Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Playing Catch Up

It is days like today when I really appreciate the benefit of working for a technical/functional support unit. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to work from home. All I need is a computer, a phone, and access to all systems that help support our users. I don't have to "dress" for work, no rush hour traffic, and lunch from my very own kitchen. sweet.


My team has started traveling again. Travel days can be at most a 16 hour work day depending on the circumstance and the distance. For me it takes awhile to recover, but it's all part of getting the job done. Most of my travel is to the Urbana campus with an occasional trip to Springfield. No travel to Rockford and Peoria for at least 2 1/2 years. We also usually meet at two of three extensions sites to discuss best practices for the use of our application. Recently, I have had the benefit of traveling to more than our typical milk run. Last month I traveled to New York City. Upcoming trips to Philadelphia, PA and Naples, FL. I won't get my hopes up for a chance to shop in Philly. It's a one night, one day, trip. I will have a chance to shop and visit some local attractions while in Naples. It's the annual user group meeting (4 days) hosted by our product vendor.

Bringing my New Year's Resolution to Life


No sewing, but plenty of reading and gathering of materials/information. I subscribe to a few sewing and fashion mags. So I been playing catch on the latest trends and styles. I've also purchased several books, one is the most recent publication of Vogue Sewing. I already own the 1982 version and thought the new book would offer new information. Not really.., The most noticeable changes/updates were the layout of the book and the order of the chapters. My copy is a hard cover the new one is paperback. My preference is the older version which comes with several photos to illustrate a style or technique discussed in the book. I decided to give the latest publication to my niece who is learning to sew. I think it is a must have for anyone who sews.

Several people have ask if I would sew for them this spring/summer season; to most I said not at this time. Three I answered yes to. With their permission, I will post my activities.

This month I've been actively pursuing the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. My book list is at least 20 publications long. Not all are sewing related, but include crocheting, knitting, and cooking. So far I've snagged:

My Crocheted Projects:

I haven't started to practice what I'll learned about sewing leather. Most of the recommended equipment and supplies (Sewing with Leather and Suede) I already have, but there still a few items I want to purchase before testing my ability. Karen suggested that I practice using leather goods purchased from a resale shop before buying a new piece of leather. I have two old leather jackets that I can use. BTW- Karen just finished a beautiful black leather jacket.

Workshops, Expos, Groups

Marji recommended the Stitches Midwest Convention (Rosemont, IL) held in the summer. I did not find any 2008 event postings on the net. It may be too early. Previous conventions were held at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Attending an Expo was also highly recommended by Carolyn.

So Sew Lost recommended Meetup. There are a variety of groups that use this site to solicit new members and organize club activities. I found one knitting/crochet group of interest: South Suburban Knitting and Crochet Group , Matteson, IL. The meeting place is about 10 miles from where I live.

Finally, I'm still considering the ASG . I haven't made up my mind, but I plan to participate in at least one of them.

Blog Reading

There are so many interesting blogs. I simply can't keep up with all the latest news. Of course, the sewing blogs are my favorites, but I also read, crocheting/knitting, cooking, thinking, political, and beauty blogs.


Fishman's Fabrics has a lot of their fine wools, cotton, and silks on sale. I pick up two nice pieces on Monday afternoon. I had been skying them for about three weeks hoping they would reduce them some more. Each pieces is about 2 yds long and sold for $10.00/yd regularly $29.95/yd. Fishman's has some of the most beautiful fabrics; they also have some "beautiful" prices.

I picked a few notions at the President's sale (JoAnn's and Hancock's). Brought yearns at Walmart. That's it on shopping.

I'm Still Here

It's been thirteen days since my last post. I've been preoccupied work, family and other craft related things. Still no sewing. Soon I'll post an update on my sewing drought. I wish there were more hours in a day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Think I Was In New York

First I would like to thank Carolyn and Alethia for their kindness and generosity. Both invited me to meet with them during my visit to the Big Apple. Special thanks to Carolyn, who recommended that I shop at Metro Textiles and gave me her work number in case I had questions. I absolutely love this community of fashionistas.

Let me tell you, this was one of my most disappointing business trips ever. This was suppose to be a two-hour site visit at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Upper East Side NY, with time to spare (shopping). My flight should have arrived in NY at 10:15am, but due to the weather conditions the flight was delayed by an hour or so. My 2.5 hour shopping spree was cut in half. Not enough time to shop and too much time to sit around doing nothing. So from the airport I went directly to the Wales Hotel were I was to meet my colleagues for lunch. After about 10 minutes of waiting in the lobby, I asked the hotel hosts if there were any fabric stores or textile distributors close to the hotel. They suggested: Marimekko, Saint-Remy, and Cora Ginsburg. All of which seem too far away from the hotel. So they suggested that I try Annie and Company, 1323 Madison Avenue.

Annie is a quaint little shop that sells yarns, threads, handmade garments, beads, and books. They have an exquisite selection of threads. Annie's offers private lessons. (Photos are not the best; taken with camera phone) Go to their website and blog for more details.

Annie's Website
Annie's Blog

Unfortunately, I was back at the airport by 5:15pm. My flight landed at 9:38pm, also delayed due to weather conditions. The closest I got to Manhattan was passing it on the express way en route to the Wales Hotel. I was not a happy camper. Oh well, I'll have to go back to NY on my own dime.

Happy Sewing and Shopping!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cadena Mode

Yesterday I decided to stop by Fishman's Fabrics to pick up my "reserved copy" of Cadena Mode. To my surprise, the woman that I spoke to had not reserved my copy. While talking to another sales rep, a reserved copy became available. The customer decided she didn't want it. I was thrilled.

This is my first time actually buying a copy. Previous issues were given to me by a sale rep who used to assist me when I brought clients in to shop for prom dress fabric and notions. A few years ago he officially opened his own tailoring shop and is no longer with Fishman's.

Cadena Mode magazine sells for $25 if purchased at Fishman's. And the catalog with swatches sells for $100. In recent years Fishman's has experienced a decline in the market for Cadena Mode. This season they received 50 mags and about 20 catalogs. Fishman's is a Cadena distributor for other fabric stores; one in Canada and I think the other in Michigan. So there are very few mags/catalogs left for the general public unless you pre-order a copy. I asked the sale rep if it were possible for people outside of Illinois to reserve a copy and what would encourage the owner to request more copies. She suggested that individuals contact the owner regarding their desire to receive/reserve copies of Cadena Mode.

Fishman's Fabrics

I also went online to find other distributors. Here are two sites that offer subscriptions. The mag is published bi-annually (spring and fall). It is loaded with beautiful garments. The photography is outstanding. All fabrics used to create the garments can be purchased through their catalog house.
Mag Shop

Oprny Company
Here are a few of my favorites from this issue. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cop.Copine of Paris

One of my girl friends travels to Paris annually to perform. She, like so many of us, loves to shop for interesting and unique fashion. You talk about Divas! She is definitely a singing, styling, and profiling DIVA! On her shopping spree, she stumbled upon a trendy little shop called Cop.Copine. Here's the link to their website; the site does not do this shop justice. Cop.Copine

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sewing Mojo Still Aloof

Oh where oh where has my little mojo gone?!
Oh where oh where can it be?!
Every time I think I found it; it suddenly disappears again. It's winter and there is nothing unexpected about it for the Chicagoland area. It's very cold and we have gotten a lot of snow. Tonight we expect another 8 to 12 inches. Needless to say, this is my least favorite time of the year. Somehow the "blurrr" of Chicago, work activities, and the flurry of needed alterations has caused me to misplace my sewing mojo several times. Every time I find it, some task manages to distract me and I lose it again.
Before leaving for Champaign-Urbana the infamous flu bug bit me. I've been fighting it for days now. Thursday and Friday were spent working from home which was great. It gave me a little more rest time as I didn't have to fight the rush hour traffic to and from work.
Saturday, my media service group video-taped a wedding. And Sunday, of course, I went to church and then dinner.
Monday, work. But in the evening I was determined to catch my elusive sewing mojo for at least a moment. Even though I was tired as you know what. I managed to finish the edges of one dress and a pair of slacks before collapsing onto my bed. The goal is to finish both pieces by the weekend.
Next week I will travel to NY with several of my colleagues for a site visit. I'm hoping to steal away for an hour or two to shop for fabric..., hoping.
Happy Sewing!


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