a palette emerges

Hey, y’all. Long time no. . .forget about it. If you’ve had the grave misfortune of following me on Twitter, being my barista at Bouchon, or standing next to me on a subway platform, you know I’ve been neck-deep in tests for the past decade six weeks.  It’s been real, as they say.  Anyway, I go back to Washington on Wednesday/Thursday and start another batch of classes the Monday after that, so I’ll hold off on the grand declarations of being back, etc.  It is nice to see you, puppyface.

I finished my last final last night (crossing fingers and toes), and, naturally, celebrated by buying fabric this morning.  The sainted Kashi has a cat (well, his neighbors do), and if you, like me, go anywhere where there’s an animal, you should stop by and say hello.  (I swear, Eric at Mood is really on to something with that fluff bucket Swatch.)

Drunk on my newfound free-ish time, I decided to lay out my summer projects.  I sense a theme, you guys.

Fabric Stack
I’ll totally tell you where all this is from. And, no, I did not buy them in one swoop; I only bought three this morning. That last sentence was for my mother.

One of these things looks exactly like every other thing in the stack.  Do you remember the movie 500 Days of Summer?  Zooey Deschanel looks fantastic in it, and I remember reading the costume designer saying that they made a conscious decision to dress Zooey’s character in blue throughout the film.  The pieces were a mix of mall stores and vintage, and I think the restrained color palette made her wardrobe seem a lot more put-together and chic than it otherwise would have.  Then again, this wasn’t really a conscious decision for me.  Maybe I’m just in a blue mood?

I owe you my Meringue, my hemmed Hazel, my trouser-fitting stories (the horror!), some fabric ogling and whole bunch of other stuff.  Also, we’re going to try our hand at democracy here at Seam Ripped Central.

Oh!  Before I jet off (to buy buttons for my seventy shirtwaist dresses), would you like to meet Clementine Bug Witherspoon?


I know that everyone says this about their adopted street pigeons, but I think she’s the very best.  Also, look at how clever her parents were, making that nest.  Who knew pigeons could operate document shredders?

Onward, with purpose.


29 thoughts on “a palette emerges”

    1. That fabric gets around, let me tell you. I got it from Metro Textiles, but it’s been seen at Fabric Mart and Chic Fabrics and lord knows where else.

      I agree about its loveliness. Have you seen Maddie’s bra? It never occurred to me.

      Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

      1. I saw Maddie’s post when it posted, but I didn’t really pay attention to the fabric. A dress is what I had planned. No idea on a pattern yet.

  1. Congrats on finishing the finals! I just know that they were all wonderfully done A+ work.

    And that white with the blue flowers is amazingggg. I covet.

    1. Thanks, Allie! (Ally? Ali? Aly? Did we ever clarify this, or am I just utterly brain dead?)

      If you mean the blue and white linen-y fabric, uh, do you want some? I bought it from Metro Textiles this morning and will be in Washington starting on Wednesday-ish, so it’s your call. Shoot me an email if you need some New York goodness brought down to the Beltway.

      If it’s the blue and white rose print, you’re (sadly) screwed. (I think. I didn’t look for it this morning.)

      1. Allie! Right on the first shot. 😉

        It’s probably too late for that fabric now, but I’ll email you anyway. Until your new post popped up, I forgot about this one. I’m not so very good with the whole commenting thing. Ha!

      2. I have no email from you! Here’s what: I am back in town for the weekend of 14 June and will have a full weekday in the Garment District. I’ll shoot you an email sometime between now and then and we can coordinate logistics (even if it’s just me texting you photos of fabrics). Any excuse to shop, trust me.

      3. Oh no! Are you not seamripped (at) gmail (dot) com? I sent it yesterday! Boo! Yes, do send an email and we’ll coordinate. ❤

      4. I am, but your email is not there. Que?!

        Okay, shoot it to charlotte DOT witherspoon AT gmail DOT com. (Hullo, stalkers. Help yourself to my email!) I probably should just email you. Anyhoo, I’ve written this, and am criminally lazy. We’ll make it happen, Allie-with-an-“i-e”.

  2. Yay for finals finished! So awesome 😀
    And that top floral fabric- too cute for words!!!
    And Clementine is as cute as a button 😀 😀 😀

    1. There are no words for Clementine’s cuteness. I basically want to raise her as a human child. Apparently, this is a bad idea. Whatever, pessimists.

      Get thee to some Liberty Mitsi! (The top fabric.)

      Yay for finals finished, indeed. I’m just kind of wandering around, not clear on what I should be doing with my life. It’s a fog.

      I feel, oddly, like I’m completely un-caught-up with you. Must go to your blog and fix that.

  3. It makes sense that a restrained palette looks very deliberate, even it’s just an accident and you just happen to be really into blue. (I also almost bought that floral harlot at Chic! It really is everywhere!) I love all your florals & dots, and I can imagine you looking super chic in a summer blaue blume wardrobe.

    1. Trena from Slapdash Sewist got it for something like $4/yd from Fabric Mart. A lot of head-shaking going on over here.

      If I were a fancypants designer, I would totally call this summer’s wardrobe the Blaue Blume collection. I think you should make a career out of this.

      Also, I trekked from the library at Hunter to the (eerily empty) CCNY library, and thought of you.

      1. I guess you missed “Library Marketing” week — we had people dancing on tables and popping balloons to encourage more library use. By showing how cool & fun the library can be, I presume? (I think it was a business/marketing class, but as far as I’m concerned they obviously skipped the target audience research stage!) But I think we’re all back to normal now, thank goodness!

        If I could make a career out of naming things (or adding a soupçon of literary/artistic edge to otherwise descriptive names), that would be awesome! Alas, I think those positions are probably filled. I bet the person who picks the Pantone color names has an appointment-for-life!

        Fabric Mart kind of amazes me. The inventory can be hit or miss but when it’s good, it’s good — and cheap!

        Also, I forgot to tell you how ADORABLE your baby pidge is! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby pigeon before: surprisingly loveable! (But then, I don’t think pigeons are as grotesque as some people do… and I have a soft spot for all those missing-toed pigeons who hang out too close to the trains!) Clementine Bug is a great name!

      2. What? Oh, CCNY, that is no bueno.

        How about nail-polish naming? I think that’s an actual profession at this point. Or just plain old copywriting for a hip brand. Decisions, I make them for you.

        I have had one (not so great) experience with Fabric Mart and have shied away since, most unfortunately. I hear they’re worlds better than Denver/Fashion Fabrics Club.

        Thank you! Pigeon families are adorably cohesive and just plain old great. I could live without the massive mess, but they’re too cute for words. Then again, they just had two more chicks on my balcony, and I’m slowly turning into Mike Tyson. Surely there’s a way for me to shake my Cinderella/Snow White/Mother of All Animals vibe.

  4. Hey, congrats on being done with finals (and the hell that is end-of-term)! Also, nice fabrics–the white one with the huge, bright blue flowers is /very/ cool. Can I be bossy and ask if you’d consider making shorts (maybe culottes) from it? I just think it’d be great as an above-the-knee bottom-half garment.

    1. Oh, Meraj. You’ve walked right into not one, but two, long stories.

      First! I had drinks with a friend and our old political science professor last night, and he pulled the old “What do you mean you’re not an English major?!” thing. I’m beginning to think I should be offended. Anyway, it made me think of you.

      Second! Much like how Nora Ephron felt bad about her neck, I totally feel bad about my knees. I’m a total klutz and fall almost daily, so they both look like wee elderly men, or little angry babies—I can’t decide. My grandmother always compliments me on what a respectable young lady I am. I’ve yet to tell her that I’d basically put my cash and prizes on permanent display if it weren’t for my knees. The moral of the story: Above-the-knee does not exist in Charlottelandia. Although, I told my mum about your shorts idea, and she’d now like a pair. Your bossiness is always, *always* welcome around these parts.

      Today, I realized that I’ll either be taking finals or giving finals for the rest of my days. End-of-term can so kiss my grits. You’re done with all of this mishigas, yes?

      1. Aw, too bad about the no-go shorts and about not wanting to wear knee clothes (you know what I mean)! — though maybe I shouldn’t talk since I only ever wear pants, haha. But, I’m glad your mom likes the idea and would–if I’m reading this right–like you to make some for her? (My ideas, by the way, are always well-received by everybody’s moms. I do not know why this happens.)

        Also, people might stop mistaking you for an English major if you didn’t do things like compare the sight of your knees to “wee elderly men, or little angry babies” (BEST simile), since everyone seems to think it’s only lit students who go around talking classy like that. But you already knew that. Hm, maybe you /should/ be a bit offended, Charlotte.

        And yes, I am so done with undergrad. No more school for me, at least for now! (And definitely no MAs in my future.) You’re planning to go into academia, then?

      2. My mum is totally getting a pair of shorts! She does not share my knee-ward anxiety, so they’ll likely be cut up to the north pole, but hey, why not?

        I think I just give off the flaky lit major vibe. I also go around shouting, “I’m an ARTIST, damn it!”

        I am going into the snakepit that is academia. I’ve obviously taken leave of my senses. It’s either that or working for a big bad corporation. Working for Halliburton might not be so bad, comparatively.

        How about you? Have you crafted appropriately major! life! plans!?

      3. Wait — “the” flaky lit major vibe? You’re breaking my heart here, Charlotte. Going around shouting that you’re an artist sounds awesome though! For my own amusement, I hope you were totally serious about that part.

        Also, nope, no major life plans for now. Maybe publishing when I have money for (*not* grad) school again? Some time in the next ten years? Maybe? Sort of? Can we not talk about this pleaaase?

        Good, good luck with grad school (etc)!

      4. I think that we all know that the social sciences and humanities are engaged in an eternal blood war. This is basically the Hellenistic Period, only we get to wear pants and I’m apparently not allowed to bludgeon anyone to death. (Ugh. Laws.) There’s a vibe spectrum, and you give off the kickass high-minded, lit-loving, English major vibe. I give off the self-important econ-major vibe.

        Yes, I was very serious about the “I’m an ARTIST!” bit. You should try it; it’s liberating.

  5. Blue is an excellent color, in fact, most of my stash is of the blue-to-green and everything in between category. 😉

    I remember the hell that is finals week all too well. At least you aren’t in a tedious and boring major like accounting though.

    1. I actually find people’s choice of majors fascinating. Accounting is so specific (and rad). Are you a real, live accountant, or have you gone off to teach lemurs how to do sign language?

      I sort of wish this were the sixties or seventies so that I could go to a department store and have my colors done. I think I’m an autumn. Maybe you’re a spring!

      1. Ha! Actually none of the above. I’m just a stay at home mom. I would never do anything with accounting, I’d rather have my hair pulled out one strand at a time. I probably should have switched majors (I do love businessy stuff), but I had my son and was ready to be done with school so that I could be with him. And, ya know, the SL debt…

        I’ve done the online version of the colors things, and yes, I think I’m a spring. Or a clear spring or something like that. All I know for sure is that yellows/golds make me look like I’m 3/4 dead.

      2. Pish. You’re not “just” an anything.

        I’m actually quite sure you use your major in your SAHMing, even it’s only the patience you must have developed in those looong lectures.

  6. Ah, interesting to have a colour theme in your whole wardrobe. I initially would have thought this would make it seem boring and like you were wearing the same thing all the time, but, actually, I think you are right. It would make the whole wardrobe look very put together! Thanks for sharing that! And, a few years ago, I also adopted a baby pigeon on my balcony. But, he had a mommy, so I did not have to do very much expect listen to “cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, outside my window day and night and then watch him walk around the balcony, waiting for mom to come back with food. And then…………clean the balcony after he learned to fly and fledged the nest. Oh my………….the cleaning……….

    1. It’s so dramatic, having pet pigeons. They are currently acting out a telenovela on my balcony. (Intrigue, a surprise baby, an abandoned chick, bird fights.) They actually have made themselves a litter area, which makes me think they’ve been chatting with the cats.

      Imagine how easy it must be, to wake up in the morning and have a closet full of one color. No fretting over whether persimmon goes with olive, etc. Then again, I’d get pretty bored, I reckon.

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