Updates and belated thanks

Once again my terrible procrastinatative (yes I just coined that word) nature shows itself in a something like three-week blogging hiatus. In those weeks, I returned from LA and was immediately met at home with the craziest weeks of my work schedule as well as visiting family members, and, you know, a not unconsiderable amount of turkey. But I have at last managed to carve out some computer time (I am also woefully behind with what you all have been up to), and I have things to say/share!

I’ll start by going back to my last few days in LA, when (on very short notice) some awesome LA sewists came out in the rain the week before Thanksgiving to meet up in Venice for some fabric shopping, dinner, and lots of sewing talk! I met up with Cindy of Cation Designs, Sandra of Brown Paper Patterns, and Nhi (who can be found here on Pattern Review) at Fabric Planet (open til 8, about the only place to fabric shop after 6 in LA), which is a pretty big, delightfully random fabric store with a nice amount of knits, some nice wovens, a ton of zippers and just about every trim you could possibly imagine. I walked out with a piece of mustard yellow modal knit and a super stretchy blue chambray (shirtdress!), and a few random zippers (all zippers $1!). The proprietor was really nice, and funnily enough was surprised and amazed that we had all sewn the things we were wearing. I guess he mostly gets people in who buy fabric for curtains and then hire someone to make them? We let him in on the secret world of the online sewing community and he gave us some deals (he miscut my knit at first, but let me keep the miscut remnant for free!). We then went and had dinner at a really cool place called Lemonade, which is like an awesome, mod, gourmet Souplantation, with everything served “cafeteria style”. We stayed there talking until we realised the employees were waiting for us to leave so they could go home… I once again marvel at the magic of the internet, which can so easily connect four people with like interests living in roughly the same geographical area, when we otherwise would have had no idea that such like-minded folks existed at all. I had a great night and I hope we can do it again sometime! And, luckily, we remembered at the last moment that we’d better take a picture:

Fabric Planet meetup(I love how it looks like I bought the whole store… really it was just 4 yards of fabric! The bag was actually made from a funny ribbed knit fabric remnant, tied into a bag shape with handles cut out.)

Following short on the heels of my return home was the holiday week. I actually started this post on Thanksgiving day, but didn’t have time to finish it before the cooking needed to start. But even though it’s two weeks past the day of thanks, and we’re well into the next holiday season, I still wanted to share some thoughts I had on that day. I’m not one of those folks who goes in for a lot of sentimental stuff, so generally the most important thing about any given holiday for me is what I get to eat, rather than, you know, giving any thought to what the holiday is supposed to represent. Thanksgiving for me has always been an amazing food orgy and little else, but this year I actually had a couple things that I was, well, really thankful for. So I thought I’d depart a little from my usual meaningless-holiday tradition and run down the reasons why this was maybe the most appropriate Thanksgiving ever.

First, on that Wednesday morning I got my cast off, found out my wrist was totally healed, and on Thanksgiving morning I rode my bike for the first time in over 6 weeks! I even got a flat tire and it didn’t dampen my joy. I was, ridiculously, a little worried that I’d have forgotten how to ride or something, but it turns out that riding a bike is just like riding a bike – huh, I guess that phrase exists for a reason. I am generally grateful for having full use of both hands back, which makes everything so much easier of course; and I’m also glad now that the weather has turned colder and I’m wearing tops with sleeves that I won’t be stretching out one cuff on all my warm shirts and sweaters! Mostly the whole broken-wrist experience really made me so thankful that my usual state of being is whole and healthy, and I will try not to take that state for granted so much in the future.

I also had a funny experience the week before Thanksgiving that really brought home how glad I am that I’ve embarked on this whole sewing lark. I was in IKEA (like I was going to be in LA and not go to IKEA. Man I love that place), and up on the top floor in one of the sample rooms there was a really cool orange bird-print table runner on a table all decked out for Thanksgiving. I immediately thought “I must have that”, but when I went downstairs to the table linens section, no bird runner. Then in the fabric section I spotted the orange bird fabric and realised that the sample room decorator must have made the runner from the fabric. After a moment of disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to buy the table runner, I literally thwacked myself on the forehead and thought “wait, I can sew!” So I bought a yard of bird fabric, got it home, cut a strip of it and hemmed the edges. It made me wonder how many other people had walked away disappointed that the table runner was not for sale, when it was so easy to make. Sewing is pretty cool. So here it is on our Thanksgiving table:

ikea fabric table runner

We had a wonderful feast, featuring a splatchcocked turkey (it’s laid out flat in the pan so it cooks more evenly – it really works!) basted with Emeril’s Essence (terrible name, but it’s awesome on turkey and the drippings make the best. gravy. ever.), as well as a terrific apple parsnip soup and a persimmon salad (no spinach at the market so we used kale, marinating it all day in the dressing, and it worked great), not to mention fall cocktails. So even though I had reason to give thanks this year, it still was an awesome food orgy too.

And now, finally, things have slowed down a bit and I can really get back to sewing – I mean, sewing frantically, since before Christmas I want to make a bunch of long sleeve knit shirts as well as at least one pair of pants, since I’ll be spending the holiday somewhere rather colder than Southern California, not to mention all the presents I want to make! Right, more than I can chew as usual… I’m off to a good start with 5 shirts and a dress all cut out and waiting to be put together. Let’s just hope I can keep up the pace, and still make time to share the stuff with you all! In the meantime, I’ll be back with actual finished clothes soon, the last of my pre-LA sewing binge (including the dress I wore to the awesome LA meetup). So a belated Happy Thanksgiving to those who had one! And with that discharged at last, full steam ahead to the next holiday!

  1. Pam said:

    I love your table setting – especially the orange table runner! Looking forward to seeing the new shirts, etc.

  2. Becky said:

    Your table setting was lovely! You were missed while you were gone. Congratulations on getting that cast off, what a relief! Hurry, hurry, and show me what you’re sewing.

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