Eating My Words in Florence

Our Villa

09 Sep Eating My Words in Florence

” I will not make my Mother of the Bride dress this time. The last experience was entirely too stressful.”

Dear Readers,

I took time off from book writing to fulfill a dream on the bucket list. Hubby and I met a large group (stemming from my childhood friends) in Tuscany where we rented two villas.


The entire trip was heavenly and filled with memorable adventures, great food and beautiful scenery at ย every juncture….but let’s talk fabric, fashion and sewing!

OK….. let’s talk about giving into temptation at the site of beautiful Italian textiles.

Fortunately I did not discover Casa dei Tessuti in Florence until two days before heading home. Afterย spying the store from the back of a cab I knew how I would spend my last day in Italy.

IMG_0138_2I was a goner from the moment I stepped into the store. Valentino, Armani, Missoni, Prada, Etro, Pucci, Gucci were oozing from the shelves and spilling off the bolts……



…but the first fabric I saw spoke to me loud and clear.

” I am the fabric you need for your daughter’s January wedding with gray bridesmaids’ dresses!”

I’ve selfishly struggled with the color gray for bridesmaids dresses, but no more! So here we go again and I’m very excited about it ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_0114_2Beyond the fabric I discovered the !Hola! Pret a Porter and Haute Couture fashion magazines in the store. Never, have I drawn such inspiration from a magazine! Pret a Porter is devoted to RTW while Haute Couture speaks for itself. The oversized publications are published twice a year and are available for downloads ($6.99/issue) or by mail. ย You will not be disappointed.

IMG_0136_2Each page is filled with jaw dropping gorgeous garments presented in ย straightforward photographs. One look at these beauties will jump-start the sewing mojo to a new level!

So….. here’s toย ย another major project with a deadline, beautiful fabrics and glorious memories!

Cheers to allย ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gillian Cullin
    Posted at 09:00h, 09 September Reply

    I too just got back from Florence. What a fabulous trip! Whenever I travel, I like to visit a local fabric store. In Florence it was Casa Dei Tessuti. I found a beautiful cotton print. It was 120 euros a meter. I bought half a meter for 60 euros. I can’t believe I spent that much money. Now I really appreciate sites like Emma One Sock and Marcy Tilton..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:14h, 10 September Reply

      LOL – I know what you mean, Gillian! Have you sewn your fabric yet?

  • Vivian Katz
    Posted at 09:05h, 09 September Reply

    Oh my! My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw where you go to go. The fabric is gorgeous and perfect. I am sure you bought more than that one piece and look forward to seeing your creations. And another wedding in your family, what a wonderful occasion!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:16h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you Vivian! From this store I bought only the MoB dress fabric. Eariler I bought 4 pieces of fabric from a slightly less expensive store named Valli.

  • Sharon kane
    Posted at 09:06h, 09 September Reply

    I have died and gone to heaven looking at these fabrics!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:18h, 10 September Reply

      Exactly how I felt, Sharon, although I was truly like a child in a candy store at first ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jan Crews
    Posted at 09:25h, 09 September Reply

    Please, please identify the shoes you’re wearing in the fabric store. Must have!! (And I love the fabric.)

    • Janet Christensen
      Posted at 10:12h, 09 September Reply

      I would like to know about your shoes too!

      • goodbyevalentino
        Posted at 06:23h, 10 September Reply

        Janet, The shoes are from the Charleston Shoe Company . I wore them almost exclusively and my feet and legs never ached once. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:21h, 10 September Reply

      Jan, The shoes are from the Charleston Shoe Company and they are the best summer travel shoes I have ever bought. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sharon E
    Posted at 09:30h, 09 September Reply

    The fabric that you picked is perfect for you. I too am curious about your shoes. Looks like you can walk in them.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:28h, 10 September Reply

      The shoes are from the Charleston Shoe Company and I wore them almost exclusively. Not once did my feet or legs ache! Many thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Heather Myers
    Posted at 09:44h, 09 September Reply

    What an inspirational post! Thanks for the hints, and happy to hear you had a great time.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:30h, 10 September Reply

      Many thanks, Heather. The trip was inspirational on so many levels – food scenery lifestyle fashion art …… I need a legitimate reason to go back!

  • Robin
    Posted at 09:54h, 09 September Reply

    I had to click over from Facebook to see why you might not want to buy fabric (what? you are fasting from RTW, not fabric!!) and now I know ๐Ÿ™‚
    Just so you know, I rejected the dress I made last weekend to wear to my daughter’s wedding in less than 2 weeks. Yep, Even with stitches in my foot (I’ll get to that) I cut one more option and got up early today to bast it together. Thankfully, the matching brocade high-waisted straight skirt looks fabulous with the brocade jacket I made a few months ago. whew!
    The stitches – I knocked my rotary cutter off the cutting table when I moved a pattern piece. I’ll get the stitches out 2 days before the wedding. SO – Close the safety latch on the rotary cutter every. single. time. you set it down. Bunny gave me a talking to in the comments and she got through to me. I’m passing along the wisdom. ๐Ÿ™‚
    HAPPY SEWING!! I am glad you are going this route.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:38h, 10 September Reply

      I’ve been following your MoB dress journey, but missed the accident which happened while I was gone. I had a rotary blade accident years ago only it cut my index finger, so I feel your pain.
      I know with your skills and that beautiful fabric your Mother of the Bride dress will be elegant and perfect for the occasion…………. but………… I know you understand the stress I’m referring to!
      Good luck with all and enjoy the wedding ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Robin
    Posted at 09:57h, 09 September Reply

    On more thing, I also struggled with the “blush” color my daughter chose for her bridesmaids and I don’t think she reads your blog, so I can say it here. I also solved my dilemma with fabric. The soft muted blue brocade from Mendel Goldberg looks amazing with the soft peach and makes me happy. Glad you found your dream fabric!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:40h, 10 September Reply

      My older daughter’s color what what I refer to as ‘flesh’. I didn’t understand why she wanted that color until I saw the dresses at another wedding (not knowing they were the same as Katie’s) and thought they were the most beautiful bridesmaids’ dresses ever.
      I’m sure all will be lovely and your fabric is dreamy!!!!

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 09:58h, 09 September Reply

    That shop looks totally swoon-worthy. I checked out their website and it doesn’t appear they sell fabric online. Thank goodness! Your choice is perfect and, of course, you will sew your dress! Just choose a simple style to showcase the fabric and you’ll sail through it. Thanks for the glimpse of Florence! xo

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 10 September Reply

      Indeed it was totally swoon-worthy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Had I discovered it any earlier I would have thought of nothing else!
      Many thanks, Dorcas.

  • oonaballoona
    Posted at 10:01h, 09 September Reply

    THAT FABRIC. you had no choice. and that jacket on the magazine cover!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:49h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks, Oona! I hope you’ll take a look at the !Hola! fashion magazines – you may be able to buy them in NYC. No telling how they will inspire you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 10:14h, 09 September Reply

    Oh what a wonderful trip you had…..wondered why we hadn’t heard from you of late….all for such good reasons. LOVE LOVE the fabric you chose……and added the name of the store to my treasure trove of places to go and BUY.

    Can hardly wait to see it all made up……LAURA

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:51h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks, Laura! Between writing a book and traveling to Italy I have been unable to blog regularly but I hope to be back in full force soon ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Take a trip to Florence and head straight to Casa dei Tessuti when you can – totally worth it!

  • Gerhild Turner
    Posted at 10:17h, 09 September Reply

    Eye candy for sure, fabrics and magazine. Thanks for sharing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:52h, 10 September Reply

      It was a true feast for the senses, Gerhild!

  • Andrea
    Posted at 11:04h, 09 September Reply

    Oh my, Sarah, I found myself ooh-ing and aah-ing out loud as I was looking at your fabric pictures! The fabric you found for your MOB dress really is perfect for the color scheme and your skin & hair color. Plus, you will know the dress is well made, right? Now, off to find those magazines. That coat is gorgeous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:56h, 10 September Reply

      Many thanks, Andrea! Now I need a legitimate reason to go back ! I do hope you’ll take a look at !Hola! It is by far my new favorite fashion magazine ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • CarolinasCallin
    Posted at 11:18h, 09 September Reply

    Oh, my…I hope you brought an extra suitcase! WHO could resist those fabulous fabrics??? The fabric looks beautiful – what inspiration! Sounds like a wonderful trip! Can’t wait to see the finished product ๐Ÿ™‚

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:56h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you, Cheryl! How is your wedding planning coming along? Will you make your dress?

  • Diana
    Posted at 11:56h, 09 September Reply

    Hi Sarah, How lovely to read a post from you , it’s been too long , I look forward to your sewing posts again, nice to have you back, lucky you Italy what a wonderful country !

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:57h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you so much, Diana ๐Ÿ™‚ Between writing a book with an October deadline and being away, blogging has been impossible, but I hope to be back in full force soon!

  • Carolyn Castino
    Posted at 12:25h, 09 September Reply

    I KNOW THE PLACE!!!!! And what a wonderful way to spend time with friends. On our 1st trip to Italy (very short!!!) I found a fabric store (also in Florence) with more homegoods fabric and still have the beautiful tapestry pillows! Then a year later on a tour I also found this store. It was late Saturday night and we were leaving on Sunday…..So you are so lucky to have had the time to wander such a delight. Now I have to find the magazine. Best of luck with the Mother of the Bride dress, even though they can be stressful, it just adds to the delight of the day!! Enjoy

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:00h, 10 September Reply

      Hi Carolyn!
      Many thanks for the comment – I visited three fabric stores in Florence, one of which might have been the store you patronized. Frankly I’m glad I did not discover Casa dei Tessuti until near the end of our visit, or I would have made daily trips to Florence ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ally - Design Rewind Fashions
    Posted at 12:26h, 09 September Reply

    What a dream! You look so happy with that lovely fabric and I am certain the dress you create will be just as fantastic! I’ve seen the Hola magazine once and it is full of incredible fashions. I used google translate to help me with some translation but now I may need to get a subscription ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing these finds – looks like I have another place to add to my bucket list!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:04h, 10 September Reply

      More like ecstasy, Ally! You mean there is text in !Hola! ?? I can’t see anything but the clothes! (LOL)
      Many thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Claire
    Posted at 13:06h, 09 September Reply

    Che belli tessuti! There’s nothing like a fabulous trip abroad to re-energize and inspire! Looking forward to following along on your MOB dress journey again. My mom used to buy Hola in France in the 70s/80s and I remember looking through one particular evening gown edition on repeat in the early 90s. I can still see some of the dresses now in my mind. They were exquisite!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:07h, 10 September Reply

      Grazie, Claire! …… and to be more specific…… there is nothing like a trip to France and Italy for fashion inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kathie Bennett
    Posted at 14:02h, 09 September Reply

    Cannot wait to see birth of another exquisite MOB dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:08h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you, Kathie!

  • Jennifer Miller
    Posted at 14:07h, 09 September Reply

    That view is swoonworthy! What a glorious vacation you must have had, and what a fabulous find – the MOB fabric. It is exquisite. The wedding is in January? Yay! We don’t have too awfully long to wait to see it all beautifully made up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:11h, 10 September Reply

      Yikes……..You’re so right Jennifer!!!!!!! January is just around the corner – I need to get busy ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Many thanks!

  • Lori
    Posted at 14:49h, 09 September Reply

    oh, such a trip, that is an amazing view and to share it with friends, wonderful. I love the fabric you selected and what a story it tells.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:12h, 10 September Reply

      Many thanks, Lori! It was such a grand trip but now back to reality……. and sewing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • patty
    Posted at 15:44h, 09 September Reply

    ooh…just back from Venice, Florence, Como…I found shops in Venice & Como but missed this one in Florence! the linens, silks, wools were tremendous. 2 silk purchases have had my mind spinning of what to create! Can’t wait to watch the progress. Thank you for the inspirations!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:14h, 10 September Reply

      Sounds like you had a fabulous trip yourself, Patty! What do you plan to sew with your silk?

  • Julie Allan
    Posted at 16:33h, 09 September Reply

    I couldn’t believe your post when I saw it I’m going to Tuscany in a few weeks and had found this store online. I can’t wait to get there now. Did you find any other fabric stores of note? I must also thank you for your inspirational blog

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:19h, 10 September Reply

      Please visit this store. I’ve never been in a fabric store quite like this and it is worth the visit. Fortunately it is centrally located directly behind the Piazza della Repubblica. Another fabric store I patronized was Valli close to the Ponte Vecchio.
      Have a fantastic trip and please touch base when you return!

  • Barbara
    Posted at 17:22h, 09 September Reply

    Wow gorgeous fabric, you will do it proud!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:20h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! I’ll certainly try ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Vicki Maiorano
    Posted at 17:51h, 09 September Reply

    How exciting. You will be so glad you made it. Beautiful fabric. And the trip of a lifetime. Its on my bucket list too.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:21h, 10 September Reply

      LOL – in the end I’m sure I’ll be glad I made it, but it is daunting to think about ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Many thanks, Vicki and I hope you get to go someday soon.

  • Julie Hix
    Posted at 18:44h, 09 September Reply

    Perfect fabric! (And no one else will be wearing it!!) Now for the design. This will be like a good novel…….waiting for the next chapter to unfold.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:24h, 10 September Reply

      More like a good mystery! This fabric is so perfect for the occasion that knowing what I would make seemed unimportant ……. but you’re right, Julie……. to be continued ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Linda Galante
    Posted at 19:58h, 09 September Reply

    What gorgeous fabric for a mother of the bride dress – – . How could you resist? And it definitely fits with the ‘gray’ color theme. It sounds like a stunning trip all around.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:27h, 10 September Reply

      Many thanks, Linda! Resistance melted away when I stepped into the store ๐Ÿ™‚ I too, believe it’s perfect with the color theme of the wedding.

  • Linda L
    Posted at 20:18h, 09 September Reply

    I am sure that was a great adventure!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:27h, 10 September Reply

      One of the best adventures ever, Linda!

  • chris johnson
    Posted at 23:19h, 09 September Reply

    Loved reading your post and vicariously drooling over such yummy, tempting, and eye-popping fabric!!! How did you choose just one??? The chosen fabric is an amazing piece of work in colors that will make the dress spectacular. A memorable trip with experiences to treasure and relish while making your MOB dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:29h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you, Chris! The price played a role in selecting just one fabric. …….. and oh, I forgot……… I bought four pieces of fabric at another fabric store before discovering Casa dei Tessuti ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Marguerite
    Posted at 10:02h, 10 September Reply

    What a wonderful vacation! So happy you found the perfect fabric for the MOB dress. Now I can’t wait to see what you do with it! Yes, grey is the in color, as my niece choose that last May for her attendants. Can’t say the mothers were as well coordinated though!
    I’m heading to Rome in November and will leave room in my bags for anything I come across!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:33h, 10 September Reply

      Who would have thought neutrals would dominate the wedding scene? I hope you have a fabulous time in Rome – had I been smart I would have brought an empty suitcase ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 13:20h, 10 September Reply

    STUNNING fabric, which I’m sure will be a stunning dress! No pressure though! Haha!

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 21:44h, 10 September Reply

    What fun to go to Italy with good friends! And then to discover such a beautiful, perfect fabric.!
    Susan Khalje taught her first workshop at Mulberry Silk in Chapel Hill (actually Carrboro) and the gals
    said they hoped it would be the first of many. Much closer to travel and everyone who works there
    is great! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ you have a lot on your plate, but you’ll do your wonderful magic and it will all be great!

  • Justine
    Posted at 00:20h, 11 September Reply

    aah Firenze! Mi piace! I spent 5 lovely months there when i was 20. I came back and enrolled in fashion school. The fabric you bought! Amazing!

  • Myra
    Posted at 04:53h, 11 September Reply

    Very nice trip Sarah and wonderful fabrics! How could anyone not fall in love? Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding and good luck!

  • Sharon kane
    Posted at 06:31h, 11 September Reply

    Thanks for the post re your shoes. I’m traveling soon and my dilema is shoes – comfy yet fashionable. I thought “let me check out Sara’s footwear”. Sure enough, your photo showed your shoes and someone already asked about them.. I will definitely check out the store when visiting relatives in SC.

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 10:48h, 11 September Reply

    I’m so glad you decided to make your MOB dress again. It’s like the pain of childbirth, I imagineโ€ฆ you forget about it and only remember the good! It will all be worth it when you are wearing that stunning creation. I have no idea how I would react if I were faced with that many beautiful fabrics all in one place. Most likely I’d go into cardiac arrest right on the spot!

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 11:49h, 11 September Reply

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to see it!

  • Sonja
    Posted at 17:25h, 11 September Reply

    Oh my! That fabric!! I can see why you had to have it!!

  • Anne
    Posted at 18:23h, 11 September Reply

    Lovely fabric. I’m looking forward to seeing your MOB outfit take shape. I’m hoping it will inspire me as I’m planning to make mine.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:43h, 22 September Reply

      LOL! I’m seeking help from a very talented friend on this one, Anne!
      While I am really excited about making the dress I’m taking no chances on this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Catherine from Canada
    Posted at 13:32h, 15 September Reply

    I agree with you that Casa dei Tessuti is fabulous, almost more like a high-end jewelry store than a fabric store.
    But the prices! oh, my! I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. So I “confined” myself to the Mercato di San Lorenzo and all the wonderful leather.

    Fratelli in Rome was cheaper, but not by much. Didn’t buy anything there either.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:40h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Catherine,
      The prices were absolutely out of sight!
      I only bought the one piece of fabric at Casa dei Tessuti, however, I did some shopping at another fabric store in Florence and will share the pieces that I bought in another post soon.:) however, I did some shopping at another fabric store in Florence and will share the pieces that I bought in another post soon.

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 21:25h, 17 September Reply

    I will be in Florence next month and plan to visit Casa dei Tessuti. I have NO PROBLEM spending on spectacular fabrics. Where is Valli? I googled it but can’t locate. You mentioned near Ponte Vecchio; have an address or any other info? Your fabric for MOB dress looks fabulous. Glad you reconsidered and are making it.

  • Gaynelle west brown
    Posted at 15:50h, 20 September Reply

    I cannot wait to see the dress you create from the beautiful fabric from florence. …gaynelle

  • Kayla Green
    Posted at 07:07h, 21 September Reply

    Italian fabric is top quality isnโ€™t it? It is a good thing you discovered the store just before heading home. Otherwise, you mightโ€™ve spent the entire vacation browsing thru the shops!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:37h, 22 September Reply

      Kayla, Everything in the store was top quality. My head was spinning at the unending sight of gorgeous fabrics everywhere! You are so right – had I discovered the store earlier, I would have spent every waking moment in Florence. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Julie
    Posted at 10:04h, 22 September Reply

    I have been to this store too and it was fabulous ! It was the only time I spent so much money on fabric but it was really worth the quality. Did you get a warm welcome by the owner ? I remember having a great time with him explaining me how and where the fabrics were created in Italy… I look forward to seing the dress you will make !

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:31h, 22 September Reply

      Julie, I received a very warm welcome by the owners of the store. They showed me around and took me upstairs to even see some of the garments that were being created for their customers. It was a great overall experience!

  • Antonia Rossi
    Posted at 07:46h, 01 October Reply

    May I ask you where is the villa in the pictures?

  • Jane
    Posted at 08:23h, 06 October Reply

    My sympathy to you and your fellow South Carolinians affected by the flooding in your state. These are tough times.

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 20:32h, 06 October Reply

    I too believe you might live in SC – Hope all is well with your family & friends !!!

  • Catherine
    Posted at 19:48h, 10 October Reply

    Got a pair of those elegant sandals. They are quite comfortable. They run L-O-N-G. I ordered a 9; I am a Propet/Clarks size 9.5 Narrow. I could have fit in an 8.5! But be warned, there are no half sizes and NO EXCHANGES!

  • Carol Stalvey
    Posted at 16:01h, 28 November Reply

    I just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading it. I had to laugh when I got to your trip to Tuscany because I just got back from Florence and had found the exact same store! It was so hard to leave all that beautiful fabric. I came away with a beautiful piece that I will use to make a jacket.

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