Thursday, August 22, 2013

I LOVE San Francisco!

If Hawaii and New York had a baby it would be San Francisco. It's metropolitan but clean, has the most friendly people I have ever encountered on a trip, and the nicest laid-back atmosphere that really appeals to my laid-backedness.

I had a great time, but before I tell you all about it, let me get this review of my blouse out of the way. 

I used Simplicity 5380 as a base. I got it second hand thinking that I would fit it to myself and then use it as a block for experimenting with details. I used the round neck version (1) for this experiment.

I added front and back vertical darts and took in the sides using my new tnt shirt pattern. In the end, I could have just used the Sewaholic Alma that I have made (and not blogged about yet). 

Then I got fancy.

I added one larger box pleat down the centre front and three 1/4" pin-tuck pleats on either side. 

I used a piece of paper to fold up what I wanted my fabric pleats to look like, then unfolded it, measured and add that to my pattern via slashing and spreading. 

I drafted a simple collar shape and sandwiched it between the front and a facing under stitching the facing so it would not flip out. I also tacked the facing down at the shoulders and down the stitching on the box pleat down the centre front. I wasn't sure about the facing on such a sheer fabric, but you can't see it at all when it's being worn.

I cut it across the upper back to create a yoke piece  (added seam allowance to both pieces), then added an extension to the bottom piece at centre back so I could fold it over, encasing the raw edge to make a button placket. I used some bright green buttons that were salvaged from a sewing disaster a number of years ago.

I didn't change much here. just cut a key hole shape in the centre at the sleeve hem, gathered the edge a bit and encased the raw edge in a teeny bias strip letting the ends become ties. (I bias-bound the keyhole first). Beware if you try this yourself – the sleeve edge is already coming out of the binding in one place after one washing. 

What I don't like about it: 
Once again, even though I made a muslin, the upper back is a little tight. It's mostly noticeable when driving (binds at the upper arms) – so that sucks. Also, my auto button-holler makes the holes slightly too large so sometimes, with the slight pull at the upper back, they come undone. Luckily, since I will always be wearing a tank under it, I don't care. 

I wore it to work yesterday so I could snag some pics wearing it when I got home, but my camera battery crapped out so sorry! Trust me. It's cute. 

San Francisco: 

My last day in town was dedicated to Britex. I knew it was going to pricy (compared to what I'm used to), so I gave myself a $100 limit and saw what I could see. 

There are 4 floors and I spent two and a half hours bouncing around from floor to floor absorbing all that I could. I spent most of my time looking in the remnant section on the top floor and the knits/cottons on, I think the second floor. 

I ended up with a floral rayon remnant (1 5/8 yards) for $27.50 and 2 1/2 yard of a plaid flannel at 12.99/yard. Understand that I never pay this much for fabric except when traveling. 

Some may thing that the floral is dowdy/old fashioned or the flannel garish and weird-coloured, but I prefer to think of them as kitchy-cute and uniquely-hued. I was drawn to both and when I imagined them in my closet I saw myself happy to see them there so I went for it.

I'm not sure what they will become yet. The flannel–most likely a cozy shirt possibly in the style of the Grainline Archer  with the gather in the back or some other feminine details and the rayon will probably sit in the stash until I can think of or find a project that will suit it.

Other favourite moments from the trip: 

– Jellyfish at the aquarium

– This guy (below) at fisherman's wharf we could see out of Joe's Crabshack window while we ate. He was scaring the crap out of people walking by Just for Laughs style.

– The cupcake I ate at a food truck – seriously the best cupcake of my life.

– The random dancing lady with a boom box outside of the ferry building who's best move by far was humping the light post (I wish I would have gotten a video–it was unbelievable).

– The turbokick class I took at the 24 hour fitness gym near our hostel. No one teaches it here and I've been doing the dvds for years – super fun. I was walking back to the hostel (in my workout shorts/top) when a homeless man asked if I was a runner. I didn't really hear him and kept walking but he shouted again, "well, are you?" 
I replied, "what?" 
"Are you a runner?"
"um... no  hahaha" (kept walking)
He said, "You look like you're a runner 'cause you've got nice legs!" 

I don't care who you are, when someone tells you that you have nice legs you feel great about yourself the rest of the day!


  1. Sounds like a great trip! I'm kind of bummed that you didn't get a video of the gal with the boombox too. ;-)

    I can't wait to see the modeled pics of this blouse because it's very pretty, even if it is still a bit tight across the back.