Friday, November 21, 2014

A holiday Speakeasy

*Reposting.  This is the next tour I will be leading.  There will be no others before then.

In response to a particular tourist request, I will lead a holiday Speakeasy on Friday January 2, 2015.  All usual Speakeasy rules and itinerary information will apply:


10AM - 1PM - 

Shopping (Will include a specifically selected set of stores with a wide variety of offerings suitable for many different purposes/types of garments, appropriate for the theme of the day's tour. Relevant additional information, suggested additional resources and appropriate on-site expertise will be available.)


Lunch (local restaurant reservation for our group, already included in your fee.)

2PM - until end of business day

Armed with your "Secret Map" and your own interest in or desire to visit the many other stores you see or have learned about, you may visit more garment district stores if you wish, and give unique codes (that you'll get from me) to vendors who will give special assistance/discounts.

The cost of this guided, efficient tour is $75 per person. If you use this trip to shop and participate in what the NYC garment district has to offer, you will save at least as much as you are paying in supplies and education, and probably far more.

Wanna come? Click above, send payment, and the details on meeting time/place will be provided.

From outta town? If you need hotel and/or travel help, I will advise some of the BEST NYC secrets I know! Payment is only accepted via PayPal (you do not need a Paypal account), credit or debit card. No cash, personal checks, or additional payments will be accepted on the day of the tour. The trip will involve a good amount of walking, so come prepared in weather-appropriate gear, and healthy.

Regarding cancellations:

 If you have paid and wish to cancel 7 days or more before date - 100% refund
 Fewer than 7 days - 50% refund
 If you don't come on the scheduled date or cancel within 24 hours or less - you will forfeit your refund, but can switch reservation to a future tour date.
 If I cancel a tour for reasons not related to weather, newsworthy acts of God or other emergencies, you are entitled to your choice of a full refund, or a future tour.

Wanna come? Buy a ticket here!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Never understood Groupon, but now... I totally get it!


Groupon deals are available from Paron Fabrics and M&J Trimming.  If you don't know what this means, follow the links, and all will be understood...

How it works: Basically, you're buying a coupon in advance, and  you'll buy it for a fraction of its shopping value. (Ex: You spend $30 to get $50 worth of merchandise.) Yes, this gives you a mandate to shop in that store before the expiration date arrives, but you know you will want something! Warning: You've gotta use it all in one shopping trip!

Makes a great gift, too!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Home Dec map

Now, there is also a Home Dec shopping map! ($12) 

 Need your fabric printed? Grommets in your curtain? Wanna make a baby bedding set? Wanna make something exciting? Having something custom made by a professional? Are YOU that professional? Need your zippers cut to size? This is the map for you! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pattern Review 13th birthday party in NYC!

I forget to take pictures of people when I'm having a good time. 

Luckily, there are others who took pictures of the event and all of its  players, so you can follow their stories and reports, to which I am giving you precious links...

First up, Peter of Male Pattern Boldness took great "people pictures", so he really covered that aspect of things.  Check out his blog to vicariously experience the party!

Do you know what Pattern Review is?  Do you know who Deepika is?  Click here to learn...  You would really think I didn't even bring a camera.  The thought of taking pictures didn't even occur to me ONCE.

Well, now having explained all of that, Pattern Review is 13 years old!  On Friday, November 7th, the celebratory event began with a tour of the McCall's Pattern Company offices downtown, followed by a party at Elliott Berman Textiles.

The theme was to "dress as your favorite era - whether future, past or present".  That gives us a lot of playing room, right?  Well, my love for The Flintstones made me choose a modern take on the Stone Age.  You know how Fred wore an animal skin, and a TIE, because he had to go to work?  So I wore animal print and a brown suit, to show a professional version of Wilma.  The shirt was more about the fabric (an Elliott Berman digital print panel that I paired with an animal print contrast) cut into two large squares, and laced together at the shoulders with grommets and string.  Then I cut jagged shapes into the hem, armhole/sleeves, and side "seams".  I attempted to create the illusion of no sewn seams on the shirt, to give it a real undone, "Flintstoney" look. This "shirt" will have  a second life in a more tailored version, because I love the print combo and the feel of it, and didn't cut down the big pieces, so I can still tailor it to my body after using it for the party.

Was it fast and lazy?  Yes.  But it was fun!

Jagged, unfinished edges

The "sleeve" fabric is my contrasting fabric - goes very well, doesn't it?

The fabric feels like pajamas, which was great for comfort.

A beloved fabric from Metro Textiles - why am I mentioning this? (see below)

Let me draw your attention to Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn.  She was also a very enthusiastic attendee of the party, and wore a lovely dress, which was apparently caught in a desperate love triangle, since it was snatched up by me, a Speakeasy attendee, AND Kyle, each of whom wished we had more of it! Isn't it funny, how, in a district with SO much fabric to choose from, we all hone in on one particular fabric???  Her blog post about this fabric and what she made using it practically reads a love letter.  Mine has yet to be deflowered. Kashi should be blushing.

Speaking of "deflowering", I felt driven to show party attenders my very favorite fabric at Elliott Berman, and I am SO SERIOUS when I tell you that at least 4 of us either bought or obtained some in game prizes!  I already knew that it was what I wanted to buy later that evening. I decided to break free of that mold (a little), and chose a different colourway, since we shouldn't all have the SAME EXACT glorious printed digitally printed wool, right???

And then, of course, there was also Sharon, who showed us tricks for how to properly lace a corset when you have no help, and wowed me with some really intriguing corset and bra making philosophy/advice.  I must say, she really knows what she's talking about.

I must say, that this party could not have happened without the expert planning and care of Deepika (Pattern Review), the wonderful enthusiasm and warm, open generosity of the staff at Elliott Berman, the careful attention, communication and dedication to education shown by the fantastic employees of McCalls patterns, and the fabulousness of the party guests/participants.  Each of these ingredients deserve a HUGE thank you for keeping the spirit of creating clothing alive, whether you do it for profit and/or for pleasure!

By the way, I think I ate my weight in cheese, wine and cake... I'm serious. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a... Pattern?

As I talk to people who are just in the very earliest stages of developing a line, or just a single pattern, I find that one of the hardest things to find are businesses who will take that very first step with you.  This weekend, specifically, I have been bombarded with questions from people who aspire to do it all, realize they cannot, and need the right professionals to work with them.  One of the best things I've heard from one such developing designer recently was (paraphrased),

"I didn't realize that I was disrespecting the process by thinking I could do it all by myself.  People have studied long and hard to master the different specialties this business requires, and I have to find the right skills to help me get to where I want to be."

Amen to that.

If you need a professional pattern made, do as much as you know how to do, and then involve a professional.  Save yourself money, time and heartache.

Here's a recommendation for you...

Why?  She knows the business, and she knows how to get newbies up and running. 

*She also answers her phone...