Tag Archives: fabric hoarding

A Weekend in NYC

20 Mar

After a whirlwind of a weekend in NYC (landing in on Friday evening and rolling out Monday afternoon – whew!), I’m happy to report that I’m back home in one piece. Minus the piece of my broken heart that I left with Clare. Sob! But maybe I should back up a little…

Fair warning: this is a word-heavy, stolen-picture-heavy post. Feel free to scroll by – or at least to the bottom, to check out who won the giveaway! Sorry if this sounds super rushed – we cancelled our internet (in search of a new provider) and I’m trying to publish before it turns off! ~living on the edge~ and all that.

It’s been exactly over a year since the last time I visited NYC and I think it was just in time – I’ve used up nearly all my fabric, time to buy moreeee!! For this round, I shacked up with Clare in the tiniest little studio apartment I’ve ever seen, in East Village across the street from Big Gay Ice Cream (and before you ask – we didn’t get any gay ice cream. It was WAY too cold!). Neither of us had been before, but we both fell in love with the area, especially all the punk stores that made us feel old and nostalgic (not to mention kind of hilarious at how the styles NEVER EVER change. Seriously! Brands and styles that I wore 10+ years ago… that were already old as hell, even back then. Oh, punk. So punk.). The apartment was fabulous, except when our “neighbor” decided to throw a several-hour long party on one night that ended up with me laying awake, listening to some chick blather on about convection ovens until the wee hours of the morning. But, don’t worry – we woke up bright and early the following morning, and made sure to turn the TV (you know, the one that was attached directly to his wall) up nice and loud for a couple of hours :)

Our first meet-up happened right after I landed and made my way from the airport to our pad, dropped my stuff off, and dipped right back out. We had planned to get tacos & margaritas with a handful of ladies, and per usual, I made sure we were a good hour late (what? Don’t look at me like that – navigating the subway with a giant suitcase during rush hour is hard). I sat at the end of the table with Jennifer & Betsy, and an endless supply of margaritas ;) (although I hear there was some talk of fat quarter challenges at the opposite end – I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversastion, ha!).

post-dinner group

A few of our party had already peaced out by the time Carolyn convinced a rando to take this photo, but here’s a portion of the group! Look at my creepy skeleton hands, HA!

Most everyone went home afterwards, but the real badasses of the group (me, Jennifer, Lucinda & Fleur) stuck it out for another round of drinks at some fancy winebar with a creepy bathroom. Which was WAY more awesome than it sounds, ha! I love meeting up with big groups, but I also like these little smaller sets because it gives me more of a chance to actually talk to people one-on-one and have a proper conversation.

Saturday morning, Clare & I headed out to Devra’s for a pre-meetup brunch. We were only a couple miles away, so we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous morning and walk (and only made it about half an hour late ;)). Brunch was, per usual, fucking amazing – and although someone forgot the coffee (cough cough), Devra did make sure that we ate off paper plates this go ’round, so no dishes were broken this year :)

INSTAFRANZ  @oonaballoona @wwndw
Me with Marcy & Lisette

me!
Oh, yeah, my hair is blue now! :)

Marcy & Trice
Marcy & Trice

Amanda, Lisette & Jennifer
Amanda, Lisette & Jennifer

Amity, Nette & Kelli
Amity, Wanette & Kelli

Kelli & Peter
Peter & Kelli (in case you were wondering… her hair really looks that good in real life. Clare & I were amazed and a little jealous).

After brunch, we walked down toward the Garment District – only about a half hour late! No biggie! Ha! GUYS, I swear… I actually am pretty prompt and on-time for the most part. I HATE waiting on late people, so I try not to ever be that person. However, something about NY just makes me late for every freaking thing I try to do. Thankfully, the group didn’t get started without us – everyone was waiting patiently in the lobby at Mood Fabrics, and we were able to ride the elevators up together in a couple trips.

Should have taken this before half the meet-up left haha. Oh well! Successful day!!  (ps ladies pls tag yourselves )

This is only a portion of the crew! Didn’t think to get a group shot before we released the hounds into Mood, boo, so about half the people left before this picture was taken. Of course, I also didn’t realize that Mood closes at 4 on Saturdays… and since we all arrived after 1, that didn’t leave much time to get around the rest of the Garment District! We barreled through Mood and wreaked some serious havok on the lines in that store – I think at one point it stretched all the way to the back by the bathroom! Although I spent most of my chatting up new friends via meet-up, freaking out over the gorgeous silk button hole twist that Madalynne brought for everyone (who brings that sort of stuff to pass out at a meet-up? Maddie, that’s who!), and kicking it with my favorite Mood Dude, George. Seriously, y’all. George is awesome.

We managed to make a quick pit stop at Pacific Trimming before they closed, grabbed a bite at Ben’s Diner across the street, and posed with our favorite tailor on the street corner.

Just being adorable with @clareyszabo

The rest of the weekend, Clare and I trolled around the city with whoever we could convince to join us – Amity, Trice, Devra & Sonja. We ended up going to the Garment District three days in a row – yes, there are totally shops open on Sunday, woohoo! – where I was finally able to meet my self-imposed fabric quota. Also, we totally tourist’d it up at places like FAO Schwarz (for the live toy soldiers), Tiffany’s (for the sparklies) & Saks 5th Ave (for lurking inside the designer duds – oh yes we did).

stole these from Clareeeee

@clareyszabo and I hanging with our new BFF #toysoldiermark

stole these from Clareeeee
This may be my favorite picture from the weekend. We dipped into Chic Fabrics and made BFFz with the owner, Sam. BFFz as in we are now planning a pool party at his house on Long Island, and Clare started snapping selfies that I tried to photobomb. Sam was awesome. Almost as awesome as the fabric I bought from his store :P

One thing I would have LOVED to do while I was around, had I been given a little more time (and perhaps the weather been a bit more cooperative), was to check out the tours at Seek. I reeeeeally wanted to do the NY Garment District Tour (or, hell, all their public tours sound pretty amazing. I’m dying to try that Fifth Ave department store history tour!), but it just wasn’t in the cards for this trip, due to weather and time restraints. I’ve had a few people ask for suggestions on places to visit in NY (from a tourist’s perspective), so that would definitely be the first thing at the top of my list to check out (psst! Want a discount? Use the code LLADY!). Next time I go, I am DEFINITELY getting signed up for at least one tour!

Another thing I was sad to miss was checking out Workroom Social – especially after a full night of getting my gab on with Jennifer! Again, I do want to plan a trip back in the summer, so hopefully we can make it happen!

I reckon y’all wanna see what I came home with though, huh?

fabric haul
Here’s the whole lot of fabric! I was pretty good this time around and spent a lot less than I did last year (also, hoping this can convince me to come back later this summer to restock, YES). Mostly cottons and knits, although there are a couple of pieces of silk in there.

Most everything came from Mood Fabrics, with a few exceptions-
- the chambray, plaid, and china silk came from Chic Fabrics (225 W 39th St # 11, New York, NY 10018) (our beloved Sam! GO SEE HIM and buy up allll the china silk like I did!)
- the grey/black/rust stripes and aqua with black polka dots came from Metro Textiles (Carolyn has a recent review on this place. It is really awesome to dig through, the prices are great, and I LOVED Kashi. Love love loved him. Go find him and tell him I sent you! I would have loved to spend a million hours in that store, pawing through fabrics, but we were on quite a time constraint by the time we managed to get in there.)
- the navy/white wide stripes and navy/white polka dots came from… I think Fabrics for Less? I honestly don’t remember, because I didn’t fall in love with anyone there, ha!

trims!
I also bought a few trims from Pacific Trimming. Rib knit – one with GOLD SPARKLY STRIPES, and one white stripes – and my first Riri zipper! That shit cost me $15, by the way. It better be as epic as everyone talks about.

OMG
Also from Pacific Trimming, this amazing American Flag elastic. I… what?

Speaking of Carolyn, she was kind enough to let Clare & I stash our giant stacks of luggage (I had one of those suitcases that was big enough for me to fit inside, plus an overstuffed duffel bag. All full of fabric, haha!) in her office on our last day, so we could pop back to the Garment District and get a quick Guinness before I had to leave for the airport. Carolyn mentions on her blog that she works in corporate, and she is NOT kidding – that office was corporate and swanky as hell! They had to take photos of us to even let us in, and then she gave us a tour and I don’t think we closed our mouths the entire time. And, of course, Carolyn was impeccably dressed – in handmade. Also, I just adore Carolyn. She’s like my mama bird of the sewing world ♥

One last celebration with my babez @clareyszabo

All in all, I had an amazing time. Clare was a wonderful traveling partner who felt the same way I did about every decision we encountered – whether or not we needed more coffee (always), if we felt up to walking instead of taking the subway (hell yeah we did!) and if the Garment District warranted just oneeeeee more trip before we left (what do you think?). She even brought me presents all the way from London – soo many teas, and a gorgeous African print wax fabric that I’m kind of afraid to cut into (see it in the haul photo? Bottom right!). I really did feel like I was leaving a tiny piece of my heart back there when I had to finally go home. Which just means I better haul my ass over to London, STAT!

As far as meet-ups, I’m so glad I was able to squeeze in soo many in the short time I was there (and bummed that a couple that we planned weren’t able to pan out). Everyone says this, all the time, but it’s really awesome getting to meet up with people who share the same interests as you and are happy to hear you drone on about your fitting adjustments and offer advice. Also: having met up with lots of bloggers across all channels, I gotta say – sewists are the nicest ones in the bunch, across the board! In these meet-ups, I never feel like I’m competing for a chance to talk (you know those people who you can tell are just waiting for a dip in the conversation so they can butt in and take over? Yep. Not a sewist trait, at least not with the ones I’ve met!) or carrying on about something that’s really obvious no one gives a shit about. Everyone is polite, encouraging, and happy to let you try on their jacket if you are interested in the pattern (ask Clare about that bomber jacket. I about stole it right off of her, ha!). Ohh, and we all tip well :) If you’re thinking about joining a meet-up in your area – DO IT. So much fun, so many new friends and new blogs to follow! The best part is when you can pick out who is wearing what pattern – I think there were, what, 4 Minorus at our meet-up? Too bad I left mine at home!

Oh yeah, I went there ❤️
So, anyway… New York, I ♥ U. I’ll be back, yes indeed.

One more thing – the book+pattern giveaway! Um, WOW you guys – I cannot believe the enormous response that blew my email up all week. Y’all must really love you some sewing textbooks, that’s all I have to say about that!

But, like all good things – this has got to come to an end, so let’s pull up a winner. Ding ding, who’s the lucky number?

winner1

winner2

That would be Sam L! Woohoo, congratulations! I’ll be in touch to get you your book & pattern :) I think you’ll find this book very helpful for learning all the techniques that come with making pants :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! I really really wish I had a copy of this book to give to ALL of y’all – but unfortunately, I only got one :(. If you are interested, you can purchase the book here on Amazon. As a side note (and perhaps this is better suited for a discussion post, maybe?), I noticed that an overwhelming majority of commenters seemed to be really terrified of sewing button holes and zippers. I’m going to let you in on a my top tip for learning new things: just try it! Who cares if your first attempt ends up to be total crap (err… maybe try on a scrap first, so it can truly be nbd, ha!)? That’s why we hide things at the bottom of the trash can :) Almost everything I’ve learned – seriously, everything – came from studying sewing books and tireless googling. Practicing is really the only way you can get better at something, and you need a healthy dose of fearlessness to realize that it’s really not so bad once you get going. You got this!!

Whew, that was long! Ok, I’m outta here! Have a great week of the week, everyone! :)

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Christmas Wishies – 2013 Edition

16 Dec

I reckon I’m a little late to the game this year with my wishlist (honestly, I’ve been having a bit of a bummer month so I haven’t really felt much of the ~Christmas spirit~ if ya know what I mean. Not a sob story, just statin’ facts!), but better late than never! There’s sooo much good stuff out there this year that I’ve got eye on; the hunt is almost as fun for me as actually receiving something! Take a look…

THE PATTERNS:

portsidecover
Ever since Jen released the Portside Travel Set, I’ve been dying to make my own! I don’t know what the deal is, but something about having matching luggage just makes me so, so happy. I would make mine in this striped cotton twill with accents of organic cotton twill. Well, that’s a safe version – have you seen some of the awesome twills on Mood Fabrics, lately?? Check out this
crazy Art Deco print and this paisley twill.

One thing I really want to explore this next year is trying some new pattern companies! I love the indie offerings we all obsess over, with their lovely packaging and clear instructions, but I also really want to try something that’s a little less spoon-fed, just to stretch my sewing muscles. I have heard a lot about Marfy Patterns, over the years and even through some blog comment encouragement, and I’ve been casually browsing the offerings and really falling in love with some of the patterns! Check them out -

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Marfy 2758, the glam coat dress.

M3015
Marfy 3015, the pintucked Redingote coat

M2240
Marfy 2240, the ruffly-collared riding coat

Aren’t they beautiful?? True, I’ve been put off by Marfy for many years (the patterns don’t include instructions, seam allowances, multi-sizes, etc), and part of me is slightly concerned that the smallest size is a little too big for me (I should be wearing a size 40 according to their size chart). But, I want to try them! 2014, let’s make it my year!

Another pattern company I’ve been lurking on lately is Stylearc. Some seriously cool, seriously fashion-forward (lolz, like I’m a fashion-forward kind of dresser. WHATEVS). They’re pretty expensive when you factor in shipping, but they reviews are pretty much raves across the board. And there are definitely some styles I don’t see anywhereeeee else. Check them out:

ALISHA-DRESS
The Alisha Dress, a beautiful lace sheath with a matching slip pattern. Like I need more excuses to get my lace on.

ZIGGI-JACKET
The Ziggi Jacket. GUYS IT’S A MOTO JACKET, GUYS I WANT IT.

STACIE-JACKET
The Stacie Jean Jacket. Gah, I’m dying over this one. I love denim jackets but I can neverrrr find one that fits the way I like. I altered an old one I had laying around, but the construction is subpar at best and, honestly, I want to just make one. This pattern looks fabulous.

S3514
I really love these 1940s dresses, like Simplicity 3514. I don’t even care how twee they are – I’d even go the extra mile and make it SUPER TWEE with some Marc Jacobs daisy print fabric because, yes.

M7399
I also love this jacket pattern, McCall 7319 (what is it with me and jackets lately? IT’S NOT EVEN THAT COLD HERE). I could totally see this made up in a lovely charcoal alpaca wool, lined with a plaid wool (!!!) flannel.

THE FABRIC:
FS12614
I was recently gifted the Aubépine dress from Deer & Doe and I’ve been having a lot of fun looking through my fabric options! Wouldn’t it look lovely in this Marc Jacobs dotted cotton/silk?

FC22718-f
Another contender is this floral cotton silk voile. A bit summery for sure, but could easily be layered up for the current season.

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Wouldn’t this floral velveteen be perfect for a pair of Chataigne winter shorts? Also in my lurk: mink solid velvet. YUM.

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Love this leopard stretch cotton twill, I can imagine it made into a pair of skinny stretch jeans. Just need to find me some new boots!

303069
Soo, I reckon y’all have seen By Hand London’s newest pattern, the Georgia dress, yes? I have a copy burning a hole in my pattern cabinet, and I’m DYING to make it up, but I haven’t settled on a good fabric yet. Something glittery or brocade-y (or even sequin-y, for the masochist sewist in me) is high on my list for a fun party dress. Then I discovered this stretch buffalo plaid. Amazing! I need all the plaids, all of them.

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I’m really digging this Marc Jacobs star cotton fabric. Couldn’t you see this made up in a woven skater dress?

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Mood actually has this navy zigzag sweater knit in several other color combos, but the blue is my favorite. The perfect little knit wiggle dress!

FP19600
I also can’t get enough of all the gorgeous special occasion fabric I have been seeing lately. Like this Carolina Herrera rose brocade

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And this Italian metallic brocade

FS12610
And ESPECIALLY this Oscar de la Renta polka dot silk taffeta. bleeechhhhh get in my life!

vichy_square
Gingham jersey? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

THE OTHERS:
rooster
Still obsessing over Jamie’s jewelry. I recently got this peacock necklace, but that doesn’t stop me from checking out the other goodz she has available. Love this Rooster necklace! You know I would totally turn wearing that into a neverending dirty joke ;)

Simflex1
Why don’t I have one of these expanding sewing gauge doohickeys?

71-FhaIYk2L._SL1500_
My current iron (a Rowenta that’s more than 6 years old) has been slowly dying over the past year – the shut offs are more frequent, and the water reservoir doesn’t hold for shit. A new pressing tool is definitely in the future, and I’ve been eyeballing this gravity feed iron for what seems like forever. Fingers crossed that Santa heard my wishies!

BLCS2_1_med
File this under things that I really really want but can’t afford – a coverstich machine! I know, there are other brands that are equally loved, but I’m a Babylock girl when it comes to my sergers and the like. I’ve tested this machine in the past, several years ago (yeah, I guess I’ve been lurking on this for a while!) and it’s fucking amazing. Totally deserves a spot in my sewing room.

Hey, putting this post together was really fun! Like shopping without actually spending money (or getting product, but let’s not think about that right now). I love it!

A couple more things while I have your attention!

First, I owe y’all a giveaway winner. Random number generator says….
wins

winsss

Lauren Talley! Congratulations, Lauren! Great name ;) hee! Expect an email from me soon!

For everyone who inquired about the sewing prints being in Joanna’s shop… I believe they will be offered soon, but give her a couple of weeks because she’s in the process of getting married :) So sit tight!

Finally, can I ask a tiny favor of my local/Nashville readers? I have a friend who is doing some research for a local fabric store (and I swear, this is not a thinly disguised “friend” who’s really me, or anything like that. Promise!) and she needs a few more opinions. If you’re in the Nashville/Middle Tennessee area, or come here frequently to buy fabrics, she would loooove your opinion to help her research. Click here to take survey. Again, local people only, please! I love you all but your buying habits on the other side of the country are not relevant for this particular purpose ;)

Ok, I guess that’s it! Now let’s get back to the fun part: PRESENTS. What’s on your wishlist this year?

My Trip to Chicago!

7 Oct

Oops, I meant to write this post last week. Oh well, better late than never, right? :)

So, Chicago! While I was only there for a very short time (came in Friday night, left Monday afternoon), I obviously had a fabulous time – and managed to squeeze in a lot of awesome. Which, squeezing in awesome is what vacation is all about, yeah?

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I rode the Megabus from Nashville to Chicago – god bless, that shit is cheap! And not much longer than actually driving myself (without the hassle of driving, or dealing with a car when I got there. YUSSS). Megabus is awesome.

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I stayed with my friends Eliza and Brett, who were fabulous hosts (the kind who agree to do all the awful touristy things I wanted to do, like take pictures at the Bean and walk around the Viagra Triangle so I could touch the window to the Bentley dealership. It’s the little things). This picture was taken in the living room of their condo. Can we say SWANK? I felt so fancy all weekend.

Don't worry, we bought plenty of designer fabrics today @ddisciplines @itsmseliza111 @makizysews @grainlinestudio @GinaGemmel @megthegrand @zilredloh

My first order of business was to get my ass back to Vogue Fabrics to restock my dwindling fabric stash and raid their remnant section. Back up, my first order of business was to meet up with some lovely Chicago sewists at Heartland Cafe for a leisurely brunch before we descended into madness. Heartland Cafe was pretty awesome, in case you were wondering.

Vogue was, as to be expected, totally wonderful and totally overwhelming. I didn’t actually come with a set list (as my definite plans for sewing currently use up most of my stash), but I still managed to leave with a couple bags full of fabrics. Thanks to everyone who was able to come out for my impromptu meet-up! From left to right, we have Mari, my hostess with the mostess Eliza, Debbie, Jen, Gina, Meg, meeee (duh), and Liz. Such a great group, love you ladiessss!

I will save you from a boring touristy-recap post and instead go straight to the next day, Sunday – when we went to the Textile Discount Outlet! I had been meaning to visit this place when I was in Chicago last year, but it’s not open on Saturdays (lolwut), so it missed our meet-up day. Eliza, bless her, was more than willing to escort me around for fabric shopping, so I was pretty excited to experience the holy grail of cheapie fabrics in this city.

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Here I was dazzled by the wall of sequins…

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And also dazzled by a zipper that was not only taller than me (let’s be real, I’m 5’2″… everything is taller than me :P), it was also taller than Eliza! In hindsight, totally should have bought that zipper.

Fabric shopping part 2 was intense @ddisciplines @GinaGemmel @Tresbienmichell @itsmseliza111

The meet-up crew was smaller this day (Eliza is taking the picture), and still just as great! Mari & Gina tolerated me for a second day, and Michelle joined us! I really wish I had thought to sneak a picture of Gina’s shirt, btw – she was wearing a Renfrew and that V was fucking perfect. We were all admiring it, ha!

Suprisingly, I actually managed to spend more money at Textile than I did at Vogue (despite Textile being a bit cheaper). I also experienced a bit of a disconnect when I looked at prices too long – at first, $14/yard seems pretty legit (“Oh! That’s about what I’m used to paying!”), until you start getting overwhelmed with $3/yard options and then suddenly, anything over $8/yard seems like highway robbery. Anyone else get like that?

And then I took a fashion illustration class with @itsmseliza111 & @ddisciplines

Anyway, after Textile, Eliza & Mari went with me to take a short (2 hour, very informal) fashion illustration class. I gotta give Mari full credit for tracking that shit down and convincing me to go (and Eliza for agreeing to go with me! I told ya, best hostess!) – it was AWESOME. I never knew fashion illustration was something I’d get really into, but I got REALLY into it and look at my first little illustrated lady! Ahh!! Don’t worry, I’ve already gone to the art store and stocked up on watercolors and fancy paper. Anyone got a fashion illustration book they are looking to sell? ;)

A few random highlights from my trip-

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Found a gold velvet couch, fell in love.

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Walked to the Navy Pier, was somewhat underwhelmed UNTIL I DISCOVERED THE SWING RIDE.

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My roommate for the weekend :D

Bunny bomb

Who totally made himself at home on my fabric haul. The stash in general is uneventful enough where I don’t think they require individual pictures (lots of knits – sweatshirt, tissue, and sweater knits, I mean – a couple solid wools, wool-blend plaid, some lining, mehhh) – except I do want to point out that the upper right corner is a little pile of suede-backed faux sherpa (whyyyy?! WHY NOT, that’s what I said!!) and I also got a little chunk of leather (below the sherpa). I have no idea what I will do with either of these, gimme suggestions if you got ‘em!

I love Chicago and I was so happy to have a chance to travel up there for a short weekend fabric-shopping spree. Thanks to everyone who made it out to a meet-up, and for those who couldn’t – I’ll be back. Promise! I love this city!

Now if only New York & LA would cost $50 to visit ;)

I leave you with this -

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Landon sent this to me over the weekend. Amelia always sits there when either of us are showering and waits for us to get out. She’s such a creep.

I start my new job today!! Wish me luck :) Also, side note, but did you remember to enter the Draping giveaway? It closes on Wednesday!

Sewing Plans – Fall/Winter 2013

20 Sep

The best part about the season change is planning a new wardrobe, amirite? As my current plans appear to be spread all over the world (some on Pinterest, some on Flickr, some just in my head), I like to group it all into one place. So here we go!

Of course, there are the not-as-exciting basics – leggings and hoodies and sweaters. I also have specific plans for special patterns and fabrics, which can be a little harder to keep track of – hence this post. Obviously y’all don’t come to my blog for my stellar photography and photoshopping skills, so overlook that part, thnx. Also, I got way too into this and could have continued slapping pictures together and creating link parties here for the next 24 hours, but I made myself stop at 10. You are welcome.

Hawthorn
Pattern: Colette Pattern’s Hawthorn dress, with some sleeve modifications.
Fabric: Blue/Purple cotton plaid from my stash (srsly been hoarding this for a couple of years)

Tania
Pattern: Megan Nielsen’s Tania culottes
Fabric: Linen/Silk suiting blend, also from the stash. This stuff is so beautiful and I’ve never settled on a suitable pattern for it. The more I wear my summer Tanias, though, the more I love the idea of a flippy wool miniskirt. Except by skirt, I mean shorts ;)

Archer
Pattern: Grainline Studio’s Archer button-up
Fabric: Plaid Cotton Flannel. Actually, can I just make everything in flannel?

Anna
Pattern: By Hand London’s Anna Dress – short with slash neckline
Fabric: Sheer black with sparkly leaves all over, another stash piece. God, this stuff is amazing. I plan on wearing it over a black slip, instead of lining.

Zinnia
Pattern: Colette Pattern’s Zinnia skirt (the newest one!)
Fabric: Anna Sui Satin Panel print. I don’t know why I’m so in love with this print – nor am I sure it will actually fit on the skirt pattern pieces – but I’m willing to try.

Peter and the Wolf
Pattern: Papercut Pattern’s Peter & The Wolf Pants
Fabric: Stretch suiting (with flocked polka dots!) from Mood Fabric’s store. DREAM FABRIC, Y’ALL.

Pencil Trousers
Pattern: Burdastyle Pencil Trousers
Fabric: Floral Stretch Denim

Vogue 1610
Pattern: Vogue 1610, vintage
Fabric: Floral border print jersey, a fabric gift from Carolyn. What’s funny is she also has apparently made this same pattern (although not with the same fabric I’m planning, obviously). Does that sound like fate or what?

Lola
Pattern: Victory Patterns’ Lola dress
Fabric: Thakoon Cotton sweatshirt knit

Vogue 2765
Pattern: Vogue 2765, vintage
Fabric: Black & White Plaid wool coating

Ok, now we need to talk about this coat. I haven’t decided what view to make – it will be short, but hood or no hood? I also haven’t settled on a lining color, so let’s have some opinions! Midnight Blue? Tango Red? Mandarin? Buttercup Yellow? I don’t really want to go with white or black, too boring!

What are your plans for the new season? Anyone else want to make a coat with me? :)

Completed: Lakeside Pajamas

9 Aug

Hey look! I made pajamas!

Lakeside Pajamas

I feel kind of weird posting pictures of myself modeling pajamas, but eh, let’s roll with it. At least I kept my shoes on :P

Lakeside Pajamas

These are the Lakeside Pajamas, the newest offering from Grainline Studio. The pattern was given as a gift to me from Carla, yes, the same person who have given me multiple patterns. Thank youuu, Carla, you are the best! I never would have thought to make myself sleepwear (other than a slinky slip), but now I want a million sets of these.

Lakeside Pajamas

This is a great little set, and it’s SUPER comfortable. The shorts are loose with an elastic waist, and the top is floaty and cool, with some interesting detailing so you don’t feel like sewing it is a total snoozefest (pun intended, maybe?).

Lakeside Pajamas

Isn’t this fabric beautiful!? I’ve been hoarding it for years, waiting on a ~special~ pattern. Part of what kept me from using it is that I barely had much it – about 7/8 yard – and the print is pretty large. Obviously, I was able to squeeze all my pieces out on that tiny yardage, but I had to make my bias tape with a contrasting fabric. I used the rest of my navy organic cotton sateen and ughhhh shit took forever. The pattern calls for 7 yards of bias tape (!!) and I only had small pieces, so I found myself cutting tiny squares to make continuous bias tape. I ended up using only about 6 yards, but be warned that I also made the smallest size in the shorts and the second smallest size in the top.

Lakeside Pajamas

Anyway, it was worth the effort because I haaate pre-made bias tape. It’s so stiff! This stuff is nice and soft and the color matches beautifully. Plus, it has that cotton sateen luster. Yummy.

Lakeside Pajamas

The pattern was surprisingly easy to follow. I had a small snafu with the shorts, but it was 100% user error (note: the front and back seams are not the side seams, Lauren! I basically made a huge circle of fabric and spent like 10 minutes trying to figure out the crotch seam until I realized I’d done goofed loololol. What was not lol-worthy was all the unpicking I had to do after that, wah!).

Lakeside Pajamas

I LOVEEEEE these shorts, though. They’re pretty low-rise (you can almost see my belly button; it’s right where the tank top hem is hitting). I am totally going to make a couple more pair for running and general house-lounging – they’re like the perfect 70s running shorts, except they’re not knit (although I think these would work beautifully with a stable knit, and that is something I am totally going to try). I really want to make a classic red with white trim.

Lakeside Pajamas

Lakeside Pajamas

I was a little hesitant at first to use my beautiful hoardy fabric on a pair of PAJAMAS, but I’m soo glad I did. I can actually wear these every day (or just one piece at a time), unlike my regular clothes – which means I get to look at the fabric all the time! Seriously, they are so pretty I want to hang them on the wall when I’m not wearing them ;)

Lakeside Pajamas

Lakeside Pajamas

Lakeside Pajamas

A big part of the reason why I decided to make pretty loungewear is because I am scheduled for a minor surgery on Monday. It’s not anything serious – hence the “minor” – but I am going to be in recovery for about a week. Including no work, no biking, no… sewing :( (we’ll see how long that lasts lolololol) (seriously, tho, I’m gonna plant my ass on the couch that whole time because I do NOT want to do this twice!). I bought myself the prettiest kelly green yarn and plan on knitting and watching lots of those ancient Egyptian documentaries that Landon hates! Oh god, this means I finally have a chance to watch the Great British Sewing Bee too!

With that being said, thanks to everyone who purchased something from my Etsy shop – combined with some aggressive saving, I think I have enough to pay everything off up front :) SUCH a good feeling!

For those of you who were interested in taking local sewing classes taught by yours truly, obviously that’s on hold for a short time. I will be sending emails when I get my life figured out, ha. For those of you who are interested in taking a sewing class taught by me who are NOT local, I’m working on that too ;)

Lakeside Pajamas

Wish me luck! I’ll be around next week, but apologies in advance if I start talking painkiller-induced nonsense ;)

Birthday Wishiesss

16 May

You know your birthday is just around the corner when you can see it on the 10 day forecast (which, btw, let’s not have rain on my birthday. Please?). I’ll be 28 this Tuesday, but age has not stopped me from treating my birthday like a fucking holiday. It IS a holiday! Let’s celebrate by looking at pretty things!!

MN2203_envelope_front_grande
Sooo at this point, I think you’d have to be living under a large rock to have not yet seen Megan Nielsen’s Breakwater Collection, but just in case you haven’t… GO LOOK. Everything is amazing, the pictures are glorious, and I NEED THOSE CULOTTES.

Thakoon Cotton
I would use this gorgeous Thakoon cotton to make them up, because yes.

ArcherButtonUp
I know… I’m, like, light-years behind everyone when it comes to the Archer Button-Up. I have totally been eyeballing everyone’s versions and I think I’m ready to try my hand at it too!

double face
Perhaps in a lovely double-faced blue plaid cotton?

polka dota
Classic polka dots?

green stripes
Or, ooh, how about this preppy green striped shirting? Sorry, my inner Nard-Dog is showing.

Bambi
I would love to ease myself into bra-making with this Bambi Soft bra pattern from Ohhh Lulu. This would make the perfect lounging bra, and the size would be easy to customize (since I can never find anything my size in stores).

ivory silk
I think it would look lovely in this Marc Jacobs embroidered silk. The fabric is a bit expensive, but thankfully bras don’t take much yardage, so you can splurge a little :B

Crepe de Chine
… or maybe whip a few up in this gorgeous Thakoon Crepe de Chine (ohhh Thakoon, why can’t I quit u). Because what is the point of making a bra if you’re not having fun with the fabric, amirite.

belladone
I just love the new Deer and Doe patterns. I have the Bleuet (and have I made it up yet? Nope… still waiting for fabric inspiration to strike), but I’m pretty sure I also need the Belladone. I have a beautiful striped silk shantung that would look PERFECT with that back cut-out.

Speaking of patterns I already have… I’m gearing up to make a few pairs of these Ooh La La Leggings from Papercut Patterns and while I initially settled on some lovely basic solids, I’m thinking I need crazy prints now! I’ve started running (very very VERY slowly, I might add!) and I love dressing like an idiot when I exercise :B

floral jersey
Like this giant floral jersey

geometric jersey
… or maybe this crazy geometric jersey?? Ok, the latter is probably too thin for leggings-as-pants…. but, actually, we all know I’m not ashamed to show my ass. Whatever.

purple floral
This purple floral cotton is EXACTLY what I need to make up this pattern… aka my 2013 Sewulution!

ombre
I love this green ombre cotton. I don’t know what I would do with it; probably just carry it around everywhere with me and sleep with it under my pillow ;)

forever
More of these labels, please! I also love these, but I think they need the real word on ‘em :)

Hm, looking back at this post, it seems like all I care about this year is fabric and patterns. Oh, and a gravity feed iron, but that is gonna have to wait until my Rowenta completely dies ;)

What are you lusting after right now? Any other May babies out there? Bonus if we are birthday twinz!

EDIT Juli has generously given us a discount code for her shop, we can all celebrate :) Use the code LLADYBIRDBIRTHDAY for 15% off everything in the Sweet Little Chickadee Shop – patterns, embroidery kits, or those amazing labels. Yay! Thanks, Juli :D

My Trip To NYC!

14 Mar

I’m baaaack!! Hope y’all have a big ol’ Lauren-shaped hole in your hearts that needs filling, because this is about to be a super long post, filled with lots of pictures that I mostly stole from other people’s blogs. What can I say – I was too busy ~enjoying the moment~ to be bothered to take pictures. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself ;) Rather than break this up into a bunch of posts, I’m just going to do one megapost so it’ll be easy to skip if you’re not interested!

Sonja kindly offered to let me crash on her couch while I was in town, so that’s where I stayed the majority of the week (a couple days were spent visiting some old Nashville friends up in Ossining. I took the train by myself and everything – so proud, you have no idea ha). Sonja was a GREAT hostess – with some of the cutest, no, THE cutest pugs ever! I would now like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new girlfriend, her name is Peggy and she’s the cuddliest darling in the world:
Peg the Pug
LOOK AT THAT FACE. LOOK AT IT.

After an afternoon of eating cookies and lurking dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, we met up with some of the in-town Mood Sewing Network bloggers for dinner and drinks. I had a few people ask me this, so I just want to clarify – Mood didn’t have anything to do with my NYC trip. I mean, duh, fabric shopping was a big huge giant to-do at the top of the list… but I planned and paid for the trip on my own accord. Once that was set in action, Oona actually handled most of the meeting up deetz, including the Mood dinner. Honestly, I would have been totally lost and probably flailing in the dark somewhere if it hadn’t been for her and Sonja taking control of the plans. Thanks, ladiez!

Mood Dinner
Meeting Sonja and Oona made me feel like I was part an epic trio. I feel like I talked about this nonstop during my trip, but it’s so cool to meet people ~in person~ and realize that they are even more awesome than you guessed from reading their blogs. That’s how I felt about everyone I met. I don’t think I stopped the smiling the whole time I was there (and still smiling now, fyi!)

Mood Dinner
Meg from Mood joined us, as well as Carolyn (who I was super excited to meet!)

Mood Dinner
Peter showed up too!

Friday morning, I woke up bright and early to…
Snowwww!!
SNOOOWWWWWW!!!
Southerners will understand my delight. Snow! That sticks! And the whole city didn’t shut down! Such novelty!

Friday was the first day I spent fabric shopping – what started out as a pizza and spandex date ended up a 7 hour shopping spree, no lie! We started out just me, Sonja and Oona, then after lunch we added Peter and Carolyn for my first foray into Mood.

What can I say about the garment district? In one word, it is OVERWHELMING. The stores go on forever, all selling completely different stuff, and the prices vary wildly. There are specialized notion stores, stores for different types of fabric, stores that seem like they should be the same thing but aren’t (Spandex House, Spandex World). Some of the places I went in were cheeeeeap. Although, to be fair, Mood is pretty cheap compared to the prices I pay here in Nashville. Most of what I bought cost at least half of what I’m used to… some were even cheaper. I’m just going to say this right now: I bought a lot of fabric. Like… well, we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyway, the employees in Mood were so so great – every time I pulled out a bolt that I wanted, someone was standing behind me ready to drag it to my pile. The customer service in that place is great, I never felt like I had to track down someone for swatches or help finding something. Especially George. I loved George, he was my favorite!

First experience at Mood
Here is my first ~Mood Experience~. See? Overwhelmed in the best way possible. So glad I brought a detailed shopping list!

Saturday was meet-up day! I was SO EXCITED for this shit, I barely slept and actually woke up at 6:50A (woof… I don’t even get up that early to go to work!). But first, before meeting up at Mood for round #2, a boozy brunch was in order. Devra hosted at her seriously gorgeous/fancypants pad, where the champagne and coffee flowed freely (although not together, ew) and her badass cat kept jumping into my lap and we were BFFs within 5 minutes. Also brunchin’ with us was Wanett, Christine, and again Sonja/Oona/Peter.

Brunch meet-up

Brunch- Oona
Also within 5 minutes was Oona breaking a plate. She was smiling at me right before it happened, which means this is also partially my fault. SORRY DEVRA.

Brunch- swap+awesome cat
We also had a mini-swap, in which the cat showed us just how much of a badass he was by making himself at home right in the middle of the pile while everyone was digging.

Indiana Jones, the most awesome cat ever
GOD, I love that cat ♥♥♥

After we finished, I realized I was running late TO MY OWN FUCKING MEET-UP and hightailed it to Mood.

Big meet-up at Mood
And look at how many people showed up!! Awww!! You guys!!!!!
We took names and blogs and Oona shared the list with me when I got home (see what I mean about getting nothing done without her?!) – of course, this was after we spent about an hour in Mood, so I may have missed someone who slipped out early. Speak up if you don’t see your name here; I want to lurk aaaaall of you guys!
Gaby, Carly, Lee, Charlotte, Devra, Cindy, Janice, Allie, Lisette, Kim, Meredith, Kayleigh, Sonja, Oona, Rosie, Wanett, Shelley and Christine. Whew!!

We spent a good chunk of time in Mood, split into cackling packs and talking each other into buying fabrics (I like to think I’m very good at peer pressure but Carolyn proved on Friday that she has that shit down to an ART). Post-Mood, we ventured further into the Garment District to check out a few stores… specifically, Pacific Trimming, Chic Fabrics, and Fabrics for Less. Guys, if you have not shopped these stores… I have three words for you: $10 Wool Coating. ACK OMG.

We ended the meet-up at Houndstooth Pub, which we discovered when we tried to go to Stitch and realized they were closed. Houndstooth pub seemed like a good substitution – I mean, it being named after a fabric and all :) Although I feel kind of bad for the bar having to accommodate our enormous group on a moment’s notice – they were good sports about it! Also, the food was amazing.

Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it out to the meet-up – I’m so bummed that I didn’t have time to talk to everyone one-on-one, which means obviously there will need to be a round 2 in the future :) I really enjoyed getting to meet other sewists and I just love fabric shopping with people who actually get excited about that shit, ha! Y’all are the best!!

HOLD UP THOUGH because my trip is not over yet!!

Flea market
I woke up bright and early (too early… damn Daylight Savings Time. Wait, no, I actually love you) Sunday morning and took the train solo to meet with Devra, Wanett and Peter at the Chelsea flea market. I’m actually super proud of myself for getting there – considering I don’t understand how that public transportation shit works at all. I didn’t buy anything at the flea, but I had a lot of fun looking at all the stuff and gawking over some of the prices (guys… come to Nashville. I’ll show you my flea and you shall weep.).

Flea market - with Kenneth King (!!!)
We did run into Kenneth King, though! Holy shit, I was so starstruck!! He’s so funny and a great storyteller – and that jacket is way way way more amazing than any picture could convey. Trust me.

Ok, one more surprise star-studded meet-up…
Sunday night meet-up
Yep, that would be Karen, just dropping into NY the same weekend I was there! What are the odds!?!?

I don’t even remember where we ate, except that I had a lamb burger and the dessert was amazing and the girl sitting at the table next to us kept giving us the stink-eye. She was clearly on an awkward date, sux 2 b her. Karen is just as sweet as you would expect from her blog – and that accent! GOD why don’t I have an accent like that!?

My trip actually wrapped up on Tuesday, and I rolled back into Nashville late Tuesday night (my flights kept getting delayed waaah and LaGuardia airport sorta sucks, there I said it). I actually left the city on Sunday night, stayed with friends Monday & Tuesday in Ossining. I did go back into the city on Monday, to check out Soho and Chinatown… and also make a third trip back to the Garment District. Whoops.

Oh, I guess you wanna see the spoils, huh?

Fabric spoils, the whole lot
Here it is in a big giant pile on my sewing room floor. SO MUCH FABRIC, it barely fit in my suitcase (and spare duffel bag) haha. I actually spent most of the day yesterday prewashing it all and reorganizing my sewing room. I have plans for every single piece I bought.

Here are some individual pictures, collaged as not to overwhelm this already huge post! Almost everything is from Mood, anything that isn’t is indicated in parenthesis.
Fabric spoils, 1
Starting at top left: chambray, lightweight non-stretch denim, medium-weight linen from Marc Jacobs (confession: I chased this bolt around Mood on Saturday, as it switched dozens of hands. I have really exciting plans for it too, although I can’t tell you right this second!), striped ponte knit, striped cotton sateen (the colors look black, but they are navy and white), french terry, lightweight red wool crepe, yellow wool crepe (Carolyn talked me into both of these wool crepes… I was resistant because I live in such a warm climate – it’ll be 70* this weekend, ugh – but that woman could talk me into anything. Also, I’m really glad I bought them and I can’t stop touching them and admiring how lovely the colors are), swimsuit fabrics (Spandex House- the stripes are navy and white, and that weird underwear-looking shit in the background is the lining).

Fabric spoils, 2
Starting at top left: red seersucker (this was intended for my 2013 Sewlution, but upon further inspection I have realized the fabric is quite stretchy, so it might not work for it’s intended purpose. I will, however, find a use for it!!), red floral voile (Chic Fabrics), floral print swiss dot, leopard ponte knit, mint and red cotton jersey (Fabrics for Less), tiny bows Betsy Johnson silk (also from Fabrics for Less – I looove that guy, go buy his fabrics!), hot pink wool coating (Chic Fabrics), polka dot cotton batiste, gingham.

Fabric spoils, 3
Starting at top left: plaid seersucker (Oh god, I don’t remember where this is from… help? Was it Fabrics for Less??), assorted chiffons (from the swap), white cotton twill/brown lightweight corduroy (from the swap), bemberg linings and cotton batiste.

YEP.

Yarn
A big chunk of Sonja’s yarn destashing also went straight into my suitcase… check it out!

So that’s my trip to New York! Thanks again to everyone who made this trip so fucking amazing – Sonja, Oona, Meg, Carolyn, Peter, Devra, Wanett & Karen for taking me out/showing me around, and every single one of y’all who came out for the meet-up. It really means a lot to me and I look forward to more meet-ups in the future. Hopefully some more in New York (must go back!!), but hey, if you’re ever in Nashville… holler at me :)

Before I dump out of here, I have a few more things I wanted to mention!
- I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining a slew of talented ladies for Miss P‘s Refashioner’s Challenge. I remember watching the challenge unfold last year and loving all the makes that came out… and now it’s my turn!! Yay!!
- My girl Mari just started a new pattern line and is currently trying to raise funds for it! You can donate to the Kickstarter Campaign here. The first pattern up is a pullover hoodie – with pockets in the back so you can keep your hands warm while wrapping your arm around someone. GENIUS. The new goal is $1640, which will enable her to produce actual printed patterns. And she’s SO CLOSE. Please, donate if you can!
- I just found out yesterday that on July 1, my beloved Google Reader will be no more. First of all: Fuck you, Google. Second of all: Does anyone have reader suggestions that are similar to the look/feel of the gReader (I mean, other than Bloglovin)? Ughhh I’m so lost. Third of all: Now I guess is the time to claim my blog on Bloglovin, so following me there is an option!
- Speaking of RSS feeds, I had a few people tell me over the weekend that they were having trouble getting the Mood Sewing Network to show up in feeds. I had the same problem in the beginning – which meant I didn’t read the blog, since I’m not about to click back to something every and and see if maaaybe there is an update, you know? Anyway, I talked to the Mood staff about it and they helpfully pointed out that you need to click on the RSS button near the top-right corner, and copy that address into your subscription bar. I tested it in my reader and it worked like a charm, so I thought there might be other people who would want to know the solution too!
- And one last little Mood tidbit – I got a small shout-out in this month’s issue of Threads. AMAZING. Check it out – that’s my name in print, omgomgomg!!
Look! That's my name!!

Ok, I think that’s it! Thanks for hanging in there and letting me gush about my trip :)

A Day at the Flea – October 2012

30 Oct

Lord have mercy, the flea market was GOOD to me this month. I’m almost embarrassed by the excess, although I keep telling myself I’m saving money & keeping trash out of landfills. Right? Right!? Humor me here.

Anyway, I went on Saturday with my best-flea-market-buddy-ever, Lauren (and you should definitely go lurk her blog if you enjoy being jealous of beautiful white crocheted lace dresses, because, hot damn). My first mistake was forgetting that October was the “big” month for this flea market. I don’t know what people have against November & December, but for whatever reason, they choose October as their month go to Christmas shopping. The place was PACKED – lots of slow-moving old folks with their dogs in covered baby strollers (sidenote: why? Why wouldn’t you just leave your dog at home? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND). On the flip side, it meant that all the sellers brought out their big guns this month… and we made out like bandits.

Today's flea market haul
Here’s a shitty Instagram pictures of my haul, minus the clothes I bought (oh yes… there are clothes).

40s velvet party dress
This is the very first thing I bought – like, within 15 minutes of getting there. Isn’t she a beaut! I’m pretty sure this is from the 40s/early 50s. I (unsuccessfully)tried to lighten the image; it’s a lovely forest green velvet. The buttons are mother-of-pearl with gold edges. This will definitely be my Christmas dress :)

40s rayon day dress
The second dress is a navy day dress from the 40s. I’m not totally sure of the fabric content, but I’m thinking rayon. Sidenote- the seller & I bickered over the age of this dress. She said it was late 30s, I said early 40s. She said she knew her vintage, I said I know my sewing patterns. Later when I was hemming it up (don’t worry – the original hem is still there, I didn’t cut anything off :)), I found a tag on the inside of the skirt that dates it to 1940. I guess that’s kind of a compromise, huh?
Ps – I know it looks totally ugly on the hanger, here’s an action shot of it on me :)

Butterick 2153
Simplicity 1999
I also got some patterns. Aren’t these darling? The seller remembered me from last month & saved me a box!

I came across that giant box of zippers right before we left. As in, “Let’s lurk this last shed and then go home, I’m cold.” The seller and I haggled a bit on the price, then settled on $15 for the whole box, plus whatever else I wanted to stuff in there. I added a few scraps of fabric, giant covered buttons, and a purse pattern that Lauren was eyeballing. I wasn’t sure if I got a good deal or not, I just grabbed the box & hi-tailed it home.

Zippers!
I know it doesn’t look like much, but there are 83 zippers here! Almost all of them are 22″ (some longer), and they are about 50/50 nylon and metal. Every color of the rainbow! That comes out to about $.18 per zipper, so yeah, I reckon I got a good deal ;) Add that to the giant bag of metal zippers I scored a few months ago; I’m pretty sure I’ll never need to buy another zipper again trololol

You’re probably wondering what my second mistake was.
My second mistake was going back the next day.

with my mom & niece :)
This time, I went with my parents & niece Caroline, who is the sassiest little sass that ever sassed.

true
I would have bought this if it wasn’t $10.

OMG
I discovered that I was a designer in a past life.

haul #2
And here’s haul #2, combined with some stuff my parents bought. Aren’t those side tables amazing?

I missed one of my regular sellers the first go-round, so I was interested to see if he still had anything for me (I usually get my patterns from him):
Vogue Couturier pattern
OH! Ok!

Simplicity 5016

Modes Royale 1415

Sewing Booklets

Pres Kloth !!
(yes, the “kloth” is in there and yes I plan on using it)

Zipper patterns!
Change purse gloves!? DED.

Sewing books via Dept of Agriculture
I actually have no need for these (you should see my collection of fitting books), I was just amused that they were from the US Department of Agriculture. So randumb haha!

Hollywood 1482
I found this pattern at a different booth. I was really excited about it – it was only $1 – until I realized that some idiot piece of shit waste of life SEALED THE ENTIRE THING UP IN CONTACT PAPER. S/he had arranged it in some weird cardboard shadow box with a bunch of sewing notions (not cool vintage sewing notions… like, shit from Joann’s) and plastic-wrapped the whole thing closed. I only wanted the pattern, so the seller punched the front out and gave it to me lol. I was able to rip the top open very carefully with a razorblade, and the envelope contains one pattern piece & the instructions. So boo :( Oh well, at least the artwork is pretty enough to display.

I also bought more clothes!
blanket skirt
50s wool skirt that feels like a blanket.

50s party dress
50s party dress that fits me perfectly (and yes… that is a bird shit stain on the collar lol. I need to clean it!)
This dress was only $5. Hold onto your hats – there is a significant amount of fading down one side of the dress, all the way to the hem. Those spots have been lightened to purple. Hence why it was so cheap. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – the sun damage isn’t terribly noticeable when worn (the seller suggested I wear it in the dark haha), but you can still see it. I thought about dying it, but I really like the color as-is. So idk yet. But for $5 – I couldn’t leave it behind!

square dancing dress
This square dancing dress was also $5. I’m not sure of it’s age – it’s handmade, at any rate – but it fits and that skirt is super twirly. MINE.

70s wooden shoes
I also found these beat-up 70s wooden platform sandals for $5.

All in all, a good 2 day haul – and I spent way less than $100 total!

And just to keep this related to all things blog~
outfit!
I’m wearing the blanket skirt today – it goes perfectly with my Chuck sweater ;)

Thurlow Sew-Along: Choosing Your Fabric

8 Oct

I just love this part of the sewing process – choosing fabric! If there’s anything that gets me super pumped about my upcoming project, it’s after I’ve found ~the fabric~ (and possibly rolled myself up in it like a burrito). What I like about this pattern is that it can be made in a multitude of fabrics to cover every season – not to mention that every pair has the potential to look completely different.

The back of the Thurlow envelope gives some suggestions for fabric choices – woolens, suitings, cotton twill, etc. You will want to stick with something light to medium weight. Be careful that you don’t go too thick, as the welt pockets can get a little bulky if you’re not careful. This is a great pattern for playing with wooly textures & saturated colors (my favorite!). We will be doing a lot of pressing, so I definitely recommend sticking with natural fibers to make this easier.

Still overwhelmed? Here are some LT-approved choices-


Black/Grey Herringbone Suiting
I LOVE herringbone! This is actually pretty similar to the suiting my pants will be made with, except mine is brown :)


Camel/Chocolate Plaid Suiting
This is another fairly “safe” option, but there is plenty of texture in the fabric to keep it from being too boring.


Black/White Plaid Suiting
Or, if you want to go all out & have some loud pants – try a balanced plaid! This one is pretty small-scale, so it wouldn’t be too hard to match up.


Plum Wool Crepe
Wool crepe is another great choice if you are looking for something with a bit more drape. I love the spongey, slightly stretchy texture – and all the saturated colors! Ahh!


Dark Emerald Wool Crepe
I mean… really. Wool crepe totally has the best colors.


Mustard Boiled Wool
I think we all need a pair of mustard pants.


Solid Navy Stretch Denim
Denim works quite well with this pattern, so fancy trouser jeans are absolutely doable! A few things I should point out: stick with a medium weight – too light won’t have enough body, and too heavy will give you hell when you try to sew those pockets & belt loops – and try to get a denim that doesn’t have more than a subtle amount of stretch (otherwise, you may end up needing to size down to get it to fit!). Also, take note when you’re prewashing this stuff – I wash & dry my denim at least 3 times before I cut it. It shrinks up a LOT and this is not something you want to discover in the form of high-waters, ok.


Chili Petter Cotton Twill
If wool makes you feel inexplicably itchy & denim bores you to tears, there is always a cotton twill option.


Mink Solid Rich Italian Velvet
Fancy velvet shorts? This velvet is totally luxe & only costs $10 a yard!

Of course, if you’re on the other side of the world, all these nubby tweeds & deep jewel tones are probably causing you to break out into a sweat. Don’t worry – there’s a fabric for that ;)


White/Blue Striped Seersucker
Seersucker is a summer staple as far as I’m concerned – why not embrace your inner Southern Gentleman with a pair of seersucker shorts?


Dark Blue Solid Linen
Or, if shorts aren’t your bag, linen makes a base for a summery pair or trousers *or* shorts. If you are super concerned about the natural wrinkles that come with the linen territory, get one that has a bit of poly blended in.

In addition to the fashion fabric, you will also need to buy lining for the inside waistband, pockets & fly facing. This is the fun part! We won’t actually be using “lining” fabric – so nothing slippery & devilish, yay! Lightweight cottons are perfect for this. Voiles, batistes, poplins, even light weight quilting cottons if you want the inside to be real cray.


Aqua and Brown Plaid Cotton
I love this! An easy way to inject some plaid into your pants, without the hassle of agonizing over matching up all those little lines :)


Yellow/White Polka Dot Cotton Poplin
You can play it safe with a subtle print or even a solid color


Floral Double Sided Cotton
… or go all out with some mega crazy granny print because holy shit.

If you made it this far, I’ve got a little consolation prize for ya :) Mood Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for all online fashion fabric purchases between now and 10/22/12! Enter the code LLADYBIRD at checkout to get your discount! Note that this does not apply to home decor stuff, dressforms, or any code that starts with PV. Mood is one of my favorite places to shop fabric, so I’m pretty excited about this! Thank you, Mood!! ♥

As a side note, a few people mentioned that they do not have their pattern yet or aren’t quite at the point of making the muslin. That’s ok! We aren’t starting our actual pant-sewing until the week of 10/29, I just wanted to make sure everyone has enough time to get their fit situation figured out :)

The Chicago Meet-Up!

20 Sep

Chicago meet-up: definitely a success! Chicago itself: definitely one of my new favorite cities. You guys. The public transportation. I can’t even.

knitting on the bus
I CAN KNIT ON THE BUS WTF.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already read about the meet-up experience – it lasted two days (you jelly?) – but I wanted to add my two cents as well :) I met up with Liz, Tasha, Meg & Nancy this past Saturday, bright & early. We started out at Bite Cafe, for a meet & eat and a swap that turned out to be of massive proportions. I should point out right now that Liz bent the fuck over backwards in arranging this whole meet-up – she planned the locales, drove our asses around, brought champagne to brunch, even made macarons for us to snack on. Seriously, Liz basically made the day. MADE IT. And I love her for that, and also because she is just awesome :)

Anyway, our swap turned out so big that the poor waitress didn’t have anywhere to put our food. Wah!


I swiped this picture from Liz, this was after we cleared out about half of it lol.
I even came home with a clown sewing pattern. You will all see that later, I promise.

After brunch, Nancy had to go home but the rest of us got to go fabric shopping!

Our first stop was Fishman’s. Doesn’t the store look kind of terrifying? It is, a little. Everyone warned me that it was super expensive, but honestly the prices aren’t that different than how they are here in Nashville. Ouch! We have a low cost of living, but I guess fabric isn’t considered part of that ;) Anyway, lots of oohing & awing to be had – and much fabric petting. I touched so many beautiful pieces of cashmere that I actually did lose feeling in my fingertips for a minute there. No one bought anything – I was saving up all my energy for Vogue. And Vogue, you crazy bitch – you did not disappoint.

Fabric shopping... Dying right now.
Also, pretty much everything was on sale! Aieee!!!

AND BEMBERG RAYON AMBIANCE LINING WAS LIKE $7 YARD.

I am not even ashamed for all my yelling, grunting while pulling logs of fabric out from under other logs of fabric, and using said logs of fabric as a third leg to hobble around the store. I am also not ashamed of the towering pile of fabric we all contributed to, which took up a significant part of the cutting counter.

I LOVE VOGUE FABRICS.

We took a short break in the parking lot, in which Liz took the opportunity to reveal the very best part of the day:
MACARONS OMG
THE MACARONS.
Don’t they look like tiny, delicious hamburgers?!


I love this picture that Tasha took, of us taking pictures of them first hahaha.

After that, we went to Loopy Yarns, where I picked up some harlot red yarn to make my next sweater. They were *also* having a storewide sale, so my total came to under $25 FUCK YES.

Finally, we ended our shopper’s high at Hackney’s, for beers & ciders. I made our waiter take a picture of all of us:
Final stop! Love these ladies!!
This was the second attempt; my eyes were closed in the first one! I may or may not have upset the waiter by demanding a retake haha.

And thus ends the tale of the first day: The Day That We Filled The Trunk Of Liz’s Car With Fabric And Yarn And Macarons.
trunk full o'fabric

The second day, Liz & Felix picked us (us being me & Landon!) up for some vintage shopping with Tasha & Mel at the Vintage Garage. I confess I did not actually go with the expectation of buying anything – the flea market here has me really spoiled when it comes to prices – but I did manage to come home with 3 pieces of clothing, the whole lot for under $50 :) I met Leilani of Thriftaholic and she snapped pictures of me with two of the pieces, so hopefully I’ll see them on her website later! And ooh, even Landon found some cool vintage prints to take home. Which means now I get to shop for vintage frames woohoo.

All in all, a fabulously perfect meet-up. I had a WONDERFUL time & I will definitely be back in Chicago – especially after getting a look at their fabric prices. Liz seriously deserves a gold medal in hostessery for all that she pulled together to make everything special. Also, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard for so long but I’d like that to be a daily event in my life, please & thank you.

Now, for some more not-sewing-related-but-still-Chicago-related pictures:

Hellooooo Chicago.
Riding the bus into the city. FUCK this place is huge!

Chicago!
City skyline

Chicago!
The other half of the skyline. Again: huge.

WTF @ this geyser
This geyser was just way too excited I think.

Giant sunflower
The park that we were strolling around had these massive gardens – some full of flowers, some full of vegetables (!!). I couldn’t get over the sunflowers, personally. They were as big as our heads!

I have no idea what this thing is but I kind of love it.
This is the Millennium Park Amphitheater – isn’t it insane looking?!

In front of the Bean :)
Me & Landon in front of the Bean. I hated that Bean, it’s so weird & creepy. SORRY FOR NOT BEING SORRY.

lol crafty beaver
I snapped this on the way to the Vintage Garage. So many dirty jokes come to mind.

Where we stayed in Chicago
This was where we stayed – obviously not a hotel. We booked a room through Airbnb, since even the cheap hotels outside the city are terribly expensive. It was a great experience & I’d do it again in a heartbeat – our host was really freaking cool (I mean, you have to be cool to live in an adorable apartment like that, amirite) and we paid less than half of what we would have paid with a traditional hotel. And coffee was on the house :)

Oh, wait, I guess you wanted to see what I came home with:
fabric spoilz
Fabric & yarn – this does not even count all the goodies I came home with post-swap!

Yesterday was a good day for vintage.
Vintage duds :)

Oh, and for the lurkers in all of us – check out everyone else’s meet-up posts!
Liz’s post, day 1!
Liz’s post, day 2!
Tasha’s post!
Meg’s post!

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have beautiful fabrics that I must turn into beautiful garments :)

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