Checking out Portland

One thing I love when I go on holiday is having a scout around local fabric shops. When we went on our roadtrip this year, I was hoping to stop by a few.

Portland was a fun place to do that. We were staying in the Alberta Arts district, which meant I was a short walk from bothΒ Bolt and Modern Domestic. If I was a local, I’d probably be spending quite a few dollars in each of these. There are fabrics galore, a good mix of patterns to choose from, and a bunch of fun notions as well.

Bolt had some stunning prints, but it was Modern Domestic where a bold check caught my eye. And, luckily enough, it was on sale for only $7/yd. Yeah!

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

I started by making this jacket one Saturday at the start of May in The Stitchery.Β I met withΒ some other bloggers for a lovely and productive fun morning of creating, tea and chat. I started on a cardigan but when I hit a confusion spot with that, I had this Cynthia Rowley pattern (Simplicity 1688) to get cracking on as well.

This pattern is super quick and easy. I actually left the bottom and sleeve bands off, because I wanted a cropped version. But even with, I don’t think it would have taken too long. This is actually the wrong side of the fabric, which I think is equally pretty to the right. While I managed to get the jacket done quickly, I had fair bit left and wanted something matchy-matchy to go with it.

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

I decided to turn the fabric right-side out for that so that I had an interesting contrast. I just love the brightness of this colour. I might feel a little like an Irn-Bru can when I wear it, though.

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

The skirt is a super simple, pair of rectangles gathered together and a waistband. I wanted something easy, which would show off this great fabric.

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

Accidentally started falling over as the pic was taken and now look like I’m dancing

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

Simplicity 1688 Cynthia Rowley in checks from Portland

I made a little bow for my head as well.

I’ve already worn the jacket to work, and it makes me happy to wear this fabric and remember the fun we had on our trip.

While I liked Bolt and Modern Domestic, by far my favourite shop we visited was The Knittin’ Kitten. It’sΒ a vintage crafts store, which we went to on our final day in Portland. It is packed, bursting with different little bits and bobs. There were a few rails of vintage fabric (I very carefully avoided buying a big bundle as I knew already how packed my suitcase was). There were bundles of lace, notions, crocheted little bits and pieces. But the real deal was the racks of patterns.

Knittin' Kitten, Portland

I was in heaven. Even more so that the owner came over as I was browsing and told me they had a heap more in the back, too. I managed to dissuade her from bringing out more because I was trying very hard to be good – I came away with only four which I think is pretty fair!

Knittin' Kitten, Portland

I can’t recommend this shop enough if you’re ever in the area. The only difficult part was leaving.

Portland was such a fun city to be in. The weather was suitably Glasgow-like, about nine degrees and drizzling. But while there and heading down the Oregon coast, we saw some great things so I thought I’d put in a few holiday snaps, too. Mostly featured are awesome pubs, eating like kings, Portland Art Museum and the incredibly stunning Oregon coastline. We stayed in Bandon, and caught the most beautiful sunset. I want to be back, like, now πŸ™‚

Ground Kontrol, Portland Last Import - 4
Alberta Arts, Portland Brunch at the City State Diner, Portland Portland Museum of Art
Half and half Portland Style, Stormbreaker Salt & Straw, PortlandGrilled Cheese Grill, Portland

Oregon Coast trail Bandon, Oregon Coast Bandon, Oregon Coast


32 responses to “Checking out Portland

  1. AHHhhhhhhhh! ! ! You were over hereeeeee – what time of year? What kinds of weather? πŸ’¦ ☁️ Have been thinking about visiting Portland so your post is perfect. πŸ’• Great info on places to see. I am forewarned. πŸ‘€ Will take empty suitcase, or lots of postage. Lol! 😍

  2. Beautiful fabric, amazing landscape shots and all those patterns! I would have to have been physically restrained from buying them all. Lovely outfit too. The colours are fabulous. Xx

  3. My brother used to live in Oregon and I went to visit him before I got the sewing bug which is just typical! That coastline is just something else, almost as pretty as the fabric!

  4. We just came up the Oregon coast a couple of weeks ago; perfect weather, watching the sunset on the beach. But we didn’t go on up to Portland (my son lives there for a few more days). Now I have GOT to find that Knitten’ Kitten shop next time I’m in Portland!!

    • Definitely go – it’s so cool. The Oregon Coast was so beautiful. I got a massive print of one of our pics of the seaside so I can dream about being back.

  5. Quite actually excited about finding your blog, and this post! I’m a Weegie, living in Canada (with plans to go to Portland soon), and coming home for the summer. Now I know exactly where to visit in Portland (while my better half is in guitar stores). Any tips for good shops in Glesga? (I started sewing after I left). I know about Mandors (which will be my first stop) and went to the Cotton Print Factory in Tradeston last time I was home, but are there any other wee gems in the city? Are there regular meet-ups at the Stitchery? One of my pals has done a class there but I don’t think she knows about the meet-ups. Anyways, will be following your blog keenly from now on, great stuff!

    • Hey Shirley! Nice to hear from you. In terms of Glasgow, Remnant Kings (the one on Argyle Street beside House of Fraser) has come on in leaps and bounds in the past year or so – they have a lot of lovely stuff nowadays, I would definitely pop in there. Fabric Bazaar down in the Barrowlands (it’s out round the back) can be good too – the fabric can be really good or not much, but it’s got a big haberdashery and zips, thread etc are great. If you have time to go out to the southside, I would definitely recommend Gold Thimble over in Shawlands. The owner has a great eye for some unusual fabrics and it’s packed to the rafters.
      I always planned to write more about my experience of Glasgow fabric shops so maybe this will inspire me to finally get round to that πŸ™‚ But what I would also recommend is checking out Kerry’s guide over on her blog Kestrel Makes ( – it’ll give you a good idea of what’s about.
      We have done a few meet ups at the Stitchery so if you want to let me know when you’re around I’ll let you know if we have any plans while you’re here, you and friend would be very welcome. You could also go along to the Sunday Sewing Sessions which Cassandra runs – these are more relaxed than a class, you can take whatever project you like and just enjoy a stitch and a cuppa. I think they happen a couple of times a month. Cassandra is really helpful if you need pointers on anything, and it’s just a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.

  6. Hi Elaine! Thank you so much for all that fab info, I’m def going to check out the Sunday Sewing Sessions. My mum has an old machine at home but if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be looking for somewhere to take some projects (just trying to decide which patterns to bring over in my suitcase to work on over the summer, hard decision though ;)). Guess what, I came across Kestrel Makes fabric shop guide after I read your blog! Funny thing is I’ve been reading Kestrel for a while, but then checked out the fabric shop guide part of her blog. Gold Thimble will def be my first stop (seeing as I’m an old southside gal) and Fabric Bazaar second. I love shops where you never know what you’re going to find. Thank you again for all the tips, I’m getting even more excited about coming home now! (despite the weather….;)).

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