Thursday, 29 August 2013

Blog voices: Montreal edition

I'm not sure exactly how this blog meme got resurrected, but I think that Lady Katza from Peanut Butter Macrame mentioned it on twitter last week.  Remember how this was going around last year?  I think I remember Carolyn recording hers in her back garden and we could hear the Aussie insects and birds singing.  Well, mine isn't at atmospheric as hers.  Mine was done in one take while I had 15 minutes to myself.  And I'm sick.  And it's been a long week.  So turn up the volume and be kind: 

List of Words:Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

List of Questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?


Also:  I should mention that when I was so emphatic about the word data, I didn't mean the pronunciation, because I actually say it both ways (day-ta and dah-ta).  I just meant that I use and hear that word A LOT!   "Where's the data?  How's the data coming?  What's wrong with this data?  Your data doesn't make any sense!  Quick, I need some more data before the conference next week!"  etc. etc. etc. 

P.S.:  I only briefly touched upon Montreal language, but that subject could be (and has been) the topic of volumes.  There are Montreal-specific words that are used in both French and English (like dépanneur for a convenience store); there are inflections from French that we use in English and English words used in totally different contexts in french (ie. Special doesn't mean special in Quebec; it means "special" as in odd or queer).  There is the contentious matter of French language preservation and the much maligned OLF (Office de la Langue Francaise - AKA The Language Police) who go around giving tickets to small businesses who don't adhere to strict and often bizarre language laws.  Most recent example: a yogurt shop had all its spoons removed because the words pressed into them were in English only.  Heaven forbid!

Another P.S.:  Holy crap, but I fidget around a lot!  Must remember to sit still like a grownup next time.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Bilingual Montreal Meet-up / Réunion bilingue à Montréal

(Yeah, so my written French is even worse than my spoken.  Please correct any mistakes you read in this post!)

We got very lucky last Saturday and had a beautiful warm sunny day for the 2nd Montreal Meetup in honour of CarmencitaB's visit.  I was a very bad host and forgot to take my camera, and then only managed to snap a few blurry iPhone photos!  Reminder to self:  next time be prepared.

At El Chalateco:  Rachael, Tammy, Caroline, Katherine, Renee, Rhonda (hiding behind Julie?), Julie, Carmen, Shannon and Shannon's littlest chick entertaining us all at the head of the table.

Carmen brought some little gifts for us from France, and even got Jalie to send us some sewing swag.

Renée and Rhonda

Caroline and Katherine

Julie and Carmen

Montrealers are a notoriously aloof lot, and tend to specialize in flatly ignoring everyone around them, but I think that we got a few stares for our enthusiastic group!

Carmen and I (no, we did not get tatouage)
At C&M on rue St. Hubert

After a quick selfish visit to Ultratex @7186 rue St. Hubert for elastic needs (I needs clear elastic for the Lady Skater dress and 1" elastic for lazy waistbands), we wandered north past my former favourite Aladdin's cave of fabric, Debouk @7476B rue St. Hubert.  It's still boarded up after 2+ years, but I hold out hope that it will eventually reopen.  Goodman Carlyle (corner St. Hubert and de Castlenau) has a broad selection, but you really need to ask if you're looking for something specific, because fibres are a bit all over the place.  Very friendly staff though, so don't hesitate to ask. We even used group courage to brave the very (very) high-end fabrics at Textiles Couture Elle @7359 St. Hubert.  The owner remembered Rhonda from the Pattern Review Montreal weekend, and was kind enough to show us around the silk collections.  Now we know the difference between dupioni, habotai, satin, charmeuse and sandwashed silk.  Whew.  We ended up at C&M @corner St Hubert and Faillon, where I bought my only fabric of the day (to be revealed in a FO soon!)

Thanks again for coming out everyone! 

Psst!  We're getting together again on September 8th at le Musée du Costume et du Textile de MontréalCaro is organizing this time around, so go check out the details here and let her know you'll be joining us. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sew Weekly Reunion Pantone Challenge

The Facts:

Fabric: 1m of Ikat-style print rayon from my village thrift shop = $1
Notions: Reused elastic scraps from various projects = $0
Pantone Challenge colors: Emerald (17-5641), Mykonos Blue (18-4434), Linden Green (15-0533), Carafe (19-1116) 
Pattern: none, but By Hand London's Anna for inspiration 
Year: 2013 
Time to complete: 3hrs
First worn: August 17th for the First Montreal Bilingual Meetup! (to be blogged soon...)
Wear again? Yes, I already have two times 
Total Cost: $1 CAN

OK, so this was such a simple project that it feels like I'm cheating.  It's an elastic waisted skirt.


Are you going to kick me out of the reunion? 

Well, the story goes like this:  I have a huge stash of fabric built up from my travels and from my marvelous village thrift shop that sells bundles of fabric for $1/m.  When the Pantone Challenge was announced, I didn't want to go out and buy any new fabric, and this print had 4 (4!) of the colours, but was only 1m and that limited my project options.

I didn't need another sleeveless top, and I didn't want to waste any of this fab ikat rayon.  Because I work in a lab and cannot have bare legs during the summer for safety reasons, my maxi skirts have been in pretty heavy rotation, so another maxi was an obvious choice.

Way back in May 2012, I made a similar tube skirt, but ran into trouble with not having enough width at the bottom hem to allow a full stride.  So I made a short slit.  Then I made it longer.  Then I just kept going until I was running into point-of-no-return territory.  Shades of Angelina Jolie.

But then I remembered that By Hand London's Anna dress with a thigh high slit is taking the sewing world by storm this summer, so I can totally get away with it.  See Heather Lou's.  And Scruffy Badger's.  And Did You Make That's?  And Sew Busy Lizzie's.  etc.  Don't they all look gorgeous?  

I finished this more than a week ago, and already wore it to the second Montreal sewcialists meetup in honour of CarmencitaB's visit, which we decided to dub The First Bilingual Meetup because we were switching between French and English with abandon and trying to come up with a French term for "sewcialist".  Any suggestions?  (I still haven't blogged about it, but it'll be up soon.  Promise.)

 And because my Sew Weekly posts back in 2012 were never complete without an outtake or two, here's my daughter photobombing me this morning:

Happy Sew Weekly Reunion everybody.  Same time next year?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

24hrs on the bus for 3m of fabric: was it worth it?

Duh.  Of course it was.  Was there any doubt?  Especially when it's fab laser cut pleather....

....and the exact weight/size/colour of breton stripe I've been looking for all year.

I had one last 3-day weekend of the summer left, and Greyhound was having a web deal, so I thought, what the hell.  Last trip down to NYC in September of 2011 went quickly, and the wifi on the bus meant that I had 7 hours or so each way to catch up on some blog reading.  Unfortunately, it seems that the whole of Quebec decided to cross at the I-87 border that Friday, which meant a 5.5hr hold up for customs and immigration.  Sigh.   Luckily bus people are a patient lot who don't demand to skip the line because don't-you-know-who-I-am and I-have-somewhere-very-important-to-be, like business class fliers tend to!  Everyone settled down for a long wait, broke out their packed lunches, shared everything around, and I got to meet some great people and hear their stories about summer travels to family reunions. 

There have already been some great blog posts about Male Pattern Boldness day 2013, so I'll just do a quick recap:  
from Peter
I met Peter, Suzanne, Teri, Linda and Tracey early at the Chelsea Flea Market.  Really, it was more of an antiques market, with prices you'd expect in Chelsea.  That didn't stop us from taking a good look at everything, including one handmade 1920s black silk dress that caught my eye....but for $450, I had to pass. 

I'd been wanting to meet Suzanne for a couple of years now, so it was a treat to get to talk for a while before the main crush of MPB day overtook us.  By the time we got to FIT for the RetroSpective exhibit, we were 25+ people (plus one husband/fabric carrier).  No photos allowed in the exhibit, but there are lots available on the website

 We invaded a cafe en masse for lunch, during which we got to swap patterns, meet Michael and refuel for the epic fabric shopping to come.

Suzanne and Nettie at Mood
I had a Project Runway fangirl moment at Mood:  we saw Sandro (PR S12) getting fabric cut by Kooan (PR S11), and then Uli came up in the elevator as we were leaving!  I can't remember all the stores we visited, but the usual culprits (Chic, Paron, Pacific Trim, Mood, Spandex House) were in there somewhere.  Check the Shop the Garment District website for a complete list of fabric shops, if you are planning a trip there outside of MPB day.

We ended the day at Kinokuniya Japanese books, where I picked up some treats for my kids and a pattern book that I'd been thinking about ordering for a while.

Then we flopped into a corner of Bryant park and spent the next couple of hours rehydrating and comparing fabric.  I did a little speed-dating turn around the group so that I'd get a chance to talk to everyone.  Now I can say that I've actually met all these NYC bloggy friends, rather than trying to awkwardly explain to people that I have a huge group of friends that I "talk to" regularly, but have never met.  You know what I mean, don't you?

Thanks for hosting Peter!  And I'll see you at MPB 2015 perhaps?  But I think that next time, I'll fly....

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Save the Date: August 17th

All systems are go for another Montreal Meet-up on in honour of CarmencitaB's visit!  

So far we are a small group of ~6 people and eagerly awaiting an RSVP from a few more.  If you're on the fence about joining a group of strangers, let me tell you that I have never had a bad meetup.  My first one was in NYC, and I have to admit to asking myself on the bus ride down, "What the hell am I doing?  I'm going to another country to spend the day with strangers!  They could all be weird / unfriendly / racists / thieves or something!"  

Yeah right. 

Do these look like intimidating faces??

NYC 2011

NYC 2011

NYC 2011

Montreal 2013

Toronto 2013

Montreal with Debbie 2013

Tampa 2013

Tampa 2013

(well, those kids look a little shifty.  Oh wait, they're mine.)

I am technologically illiterate, so I haven't made a button, but Shannon has kindly offered to make one if she manages to find the time from her myriad other responsibilities.  She made some!  I'm just going to stick one here as an image that you can grab - I'll turn it into a button when I'm not at work (oops!) 

  • meet us at El Chalateco at 520 rue Beaubien E. on August 17th from 12noon onwards.  It is an Ecuadorian place with mamma-style food (lots of dietary options for those annoying people like me with food allergies), cold drinks and AC.  Although being Montreal, we could either be 40C or 15C and rainy.  Meh. 
  • Eat and drink and share your unloved patterns / notions / fabric that you want to dump on someone else, if you so desire.  Participation is definitely not mandatory, but usually the patterns you find fugly are sought after by someone else.  No judgement. 
  • Whenever we are full, we'll roll ourselves over to rue St. Hubert and head north for a bit of shopping.  There is apparently a street fair during that weekend, but we're not sure if that means deals or just that everyone is moving their inventory out to the sidewalk.  We'll see.
  • If we feel like it, we can always stop off for some liquid adult refreshment along the way.  Let's leave it flexible depending on people's schedules / energy level / weather. 

Please leave a comment below with your contact info and I'll add you to the list.  Also, please re-blog to spread the word and feel free to steal any photos.  

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Another Montreal Meet-up?

CarmencitaB is coming to Quebec in August, and I'm itching for another Montreal Meet-up.  Who's in?

We could meet either August 17th or August 24th.  Let's hope for a good day so we can shop / swap / laze around outside somewhere with fruity drinks and fondle our fabrics. I'll message those whose emails I know / twitter / FB / etc. and for anyone else in the Montreal area, please don't be shy!  We'd love to see you and we don't bite!  

(Well, we bite threads when we can't find our snippers.) 

 Perhaps we can do a bit of this.....

....and a bit of this.....
...and a bit of this....

Leave a comment below about which day would work for you, and your blog / email / twitter / some way to contact you.  See you then!
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