Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fabulous Friends over Fifty - Nancy's in the house!

My friend Nancy spent Memorial Day with us. I find her very interesting and it is always a joy to be around her.  Memorial Day was filled with lively conversation (as usual), good friends and good food! While she was over, I took the following photos of her. 

Meet my friend Nancy - Ageless and Timeless!

(Nancy in her own words) I started my sewing life around the age of 9 after being inspired by a dress my grandmother made for me: coral crepe, princess seams, puffy sleeves, Peter Pan collar and scallops down the front with big "pearl" buttons. Ever since then I have sewn most of my clothes with a few lengthy breaks for traveling, work in government abroad and in private industry, creating my own businesses (leather clothing, image and color consulting and travel).

While living in Indonesia I participated in fashion shows put on by a local friend. I attended Mayer School of Fashion Design in NYC, where I learned pattern-making and grading, sample making, sketching, draping and tailoring. My aunt taught me knitting so I could make my own coordinated sweaters. I was part of a team helping Estonia privatize a garment factory after the fall of the Soviet Union, creating a line with a designer in Los Angeles, and spending several weeks in Tallinn overseeing the production process. 

I worked at San Francisco Fabrics where I commentated fashion shows and taught pattern making, and beginning sewing. Now, with no work demands on what I sew, I am just sewing what I want to wear, and evolving my own style. I don't know exactly how to define it, but I like to be "put together" in clothes that are somewhat classic but with a creative edge, using interesting fabrics. 

My biggest challenge is wanting to make clothes out of my favorite fabrics (mostly silk) better suited to a more socially active and upscale life than my real one. But at this stage of life I'm caring less and less about always being "overdressed." One of the advantages of aging is the feeling of freedom of self-expression without concern about what others might think about it. 

Multi-colored orange/red jacket, of modern style striped ikat, also from Bali. Distinctive buttons from a shop in NYC.

Reversible magenta and irridescent silk jacket with antique button from the '40's.

Ikat shirt and reversible quilted vest.
I like to find unique buttons to enhance and reflect the fabric and feel of a garment. On the shirt of a single ikat from Bali, I had a hand-made glass button reflecting the ikat patterns and colors, and on the vest a beautiful coordinated multi-colored 'rock' to which I glued a shank, which I applied to the magenta side of the vest. (Ikat [pron. ee-cot] is a traditional form of weaving from Bali, Indonesia, where the warp threats are of a generally single color and the weft threads are tied into knots and then died and when woven with the single color warp create the patterns with lengthwise straight edges and cross-grain irregular edges. A double ikat would have both warp and weft patterns tied in knots and then woven, creating irregular edges in both directions. A very complicated process.)

The barefoot photo shoot!

There's also something about aging that makes me feel younger and happier than ever, realizing the choices I make are the life I create. It's easier, after the accumulation of so much experience, to realize who I really am, and to be more myself and more present; It's so much more fun now!

Thanks Nancy, for being such a good sport!

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