This past weekend I had the most wonderful time hanging out at the Whipstitch shop and lounge in mid-town Atalanta. Seriously, it was a blast.
First off, I got to meet Deborah, who I’ve been emailing with for over a year now. I knew she ran at 100 miles per minute. But my trip only confirmed that. I love meeting someone who can talk faster than me! Deborah is totally cool, totally fun, totally has her hands in 5 projects at once. And she has a new book coming out in August! If all I did was hang out with her for the weekend, I would have loved it. But….since I was there for a sewing weekend….I started by walking around the darling Whipstitch shop.
I’ve been in my share of boutique fabric shops and this has got to be one of my favorite set-ups so far. The shop is in an old lofty building with exposed brick walls and very high ceilings. In the back is the “kitchen” where sewing classes are taught and where we held the sewing demonstration. Great concept….sew in a room that feels like your own house.
The front of the shop is open and bright.
And filled with colorful candy…..
My favorite part has to be lounge area where a few of us sat and chatted for hours about blogging, photo editing, and life. At one point, I spotted a cute old man sitting here on the couch, reading a book while his wife shopped around. He came prepared for a long visit. We all know that can happen in a fabric shop.
There were goodies to eat:
Plenty of cool sewing books to peruse:
containers with interesting displays everywhere you looked:
and tons of cool Whipstitch staff members. Deborah has done a marvelous job with the place. It’s more than just a store….it’s somewhere you want to hang out. And that’s just what we did, for 36 hours!
The party started Friday night for a meet and greet hang out. It was great to see some of you in-person and make the real connection. Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom was there and came back for the Saturday stuff too. It was a treat to spend time with her the whole weekend.
The common theme throughout the weekend (with everyone) was “why can’t we live closer to each other??” I’m sure you’ve asked that same thing when you meet an interesting blogging friend.
These two sisters were adorable and kept us laughing the whole time.
Of course we stayed up late, had tons of fun gabbing, and then Saturday morning…..we were back in the shop for an 11am Sewing Demonstration.
I brought my homemade patterns, T-shirts/fabric and showed the group how to take an old item of clothing to create a new pattern. First we took apart a onesie and used it to create a 90 Min Shirt.
Next we worked on a simple pair of beach pants for a boy, just like the knee pad pants but without the pads. I demonstrated, pinned, and apparently did the robocop at one point.
It was the perfect size group. They seemed to enjoy the demo and asked questions when they had them.
And I really had a great time doing it. But it’s weird to see candid pics of yourself doing something like this. So uh, note to self for next time: stand up straight, take the extra hour to flat-iron your hair (instead of the lazy bun look), and try to make normal faces, since someone may snap a photo of you looking like this, at any moment.
Live and learn.
The best part about the whole weekend was just finding and meeting other sewists and blogging friends. This group of ladies didn’t even realize they lived 10 minutes from each other and were all of the same faith. Small world. So they spent the next hour chatting…
and taking photos.
One of the (only) bummers of the day was that I had only 5 minutes to chat with Katie from Blue Eyed Freckle! (since we had to rush off for lunch). Arrrrgggg.
From the brief moments we talked in person I could tell you are just as interesting, decked out your 80s wardrobe, as I’d hoped for. We’ll have to listen to Pet Shop Boys and drink Diet Cokes another time. Come visit me in Texas!
After lunch we came back for Round 2 of the Whipstitch weekend, which was the Mystery Workshop.
10 ladies signed-up and let me say that you all impressed me with your sewing skills. I wasn’t sure what level you’d be at. And well, you were so self-sustained, I almost had nothing to do!
At the start of the class we gave each person a sewing grab bag filled with fabrics, trims, a thrifted T-Shirt, and our mystery ingredient…..Elastic Thread. Many of them had never tried it, so it was the perfect day for tackling a new project.
I showed them how to thread it, explained various ways to use Elastic Thread, helped them with project ideas, gave input, and even worked as Amy‘s assistant at one point, ironing her bag straps. It was great.
They were busy bees and ran with their projects, cutting fabric and chatting,
sewing and ironing, and just having fun!
Some faces you might recognize….
We had Amy from Modge Podge Rocks and Larissa from MmmmCrafts:
Jenny from Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts,
and a whole spectrum of talented, creative ladies; some who have yet to start their craft blogs. Hopefully we nudged them over the edge.
As a sewing incentive we offered prizes to the top three clothing designs with a colorful gift bag for each winner (above).
and need I forget the littlest crafter who hung out all weekend….baby Liesl (only 5 weeks old). She was such a doll and followed us around. I guess she’s really into sewing or something….
When it came to take photos, we had one of those What’s Up Doc? moments and prayed that someone didn’t walk off with someone else’s Canon Rebel.
The entire sewing group!
From Left to right:
Tiffany, Varinia, Ellen, Andrea, Robyn, Melissa, me, Amy, Larissa, Jenny, and Amber.
and in case you were hoping for it….a close-up of Larissa’s green shoes. I think I need those.
Our top three winners were:
* Melissa who made a girls shirred summer dress with a shirred pocket on front and a halter strap….all in two hours!
* Jenny who started making a shirt for herself, realized it wasn’t happening and “made it work” into a cute girls dress. I really like the vintage-looking hankerchief on front:
* Larissa who overcame her fear of knits and elastic thread and gave my favrorite T-shirt a shirring whirl. I adore the contrasting red straps and the cute modeling helps too:
Well done everyone! I really loved seeing where all your creative minds went with your projects.
And a trip to a new town would not be complete without enjoying the atmosphere….
For lunch we followed the locals and ate at the Varstity:
What’ll ya have?!
mmmm. Two orders of Frosty Orange please!
We also tried out the Flying Biscuit for dinner, where I enjoyed a yummy red-pepper hummus wrap.
And to finish off the night, Deborah, her husband Michael (who is a lawyer by day, blogger by night, and just as interesting to talk to as Deborah), Elle (from Whipstitch), Jenny, and I sat at the outdoor hotel lounge, sipping Shirley Temple sodas and watching the people drive by.
and wishing I’d be around for one more night so I could catch Conan on the final night of his tour! He was coming to The Fox Theater, directly across the street from my hotel. Sorry Conando. I know you were counting on me.
My hotel, the Georgian Terrace was really cool. Amazing architecture and beautiful touches. This tower stood in the middle. From the ground looking up:
and the top looking down. Don’t fall in there Luke.
There were gorgeous staircases, a view of The Fox next door:
and cool sites of the city.
For breakfast, Jenny introduced me to a colorful little spot….
The decor was perfect.
and the Gingerbread Waffle Special with Lemon Curd was amazing.
My favorite photo of the weekend.
Darling Jenny; candid; in one of her favorite Atlanta cafes.
Jenny, it was a blast to hang out with you most of the weekend. I thought the same thing too…felt like I was hanging out with an old friend. Thanks for making the drive!
And a HUGE thank you to all the Whipstitch ladies. Thanks for the fabulous weekend and the warm welcome! I had a totally great time. I hope we do it again!
If you’ve never been to Whipstitch, please stop by. And if you live nowhere near Atlanta, their shop is ONLINE too!