Monday, June 19, 2017

Will Travel for Fabric and Friendship

Hello, again, dear readers and sewing enthusiasts   I am back from a trip of a lifetime and yes, it does include fabric (no surprise) but also a highlight, meeting up with a fellow sewing blogger whom I have admired for a decade.  
When I mentioned on another blog that I was traveling to Amsterdam in 2017, Sigrid, of the informative, inspiring and so very creative blog, Sigrid Sewing projects emailed me with an offer to meet in person.  Not only did she take the time to meet up with me after returning from her own holiday trip (and we know how much there is to do at home after travels) but she even went along enthusiastically with my last minute request to visit the famous Kantje Boord shop Kantje Boord Amsterdam  Sigrid gave me great instructions about taking the tram from central Amsterdam and maybe 20 minutes later, there I was at the gateway to lingerie paradise.  Now, I don't even make my own lingerie but Sigrid's exquisite creations of the years have always jumped right off the screen because of their beauty and sophistication.  
We spotted each other easily.  Let's face it, after years of posting blog pictures of our successes and sometimes failures, we are rather familiar with the external appearance of our online sewing friends.  But what will we be like in person when we meet?  After 30 20 10 seconds of uncertainty we were off and chatting away.  Sigrid's generosity and helpfulness on her own blog were matched in person as she guided me through this amazing store.  I can share pictures but pictures don't do this justice.  The staff are friendly and helpful and even I, a lingerie newby, just had to buy some things to see if I too can create lovely lingerie items.
By now you probably want to see some pictures so here they are:

Lunch in the sunshine after the hard work of fabric selecting and shopping
My haul selections:
The lace on my "shoulders" are wide laces that are sold in "mirrored" pieces so you can make sure the two sides of a bra or nightgown match.  I loved the lace immediately and when I went to purchase it the helpful staff brought out the coordinating embroidered net fabric and thinner lace trim to go over the elastic straps.  Wow, I will have to up my skills to do this collection justice.

I loved this floral print lace because different color fabrics underneath highlighted different flowers in the print.  Again, when I went to buy the lace it turned out there was a coordinated print net fabric.

One of the nice things about purchasing lace at Kantje Boord is that they will help you put together all the other elastics and fixings for bras.  In this picture is another lace that I simply fell in love with while gazing at the hundreds available.  Sigrid was so right when she said that no one has ever said, oh, yes, I have a place like this in my town.  

There are several other rooms similar to this filled with treasures of fabric and notions.  The gentlemen in the store were being patient just like Mr. Lucky is when I am fabric binging.  But even though I don't speak a word of Dutch I could certainly understand the teasing as the women were selecting printed knit fabrics.  Do you think either of these fellows would like to wear undies with kittens wearing tiaras or windmills and clogs?  Humor and teasing are obvious in any language.
I saw this lace and just had to have since those are my colors.  I'm sure it will coordinate with something in my fabric resource center;-)

I didn't mean to enable Sigrid but even she could not resist a few purchases.  The black and pink lace being measured is so sophisticated.

The displays of completed projects is wonderful as well.  Here are only half of the pictures I took.

I already own two books on sewing lingerie and the bra making class from Craftsy.  I appreciate the guidance on fit and construction which always does come first. But I must say, for style inspiration this is the place to go.  I don't know when I am going to focus my attention on lingerie sewing but when I do, Sigrid's blog and Kantje Boord will be my creative muses.

Sigrid also told me that Amsterdam holds a weekly fabric market so patient Mr. Lucky accompanied me Monday morning while I perused and touched the many selections.  I did end up buying a few more items, not as good quality perhaps as at Kantje Boord, but good to use for my first future attempts.
Monday fabric mart finds
I didn't limit myself to lace, however, and couldn't resist the low prices on these two knit fabrics, one a faux leather that might be leggings or a skirt and one a flocked ponte like knit that might be a dress.

And one splurge:

Remember the lace RTW dress that I just altered for a recent wedding? Nordstrom's blue dress with lace overlay I think this fabric would make a great version with a dark tan dress and fabric flange on a lace overlay.

Well, it's time to finish my unpacking, bill paying, grocery shopping, cooking, weeding and other normal life routines.  Next up I will post about the actual boat and bike trip and later about the fabulous Balenciaga exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Until then, a big shout out again to Sigrid for her kindness. 

Wishing that we lived closer but happy that we can still keep in touch through this medium.  Here's hoping that you having sewing friends who lift your spirits, keep challenging you and share your passion.