Sewing Meet Ups / New Fabric/ HOT PATTERNS!!

Except that time I got married, today was the best day I’ve ever had in Florida!  Tracey (no blog — yet) was kind enough to spend the day with me and we headed out to meet the Hot Patterns duo of Trudy and Jeremy for lunch. I couldn’t stop running my mouth! I was full of questions about them, the company, design philosophy — everything!

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Proof. See. Seriously. Laughing, laughing, laughing.  That’s Trudy in the middle and Tracey to the left.

I’ve long admired Hot Patterns as they were the first non Big 4 pattern makers I’d been exposed to. I’ve had some lovely results from their designs and wanted to thank them for being fashion forward. They are just as passionate about sewing and design as we are and love what they are doing. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them. Plus, I’m a sucker for a fabulous British accent!

After lunch, we went to the newish Pennie Textiles down in Sarasota. Ahmagah.

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It is a *real* fabric store. With linens, wools, silks, fine cottons, shirtings, knits. Like, real, garment sewing fabrics. Last year, my mom and I tried to find a fabric store to make her a skirt in Tampa. Joanns and Hancock were the Land of Fleece. This, now, this is fabric shopping.

Crap. Why didn’t I buy that red and white striped knit below??

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And, then I laid my eyes on this:
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I cannot resist a star themed fabric. Nevermind in three different silk weights.

I also got a STUNNING black eyelet, but I didn’t take a photo. Hopefully, I’ll sew it up so soon I won’t need a photo of it all folded.

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Tony at the cutting table was a doll and happy to talk to you about what they have in stock.

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After fabric shopping Tracy and I headed back up to Tampa where we had dinner with Myra and Andrea. I look tipsy in the photo below. I wasn’t. I swear.

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I had such a good time connecting with these fabulous sewing ladies today. And, I’m coming home with two beautiful pieces of fabric. The last three times I’ve been to Florida it’s been too busy.  This time, it was just me and my dad so my schedule was much more flexible.

I need to figure out a way to take a year off of work, travel the world and just meet other sewers and sewing bloggers.

Anywho, I’m heading back home to Baltimore today with a suitcase full of fabric, patterns and a new to me sewing machine. All in all, a good time in Sunshine State.


  1. I would have loved to meet up with you. I’m north of Orlando in Deltona. But yesterday wasn’t a good day for me to get out for such a long drive. Maybe next time! I’m so glad you had a good time!

  2. I would love to meet up when I am home visiting from England in November! I live in Sarasota and will be so excited to visit Pennie fabrics! I could use a sewing over there!

  3. Oh, I am so glad you had fun! You were seriously due some carefree time. I cannot wait to see what you do with that black eyelet. Get sewing!

  4. Booo I missed the fun. 😦 Well, I saw your post earlier but yesterday was busy for me. Hopefully I can tag along next time! I’m going to check out that store in Sarasota. There isn’t much here in Tampa.

    • Jenny, a couple of us are working on a meetup group in Tampa. If you’re interested shoot me an email.

  5. that sound like so much fun and it’s great to discover another “real” fabric store. Hey come to San Francisco we will have a blogger meetup in your honor!

  6. I love your travel idea. Get sponsors to support you as you go from city to city doing interviews and blogging about stores and inspirations.

  7. I forgot to say, I would love to be your taxi service in Los Angeles! I might even be able to make the drive to San Francisco if we time it right.

  8. Sounds like a fantastic day! HotPatterns was the first independent sewing pattern company I found too and I still love them. Make sure you put Chania (in Crete) on your list of destinations for your year off!

  9. Oh my gosh that sounds like THE perfect day! It was lovely to read about your adventures, and yes, I think you should have bought that red stripe knit…I’ll bet they’ll mail you some! Thanks so much for sharing a new resource, too!

  10. Wow, a real fabric store, how unique! Sounds like a great visit.

  11. And if course you’re invited to Seattle when you’re on your world tour.

  12. ::le sigh:: Sorry to have missed the meet – but how exciting for you! A lovely day, indeed. I have never been in an actual *fabric* store – with fabric on rolls, no less. I will need to plan a trip in that direction before too long. Have a wonderful trip home!

  13. I’m so jealous that you got to meet Trudy and Jeremy! Sounds like you had an all-around wonderful time on your trip!

  14. Renee, I can’t thank you enough for initiating this meet up and would be happy to meet with you the next time you’re in the area (this time I’ll take off work and join the fabric shopping!) I live here in Florida and knew nothing about that fabric store! You can definitely bet I’ll be visiting that store next weekend! Thanks again and hope you have a safe trip back home! We’ll see you next time!

  15. Wow, I must share your write up about his great store with some Florida friends. Looks like you all had a terific time together. Sewing girlfriends are just the best!

  16. Such meetups are always good. Going to a fabric store too really wonderful. Looking forward to what you will make of your fabrics.

  17. I love virtual fabric shopping. I’ve never seen the combo of fabulous fabrics and a cute guy at the cutting table, though! Looks like you had a ball.

  18. Oh snap! This is so good to know about! My in-laws do the winter thing in Sarasota and I’m always bored when I’m down there… but if there’s a fab fabric store… 😉

  19. Renee, It was great fun getting together with you, Tracey, and Myra for dinner! Thank you so much for getting us together. I’m just a little jealous I missed out on that fabulous fabric store in Sarasota and lunch with Trudy and Jeremy. They sound absolutely delightful! You know that Myra and I will be making our way down to Sarasota in short order. 😉

  20. You know you should ALWAYS buy striped knit fabric whenever you see it, right? Especially red and white!:)

  21. I live in the Sarasota area and had visited Pennie Fabrics at a different location about 6 months ago……then….well, then I forgot about them. I think I got busy and wasn’t doing much sewing for a few months. Well, after reading your blog I hunted them down again and after a nice chat with Nasir, I purchased two gorgeous pieces of fabric….likely both will be made into dresses. And then during our chat, I learned the store was moving again, this time even closer to my house….only about 8 minutes away….this could be dangerous!!

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