Tchochke extraordinarre

I’m not a fan of random tchochkes. I have dreams nightmares of turning into an old woman with many cats and lots of porcelain ballerina figurines covered in dust. So, when I travel, it’s rare that I pick up souvenirs (unless it’s fabric)

This time, there was something I couldn’t resist.

At first I thought it was a business card case. Until I opened it up.

and realized it could do this….

So, yes. It’s a cigarette case, but I have just found my new party trick.

And, it can still hold my business cards.

Below is my fabric purchase. I did buy fabric from Egypt last year (that has yet to be sewn up). This time though, I insisted they only show me stuff that is locally produced.

The top two are wool and cotton blends (I haven’t burn tested yet). They were about $10 a meter, but started at $15 pre-bargaining.

The bottom is white shirting. I loved their wools because they are meant to work in summer. Which makes me think they are a perfect spring and fall weight.
Does anyone know why the fascination with labeling things ‘English thread’? Or what exactly ‘Tery’ or ‘Cheviot’ mean?

These three pieces of fabric were from a men’s clothing store. My purchase was so popular with my group that my boss went in and also bought some fabric for a rainy day.

I’ve been pretty horridly sick the last 24 hours with King Tut’s revenge. Yes, food poisoning. I think it was some undercooked chicken my last day. I’m just starting to feel human again (and hoping that this illness took five pounds with it). So, yesterday’s post wasn’t my most detailed or best work. I’ve gone back and added some details.

SewShy asked about my Egyptian American colleague. Medo won the immigration lottery about 10 years ago and moved to the US. He spoke zippo English and had worked in a clothing factory since age 8. Once in the US he went to NYC, there, he sewed tablecloths. After he learned English he took a job tailoring menswear and later designing. Now, he’s a buyer for a men’s store in DC, but lives in Baltimore.

I’m having he and his wife over for dinner soon. He tells me shirts are his specialty 🙂



  1. Cheviot is a breed of sheep. On the breed info page it says “The fleece is dense and long-stapled, of 56s-50s quality, and springy to the touch.” I don’t know what “Tery” means though, I wonder if it means ‘wool’ in another language?

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