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Fabric Buying Skills

2010 August 14
by elizabeth_admin

Haha!  I bet you thought it doesn’t take much skill to buy fabric.  Just cash or a credit card.  But I am here to tell you my friend, that it does take some skill.  Just as buying patterns does too.  Let me ‘splain.  

While I do not have the legendary stash that Carolyn has, but I do have a modest collection.  Remember the fabric chair?  (well now it’s the fabric big boy bed that Jack doesn’t use).  


I have noticed a trend lately in what fabrics I use.  For instance, I used two of the three fabrics I recently bought from Elliott Berman within a month of their purchase (the Christian La Croix skirt and the FKA zebra print, I mean bamboo print skirt).  




Most recently purchased with my Canadian friend at Paron’s (which I’ve decided is my new fave place to shop in NYC’s garment district because I love their fabrics and their prices), the silk twill and the stretch cotton chambray, both made within two weeks of their purchase. 



So what does this tell me?  That I am older and wiser my friends.  I am a better judge of character when it comes to fabrics now.  Oh how I wish that was so with men.   As we both know now, men and fabric have similar characteristics.  Seriously though, I think in the beginning of my sewing learning curve, I just bought things that caught my eye without a thought as to how appropriate they were for the intended pattern.  Now I  know that I am not fond of stretch wovens… that I love knits but want to really learn fit with wovens… that I love natural fibers… 

With regard to pattern buying, I was bedazzled by patterns with tricked out seam work, with artistic pleats, etc.  Now I know how to look for a pattern with good bones (ones with princess seams or darts which are opportunities for getting a good fit), maybe with few pattern pieces to make things quicker and easier to assemble, and that can build a great wardrobe without looking too boring or too singular.  So now when I buy patterns, I am no longer distracted by one trick ponies. 

So it is with this new-found confidence that I look forward to the Pattern Review NYC Shopping day on August 28th.  Are you coming?  I’m still making my list of stuff to buy.  I’ll share it with you later.  

Happy sewing everyone!

6 Responses leave one →
  1. August 14, 2010

    feel the parons love! 😉

    i need to work on my ability to buy solids. for instance i have tons of plain black dresses which i’ve bought that i wear to work, but i never buy black fabric, instead i buy prints. definitely have to work on that one.

  2. August 14, 2010

    Simple has always been my motto and the use of darts when I need a more closer fit… allows me to be bedazzled by almost any fabric…lol. Hope to see you on August 28th. I am hammering out my B5147 and hope to finish it this weekend.

  3. August 15, 2010

    I hear what you’re saying, I have the same problem! But I guess we have to kiss a few fabric frogs in order to find the princes. What works for me is to go armed with a list. I can buy fabric that is not on the list but only if I love it and know what I’m going to do with it. Now I just need a way to reduce the existing stash…

  4. August 16, 2010

    I was hoping to come, but I have jury duty and am not up for taking a 5 hour bus ride at the crack of dawn. 🙁 I have to call the court every night for two weeks to see if I have to go in, and won’t find out until 5 pm the night before if I do or not. Boo.

    I really do NOT need any more fabric, so it’s probably for the best.

  5. Rosie permalink
    August 16, 2010

    Elizabeth – add me to the list for August 28. I need more fabric like a hole in my head.

  6. August 31, 2010

    I love how you summed up your new strategy for shopping for patterns. I have a few crazies in the cabinet, but I tend to gravitate towards basics that I can dress up or make small changes to that make them perfect for me. Looks like you gals had a fabulous time last weekend on the fabric shopping day! So jealous that I’m not close enough to have joined in.

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