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How are you going to Get By these days? For some of us, Self-Isolation or Quarantine or Artist-in-Residence or whatever you are calling the past four to six weeks has been not much different from everyday life. We work from home, and while our income may have decreased because people have less disposable income, we still have plenty to do. There are patterns to write, things to make, food to cook, gardens to weed and plant, files to organize. Other folks lack inclination or access: not everyone likes the same thing, some people are always tidy. For most of us, though, reading is a tolerable past time, and one you can indulge in safely

Organizing research files gave me a sense of control and made my workspace nicer.

But what about now, when you’ve read all your library books and the library is closed? If you have a library card, chances are you have access to free ebooks through OverDrive or Libby. You can synch OverDrive to your library account and check out ebooks for free. I don’t love reading on a screen, but needs must. 

The University of Chicago Press offers a free ebook every month, and thanks to that offer, I have been exposed to books I would not have encountered otherwise. (They have also lowered the epub and PDF prices of some of their books this month.) Other publishers (Random House/Penguin, for example) have done the same. 

If you, like me and many others, are missing the luxury and solace of art, the Met can help you. For years they’ve had their publications online, many downloadable as PDFs. There are a *lot* of publications. On the other coast of this continent, the Getty offers their publications online, to, and you can find LACMA catalogs online, too.

Need other distractions? Want to remind those around you to social distance? Frog & Toad of Providence has the shirt for you, based on the RI Governor’s now-famous (ok, in small circles) order to Knock it Off. (I think it’s the perfect Mother’s Day present, but we run to odd.) 

Want to hold a print book in your hand? Your local indie bookstore may well be shipping. I ended up ordering from both Symposium Books and Books on the Square in Providence because they had what I wanted at the price I could afford. 

There are free sewing patterns online, too, at a range of places from Mood Fabrics to Fabric-Store.com if you want a new garment. You can also still get patterns, fabrics, and (some) notions from your local independent fabric stores. In addition to the favorites I use for historical costuming (in the sidebar under “Sutlers”), I buy from Harts in San Jose (really like their pattern and cotton print fabric selection). It’s far away but shipping, service, and selection are all excellent. Fabric.com is still shipping (more slowly) but they have a wide selection, as does Fabric Mart, who helpfully notes shipping delays and news on their website.

Burnley & Trowbridge linen, Assembly Line apron dress.

Notions, like interfacing and thread, are harder to come by than you might think, but I was able to get interfacing and needles from my local shop in Alexandria. Bored with the usual selections? I find new places from the “Stockists” or “Retailers” section of pattern companies I like. This is helpful when the patterns I like are made by Scandinavian companies (I am currently obsessed with The Assembly Line.)