San Francisco 4

It was a late start this morning due to car trouble but once underway we crossed the Bay Bridge to Berkley to visit a couple of well stocked fabric shops.

At the first stop I bought two yards of this black and white fabric – to make something like this top which will look great with black pants as a summer outfit. 

This dress also offered some interesting possibilities – I picked up a yard of dark blue and white Indian ikat fabric for the front and back panels with a matching white linen for the yoke and sides. I am thinking of a tunic length (with sleeves) which will be another useful summer outfit with white pants, rather than a dress.

At our second stop I found a gorgeous Donna Karan subtle wool plaid in red, purple and black, which I did finally walk away from – it was not a bad price, but I’d have needed at least 3 yards for matching the plaid plus another yard of a complementary purple wool for contrast, not to mention a lining fabric and buttons – the cost of which would have pushed me well over my duty-free limit! So, regretfully, I left it behind. 

We’re setting up this evening, then start in earnest tomorrow morning. 


San Francisco 3

Sheila and I started our sight-seeing day with a bus tour of SF – through the well known areas of the city. We picked up the bus at Union Square

Down Post Street past the needlepoint shop

Through Chinatown

Past the financial district

Up Telegraph Hill

A brief stop at Fisherman’s Wharf

Through the city back to Union Square

We stopped for lunch at Lina’s Diner

Then walked slowly back to the hotel

Past a woman singing Puccini beautifully

Our last stop a walk through Tiffany’s (both floors)

We also made a stop at Britex Fabrics where I bought more fabric

Our day ended at Sandra Betzina’s home in the SF hills for a lovely dinner and conversation

Today Sandra takes us fabric shopping!

San Francisco 2

After a leisurely breakfast I moseyed down Mason Street to Geary, made a left turn, walked past Union Square. My destination – Britex Fabrics. You walk in the front door and the entire right-hand wall, all the way to the back of the shop, is filled with wool flannel, worsted, gaberdine, crepe from Italy, England, in an amazing array of weights and colours – and then you check out the price! Not cheap, but the fabrics are lovely, and I’m looking for fabric to make wool pants.

On the left-hand wall there are plaids and other assorted woolens.

When I arrive, there are few customers and Raymond, one of the sales people welcomes me and we start to kibbitz. He recommends I head to the 4th floor to look at the remnants – lots of good buys he says.

I spend quite a bit of time sorting through pieces of fabric with a very interesting woman who helps me select three cuts of flannel: a navy with a subtle stripe, a dark charcoal, and a black. Then I head down a floor to explore buttons and trims. Hard to choose when you don’t know what garments they’re for; I settle on just 4 buttons suitable for fastening pants.

I next look around the 2nd floor – cottons and silks. One cotton catches my eye – a navy ikat-looking fabric which will go with the quilt I’m working on – I take half a yard. That’s it.

After Britex I cross the street and wander through Neiman Markus, in one door, out another – lovely but expensive clothing.

Next Macy’s – more in my league. But I’m not really interested in buying clothes. What does catch my attention is the wall of running shoes:

Wow, have they become colorful!

After a lunch on my own and a rest back at the hotel I meet up with one of the other women here to learn about fitting patterns. We wander back to Union Square. From street level we see a sign: Needlepoint Inc. We find the entrance, and take the elevator to the shop. I’ve never seen such an array of threads and printed canvasses. A woman is working on a sizable picture of a nutcracker. Her stitching is meticulous.

Sheila and I carry on down Post Street past all sorts of interesting shops – we stop to look at the diamonds on display in a window – they’re beautiful but I’ve nothing to wear them with, and nowhere to wear them so we move along.

An interesting coat – the contrasting fabrics a great idea. I take the photo to add to my idea collection.

And then we look around:

And up:

Lots of old (but well kept) buildings in this part of San Francisco.

San Francisco 1

The 4 hour time difference is a bummer – this is the view from my hotel room at 6:23 this morning – I was actually awake shortly after 5:00!

My friend Jayne picked me up at 9:45 and we went to the Legion of Honor Art Museum to see the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection – a wonderful exhibit of designer clothes from 1910-1980. “Costume” in this context meaning evening dress garments. 

We were able to take pictures (no flash) – it’s tempting to try to capture everything at the expense of really looking at the wonderful workmanship of the garments themselves. I didn’t record the designers – too bad! I just enjoyed looking at each piece and marvelling at how it was made: the draping, the stitching, the beading, the choice of fabrics, the way the garments were conceived was lovely to see.


The museum is located at one end of SF in a park setting with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge:

Went for lunch not far from the Art Museum – enjoyed a salad and crab cakes. Over lunch Jayne and I caught up on more than 25 years since I’d last visited her in Sebastapol and spent a day in SF.

Ended the day with a visit to the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park to see the Oscar de la Renta retrospective. Turns out that exhibit isn’t on until next spring! Instead we visited a collection of works from Boticelli to Braque. There were single pieces from a wide range of artists spanning more than 400 years. Could have spent longer, but we ran into closing time.

A simply lovely day. A great start to the visit. I feel like Maggie Muggans : “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow!” A walk to Britex Fabrics (4 floors of material) – just to look around, really!