Baltimore & DC

Last week we flew over to the States for a week – not in Pennsylvania where I grew up (no offence, but I’m kinda sick of visiting there!), but to Baltimore, with a day in DC at the end. We got a lot of strange looks from British friends when we said where we were going – “Baltimore? Really? Why??”, and we’ve been mounting our own Baltimore Tourism crusade since we got back, because it was fantastic!

The reason we were over was because James was speaking at a prestigious tech conference, but I took the opportunity to meet up with loads of friends and family, including the chance to finally meet some fellow sewing bloggers!

I’ve been speaking to Cidell & Trena for at least five years now I reckon, and even weirder is that I already knew their voices from their earlier sewing podcasts (please bring them back!), and there was zero awkwardness when we met up for dinner! It really was like we’d known each other for years, which I suppose we have!

(Note: Jack’s Bistro did not pay us for their product placement!)

Cidell puts me to shame – she posted about our meeting like the same day!! I was also very excited to get more of the Under Armour Cold Gear fabric she’d previously sent, because during the last few months I’d been doing laundry twice a week in order to wear my Cold Gear leggings on both my Tuesday night runs and my Saturday long runs because they’re seriously the warmest leggings I own. Next winter I’ll be much better prepared now!

But they weren’t the only sewists I met – I’d also planned a run with Kathy in Patterson Park near my cousin’s house in Baltimore, which she’s already posted about here!

We both wore running gear we made ourselves – she’s wearing McCalls 6435 adapted for running as her top and the Jalie sports skirt lengthened into leggings, and I’m wearing my disco top and my new self-drafted leggings with that fishnet insertion from Tissu in the front thighs and back calves, which you can see a bit better here:

But apart from the wonderful people, Baltimore has fantastic food (nevermind I was in CRAB HEAVEN), a big craft beer movement, great architecture with the original wharves and old brick row houses, lots of walkable areas with tons of character, a beautiful harbour (and not just Inner Harbour), and a great quality of life. I was amazed to find such a running culture there, but I suppose Baltimore has Under Armour in its blood!

I ended up going on three runs in Baltimore (and one in DC), the first of which was along the harbour, but it was still cold then so my refashioned Paris race vest is underneath my jacket, worn with my Liberace leggings.

Then I bought a pair of amazing/crazy trail shoes at the Under Armour flagship store at Harbour East and I just HAD to try them out since they’ve got these ankle supports that you can wear up or down plus soles made from recycled tires!

So my second Baltimore run was in Patterson Park run (which I then revisited the next day with Kathy), wearing my Team GB replica vest & disco leggings.

Strangely, I actually didn’t visit any fabric stores during my trip (my stash is bursting at the seams already AND most of the stores were way out of town AND my PA driver’s license expired!) but I did hit up three different running stores in Baltimore, and we ended up at an outlet mall so James could pick up a few things on his list at once.

So for a girl who’s been sewing lots of running gear, underwear, and asymmetric sheath dresses, what did I buy??

Umm, running gear (a vest & shorts at the Nike Factory store for stupid cheap), underwear (Victoria’s Secret lets me relive my teenage years! And is surprisingly bang on trend with French lingerie trends), and this amazing asymmetric sheath dress at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store, originally $200 marked down to $55, and it fits like a freaking glove!

(It’s hard to make out here but there are starburst darts on the left hip and two pleats on the right shoulder, no waist seam, and the fabric & lining both roll out of a suitcase wrinkle-free!)

But seriously, Baltimore has such an image problem! My brother and his wife brought the kids up for a few days and they found SO much to do (nevermind the fact that my niece’s favourite thing was apparently our dinner at an El Salvadorian restaurant!), so it wasn’t just us, either. Is Baltimore is keeping itself a secret on purpose??

We’d both been to DC before, but one of the must-do things on our list for this trip was to eat again at Oyamel, because the guacamole we ate there 5 years ago was still haunting us with taste memories. And we were not disappointed, either! I’m still not sure how we managed it, but the day we had in DC also coincided perfectly with peak cherry blossoms, omg omg omg (not to mention 85F/32C heat and sunshine!). I went out for a run in the morning under the blossoms, and then we went back later with the DSLR so James could play around, too.

The cherry blossoms were absolutely spectacular, just sheer magic to be under their canopy and seeing the water and amazing monuments (I swear there are a ton more there than when I was a kid!). We really saw DC at its very best.

You saw the Baltimore skyline in my last photoshoot for my Marie jacket, but there are two more photoshoots we took in Baltimore yet to come, too! (If you’re interested in seeing more of my holiday photos, I’ve plopped them into Dropbox here – James got some spectacular cherry blossom photos with his DSLR!)

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