Tag Archives: fabric hoarding

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

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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 :)

Planning Ahead: Fall/Winter 2012

13 Sep

Ugh, guys, I miss sewing so so much. And by “sewing,” I mean, “making stuff that I want to make that is going to be worn by me.” Boo! I’m still slogging through THAT pile of stuff, but in the meantime, I thought I’d get my fall/winter planning a little under control. Plus, I really like making these little collages. Don’t stare too hard at my ‘shooping, though – it’s pretty bad. I’m sure all my web design friends are cringing right now lol.

Anyway, I made myself a big ol’ shopping list to take to the fabric store(s); most of this is procured from my stash, although there are a couple pieces that I’m currently on the hunt for. Won’t you take a walk with me?

Trousers
Here is one of the fabrics I don’t actually have yet – I’m hoping to score big and find something EXACTLY like that delicious tweedy brown wool, though. I want old man pants and I want to wear them all winter. I had a really wonderful pair when I was 16-20, but unfortunately for me they were a size 10 in little boy’s & I grew an ass so they definitely don’t fit anymore. Good thing I can sew!

Velvet Shorts
In addition to trousers, I’d love to make some winter-appropriate shorts. I know that sounds like a total oxymoron, but I have a vision & it involves velvet & tights. It’ll be totally ace, promise.

Brocade Dress
Who else has Gertie’s new book? Who else wants to make EVERYTHING in it?? Me me me! I actually picked this fabric up at the flea before I got the book – and I think this pattern is perfect match. Fingers crossed that I have enough!

Scallop Waist
Also courtesy of Gertie – a circle skirt with a scalloped waist. Yes, please!

Red Pencil Skirt
A sexah classic – the red wool pencil skirt.

Collared Dress
A sweet little collared dress, made up in grey wool with white accents. This will likely end up with long sleeves.

Scarf Dress
Another grey/white (I know, the color is really off in this picture) dress, this time with a scarf neck. This fabric is totally luscious, btw – it’s a linen & silk blend that I’ve been hoarding for like 2 years now.

Renfrew Tops
Some fun tshirts in some wacky prints!

Mustard Jacket
As much as I love my original Minoru, I really want to make an improved version with the hood. This is also fabric I’m currently trying to hunt down, I think the mustard will be visible enough at night without washing me out like most yellows tend to do. Plus, dots!

Plaid Coat
And, finally, what’s a winter sewing plan without a coat? I know, this is not the coat I was originally planning… but then this fabric came to me, and I could not say no. I love the idea of taking a beautiful feminine pattern like the Lady Grey & toughing it up with some fugly plaid. What color lining should I seek out? Mustard? Brown? Black? SOMETHING RANDUMB?

There are so many other patterns I want to make, and so much more fabric that hasn’t found it’s pattern-match yet. I want to make a set of classic flannel pajamas. I also want to make hats and gloves because, well, why not?

A few things worth mentioning:
Colette Patterns is releasing two new fall patterns TODAY at noon (!!!). I’ve already had the sneakiest sneak peek that ever was at the both of them, and believe me when I say they are AMAZING. You will want to drop by and check them out. Trust me like you’ve never trusted me before.
– Need some new patterns to up your fall wardrobe? Sunni just took 30% off all patterns in her shop – so start stocking up!
Andi just released a new sweater pattern and it is AMAZING. And perfect timing, too – since I’m ready to invest in some more yarn. I can’t wait to knit this one up!

All right then, I’m off to Chicago! We are having a small meet-up on Saturday morning – if you missed the first post about this, it’s not too late to come out! Send me an email (lladybirdlauren at gmail dot com) and I’ll pass on the deets :)

Have a good weekend, everyone!

A Day At The Flea

25 Jun

Alternately titled: Why I Love Tennessee And It’s Awesome Flea Market!

The flea market here is monthly, and I do try to go every month (last month I had to miss because I was in Florida – but I’m not complaining!!). The whole thing is MASSIVE – and full of vendors selling all kinds of stuff, from priceless antiques to dirty junk. I personally like the dirty junk :) There are also vendors who sell boring shit like socks & discontinued Clariol hair dye & door mats with whimsical pictures of your preferred dog breed, but I tend to avoid those booths because, well, boring!

Anyway, I took my new friend Jenna with me this time, as she had never been before! We met up with Lauren Winter after about an hour. We also ran into Kaelah as we were leaving – Nashville is such a small town! I’m not going to go into detail over what everyone else bought – let’s just say we had to make an extra trip to the truck about an hour in, because we already had too much stuff to carry around! :)

I didn’t make out with quite as much bank as I customarily do – no huge garbage bags of fabric for $4, or stacks of patterns for pennies apiece – but I did come home with some perfect little gems.

$15, yo!
My absolute favorite thing I bought was this dress – I bought it right before we left (after seeing it first thing & obsessing over it for the next few hours, ha!). I haggled the lady down to $15, which is totally a steal I think. The fabric feels like some kind of silk-blend; it is unfortunately much too hot to wear during out 100*+ days. Anyway, the colors are kind of autumnal. But I love it so much!

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
I did end up swapping out the buttons to these – the ones on there obviously weren’t original, as they didn’t match the dress at all. Also, there was one missing. I am quite sure I bought these brass buttons at the flea as well, so it seems like a good fit :)

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
Those are the old buttons on the right – silver rhinestones. lolwut

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
One thing that really delighted me about this dress is that there is a lot of hand-mending all over it – including these little darned holes at the hem. It was obviously a favorite dress.

Embroidered Pillowcase
I also bought this pillowcase (filled it with polyfil from my sewing room – for some reason I have like 3 bags of it?) for $1 – I love all the embroidery! The lady who sold it to me said the woman who did the embroidery was in her 80s at the time. I just think it’s so pretty!

Brooches
Some pretty brooches – the pinecones came from the same booth that the silk shirtwaist dress is from.

As far as sewing notions, I found a few…

Crazy Zipeprs
Crazy zippers! Lol I have NO idea what I will do with these, but they had to come home with me.

Bias Tape!
Crazy bias tape – I see a floofy Christmas dress in my future…

Plaid Taffeta Fabric
Plaid taffeta… good for another Christmas skirt? Man, I love Christmas.

Green Lining Fabric
Celery green lining fabric… kind of boring, but it was also kind of only a $1 sooo no complaints here.

In the world of things I didn’t buy but considered taking home with me anyway -
The puppy that @bloomingleopold tried to buy today.
THE CUTEST PUPPY I’VE EVER SEEN
He’s a miniature Australian Sheepdog! At 19 weeks, he weighed about 6 pounds. We all fell IN LOVE, but apparently he already sold (lol who sells a dog at the flea market anyway?).

I love the flea market, but this is creepy as shit
Well, no, I didn’t actually want to buy this. Thought I would share anyway. Apparently, this is Farrah Fawcett’s head, in a wooden box.

I actually started – and mostly finished – a new dress over the weekend, but the weird slinky poly was giving me an absolute fit, and the pattern wasn’t looking too hot on me (maybe because of the fabric?), so I ended up tossing it (rather violently, I might add) in the corner & instantly felt 100% liberated. I haven’t had a proper UFO in about 2 years, so this is a very new experience for me.

In the meantime, I started a new dress – we are revisiting Simplicity 1803. In the loudest print I have ever purchased.
Simplicity 1803
Headed toward Tackyville, y/n?

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