The final stop of the Pacific Northwest class tour was San Francisco. Technically I was teaching in Emeryville, which is next to Oakland in the East Bay, but I was staying with my BFF Jenifer and her husband Bob at their home in San Francisco, which is one of my favorite places in the world to be.
Jen and Bob have a super fun and eclectic home that is over 100 years old. They are not traditional people and their house isn't either. The best part of the home to me is their back yard, which is complete with chickens, an outdoor clawfoot tub, a fireplace, grill for cooking, tons of plants, and lounge time with their kitty Bonney Louise and their dog Dixie Loo. There is a shed as well, which is often referred to as my retirement plan. Ha!
My class was a two-night workshop at Handcraft Studio School, where I taught seven lovely women to sew the Shift Dress from my book, Skirts & Dresses For First Time Sewers. It was billed as Shift Dress for Beginners, and I am so honored that this was the first garment for a handful of them. It truly is a pleasure to watch people discover the joy of making something wearable for the first time!
In the class we learned everything from cutting patterns, to properly threading their machines, to gathering the cuffed sleeve, and binding the neckline in bias binding. I am so proud of how well they did and I could see that the light of garment sewing was turned on for each of them. So well done ladies!!!
Another favorite thing about being in San Francisco is just being in a vertical city. I love Los Angeles, but I truly miss dense urban environments and wandering this gorgeous city is so inspiring. I think it's one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, and though I've been there dozens of times, I've actually never wandered the city by myself before without my man with me.
I didn't take a bunch of photos of San Francisco, but I had a delightful couple of afternoons where I took myself out to lunch, walked around the city, and of course, visited Britex Fabrics. If you've never been, the photo above does the shop no justice. This is about a quarter of the first floor, and there are many many floors. The are tons of fabrics, and usually that means a lot of filler, but this shop only has quality choices. It's truly one of the best fabric stores I've ever been too. I got one cut of fabric, and called it a day before I took it all with me!
The back story to all of these stops along the coast is that my sweet kitty Sally began to fall ill just as I was about to leave on this 10-day tour and sadly she declined very quickly in my absence. I stayed in close communication with my incredible cat sitter along the way, and she did her best to keep Sally eating and comfortable, and I did my best to not let on in any of my classes that I was quietly freaking out about her health. On my last day in Portland it was clear that Sally needed an emergency vet to come to the house because otherwise we were both afraid that we would lose her before I got home. The vet and my sitter gave her fluids and meds with the hope that she’d make it until I returned.
I caught the earliest flight out of San Francisco after my class ended at Handcraft Studio and though she was hardly eating or drinking anymore, Sally and I had 24 glorious hours together of snuggling, napping, and saying goodbye before the vet came to put her to sleep. It was an incredibly hard choice to make, and it was for her comfort that I made that decision. She was wobbly and struggling, and it was clearly painful for her to go on. Sally was 16 years old, and we had 14 amazing years together. I still have her partner Pinta, who I adopted a week after Sally and who is now 15 years old, and I am going to hang on to her as long as I can. Pinta is confused with Sally's absence after being by her side for 14 years, but we are doing lots of snuggling and though she's deaf, I'm trying to explain it to her. Thanks to all of you that have already passed on their condolences. Obviously adding to my existing loss is hard to handle right now, but I’m doing okay and I know that Sally is no longer in pain, which comforts me.
Thanks to all my incredible students in all the cities, as well as each shop that hosted my classes. I loved meeting all of you and look forward to the next time!