Whoa, what a whirlwind weekend – I got up bright and early Friday morning to grab a 7:30am train into NYC, had an account meeting for work, did some competitive shopping in the city in preparation for more meetings this coming week…


The New Yorker Hotel

View from my hotel room

Oh yeah, and then I went to dinner that night with the best group of ladies ever!!  Seriously, sewing bloggers are the nicest people, and they know how to have a good time.

I snagged this picture from Carolyn (she is absolutely hilarious, love her!) post margaritas and tacos…there were quite a lot of margaritas that night and talk about sewing, heehee.


Grabbed this from @diaryofasewingfanatic! Dinner crew last night in NYC #sewing #bloggers #meetup

I am so happy that I got to meet some of my sewing and blogging heros in person this weekend, and met some new, wonderful ladies as well.  From left to right: Devra, Carolyn, Clare, Fleur, Amity, me, Jen, Leatrice, Lauren, Sonja, and Marcy.  What a crew!


Wearing Missoni for Mexican food! #sewing #handmade #diy #imadethis #bloggers #meetup #nyc

Here’s what I wore that night for dinner – my Missoni cardigan, that I still haven’t blogged yet,  Gotta get on that…

Funny enough, for some reason, I didn’t take any pictures this weekend during our epic shopping trip to Mood!  And it really was epic; when we got in line to pay for all of our fabric, the line stretched all the way to the back of the store.  We sewing bloggers don’t mess around, that’s for sure.


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From left to right: gauze, voile, separating zipper, tubular wool rib knit 

I’m surprised that I didn’t leave with more goodies, but I spent more time chatting with everyone than shopping for fabric, which was really the point of the trip for me – getting to finally meet everyone.  It was fun tagging along with Oona as she planned her next project, and Amity had some amazing ideas for mixing together really wild fabrics.  My haul was small, but I got most of what I needed.

The solid black is a gauze that I’m planning on using for the tie front blouse in the new BurdaStyle spring magazine, the pink and black is a lightweight voile that I *think* I may use for a jacket that’s also in the new BurdaStyle.  That’s why I bought the ribbing and the separating zipper – do you know how hard it is to find tubular ribbing???  Of course, I bought the ribbing before we went to Pacific Trimming and found out they having ribbing strips there.  Good to know for future reference…but hey, it was pretty awesome that they shortened my zipper there!


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I didn’t have a chance to say hello to her, but Maddie gave all of us some vintage silk thread!  I’ve never used buttonhole twist before, but I can’t wait to try it out.


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Amity was so sweet – before I had to leave the group to get my train back to Boston, she gave me a copy of her Sugar Plum sewing pattern!!  I was really touched, and can’t wait to try it out – I’ve never sewn Lolita Patterns before, and I love this blouse-and-skirt-as-dress combo.

I also got to meet Norma from Orange Lingerie this weekend – so funny that we both live in the same area and finally got to meet for the first time in NYC.  Can’t wait to go fabric shopping together soon out my way!


Bye bye, NYC! See you next week

On the train back home to Boston

I wish I could have stayed for the whole weekend, but the nice thing about my job is that I get to visit NYC a lot.  I can’t wait to meet up with everyone again soon – they really are just as you think they would be in real life!  So nice, and I feel like I made some new friends this weekend.

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Lovely YKK zippers in the garment district #nyc #sewing #imakeawesome

I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: I love my job.  And not just because I go to New York on a regular basis and can sometimes squeeze in some shopping in the Garment District, but because I feel like I’m contributing to something tangible and I can see the results in my efforts.  Not all jobs are like that (I would know!), but it’s pretty gratifying to know you’re shaking things up and trying to get things to change.  I’ve never felt healthier or happier, mentally and physically.

So luck would have it that I was in NYC for most of last week, during some pretty shitty weather mind you, and managed to sneak in some fabric scavenging.  I think this was the most diligent and efficient I’ve been: I hit three stores total in one hour, and checked everything I needed off my list.  And it was snowing, too!


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This is a new favorite store of mine that I stumbled into after I found some swimsuit fabric at Spandex House.  The aisles of zippers, oh my!  That’s where I took the first photo at the top of this post: every kind of zipper you can imagine, organized by color and length.  And they’re all YKK!!  I should have grabbed some, but I was so overwhelmed and there were so many goodies and notions to see in this store.  I ended up finding some high-quality swim cups for the bikini and Bombshell V.2 I plan on making this year and snagged some wooly nylon for stitching both.  When I have more time, I’m definitely going to linger longer and explore what else they stock.


Let's do this, palm tree spandex fabric #sewing #bikini

This is the print I’m using for my bikini for my trip to Florida in three weeks.  The fabric is great: it’s yarn dyed, so when you stretch the fabric, it doesn’t turn “white” like some fabrics do when the design is printed on top.  I also got some yardage of a turquoise/purple peacock feather print for a halter Bombshell swimsuit.

And I have plans to make a coordinating navy blue cover-up with Tahari Resort fabric I spotted at Fabric Place Basement


Thinking spring with last week's NYC fabric haul: rayon challis prints for some dresses (Lonsdale?), stretch cotton for a @byhandlondon Georgia

And a trip to the Garment District would not be complete without a stop at my most favorite fabric store in NYC, Metro Textile!  It’s hard for me to get there since the hours are M-F, 9-5ish, but it’s so worth it every time because I always walk out with exactly what I came in for.  Above, I bought two rayon challis prints (bottom left and top) – I think the paisly one will become a Lonsdale dress for the Florida trip; not sure about the other one, but it was too pretty to pass up.  The floral on the right is a stretch cotton that I’m making into a strappy mini Georgia dress, again for the Florida trip.

Funny story: Kashi, the owner of Metro Textiles who is nothing but helpful and quite the saavy salesman, told me that if I don’t get engaged wearing this dress, to come back to NY and he’ll marry me.  Hah!!  Chris: you’re on notice 😉


Hotel room #yoga antics #dancerspose

Aaaand I managed to get to a yoga class in the Upper East Side a few hours later (this was actually work-related).  Talk about a productive afternoon in New York!


Hanging out in my hotel in my @tarastiles @reebok_usa #cloudpants post yoga class at Exhale UES #nyc

#cloudpants



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Hello, Missoni and Prada, found at @fabricplacebasement #splurge #knit #wool

What you’re looking at, my friends, is some honest-to-goodness designer fabric I bought today at my local fabric store (a little bit of a splurge!  But I had a coupon).  Say hello to Miss Missoni, on the left, and Madame Prada, on the right.  These lovely ladies begged me to take them home, and I was more than happy to oblige.

The Missoni is a very loose knit fabric – the colored yarns are a loose ply, and a thin black yarn knit throughout gives the fabric some stability.  I have plans to make a cardigan out of this lovely, but I’m contemplating how to finish the neck and hem – self-fabric would be too much; I could do a contrast knit binding but it would have to be the right weight fabric.  I have some other ideas in my head, but let me know what ideas you have!

The Prada is the most deliciously soft wool I think I’ve ever felt before.  Earlier this week I was in and saw just a red wool, went home and thought about it, and then came back in today to buy it.  But hark!  There was a purple wool I never saw!  It was love at first sight.  I’m kind of over red right now, since it feels like I’ve been knitting and sewing a lot with it, and my thoughts are turning to spring now – this purple is perfect for early spring.  I’m planning on making this into a wool Charlotte skirt lined with acetate (there’s a wool/cashmere blend version I did that I need to post on here, coming soon), very chic.

I’ll disclose how much these were: $19.99/yd for the Missoni and $39.99/yd for the Prada.  Though it hurt a little at checkout, even with a 20% coupon, there’s no way I would ever walk out of Neiman’s with a $40 Missoni cardigan or a $40 Prada skirt.  The quality of these fabrics was well worth the price I paid, and I can’t wait to share what these fabrics turn into!

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fabric mess

Some people hang out with friends at bars on Friday nights.  Me? I chose to tackle the fabric mess in my closet last night instead.

As so eloquently put by “tinapickles” via Instagram, what I had on my hands was a pile of “fabric vomit.”  It first started out pretty well organized, separated into two folded stacks, classified by the type of fabric, knit or a woven.  It seemed simple enough, but here’s the problem: like any good, respectable sewist, I kept accumulating more and more fabric since I moved into my apartment last year.  Hey, it’s the first time I haven’t had limitations on my fabric stash because of sharing mutual living spaces.  Plus, factor in pulling out fabrics from those piles for projects and so-on, and I had a fabric mess on my hands in no time.

When I moved into my new place last year, I tried searching online for ideas on how to organize my stash.  A year later, here’s what I finally turned that mess into:


Fabric stash organization

I bought two Itso storage cubes from Target – they’re great since they’re modular and snap together to make whatever size storage solution you need.  After folding my fabrics, some were too wide to fit across the cube but fit better lengthwise.


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Doing the same as before, I separated the fabrics by knits and wovens.  I also bought some extra Rubbermaid containers to sort my patterns more efficiently.  Now I have a container for just dress patterns, a container for tops and jackets, and a container for pants and skirts, all sorted by garment type and brand (Vogue, Butterick, etc).  I even have a container for costume patterns I used to sew many years ago and can’t bear to let go.

Those hangers on the bar?  Those are some folded fabric cuts that I wanted easily accessible for upcoming projects – hangers are wooden pant hangers from Ikea.


Fabric stash organization

Taking inspiration from Megan Nielsen, I bought some index cards to make my own fabric note cards (mine are not nearly as cute as hers).  Each length of fabric was measured since I forgot how much yardage I bought of each cut, labeled where I bought the fabric, and I also jotted down if it was prewashed or not (since I snip off the corners of the yardage before I wash it to insure it doesn’t unravel like crazy, I have a built-in system in case I forget if I washed the fabric or not).  And since I have a running list going of the projects I want to sew for the fall/winter already, I discovered I have enough fabric for 12 of the 17 projects I want to make.  There’s really no reason to go out now and buy fabric….yeah right!

I also discovered I had a lot of fabric “scraps” – pieces leftover from projects that were too big to throw away but too small to make a garment out of – that were making it difficult to organize the good lengths of fabric I own.  I folded them neatly and put them in a plastic crate, easily accessible for when I need to practice a stitch or to incorporate as an accent into a new project.

Now I can easily shop for fabric from my stash.  What kind of fabric organization techniques do you use?

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Swimsuit fabric is here just in time for the @closetcasefiles Bombshell Swimsuit Sewalong!

It’s here it’s here, my swimsuit fabric is here!  Let me tell you, I am so happy/impressed with my new fabric find, The Fabric Fairy.  The shipping was super fast and packaged so nicely – the fabric bundle was tied with some fold-over elastic (hello, DIY hair ties) and additional swatches of swim fabric similar to what I purchased were included inside.  That’s a smart business idea and I really appreciated seeing and feeling some fabric that they knew I was interested in.  Because of this, I’ll probably end up ordering some more fabric from them – kudos, Fabric Fairy!

Are you ready for the Bombshell Sewalong???  I just need to download my pattern and assemble it before Monday.

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