This past weekend I traveled to Alexandria VA to teach a weekend workshop at the lovely Stitch Sew Shop. Stitch opened in May of this year and already has a special place in my heart. The space is beautiful, warm, and inspiring and the fabric selection is fabulous.
In the workshop, we focused on the A-Frame skirt. I'm going to admit, out of all the patterns I have created under the Blueprints name (only 6, but still) A-Frame is by far my most worn. It's cute, sure, but it also ticks all my boxes in the skirt category: Straight skirt, pockets, comfy fit, high waist, goes with everything, did I mention pockets? In fact, I picked up some more fabric at Stitch (a black/green cross weave chambray) to whip up another A-frame for the fall. I also picked up some lovely warm grey double gauze for a top to go with it (most likely a Cabin top, but the Sutton Blouse is also a contender...)
Originally, I thought it might be fun to create a special pattern just for this class. Then reality set in. While I haven't completely ditched the idea (perhaps for a future workshop?) I did still want to create something special for Stitch and the weekend workshop goers.
After creating a pattern zine during my residency at Have Company in April, I was hooked. When embellishment came up as a possible workshop element, I thought it would be fun to create another zine inspired by the awesome architecture of historical Old Town Alexandria (where the shop is located). I've been a big fan of embroidery since my days in art school and thought I could create a collection of hand drawn embroidery patterns. After lots of research, drawing, and even a little google street view meandering, I put together a little booklet of Alexandria inspired designs.
This embroidery pattern zine is available only at Stitch Sew Shop and in the online shop.
My students in this class brought in a fantastic range of fabrics reflecting their own personal style. On Saturday, we flew through most of the skirt's construction. It can be a pretty quick project, even with all the panels. Not to mention that fact that I'm convinced that the intensive format is great for keeping momentum with a project. The same amount of non-consecutive hours in a class and I'm not sure we'd have gotten as far.
On the second day, we did a little hand embroidery! I've loved embroidery since I was in college (I did a lot of it for both art and fashion purposes) and have recently had my love for it reignited by my good friend and awesome embroidery pattern designer Kate (KHGarts) . Some students went with simple running stitches or chain stitches to embellish the pockets and others tried out some of the designs from the zine (including roof cornices and fanlight windows!)
Alexandria is a lovely town full of the cutest array of historical townhouses. I'm thinking of creating an Alexandria inspired Townhouse bag. Here's a few of my favorite details I spotted over the weekend.
Have you ever been to Alexandria? Did you find it as charming as I did? When you travel, do you like to stroll around neighborhoods and look at houses and buildings?