My Trip to Chicago!

7 Oct

Oops, I meant to write this post last week. Oh well, better late than never, right? πŸ™‚

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?


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.


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.


Here I was dazzled by the wall of sequins…


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? πŸ˜‰

A few random highlights from my trip-


Found a gold velvet couch, fell in love.


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


My roommate for the weekend πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰

I leave you with this –


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 πŸ™‚ Also, side note, but did you remember to enter the Draping giveaway? It closes on Wednesday!


54 Responses to “My Trip to Chicago!”

  1. Dutch Girl '84 October 7, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I ❀ your temporary roommate :), and wish you good luck for your lovely new job! Sounds so exciting!

  2. Trice October 7, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Chicago is one of my favorite cities. I only was there for a couple of days and there was something in the air that I loved. Perhaps, it was the pizza.
    Ha, yeah there is something about cheap fabric that makes me wary about anything over $10. I love my dumpster dive swap meet fabric, leftovers from design houses for low prices make me happy. I have recently seen twice, fabric I am using for a dress out on people as tops. Kind of cool.
    Looks like you had a great time. How awesome that you took a fashion illustration class.Your illustration is super cute. I will check my collection and see if there are any books that I can deport with.

  3. Peter October 7, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Wait — that was your FIRST fashion illustration??? It’s gorgeous!

    • LLADYBIRD October 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Thank you! Well, to be fair, the body was traced. I did freehand the clothes and all the paint, though πŸ™‚

  4. Melanie October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Good luck on your first day! You’re gonna kill it!
    And I have always been afraid to do fashion illustration. I may have to steal some of my fashion student (well, now grads) friends’ books! I can’t believe that was your FIRST ATTEMPT!

  5. Gina October 7, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    AAAAH, thank you for the compliment on my V! I said I’d start a blog, and I have – it’s almost ready! I’m at If you start following it, I promise my first post will be on my Renfrew, haha!

    • LLADYBIRD October 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      Yay!!! Yes, please post Renfrew details! I’m still so jealous of how perfect yours turned out, haha!

  6. gingermakes October 7, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Holy crap, Amelia looks TERRIFYING. Like, more than usual. If you ever turn up dead it’s pretty obvious that she’ll be the killer!

    Dude, glad you had such a good time!

    • LLADYBIRD October 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      For real, she can be so creepy haha!!

  7. elizacarter1024 October 7, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    This is a good book.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Nice, thank you!

      • elizacarter1024 October 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

        Welcome. Hey have you checked out The University of Fashion website? I took classes at AAU and let me tell you that this is basically on the same level BUT they are so much cheaper. AAU $2500 a class. UOF $20 a month or $200 for a whole freaking year. I’m all over that shit like white on rice for reelz!

  8. sew rachel! October 7, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Awesome trip! I like to keep lots of basic knits in my stash, too. And as a house-bunny-mamma, I love your furry roomie!

  9. weefrills October 7, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Good luck at your job! Great drawing! Looks like a wonderful trip!

  10. megthegrand October 7, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    It was so marvelous to see you!!! Love seeing all of your goodies – can’t wait to see all the fabulous things you make with them πŸ™‚ Come back and see us soon!

  11. traeumvommeer October 7, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I would like to thank you for those amusing, lovely and inspiring moments! I went green with envy at your account of the two fabric shopping tours, after all, there aint no such thing as mood fabrics – let alone vogue- in Germany. Anyways, I’m very curious at what will become of these new purchases. As for the faux sheepskin, you could make one of those cuddly short folklore-ish waistcoats from it – if it gets cold enough for something like that in Nashville, that it. For the leather, I would suggest a clip-purse or handbag, such as this one
    I made one of those for my sister’s birthday and added a cute frame that had highheels for a snap-closure and a lang enough chain to wear it dagonally, and she totally loved it.

    Anyways, enought blabber from me πŸ˜‰ Have a very very good first day in your new job, greetings from Germany,

    • Pamela H. October 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Hey TraeumvomMeerr, I just about had a stroke when I encountered the amazing fabrics in Munich! I had never, ever seen such greatness in all my years of fabric buying. Perhaps, if you live elsewhere, you could make a trip to Munich. There are at least three major stores in the downtown area. Good luck to you!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:07 am #

      Probably not cold enough for a full coat here (plus I don’t think I have enough sheepskin; it’s a remnant. Although I did not actually measure it, so who knows!), but I really love the idea of making little cuffs and collars to put on my coats… sheep trim, yesss!!

  12. BeachfaceRed October 7, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    I came across this class recently –

    I’m really tempted to sign up, but most of my time at the moment is spent teaching myself how to sew (and reading sewing blogs!)

    Search #paperfashionclass on Instagram to see the sort of drawings people produce. They’re very pretty… πŸ™‚

  13. The Nerdy Seamstress October 7, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Chicago looks fun! Good luck with your new job! I’m sure you’ll kick ass! Dude, Amelia looks scary. I can’t believe she waits for you guys. Creeper!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Sometimes she can’t handle the suspense and waits IN the shower! She’s such a weirdo, haha!

  14. Colleen October 7, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I love Chicago, too, except when I was there I was talked out of going to Textile Discount Outlet because the ladies at the yarn store said it was only fabric to make skating outfits and gymnasts stuff, etc. I imagined the whole store filled with lycra sequins and smelling of gym sweat. I guess I was big wrong 😦

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Well, I mean, yes, there is a LOT of lycra sequin fabric… but I also found wool knits and wool crepes (pure wool, surprisingly – and yes, I totally set that shit on fire to find out). Go baaaaack!!

  15. maddie October 7, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Is this the season for meet-ups? Sallie and Heather just went to NYC and now you’re in Chicago! Glad you got to hang out with some wonderful ladies.

    You experience the Target/CVS phenomenon. I have to stay away from those stores because even though the products are cheap, I end up spending $50 or $100 when I only meant to spend $5!

    P.S. – Good luck at your first day of work!

  16. sullivan1970 October 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Looks like you had a great weekend. I love those quick jaunts that leave you exhausted but exhilarated at the same time!

  17. Jenn October 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Wait a minute, this was you FIRST EVER illustration?! Hot damn lady, good job!!!

  18. Michelle October 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Chicago loves Lladybird. It was a lot of fun to meet and shop with you at the outlet. I hope you make it back soon! Thanks for letting me tag along! Good luck with the new job(s)!!!

  19. tillybuttons October 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Jelz over here!! That looks like a perfect weekend. I had so much fun at that Textile Discount place when I went with Liz. Hoping to go back after Christmas to see my brother. Shame our trips couldn’t have coincided… one day!

    Good luck with your new job! xx

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Someday! I’ve got the UK in my sights… hopefully the government will be back up and running when I’m ready to get my passport πŸ˜‰

  20. Kate Cogsworthy (@MsCogsworthy) October 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Love the cat! I have a Disapproving Greek Chorus of cats who supervise my showering activities, too.

  21. Fabric Tragic October 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Ha! Not only does my cat stalk us in the shower, but we can’t leave dirty clothes on the floor otherwise she writhes around in them like Demi Moore in her pile of cash in Indecent Proposal. Now THAT’S creepy!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hahahaha I sort of love that! Creepy cats!!

  22. kimmie October 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    my mind is now reeling with things to do with a big ass zipper. Me thinks you would just need to make a chic body bag or something….maybe in a toille. That seems body bag apropo! I had Chicago trip planned in January and we were gonna megabus it had it not been cancelled. I mean its cheaper than gas and theres wifi. That’s a winning option. Why would you fly?!?!?

  23. Chickeys October 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Totes jealous of your fabric haul in Chicago! Also for that shearling, my suggestion is a detachable hood for your denim jacket. Totes approps for that 50 degree Nashville winter, yes? πŸ™‚

  24. Debbie October 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    It was really great having a chance to meeting you and I love your illustration. Sounds like it was a fun class! I totally feel the same way about the prices at the Textile Discount Outlet. It gets so overwhelming and I sometimes have to talk myself into buying a fabric (okay, usually not that hard) because it really is a good deal.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      haha fortunately for me, I had a suitcase limit so it was easier to not talk myself into buying stuff (and I BARELY fit it all in my giant suitcase when it was time to leave). But yeah, I totally know what you mean!

  25. Pamela H. October 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I recently bought some faux sherpa sheepskin fabric myself. My intention is to make either a quilted or faux leather vest, accented with the sheepskin collar. The plan has been temporarily put on hold to investigate further a coat collar I saw on the internet. It was a combination of wool/faux sherpa and I loved the angles of the collar – contemporary but classic.

    Good luck on the job, you certainly have shown you have immense talent for your new career!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Oh, I want to see this collar you speak of! It sounds cool πŸ™‚

      • Pamela H. October 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

        Dang it!! I cannot figure out how to link the photo to you – Yes, I’m really the unsavvy with the computer! I finally found what I had seen – had also forgotten the site which necessitated the investigation. It’s the Nordstrom site – an Ellen Tracy design using two different wools. It is shown with a “peppery” tweed wool and solid wool. I thought substituting Sherpa for the tweed might be interesting. There is also a jacket with the faux Sherpa by Colemino, featured on the website “Calivintage” I also admire. Hope you find this helpful!

  26. Jo October 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    That looks like so much fun. I so want a bunny roommate and a pile of fabric! Haha! Can’t wait to see more fashion drawings from you! Yet another awesome skill!? πŸ™‚

  27. Renay October 8, 2013 at 3:50 am #

    Haha that zipper!
    Oh and those drawings… wish there were classes like that over here, looks amazing.
    Can’t wait to see what becomes of the leather and sherpa… I have made giant clutch purses out of some nice suede shtuff… mmmm

  28. Kim October 8, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Beautiful drawing! Even if all the colour lines were there already I couldn’t make that.. Your new stash additions look awesome! Some nice solid colours too πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you make with them

  29. Nicki October 8, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Great job on the illustration! As a kid I always wanted to be a fashion illustrator, spent hours and hours drawing and re-drawing until I got it perfect. Glad you had such a great trip. You know, when I see photos of sewing meet-ups I have recently realised I recognise people by their clothes first and faces second, weird!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      I’m the same way! Recognizing the clothes made it helpful to determine who was there for the meet-up and who just happened to be shopping on the same day πŸ™‚ hahahaha

  30. Cameron October 8, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    I’m bummed I missed your trip, especially because I live about five blocks away from Vogue Fabrics and go there almost every weekend anyway. I hope this teaches me to do a better job of keeping up with my reader so I don’t find out about these trips the day after they’ve happened. Looking forward to seeing the amazing vest and/or aviator hat you make out of your sherpa stuff.

  31. sallie October 8, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Ooh your meetup looked like so much fun!! And so productive too!! Look at that haul! Congrats again on the new job – and good luck on your first day!!

  32. Pootle and Make October 9, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Chicago looks soo fun wish I could’ve been there on the fabric shopping spree. Good luck for your first day.

  33. missjoiedevivre October 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    My plan is to win lotto, travel to the US, and go to all the fabric stores, thrift stores, and flea markets, cos you kick our ass.

    Also, I’ve had some faux sherpa in my stash for years, can’t wait to see what you make so I can rip it off, err, be inspired.

  34. missjoiedevivre October 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    And did you sketch that fashion illustration from scratch??? Damn it, suck at SOMETHING, please!

  35. Sally {thequirkypeach} October 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    So fun fun fun!!! Sad I missed it – hopefully I can get in on the fun action next time!!! πŸ™‚


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