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Summer time thieves #2

As promised, part two of “Where has the summer gone?”:  the always fun (and dangerous) fabric shopping. Now, I should preface all this by saying that I truly do not NEED any more fabric. I have plenty. P-L-E-N-T-Y. But, there’s been what I like to call extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstance #1: a trip to NYC!

I don’t think I have words to say what a fabulous time I had. Dear old friends from childhood, friends from college, new friends, and of course the best boyfriend in the world, not to mention more booze than you can shake a stick at. Plus some amazing food as well, of course, but more on that (with photos) in a later post.

Work’s been extremely busy, so we ended up rolling into Penn Station around 10:30 Friday night without a plan for the weekend, other than one: I would finally get to visit what I imagined to be the mecca of all fabric lovers, Purl Soho. The pilgrimage took place the next day in the midst of a sweltering New York afternoon. After filling our bellies in the Lower East Side, we took a long, lazy walk over to Purl Soho, where my non-sewing friends kindly browsed the store with me for a few minutes before excusing themselves to congregate at a bar around the corner to watch the US get knocked out of the World Cup.

I was left in peace. Too overcome by the bolts of fabric surrounding me to notice the coolness of the air conditioner, I made my way through the store in a trance-like state: eyes darting, fingers touching. One lap around the store, then two, slowly converging on my prey. My credit card said no, but my fingers felt the soft drape of the Liberty cotton lawn — begging to become a beautiful summer shirt to accompany me through the rest of these hot summer days — and my heart said yes. I would do it. The fabric would be mine.

Now, I of course don’t have a *pattern* yet, but…details, details. Part of me thinks I’ll just do a simple tank top, using the pink for straps and edging; the other part thinks I should hold out for something a bit more substantial, with flirty cap sleeves, and the pink used for a waistband insert.

What I loved about Purl Soho was the simplicity. It was smaller than I expected (as were most of the places I visited in New York–I underestimate the limited real estate there), but it was absolutely a store of quality over quantity. (I feel compelled to add that they’ve recently redone their online store as well, and the quantity matches quality there. Yowsa.) The store has a stunning layout, and is a true feast for the eyes. I also picked up a couple of packs of high-quality wool felt in an assortment of colors, plus some shot cotton solids and a couple of beautiful prints to make handbags that have been designing themselves in my head:

I took a deep breath, hid the receipt in the far reaches of my bag, never to be looked at again, and rejoined my friends at the Broome St. Bar for a couple of good English pints. Ahhh. What an afternoon.

Extenuating circumstance #2:  fabric.com sale

I believe I’ve mentioned previously that my favorite fabric designer is Anna Maria Horner. She creates gorgeous fabrics in bright bold colors and modern designs that I just adore. SO, of course when I read on the Brown Paper Packages blog that fabric.com was having a major sale that included some of Anna’s fabrics, well… Justification is such an ugly word, so let’s say that I took advantage of an excellent opportunity:

Cool colors

Warm colors

And finally, for good measure, I’d like to introduce you to Owlie, who just felt the need to pop in and play with the fabrics along with me. I made him over the winter from a kit I purchased from Fancy Tiger. I had intentions of eventually posting some sort of step-by-step post on how I made him, but he just didn’t want to wait any longer for an introduction. Hello, Owlie.

And last but not least, a collection of fabrics for a pair of new pillowcases:

Oh. I’m sorry. When I said “last but not least,” did that sound like that was the end of my fabric shopping adventures? Oh, no, my friends. Oh no.

Extenuating circumstance #3: link to new fabric store + coupon + glass of wine = forgetful spending

So I finally banned myself from buying any more fabric once I discovered that I forgot that I had placed a particular order of fabric. Bad, bad, bad. But did I mention cute, cute, cute? Check out these lovely Japanese fabrics from Crybaby’s Boutique:

Too cute!

And there we have it (OK, well not completely, I actually got a couple of not-pictured knits while I was at it). Phew. Now that I’m officially banned from buying more fabric, perhaps I’ll get some sewing done? Or are there MORE summer time thieves lurking around the corner? Perhaps something to do with my ultimate distraction? We ARE in the middle of farm share season after all… Once again, to be continued…

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Finally…a craft

Truthfully, this project has taken much longer than it should have. Technically speaking, it started back in the fall of 2008 when I went out to Detroit to visit Haberman’s Fabrics. No wait, I meant visit my mom & step-dad… Visiting parents aside, there’s a couple of things I always look forward to when out in Detroit: Haberman’s, a visit to Pewabic Pottery, and — a new addition to the list after my last visit — Motor City Brewing Company. (I know this is supposed to be a crafting post, but let me digress for one second here and say: Nut Brown Ale brewed in-house served with a roasted pear, fig, and gorgonzola pizza??? HEAVEN! Now no more about food…)

That particular Thanksgiving visit in 2008 was my first visit to Haberman’s. What a visit! My mom and I were in there for hours, and, amazingly enough, SHE was the one who had to drag ME out of there (another first, to be sure). I left with a beautiful selection of fabrics, including those slated for the apron project I’m sharing with you today.

The apron pattern is from the book A is for Apron. Fantastic book — I highly recommend it, and have several more patterns I’d like to take a stab at. I finally started working on the apron this past January, and then it sat on my ironing board for a good 2-3 months once I put together the patchwork strips, because I just wasn’t convinced about the fabric selection. I just felt like it was a little too…precious. What do you think?

Check out the duck lace!

Towel tab

Back side: muslin lining

Pocket detail

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Minor setback

So, this weekend’s crafting adventures would have gone much more smoothly if I had had this:

Pattern pieces have been cut.  More to come…

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I am craving spring.  What else could explain why project #1 is a bright green, short sleeve shirt made out of cotton voile?

The pattern is “Prairie Girl” by Favorite Things, and the fabric is from Anna Maria Horner’s “Little Folks” line of fabric (see link at right under People; she is one of my absolute favorite fabric designers)

Prairie Girl Pattern by Favorite Things

I’ll be making the shirt on the left, although depending on how that comes out, I can certainly see myself continuing on to do a dress or two.  Needless to say, based on my last post, I will NOT be making the optional “dickie.”

And here’s the fabric:

Little Folks cotton voile in Meadow, by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics

Yes, that’s my cat, Zoe.  Expect frequent cameos by Zoe in this blog.  I can’t help myself; it’s genetic.  (A side story:  for my one year anniversary of quitting smoking, I bought myself a lovely silver Victorian locket.  People who know me well asked, “Are you going to put a picture of Nate in it?”  People who know me even better asked, “Are you going to put a picture of Zoe in it?”  Sorry dear, the cat wins.)

Work in progress photos to follow…

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