Soooo glad I took this week off from work. I can rest, recover, and sew from PR weekend Chicago 2011! It was so great to see Jacqui, Connie, Leslie, Kathy, Elizabeth, and many others I've met before at PR weekend Philly, the American Sewing Expo in Novi, those who have commented on my blog or my reviews but I never met before like Rose, and many new (to me) sewists as well. More people read my blog than I ever thought possible (asking me about my orchids, my cooking, my back, though the funniest moment for me was when we just got off the bus and Andrea says, loudly, "Kyle, I want to talk to you about your bag and your underwear." Those who didn't know me, what were they thinking?!)
Friday was shopping day! We were in two groups of 50 each. For my group we took the bus for the first half of the day, then took the El back to Chicago:
We hit up New Rainbow Fabrics, Fishman's Fabrics and the smaller Vogue Fabrics (some referred to it as "Little Vogue" which I loved). I didn't take any pix there. Spent a lot of time in New Rainbow buying eyelet and elastic I can't easily get in the Princeton area.
Then it was back on the bus to Soutache Ribbon. What a great boutique ribbon store! Plus feathers, buttons, and my good friend piping
Ribbon wreaths; may have to make one of these sometime:
Here I am with my bag of Soutache purchases (several clearance ribbons):
Ody and Brenda. Brenda bought a cowhide at Fishman's which was the talk of the shopping trip.
Then it was on to the Vogue Fabrics flagship store:
How did I not take any pix inside this store, I don't know, but it's HUGE. Plus we got goodie bags there and learned about the history of Vogue Fabrics!
Like PR Weekend Philly, I experienced fabric fatigue while in Vogue. I bought one piece there, and a lot of appliques for underwear!
After an El ride back to the dorm, we went to the Berghoff for dinner. I didn't take any pix there but I had a great time talking to more sewists! By this point the weather had turned very cold and windy. The Windy City is not a misnomer!
Jacqui and I posed with our Alexander Henry "perfect pattern" fabric; she made an iPad cover and I made a little tote bag. I bought the fabric at Stitch Lab in Austin, TX; she bought hers where she works at Pink Chalk Fabrics (just 2 yards left as of 10:30am EST this morning). I made my bag out of half a yard of fabric (it's lined in a canvas-type fabric). I previously blogged about it here.
Angela Wolf, couture designer and avid fisher (love that combo!) was our speaker for the day; she presented couture techniques in the morning and fabric dying techniques in the afternoon. She is a very energetic, enthusiastic, and fun speaker to listen to. I enjoyed how she shared her mistakes and her successes with us, and answered every question including how much she sells her garments for and every detail about fabric dying. She told us she makes everything except her underwear so I later told her about making my own panties using Antoinette's tutorial on making underwear out of a t-shirt. Angela wanted to know where to buy the elastic; I buy mine on Antoinette's recommendation from sewsassy.com. I forgot to mention the great color selection they have! (ETA: OMG: Now Angela is following me on twitter!)
Here are a bunch of pre-lunch pix from Sat morning. Here's Jacqui, me, Leslie:
I'm totally wanting to make Leslie's burnt orange top and Connie's gray tunic.
We hit up the Chicago Fabric Button and Yarn Co over lunch:
That evening was the PR 10th anniversary Pizza Party, including a huge pattern swap, prizes for purchasing various items during the weekend (favorite moment, when Tina asked if someone bought anything with a cow on it, and Brenda said "I bought a cow").
Thank you to the three kind souls who voted for my name badge holder. Connie won "most popular". Hers was gorgeous and three dimensional (first column, third row)
PR anniversary cake:
Tina, fearless organizer of this weekend, in her *adorable* corn husk costume:
I wish I had taken a picture of Kathy in NM wearing her very fabulous tab collar dress but I didn't. :( I ordered the discontinued pattern right away off ebay in the dorm room!
Sunday some of us braved the cold and rain to walk back to Fishman's Fabrics for the Proclamation from Illinois Lt Gov Sheila Simon (others took cabs--not a bad idea at all!).
Fishman's wasn't going to be open for shopping but they changed their minds and we shopped!
I'm totally loving Kitty's dress; definitely want to make it soon!
Then it was time for the proclamation.
Deepika, Lt Gov Sheila Simon, and her husband:
Sheila made her outfit that she's wearing and her husband's shirt. She said she knew we would appreciate how the placket lines up on her husband's shirt; Tina later pointed out the shirt also had pockets! Great job Sheila!
I like this picture since you can see the camera guy:
Here you can see Angela Wolf (seated in white jacket), Tina (in pea green) and other sewists looking on:
Here's Sheila's inauguration suit:
and her inauguration gown (her hot tip: sew pleats in the fabric first before cutting it out--that way you know exactly where the pleats are!)
Afterward she came around and shook hands with all of us! Asked us our names and where we are from. Very cool.
After a yummy brunch at a very cool little place, it was off to the airport and home. Though if you follow me on twitter, you know it wasn't easy...
Oh, and here's the dorm, a little monastic but it was fine. I work at a university but am never in that close proximity to so many students! They must have thought we were OLD.
Overall, a great weekend. I spent around $150 all said and done on fabric, elastic, ribbon, appliques. The light fabrics have already been through the washer; the one piece of knit is going through the washer and dryer a second time and I expect to make a pair of underwear from it today with a Vogue applique! I haven't taken pix of the fabric I bought, nor the PR goodie bag which was top notch!
Thank you to Deepika, Tina, and the entire Chicago volunteer team for a rockin' weekend!
More resources for this weekend:
PR weekend on twitter
PR weekend Flickr group
ETA Tina just posted the link to the video from the proclamation
OH, and today I'm the featured member on PR; I need to update my photo and profile!