Life is funny. When I got back from Turkey, Cidell asked if I wanted to go to NYC for Veteran's Day. Since I had just returned from traveling and have some expensive travel planned for next year, I said I'd have to think about it. The next day at work an opportunity to speak in NYC on Veteran's Day came up and I took it. So fortuitous! It was a quick trip and I was working for a lot of it, but I did manage to squeeze in some meetups (and just a wee bit of fabric shopping).
Even in such a quick and busy trip, I was lucky enough to meet up with sewing friends. On Thursday, I hustled out to the garment district during a break in the conference in time for coffee with Ann and Cidell. I hadn't had the chance to meet Ann and it was very exciting. I was a little intimidated as I was wearing a new coat (will post it soon, once it is *ahem* entirely finished) that Ann had also made, but she was just so sweet!
On Friday evening, I was thrilled to see LindsayT, Elizabeth, and Peter again over cocktails, and excited to meet Ann, Nancy K and Rosie. (Yes, these are the same photos Cidell showed on her blog, but they were taken with my camera so whatevs.) I felt very sophisticated drinking prosecco in New York City with such a great group of stylish sewists! Everyone was showing off their style and sewing skilz. Peter's shirt was impressively tailored, loved Elizabeth's coat, Nancy K was wearing one of my favorite colors, LindsayT had impeccable casual-chic-professional style as always, Cidell was exhibiting yet another great version of the Burda turtleneck (she might have sold me on the super-long bunched sleeves), and Rosie had on the absolute perfect color for her.
Unfortunately, it was all too short a dream and I had to run off early like Cinderella, but a great time was definitely had by all and I am looking forward to the next visit, which I hope will be less work and more play!
What's that? You were wondering if I had any time between work and my jet-setting social life to do any shopping? Well, I might have squeezed in a little bit of fabric buying. Only a little. OK, fine, a lot. Too much, maybe. Agh!
First, a public service announcement: Remember when I was looking for bra strap keepers? The little ribbons with snaps that you sew into the shoulders and snap over bra straps to keep them in place? Found! At Steinlauf and Stoller for 75 cents per pair (the overpackaged Dritz ones are about $3/pair), in white, black, and beige. They don't appear to be listed on the website but they have them.
After successfully making gym pants, high on my list to acquire was actual technical fabrics. I expect the cotton-poly blend of my new workout clothes will pill and fade within a year and I'll want to replace them with something more durable and hopefully sweat wicking. Cidell did our research for us (thank you!!!) and found that Stretch House carries Supplex in lots of colors at $6/yd, a crazy bargain for that sort of fabric. I bought four colors for tops, along with some heavy duty powernet-type fabric for sports bras. The downside of buying at a bargain is that I'm not *really* sure what I got. The turquoise and the pink have the same texture and appear to be Supplex. The royal blue is a little thicker and doesn't seem to dry as quickly, while the green is much thinner and less sturdy. So who knows what I really got but I think all will be suitable for workout gear. Then we hit up Spandex House for heavy duty technical fabric (again, not exactly sure what it is) for bottoms. This stuff is sturdy with great stretch and recovery--at $12/yd, you pay for quality.
Well, I probably should have left well enough alone there but of course I had to do a little more browsing. I was looking for fabrics I could make into relatively warm winter dresses. I didn't do so very well at that in H&M Fabrics (the location on 35th). This is the famed "Kabbala Man" that SarahinNYC turned me on to. The store has been "going out of business" for years. Who knows, maybe someday they'll succeed, but until then it has great bargains. With the news about the price of cotton increasing significantly next year because of crop losses, how could I pass up adorable cotton prints at $2/yd? The green and the polka dots are batiste weight, while the print is a little thicker. Cotton dresses are so great for hot weather. I wore the heck out of my Vogue 1086 Tracy Reese cotton sundress last summer. Seriously, I could have worn it every day. So these fabrics should give it a little break next year.
Wait, that doesn't help my winter clothing situation, does it? (Except that I think I will make a long sleeved blouse out of the polka dot--bought 3 yards for a blouse and a dress.) I have been in the mood for a red dress lately, I don't know why. I wore my Simplicity 4074 red dress last week--I think I only wore it for Christmas last year. So the red knit (almost as sturdy as a double knit) had to go into the stack. I haven't decided on a pattern. The black and pink houndstooth wool called to me. At $12/yd, it was a little expensive. After I bought all the cotton the girl helping me knocked the price down to $10, which was nice. It's a little thick for a dress, but I have visions of an 80s revival out of Butterick 5520 with the peplum. I'll have to contemplate the fabric a little more. I think it will work with judicious steaming and clapping, it's just the darts + peplum + waist seam that worry me.
A visit to NYC isn't complete without a trip to visit Kashi at Metro Textiles so that was my last stop. The last time I visited he had some nice double knits that I had considered but not purchased, so this time I bought some in black, gray, and deep green (I had a devil of a time getting the colors anywhere approximately close to real life in the photos). I think the green is for Butterick 5559, the Maggy London with the diagonal stitched-down tucks. I also bought a crazy expensive wool suiting for $18 yard (down from the quoted $22/yd). I have a bit of buyer's remorse about it because it's going to be so wrinkly to wear (and yes, I know about silk organza underlining and no, I really haven't found that it helps me), but it is gorgeous and totally my color.
Hmm, you're thinking. That's quite a lot of fabric, but Slapdash hasn't been buying that much fabric lately and she's been sewing a ton so maybe it's ok. If only that were the case. But really, I've just been lax about confessing. First, there was the mustard wool from Fabric Mart. Since they have flat-rate shipping, it didn't make sense to buy only one piece so I added some of the Cache ponte double knit, now unfortunately sold out. This is some good stuff. I've already sewn it into a dress, which I wore in NYC and was much complimented by Ann, so you know it's good as she knows quality!
Then there was some hometown shopping. I couldn't resist this gorgeous silk chiffon remnant. Snakeskin print never appealed to me, but then someone (Tany maybe?) made a silk chiffon blouse with a snakeskin print and I thought it was so chic. This will be made into yet another Burda 02-2009-123 self-collar wrap blouse, intended to be part of an Endless Combinations set for the PR contest.
I made an emergency run to Joann for some thread (thank goodness for car share!) and was happy to see flannel on sale for $2.99/yd. I picked up two prints, which are already made into pajama pants. At G Street I got some aqua waffle weave to make a pajama top and a knit border print with huge red flowers (told you I was having a red mood). The border is so big that if I made it into a hem border it would start at my waist, which would just be weird. I bought the whole piece, which was about 3 1/2 yards, so I may be able to get a dress just out of the "border" and then use the remaining black half of the fabric for other projects. I was also considering another Duchess of Windsor dress, maybe with a long bell sleeve, but cutting it with the border at the top rather than the hem. I don't have immediate plans to sew this up so I have plenty of time to think about it.
Well, I think that's quite enough! I say this with fear and trembling, but I think I will try not to buy any more fabric for the rest of the year*. I was feeling good because I sewed so much for my trip and have continued to be productive since getting back, but this has more than replaced everything that came out of stash and I am feeling a little anxious over it again. The power to control that anxiety is in my hands!
*I plan to make a coat in December, for which I will need blue velveteen and possibly a lining. Those purchases will be allowed. Stash purchases will not be permitted.
Paris - and fabric shopping!
2 hours ago