I was thrilled to get to Montreal and do some sightseeing, but the impetus for my visit was PR Weekend Montreal 2010! It was such a great location for PR Weekend. It is beautiful and easily navigable by public transportation, including the fabric shopping. Anne-Marie arranged for everything to take place very conveniently at the Universite de Montreal and for us to stay in the dorms there so it was easy to attend all the events (although my inability to read maps did stymie me occasionally). It was completely fabulous and I'm so glad I got the chance to go. The organizers (Anne-Marie, Connie, Kay, and Claire) did an amazing job and it was so fun to meet so many new people and see old friends again.
We started off on Friday with lectures by Kathryn Brenne and Jeanne and Emilie of Jalie. Kathryn gave a great demonstration of how to get a complete set of accurate measurements. Cidell and I did this for each other a couple of years ago but I think it may be time to do it again...
Jeanne and Emilie were fantastic! Jeanne demonstrated how to make three or four Jalie projects (I can't even remember how many--it was a blur, she worked so fast). Seeing things happening in person is soooooo helpful. And she certainly made it look easy! I really appreciate all the thought they put into their designs; lately I am developing a pet peeve about the useless notches used by the Big 4. They put in meaningless notches and then all the actual match points are circles and squares and dots. Why not ditch the meaningless notches and replace the circles, squares, and dots with useful notches???? They were a hoot, with Jeanne speaking in French and Emilie translating for her. I bought the criss-cross top, my first Jalie pattern, mostly because adorably pregnant Emilie looked so adorable in it.
Then we all transformed ourselves for the cocktail party! Everyone looked fantastic and we did a little fashion show. It was better than a regular fashion show because everyone talked a little bit about their project, so you got the story as well as the garment. The food was beautiful (and the lemon curd dessert was to die for) and we all had a fantastic time. But we had to head to bed early because the next day was...shopping day!
We had a choice of starting at St. Hubert, the Fabric Row of Montreal, or first heading to Suzie Spandex and a few other warehouse-type stores further out of the city. I went first to Suzie Spandex, and then took the metro to St. Hubert to meet the rest of the group at Madeleine Soie et Laine and from there to wander St. Hubert.
Since I had just bought gallons of fabric at PR Weekend Philly and online I was luckily not in much of a fabric shopping mood. Seriously, I really need to learn how to cultivate this feeling because I felt good about not buying too much. In fact, I bought only one piece! And while I really love the fabric, I bought it mostly just because I wanted a souvenir. This yellow pique has a bit of stretch and will be adorable as a shift. I ended up with nearly four yards. I am trying not to kid myself about the fact that I do NOT make jackets, ever. Coats, yes; jackets, no. But wouldn't it be cute with a matching jacket?
We had another party back at the Universite, this time to show off our acquisitions and swap patterns and fabric. Reneeb4930 had posted on the message board that she volunteers at a thrift shop and they had a bunch of vintage patterns come through and would we be interested in looking at them? Yes please! Well, she brought a huge bag of amazing patterns from the 1940s-60s. They were all gorgeous! She picked out several for me and I was just in heaven.
You can click on the photos to make them larger and see the amazingness! I adore the 40s and early 50s, so it was a no brainer that I'd love those. I usually stay away from the Shapeless Sixties, but I was really drawn to the 60s shift, even though I can't really wear that shape because of my protruding belly and large hips. But I am hoping the empire waist belt will magically deal with those little problems. I hadn't realized we could also bring patterns to swap so unfortunately I didn't bring any. But after the patterns had been looked through for a while there were still plenty left so I picked up two contemporary patterns as well. The Vogue is for the little jacket that I will never make, but is cute, no?
We also did a fabric swap. This is the best thing ever, as far as I'm concerned. We were to bring nice fabrics from our stash that we would never, for whatever reason, actually sew. I brought some pieces that I loved but somehow could never think of anything to make them into. It was so much better than sending them off into the unknown of the thrift store (I would not have been able to let go of them that way) and they were quickly claimed by sewists who will love them. And I ended up with a fantastic haul! In fact, I felt a little buyer's remorse over the yellow floral pique because with the swap fabrics and patterns I have plenty to remember Montreal by! I think the first one I make up will be the batik using two of the vintage patterns.
It seems I have not been able to travel without terrible drama lately--cancelled flights, delayed flights, endless waiting in airports, suitcases in the ether for days and days--but my flight home left on time, landed on time, *and* my suitcase arrived with me. I was (still am!) completely exhausted and so happy!
All PR Weekend related photos (and a selection of my travel photos) are here. All the travel photos are here and you can read about my sightseeing adventures here.