The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hunting for Houndstooth fabric

I'm a glutton for the assorted catalogs that cross my transom. Victoria's Secret? Check. Nancy's Notions? Hmm. Is there a good sale despite all the stuff in there for quilters and women my mother's age? Nordstrom? More fodder for my fashion pages file.

Especially page 25 of the latest edition, Anniversary Sale, which starts Friday, July 20. Now certain marked-down items are beyond my check book's reach. Namely the Mackage Houndstooth flyaway capelet, now just $399.90 (normally $598). This particular coat, I'll have you know, is all about an extra-large (we're talking a print that can probably be seen from an airplane descending to O'Hare airport on a clear day) white and black houndstooth wool. It's got this cute, big pointy collar that reminds me of the ones on those 1950s wrap-around blouses and a thick, black leather belt.

I wouldn't buy this cape for nearly $400 even if I didn't have to make a few minor but important monthly payments in the next few days. I rather make this, yes, stitch it on my Viking. Of course, finding the fabric is the important part. So what am I going to do? Rip this page out, and put it into a plastic-page sleeve and carry it around with me like a Dork. I'll show it to my friends at Vogue Fabric and anyone else who cares. I suspect I'll need to make a trip to Milan, which will cost more than a few yards of this fabric, just to find this wool, which You and I know Must Be Italian. It has to be. There's no question, at least not in my mind. I don't think a fabric with this kind of heft or design could hail from China, Canada or Ecuador. No, this textile was created by people who inhale pesto sauce on a daily basis.

I'm certain after I find the fabric, the stitching will be easy, right? I will be so thrilled to have in my little Caucasian hands that it will sew itself. I'll just leave it in my office/sewing room overnight. Turn on the ceiling fan just so it's not too hot in there, close the door, and let the magic happen. I won't even peek in periodically. I promise. I don't want
to bother Whoever's heading up the Sewing Detail, disturb the momentum. I'd just hope that I could return to that room to see the capelet completed, ready for the first cool day here in Chicago. I already know what I'd wear it with. Jeans. But not just any pair. A nice fitted pair of the stretch variety, flared and a little shredded at the hem. And a pair of boots, however, not the Cowboy Kind. That would ruin the classy mood. Anything kind of mod would work. Even white would work very nicely. What extreme lengths have you gone to find fabric?

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Blogger Kate said...

I've been known to drive to another state to buy fabric and now I'm contemplating taking a train to another country - Milan is only 4 hours from here. Gotta find those fabric stores. Will let you know if I see it.

Could be a UK fabric tho'. They call it Dogtooth there, I think.

I made a long hooded cape (romantic) in the 70s that was a huge brown, black and white houndstooth. When styles changed it hung for years in my mother's storage closet. Then it disappeared. Sure wish I had it now. It's IN again!
K Q:-)

5:45 AM  
Blogger notamermaid said...

I love your blog and also am a gan of the cape. I have a fuzzy mohair boucle white cape/jacket - vintage 60s - I wear on cold spring days. Last spring I found a vintage WW-II era nurses' cape - navy blue, brass buttons, red lining - which I intend to bus out in the fall with jeans and maybe bright red flats (to match the lining).

As for fabric, I"m still hunting for the right large-scale B&W buffalo plaid dupioni so I can knock off a YSL pencil skirt.

10:49 AM  
Blogger the_sewist said...

Kate, I'm posting a pic of the Capelet in question. Let me know if you find the Dogtooth (now how did it get that name is a question for the Dictionary Evangelist) of our dreams!

4:01 PM  

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