There was no way this day trip was going to be good. I'd had a tension headache for five days that I hadn't been able to shake, and I'd slept for only two hours on Friday night. And I had a nagging feeling that I should be at home working on a deadline, and not gallivanting around fabric stores in Melbourne.
But as the plane flew towards Melbourne and I watched the most magnificent sunrise just below the clouds, I knew the day would be great - just as soon as I'd had coffee.
First stop was Fitzroy to meet with my old friend Helen. As I was arriving so early, hours before most of my shops opened, she agreed to meet me for breakfast. Desperately needing a toilet stop and a coffee, I was disheartened to see our favourite cafe wasn't due to open for another 40 minutes. Bum. Luckily Helen showed up and took me to her local. It was open, it had an outhouse down the back, and it had great coffee. Phew.
Back on the tram again, and then a walk down Flinders Lane. We used to stay in a hotel on Flinders Lane years ago, and there was never much there except Craft Victoria, smoking hotel staff and delivery vans. How things have changed over the years - there are restaurants, cafes, quirky fashion stores and Tessuti Fabrics.
Oh boy. So much to see and be inspired by. And so much beautiful fabric in one place got me a little overwhelmed! So I jotted some ideas in my notebook and decided to come back later when my brain was a little more settled. I took the tram to GJ's Fabrics on Lygon St, a place that has never failed me, and you know what? It failed me for the first time ever. Their warehouse area on the second floor has been cleaned up, and they have less lengths available in fashion fabric (I was after wool or wool blends). The wools they did have against the wall were rarely priced, let alone marked with the fabric makeup. I didn't want to buy something that looked like wool but ended up being acrylic and there were no staff in sight to ask so I caught the next tram out.
I then went to Clegs on Elizabeth St. So much pretty fabric and yarn but I didn't buy anything. By this point I was flagging a little and I hadn't bought a thing! As I walked past Degraves St I debated having a late lunch but I was still a little full from breakfast. So I kept on until I came to the Nicholas Building.
Holy Crap. It was magnificent. How have I never noticed this building before? Inside were two places on my list of "places to visit" for the day, Kimono House and Buttonmania. I bought some beautiful Japanese quilting fabrics and sashiko thread from Kimono House, and some plain vintage casein buttons and a buckle from Buttonmania, perfect for some crocheted cardigans I have in mind.
Then it was back up the hill to Tessuti's where I had a clearer head and I bought three fabrics in greens and greys for a dress, a jacket and a skirt, and stopped myself from buying this until I had a destiny for it in my mind.
Absolutely exhausted by this stage and now lugging about 5 kilos of fabric in my bags, I made my way to Little Cupcakes on Degraves St where I made things harder for my travel home by getting a few bigger cupcakes (do you have any idea how hard it is to lug kilos of fabric and a box of fragile cupcakes on public transport? I'm sure you do) and then headed to the airport. Then flew home. Then didn't move for the rest of the night and slept a full nine hours until this morning. And I don't have a headache anymore. My deadline is still there (more on that later) but I can work on that today.
So that's it - Michelle Day in a blog post. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Regrets? That I didn't have enough time to meet up with other friends for a coffee, that GJs was a waste of a trip, and I could have ditched one for the other if I had known. Was it extravagant? Of course. Was it fun? Silly - of course it was!!