Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fabric Finds in Pittsburgh

SewCari - Pittsburgh

Somehow, after 8 years-ish of living in Pittsburgh, I just recently discovered/was introduced to this amazing fabric store called Loom. The store is located in Pittsburgh's Strip District, which is a section of the city withing walking distance from downtown. It is right along the Allegheny River, one of Pittsburgh's three rivers, and has its origins as the home to many factories and mills that then transported their goods down the rivers.

The Strip eventually expanded to include many produce and meat wholesale warehouses, and by the 1920's became the economic center of the city, until the 1980's when industry started leaving the area. While the area still functions as a warehouse district, to a degree, many of the old factories and mills have been turned into unique shops, food markets, fun restaurants/eateries, and nightclubs. Apparently, these unique shops include Loom.


Its a two level shop, with floor to ceiling bolts of fabric, many of which are designers I've only ever seen online before. The first time I went in, I was totally overwhelmed. The fabrics, the colors, the patterns, ribbon, buttons, lace. I basically just want to live there. The most beautiful, inspiring place I've encountered in a while.

The last time I can remember feeling like I did while walking through the store is the perfect spring morning I spent independently exploring Montmartre in Paris. Particularly, watching the morning haze burn off the city from the top of Sacre-Coeur, and the serendipity of stumbling upon a museum devoted to one of my favorite artists, Salvador Dali (check out their website: EspaceDali). I could devote a whole post to that trip...

SewCari - Paris

SewCari - SacreCoeur  SewCari - EspaceDali

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but maybe I've also been a little starved for art and culture, and walking into and exploring that little establishment was a reminder of what I've been missing the past 4+ years. Or maybe I'm just being over-dramatic. Probably the latter. I have an upcoming post about one of the projects I've completed with fabric from Loom, and I have a few more in the works.

SewCari - Loom

What are your favorite fabric stores? Do you order off the internet, or do you prefer being able to feel fabric first?

If you're ever in Pittsburgh, make sure you have a chance to explore the Strip, and stop in and check out Loom while you're at it. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to limit my excursions down to the Strip...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Santa Monica Cinch Jacket Review

The Santa Monica Cinch Jacket

Way back in February (where has this year gone? Seriously.), I had the opportunity to test out a pattern for one of my favorite bloggers: Kate at See Kate Sew . I have been following her blog for about a year now, and am continually inspired by the projects she showcases on her blog. Some of my favorites include:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Taking Paris by Storm Skirt

You know that moment when you're walking through the fabric store, and you lock eyes on a fabric that you just cannot walk away from? You're in love. And not only that, you know exactly what you are going to make with the fabric? That magical, visionary moment when all the stars align. Isn't it just a wonderful moment? Well, that's what happened to me with this skirt. 

Little world travelers
As I mentioned in this post, I have been thinking about making this skirt for quite a while:
photo courtesy of
 Like I said in my previous post, my friend Carolyn's charges were Paris-bound and this fabric was beyond perfect for a little girl to bounce around that beautiful city. 

I used the .pdf that Kelly provides for the waistband, and the tutorial that accompanies the pattern. But beyond that, I made quite a few additions to make the skirt my own! 

First, I had to modify the waistband pattern to fit S.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sewnspiration Saturday

Hello again! Today starts a weeks vacation for me! Woo, spring break! The family I work for is going to Florida to visit grandparents for the week, so I'm planning on driving home to my parents for part of the week. Chewie is not a huge fan of long drives, but he is going to be overjoyed to get to spend some time with my parents' dogs. Constantly having playmates around is his idea of a fabulous time.

They love hanging out in the kitchen, never doubting that someday
something delish will be dropped for them to eat.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Summer Swing Tank

So, yesterday was the first day of spring, and here in Pittsburgh, it was barely 30° and snowed sporadically throughout the day. Way to go Punxutawney Phil. You were totally wrong. I am more than ready for some warm weather to head our way, and in an effort to encourage the sun and warmth I made this Summer Swing Tank.

Somewhere in my pinterest wanderings (the pin had no link, so unfortunately I can't give proper attribution) I came across the idea of adding lace to the side seams of a tight tank top. I fell in love with the idea and have been keeping an eye out for the perfect combination of lace and fabric to make one for myself.