Pat Bravo — An Argentine Treasure

Pat at work.

Pat at work.

When Pat Bravo was growing up in Argentina, sewing was a normal part of her day. Schools in Argentina encourage creative artistic classes and she always chose stitching or sewing. At 13, she begged her mother to let her enter the two-year pattern-making/tailoring school.

As a newlywed, Pat moved to New York City with her husband to expand their clothing company, Davoucci, which manufactured leather garments. For one whole year, she did not have a sewing machine. She was depressed. Then her husband gave her a Kenmore electronic sewing machine and she began sewing her son’s clothes, her own clothes, curtains, pillows. Being able to sew again gave her happiness and peace of mind.

When she discovered quilting — she started to hand paint fat quarter pieces of fabric to achieve the variation and shading of color for her landscape art quilts. Her friends in the local quilting guild wanted to purchase her fabrics.

Inspirational Surroundings

Inspirational Surroundings

Famous quilt artists like Barbara Olson, David Taylor and Nickie Dupree were buying her hand-painted fabrics. The problem was when you hand paint, you need to let it lay on the floor until it dries — then heat set. Her house was not big enough to accommodate the orders. Having her designs commercially manufactured made her think about the quality of the base fabric — which, to Pat, was as important as her designs. She always used 100% Pima cotton — a long-staple fiber with a much higher thread count. Instead of 60×60 or 80×80, Pima cotton has a thread count of 133×72 (commonly known as 200 thread count).  Pima cotton has an excellent drape so it can be used to make fashion garments as well as quilts.

microtex-1Pima cotton is woven with a very delicate, fine thread, so the needle you use in your sewing machine is very important. Using a stitch length of 2.5 – the fabric may start to pucker. People think their machine has a tension problem, but it’s not the tension — it’s the sewing machine needle. Pat recommends a SCHMETZ Microtex Sharp 80/12 when sewing with her fabrics. You’ll get perfect seams every time!

Pat says, “My inspiration? My home is full of book shelves and towers of magazines because I read all the time. My new passion is PINTEREST. (http://www.pinterest.com/patbravo/) It is like getting hundreds of magazines from all over the world delivered to my door every single day!

And I am often inspired by travel.  For example, when visiting London I fell in love with Carnaby Street — an iconic emblem of the “Swinging 60’s movement.” I HAD to create a collection that could represent all the groovy flowers and the strong geometrics of that era! I began researching the fashion, colors and prints from that age and that’s how my collection “CARNABY STREET came to life. I truly enjoy the designing process!”

Inspired by Carnaby Street.

Inspired by Carnaby Street.

Visit www.artgalleryfabrics.com for pictures of Carnaby Street.

“I don’t know what I would do or who I would be without sewing. It is my cable to the earth . . .”

www.patbravo.com