I could just be the luckiest girl in the world

Just in case anyone wondered why I took so long to answer comments on the last two posts I can now confess that they were scheduled to publish whilst I was away in New York and Chicago. I know – how lucky am I! But it gets even better!

I had visited New York in 2001 with my daughter but The Management wasn’t able to come with us which was sad. He really wanted to visit New York, but we also wanted to visit Chicago because several people had said it was their favourite city – after comments like that you have to find out what its all about don’t you?

Anyway, just in case I have offended anyone by not declaring I would be in New York I knew I was going to have very little free time (The Management had pre-planned lots to do!) and I had to campaign fairly hard to get to visit the garment district and fabric shops at all. Because time was going to be short I took lots of notes from the very useful information Shams posted about her recent trip. Thanks Shams, it was incredibly helpful! We did spend a couple of hours wandering (and buying lunch, coffees and such) and I had decided to be very disciplined and only go to Mood, and if I couldn’t find anything I wanted there (as if!) we would go to Spandex House. Can I mention here that I had run in Central Park first thing (at 25°C, and humid) so I probably wasn’t on top shopping form.

It was lovely to see the iconic ‘button’ on top of the information bureau (closed when we visited) and the sculpture of the garment district worker. I hadn’t realised that there was a fashion ‘Walk of Fame’ and was delighted to see one of my own favourites almost first off. Claire McCardell is just a genius in my opinion.

We arrived in Mood Fabrics (Squeak!) and navigated our way round the stacks – and can you believe The Management found some fabric he rather liked for a shirt! He is fabric shopping ahead of me! (It was rather lovely). I caught up soon enough and added a nice pin striped denim to the order. I could have bought any number of more opulent fabrics (check out those zebras!) but I wanted to buy something I would make up quickly and wear lots – and I probably wear jeans more than anything else so this was perfect. Sadly Swatch was nowhere to be seen (perhaps they allow him to take Saturdays off). I was able to have a quick look in the Mood ‘schoolroom’ and rather wished I would have been able to take a sewing course there. It really wouldn’t have mattered what!

We both came away very tired, but very happy with our purchases. I wonder whose will be made up first?

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On Sunday we transferred to Chicago by train, his choice rather than mine but I loved it! Being able to cross the USA at a fairly stately pace whilst letting someone else deal with the driving was lovely. We were in the sleeping coach, so had beds rather than a reclining seat in the main carriage, so it was actually quite relaxing.  I was looking forward to Chicago not only because of the fabulous architecture we were told to expect (and it is gorgeous), or the museums and galleries which could fill weeks rather than the few days we had, but because I have been nursing a wonderful secret. I was going to meet Rhonda Buss!

I can’t remember how long I have been tossing comments and e-mails with Rhonda but it’s a long time. I have made up some of her patterns, enjoyed her recipes, and follow closely if she recommends a book or designer as she has so many great suggestions. Her inspiration posts are magnificent – I’m very much looking forward to being able to incorporate some of the ideas into my work once I retire from client sewing. Anyway, if you aren’t already familiar with Rhondas blog I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

I contacted Rhonda way back at the beginning of the year to say I was going to be visiting, and if she had time would it be possible for her to give us a couple of hours for a locals tour of the city. She was so nice, and came back with an immediate ‘yes!’. When the time came she did that, but so much more than I had anticipated.

Yes, we got to see the city – but from her Cessna aeroplane! The Management has been interested in planes since he was a little boy and was thrilled to have been taken to the airport that the plane is kept at – I don’t think he would have been upset if we hadn’t even got off the ground. Far from that, Rhonda gave us a lovely flight along Lake Michigan with fabulous views of the city. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in another airport before putting the plane to bed.

After that we were taken to a fabulous temple that TM had admired from the air – it was truly beautiful and very peaceful. Rhonda did recommend the gardens as being very pretty, which they were. We were then fortunate enough to be taken back to her home and introduced to Mr Buss and the dogs. Gracie welcomed us by charging round the garden at high speed whilst Little Bit was more restrained but no less delightful. It was a real privilege to meet the whole Buss family, and not one I had expected when I made my initial request. We enjoyed a drink and a chat before a real Chicago deep pan pizza. If you thought you had eaten one of these in the UK I have to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. This was absolutely wonderful! It’s probably just as well I don’t live in Chicago otherwise I would be twice the size.

Rhonda was featured in the latest issue of Sew News with her Ginger jeans,which she also did a blog post about. If I hadn’t made the Jeanius pattern that now serves me so well I would be trying that pattern for my Mood fabric.

We are home now with wonderful memories of a trip that would have been a good one, but turned out to be a great one as a result of meeting two wonderful people – whom I sincerely hope to meet again. Thank you again Rhonda and Mr Buss for giving myself and The Management such a day to remember!

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33 Comments on “I could just be the luckiest girl in the world”

  1. Wow! What an amazing time you had! So happy you were able to make the trip. ☺

  2. apothemary says:

    I’m so jealous of this post-trip! 😉

  3. Oh you lucky, lucky lady! So pleased for you 😀

  4. tialys says:

    Looks like you had an amazing time and what a bonus to meet one of your favourite bloggers. As a nervous flyer I don’t envy your trip in a teeny tiny plane 😮 but I can see how it would have added more excitement to the trip. Rhonda sounds like a lovely lady and, by the sound of her recent blog post, she enjoyed herself as much as you.

  5. amcclure2014 says:

    How fabulous! I’m glad you had such a great time. I will check out Rhonda”s blog.

  6. Ann Webber says:

    I want Buss style friends!

  7. sewbussted says:

    I have to disagree just a bit, I think I was the lucky one on this visit abroad 😊

  8. Kathyh says:

    This is how I travel now; by hooking up with sewing/creative bloggers. I’m happy you got to enjoy an airplane ride too.

  9. Ah Ha! now I understand your comment on Ali’s post (regarding our journeys). How funny! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time (sorry you missed Swatch), and got to meet a blogging friend. Thank you for sharing your experience. That button!!! 😀

  10. Fadanista says:

    How wonderful! Two of my favourite cities in the US and the flight sounds amazing. Rhonda sounds like a lovely person. Can’t wait to see your new makes!

  11. Sewniptuck says:

    Wow, that sounds like a fabulous holiday. Please give ‘the management’ a big hug from Oz, not sure my hubby would have endured the garment district with such tolerance- in fact I recall he didn’t!! Perhaps if he’d been lured with a flight in a Cessna!!

  12. You ARE the Luckiest Girl in the World! It looks and sounds like a lovely trip! Thanks for sharing!

  13. sewruth says:

    Second that! Rhonda is on my bucket list…….

  14. fabrickated says:

    What a wonderful story of generosity and warmth. I have experienced such a richness from other sewing bloggers, and while I have never been flown across a city I have received patterns from you and others, fruit, chocolate, advice, basting needles, and love. As you say – life enhancing. Making the huge and sometimes frightening world seem friendly and local and very nice.

  15. Roxane says:

    Glad you were able to visit! I adore Chicago, so I’m glad you got to see one of my favorite cities. I was wondering where you were!

  16. What a lovely trip – I dream of getting to the garment district in NY and pushing my credit card to the extreme! I also love Rhonda’s blog, she has some serious sewing talents.


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