Coco dress by Closet Case Files-6


Coco dress by Closet Case Files-6

Hello friends. I’ve been trying to settle back into civilian life after an incredible weekend in New York where I spent just as much time wandering the city alone as I did in big groups of ladies gabbing non-stop about sewing. I hit that point in a vacation where you stop thinking about what everything costs and just mindlessly hand over your Visa about 20 times a day. If you don’t hear from me in the next few weeks it’s probably because I had a heart attack after looking at my bank balance.

To say I hit the fabric district would be akin to saying that Godzilla tiptoed across Tokyo. I think I dislocated a shoulder carrying all my spoils around town; I know relatively speaking Montreal has pretty good fabric shopping but the sheer quantity and quality of what’s available does force you into this half-mad state where you’re just fondling and buying without end. I just kept whispering “Business expense business expense business expense”. I got lots of supplies for my next few patterns, but I was determined to find good basics for my much needed home office wardrobe.

My old handmade work wardrobe of sheath dresses and pretty blouses isn’t really appropriate for waking up and walking to the computer. And wearing ratty pajamas isn’t really the best recipe for “LET’S BE PRODUCTIVE!” It’s more, let’s work for a few hours and take a catnap. So I scored a bunch of great ponte, organic jersey and wool knits for comfy but cute stuff I can throw on in the morning.

My biggest priority was making Tilly’s Coco. I’ve had the pattern for a few months but as you may know, it is REALLY hard to find perfect Breton stripes, and I had a “Heather Lou in the Riviera” vision in my head I wasn’t going to compromise. This white and black ponte from Mood fit the bill. It has a touch more poly than I would have liked, but the weight was good and it had the perfect stripe ratio happening.

Coco dress by Closet Case Files Coco dress by Closet Case Files

I went for a classic boat neck dress with 3/4 sleeves, and I’m pretty sure I’ll make a lot more. It’s a “make in the morning, photograph in the afternoon” sort of garment; super comfortable and a great blank canvas for accessorizing. In my “money means nothing” fugue state I picked up a great straw fedora and shades in the East Village, and *may* have actually bought a watch on Canal street. All the New Yorkers laughed at me when I admitted it, but at the time I was happy to dole out $40 to watch the hilarious transaction go down. I think they learned how to get away with selling knockoffs by watching The Wire; it involves a relay of about 4 people. I kept expecting to see a tiny hand pass them the goods through an opening in the sewers. My other two fake gold men’s watches have bit the bullet, so feeling like i was in the middle of a high stakes drug deal was an added bonus to acquiring a new one.

Coco dress by Closet Case Files-3 Coco dress by Closet Case Files-7

Not much to say about the construction. I serged all my seams and zigzagged my hems because I’ve been having issues with my double needle stitching unraveling. I’ve accepted that it may be time to buy a coverstitch machine, and I am hoping some of you will chime in with suggestions!


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leather at Mood


leather at Mood
Itook a break from the new pattern to come to NY this weekend with my homegirl Vicki. We had a great meetup Friday which ended very late, with some new friends made over many glasses of wine. I love this city, I love people who sew, and I love getting a chance to combine the two. It’s like my car battery just got a huge charge; being surrounded by smart, creative people is worth the ramen I’ll be eating when I get home.

Some good stuff from my interwebbian travels this week:


Tilly’s Coco/Liberty hack inspired me to buy a ton of striped ponte at Mood this weekend. Coco, I’m coming for ya.

Kristy’s scuba jacket is as awesome as the ocean.

The Scruffy Badger made my favourite Hudson pants so far. I scored some pretty sweet sweetshirt fleece to make my own.

Fiona’s tie-dye Gabriola is the definition of lovely.

Hoping to get to see Marcy’s bananacakes spray paint Anna dress in person this weekend.


Jenny at Cashmerette did a great post on scaling up the Bombshell if you fall outside the size range.


I’ve never been super into Andrew WK’s music but I love his joyful “party” philosophy and he just wrote one of the best pieces I’ve ever read about loving and communicating with people, even when your political beliefs are radically different.


I went to my favourite spa in Quebec with my mum this week. If you’re ever in the hood, La Source is about an hour outside Montreal and will melt all your anxiety and stress with its hot/cold water circuit set in a pristine wilderness of awesomeness. My mom had to drag me out of these suspendedĀ cocoon hammock things they had in the woods where you could nap and sway in the trees post-cold plunge pool.


I’m thinking about fall. I’ve been a lot more strategic about purchasing shoes these days, but I have my eyeballs on these crazy buckled mary jane booties on Modcloth. And I’m telling myself I should buy these Hasbeens on sale from Amazon and wear them with tights until my toes freeze off.


Tonight I went to see my very first movie alone. Richard Linklater is one of my favourite directors and his film Boyhood is just…. perfection. It follows the same boy as he ages over 12 years and I’ve never been so mesmerized by a movie where nothing much happens except the day to day reality of being alive, being in a family, finding your place in the world. I walked home through Greenwich Village afterwards at 1am filled with feelings. Please go see it if it’s playing in your town.


I’m sure many of us were heartbroken to hear about Robin Williams’ suicide this week. My friend astutely observed that we’re taking it so hard because he was such a huge figure for most of our lives; my childhood starred Robin Williams. I just re-listened to this amazing interview he did with Marc Maron; the melancholy was palpable, but it was illuminating to hear him talk candidly about his battles with demons. I also loved this piece written by the creator of The Wire; he had a brief meeting with him 20 years ago and spoke touchingly about it. If you have a moment, check out some of his old stand-up. The man was a genius; this clip from his first appearance on Johnny Carson is priceless.


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My mom came for a visit this weekend and it’s been lovely eating mumma food again. I’ll take her cooking over any chef in the world; nothing tastes better than something cooked with actual love. Tomorrow is a spa day at one of the many beautiful places talked away into the Quebecois wilds. She forgot her swimsuit so I think we’ll both be Bombshelling it up.

Here’s what I’ve seen around the web this week.


Everyone has had kimono fever this summer. Jolies Bobines made my favourite so far – that print!

Mokosha has been cranking out super practical but cool summer garb for months (I love her hiking poses). I want thisĀ simple yet slightly avant garde knit dress.

Katy’s silk colourblocked tap shorts are KILLER.

The 1920′s is one of those periods that I love aesthetically but thought I could never pull off. Petit Main Sauvage may have proved me wrong; her 1929 dress seems so cool and modern in black.

I’ve been seeing a lot of rad Bombshells this summer; I’m in love with this modern floral version by Inge.

I’m assuming everyone has seen Sarai’s Lonsdale? Holy toledo! Who knew white could look so sultry?


I am actually, literally foaming at the mouth for Amy to release her first lingerie pattern at Cloth Habit. I’ve had a sneak peak and YES YES YES. She just wrote a great post about how much she loves the teaching aspect of pattern making that really resonated with me.


I know I am not the only woman in the world in love with Ira Glass from This American Life. This post on his work habits on Lifehacker was illuminating.

Most of my closest girlfriends have left Montreal so I’ve been nurturing new friendships, both in town and with long distance sewing friends. This article was sent by one of them, and I think it has some wise and profound things to say about having healthy relationships with other women. I’m so over bitchiness and cattiness; life is too short for hating.

I’ve instituted a no iphone in the bedroom policy so I can cram in more reading every day. I’m about to start Daily Rituals: How Artists Work and Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, both highly recommend by a few friends.

Anything new and great that you’ve enjoyed reading this summer?



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