Happy 4th of July! (Plus some random musings…)

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Miss Dorito would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy 4th of July.  She is rockin’ her new patriotic dress.  She has a little bit of room, so she can grow into it.  And no, I did not make it.  I am trying desperately to maintain some dignity by not spending all my time drafting patterns for chihuahua clothing.

This little darling is sucking up a lot of my time, as any baby will do.  She is a bundle of energy, funny and sweet.  At 3 months, she weighed in at one ounce under two pounds.

Good news from the sewing room – I have new LED lighting. Talk about opening up a world of opportunity!  Now I can actually work after sunset.

"I never sleep on planes" eye mask.  Anita Goodesign embroidery.  Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.
“I never sleep on planes” eye mask. Anita Goodesign embroidery. Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.

Remember the eye mask I made for our European trip?  On our return flight from Shannon to JFK I sat next to two energetic young Irish women.  They were on their way to San Diego to work for the summer.  It was their first time out of Ireland, the first  plane ride for one of them.  Louise and Clodagh made the most of their flight time, partaking of the free (on international flights) beverages and flirting with the other passengers.  When the flight attendants started passing out eye masks for those who wanted to sleep, I knew mine had ascended to a higher purpose.  I hope Clodagh and Louise have fun showing off their new fashion accessory.

I ❤️ Dublin, and the rest of Ireland too!

I came back from Dublin well biased.

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This amazing cotton bias tape is gorgeous, and best of all, it is pre-made.  I can see lots of uses for this, most obviously for binding quilts.  How cute would that be?

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I also found the cutest elastic I have ever seen!  Don’t know where these are going yet…

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A. Rubanesque is a trim shop located in the Temple Bar area in Dublin.  Temple Bar is a busy area in the center of the city, with lots of pubs (proud to say I tried many) and shopping.  The shop is full of lace, trims, elastics, and other delicious trim items.  I oohed and ahhed over so many lovely laces.  But what the hey-de-ho am I going to do with lace?  I pondered and pondered, and left the store lace-less.

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We had gone into the Temple Bar area on our first night in Dublin.  We had a private pub crawl with Garvan as our guide.  It started something like this…

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Here was our favorite pub from that evening (as far as we remember.)  You could fit maybe 20 people in there, as long as ten of them were standing.

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We sampled many pints at many bars.  Highlights of this walking/stumbling tour include:

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The last one is some mer-horses on the river Liffey.  Threw that one in just to see if you were paying attention.

The most excellent adventure recap, session one: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn heaven!

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Aloha friends!  I survived our great European adventure.  Now I shall taunt you with some of the spoils of my travels.  For all cotton fabric lovers out there, you need hear only one word…Liberty.

You don’t have to hang out long in the fabric-obsessed world to hear about Tana Lawn fabrics from Liberty of London.  The finest cotton I’ve ever laid my hands upon, it is somewhat rare and always expensive in the US.  The prints are iconic in the UK, classic and beloved.

When planning our European trip that included London, you KNOW that a long stop at Liberty was on my must-do list.  Right up there with Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

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The gates at Buckingham Palace. I’ve got about 4 layers of clothing on in this picture. Kinda cold for a Kauai-dweller. Check out my wee little guard friend in the background.

Oops!  Off on a tangent.  Anyhoo…we found the Liberty store, and a special feeling came over me.  A feeling like I had returned to my homeland.  Thankfully, they had wifi, so the Mr. plopped into the comfy husband chair and I meandered.  I touched every piece of fabric in their incredible fabric and haberdashery department.

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And then I bought some fabric.  This is going to make an amazing dress.  By now I had also gained a co-conspirator, Koh Chow.  We meandered together.  Koh Chow would take each fabric, lay it out on the cutting table, and fold it in an origami-type fashion to visualize the type of garment I wanted to make.  My new BFF.

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Then I bought some more fabric.  You know that if you have 3 meters of fabric you can make anything.  AND have pieces left over for quilting.  Just sayin.’

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Koh Chow folded this into a blouse.  I don’t usually go for delicate, but holy cow this is pretty!

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I wanted to make sure the haberdashery department got a fair shake.  So I bought some pre-made bias tape, a little bag kit, a fabric roll…

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Fabric for another dress, charm squares…

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They even have pretty shopping bags.  I was in heaven.  The Mr. was on the internet.  Koh Chow had a good sales day.  All was right with the world.

We got into London on the morning that the new little Royal was born.  While we were at Buckingham Palace, they put up the birth announcement.

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We were among the first to see it, and it was only up for about 3-4 hours.  It was so cool to be there for a historical event!  And I’m an Anglophile, so anything Britishy or Royally is right up my alley.

I also managed to buy some smaller pieces of Liberty fabrics at a few other little shops into which I wandered in Ireland.

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It’s nice to be back, I hope some of you missed me.  My sewing room beckons, as does a new little friend in my life…