While we were in Kansas City recently primarily to visit Great Wolf Lodge (read my review!), we did some shopping.

We hit some of our usual spots: IKEA, Retro Vixen where my partner likes to shop for cute dresses, Prospero's Books just down the street. My toddler met a dog and learned its name, which is somehow also becoming a Kansas City tradition for her.

But, since I am getting in to sewing, and my recent forays to Joann's in Lincoln have been not totally satisfying on the garment fabric front (particularly looking for knits or fun-patterned wovens for garments rather than quilting cotton, which apparently tends to drape less well), I wanted to see if there were some stores in Kansas City that might have a better selection!

I saw Zoelee's Fabrics & Sewing School in Lee's Summitt mentioned online and wanted to go but alas, it was on the opposite side of the metro area (and not our travel route) so we didn't check it out.

We did go to KC Maker Studio and Fabrics in Mission, KS which was really cool. It was definitely more quilting focused, though there was a room at the back with garment fabrics and patterns. The quilting selection was awesome and had a lot of patterns and demo projects that made me want to get back into quilting, too! We arrived right before closing so I didn't get as much time to linger & browse as I would have liked, but it was still a nice stop.

The next stops we made were for more thrift-like stores. First we went to Fabric Recycles in Overland Park, which was great! They sell fabric that is returning to circulation from someone's stash that they don't need or want any more. There was a decent mix of quilting and garment fabric - lots of both, in so many colors and different quantities. There were also some notions, and a big longarm quilting machine in the back that mostly I was just happy to be in the presence of for a few minutes. :D The shopkeeper noticed I seemed to be searching for knits and showed me some that she had just measured out and labeled. I bought several different stretchy fabrics that will let me make all the practice Sirocco jumpsuits and stretchy pants I could want before I'm ready to commit to a Sirocco in a fancy (aka more expensive) fabric.

The Sirocco jumpsuit has been my goal since 2018 or so when I first learned about it online - it shows up pretty regularly on r/sewing in all kinds of sizes and prints that people have made. I actually bought the paper pattern way back in 2019, though my body is different now and the size chart on the pattern I bought might not fit me now. Happily, the company has since expanded the size charts they make available for their patterns, though I'll likely have to buy the pattern again in PDF form to get the expanded range. An internet friend pointed me to a fancy ponte that she's made a really nice Sirocco out of, and someone on Reddit used the Spoonflower (print on demand of any of a million different patterns made by independent designers) jersey to make one successfully even though it has less stretch than you are supposed to use. So I'm thinking my eventual dream jumpsuit will be a Spoonflower jersey in some wacky pattern - but that's going to be kinda pricy so I want to make sure I have the sizing and techniques down for both that pattern and sewing with knits in general!

a pile of stuff including some knit fabric in various colors and a roll of baby shark patterned cotton, some swedish tracing paper in a plastic bag, and the Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing book

While I got a lot of fabric at Fabric Recycles, including lots of knits to practice on and some Baby Shark fabric to make something for the toddler out of, my big win there was this vintage copy of the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, printed in 1976. And signed by someone named Dorothy then, too!! I've decided Dorothy who once owned the book is going to be my spiritual guide in sewing- like how the guy in the song "Riding with Private Malone" always has the ghost soldier riding shotgun in that '66 Corvette, keeping him safe; that's going to be me and Dorothy as I learn to sew, guided by this book that maybe once she learned so much from, too.

the vintage cover of Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, showing faded photos of sewing tools Dorothy's signature in the front of the book, dated 1976 a page of the sewing book on How To Use This Book, including: designed to be useful not only for many years but in several unusal ways, from the very first day. a page of the sewing book explaining the parts of a sewing machine, and in particular how zigzag stitching works a page of the sewing book that is dense with text to help the reader troubleshoot various problems that might happen with a sewing machine a page of the sewing book understanding zigzag stitches, including how the length and width settings work and how to manage tension

I'm really excited to learn more about how to manipulate the settings on my machine to get the outcome I want or work with different types of fabric. A lot of the stuff I have questions about (or haven't even realized yet that I will eventually have questions about) goes far beyond the 101 (introductory) level book that I have so far, but seems really essential to understand to become more confident as a sewist and capable of handling different projects. It's true that all of this stuff is surely on the web somewhere now, too, but honestly, it sounds exhausting to imagine facing the onslaught of pop-ups and autoplay videos and ads on most craft-focused sites these days, or piecing together bits and pieces from forum posts. This book is exactly what I want!

a page of the sewing book on Basic Pattern Alterations, including many diagrams on width alterations to increase the waist of a pattern a page of the sewing book on Sewing For Children, including diagrams and sizing recommendation on average size of kids at various ages a page of the sewing book on Sewing For Children: Taking Measurements, including diagrams for how to measure children to determine the pattern sizes to use

Just down the strip mall from Fabric Recycles, we spotted a board game cafe & store. We wandered in there and it had an awesome selection. We sadly couldn't stay and play, but did take home a couple new games - a Haba one with chunky magnetized wooden fish for the toddler to fish out of the box, and a conversation starter card deck thing. I'm always interested in good conversation starter card decks! We have the Table Topics deck for couples which was great especially in that first year of parenting/sleep-deprived "what else do we even talk about between adults that's not the baby" days, but have been wanting some more general-purpose cards.

Our final stop of the trip was to ScrapsKC, a thrift store for all kinds of arts and craft materials generally. This was a great stop too. They had some fabric, lots of vintage patterns, and all kinds of other materials for making art. There was a big space in the back just for teachers, too. I got the exact pencil sharpener I'd been wanting to sharpen the pencils I need for copying patterns. It looks like it just came off your third grade teacher's desk (and maybe it did - you can barely see the remainders of a label of a teacher's name on it), and they sold it to me for $1.50. I've tried it and it even works!! I'm thrilled.

a bog-standard, used grey electric pencil sharpener

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DerangedCrone DerangedCrone

@cassey @sewing Thanks for the fun report of Kansas City! You may be too young to have experienced it, but KCMO had one of the finest fabric shops ever, in Crown Center, for decades. Cy Rudnick's. Oh my. And then for a time, Home Fabrics and Rugs had a... source

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