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

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!!!


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.


We took a short break in the parking lot, in which Liz took the opportunity to reveal the very best part of the day:
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!

City skyline

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 🙂


46 Responses to “The Chicago Meet-Up!”

  1. sometimessewist September 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Oh how I love Vogue Fabrics, too. Gotta get back down there soon! I agree, the bean is kinda weird. Did they have the fountain running that has videos of people’s huge faces spitting out water? Prolly not warm enough for that now. Looks like a super bitchin’ weekend.

  2. zilredloh September 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Thanks for the props lady! I had such fun with you and the rest of the ladies, when you commin back? 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD September 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      Not gonna lie… I was pricing flights yesterday 🙂 Haha!!

  3. Cisa Barry (@Cisamisa) September 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Glad you had such a great time, but girl you missed some of the best! Next time you’re in town, stay at the Chicago Getaway Hostel in Lincoln Park. Super cool, super affordable and so swanky! Also, it’s walking distance from the FREE zoo. That’s right. Cuddly Wuddly awesomeness FOR FREE. Also L&Z Textiles at 2121 21st Street (off the brown line) kicks Vogue fabrics in the pants. No joke. You won’t believe the prices and fab quality. Next time I go up you aught to come with!

    • LLADYBIRD September 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      I think I looked into that hostel… our place was a bit cheaper, actually! For a private bedroom & everything 🙂 But, omg, be my travel guide???

      • Cisa Barry (@Cisamisa) September 21, 2012 at 8:37 am #

        It’s a “someday” date! I don’t know if Chicago is ready for the two of us at the same time though. Look out world!

  4. mancunianvintage September 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Oh my goodness – looked like you had an amazing time – cut-price fabrics, yarn and home-made macaroons – I wanna come!

  5. Trisha September 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Looks like fun! I need that macaron recipe from your friend — I generally get the taste/texture right but have never made any that looked that perfect. Adorable.

  6. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! September 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    It was awesome!! And it tickles me that I think both times you said you were on the bus in those pics showed a photo, it was actually from the train. lol!

    So, SO much fun! You better come back for your 4 seasons fabric shopping! 😀

    • LLADYBIRD September 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Haha, well, yeah, bus-train-subway – they all took the same ticket :B

  7. Tracy September 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    I love airbnb. I stayed at an awesome house in Hawaii for like $90 a night. Glad you had fun!

    • Tracy September 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      But weren’t you going for some music festival for Landon? How was that?

      • LLADYBIRD September 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

        We were originally planning on going to Riotfest, but I opted out since there was only one band I wanted to see. Landon was going to fly solo on Saturday (hence, our day-long meetup), but decided at the last minute to just explore the city on it’s own.

  8. Marie September 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I’ve been reading everyone’s posts about this get together and boy am I jealous!!! It looks seriously awesome!!!

  9. poppykettle September 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    wow. talk about an AWESOME day. Youluckythingyou!

  10. Neeno September 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Awww! That big reflecto ball thing…. is that near the museum? I recognise it from the Vow hahahaha

    • LLADYBIRD September 21, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      I’m not really sure – I know it was somewhere downtown, but downtown is freakin giant so that doesn’t really mean much haha.

  11. StephC September 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Ah!!! Looks like y’all had a good good time, and once again I’m blown over by your awesomeness… I mean… Crafty Beaver?? Pffffbaaahahhaa… Stephen and I will be snickering over that all day. Maybe it’s inspired a new nickname…

    And I love that you did airbnb! I’ve been dying to go *somewhere* to do that… Awesome! Looks like you lovely ladies had a fantastic time, woohoo!

  12. Carolyn September 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Isn’t Vogue Fabrics awesome! I did some major damage there too! Glad you had a good time in Chicago!

  13. gingermakes September 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Ooh, what a fun trip! Liz is such a sweetie! I’m so glad you guys had a great time! Airbnb is super cool– we stayed in Paris last year for about 1/3 of what it would’ve cost us to stay in a hotel!

  14. Sarah W. September 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Looks like an AWESOME trip! Chicago is great! What wonderful meet-up women. I’m glad you had a good time, Lauren. You and Landon look super cute.

  15. Joanne September 21, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    Awh sounds like you had the best time Lauren – nice one. I’d love to go to Chicago – was it windy like Doris tells it??

    • LLADYBIRD September 21, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      I didn’t notice too much wind but the weather was quite temperamental – super hot in the daytime, and (wool)sweater cold at night! Argh!

  16. Sew Little Time September 21, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    sounds amazing! i am so jealous. slight problem tho – in the reataurant, you all appear to be drinking water – surely that can’t be right?

    • LLADYBIRD September 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Haha! He took our order right before taking the photo 🙂 Beers came after!

  17. ZoSews (@ZoSews) September 21, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Love that you had to have a food break while shopping.

  18. sallie September 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Oooh so jealous!! Looks like such a fun trip – the highlight of course being the amazing fabric/yarn haul!

  19. Jill September 21, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Oh my! I need to get myself to Chicago STAT!

  20. Janice September 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    That sounds like so much fun! I’ve never been to Chicago (unless you count 2 hours at the airport on a stopover eating a hot dog).

    • Miss FItz September 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Grr. I live here. Would totally have hopped on 😦 Must follow better.

      • LLADYBIRD September 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Boo! Well, there will probably be a next time 🙂

  21. Jo September 22, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    So jealous, sounds like you had a smashing time. And it is the best feeling ever to visit a store that happens to have a sale on. Awesome timing!

    • Barbara J September 23, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Augh, I visited Chicago two weekends prior to your trip. Would love to have joined you. But yeah, Vogue is awesome and one of the reasons I visit frequently. Well, ok, the real reason is because my daughter lives there but hey, fabric shopping is a very close second!

  22. Maddie Flanigan September 24, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    I saw the picture of you four on intstagram and was instantly jealous. One, because of your meetup but two, because you were in FUCKING Chicago! I visited the city when I was in high school and was amazed how clean it was. It’s not like New York one bit!

  23. The Thriftaholic (Leilani) September 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    It was a pleasure to meet you, thank you for the shout out! The two photos I took of you at the flea market are on The Vintage Garage’s facebook page. 🙂 I’m so glad you had fun in Chicago, I love this city.

  24. Trice September 25, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Glad to hear you had a great time. Chicago is such a great city. I need to go back and actually do a true visit.
    Oh nice, you used Airbnb for your trip. It’s such a great traveling option. Did you get the whole place to yourself or just a private room?
    I am love the gren stripped shirt.

    • LLADYBIRD September 25, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      We had a private room, but our hostess ended up going out of town for the weekend so we had the whole place to ourselves for the majority of the time! It was really nice 🙂

  25. colleen September 25, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    What a great trip. I went to Chicago for the first time on a work trip last winter. I didn’t get to see much but I LOVED IT!!!! I didn’t have time for Vogue (sadsadsad) but our hotel was right around the corner from Loopy Yarns and I kept sneaking off. What a great shop!

  26. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) September 25, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Oh man I want to go to Vogue fabrics, great post and looks like so MUCH FUN! plus I almost snorted my morning coffee with your phrase “gold medal in hostessery” you are a great and hilarious writer. always enjoy your blog and cute creations.

  27. melodymcfarland September 26, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I live near Fabric Mart in PA and am not far from Philly’s fabric shopping either. If anyone decides to show up in these parts, let me know! I’d love to host a swinging’ fabric bash.

  28. Meg September 28, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Did I not comment on this yet?! UGH – I am such an asshat. I AM SO GLAD I GOT TO MEET YOU!!!!! Seriously – you are a genuine riot and I love your personality. Your adventurous nature when it comes to tackling fabrics at the bottom of piles is awesome 🙂 Come back anytime and we’ll go to the Textile Discount Outlet – they’ve got lots of piles for you to rummage through 🙂 I’m eager to see all of your creations, especially the coat – CANNOT WAIT FOR THE COAT OMG.

  29. missjoiedevivre October 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Meeting up with wonderful people is always a highlight, I’m lucky that I have a great bunch of crafting and sewing friends in my own city as all the cool bloggers I’ve been stalking for the last year live on the other side of the world. We do not have the amazing stores that the US or UK gets though, and that makes me sad. One day I will spend the thousands of dollars it will take to get to the US and fabric shop my way across it. Oh yes I will.


  1. 2012 – A Year In Review « LLADYBIRD - December 21, 2012

    […] room, and eventually a real sexi couch. – Landon & I went to Chicago, where I had my first ever blogger meet-up and met some of the COOLEST ladies: ♥ !!! – I made a bear costume and wore it for the internets. […]

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