here is the tricky part for me, I've realised that I don't want to spend my sewing time making button downs, t-shirts or simple tops, I have no interest in learning to knit or in dusting off my serger, I tend to gravitate towards big complex projects, things I could never afford to buy like a hand tailored jacket, a lot of LFJ's,  a one of a kind trench or a unique silk cocktail dress...

So the challenge for me going forward will be finding a place where the two meet....a compromise..... so I can keep learning and growing as a sewer and have things to wear and not just look at!

and I think to begin, it has to be all about pants.  They have been on my list of sewing projects forever, so I think September/ October will be pants month.  I have picked two patterns both of which are described as cigarette, a Marfy and a Style arc, and I think it could be fun to make them multiple times and compare - using high couture  and a more basic  techniques...focusing on drafting differences, fit issues, linings, underlinings and finishings...and using an assortment of fabrics - wool, jaquard, cotton and brocade.

I've been doing a lot of research and think this could be really interesting, its piqued my interest anyway!.  So,  if you have any suggestions, experiences or questions send them this way....

but  in the meantime,  I had some fun and went shopping for some much needed basics including a pair of pants :-)   falling hard off that RTW wagon!



You might have seen some pictures popping up on my Instagram over the last few weeks,  as I have started working on the fabric pictures in the store.

and that's pretty much where I have been spending my days lately.   I knew that there would be a period of time when I would be there a lot....there is a very very full store filled with un-photographed and un-documented fabrics.

but I have made a start. 

My eldest daughter cleared some of her schedule last week and had been coming in with me each day to help.  Her camera skills far exceed mine and fabric is such a tricky thing to photograph.

We spent the first couple of days just experimenting.  There is a fantastic open space in the (newly) finished basement so we have set up a huge back drop, extra lighting, tables and the dress form.

It's started to look like a mini movie studio down there, so we thought it would be fun to add little video links to the website when it launches, giving anyone who can't make it to the store a little video visit instead.

and of course, photographing fabric in detail is all about the lighting in reality, as well as the camera exposure, so we focused very heavily on getting that right so I could continue alone... and I think by Friday we got seems to take a incredibly slow seven to ten second exposure to get the best colour and detail pics.

Which makes for a very slow turnover - maybe 25 bolts a day max so far.

I have picked five images as a standard for each fabric and six if it merits an extra view,  the images below (mostly unedited and NOT color corrected) are making me feel we are heading in the right direction, but I'd love to know what you think...

Obviously, they will also come with a lenghty description, pantone colour number (s) and garment suggestions but the photos do usually tend to do most of the talking.

The plan is for a soft launch in October, as there will be a small selection of everything photographed by then.....and eventually once we have most of the current stock photographed,  it will just be a matter of adding the new items when Alice shops in Europe two or three times a year....


So, while I have sewing plans for August, and lots more days of photographing well as a family vacation (fabric shopping in LA wop wop!)  and all the kids home for the month, there could be nothing realistically worth sharing before September 1st, so I might be gone until then..


If thats the case, have a wonderful month!!


A Malvarosa and some fall sewing plans...

A Malvarosa and some fall sewing plans...

A trip to Savannah and Pt 1- the making of Marfy 3226 with Kenneth King...

A trip to Savannah and Pt 1- the making of Marfy 3226 with Kenneth King...