Monday, May 17, 2010

Fabric fatigue: Sewing Pattern Review weekend wrapup

Yes there is such a thing as fabric fatigue! And I met Jay McCarroll!
but let's go in chronological order, shall we??

Here are the conference freebies. I love goody bags and this one did not disappoint since I have been thinking about getting some fun labels and the bag included an explosion of samples! (That feisty one at the bottom? I'm definitely using that in a bag sometime soon!) and a pattern for a Hawaii storybook for kids. Did someone say Hawaii? Love it! After going to work conferences, it was great to have a fun conference goody bag.

Pattern Review giveaways

Also, our badges had our user ID on them which made me think about changing mine to something fun.
My SPR user name, in bold

I could listen to Kenneth King talk all day long! He's a master sewist, clear instructor, superb raconteur. He's a hoot! He showed us several pieces he's done, which were amazing. He started off by saying, "If there are any animal activists in the room, just shut up." Laughter. His work is spectacular. His best story? the one about one of his colleagues saying he's "worse than a home sewer."
Kenneth King shows off his work

And I learned new techniques about finishing off trim, how to use the packing/sacking needle and that beading is pretty simple.

Elizabeth asked if I wanted a picture for my blog--of course! I like how my hand looks like it's covered in dough; that's actually my sample piece.
Elizabeth took this picture of me at the embellishment workshop

And here's what my sample looked like:
my sample from the Kenneth King workshop

The afternoon was at the art museum for a private tour of several vintage pieces.
Here's the curator with an unlined Chanel coat. Doesn't she look like Emily from The Devil Wears Prada?? And those green volumes in the background? They are bound Vogues!
the unlined Chanel coat

There are several famous sewing bloggers in this one shot, how many can you count?
Several famous bloggers in one shot

So you see the cape/shawl here? (I think this is Oscar de la Renta, 1983)
so you see this cape...
It's actually a circle with a slit. How easy is that?
it's just a circle!

On display was the Valentino red dress from his 45th and final collection. I don't think it's THE dress that was in the Valentino DVD but it was pretty cool to see a Valentino in person. (If you haven't seen Valentino: the Last Emperor, go rent it at your library NOW! You'll get to see his sewists at work!)
Valentino red...

The afternoon concluded with a visit to the Rocky statue.
me and the Rocky statue
And I ran up a few steps; I wish I ran up the whole thing
I wish I went the whole way

Dinner was at Pietro's. We had "show and tell" after dinner where we each talked about the things we made and were wearing or holding (i.e. bags). That was awesome to hear live pattern reviews! And to actually hear the voices of so many bloggers...

The next morning was our day o'shopping. Honestly, I don't remember the last time (if ever) I shopped from 9:30am-6:30pm so it wore me out. Elaine was my shopping buddy for the day which was awesome since we were interested in similar things. Our mode of transport? A big yellow school bus!

First we went to fabric row on 4th St. I bought $26 in trims, frogs, etc at PA fabric outlet
$26 in trims, frogs, etc
Then we went to some other stores, but it was a lot of home dec so we wound up having an early Philly cheesesteak lunch and then hitting up some consignment shops and a thrift store that had a blue Brother sewing machine from some other decade for $75.

The afternoon was then a visit to London Textiles where the remnants were thrown into big cardboard boxes like laundry. Imagine 45 women pawing through all those boxes. It was kind of insane. And then we went to Jomar, home of the cheap fabric.

I bought 7 yards of fabric total, 3 yards of brown knit, 2 yards of turquoise knit, and 2 yards of unidentifiable gray, for a total of $16. (Jomar was pretty cool with its $1 and $2 yards of fabric). By the end of the day I was suffering from fabric fatigue or fabric blindness. SO MUCH FABRIC!! Some of my fellow sewists bought huge quantities, and someone even bought an entire bolt.

Sunday morning was room service for breakfast
good morning room service!

The ducks are still in action, though I wasn't quacked at
Ride the Ducks still exists!

I checked out of the hotel and went to the Art Star Craft Bazaar.
Art Star Craft Bazaar
And met Jay McCarroll (Project Runway season 1 winner). Thank you Christine for telling me about the event! She texted to say I should tell him she sews because of him. He said it still amazes him that he's an inspiration to others, and encouraged her to continue sewing.

I know cropping exists to remove background people like the guy in the green shirt scratching his chest, but I think it's funny so I'll leave it in there
with Jay McCarroll

I also went to the bubbledog booth, and met the guy who made the cat wallets I bought for Christmas presents 2 years ago. I should have asked if I could take a picture. His booth was very well done.

I took this picture for Miss Smith since she makes robots. His monsters looked like robots to me. His slogan is "monsters, art and things to love"
Monsters, art, and other things to love

I hit Ikea for a quick trip (it was near Jomar so I knew from the previous day how to get there, very close to the hotel). For a Sunday afternoon it was downright empty and might be my go-to Ikea instead of the one in Elizabeth.

Then there was the mad dash to get to the Ardmore Farmer's Market before it closed at 4pm. I got there at 3:35 and got almost the last pound of their chocolate chip cookies. YUM! The same woman who served me in college is still there and has been there every time I randomly visit there every other year or so...
Cookies at the Ultimate Bake Shoppe Ardmore farmer's market

And then it was on to the King of Prussia mall to have dinner at Ruby's with my friend Debbie which was fun and therapy all wrapped up into one.


For the last 16 months I have avoided potholes and manhole covers like the plague because of my back. Let's just say this past weekend has made up for all of that as several rides were bumpy, bumpy, bumpy (hello cobblestone!). A year ago I wouldn't have been able to bend into a box of fabric to dig through it, and I was able to do that this weekend. My back pain is actually worse today than it was all weekend long, but it still isn't bad at all! It's definitely getting better overall.

It was a great weekend, I was so happy to meet so many of my fellow sewists and blogging royalty, I learned that more people read my blog than I ever knew. Thank you for all your support!


  1. Whoa girl! You kept right on going on Sunday, long after some of us, like me, were napping on the trip home. How neat to meet Jay!

  2. I am also impressed that you kept going on Sunday! I slept late and went straight to the bus to go home! Good for you for packing so much fun stuff into the weekend.

  3. It sounds like you had a fantastic weekend - I can't think of anything nicer than spending a weekend focussed on a hobby that you love and get so much enjoyment from, with people 'who get it'.

  4. You fit in a TON of stuff on Sunday! Made me wish I'd stayed longer! Lucky you to meet Jay.

  5. Hey bus buddy :) You were my very first "celebrity blogger" sighting Friday morning and I am so thrilled I had the chance to spend some quality shopping time with you on Saturday. I too am in awe you packed in another full day before heading home. Great shot of you with Jay!

  6. Wow! I can tell you had a blast. It's so cool to meet sewing blog celebs & Jay too! What bliss, not to mention the fabric! ~HLT

  7. Great photo with Jay! After all these seasons I still think he's my favorite PR alum. What a weekend!

  8. I am so jealous you got to meet Jay! He still my favorite PR winner.


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