Tag Archives: meet-up

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! :)

About these ads

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?

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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.

Untitled

Here I was dazzled by the wall of sequins…

Untitled

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-

Untitled

Found a gold velvet couch, fell in love.

Untitled

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

Untitled

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 -

Untitled

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!

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 :)

Revisiting the Fabiani Coat – and I Hit The Holy Grail

30 Jan

Guys. Remember when I made this coat last year?
Coat front
This is Vogue 2925, which is one of them special designer patterns from the 70s. The pattern is really wonderful – the instructions include light tailoring, with the pad stitching and the fancy interfacing and back stay and all that good stuff. I spent about a month working on the coat, from the muslin to the finishing touches – truly a labor of love. Sadly, I haven’t worn it much this year because I’ve lost weight and it doesn’t fit me as well as it did. But, ugh, whatever about that, that’s not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I got an email a couple of weeks ago from someone who actually made the coat when the pattern was originally released in the 70s. AND she lives in Nashville. AND she wanted to meet up.

!!!

WOULD I???

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

How many times have we looked at vintage patterns and thought, “I’d love to know who made that, for what purpose, and what fabric they used.” How excited do we get when we find little scraps of fabric or newspaper clippings in the pattern envelopes, offering a little hint to the pattern’s previous life? I don’t know about y’all, but my favorite part about vintage stuff is learning the history behind the people who previously owned them. So to say that I was excited to get to hash this stuff out in real time is a bit of an understatement.

Karen, the original owner/maker of the pattern, agreed to let me take some pictures of the coat and share some information about making it. We met up at Bread & Company on Sunday afternoon and ended up chatting for over 2 hours – about all kinds of stuff, not just sewing! Although sewing stuff came up too :) We brought our coats and showed them off, compared sewing notes and talked about our fabric and finishing choices. You know, basically sewer’s heaven :) The pictures of Karen above were taken in 1973 – she made the entire outfit (pants and top included) for a sewing contest. Although she didn’t win (which surprised me – but hold up, bc I got pictures of the winners too ahaha), she did win the regionals and got a Singer Genie sewing machine out of it.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The coat really is a thing of beauty – I think it’s waaaay better than mine, for sure! Karen said she spent an entire summer working on it for her tailoring class, and the workmanship is just amazing. So much detail and care went into everything – all the way down to how the buttons are sewn on.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at that beautiful top stitching!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!
I love how she added piping between the lining and the coating – as well as the fabric covered snaps.

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Karen also brought the pattern envelopes, as well as swatches for all the garments she made. Sadly, the coat is the only piece that still exists, but between the pattern envelopes, swatches, and those 8×10 photos, you can get a pretty good idea of how the entire outfit turned out.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Here’s the coat – with swatches for coating (which cost $25/yard in 1973! Ouch!), lining, interlining, and the horsehair interfacing.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The turtleneck, and the knit fabric.

Fabiani coat - the original!
And the pantssss!! MAN, I wish these pants still existed!!!

After seeing all this stuff (and rubbing my hands all over the coat, bc SHIT), I was really curious to see who won the contest! It would have to be something amazing to win out over a hand-tailored, wool designer coat, you know?

The winners were separated by age groups – Karen was 17 at the time, so here are the people who beat her out:
Fabiani coat - the original!
WHY OH WHY did they not include the pattern numbers?! I need that Heidi-esque Vogue coat!!

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at the age bracket for these winners – 13-15??? How…?

CFabiani coat - the original!IMG0021
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, THERE WAS A 10-12 BRACKET.
How many 10 year olds do you know who can make a suit set? Or a hooded coat?? Mind blown over here.

And here’s the best part-
Fabiani coat - the original!
Karen let me try on the coat!! Ahhhahahaha, so awesome! It actually fits better than mine does, yeah?

Fabiani coat - the original!
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of us both wearing our coats :)

So yeah, that was a pretty cool way to spend a Sunday! I just love how sewing and blogging can bring people together like that. I had a wonderful time meeting with Karen and talking shop – and trying on that coat! Oh oh, she even gave me a copy of Seventeen magazine from 1976… I’ve been flipping through it over the past few days, and the advertisements alone are just amazing. I may have some post some pictures of that, too, there are even ones for sewing patterns :) Big thanks to Karen – for emailing me, for meeting up with me, and for letting me post these pictures on my blog so we could all enjoy them!

In other news, I just wanted to give y’all a heads up about a Kickstarter that my best friend, Morgan, is raising money for right now. You may or may not remember my talking about when she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Macedonia – which was hard on all of us (but duh, especially me because I need my bestie ;) ). She accomplished a lot in the year that she was there – in addition to teaching English, she opened a dance studio and taught dance camp. She is back in the US now, but she wants to return to the ‘donia and teach another dance camp this summer, hence the purpose of raising the funds. You can read more about the cause here, and contribute to the Kickstarter here – backing starts at $1. ONE DOLLAR, PEOPLE.

And in case you were wondering how the hell this relates to this here sewing blog (other than the fact that Morgan is my Life Partner and such as), I have been promised Macedonian fabrics. Here is the piece she bought me last year (it’s still waiting to be sewn; haven’t found the perfect pattern yet!), the softest, most beautiful cotton dream fabric. And obviously I need more. So let’s pull those dollars out and help me get more of that fabric. I mean, shucks. I might even get her to buy two pieces an host an awesome giveaway!

Oh, and Morgan also promised a video teaching us how to curse in Macedonian. So there’s that, too ;)

I’M GOING TO NEW YORK

19 Jan

Pardon the all-caps explosion here, but I’m freaking EXCITED AS FUCK right now!

I’m going to New York City in March!! YAAAAY!!

I am SO EXCITED to finally get to meet up with my favorite sewing-land babes, Sonja and Oona, as well as *finally* lurk the shit out of Mood… as well as the entire garment district, just, in general. Omg. Omg I can’t wait !!!

I know there are at least a good solid handful of y’all who also reside in and/or travel to New York on a regular basis so here’s my relevant question… anyone interested in a lil meet-up? I’m thinking Saturday March 9th (or we could do Friday the 8th! I just figured more people would be able to do a Saturday ;) ), meeting up for drinks or food and then checking out some fabric stores! So yeah, let me know if you’re interested – either in the comments, or shoot me an email! I had so much fun at the Chicago meet-up, I want to recreate that day with some New Yorkers! Pleaseeee!! ;)


Here is a hideously bad picture of me the last time I was in New York, in 2008. As you can see, I was very excited about Grand Central Station.

And while I have your attention, I’d like to introduce y’all to my very first sponsor:
sweetlittlechickadee_shopad
Hellooooo, Sweet Little Chickadee! Juli’s shop is full of patterns – both sewing and embroidery – as well as some of the cutest handmade jewelry I’ve ever seen. She just added some new patterns from The Maker’s Journal – a new-to-me company who is based out of Australia and has a LOT of cute undie patterns, omg.

And check this out – she had graciously agreed to give my US readers some free shipping love! Use the code “LLADYBIRDROCKS!” to get free US shipping – US orders under $35 get free first-class mail shipping, and US orders over $35 get free priority mail shipping. Combine that with the amazing pattern sale running right now, and yeah…. you really can’t beat that with a stick. The code is good now until 1/31/13, so hurry and get yo’ shop on :)

If you are interested in some sweet sponsor ad love (sewing and vintage related only, pls) of your very own, holler at me via email and we’ll see if we can work something out ;)


Since we love Andrew WK here, I feel like this song is quite appropriate.

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 :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,012 other followers