In Which I Have Returned from Chicago and Show Off My Goods*

24 Sep

Hullo folks! I’m back from Chicago and let me just apologize in advance for leaving this blog all by it’s lonesome. In my defense the internet service at my hotel was TERRIBLE to the point where after Monday night I just sort of gave up on the internet for the week. No joke!

What I did: Class was good; I learned a lot. I stayed in the suburb of Oak Park; home to both Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright so I was able to walk around some and do tourist stuff. I was lucky in that one of my dearest friends lives only a mere hour away and was kind enough to visit me on both Wednesday and Friday nights.

Meeting Gail just put the finishing touch on an already good week. Gail is just how you would expect her to be; lovely, kind, charming, fun and generous. She was sporting a gorgeous hand knit top and a knit skirt both made by her (note to self: learn to sew knits!). Unfortunately, I was a bit disheveled by this time as living out of a suitcase is rough! I had a great time seeing her fair city and chatting my head off.  She was kind enough to tote me around to the various and sundry fabric hot spots and man, am I grateful. Our first stop (after some Starbucks to gird ourselves for the epic shopping ahead) was Fishman’s Fabrics. Followed by Vogue in Evanston, then back to Vogue in Chicago (they shift stock from store to store) with brief stops at a thrift shop, antique store and for lunch! Gail did a great job summarizing our day here.

Would you like to see what I bought? Of course you would!

First up is my one purchase from Fishman’s. They have many, many lovely things, but they are a bit spendy and I didn’t want to blow through my budget all at once. So when I found this great silk on 50% discount, I knew it was meant to be. What is not to love? It’s pink, it features bows and is girly to the extreme. I think it would be great to sew this up into a Forties back button blouse with, are you ready for this? A bow tied neck. Oh yeah. Bows to the max.

Apparently one bow fabric just wasn’t enough for me because I quickly snatched this print up at the Vogue in Evanston. This one will probably meet the same fate as the bow fabric above and will look perfectly charming with a great Forties wool suit in my collection. I think it would be fun to make a long sleeved blouse with those great blousey sleeves so typical of the era.

I know this picture is less than exciting but I think I jumped for joy when I found this coating. It’s pretty much exactly what I envisioned for the coat in my planning post. It’s a deep hunter green and the sign said that it was a Donna Karan fabric. Neat! Next to it is the hair canvas which was SO inexpensive and which will be used to tailor the coat. Stay tuned for that one folks, because I’m already feeling like I could use this coat!

This is some great mint green silk which is destined to become some sort of lacey, embroidered, vintage tap pants/bra combination. I love this color almost as much as I love cake. Which is a LOT. I also bought a great dotted swiss cotton, which one can really never have too much of right?

Pictured here is an Anna Sui silk fabric. This one hasn’t told me yet what it would like to be, but I thought the print was so snazzy that I just had to get it. It has the most amazing drape and fluidity.

Finally, Gail twisted my arm and made me buy this deep teal wool.

Okay, so I wasn’t a hard sell there! I was looking for a very specific teal color and did not want to compromise. However, I saw this fabric at both Vogues so I sort of went for it. It may end up being a jacket of one kind or another (kicky Fifties swing jacket?) or it may end up being the originally intended jumper. Only time will tell.

Finally, sweet Gail gifted me with fabric. We saw this print at Vogue in a burgundy and I loved it so but did not buy it. Gail said she had some at home and imagine my surprise when she came downstairs with it, as well as with some great Thirties quilting cottons (to be featured in another post) for me to pick through. I tried not to be too greedy!

Polka dots + roses + border print = AWESOME

So that, my friends, was Chicago for me. What a great time. Thanks again to Gail for toting me around. I can’t wait to visit her again!

Until next time,


*Fabric goods; get your mind out of the gutter!

13 Responses to “In Which I Have Returned from Chicago and Show Off My Goods*”

  1. purplepincushion September 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM #

    So jealous! I have been living 2 hours from Chicago for the past 10+ years but I still haven’t made it down to Chicago to familiarize myself with fabric resources there:-( I still make my husband stop in Minneapolis every time we go home to visit family instead. You would think a 2 hour drive compared to a 5 hour drive would win out:-p But I know where I am going in Minneapolis – mostly – lol!

    • Eileen September 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM #

      Oh man, oh man, you should make a trip out of it. You would not regret it! SO many beautiful fabrics!

      • purplepincushion September 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM #

        I know, I know! Hoping to find a “chaperone” in the spring to give me a tour. By then I am hoping to have a bit of change saved so I can bring home some treasure:-) The first trip is always the hardest for me. Once I break the ice I am great, but a first trip is always scary to me. I like to be confident in knowing how to navigate a place.

    • gail September 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM #

      Well when you make it here, let me know! I’ll take you shopping!

      • purplepincushion September 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM #

        I will do that Gail! We are planning an Ikea run in October but I don’t think I can convince my hubby to indulge my fabric passion in the same trip;-) I do enjoy Ikea’s fabric though.

  2. gail September 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM #

    Yay! Glad there will be a next time!

    Is there any chance you’ll share you coat construction with us? I learned a lot just from shopping with you, and would love to keep picking your brain by watching you make the coat!

    • eileensbasement September 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM #

      That’s a great idea! You know, I’ll probably get most of my information from Gertie’s blog since I did the Lady Grey with her sewalong. But I’d be more than happy to post works in progress and any techniques of hers that I use on it. 🙂

  3. Casey September 25, 2012 at 7:18 AM #

    Oooh! Fabric treasures! I love the bow prints–so cute (and so you!). Can’t wait to see you start to work some sewing magic on these… 😉

    • eileensbasement September 25, 2012 at 6:48 PM #

      Yeah, I’ve got to make some time. I’ve been a quilting fool lately and I’m reluctant to put away my neat little piles of fabric strips to get to the cutting table below!

  4. Andrea September 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM #

    Eileen, I got the exact same Anna Sui silk print at Vogue when I went to visit Gail in Chicago last July. In fact, Gail was with me when I bought it – how funny is that? I still haven’t made anything with it… waiting for inspiration to strike. Isn’t Gail just the best?

    • eileensbasement September 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM #

      Gail IS the best! She’s got a good eye and helped me out immensely. I love this print. I may make a dress using an old BWOF pattern I have, but I keep waffling because a print this great deserves to be spectacular. Thanks for visiting the blog 🙂

  5. prttynpnk September 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM #

    Oh you did well!

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