Wednesday, August 26, 2015


One of the lovely Fabric Hoarders recycled the left over feathers from my Halloween costume (which it seems I might have forgotten to blog about altogether).  Another of the lovely FHs modelled the completed handiwork.

Really nicely done and with such great lining too - if only I could claim it myself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Ireland to Chicago

I can't believe how long ago this all feels.  Gives me a serious case of homesickness.  It was wonderful to get back to Ireland for 5 days (yes 5!) in April.  And spend time catching up with friends and family. A real flying visit.  I had to be in Vegas when we were and then had a conference in Chicago about a week later - so what's a girl to do other than go home and say hi!

Some parts of Ireland I miss a lot.  This bar is down a laneway in Cork where a really lovely and fantastic friend of mine lives.  We rented an apartment on AirBnB but the person who's apartment it is was a bit strange.  Didn't think we needed sheets on an inflatable mattress and also didn't tell us there was only one real bed.  The location was awesome though.  A real mixed bag.  I usually end up with some interesting stories to tell after AirBnB but its not something I'm keen to repeat as a solo traveller!

From that AirBnB to the largest hotel room I've ever stayed in in Chicago.  I had a bathroom with shower room and a separate room with a bath as well as my own TV room.  Massive and so completely unnecessary - would have been lovely in Cork when I wanted to stay up and chat with my friends rather than in Chicago where it was out the door for the conference early each morning.

TV room

Bath room (off the bathroom)

Massive shower.  Yes, this is oversharing.  But seriously... who needs this much space in a hotel room?

Chicago was fun - I knew there was an Irish connection but I hadn't quite realised the extent of it until I arrived!  These towers were among the more interesting architectural features.  Car parks in the lower levels and apartments above.

I know it wasn't NY but I had to stop off at the Chicago Magnolia Bakery shop.  Some of the delicacies were lovely while others were designed for a palate that preferred more artificial flavourings.

Its so strange seeing very iconic buildings on a street near where you're staying when you were just going for a wander.  Like unexpectedly coming across the Eiffel Tower.  That's the strangeness associated with going to a city for work and knowing that you don't have time to hang out so not bothering to do any research until you get there!

I quickly found some of the important eateries though.  Bacon and maple syrup donuts from Do Rite Donuts.  They close crazy early so only managed to get there when they were open after the conference finished.

Also managed a bus tour that day and lunch at Portillos for the Chicago famous hotdogs (ha, like I even knew about them before I visited!).

I was the only person on the top deck of the bus.  I'm sure the tour guide LOVED staying up there with me in the rain.  After a week in Ireland I was well used to it again.

This building stood out - no idea what it was called but really loved the skeleton.

I even managed a trip to an art store.  Far too tempted by the different bits and pieces but managed to only buy two pens.

I spent the morning of my last day (flying out in the afternoon) renting a bike from the commuting bikes and cycling around the city.  It was a glorious day (unlike the day before) and the waterfront cycle was lots of fun.  My bike in Wellington is in serious need of repair after a rodent of some description chewed through the handle bar rubber in the garage.

From the museum quarter.

Couldn't help but add this one!

Wonderful visit even if my quick trip home to Ireland left me feeling a tad unsettled for a while :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

US Fabric haul and my pilgrimage to mood

Its been months but I've managed to download my photos of my fabric (and other bits) haul from the US.  I've started cutting up some of these and turning them into clothes so it would be good to actually post so I can figure out where they came from.  I seem to have focused on lace more than I have before.  I think the black lace should make a nice sleeve for a top (especially a raglan top or cardi like Muse's Sophie).  Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

Cotton voile - destined to become a top. Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

Another cotton voile also destined to be a top at some top.  Thinking Colette's Sorbetto free pattern perhaps.  I have to rework this pattern before I make it up again - I've made it here but its gaping at the neckline.  From my reading of the internet, it seems I have a hollow chest :) Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

A very light lacy fabric.  I've already cut this out and its on its way to be a blank canvas tee.  Should be great to wear over a basic T.  I've made this pattern a few time and really love this version. Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

Slinky viscose. I have plans to turn this into a Gertie's Slip.  I really love the other one I've made. Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

This is going to be a pencil skirt - self drafted definitely, like this one.  I've already made another one that fits since I've lost weight from that version and really like it.  (Just in time for a self draft challenge run by The Takahe Bites as part of the WSBN).  Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

A cotton knit fabric.  Going to be some sort of top - not sure what yet.  I've been making up a few SBCC Tonic Tees but I think I want to try something else with this fabric.  Purchased at Mood Fabrics.

A few stickers from the LA Sticker Market.  Fantastic selection.  Of course, I really didn't need to buy any of them!

Stretchy lace from the LA Garment District.  Some of these are for that Gertie Slip and others are for my seemingly eternal hunt for a good panties pattern (I'm not so great about managing to work these up properly without over or under stretching the lace or fabric).

Very very cheap thread from Michael Levines.

And a serious amount of things from Joanne's and rather other locations around LA.  I bought a binding foot - still have yet to use it.  Haven't had time to do a lot of sewing since I've gotten back.  Its my busy half of the year in work.  :(
Wonder tape - soluble tape to keep fabric together for fiddly bits and slinky fabrics
Double pins - basically a U shaped pin to keep my seam joins nice and neat
Long glass head pins - so I don't need up melting them when I iron
Ironing stick thing - silicone fingery thing.  I'm not sure this will be as good as hoped and might be more use for quilters.
Stay tape for shoulders in knit garments
Three sets of tubes and sticks to turn fabric straps inside out
Hem guide large and small
Cutting wheels for a rotatory cutter
Nice metal zip from Mood
Janome binding sewing machine foot
Chalk pens (yellow and white)
circle silicone pads to help with hand sewing (hopefully for my strip quilt which I will get back to at some time!)
3 colouring pens

And finally a Game of Thrones Winter is Coming ornament.