Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Da Roma!

I haven't had time to sew in the last couple of weeks, because one week, we were getting ready to go to Rome, and then the following week, we were in Rome! We had a fantastic trip, mostly in Rome with one daytrip to Pompeii, celebrating all sorts of birthdays.

But of course, what trip could I take without buying some fabric? After all, we were in Italy. I managed to hit two negozi di tessuti, and came back with a fairly restrained number: only three cuts of silk.

We stumbled upon Fatucci Tessuti by accident, on our first day of exploring Rome. We were walking down some random street (Via dei Falignami), and I saw this: 

"Seta," thought I, "is a familiar word, but I can't remember why." And then I did a double-take as I realized that the shop was full of bolts. "Oh! Right! Seta means silk!" muahahahahahaha. The tiny bit of Italian I learned was already proving to be molto useful.

There is no real window display to the shop, and the shop is kind of deceptively deep, with pretty good selection. We focussed on the silk chiffon, though. Eighteen euro a metre!

Here is a Parental(-in-law) Unit buying some fabric for a scarf, as the other bolts look on. She also picked up a gorgeous panel in browns and blues. I'm glad she was there to support me despite my fear of my very, very, very poor Italian speaking abilities.

Two of my fabric cuts came from Fatucci, as my birthday presents from Parental(-in-law) Units. This super sheer, pinky-creme piece I ended up wearing as a scarf for half of the trip:

The selvages are a soft white, and since it's so lightweight, it wears well with just a little bit of fringing, despite being at full width. Below, you can see I pulled out some of the strands a bit more. Fringing is really just carefully controlled fraying, after all.

It takes some patience and a careful touch, but makes a very cool fabric souvenir, with just 1.5 metres!

It isn't supposed to be that crinkled, but I really did wear it a lot. If you fold it slightly on the bias, it doesn't look like it's just a piece of fabric.

I also picked up some silk chiffon which is apparently an Etro pattern. I hadn't heard of Etro before, but man have they got some amazingly gorgeous prints.

Two metres of this bad boy. I'm thinking a sheer layer for a dress, definitely.

The other shop we went to was Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti, which I read about in a NY Times article. The pictures below cannot possibly do this shop justice.

I've been to my fair share of fabric stores, and this place was absolutely overwhelming. And very busy! And basically nobody spoke any English, so I was like a fish out of water, desperate to get into these bolts.

After staring longingly at the silks (again), labelled with names like Armani and Prada, I finally managed to get the attention of a very nice older gentleman.
"Scusi, parla inglese?"
"No... parla italiano?"
"No, non molto..." [facepalm]
The one person around who spoke any English helped translate a little bit, and I managed to convey a desire to explore some florals. After picking out several bolts with much, "questo... é questo... é questo," I pointed at this pattern with a very definitive, "mi piace molto questo!"

The label said €75, but when I (probably rudely) asked, "Quanto costa?" I was told €57 per metre.

"Ummm uno é mezzo metri? ... No! Due! Sì, due metri." I mean, come on, €57 per metre, and the euro and the USD are practically at par right now. And that's how I got two metres of this gorgeous charmeuse. The print is on the matte side of the fabric, so it isn't shiny, which is nice. I think it'll be amazing as a dress.

Can't you just envision it already? Heeheehee.

Now we are back to the land of work emails and house cleaning, but we had an amazingly fantastic trip. I shall close this post with a photograph I took of St. Peter's Square in Vatican City:


  1. Fantastic post. Can't wait to see the finished garments :). Bella!

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