Cañada College Meet Up
Monday, August 13th
I’m running late again. I wonder how it is that I never seem to finish work in time, especially when there are sewing enthusiasts to meet tonight! As I’m rushing out, I realize I won’t have time to gather my camera or anything for the show-and-tell session, and I am very thankful that I wore my favorite new (work appropriate) skirt today. At least I’ll have something for the show-and-tell later in the evening.
I arrive at Cañada College, and I can hear the sounds of happy, creative people talking up a storm practically from outside the building. My excitement builds as I near the sewing room.
As I enter the room, I lock eyes with Cation Designs. I’m ecstatic – anyone who names their blog after both science and cats is a woman after my own heart. (Though, it turns out the word “cation” is not a term many are familiar with. We have lengthy discussions with others in the room about its pronunciation. If you’re wondering yourself, it’s cat-eye-un. It’s not only awesome because it has the word cat in it but also because it a small positively charged molecule. The sodium in your table salt is a cation.) I think back to the flurry of emails we exchanged months ago after we realized that our cats are essentially cousins, which resulted in a picture of our cats looking at each other across the internets, and I can’t help but bring it up. Others hear. Cation Designs blushes. I’ve just outed myself as crazy cat lady and essentially dragged Cation Designs with me. Awesome.
I catch up with Shams of Communing with Fabric, Beth of Sunny Gal Studio, J.Kaori, and Rose of Needles Pins Thorns, all of whom I had already met at the Did You Make That Meet Up in the city and the Jean Paul Gaultier Meet Up. I also meet JillyBe of Jilly Be Joyful. I am reminded how awesome this community of sewing enthusiasts are and that I should make sure we continue these meet ups.
After a bit, we gather around a large table, and I find myself seated between Cation Designs and Rose. It’s time for a bit of show-and-tell. Up first is Wayne of Wayne Wichern Millinery. I quickly realize that I’m here with people who are the real deal. His hats are unbelievable. I find myself particularly drawn to his cloche hats. Others must as well as we can’t stop oooohing and aaaahing over this one that’s topped with a giant – and I really mean giant – rose. He explains that he worked as a florist at one point in his career, and because of that training, he often uses flowers, and leaves, and plants to complement his hats. I make a mental note to take a millinery class if I ever find myself with free time or to figure out how to take home one of those hats.
Shams is next. She also has quite a bounty to show off. People are taking note of pattern numbers and websites. They’re really jotting down everything she’s saying. She reassures them that they don’t need to be writing frantically – it’s all on her blog.
Then I learn we have authors in the group. Sarah Alm speaks first and shows off her book, Famous Frocks, and several pieces that she made from the patterns in her book. As she talks about the process of writing and creating for the book, I can’t help but get inspired. Lynda Maynard follows and shows off her book, The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques, and, again, several pieces she made for the book. Seeing Lynda’s garments in person is even more surreal than seeing other’s garments that I’ve already seen online. I’m kicking myself for not reading the fine print on the invitation to this meet up that advertised that she’d be in attendance – I would have brought my book for her to sign! She mentions adding a hook to the top of a slit to reinforce it, and Cation Designs turns to me with an ah ha! look on her face. Everyone sees, and I share with the group that I used this exact book to enhance the skirt I made for Britex.
From there we continue around the room. Everyone has their own stories, own passions, and own secrets to balancing sewing with the rest of their lives. As we continue around, I eventually meet Katy of KatyRenee.com and Jenny of Jenny Rinn Designs. I am in awe of their style and talent.
As the night winds down, Ronda surprises all of us with a gift to thank us for coming. A gift? For us? To thank us? No, no, it’s us who need to be thanking you! In a bit of shock, we all start to say our good byes. I think the night is over, but as I’m leaving, I get a bit turned around. I figure I as long as I keep to the edge of the building, I’ll eventually find the parking lot. As I turn the corner, I see Cation Designs – the night is not quite through! It seems fitting that the first person I saw at the event will also be the last. I run to catch up to her, and she guides me to the parking lot. We say our good byes, and then the night really does come to an end.
I drive home incredibly inspired.
UPDATE: I added photos from Sham’s post about the event and Cation Design’s post about the event. You can also read about the same event over on Jenny’s blog and JillyBe’s blog. Wonderful posts, ladies!