Earlier this year at Frocktails I was lucky enough to win a $150 voucher to The Fabric Store. I’ve mentioned The Fabric Store a few times. It is a shop that has stores around the world including 3 in Australia. I’ve been to the Sydney store a few time and went to the Melbourne store on my holiday earlier this year.
I had 2 vouchers to use, the one that I won plus a 20% discount voucher which came as part of our Frocktails goodies bag that I had to use separately. I had to use both of them by the end of this month. I’d been saving them as a little reward after doing some extra stuff at work this year which was a bit stressful. Last Saturday I decided it was time to go shopping. Now to be honest I actually freaked out the morning before I left home. I had this awesome voucher and I didn’t want to waste it but I didn’t know what I wanted to buy. I’m fussy with fabrics, I generally only wear cottons, I don’t wear fancy stuff, I don’t like the feel of certain fabrics. I was going to this big fancy store which had some many wonderful fabrics but I didn’t even know if I would find fabrics I liked. Face it I basically live in cotton jersey knits. Some of the fabrics in the shop are what I consider pricey so it was a chance to buy fabric that wasn’t in my normal price range but I didn’t know what. It hasn’t helped that I have been in a real sewing funk of lately. Fabric shopping for me can either be really fun and relaxing or stressful, this awesome opportunity was freaking me out. Earlier in the week I had gone through my patterns, sewing books and mags and found a couple of items that I would like to make so took some them with me as inspiration to find fabric.
Even though I had no idea what I would buy I took a long a medium size suitcase to carry it home in. I knew I would be getting a few pieces of fabric and I normally buy things in at least 2m lengths so no matter what I got it was going to be tough carrying it home on the train with one arm because as I’ve mentioned before I use a crutch to walk with. When you have a disability you need to take into consideration small things like how will I carry things when you go shopping. Good job I did take this size suitcase as I filled it.
Ok so lets get to the actual shopping. I put my bag behind the counter then did a walk around the shop to see what they had.
The first thing fabric that I came across was some blue velvet. It was blue, it was pretty, it felt nice. I instantly thought York Pinafore. In my stash I actually have some pink velvet I picked up at a fabric swap which I was thinking of making a York from if I could squeeze out the pattern from it. I knew I needed a blue York. I can’t wait to make it now.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about a sewing mag I picked up. One of the reasons I got it was it had a self drafted poncho pattern in it. The fabric used is a scuba or some soft of synthetic knit that had drape to it. I came across a double knit which was actually on special at I think $10/m I liked the pattern of it. I’m hoping it won’t make me look like a giant blue brick wall. It came in another colourway but I didn’t like it as much as this colour. Because I will be wearing this over a jumper or long sleeve t-shirt I think I can get away with wearing it even though it is synthetic. For winter it will be something different to wear. This fabric was actually stuck in the washing machine to prep the fabric the day I got home. Hopefully I can start making it very soon.
Once I got the above 2 fabrics I still had an amount left of the voucher… Time to look at Liberty fabrics. The Fabric Store is known for its range of Liberty fabrics which are on the pricey side but on the day I went they happened to be 30% off. I was hoping to get some of their knits or loop backed prints but all the colours they had were pinks or light colours. Some Liberty fabrics are really girly in pinks and pastels but they do have bold prints, unfortunately not so much when I went. I did find 2 lots of blue roses, one was in a swim knit which was a white background with traditional roses and stems but this fabric was more my style. It is a cotton but it isn’t too fine. I’m gong to make some sort of skirt with it. I got 2m so will see if I can get some sort of circle skirt or elastic waisted skirt. You shouldn’t be able to see through it.
One pattern I did take with me is McCall’s M7100 which is a jacket pattern. I’ve had the pattern in my stash for a while. Thinking about it the pattern is very similar to a ready to wear jacket I’ve had for a bout 14 years. I want to make version D of it which is just plain with a kangaroo style pocket.
Using my discount voucher I found some loop backed stretch velvet type fabric. It looked perfect for an unlined jacket. I got 2.4m which is what the pattern calls for. I will see if I have enough fabric to not have to worry about making cuffs for the arms or bottom band but if I do I will use black cotton jersey for that section as I am not a big fan of ribbing.
I did have fun using my vouchers but it was kind of mentally exhausting. Shopping to a budget is a little difficult but I had an amazing opportunity to buy fabrics that weren’t in my normal price range and importantly get fabric I know I am going to use. I’ve changed my shopping habits to no longer just buy things fabrics or yarn for my stash. I have to get my overlocker serviced (on the plans for this week) then I can start getting back into garment sewing. My poncho I should be able to do on my regular machine as the fabric won’t fray.