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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > trouble with fabric ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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trouble with fabric
probably different than many
demoiselle
demoiselle
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Date: 11/14/13 7:16 PM

So . . . I have a problem with fabric. It's not that I buy *too much.* It's that I have a very hard time finding the fabric that I want for a project.

Today, I went to the Garment District to pick a fabric for the dress I'm working on for the Vintage Pattern Contest. I had had something (a couple somethings, in fact) in mind, but when I actually got that fabric in my hands, I had second thoughts. It didn't seem *right* somehow . . . and neither did anything else I handled today.

I have this problem a lot. I have a stack of patterns that I really want to make up. However, whenever I go looking for fabric to *make* something, I don't seem to find "what I had in mind."

Does anyone else struggle with finding "the right fabric" for a project? I really don't want to buy fabric on a whim, especially since I am drawn to expensive stuff--but I'd also like it a lot if when I had a pattern ready to go, I could find something that fit my imagination of what I want to make!

Maybe this is a matter of practice--or just of giving myself time to adjust to a changing idea of what the pattern requires.

------
Yes, I started a blog.
http://demoiselledesigns.wordpress.com/

Nancy K
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Date: 11/14/13 8:00 PM

It's a matter of experience. It does get easier with time. In the meantime I'd suggest a book on fabrics, like Sandra Betzina's that will help you to understand the fabrics that are specified on your pattern back and what makes them suitable for the pattern in question. I also suggest that you send for samples to go along with the book. If the garment district is convenient for you I'd go to Mood or B&J and get samples of fabrics. Make labels for the fabric types and stick them on when you get the sample. Familiarizing yourself with the different fabrics available will help. If you are not near the garment district you can send for samples either free or for a nominal fee. The other thing to do is to go to a
high end department store and feel the fabrics that are used in good rtw. Feel the fabrics, look at the style garment is appropriate for that fabric. In other words educate yourself on fabric and sew. Take a few chances because we have all made mistakes and wadders over the years.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

simplystitches
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Date: 11/14/13 8:28 PM

Before I started collecting a stash I would buy fabric and pattern for each project and often had the same problem. After this happening several times I changed my shopping habits.

First I would have a general idea of the garment I wanted to make (skirt, dress etc.) and find a fabric that I liked that would work for that garment. Then I would look for the pattern that would work with that fabric.

This was long before the net and online shopping. Fabric stores were limited to Joann's, Hancock's and a few independents.

I agree with everything else NancyK said. It is something that comes with experience.

The other unfortunate thing is that sometimes the "look" that's in you head isn't out there or if it is you really, really have to search for it! Ask me how I know.

Debbie

demoiselle
demoiselle
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Date: 11/14/13 9:10 PM

It's less that I don't know what will work for the pattern or what different kinds of fabrics are . . . and more that when go with a project already in mind (which is most of the time now), I rarely see the fabric that matches what I had imagined. I'm sure it will get easier. I sort of wish I could just buy things I like as I see them then match them to the patterns, but I have little storage space so I have to restrain myself . . .

------
Yes, I started a blog.
http://demoiselledesigns.wordpress.com/

UrbanFool
UrbanFool  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/14/13 9:15 PM

I keep photos of all my patterns in my smart phone. That way, if I happen to run across the right fabric for a different project, I can go ahead and buy it. It also makes it easy to flip through all of them to have them fresh in my mind when I go shopping. If you do have an iPhone, there's a free app called Springpad that I'm really loving for coordinating my sewing projects.

------
Kelly

BrendaR
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Date: 11/15/13 1:00 AM

Shall we start a thread for people to post their "wants?" (or post it in the classifieds) I've seen a few people do that in random threads and they get good responses from PR members.

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 11/15/13 6:23 AM

Quote: demoiselle
but I have little storage space so I have to restrain myself . . .

Would it be possible to have one of those slim, long rectangular underbed storage containers (or --
undersofa/under-diningroom table/under-something else) for fabric? Fabric is (usually) thin enough that that would suffice -- for at least a wee modest stash (which is what I have).
Edit: And that's how I store it, as well.
-- Edited on 11/15/13 6:24 AM --
Fiona V
Fiona V
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NEW ZEALAND
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Date: 11/15/13 7:24 AM

I always thought it was just me! When I can't find a fabric that looks like the one in my head I usually blame the lack of selection we have here in New Zealand - we are a small market and there is a limited range of fabric imported. I've just discovered some online fabric stores that will ship here... look out credit card!

I used to buy fabric I liked with the intention of making something 'one day'. It's terrifying how often my taste changed between the purchase and the making up - I have a stash of what are only ever going to be expensive muslins or giveaways....
-- Edited on 11/15/13 7:28 AM --

MrsCharisma
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MrsCharisma  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/15/13 9:25 AM

Yep. I know the feeling. You have this vision and then...no luck finding what you need to execute it.

And yes, I would try to dream up a storage solution because having a stash helps. If you buy fabric that you know suits you and that you love...you will find what to turn it into. :)

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

PattyE
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Date: 11/15/13 9:33 AM

Yep, this just happened to me with the pattern I had picked out for the lined jacket contest...I could not find the fabric I had my mind set on...so I ended up making a different pattern. If I had 'settled' on a different fabric I probably would never be truly happy with it. Shortly after the lined jacket was finished I found the perfect fabric, so I will be making my originally planned jacket soon.
Good luck finding your dream fabric.

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