Last weekend, I took a little weekend trip down to Portland, OR to hang out with a girl friend who was visiting from the east coast. One thing I like to do in bigger cities I’m visiting, is look for the local fabric and yarn stores. Originally, I looked up a couple fabric stores in Portland, but didn’t know where we were staying that weekend, nor did I know our transportation situation, so I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into looking for stores to visit before I went down.
We ended up staying pretty central to downtown Portland and without a car, and I didn’t feel like taking a bus all over town (although, we took one later that night to Pok Pok for dinner). Anyway, I found Josephine’s Dry Goods not far from where we were staying, and loved the fact that it wasn’t just another quilting fabric store (not that there’s anything wrong with quilting fabric, but sometimes it’s nice to go into a fabric store that sells fashion fabric). As my friend and I walked to it, I first saw KnitPurl right next door. I’m pretty sure I squealed in joy because there was a yarn store next to a fabric store.
We stopped in KnitPurl first, and wandered around snugglings the yarns and oohing-and-ahhing over the knitted sample garments. There was one sweater that was so unique and soft and delicate that I had to know what the pattern was and what it was made from. The yarn was Shibui Silk Cloud yarn, which is a kid mohair and silk lace weight yarn. It is extremely soft, and probably what a silk cloud feels like. I originally intended to get a couple balls of sock yarn, but I found five hanks of the Silk Cloud in the bargain bin (probably because the color has been discontinued) in the color Blush.
Shibui Silk Cloud lace weight yarn in Blush
5 hanks isn’t enough (1650 yards) for that sweater, but definitely enough for a shawl/stole/scarf or two. I plan to make one for my friend I visited in Portland, especially since she was cuddling it when we got back to the hotel after shopping. KnitPurl is a beautiful store, and I hope all Portland fiber artists visit it!
After KnitPurl, we went next door to Josephine’s. She’s got a wide range of fashion fabrics. I was excited about the rolls of silk and silk blends (all beautiful, but a smidge out of my budget). She had wools, denims, laminated fabrics, bridal lace, a huge array of buttons, and so on. There were even sample garments on display of a couple patterns I recognized. Just as we had in KnitPurl, we wandered around the store and petted all the fabric. Eventually, I found a cotton voile that was so lovely, so lightweight, and so luxuriant feeling, that I had to get it. I thought I might make a skirt with it, but the more I look at it, the more I feel like I should make it into a dress. I bought 3-yards of this Valori Wells fabric, which is definitely enough for a dress.
Valori Wells Wren cotton voile fabric
And look! It already comes with birds on it There’s a Cynthia Rowley dress pattern in my collection of patterns that I think might just work for this fabric. I’ve got a couple other things that I’m working on right now, so it will have to wait, but I’m confident I’ll get around to it before the end of summer.
Josephine’s Dry Goods made me want to revisit Nancy’s Sewing Basket on Queen Anne. I haven’t been in there in a while, and it’s always been stocked full of great fashion fabric, but I think I have to wait until I get my crafting allowance for next month!
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