Monday, January 4, 2010

a religious experience

Ladies, as we all know, like nice things. Like cashmere. And silk. And linen. But in these days of acrylic and polyester, nice things are hard to find. Which is why I was so excited when my friend and I trucked south to Boulder, CO to make a visit to Elfriede's fabric store.
It was, to be frank, a religious experience for me. There were aisles upon aisles of soft, lovely fabrics--perfect for skirts and trousers and ruffles blouses.
As you can see, I had my hands full. The dark cocoa is a wool/silk blend that will shortly become my favorite new pair of pants. The pink is wool and nylon, and is destined for pencil-skirt-greatness. And the blue...oh the silky and soft. It will be a wrap dress with a full, twirly skirt (because all ladies need twirly skirts).
As I oogled the trims (above) and buttons (below), I couldn't help but think about how difficult it is to find quality garments in the stores these days. At least quality at an affordable price. Sure, there are racks of trendy, adorable styles, but so often they are poorly made and crafted from synthetic fibers.
Now don't get me wrong--I love LOVE the person who invented Lycra, but I have to confess that once I started using real wool and silk in my handmade knitting and sewing projects, there was no turning back. Sure, they cost more than acrylics, but the budgeting trick is to make the fashions yourself.
And finally, I can't finish a post on Elfriede's without introducing you to the lady herself. As you can see, Elfriede is quite stylish and beautiful, wearing an outfit I have no doubt she made. When I first met her, she was drinking coffee from fine china and instructing me to abandon my reserve and just dive into the fabrics (as if I needed the invitation...). On my second visit she blew into the shop wearing a classy black hat, a timeless red cashmere dress, and carried an armful of lilies to brighten the winter day.

She counseled me diligently on my choices, giving me invaluable instructions. And I left with a bag full of lovely yards, and a role model.

You can bet I'll be visiting again soon!

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