New York, The Sewing City that Never Sleeps

Ok. So by now most of you have probably read the posts on the blogs of the other (more popular) meetup members. But, it was too great a time to NOT post about it here! To show just how much this group of peeps has to come mean to me, I will steal use their pictures for this post. Isn’t that a lovely tribute?? I thought you’d agree.

First up, this snap Peter took of Oona, Sonja, Suzanne and I just before the feeding frenzy started. Well right as it was starting anyway.

Oona’s pic shows just how punchy we became before Peter dashed off.

These two from Suzanne’s blog show the madness that ensued after he left and ultimately led to those big appetites. Let me tell you, climbing stairs, roaming isles and tossing around those heavy bolts (while using all your brain power to resist Oona’s Jedi-Fabric-Mind-Tricks) takes it out of you! Mood is HUGE! They could do cardio and weight training in the place! You could lie down and nap and no one would stumble across you for hours, lol.

You get a tiny glimpse of Kendrell,  just one of the fearless Mood employees brave enough to come to our aide. I believe some of the customers expected a camera crew to be filming us what with all the racket and mess we made.

I am still amazed at how much fun it is to get together and pet fabric, and gab (about EVERY topic under the sun) and grub with the sewing masses! I hope it’s always this awesome!

It’s 10pm so, of course, I’m just now getting the urge to sew, lol. I’m going to put on Lebowksi and get stuck into the fabric I got from 21st Century Fabric’s the place with the best bargain bin in the district.

Be sure to read Oona’s, Peter’s, Sonja’s and Suzanne’s posts if you haven’t already. And comment on the Beau Baby’s couture!

New York, I Love You

Living in this city has many, many perks. One that I’m only now coming to appreciate is that it’s visited by people from all over the world. I think NY’ers have this innate dislike for tourists. I think it comes from dodging them as they stare in wonder at things we take for granted. But, now that so many cool people that I “know” live elsewhere in the world I’m so glad that they choose to come here and stare!

A current visitor to my fair city, the gorgeous, leggy Rachel of House of Pinheiro, contacted me to see if I wanted to meetup while she was here. Uhm….YEAH!! I’m so lucky that she was free during the day! I miss so many things due to timing. Anyway, I had bragged posted about my pattern haul on Instagram and the comments quickly became a logistics discussion when I revealed that there were more to be had. Working around the seller’s availability and that of two super cool (and busy) career girls, Ginger and Oona, a plan was hatched.

I would meet Rachel after I dropped of the kiddies and we would swan around the Garment District until it was lunch/meet G&O/pattern shopping time in Brooklyn. We met in Metro Textiles but left Kashi’s house empty handed and headed to Mood where we were mesmerized by the double faced wool and other expensive beauties.

Gorgeous Rachel!

Ikat @ Mood

We spotted these on a truck’s flatbed on the way to grab some hot chocolate to thaw out.
Funky Machines on the Street

Rachel snaps me, snapping the machines

We stopped at a place whose name I ALWAYS forget. Rachel and I split a length of never ending stretch plaid that took team effort to yank out of the bin. Look for two continent twin garments in the future ;p From there we stopped at SIL Thread and were astonished by the largest scissor I’ve ever seen close up.

We also realized that this place was stocked with horse hair braid in mind blogging widths! One package was easily about 5 or 6 inches wide. We bought a couple yards in with more reasonable dimensions and dashed off to B&J Fabrics. These cuties that great you when you step off the elevator are lovely, but the prices inside were not. Yikes!

Teeny Drapred Dress @ B&J Fabrics

We left there and hot footed it over to the train station to head to BK. After great luck in the train arriving quickly, having empty seats, no smelly passengers and only one short term singing session, we made it there in record time. When we stopped in front of Peaches, Ginger was walking out of the door of the restaurant while Oona waved to us from down the street.

Perfect timing.

I only have this blurry photo as witness of our dining. I was famished! And had already taken a bite of what was an extremely tasty turkey meatloaf sandwich. You all are lucky this is not a pic of an empty plate!
Lunch @ Peaches in Brooklyn

I regretfully left the ladies as I had to pick up my children. But, they had the directions to pattern mecca. They were not disappointed!

Ginger and Oona Pet Patterns

All in all, a fantastic time was had by all!!

And no cameras were harmed in the making of this meetup ;p

Shibori and Indigo

Two words I will now casually throw around so I sound like I know what it’s all about.

I kid!

I was lucky enough to be invited by the folks (if Evan and Katie, all two of them, can technically be called “the folks”) at Course Horse to attend a little blogger meet-up/shibori indigo dyeing workshop at the Textile Arts Center in the Village. I have zero photos of the other babes (Christine, Sonja, Clio [she of the awesome disclosure statement, lol] and Devra) that made up our fab five, I was too busy folding and clamping and being impatient to throw things into the indigo pot!

And also, my camera phone pics are hardly award winning quality, lol. Luckily, the others were generous with their snaps.

Tricia, Devra, Katie, Me, Addison, Sonja and Christine.

Indigo

The indigo! This picture (mine ;p) doesn’t capture how truly beautiful it is!!

The space, which was PERFECT for feeling creatively inspired with its exposed brick, big windows and this huge yarn display was the best place to play for a few hours. I’ve been past here tons of times and I don’t think I noticed it…

That’s one of the cool things about Course Horse, especially in the face of all of these new creative space places in NYC,  it leads you to the type of class that you want. Someone (a blog reader?? Shout out if you read this!!) once tweeted me for help in finding a place to rent time with a sewing machine while she vacationed here in the city. This site is perfect for hunting down that info. Textile classes?? Bingo!  Cooking classes?? Bingo!!  Stuff to do with little people?? BINGO!!! lol You guys know I need that info ;o)

I don’t need tons of encouragement to jump into trying new crafts and I certainly don’t need help with buying the tools of the various trades, lol. I took a risk and went anyway. Let me tell you people dyeing is addictive!!

This is our instructor, Addison, showing us some samples and how they were folded to get the resulting pattern. Super groovy stuff!! As soon as we were dispatched to prep, I was off like a shot! Lol

Here are my first three resist attempts, all folded and clamped up:
Resist #1, #2 and #3

#1 Accordion folded in three (the long way) and then into triangles.

#2 Accordion folded in three (the long way) and then into squares.

#3 Accordion folded into small sections and pressed between plexi glass.

And my first timer LUCKY results!!
First three!!!!

First three!!!!

Can you believe that you can get such amazing results from the simple materials and methods I used??
Here’s try #4:
Resist #4

Accordion folded from one end to about a third of the way in and clamped. I started again from the opposite end and folded another third and clamped. Then I folded the middle section and clamped. I added more clamps on the ends and then wrapped rubber bands around the whole bundle.

The result:
The result of resist #4

I love how the different folding directions and clamp locations made changes in the pattern.

Try #5 was hastily thrown in with no before shot. This was achieved by binding five buttons with rubber bands. The middle button was added last. I think the diamond shape is a result of that.
Resist #6
This one also stayed in the longest, because I totally forgot I put it in there! I was busy wrapping up this one:

Resist method #5

I accordion folded the fabric lengthwise and started wrapping at one end, moved to the other and finished in the middle.
I think this one had the best result:
The result of resist #5

Doesn’t it look like an old bearded man??? Take another look:
The result of resist #5
Do you see it??? Lie to me, lol

This workshop was truly a blast!! Learning something new and creative is always a great time, but in a group it was extra enjoyable. The conversation was non-stop! Devra and I enjoyed a little fantasy indulging as we imaged being independently wealthy, ladies of leisure taking endless classes in our sunlit studies.

We all had so much in common (as women, sewers, bloggers, New Yorkers….) and all really delighted in the knowledge that we had those things in common. Evan and Katie joined in (look for Katie to start a blog any day now) and Addison encouraged us to try as many methods as we liked. She shared her knowledge freely and answered SO many of our questions. Bloggers are a curious bunch, lol

By the time we were done, the drying line was laden with projects.

And a good time was had by all.

Evidence!

Sonja really is that funny!