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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wrapping up SWAP, at least conceptually

On Thursday I am off to New York again, to see my son and his girlfriend, and I might swing by the garment district again.

What do you think?

I am seriously considering some sage advice Carolyn gave me last visit, and concentrate this time on hard-to-find-here notions, rather than fabric.

Of course if I manage to walk those streets and not bring home any fabric you will know for sure I have for some reason become a totally different person.

I hope the weather is good, to me NYC is a wonderful walking town and I am a walker, you see more. 

I am also looking forward to seeing my AirBnB host Eric again, he was such a nice guy. Of course he is a young New Yorker and eats every meal out. He is also a designer and my suspicion is that the spice jars on his kitchen shelves are only there because they colour co-ordinate. 

I had a glass of water in his kitchen (yes I was eating out all the time too, there are so many cool places and such excellent people watching) and I asked him for a "tea towel" to dry the glass. He has never heard of such a thing and the closest we could come to was he said "you mean a dish rag" which I don't think I meant at all - who would dry a glass with a rag? 

On my to-do list is "get Eric a tea towel." 

I wonder if the Superstore has them in grey.

I intend to take it easy this trip and wander around and drink tea and look at the people and go into stores and look at the clothes and probably go to MOMA and of course FIT has a shoe exhibition going on and I'm not missing that.

I have a lot on my mind.

I was catching up on my time wasting yesterday and I went over to BurdaStyle.

I had sort of given up on Burda lately since I decided to only sew Real Life clothes and my real life does not require many tight satin blouses with plunging necklines or coats without any closures.

I was surprised and pleased to see that the latest round is more liveable, wearable. Maybe this is because tight clothes and low waisted pants are going out of fashion and looser profiles have returned. Once we all get used to this new look I think we are all going to be more comfortable.

One thing that caught my eye was this coat, which remarkably is in a tall size, which I am.

What do you think?

This seems to me to be a cool coat and now I am wondering if I should make it as my SWAP sign off coat instead of the Vogue pattern below I had intended, which I could now make as a jacket version:
I would like some feedback on this.

Of course if I go with the Burda pattern then somewhere in NYC I am going to have to find someone who can cover a couple of buckles for me while I wait or at least within the day.

Life is so complicated.


Lynn Mally said...

I like the trench! I am also very envious that you have almost finished your SWAP. So far I have only attempted the six-packs and only finished one once.

Myrna said...

I prefer the pattern but then I've never been attracted to coats with belts or ties. I prefer nice lines and shaping and beautiful buttons to all that bunching together.

Enjoy your trip. New York is on my wish list.

LindaC said...

As a NYer married to a midwesterner, I can tell you that I never heard the term "tea towel" until I was 20 years old. Dish rag = dish towel. It just does. I would wonder what drying a glass has to do with tea. ;)

Lori said...

He is probably too young for "tea towel", sorry to say. I think the trench is too much.

Pattyskypants said...

I agree with Myrna. Although I have a trench coat, I rarely close it or belt it -- too bunchy! I think the pattern is very attractive . . . clean.

Anonymous said...

I love the Burda coat and I think it would be cool to have souvenir buckles on. Shame the model had to wear her old ripped jeans though, poor girl haha. Definitely tea towel down here in the Southern Hemisphere colonies :)

Judi Pinkham said...

I think the trench would look nice on you...but so would the Vogue. I would want the Vogue. That's a difficult question. Why not make both of them???

Have a great trip!

sewingkm said...

I,too, prefer the Vogue pattern as I like it's lean lines. Have fun in NYC. I'll be going there early May and simply can't wait to head to the garment district!

Kathie said...

Ha! Where I grew up (upstate NY) dish rag is what you wash dishes with and dish cloth is what you dried with.

I vote for the trench... You have the figure for it and they're classic. I believe there are places in the garment district that can do things quickly... have you checked the recommendations in the "Shop the Garment District" blog. I've gotten really good info from her.

Carol in Denver said...

I love the Burda coat -- so elegant! to my eye, at least. The hidden button placket, the way the collar lies away from the neck a bit, the smooth fabric. Your tall, lean frame would show it to advantage..

I Googled "gray tea towel" and got a number of hits. A shop on Etsy has sets of two zig-zag towels but there a many choices at various online stores.

A child of Nebraska, I understand a "tea towel" or "dish towel" to mean a large, light-weight cloth for drying dishes. It used to be they were mostly made of flour sacks and often embroidered or otherwise embellished. (I coveted a set with Little Lulu on them.) Linen fabric is said to be the best for that purpose. A "dish rag" or "dish cloth" meant a smaller, spongier fabric cloth for washing dishes. In the early years of my marriage, I used old athletic socks, split open to lie sort of flat. Gave that up long ago, and now buy nice white terry cloth ones.

Myrna said...

This coat at reminded me of the Vogue pattern:


velosewer said...

We call them tea towels here but I can see why he wouldn't own one.
The trench coat would be a fabulous make but it just depends on if it's going to suit your lifestyle. It will look very different to your recent coat.

ReadyThreadSew said...

The Burda coat looks like a sack of spuds tied in the middle - looks slightly good on the model and would look awful on a normal person. Actually, now I look at it again it doesn't even look good on the model. I do like the sleeves.

Cosmos said...

If you were only pants, or predominately pants, I find the longer trench bothersome, especially when getting in and out of the car, and in places where I have to put my coat on the back of a chair.

I try now to purchase only knee length or shorter coats as they suit my lifestyle better. (I'm not nearly brave enough to actually sew a coat! I'm quite a novice at sewing clothes.)

For me, the practicality of the shorter coat beats the longer trench, regardless of the rest of the style.

a little sewing said...

I am glad you posted that Burda coat - it is scrumptious! I, too, have ignored them of late.

Your trip sounds just wonderful! Looking forward to reading all about it on your blog.
And I hope you are right about fashions changing. I am so tired of the low-rise pants and low-slung waistline silhouette.

LinB said...

I'd go for the Burda coat, my ownself. A. It is in a tall size. Duh. B. It is a classic shape, one that will fit easily over your street clothes, and that has ample allowance for closing, and a collar to turn up against Canadian winter winds. C. I think that you could easily add a collar stand to the Burda, which is the main difference between the necklines of the two coats. D. Subliminal impressions: I don't like yellow, I do like grey.

You wash dishes with a dish cloth or a dish rag. You dry them with a towel. Tea towels are reserved for drying tea things (not a common custom where I live). I tend to dry my hands with a kitchen towel, or dish towel; my dishes air dry.

Karin said...

I like the Burda coat, and the fact it is designed for a tall size is a big plus!

Re's Home on the Road said...

Ask Eric where he is from as 'dish rag' is the term my mother and grandmother always used for a 'tea towel or dish towel' as I was growing up in southern Illinois. It's like coke or pop.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful time in NYC ,Barbara. I am so envious.This winter weather is getting me down.


PS I vote for the Vogue coat.

barbara said...

must be regional. where i grew up (NYC) a dishrag was a smaller, nubbly piece of cloth with an open weave that was used for washing dishes. a "tea towel" was a dish towel, used for drying dishes. now that sponges are commonly used, i hardly hear of anyone using dishrags anymore. i just run my sponge through the dishwasher.