Archive for March, 2013

Last weekend I stopped by Momen+ in Torrance, CA (located in the suburbs of LA County). It’s a cute little sewing/quilting shop filled with tons of fabric, patterns, notions, and tools and there is a small workspace area in the back where I think they hold classes. Since the owner has Japanese roots (I think), this shop carries lots of Japanese fabric, including the ever popular Kokka and Echino, but there is also plenty of “modern” fabric too.

Fabric at Momen+

Side Note #1: Funny story. My mom, who is from Japan, didn’t know about double gauze even though it originated in Japan. She looked a bit unimpressed with the “thin” fabric {her words}. I told her about the popularity of double gauze, but that didn’t seem to help the cause. $20/yard for double gauze? *gulp* Where’s the sale section?

Anyhoo, my mom has visited Momen+ a couple times and has been sweet enough to buy me some Japanese fabric (not the popular stuff, but super cute nonetheless) and a couple mini quilt block kits. Since I didn’t have any specific projects in mind I naturally spent what seemed like forever looking at every single bolt of fabric. I really didn’t want to buy something I could easily find at either Sew Modern or Sew LA or that I’ve seen online and could easily search for at Hawthorne Threads. At first I couldn’t decide if I wanted to buy fabric for a garment or for a quilt or small project. Lately I’ve been more hesitant to buy quilting cotton for garments and I didn’t want to spend the beaucoup bucks on Echino or double gauze, so by the process of elimination, I decided I was searching for fabric to add to my small fabric stash for a future quilt (or more likely, a super mini quilt).

While Momen+  {yelp review link} has a decent selection of fabric (including a couple clearance tables), the BEST part of Momen+ has to be their stock of bias binding and sewing tools. My jaw must have dropped when I saw this display case of bias binding and pre-made piping in all sorts of wonderful colors, sizes, and patterns. It’s so eye-catching!

Bias Tape and Piping

White and purple gingham bias binding? Linen bias binding? Yes, please! (Although I didn’t buy any…)

Day 82/365

Towards the back against the wall there were even more options (I seem to recall metallic bias binding too). All of these are from the brand Captain 88, made in Japan. Sure, you could always make your own bias binding (and I think most of us do for quilts), but when I finally get my grubby paws on the Robson Trench Coat Pattern, you bet your butt I’m going to buy some ultra cute bias binding, even if I have to buy several packs at $3-$6 per pop. Also, I’ve been wanting to make a new pillow cover and bind it in piping, but the thought of making my own piping really bores me. Now I know where to get piping! (yes, I’m that lazy!)

One of the best items my mom bought me (yes, my mom still spoils me because she doesn’t have any grandkids) is a Karisma mechanical pencil for fabric. (I searched online and found it available on Superbuzzy, in case you want one, yes you do, trust me.) While I was looking at every single piece of fabric, for some reason my mom was looking at the sewing tools picking out things she thought I needed (even though I didn’t mention needing anything). However, I really did need a new chalk pencil because the pencil I normally use always breaks and never marks very well and my pencil sharpener sucks so I never have a fine point.

Second side note: I swear my mom can read my mind. There have been numerous occasions throughout my life where I’ll be thinking about needing something and then all of a sudden my mom will have bought it for me without even talking to me about it. Mom, get out of my head! No, wait, stay there! I like receiving unexpected gifts.

Anyway, when we were checking out the saleslady mentioned this pencil is really good so my mom bought one for herself too. This lady wasn’t kidding. This pencil is amazing! It’s a bit pricey at $10, but it comes with a refill cartridge and when you run out of lead you only have to buy another refill pack. I’ve only used the white lead on a dark fabric and it works like a charm. This is the only photo I’ve taken of it. The photo is crappy, but look, I can write legible words on fabric!

Day 83/365

There was also some other stuff in the store including needlework patterns, mini quilt block kits, some felt kits (according to my mom these felt things are apparently all the rage in Japan right now), Japanese quilting magazines (although no awesome Japanese patchwork books (BOO! and I looked through every single book on the bookshelf)), and laminated fabric. I’m sure I’m missing some other stuff, but you probably get the idea.

After all the time I spent looking at fabric I only ended up getting half a yard each of these two prints.

Momen+ Fabric Haul

I think they’ll go well with some fabric I currently have, but who knows what I’ll make and when I’ll get around to using them. But at least I have them.

Unfortunately for those out of the area Momen+ does not have an online store. But, if you live nearby, then definitely take a trip over to Momen+. I don’t know of any other shop in the area with this type of selection so I think it’s important to spread the word about this fantastic shop. My mom told me that I’m only allowed to go if I also stop by to see her. Lucky for my mom the shop is located just a bit too far from me to warrant frequent trips, so my mom doesn’t have to worry about me ignoring her.


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Have you seen the newest Sewaholic Pattern? A TRENCH COAT! Ahhhhh! I WANT IT NOW! No, seriously, I want the one that Tasia made because I love love love that color!

Except I can’t get the pattern. Well, no I can. But I won’t let myself buy it until I finish making the following Sewaholic Patterns that I have bought within the past year and haven’t finished:

I’m even cheating with the Thurlow Trousers because I’m using an old pair of pants that are somehow way too big on me now. I picked apart the seams, but I’ve been too lazy to get started on pants. I bought this pattern in August 2012…

I’m actually currently working on the Cambie Dress. I started it a week or two ago. I bought voile fabric (Dimitrios by Alexander Henry) from Hawthorne Threads and while I am in love with the fabric design I am not loving how see-through it is. Wah-wah…

Day 64/365

I definitely need lining, which I don’t have and I also need to buy a zipper. I have no idea when I’ll ever wear this dress because I think it’s a bit too nice to wear to the office. If I actually celebrated Easter, then it would be a PERFECT Easter dress. But my idea of an Easter Celebration is having an egg hunt in my parents’ backyard, which hasn’t happened in YEARS. Or maybe I can wear it when I go wine tasting one of these days. Eh, who knows. Hopefully I’ll manage to get off my butt tomorrow and make it over to Mood or the other fabric store and get some lining so I can finish this dress.

I really want to start working on the Minoru Jacket, but I need some fabric first. Maybe I’ll get some tomorrow. I have visions of a polka dot Minoru jacket, but I’m sure I’ll end up with black, navy, or dark grey. I’m planning on laying out all the pattern pieces to see exactly how much yardage I need. I bought 3 yards of fabric for the Cambie Dress and I cut all the pieces using only 2 yards, so I’m hopeful that I won’t actually need the full amount recommended for the Minoru Jacket. Oh the crap I do to save a couple bucks…

Anyhow, I’m determined to make all three patterns before I buy the Trench Coat. I really won’t need a trench coat till about mid-October, so I have some time. But I want it! I just want it! I feel like a little kid. Give it to me NOW! I want it NOW! Oh, and I recently decided I also want the “Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing” book. Why? I don’t know. The thought popped into my head earlier this week and now I’m convinced that I NEED the book. Oh, and Ayumi’s book, “Patchwork Please” is about to be released and I also NEED that too. Despite the fact that I bought the “Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt” book several months ago and have yet to make a single block. And I also decided that I NEED to find some estate sales in the area so I can try to find some vintage patterns.

I’m trying so hard not to be a pattern hoarder. I’m pretty good about not buying too much fabric, but patterns and books? Somehow I find it more difficult to resist them!

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I think from this point on I’ll only be blogging about the “365 Photos*” that I am most “proud” of or like the best or are actually worth blogging about….you get the idea. Part of the change up in documenting my progress is two-fold: (1) it is time consuming (also read: I’m lazy) to blog about each and every photo, especially when I’m getting accustomed to writing descriptions when I post the photo to Flickr, and (2) I don’t think it’s really necessary for me to blog about a photo of my dinner or other totally random photo from an exceptionally boring day.

With that said there are two photos from this past week that I really like and I think are worth sharing with everyone who happens upon my blog.

Day 61/365: March 2, 2013

I’m not sure how much the rest of the country (and world) paid attention to the Endeavour Space Shuttle making its journey to its final resting spot, but LA was abuzz with excitement because it was a pretty big deal when it happened. Not only is it awesome to say that the Space Shuttle is on exhibit in your city, but it was also a huge undertaking just getting the Space Shuttle from the airport across the city to the California Science Center. As an engineer myself, one that deals with roads, cities, utilities, etc, I thought it was very impressive. I’m actually surprised I waited this long to see the shuttle, but earlier in the week I decided it was time we see it!

I gotta say, seeing the shuttle in person was awesome. You know it’s huge, but then you see it in person and you’re overwhelmed with its size. And then you realize, holy shit, this thing was in space……numerous times. I was trying to find different angles and details to take photos of. I eventually captured this one as I walked along the back of the exhibition hall:

Day 61/365 - Endeavour

There are a ton of other exhibits at the California Science Center, but they’re mainly geared towards kids so we scooted out of there soon after exiting the Shuttle exhibit. On our way out this gazebo-type art installation just outside the building caught my eye.

California Science Center


Technically not part of the 365 Photos, but definitely better than most of the photos I took this week.

Day 62/365: March 3, 2013

Several months ago I was at Sew Modern and saw fabric with a fleur-de-lis pattern and just had to buy it. My mom had recently given me an old pattern for bow ties, ties, and cumberbunds so I made a bow tie for my husband. I recently finished it and then couldn’t figure out how to actually tie it. All the diagrams and sketches didn’t make any sense at all. I finally searched for a video and the first YouTube video I found was PERFECT! I tied it on the first try! So, if you want to know how to tie a bow tie, check out this video. Since the bow tie is a bit too big for my husband I tied it around my cat:

Day 62/365

Bailey looks so classy (and comfy) in that bow tie, doesn’t he? I really want to make a kitty-sized bow tie for him. My husband wants none of that, but I keep telling him to think of it as a bow tie collar. That makes it ok, right?

*see all other  365 Photos on Flickr here.

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