I don't usually start my Mondays feeling inspired and cheerful but this Monday is different. Coming off a weekend spent at a sewing workshop in one of the world's greatest cities will do that to a girl. My dear spouse recently surprised me with a spot in a Heather Ross Weekend Sewing Workshop in NYC (bless him), and if you've never spent a weekend away, sewing and fabric shopping with other sewing geeks, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Heather Ross teaches sewing and fabric design workshops throughout the year, and this particular one also included sewing rock stars Liesl Gibson, designer of Oliver + S children's sewing patterns, and Gretchen Hirsch, author of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing and Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, as instructors. We kicked off our weekend on Friday night with a private shopping and socializing event at PurlSoho, followed by a lively dinner at nearby pan-Asian restaurant. The next morning, we got down to sewing business in the airy work rooms of The Sewing Studio. Each workshopper worked on projects they'd brought with them while our three lovely instructors circulated around, making themselves available for help with fitting, pattern interpretations, and expert answers to all manner of sewing questions. Most of the sewing I do is in complete isolation and I can't tell you how handy it is to have an expert fitting buddy to help!
Between working on our own projects, Heather and Liesl treated us to some sneak peeks of their new fabric lines. Heather's sweet nursery-rhyme inspired Nursery-Versery will be released by Kokka in June, while Liesl's lusciously colorful Ladies' Stitching Club is coming out through Moda in July. We got the early news that both Liesl and Heather, along with other talented sewers and crafters, will be offering instructional videos via a new, online sewing and crafting class venue set to launch soon. (You can sign up for news of CreativeBug's launch on their home page.)
Heather also let us browse a working copy of her new book, Heather Ross Prints, which is being released sometime this fall. Do you all know about this book? I was kind of blown away by what Heather's doing with it. Along with the book which contains lots of pretty and inspiring projects that I haven't seen elsewhere and which I'd buy all on its own, Heather is including a disk containing 50+ of her own fabric designs that you can use for whatever you want--printing fabric, wallpaper, stationery, rice paper lanterns, anything! Is that not crazy generous? It's such a different approach to designing and to copyright and ownership. We've pre-ordered a signed giveaway copy but if you're a Heather Ross fan, I might not wait to see if you win our giveaway if I were you. I suspect it'll go fast!
One of my very favorite things about the workshop was being able to talk freely about sewing and garment-fitting without anyone's eyes glazing over, feeling confident that if I said "Liberty" or "ball-point needle" or "Marimekko" or "serger" I wouldn't have to explain a thing. Hanging out with your tribe is just the best, don't you think?