Buying from the big boys

As a (former) viewer of Project Runway I knew about Mood Fabrics, but thought of it as the kind of place I’d never shop, even online – way too fancy and rich for my blood. I’m not sure why, except for the link with the fashion industry. But the Mood sewing bloggers have done a great job of opening my eyes to the wide variety of fabrics and prices they carry in their online store. I still haven’t bought from them, but when I saw that you could add their logo to your blog for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate, I took the opportunity. Here’s the info about the contest, if you want to participate as well. I could get a lot of knits for $200 *fingers crossed*.
The big kahuna of fabric stores here in San Francisco is, of course, Britex. Whenever I go up to the city I try to stop in, but usually I come home at most with a remnant or two or some buttons or trim, since a lot of their fabric is super-pricey. (On the other hand, if you or someone you know needs a designer-name wool suiting for $50-100 a yard, Britex is your place.) They do, however, carry more reasonably-priced and more casual fabrics, and the selection on their website is getting better and better. I need a dark navy petersham for a skirt waistband for my German poly crepe, and while I was at it got sucked into a 50% off sale they were having on some fabrics.  I picked up this gray/brown stretch cotton which I plan to turn into a Hummingbird skirt.

Deutsche Stoffe

Probably no one has been waiting with bated breath to see the picture of my fabric from Germany, but here it is nonetheless. My lovely husband managed to put it in one of the many pockets of his backpack and ended up carrying it around Europe and then to work for a week or so before I asked him where it was.


The dotty print is a poly crepe, which I’m thinking of as a simple skirt. I’ve been looking for patterns, but since I’ve only got a meter I might just make a gathered or dirndl-y skirt without a pattern. The floral is a rayon knit, which I don’t have specific plans for, but will likely become a top of some sort. Both came from the same shop, a cute little fabric store in the main plaza in Wurzburg, Wolz-Stoffe ( We stumbled upon it by happenstance looking for a place to have dinner, and I was able to visit first thing the next morning when they were open. I also picked up some fusible bias Vliseline, since that’s not easily findable on this side of the Atlantic.
I didn’t get to go fabric shopping in London, as we had a short time there and focused on the tourist sites for those of us that hadn’t been there before. That’s OK, I think I still have some poplin from Macullough & Wallis from the last time I was in London that I haven’t sewn up yet!

Fabulous Fabric

Here are a couple of new additions to my stash. The good/bad thing about ordering fabric online, especially if you’re cheap like me and always opt for the “horse-drawn cart” shipping option, is that you’ve forgotten what you’ve ordered by the time you get it, so (hopefully) it’s like getting a great present you weren’t expecting.

This poly knit is from Fashion Fabrics Club – it’s an odd blue/green, less teal than I was expecting, but it goes with a RTW top I have, so I think I’ll make a skirt.

This knit stripe is from Hot Patterns’ ebay store – the picture doesn’t capture how truly wonderful this stuff is; the colors are gorgeous, the hand is silky and luscious and I just want to wrap it around me and roll around in it.

Also, I drove to the closest Hancock’s the other day to get some Vogues and Buttericks during their pattern sale. I got the following: Butterick 4521 (sewing accessories), Butterick 4665 (princess-seam coats), Butterick 4865 (short coats – I think view A will work for the green/pink boucle plaid I posted about the other day), Vogue 7910 (gored skirts, I love the pockets on C), Kwik Sew 3531 (jackets), and New Look 6729 and 6753 (knit top variations). But truly the find of the day is this fabric:

Isn’t it delightfully odd? I’ve never seen Abraham Lincoln-themed fabric in my life. I picked up a couple yards just out of principle. Then I had a last-minute brainstorm for the Local Pride aprons at Tie One On, but I decided that a day and a half to work on it wasn’t quite enough, what with everything else going on. Someday I’ll come up with just the right thing to do with this fabric – I’m sure of it. Oh, there’s a ‘Proclamation’ or a “four-score” joke in there somewhere.

Fall cleaning

One never knows out here when it’s safe to put up the warm-weather clothes; I’ve been psyched out several times by the weather already this fall. But I went ahead and did the grand switch today. I’ve got some great stuff that I’ve forgotten about, which is always nice.

I finally took pics and listed a bunch of my extra patterns on the PR classifieds, and the other day I sold 3 unworn pairs of shoes on ebay. Then I went out and bought some new shoes and patterns. Isn’t that how it works? Oops! 😉

I braved Jo-Ann’s for the Simplicity & McCall’s 99c sale – accidentally got there later in the afternoon than I wanted, and there were moms and kids everywhere, planning Halloween costumes, two high school girls planning something involving lots of gold drapery cord, and a whole middle-school class apparently planning a quilt. My eardrums may never be the same. (Hancock’s has a sale on Vogue right now, too, but only through Wednesday – do I dare brave the hordes one more time?) Anyhoo, I got:
McCalls 5521 – there’s something about the peplum only on the sides that I love
McCalls 5522 – one of McCall’s B/C/D cup patterns, for the stash
McCalls 5471 – ditto
McCalls 5529 – I wear cardigans & unstructured jackets a lot, but most of my patterns are sized for knits, so I thought this one would be a good buy
Simplicity 4095 – another possibility for my SWAP knit wardrobe pattern
Simplicity 3867 – I’ve saved a picture of an Anthropologie top that is a lot like this top; hopefully I’ll remember to make it next spring

I also found two plaid boucles in the clearance section, half off the reduced price, that I couldn’t leave without:

Aren’t they ridiculously over the top? The teal needs to become a wear-to-the-Sharks-game jacket – I’m thinking McCalls 5529, actually. There was only 2 1/8 yd left of the green/pink plaid, so although it’d make a killer trench, a cape or short jacket is probably more likely.

I’ve also been working on my fabric storage system; I’ve been accruing more plastic drawers (Target only seems to put out 1 or 2 of the large size at a time) and soon will have everything neatly resorted and shelved. I’ll take pics – I took a before pic, so I’ll have to do an after.