Toronto Sewing Blog Meetup

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in a Toronto sewing blog meetup, co-organized by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and Adrienne of All Style and All Substance. All together we were eighteen sewing enthusiasts—some with blogs, some without, and one who’d taken the train in from Montreal:

Who knew there were so many sewing bloggers in the GTA? We split into two groups to avoid swarming the shops:

Andi, Kristiann, Dana, Adrienne, me, and Anastasia outside Leather & Sewing Supply Depot on Vanauley St.
Vicki, Sandra, Jagoda, Chloe, Reethi, Tracy, and Debbie outside Leather & Sewing Supply Depot.

Catja brought everyone decadent cake pops that were the perfect shopping break calorie bomb (get her recipe here):

Adrienne and I enjoy our cake pops; Catja with her handiwork; Tracy and Catja. Images via All Style and All Substance.

After gathering at Le Gourmand near Queen and Spadina, we started at King Textiles, where the young SA observed, “You’re all wearing name tags.” From there we hit Leathertown (officially Leather & Sewing Supply Depot), Downtown Fabrics, and the Wool House before heading over to Tequila Bookworm for refreshments and a swap.

I wasn’t doing any shopping, but a highlight was when the owner at Downtown Fabrics produced a matchbook and lit some fabric on fire. (He was demonstrating that a fine Japanese lining was cotton with a burn test.) There’s nothing like that old-fashioned salesmanship. Kristiann, who’s the owner of local indie pattern company Victory Patterns, also shared some tips on where to find the right trim for a vintage sewing project I have in the works, which should be very helpful next time I’m in the fashion district.

Here we all are at Tequila Bookworm:

Upstairs at Tequila Bookworm.

Our amazing organizers both wore clothes they had made themselves. Adrienne wore her self-drafted Granny-smith blouse and skirt, and Gillian wore one of her versions of the Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns:

Adrienne and Gillian, organizers of the meetup
Adrienne and Gillian.

Unfortunately I hadn’t had a chance to cull anything for the swap, so I was surprised to be able to score one of Vicki’s vintage patterns in the swap’s second round-cum-free-for-all. Thanks, Vicki!

The event was such a success that there is talk of a second meetup this summer; details will be posted on Gillian’s blog. In the meantime, Reethi has put together a handy GTA blogroll, and Vicki’s sewing blogger mapping project, Map the Sewintists, helps bloggers worldwide in planning non-virtual events. Check it out, and til the next meetup!

New Page + Meetup!

This blog now has a ‘designers’ page:

The page is a handy index to all my posts focusing on patterns by a single designer. I have posts on Kenzo and Marc Jacobs in the works, as well as a couturier or two of the Twenties and Thirties. I would love to hear your suggestions for other designers you would like to see covered. (Lisa, I haven’t forgotten your Issey Miyake suggestion!)

I recently had my very first blogger meetup, with the fabulous Heather of Closet Case Files. Heather brings a designer’s eye and downtown art chick’s voice to her sewing blog. She’s proof that sewing can be cool—check out her finished projects, especially her border print chiffon caftan photographed in Cuba. Naomi and I had a blast meeting Heather and joining her for an afternoon of fabric shopping in Toronto’s fashion district. Her quest for the perfect red double knit took us into every shop I’d ever wondered about. We even found a couple things for ourselves—a pixel print satin and an apple green double knit—and, in the process, discovered the joys of deadline-free, in-person fabric browsing. Thanks to Heather for suggesting the meetup!