Posted by: facetothewind | December 14, 2013

Tailoring today

The nicest part about Chiang Mai, Thailand, is the Wararot fabric market. There are almost no tourists there. The little alleys are lined with vendors cooking up steamy goodness. This feels like the old Asia (with the unavoidable motorbikes). And of course it’s a FABRIC MARKET which for me is like being a kid thrown into a huge pile of Tootsie Rolls and gumdrops.


This is my new friend Pooh who speaks perfect English and was very helpful to me navigating the market. He helped me find the button stores that I’ve been looking for as I set out to design another round of clothes. Thank you, Pooh!!


Here’s the latest stash of Japanese linen. It’s the best stuff ever. So soft and gets softer with age. And they were on sale. Yay. Here’s the piece I got – a botanical fantasy one. Will become a relaxed fit, short sleeve shirt with pearl snaps…IMG_4554


This sheer cotton floral print caught my eye. I like to keep one lightweight cotton dress shirt with me when I’m traveling. So that’s what this’ll become. Bought some navy lining for inside the collar and cuffs and for keeping it cleaner in warm climates. The print on this reminded me of Renoir’s paintings.


Here’s one of the street vendors whipping up TURNIP CAKES! Wow – that’s something you don’t often see.


So I had to order one. OMG, it was so good. Fresh, hot and nourishing. The turnip cubes were soft and lightly sweet. The sprouts thrown in were a nice earthy flavor and added crunch. It was 90 cents. This is why “we” love Thailand.


Back to the tailor with the fabrics. Tu is going to be doing all the work this time. Remember — she won the tailoring award in my audition of 5 tailors. Can’t wait to behold her French seams. She’s so cute sitting on the floor of her studio with her friends sitting around gabbing. Tourism is down this year because of the demonstrations and political unrest. I pull up and ring my bike bell and she starts hooting and clacking in a language I only know a few words. But the clacks I gather are ones of appreciation for the work she knows I’m bringing. I’ve been working with her for years now. Fun to have that trust relationship with her. One of her friends who spoke English said that she is renowned in Chiang Mai for her work. I only stumbled upon her, so it was fun to get the back story. Apparently the fancy tailor shops that have the storefronts full of samples for tourists farm their work out to her because she’s so good. I love that she uses an old Singer from the 40s.


Saw this in a boutique. Do you think they know what it means? Hah! I couldn’t agree more.



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