Nope, “windy city” is not just a cute nickname

Every year I run away from home and escape my nutty family and crazy job participate in valuable professional development at the annual American Speech Hearing and Language Association (ASHA) conference. This year the convention location was Chicago. My colleague and I usually submit to present at the conference so that we can stroke our egos by telling everyone that we are “national presenters” share our insights with fellow speech pathologists. We were assigned a poster presentation this time around so of course this justified a trip to Chicago.

Must. Finish. Sewing.


Because I don’ t get out much, I’ve been planning and/or obsessing over my Chicago-wear sewing projects since last spring I’m so busy with life, I haven’t even had time to think about a winter wardrobe. In reality, there have been a lot of sewing plans and limited execution. Here are some of the projects I managed to scrape together before 1:30am prior to departure.

I’d been coveting the Butterick 5824 pattern for a while.

(Too bad I can’t sew myself that rocking Dita Von Teese hair and makeup too!)

I ended up buying some navy wool flannel and a crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. The coat was a pretty basic sew that I would recommend to anyone who would like a coat that wears like a dress. The only change I made was using a horsehair braid for the hem because I was feeling too lazy to cut out and iron bias strip pieces of interfacing I wanted some extra flair to the skirt. Here’s how mine turned out:

Butterick 5824 wool flannel coat


The lining ended up kind of looking like a crayon box threw up inside my coat. The good news is that I will never have to wear it inside out.

Sorry about the coat ma'am, it was a rough night...








I had also been ogling this Butterick 5813 pattern for quite some time now.


I made mine out of a blue gabardine from, again, Fabric Mart Fabrics



Here’s me peacocking around working our poster session:

our jackets were light green and brown when we left...


CHICAGO IS COLD AND WINDY!!!! On our first night we braved walking in the freezing cold (it was actually below 32 degrees and not just an expression for once) to eat a delicious deep dish pizza dinner. My poor colleague was regaled with a continuous stream of pathetic whimpering and repeated “its colds” followed by a pizza-gasm at Lou Malnati’s.  During our trip, the weather warmed up followed by RAIN.  We managed to board our airplane home only about an hour before the storm caused an evacuation of Soldier Field.



At the same time, experiencing an actual fall was so amazing! I got to see naked trees, berry-covered branches, and about died of excitement when I saw a squirrel who was mid-transition into winter camouflage.  I’m used to seeing this stuff hanging in a mall and made out of plastic.  In addition, the public transportation was clean and efficient and most people were very friendly.  The sights and tastes of Chicago were beautiful and definitely worth braving the cold!

I <3 fall!

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