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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Fabric Library or Dictionary or Something ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Fabric Library or Dictionary or Something
How to learn more about fabric
KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/24/12 1:08 PM

I want to learn more about the different fabrics and how to select what I am seeing in my head. I want to take my wardrobe to the next level by making nice garments in fantastic fabrics.

I started thinking about this more after I started reading Overdressed: The Shocking High Cost of Cheap Fashion and realizing I don't like most of the fabrics in my stash. Most of them are there because I purchased online and the fabric was not quite what I had in mind.

How do you all learn about these fantastic fabrics so you can order successfully online.
minggiddylooloo
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Date: 7/24/12 1:31 PM

This is my go-to set of books that also includes swatches of the fabrics described. Sandra Betzina and Claire Schaeffer also have fabric books but they do not include samples. Many of the indie fabric stores will send samples so that's another way to go about collecting and learning about various weaves and fibers.

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stirwatersblue
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Date: 7/24/12 1:46 PM

One of my favorite ways to get to know fabrics--especially when trying to compare with the fabrics available to RTW designers--is through catalogues. They usually have very nice full-length and sometimes detail photos of the garments, along with good descriptions of the fabrics. I think Chadwick's is one of the best for fabric descriptions (I don't believe I'd actually order from them at the moment, as there seems to be a bit of chaos from their bankruptcy proceedings, but their catalogues are still good!). Other good catalogues are Land's End, LL Bean, JJill, TravelSmith, Soft Surroundings, and Eddie Bauer.

It's useful to go through and compare the descriptions in the catalogue to both the RTW clothing in your closet as well as the fabric in your stash.

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~Gem in the prairie

jkmom19
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Date: 7/24/12 7:03 PM

A swatch club is also very useful for learning about fabrics.
jkmom19
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Date: 7/24/12 7:05 PM

Thanks for the link to the books. I think I need to order these!
LynnRowe
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In reply to KathySews

Date: 7/24/12 8:04 PM

Julie Parker's 3 fabric dictionary with swatches books are The Best, and simply must-haves for fabriholics

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KathySews
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Date: 7/26/12 12:38 PM

I just purchased some fabrics and realized when I got home that I need to make notes about fabric content while I am at the store because that info is gone once the fabric is cut. I will go by the store next week to get the info. It had a designer name on it too and of course, I don't recall the details.

I do think I will begin my own book by making notes with samples of the good and the bad.
marymary86
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In reply to KathySews
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Date: 7/26/12 12:47 PM

Quote:
I do think I will begin my own book by making notes with samples of the good and the bad.


You posted some great ideas. I'm finding that at least 80% of my sewing battles are related to poor fabric.

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Mary
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Nancy K
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In reply to minggiddylooloo

Date: 7/26/12 4:49 PM

I like SB's book better than Claire's but I haven't seen her revised issue. I know most people like CS's book, but honestly I looked at both when I bought Betzina's and the pictures are better and the whole set up is clearer. I would buy one of these and then order fabric samples of the different types and add them to the book.

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KathySews
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Date: 7/26/12 7:37 PM

Mary -- well said - my problem exactly

Nancy K -- adding real fabric to the book is a good idea.
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