Do you know about the website PatternReview? Well….If you are a sewer and have never visited PatternReview, you need to hop right on over there! I joined relatively recently so that I could look up patterns I was interested in and read reviews. I didn’t want to invest time in a pattern that turned out to be a nightmare to make, even if I had gotten it on sale, and I wasn’t willing to pay the big bucks for a pattern from an independent designer unless it was completely awesome. Well, I found all that and more when I joined PatternReview. I haven’t even discovered a fraction of all it has to offer (sewing machine reviews, sewing tips, contests, classes, etc., etc.).
I did sign up for the weekly e-mail and, in the last one, I saw that there was going to be a PR Day in Boston! I was so excited! It seems that nearly all the cool sewing people I know live far away and all the get-togethers are just out of reach, but this was going to be in Boston!
I’ll spare you the long story about how I almost got cold feet about going to a part of Boston I didn’t know. Let’s just say that I have a very active imagination in the category of “Scary Things That Could Go Wrong”. But, despite my imagination, it was great!
We met at Grey’s Fabric & Notions in the SoWa district of Boston (SoWa=South of Washington Street). It was a lovely place. Grey’s served mimosas and cookies and Deepika (the founder of PatternReview) brought nametags, “I Love PR” buttons, and tape measures for everyone. It was so nice to look through and touch so many fabrics I had seen online! Although not a large shop, Grey’s has a good variety of fabric types, patterns, and notions. We also had a pattern swap. I brought five and left with three new ones, two of which I had really wanted! I also got some fabric (of course) and fold-over elastic. Want to get an idea of what it was like? Check it out:
One thing that I really liked was the various examples Grey’s made up of different patterns. It was very inspiring.
We had a delicious lunch at Cinquecento, a nearby Italian restaurant. Lunch was filled with excellent conversation. All the women were so interesting, from various walks of life and in differing professions. One of the ladies, Maria Denmark, was a pattern maker, sewer, knitter, and all-around accomplished person. I’m really excited to check out her patterns and look through her blog. I loved talking with Deepika, as well. It’s amazing to think that she started PatternReview twelve years ago and now the site has grown to the point that she is able to find friends who use it throughout the world. I think it really fills an important part of the sewing landscape.
Here we all are outside of Cinquecento for a group shot.
I didn’t get to have in-depth conversations with everyone, but I was happy to be able to meet and talk to a few other bloggers. You may want to check them out, too. I met Carolyn of Allspice Abounds, wearing her “Spring Archer” (I was seriously impressed.) and Ebi of Making the Flame. We didn’t get down to much blog-talk (we were too busy talking sewing), but it was great to meet fellow bloggers…and fellow sewers…and fellow creativity lovers in general.
Before getting back on the train, we walked into Chinatown for a visit to Winmil Fabrics. The advice I got from one of the other PR members was, “If you see something you like, grab it, because it won’t be there next time.” I loved looking through the eclectic mix of fabrics–I felt like I could easily find some treasures. I would definitely revisit both Winmil and Grey’s.
I’m glad I faced my fears (I’m also glad the parts of SoWa and Chinatown I visited weren’t too sketchy.) and made some new friends. I hope that PatternReview has more Boston-area meet-ups and that some of you are able to join us! If you live far away and there is a PR day near you, be sure to check it out!