Les Studios Hotel, University of Montreal

Befitting my first real post, is a description of my fabulous long weekend last week in Montreal for the first Canadian PR weekend.  PR, short for Pattern Review, is a gorgeous website started by a fellow sewist-slash-software designer about 10 years ago.  Deepika created Pattern Review to review and comment about sewing patterns, but it has turned into the defacto all things sewing website with reviews on all sorts of sewing related things, bulletin boards, contests, lessons, selling sewing patterns, and on and on. 

On Thursday, I met up with Connie and Ivana from London, Ontario and we carpooled to Montreal, where our accommodations were the Les Studios Hotels.  Cheap and right between 2 metros, this is dorms converted to hotel rooms (click on the photo for a link to their website)

Dinner at 'Chicken Head' aka St. Hubert

Thursday night we met up with everyone (Connie is in the foreground on the right) for dinner at St. Hubert.  Mmmmmm, dessert was pudding chomer, delicious!  I met Deepika for the first time, and she thought she had met me before, that’s how well we feel we know each other from the website.  Honest Deepika, we haven’t met before!!

Katherine Brenne displays a Knit Purse

Friday was the first formal day of activities, all organized by the fabulous foursome Connie, Kay Y, Anne-Marie (the ringleader) and Claire.  They did a marvelous job keeping us busy, happy & well fed the entire trip.  The daytime was filled with two Canadian celeb-sewers extraordinaire (the headless) Kathryn Brenne above, displaying a gorgeous purse made from felted knit with leather harness straps.  She bought many exquisite garments with her to show and tell, then did a measuring workshop. 

Kay modelling a shearling fringed scarf

Ok.  Yes, I do know how to take pictures of people.  With Heads.  I was focussed on the garments people, not the model!!  Here is Kathryn’s fringed shearling scarf.  Below is a really cool scarf made of felted recycled wool sweaters rolled up like paper beads, then strung as a scarf or collar.  If you are my friend don’t look too closely, you may get one for christmas.

Recycled wool scarf/collar

See, she has a head!  In the afternoon we were treated to a demo & show and tell by Jalie, a Canadian pattern company.  The mother/daughter duo run the business with Jeanne designing and Emilie doing the marketing.  They previewed some new designs, including a gorgeous reversible dress which can be worn front or back and a Lululemon knock off yoga pant.  We all got to try on some sample garments to try for sizing and fit. 

Jeanne from Jalie demonstrating her techniques

Above, Jeanne demonstrates her technique for enclosing a knit top in the scarf to enclose the seams for a clean finish.  She also showed us an amazing technique for binding knits.  I can’t wait for her new patterns!

The evening was capped off by a cocktail hour/fashion show & catered dinner.

Winner of the Cocktail Dress Challenge

Here is the winner in Vogue 8280 which was gorgeous and perfectly fitted and accessorized  Dinner was accompanied by local artisanal cheese trays and mini desserts, which were delicious.  Luckily there were some leftovers to enhance our dinner on Saturday as well.

I’ll post about the rest of the weekend tomorrow!