Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New York trip - shopping, meeting, walking, eating

Many times I have written here that the very best part of writing a sewing blog has been the opportunity to meet other people who are as passionate about sewing as I am. Last week was certainly proof of that, as I spent 5 days in New York socializing, shopping, meeting friends in person who had previously been online pals, and just soaking up the New York atmosphere.

I've kind of had the bug to go to New York for a while, I've been there a few times to both visit friends and as a weekend stop added on to an east coast business trip. But now that I have been sewing since forever and blogging for 6 years I figured it was time to return. Plus I had a $ 100 gift card from Mood Fabrics burning a hole in my pocket for many months, since I won the Color-Blocking Contest on Pattern Review last December.

My friend and neighbor Alice was my partner in crime on this adventure and we had a blast. I definitely wanted to meet Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, and once I got in touch with her she she coordinated one of their periodic "wine and cheese with Kashi" sale events on Thursday night. Lucky for me that my visit coincided with that as it was a great chance to meet lots of people and do some fabric shopping as well. Back in 2014 Carolyn did a post on her top sewing blogs where she listed my blog as one she loved and learned from. I know I have so many readers from that post so it was so nice to meet her and say thanks in person for that.

me andrea carolyn
                               with Andrea and Carolyn 

me and Sonja
                                             with Sonja

me and group
                           with Claire, Carol and Christine

me and rachel
and even Rachel from London - that was an unexpected and happy surprise!

I missed taking some other pics but after all we were there to shop as well! Carolyn has more pics on her blog post and if you are in the area she said she will be doing it again. It is such a great way to support a fabric merchant who supports people who sew. I haven't shopped the garment district before but it does seem like I read about well loved stores closing which is sad.

Alice bought more stuff there than I did - including this CASHMERE which is gorgeous! I will be sewing that up for her, making a sleeveless long coat (I guess technically a vest). And then we both bought a bunch of different fabrics for tops and shirts. Plus I got some beautiful red wool so I may just recreate the Vogue 1526 Paco jacket for myself.

Alice and fabric

And a big thank you to everyone who said such nice things about my blog and my sewing.  I appreciate it more than you can know!

Earlier in the day we went to Mood Fabrics. We are lucky to have some great fabric stores here in the SF bay area, but after all these years of watching Project Runway it was quite exciting to be there. I was actually impressed with the store - the selection of wools and silks is huge and the prices seemed reasonable to me.

Here I am in deep concentration, texting to my friend Heather a photo of a blue wool jersey that I thought would be perfect for a dress for her. 

Me at Mood

Of course Alice is a dog lover so she made a beeline to find Swatch. Who is exhibiting what I imagine is his typical behavior. The store was pretty empty on this Thursday morning so it was easy to wander through all the aisles and check everything out.

Alice and swatch

In the end I bought a lot of blue fabrics that coordinated, two different blue silks for blouses, a piece of blue leather, and the knit for Heather's dress.

Mood purchases

The wool plaid is actually different on either side, so I have to figure out what to use it for that will take advantage of that feature. The color in the picture above is more accurate, but this one below shows the two different sides of the wool.

two sided wool

And then late on Saturday afternoon I just felt that I needed to go back to Mood - in case I missed anything :)  A ponte knit stripe, and then two shirt weight cottons. Plus the design tape which I could not resist. (after seeing it so often on Project Runway).

Mood purchases 2

The rest of my trip involved walking, eating, walking, drinking, gelato eating, tapas eating, walking and some fun sightseeing thrown in for good measure.

NY food fest composit
If someone told me I had to move to NY tomorrow I would find an apartment near Eataly - the big Italian food market and collection of restaurants across from the Flatiron building. So great and the nearest to real Italian pizza I have had in a long time.  Also we checked out the Chelsea market, another great food destination.

I always keep tickets and cards from restaurants, a small souvenir and a good way to recall locations and place names.
couple of recommendations, Boqueria - a tapas restaurant in Soho, fantastic. Manzo, in the Eataly market, everything we ordered was great.
The Tenement museum  in the lower east side - super interesting, a museum in an old tenement apartment where they have recreated the historical living spaces of families who lived there in different eras.
And to make it a real NY trip we saw a Broadway show. We bought tickets at the half-price ticket booth in Times Square to see Holiday Inn, which was really fun and gets you in the holiday spirit. I bet it will be really popular in December.

ticket assortment

One other interesting thing we did was walk the High Line - which is an old industrial elevated railroad track that has been converted to a park and walking path. We did the docent led tour which I liked as I always want to hear about the history and the guide was able to tell the history of the neighborhood and how it evolved over the century. I don't take a lot of pictures - tend to just absorb what I'm doing. My pal Shams has recently been to NY and did a really great post including lots of pics of the High Line in the summertime so if you want to see more check out her post.

Yes, you can see the Statue of Liberty from the High Line - cool!

highline view

Times Square - here's a peek at my green jacket which I'm also wearing in some of the pics above - I posted this jacket on IG before I left on the trip. but a full post or two will be coming up here soon. Do you recognize the green fabric? It is the rest of the yardage left after I made my Tricolor coat last December. This fabric is warm! And I needed it on this evening as there was definitely an autumn chill in the air. But otherwise it was beautiful weather, so lucky on that score.

Me Times Sq

Goodbye New York - see you next year I hope. And all the sewing superstars that I met - it's so great to put a face to the name in the comments or meet someone who I have seen on Instagram. A few of you said you would love to take a hands-on jacket making class - I'll come back, let's do it!

In other sewing news, I have a number of things completed and ready to post here, such as that silk top I'm wearing in the first picture, and a couple of dresses that just need some finishing touches. And then I can start on some of this new fabric - woo hoo!

Happy sewing,

Empire state by moonlight


  1. It looks like you had a lot of fun! I'm (unexpectedly) heading to NY for a work trip soon after my trip to SF, and am quite looking forward to taking a few hours to go walk the garment district!

  2. Very nice pics! I' ve been to NY before, but I didn't have a chance go to the fabric store. I am so jealous you:) Thank you for sharing.

  3. Beth, I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip to the Big Apple. I have a goal that if I reduce my stash to just 2 boxes (most as muslins), then I'll have a fabric shopping trip to NY. :)

    I love reading your blog! Your personality shines through, amidst all those sewing techniques and tidbits you generously share.Thank you!

  4. It was so wonderful to meet you in person and to spend time with you! Yes, on setting up the jacket making class - just let me know when you want to come in and I will figure out how to make it work.

  5. Wonderful recap of your fantastic trip! I've made a couple super fast trips to NY and hubby gave me a day to shop the garment district but it would be even better shopping with other sewists - so jealous of you meeting some of my sewing idols! Of course you are included in that group. Karen

  6. You did my dream trip!! So happy for you....and a touch jealous too, lol. Please do your jacket class in NY and sign me up right now!!! Jackets are my favorite thing to sew and I could learn so much more from you. Your blog is an inspiration, I love getting your email notices and looking to see what you're up to. And BTW I did recognize the green fabric as part of your tricolor coat and immediately wondered if I missed a blog post (not plugged into IG). Keep doing what you do, Beth!

  7. Sounds like a great trip, how fun for you.

  8. I wish I'd been able to get into the city to meet you! Looks like you had a great time.

  9. Sounds like you had a fabulous time!!

  10. Wow! a dream trip come true! What a fabulous time you had, and so much fun to meet all the sewing ladies in NY. I'm so envious. I so hope I can do something like that one day too! :)

  11. What a wonderful trip! As for your jacket making class, can someone please make a video when that's happening??!!

  12. Sounds amazing Beth!! Sewing friends are the best :)

  13. So glad that you could all meet up in that fantastic city. I try to explain to my non-sewing friends that yes, I love sewing my clothes but even more I love my sewing girlfriends....and with that remark, I am off to my chapter meeting today:-)

  14. WoW! That was a lot of fun for you! Thank you for sharing.

  15. So great to see you among so many familiar faces :) Beautiful fabric picks!

  16. Hi Beth, Looks like to best of times in New York. You met up with some of my favorite people. And your fabric haul is pretty beautiful. Soon I take a trip to NYC too. I can't hardly wait. ;-)

  17. Hi Beth! Love these travel posts and it was so wonderful to meet you at Wine and Cheese with Kashi. I hope the jacket making class works out, b/c I would sign up immediately! Happy sewing!

  18. Wow what an awesome trip! (I don't know how I missed this post!). Looks like a lot of fun time was had, shopping, eating and hanging out with "like minded" people! Beautiful fabric haul and I hope to get back to New York soon too!