I am a fabric junkie, although the term “fabric whore” was considered, too. I have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine (it has a possessed bobbin), my local fabric store (because I go in, not looking for the latest print on pseudo fleece blanket material, but I ask hard questions like fiber content, and where I can find the silk and linen thread), and the rest of my family (have to make them clothes, too, from my beautiful fabric!)
Tonight saw the prewashing of 10 lengths of fabric, and the cutting out of four projects:
2 quarter split undertunics for my husband, 1 overtunic for my husband, and one eight-gore cotehardie for myself.
I have all the material laid out on the backs of chairs and one tables…Linen in navy, sky blue, grass green, red, yellow…red dupion silk…a water blue silk noil…a silk crepe de chine of red paisley…heavy cotton in red, black, and white. I’ll run my hands over it as I walk by, and it makes me giggle like an idiot. I almost swoon when I look at the 26 yard bolt of linen that came via UPS yesterday. I called my mother and my best friend to tell them about my fabric. They made soothing noises and asked if I had taken my medicine today. My dress dummy is currently sporting an underdress of the blue silk noil and a navy linen cotehardie, front split, waiting on its final hand hemming and the hand cast pewter buttons.
Imagine the tone of my voice similar to that French guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, just before his head explodes.
So, now I’ve told all of you, too, and yes…I have taken my medicine, so there.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of machine do you have, and what’s the bobbin doing? I’m just wondering what makes it possessed?
And I’m drooling just reading this. I wish I had the money (and the reasons) to work with those kinds of fabrics. I’m seeing them in my mind and wishing. I assume you’re shopping in specialty stores, not the run-of-the-mill in the mall kind.
It’s a White, and not the best thing in the world, but we’ve bonded now. It’s like my own personal R2D2.
The bobbin will snarl occasionally. It used to be without warning, but now I can prevent it about 3/4 of the time by the particular hum and feel of the machine as it goes along.
I shop in dedicated fabric stores like JoAnn’s and Hancock’s for some things. Mostly notions. Sadly, even the fabric stores are full of polyester and rayon. Most of my actual fabric purchases come from online sources (Dharma Trading for silk, and Fabrics-store.com for linen) or from fabric merchants at the reenactment events I attend.
I understand. I work for Hancock (otherwise known as the fleece capital of the world) and pretty much the only things we have that are natural fibers are the quilting fabrics. Small amount of Dupioni and a little organic right now, but the cottons and organics probably won’t do you much good for what you’re doing. I’m pretty hooked on fabric, too, but too much of mine doesn’t get immediately made up. It goes into the good intentions pile, and too often doesn’t come out.
I too am a fabric junkie, but for needlepoint. I will openly admit to being a thread whore. DMC Threads, Kreinik and my local shop, Stitchville USA are in my favorites and looked at often.
I have a hard time actually going to Stitchville as their selection of fabrics is awe inspiring. Hand woven linens. Belfast linens smooth as silk. Stacks upon stacks of fabrics and pattern ideas for every darned one.
The last time I went there for a new needle? Walked out with a length of french linen, tons of new threads, two new books and much lighter in my wallet.
I love DMC’s linen embroidery floss. A whole lot of my hand sewing finish work gets done with it.
I’m willing to bet there are fabrics you can’t find, and that they are men’s wool suitings. I would like to have vests made for a few of my favorite suits, but it’s just hopeless unless the pattern and color are very generic.
My wife is of the school of thought that she who dies with the most fabric wins.
She has, I shit you not, fabric in stock from the 1970s when she worked in a fabric department.
My machine also has a posessed bobbin. It, however, doesn’t warn until a second before it happens, so the disaster is never averted. It’s almost enough to make me switch to handsewing, but then I think about skirt seams and boning channels and my back starts to hurt pre-emptively.
I know exactly what you’re talking about about fabric acquisition. My friends just don’t understand why I curse when we go to Joann Fabrics and the only cotton velvet they have is lime green with daisies stamped into it. Or why I pet things and sigh when I see the pricetag. Or why a 50 yard bolt of muslin is the perfect Christmas present.
Someday I will make it to the fabric warehouse/outlet/store thing in Chicago and spend a lot of money on silk and velvet. And then I will spread all the fabric on my bedroom floor and roll around in it, like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin.
There’s nothing quite like going to the fabric store. I’ve pretty much quit buying fabric at Jo-Ann’s, it’s just not as good as the local quilting shop’s selection. The LQS’s fabrics are more expensive, but they hold up better, they’re easier to sew, and they just plain LOOK better.
Any idea where I can get needlepoint wool? The woman whose shop I’d been going to for years retired without warning, and though I have an eight-drawer chest filled with various wools (silks, cottons, flosses, metallics), I’m really starting to freak out on where I’ll get it in the future, since that’s what I prefer. And since I design all my own projects, it’s not like it will come with the kit.
I love cotehardies. They fit so beautifully.
Look, I need all that fabric, all right? It’s not an obsession. And the cotton jersey was only 1.50/yard, which means I need at least fifteen yards. So I’ll be wearing a lot of bright red. That’s okay.
I’m only in the middle of two maternity dresses right now, but I’ll need to start sewing for the baby soon. Do you think he’ll mind wearing a lot of bright red jersey?
My sewing machine is also possessed. It eats things. And stalls for no reason.
I usually shop at Designer Fabric Outlet because it’s a nice, comfortable streetcar ride from my house, and has really good sales. I am allergic to Fabricland and the other no-fibre-content specified stores. There’s a pretty good fabric district here, which conveniently also holds the best bead stores. It’s an expensive street for me to walk along.
Now I want to go to Little India and pick up several yards of shot silk, just to pat. Anyone got any idea how I can make maternity clothes out of very lightweight plain weave shot silk? Fall and winter maternity clothes?
I bought a full bolt of unbleached muslin from JoAnn’s when it was on sale for .99 cents a yard, AND I had a coupon for 1/2 off any one length of fabric purchased. The woman at the cutting counter goggled her eyes a bit when I specified that she needn’t cut from that bolt, as I was buying the whole thing. The woman at the register fish-gaped her mouth when I presented my coupon and walked out of the store having paid $24.75 for it.
As of this morning, I’ve cut 5 more projects out:
2 quarter split undertunics and 2 overtunics for my 5 year old (Green & Sky blue linen, the red cotton, and the paisley* silk crepe de chine)
and 1 quarter split undertunic for my 16 year old (the red cotton).
Next up, I’ll spead the white linen out…rub on it for a bit, then cut out an underdress for myself.
I am so comforted to hear how everyone else has a possessed sewing machine, too. Oh, and Rick, your wife is correct!
- Middle Eastern personas -Outremer, Kingdom of Jerusalem-, so we can get away with paisley!
I am jealous. We have JoAnn’s and shudder Wal-Mart for fabric. I have all but stopped sewing, for lack of a proper fabric store. I hauled out my machine to do some mending this week, but that’s in in the past (at least) 18 months.
I am mostly a yarn junkie (my first question when I pick up a scrumptious hank of yarn is usually, “can I eat it?”), but quilting fabric gets me too. I love fat quarters. I love fat quarter bundles. I love jelly rolls and charm packs. They’re soooooo pretty, all those fabrics that are all matchy-matchy…
If I had ever in my life had a successful garment sewing experience, I would go after the wool suiting and shot silk and all of that too. Fortunately, I never have.
To buy wool suitings: I am sure that there are fabric stores in New York that sell them. A year ago I bought some skirt lengths of wool tweeds (for my mother to sew up) at a store in Regent Street, London. So yes, they’re available, they’re just hard to find.
Fabric is just like candy to me; so many colors and textures, so yummy. If it’s possible to have too much, I do, but I keep buying it. Around here we only have JoAnns and the quilt stores, and since I’m mostly a quilter that’s liveable, but I sure wish I had a decent fabric store. I want proper cotton batiste, dang it!
One of my current obsessions is with the girl’s coat pattern put out by Vogue (the grey one). I want to make this coat. I need to make this coat! But living in California with no good fabric stores, I was afraid that I would have to order the wool–which I didn’t want to do. Miraculously, two very good bolts of wool showed up at JoAnns, both perfect for my purposes! One grey, one rich brown. I’m waiting for them to go off-sale so that I can buy the yardage with my 50% off coupon–tomorrow is the day! (It had better still be there!) I think I’m going to go with the grey, and use black velveteen for the collar–I’m not very sure that I can match the brown with the brown velveteen at the quilt store (of course JoAnns’ hasn’t got any velveteen besides 8 bolts of black and some hideous navy stretch corduroy stuff).
I just got some lovely handkerchief linen from Dharma Trading Co. in the mail, and it’s so great; thin and so smooth and just beautiful. It’s going to be a white dress for my daughter when she turns 8 next summer --that’s when she’ll get baptized in our church. Nowadays they all get baptized in practical little white jumpsuits instead of dresses like I did, but it’s still sort of traditional (though optional) to get a nice white dress to wear for after the actual immersion part. The ones they sell tend to be poly satin (yuk!), but I want something simpler and more elegant, so it’s going to be white linen with hemstitching around the collar and sleeves, tatting edging, and possibly white embroidery around the hem but maybe not (here’s the pattern).
My current projects are a brown crepe dress with pink waistband and pink velvet rickrack (size 7), a blue batiste dress with embroidered collar and hem (size 5)–I’m still working on the collar–and a whole bunch of half-finished quilts.
Oooh, that’s a pretty coat!
I need little girls to sew for.
Oooh! I know! I could make a Punjabi suit out of the silk that I can’t afford to buy! It would be comfy and I could wear it to church. Someone stop me. I still have about twenty yards of stuff I haven’t used yet…
I think you’re looking to the wrong group of people for fabric willpower.
Oh! That is lovely, and I agree that the grey one is the cutest of the variations offered by that pattern.
Will your JoAnn’s not let you use the coupon in conjunction with the sale? Mine always has, but it maybe a difference in franchise.
Oh, a salwar kameez as a maternity outfit! Brilliant! I’d do it. Yeah, I’m the wrong person to ask about that–if I didn’t think I’d look like a total (pudgy, white) idiot in those gorgeous Indian outfits, I would wear them in a heartbeat!
My Joanns’ won’t take coupons if the item’s on sale already. They used to, but no longer. It’s a real pain, because I get these great coupons and then can’t use them because everything is a measly 20% off.