So, while no fabric was bought during the NYC Meet Up, my suitcase was already half full with fabrics: I had ordered some from B&J Fabrics online a while back and had them sent to my brother’s in Ohio.
It was ostensibly for more of that fabulous turquoise leopard print knit, which I had thought was extinct, but in fact is still lurking in the aisles at B&J. Since shipping was free, I also ordered some Bouclés & Tweed. I have to say though I was a bit disappointed when I finally saw these fabrics. The colors weren’t as vibrant as the online pictures…
I guess that’s the peril of internet shopping, and one should at least get samples first before ordering anything expensive. It remains to be seen whether I’ll learn this lesson!
The yellow one I might use for Burdastyle 2013-03-102 Boucle Jacket. I’ve wanted the outfit since I bought the magazine. I also tried to look for similar floral fabric for the pants during this trip – but no luck.
Not sure yellow would look as good on me as on the model given my complexion. Maybe I’ll get away with it if I add trims or wear something underneath that’s in a more flattering color.
With limited baggage allowance I couldn’t shop freely. Hence the indecision during the meet up. And spending the whole of Monday on reconnaissance mission. What could earn a space in my preciously rationed haul?
My main criteria was that it has to be something difficult to find in London. So while there are lots of great shops with affordable fabrics in the Garment District, I ended up in my old favorites: B&J, Mood, and NY Elegant Fabrics. All huge stores (compared with London offerings). All a bit on the pricier side I’m afraid. What can I say, I got an expensive habit! 😉 Limited time and torrential rain on Monday also put me off checking out the other stores.
Unchartered Territory of Print Galore
I’m a print-phobe. But I’m trying to change. And my stash is full of plain fabrics already. So I forced myself to look at prints. First off, a couple of classic prints…
Silk Charmeuse & Wool Challis from B&J. These were expensive! So I’ve didn’t buy much.
I’m thinking a simple kimono sleeve top or dress for the charmeuse.
For the challis maybe a back-pleated skirt like my Heidi skirt, or a more deconstructed version à la Vivienne Westwood.
Next some au courant crazy pot-luck mix of snake print & everything else …
Silk Charmeuse from Mood. This reminded me a bit of Burdastyle 2013-02-113 Dress which I love.
I thought I was being generous with 3 yards. But that’s still not enough for this dress. Then again a shorter dress might get more wear. So I may still use this pattern yet.
Wool Blend Jersey from NY Elegant. No clear ideas yet. It feels vaguely Vivienne Westwoodish with a whiff of Christopher Columbus – all that damask type prints in faded cartography colors and a flash of jungle snake!
Probably a dress and maybe even a top with a bit of cowl here and there.
So what do you think? Brave enough for first forays into prints?
These were meant to be sweater knits…
I was quite chaffed to get so much wear out of my cowl neck sweater and wrap cardi (write up coming soon) in NYC. So I decided to get more sweater knits despite it being summer in NYC. Luckily fashion people work months ahead and therefore stores that supply them too. Both NY Elegant Fabrics & Mood have a wide range in stock. But in the end, none of the proper sweater knits appeal to me as much as these pseudo knits.
Wool Acrylic Print Novelty Knit from Mood & Mohair Blend Novelty Knit from NY Elegant.
Clio would recognize the teal one from Mood. It feels a bit like sweatshirt knit. I was on the fence with this one as I don’t wear boxy sweatshirt type garments at all. Is it too sporty for me? Can I carry it off? The other one feels so lush but is also a bit spongy. So again on the fence.
In the end, what convinced me was recent examples of biker style jackets in non-traditional fabrics.
Like Burdastyle 2013-03-135 Biker Jacket. Or even the pastel croc of Louis Vuitton S/S 2012.
I think I’ll use the Burda pattern for the teal fabric, as it has seaming details that can showcase both sides of the fabric. I’ll have to search around for a pattern for the orange fabric. I’d like a version with more traditional overlapping front and off-center zip, but probably in a cinched waist silhouette again. I don’t think I’m tall enough to carry off a short and boxy style.
I’m hoping to make matching pencil skirts with exposed zipper details in darts and/or walking vents.
This next one looks like a sweater knit, but isn’t.
Mohair Gauze from Mood. I’m calling this gauze because of the loose open weave. I have no idea what the professionals call it. Anyway it’s a real shame it’s not a knit, for it would have made a great sweater top. Maybe another cowl neck like the one I just made? I don’t think I can have enough of that slightly 60ish mod looking sweater.
Cotton Lace from NY Elegant which is reserved for a skirt just like this Burdastyle 2013-03-109 Lace Skirt.
I was telling Clio how I find lace a hard fabric to carry off. It’s too easy to look like a Streetwalker, a Mother of the Bride, or a Granny Doily in lace. Then I go buying an expensive cut! This one is definitely in the Doily camp. All for the love of this outfit.
If there’s any leftover I might use it for either this Burdastyle 2012-05-109 Top or this designer dress (sorry, forgot who it’s by)…
And the rest…
Sunback Lining from B&J for some coat that I will eventually make. Because being a tropical baby even cashmere won’t keep me warm in the bone-chilling damp British winters. And I can’t find these flannel-backed lining anywhere else. BTW it’s also known as Kasha Lining by some.
Ultrasuede from NY Elegant because this one is buttery soft! I love the feel of suede and soft leather. But I can’t handle any fabric requiring expensive specialist cleaning. This you can throw into the washing machine. Most ultrasuede aren’t this soft though. So I just have to have this one. I’m hoping it’s soft & drapy enough for a pants, or dress, or top.
And two TNT old friends: Bamboo Spandex Striped Jersey & Micro-Spandex Leopard Print Jersey from B&J.
I wear my marinière tops so much that I just have to have more. It’s my slob out outfit of choice. Although I did get some red stripe knit from Tissu Fabrics in London, it’s not as soft as this bamboo one. Yummmm.
And I got more of the turquoise leopard jersey so I can finally make a wrap dress, probably Burdastyle Magazine Blumarine 2011-06-139 Wrap Dress (like Assorted Notions’ version). Leftover might be sacrificed to my niece, who’s just at the age to start yearning for crazy fashion, but isn’t allowed to own any yet.
Speaking of whom…there’s actually 3 more cuts of fabric from Jo-Ann bought just for her. But that will have to be another post. Because sewing for Tweens opens up a whole can of worms!
Finally, a bit of Fabric Store Gossip
I was chatting to the guy helping me with the fabrics at Mood about how active Mood is in the online sewing community compared to other fabric stores. He told me that’s because the owner’s son took over a few years ago and really gets modern marketing. Supposedly another store had been approached by Project Runway first, but turned them down. So now the tour buses stop at Mood instead and business is booming.
So much so that they are considering opening a branch in London! (Also because a daughter of the owner lives in London or have some good friend in London – can’t remember which.) That will be great news (for me!) – IF they keep similar format to the US stores that is. I’ve always been a bit miffed that Whole Foods Market in London doesn’t sell half the stuff you’d get in the US. What’s the point of shopping at an American store if it sells the same stuff as British stores. File this one under #homesick!