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Category Archives: All about Fabric

Fabric Haul and Future Projects, January 2017

I’m happy to report that I’m starting my year off with lots of new fabric, and many sewing plans! Once again I chose to put my Christmas money towards materials purchased in the NYC garment district, and today I’m sharing what I got and what I plan on turing them into.

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I went in with a flexible list of things I wanted to make and was lucky enough to find the perfect fabrics for most of them. I think I bought enough fabric for ten projects – after a few trim orders from etsy arrive I’ll be set for the next few months!

The first project on my shopping list is one I’ve wanted to make for a long time: a mid 17th century evening gown. I purchased material for one a couple years ago, and even got the bodice mostly constructed. But the fit was really off, and I didn’t go in with a solid plan so it was hard to overcome the problems I hit.

However I’ve learned a lot since then, and it’s still one of my favorite periods for fashion. I’m determined to make a dress that will do the era justice. I’m using a lot of reference photos for this costume, but my main inspiration is this funny little painting. I love the bold color, heaps of trim, and the hat!

With that in mind, I purchased eight yards of this orange brocade. It’s base color is peach, but it has rich orange and gold flowers woven into it. I love the sheen it has and think it will make a lovely gown!

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As happy as I am to have found a fabric in the color I wanted with such a beautiful sheen, I wish I had found it earlier. Because at the beginning of the day I came across a very pretty raspberry brocade and decided it was probably the closest I would get, so I bought it.

Now I have two brocades, and no real plans for the first one I bought. But it is beautiful! It doesn’t have the scratchy texture that most brocades have, it feels almost soft, with a very finely woven print. I think it will be lovely to work with whenever I find a use for it! I’m open to ideas.

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It also has a fair amount of body to it…I purchased six yards since it’s 60″ wide. I wonder if that would be enough for something Elizabethan? Though the color is a little unusual for that period.

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Also for the 1630’s ensemble I bought a yard of stretch velvet in a greyish blue. This is for the hat.

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I bought some brightly colored feathers for the hat too, which I think will help tie the costume together.

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And lastly for this project I bought three yards of embroidered mesh. I saw this while walking out of a store and turned back for it. I thought it would be perfect for decorative under sleeves – not the most accurate choice, but it’s so pretty! And it has sequins on it. I can’t resist sequins.

Much to my surprise, it was only four dollars a yard. So I got three yards of it, which should be enough for a decorative chemise. I think it may be too cool toned for this project (it looked warmer under the lights in the store). So I’ll probably wait to make the chemise after the dress when I have a better idea of what will compliment it.

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The next project I purchased fabric for is a simple medieval costume. I’ve been wanting to make another one of these for a while, since really enjoyed the Cotehardies I made this time last year.

I haven’t planned the design for this project too much, but I want it to consist of a front lacing kirtle with a surcoat layered over top. The project won’t have any embellishments, other than some trim on the hem of the surcoat (and that’s only if I can find any I like).

I purchased two medium weight wools for this project. It was quite the challenge finding these fabrics. The person helping me kept asking what I wanted, and all I could say was “Something with nice texture to it that will be $10 or less a yard” because I didn’t have a color in mind, I just wanted fabric with enough texture that it wouldn’t look boring despite the simple design.

Luckily we managed to find something, and I love it. It’s dark purple and  medium weight – too heavy for suiting, but lighter than a coating. I think it’s perfect.

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The second material I purchased is probably less historically accurate – I doubt that weave would have been possible in the 1400s. But I really like the weight of this, and think that texture will look awesome in photos. It was also one of the few fabrics I could find that looked nice with the purple (other options were black, or light pink).

If we’re ignoring historically accuracy, I’m really happy with this fabric. It feels almost like flannel, very soft but drapes the way you would expect medium weight wool to. I think both of these fabrics will be really nice to work with.

Side note: I was really impressed with the store I bought this from, Fabric Express. I’ve been in there before but only bought lace, or talked to the assistant. I was helped by the owner this time and he was really patient and I got great deals on everything – the wool, brocade, velvet, and lace fabric are all from this shop. Silk is cheaper at Diana’s Fabrics but this is going to become one of my go-to stops for other things.

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Another project I have planned is an 1820’s evening gown. I actually came across the inspiration for this while researching another idea I had. One of my search terms brought up this fashion plate and I fell in love.

I like the silhouette of the 1820s in general, but this dress is inspired by renaissance fashion while also having infamous details from the 1820s, like padded hems and trim, which makes it even better. I’ve never made a dress that incorporates padding, and it seems like a fun challenge!

I had hoped to find silk satin for this project, but it was very expensive, even in the garment district. So instead I bought silk shantung. I think the stiffness of this will really help with construction and creating the bell shape this dress requires…but it doesn’t have quite the look I was going for.

For the pink trim I bought cotton sateen. I’m actually disappointed in this purchase too, I feel like the shade of pink is too bright and cool toned. It makes me think of pepto bismol. So I’m going to keep my eyes out for sales and see if I can pick up a fabric in a better shade.

Aside from that, I’m really excited to get to work on this project. I think it’ll be fun!

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From Diana’s fabrics I picked up more silk shantung. This is the same shop I bought the bright orange silk from for my Pumpkin dress. I had so much fun working with that fabric that I knew I wanted to pick up more, this time with an 1880’s bustle dress in mind.

I went for a lovely copper color, that shines red and brown depending on the lighting. It’s really pretty and I’m sure it will be lovely to work with!

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From the same shop I bought the base material for a dress I plan on making, which is inspired by this painting. I’ve always been a fan of Russian court dresses, but they usually involve long trains covered in elaborate embroidery that would take teams of master embroiders 6 months to make. There isn’t any way I could take a project like that on myself without spending hundreds of dollars on pre made appliques.

Which is why I was very excited to come across this painting. It has some of the features of Russian court gowns that I really like, without the embroidery. Once again silk satin probably would have been more accurate for this project, but I found a polyester shantung in the color I wanted, with a beautiful two tone sheen, and a crispness that should make the pleats in the skirt easier. It was also $5 a yard, which is tough to beat!

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The color is kind of unappetizing, but I think the sheen and two tone effect will make up for that.

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For the front panel I purchased two yards of alencon lace. I think this will provide a good base for the heaps of rhinestones and embellishments that the skirt will eventually have.

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I plan on getting most of the embellishments online, but I did make the mistake of purchasing some at beads world. See that tiny bag on the right? That was $10 dollars. The bag on the left with 12x the number of rhinestones? It was $13. I goofed up by going to beads world first – I always forget how overpriced some of their stuff is.

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Also from beads world I bought white sequins in a variety of sizes/sheens, which I plan on using for the 1820’s dress. And some glass montees for the court dress and headpiece.

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On the topic of notions, I only purchased two trims on this trip (though I ordered a dozen others from etsy). The first is for the 1820’s dress, it’s a very soft and sweet lace trim with a few beads and sequins for embellishments. I thought this would be cute around the neckline and cuffs of the sleeves.

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I also purchased some woven trim. This wasn’t purchased with anything in mind, but I really like the weight of it and think the colors will be easy to match within my stash (or things I buy in the future) so I’m confident it’ll be used eventually.

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Now back to fabrics! The rest of these materials weren’t on my list, they were just things that caught my eye.

The first is a striped silk broadcloth. I love striped fabrics, especially the challenge of matching them up and playing with the different directions they can go. It’s kind of a pain sometimes, but it’s also very satisfying. Unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to find apparel weight striped fabrics that aren’t pin striped. So when I came across this: Striped, light weight and in the color I have a weakness for…I needed to take it home with me.

I purchased eight yards of it. But it’s quite narrow, so I picked up five yards of cotton sateen in a matching color to compliment it. The striped fabric was from Hamed Fabric, and the sateen was actually from Jo-anns.

I plan on using these for a seaside costume – either from the late 1800’s or early 1900s.

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Another striped fabric that caught my eye is this lightweight polyester. It feels like a softer version of taffeta, without the sheen. I really liked the width of the stripes in this, and the tweed texture on the material between them. I though this would work well for a bustle dress, since I could play with the directions of the stripes in the ruffles.

It was the end of the day and I had gone over budget, so I only purchased five yards of it, which isn’t enough for a full dress. But I think it will be easy to match, since the main colors are white, grey, black, and dark red – I may even have a dark red cotton sateen in my collection that would match.

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A project I had in mind, but not on my list was a Renaissance ensemble. I’ve wanted to make another one of these for a while, but didn’t have enough brocade on hand for one. This one caught my eye because it’s an interesting color. I would describe it as a cool toned pink, but it has a strong gold sheen to it.

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It’s almost two tone, with how vibrant the gold is in the light. I think it will make a beautiful skirt!

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From another shop I bought two yards of metallic rose printed brocade. I had hoped this would match the other pink fabric, but it’s way too warm toned. However I think it will make a beautiful foundation garment – I’m making a few 18th century undergarments this year, and two of them are pink. A matching set of brocade stays would be quite lovely!

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The last fabric I bought was one I saw early in the day, but put back because it was too ridiculous. But then I kept thinking about it. Because it’s sparkly, and pink, and ridiculous, and just the time of thing I want in my life but probably won’t use.

However I know from previous shopping trips that when I think about a fabric that much, I usually regret not getting it. And at eight dollars for a yard and a half I figured it couldn’t hurt.

This is a pink mesh with metallic cording stitched on to form scallops and a floral pattern. Both edges have trim, with appliques trailing through the center. I have no idea what I’ll use this for but I really love it.

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And that’s it! I’m very happy with what I got, and excited to get started! Annoyingly I can’t begin on the more elaborate projects until some trim I ordered arrives, but that gives me a reason to finish a few WIP’s from 2016, so it’s probably for the best.

I hope you have lots of sewing plans for the new year too 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2017 in All about Fabric, Reviews & Hauls

 

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Garment District Haul, Fabric & Trim

It’s been more than six months since my last one, so I think it’s time for another fabric haul! I usually go into the Garment District twice a year, once around my birthday, and once before Christmas. So this trip was a little bit out of the ordinary for me, but it came at a perfect time since i’ve been feeling quite uninspired recently. But I think having the opportunity to plan a few new projects and purchase fabrics for them was just what I needed, I’m feeling very excited about everything I got and the things I plan on making with them!

I was mostly shopping for materials for three projects and I ended up being really successful.  Here are my swatch cards for those projects.

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I had a list with me, and at the top of the list were materials for a Burgundian dress. I actually bought the trims for this dress first, so I had to find a material that matches those. I was expecting this to be a challenge, because my fur trim for the dress is a greyish brown, and the beaded trim I bought is a bright gold. Finding a fabric that goes well with gold and a cool toned brown isn’t something i’d classify as being easy.

But I got really lucky! The first fabric store I went into had just what I needed: A beautiful blue jacquard with a gold scroll print.

I’d sort of expected this project to be red in color, because that is a color I really gravitate towards. But the cool tones in the blue went really nicely with the fur, and the gold perfectly matched the beaded trim. This fabric is part of the 120″ wide home decor collection that i’ve used before, and since it’s so wide I only had to buy five yards.

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Here it is in the store, Zahra fabrics. It’s sitting alongside a gold brocade, which I ended up buying for the same project.

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Burgundian dresses are usually worn over kirtles. In medieval times these were slim fitting, long sleeved dresses which get wider towards the hem. The neckline of this kirtle will be visible when the Burgundian dress is worn, so I wanted a fabric that went nicely with the jacquard, but also had enough contrast to be interesting.

I found this gold and silver brocade which has a geometric print to it and knew right away that it was perfect. Not only is the shade of gold spot on, the silver threads tie in the cool toned theme and go beautifully with the blue.

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At another shop, which I can’t remember the name of, I got this beautiful beaded trim which will be used on the neckline of the kirtle. Usually trims embellished with seed beads are way out of my price range since they are more expensive than sequined trims. But this one was reasonably priced, and I thought the design was too lovely to resist.

Unfortunately I didn’t buy the amount I was supposed to – I had 2.5 yards written down on my list, but only purchased a yard and a half. So I won’t be able to use it around the waistline of the Burgundian dress, which sort of sucks. But I should have enough to use it on the kirtle, and if enough is leftover I’ll put some on the headpiece which will match this ensemble.

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The next project I was shopping for is a Cotehardie. This is another medieval garment and I actually plan to make two of them – one inspired by the female version of the garment, and another inspired by the mens version. The women’s version is quite similar to the kirtle, but it’s made from heavier material and is usually more embellished. Which means they are more of a standalone garment than a layering piece.

The mens version looks like a fitted jacket, though it’s less hardy. They extend past the rear, almost like a dress, and were frequently worn over slim fit pants.

For the women’s version I found a beautiful blue velvet which I thought would be the perfect base fabric.

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Then I found another brocade, which is a bit more subtle than the gold one. I love how much texture this has, I think that will read well on camera. It also has gold in it, which will work well with the gold trim I bought earlier in the day with this project in mind. It is also in that light blueish grey shade, which is quite similar to the fabric I picked for the Burgundian dress. That wasn’t intentional at all, but I don’t mind too much, I think it’s a pretty color!

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The trims for this dress were actually bought before the fabrics. These are trims that have been made with an embroidery machine, so the stitching of them actually looks quite similar to the embroidery on garments hundreds of years ago. Which is why I thought they were the perfect choice for a medieval costume!

I got four yards of the bottom one, and a yard of the top one. The top trim will be used to trim the sleeves, and the bottom one will decorate a sash at the waist of the dress.

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Here are the fabrics for this costume all together!

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For the mens version I decided against velvet, since I thought it would look out of place. Instead I bought a navy wool suiting, which is quite similar in color but lighter in weight. I got three yards of this, which is probably more than I needed. But at least if I mess up i’ll have extra!

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Mens cotehardies are often worn with capelets. Which meant I was on the hunt for a sturdy wool coating. I ended up lucking out and finding one in the same greyish blue color as the brocade I bought for the women’s version. These pieces don’t have to match, but I kind of love that they have the same color scheme.

I only god a yard and a half, but I think that will be enough. This wool is very heavy and has a lovely texture, I bought it for $15 a yard which I think was a good deal!

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I didn’t find a fabric I liked for the bottom half of the mens cotehardie ensemble, but I was okay with that. I have this four way stretch knit in a champagne color with gold threads running through it, which I think will work really nicely for a pair of leggings to wear underneath it.

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Cotehardies are also known for having a crap ton of buttons. They extend down the front of the garments and up the sleeves until past the elbow. In those times buttons were more decorative than they were functional, which is why there were so many of them.

NYC isn’t the cheapest place to buy buttons, so I didn’t get any there.  I ended up ordering from this shop on etsy that was selling 20 half inch buttons for five dollars. I bought a hundred, which should be enough for the two costumes!

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With fabrics for the costumes I had planned found, I was mostly in browsing mode. But I had a few things left on my list. The first was a sheer light brown fabric with silver threads running through it – this may look familiar if you’ve seen my birthday haul, since I purchased two yards of it on that trip. I recently decided to make that fabric into a long shift, to wear under a future project. But two yards wasn’t enough for that, so I picked up two more yards.

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The other thing I planned to buy were small montees from Beads World. These are for my 1630s taffeta dress, which I will hopefully be starting on soon. I had planned on buying clear ones, but these taupe-y/champagne colored ones caught my eye so I bought those instead. I think the shape and tone of these is a bit more interesting than clear square ones!

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And pretty much everything else are impulse purchases. I managed to only buy one fabric that wasn’t on my list, and that’s this neat iridescent blue material that has a gold shift to it. I used this type of fabric for my Silvery Blue Dress earlier this year, but had no idea what it was called. The store owner called it Cotton Fallie, so let’s assume that’s the name for it. I picked up three yards and i’m sure i’ll find something to make with it eventually!

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I saw this greyish blue sequined trim and fell in love. It was thirteen dollars a yard, which is more than I like to pay for a yard of anything, much less trim, but I couldn’t resist! Something about the pattern and color really stood out to me. I think around the waist or collar of a dress this would look lovely.

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Speaking of greyish blue trim…

I also picked up four yards of this lace. Do you see a pattern in my purchases? It was totally not intentional, but it seemed all the things I really liked were in this color! This was in the case at the front of Zahra fabrics when I went to pay. They only had four yards, and I believe it was $35 for all of it. I think that’s a pretty good deal, plus with the design of this lace it can be fussy cut out so you have two borders, which gives you eight yards of trim.

I think i’ll use this to edge the hem and hood of a cape. I think my Silvery Blue Dress would look lovely with a big cloak overtop, and this trim matches that dress really nicely. The sequins on it look almost like snow when the light hits it, it’s really beautiful. When it gets a bit colder and we start to get snow i’ll add that to my project list!

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Lastly I have a pile of things from trim and bead shops. The first thing is from Pacific Trimming, where I got this gold clasp. I might use this on the wool cloak and pair it with the mens Cotehardie ensemble, or maybe i’ll save it for something else. I just really liked it!

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At Hai Trimming I went a little crazy. I got twelve of these brass stampings which I plan on soldering together to create a crown. I also got some brass cameo frames, because they were two for a dollar, which is a lot cheaper than i’ve seen them online.

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Then I saw these beads and I couldn’t leave without them! I think they look like the eyes of a dragon, with the bright orange and red veining. Not sure what they will get used for, but they really stood out to me. I got twelve of the smaller ones and three big ones.

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I also picked up some in a purple color. I have heaps of purple velvet and some purple satin which are collecting dust in a bin on my top shelf. These match those fabrics quite nicely, so maybe I can come up with a design that incorporates all those materials.

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I saw these in Beads World and really liked them. They are circular metal beads which almost look like buttons. They are quite heavy, so I’m surprised a pack was only $2.50. Not sure why I liked these so much, and I don’t know what i’ll use them for, but I think they would look quite nice on the front of a jacket or up the cuffs of a dress!

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Then I got sequins! The two packs on the left were the first things I bought that day. I was kind of looking for lace that could be turned into a 1920s evening dress. I was imagining that project would have a light pink or green color scheme, so when I saw these sequins that had both of those colors I decided to buy them. The burgundy ones were bought with my medieval projects in mind, because I was so certain that one of them would be dark red.

Jokes on me, I couldn’t find lace I liked and the other project ended up being blue, not red. But i’m sure these will come in handy someday!

The feather shaped gold sequins were bought because I loved them. No idea what these will be used on, but I’ve gone through half the circular gold sequins I bought last time I was in. So I think gold feathered shape ones actually have a decent chance of being used.

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The last thing I bought isn’t from the Garment District, it’s from ebay. And it’s a real leather hide! This isn’t something I ever expected to be buying, and i’ve never worked with leather before, but I really want to try making a pair of 19th century slippers. Specifically velvet covered slippers that are embellished with sequins, which will match a court gown made from the same materials.

I think leather is the right material for that, and the flexibility of real leather will make a difference over the pleather alternatives. So when I found this on ebay for $20 I decided to get it – i’m kind of nervous but excited to attempt this project. It might go really wrong, but if it goes well I can say i’ve made a pair of shoes, and that would be quite neat!

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And that’s it! This post is absolutely massive so i’ll end it here. Thank you for reading!

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in All about Fabric, Reviews & Hauls

 

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A Fabric & Trim Haul

It’s that time of year where I post another ridiculously huge birthday haul!  Like last year I bought a few random things but decided to spend the vast majority on fabrics and costume supplies. My birthday was a couple weeks ago, and the day before it my dad and I went shopping in the NYC garment district where all of these lovely things came from!

I know not everyone likes hauls, but I got a positive response when I did this last year so I decided to bring it back! If you don’t care for this type of post, i’ll have a “The Making of” post up on Monday which might be more to your taste. If you do like hauls, i’ve done two before, which can be read here and here.

Lets start with one of the less exciting cuts of fabric, and we can build up to the really good stuff. This is 120″ wide home decor weight damask. One of my favorite stores in the garment district (Zahra Fabric) has started stocking this whole collection and sells them for ten dollars a yard, which is pretty damn good considering the weight and width of this fabric. This is actually the exact same fabric I used for my Dewdrop Dresses, just in a different color!

I plan on using this for a medieval style dress and headpiece, similar to what is shown here and here.

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Funnily enough, I spent several minutes between debating between this fabric and another in a red color scheme. I finally decided on the orange/gold material because I have so many red dresses in my portfolio already and none in this shade. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it’s very similar to the fabric i’m using for my tudor project.

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From the same store I got two yards of brown velvet. These are for the sleeves of my tudor project. A lot of the fabric I originally purchased (about three yards) was damaged and had to be discarded. I didn’t have enough fabric leftover to make the sleeves and was unable to buy more of the original fabric.

Velvet was commonly used for sleeves and I think the warm brown color goes well with the orange/gold I used for everything else!

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Speaking of velvet, I bought a lot of it! The red velvet is for another 16th century project, based off of this painting. Unfortunately my streak of buying damaged fabric continues with this red velvet. The first few yards were damaged from the machine that bolted it, so I got those for free. But I didn’t realize the damage continues down the entire length of fabric. So that is annoying and will be troublesome to work around.

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The black velvet is for a design which might end up being part of my Monarch [butterfly] Collection. I haven’t mentioned that series much on this blog because I haven’t actually finished any of the projects relating to it. I have about five WIPs in this series and instead of focusing on those i’m buying fabric for  a new one. Oops. This is the rough design for the dress I’d like to use it for.

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The next few pieces of fabric were bought for an Orchid inspired dress. I have four orchids now, they sit next to my desk and I love seeing them everyday. I get really inspired by things around me, so it was only a matter of time until I took inspiration from them!

This is the original sketch but I’ve made some design changes since sketching this. The actual dress will have a similar shape and bodice design, but it will look much different.

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I bought more of the 120″ wide home decor fabric for this project. This time I went for a simpler pattern which is made up of alternating off white stripes. I also got four yards of off white silk organza to use for the bodice and trims. I don’t usually shell out the extra money for silks but I got a good deal on this one (four yards for thirty dollars) and really like that it is matte.

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For the purple parts of the dress I bought four yards of silk taffeta. I found a few gorgeous two toned taffetas, which were very tempting, but I ended up going with this one because it has a beautiful weight and texture to it. I was playing around with it in the store and I knew I could drape and sculpt it into the exact shapes I wanted.

Both of the silk fabrics I bought were from Amin Fabrics. I didn’t even know they sold silks until this trip, but i’m not surprised, that store has everything which is why it’s one of my favorites!

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Another one of my favorites is Hamed Fabrics, but I only got six yards of fabric from them. Two of those yards can be seen on the left. It’s a woven fabric made up of many neutral colors with metallic ribbons weaving through it. Not the type of fabric I would usually reach for, but I thought it was really interesting! I’d like to work this into a menswear inspired ensemble if I can, and maybe pair it with some black wool i’ve had for a while.

The fabric on the right is from Cut Fabrics Inc. It’s a beige chiffon (with stiffness to it which makes it almost resemble organza) with silver stripes. They had this in lots of colors and I regret not getting more. I think this would make really nice puffs for underneath paned sleeves.

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Also from Hamed Fabrics I got a green chiffon with silver woven through it. Again I probably should have gotten more of this, I think I got three or four yards, which isn’t enough to make a full dress. This is what happens when you don’t have a list!

I got this to make some type of fairy inspired dress. I purchased an interesting string of beads at Beads World in the same color, which I plan to turn into a crown. I’d like to use this fabric to make a dress that matches it, but I have no clue what it will end up looking like.

I also got a few yards of a lightweight striped cotton. I’ll probably use this to make a smock or chemise to wear under something. Not the most exciting purchase but basics are important too!

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The next few fabrics are from a store I usually avoid. It’s called “Day to Day” and tends to have higher prices than I’d like to pay. This week they had a big “everything must go” moving sale (but they may have been using that as a ploy to get people in – one store has had a sign like that up for three years) so I went in.

I think of this store stocking exclusively home decor fabrics but they had tons of lace too.

The “home decor” fabric I got is a pale blue taffeta with an embroidered floral design. I’ve seen versions of this fabric in Joanns with red/gold color combinations and never been fond of it. But I love this color and I think it will eventually be turned into a gorgeous 18th century ensemble!

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In the same store I got some white embroidered mesh. On my last trip into NYC I got taffeta and glass stones to use for a 17th century gown. That dress will let bits of the chemise showing at the sleeves and neckline, so I bought this with that in mind! Not historically accurate, but it’s so pretty and will look much nicer than linen.

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The last thing I got from that store is a gorgeous piece of pink lace. I wish I had gotten this in another color too, but I didn’t have any reason to. This lace was marked at $145 a yard. After twenty minutes of haggling I managed to get it for forty dollars! Which is still a a lot for a single yard of fabric, but the detail of this fabric is incredible and I think it was worth every penny. I don’t have a project in mind for this but i’m sure i’ll figure something out!

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The final two pieces of fabric are for another original design. This one is a little weird. It was actually inspired by a vulture.  They are called Bearded Vultures and their diet consists almost entirely of bones. They are mostly cream colored and grey but can develop richly colored plumage from rubbing dust and mud on themselves. And when they do, it’s gorgeous. The coloration they have in that state, and the amount of texture their feathers have were the inspiration for this piece.

I don’t have a good idea of what this costume will look like just yet. I’ve done a few sketches but I don’t feel ready to share them. I think it’ll be a fitted gown but i’m still debating. However this idea was cemented in my mind so much that I bought a few fabrics for it!

The first is this peach colored laser cut chiffon. It’s so fluffy.

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The other is a piece of tablecloth lace. It’s woven from red and black threads so it has a very interesting color and sheen to it. The color is what made me want it, but I really like the lace pattern too. And as a bonus, it was super cheap! Like, five dollars a yard cheap which is a steal when it comes to lace.

(even if it’s made for tablecloths)

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And that’s it for fabric! I’m happy with what I got but the in store selections weren’t that great this time. Usually I have problems restraining myself in certain stores because I like everything and could easily drop two hundred dollars in them. That didn’t happen at all this time. Which makes me think the selections are better in the winter, because around Christmas I saw sooo many fabrics that I fell in love with.

Anyway! Onward to trims and beads!

I went back to Beads World. This time I got seed beads for my 18th century dress. It has lace on the hem which I plan on beading by hand, so that is what the pink and off white ones are for. The gold ones are because I wanted more gold beads, even though I didn’t really need them.

I also got a dozen clear glass montees for my tudor project (I ran out). And two dozen black montees for another tudor project. This time i’m going to be more historically accurate, which means using stones that imitate things they were actually capable of using at that time..

Oh and I got a small bag of green sequins for the previously mentioned fairy inspired dress. Because it will probably end up being sparkly. Most of my projects do.

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I had a few impulse purchases in beads world, too. I got two bags of green montees which are imitation opal. I believe these are trying to imitate “Ethiopian Welo Opal”, but i’m more familiar with them being called “Fire opal” or “White Dragon’s breath”  because I spend to much time on etsy and those are the names indie jewelry companies use!

Either way, they are gorgeous in a way my camera couldn’t capture. They have a milky green base with lots of flecks in them that shine white, pink, blue, and gold. I’m not sure what they will be used for, but i’m excited to use them!

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The last Beads World purchase is the weird strand of beads which i’m going to make into a crown. To me, these look like something you would see in the ocean. But i’m pretty sure they are plastic and dipped in metallic paint.

For my purposes, that doesn’t really matter. They are going to make the most gorgeous fairy princess crown.

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I ended up going into yet another bead store. I couldn’t find the name of it online, but they were selling montees for half the price Beads World does! I wasn’t expecting to find these there, otherwise I probably would have gotten more. I’d never seen them in this store before, so i’m not sure if they will be there permanently. I got a bag of large red ones, teardrop shaped brown ones, and two packs of small blue ones.

I also got two bags of orange sequins for the black velvet butterfly inspired dress!

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At a random trim store ( I couldn’t find the name online) I bought a yard of alencon lace. This is for a wedding dress idea i’ve had for ages. I have enough lace for the bodice, but not enough to trim the sleeves with. This lace is similar in design and should work for that purpose!

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In the same store I got two yards of an embroidered lace trim. I’m not sure what this will be used for, but it would look nice on the bodice of a dress. I could also see it running down a set of sleeves!

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I bought some leather “bias tape” – it’s actually small strips of thin pleather with the edges turned over, similar to singe fold bias tape, but I don’t think it would go around curves very well! I got this with my vulture dress in mind, for trimming the edges of  bodice panels.

At Pacific Trims I got four yards of ribbon elastic. I’ll use this for gathering sections in sleeves, which will create delicate little “puffs” I have a Renaissance project coming up that I need this for.

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Also at pacific trim, I got some fake fur trim. I think this was six or seven dollars a yard, which is kind of ridiculous when you can buy a full yard of sixty inch wide fake fur for $12 at Joanns. But fake fur is miserable to work with, and I don’t want to put myself through that.

I’d rather make fifty yards of bias tape from chiffon. Yeah. That’s how much I hate working with fake fur.

Plus this is really nice! It doesn’t have the typical fake fur sheen, and it isn’t super thick. It is already attached to strips of cotton and the perfect width for trimming sleeves! This will be used for the medieval style dress I linked photos of earlier, and i’ll pair it with the orange and gold damask.

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The final two trims I got are from M&J trims. I usually don’t go into that store since it’s a bit overpriced and the employees are very…attentive? But not in a very positive way. In a way that makes me feel guilty for browsing. But they have a fantastic selection and I knew they would have what I wanted, so I went in.

I got exactly what I needed and was out in five minutes – yay! All I needed were feathers, which they have a pretty great selection of. I got a yard of peach colored goose feathers.

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And two yards of smaller, softer, black and red ones. If you hadn’t guessed, both of these are for my vulture inspired dress.

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And that’s everything! Holy hell this was a long post. I didn’t mean for it to be this wordy. I’m passionate when it comes to talking about fabrics and trims, I guess.

Speaking of that. I made a video of this haul too. I’m quite nervous in it and don’t seem as excited about what I got as I actually am. It was my first time filming myself talking and i’m hoping i’ll get better with more practice.

If you are interested, it can be watched here!

Thank you for reading!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in All about Fabric

 

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A Fabric Haul & Project Plans!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! I had a quiet but nice Christmas. It wasn’t filled with surprises because I was responsible for buying my own presents, but that arrangement worked out really well because I got exactly what I wanted! And what I wanted was fabric. Lots of fabric. And some beads.

Which meant it was time to take a trip to the garment district!

I haven’t been into NYC to buy fabric since my birthday (in April) so I was really excited! This year I’m aiming to make detailed, higher quality garments, so I went for quality over quantity…but I still got an absolutely ridiculous amount of fabric. This is going to be a post about what I got and what I hope to do with it!

I’ll start with the most elaborate fabric, which I definitely did NOT need. I was pretty good about sticking to my list this time, but when I saw this I couldn’t resist!

It’s a low pile velvet decorated with gold embroidery and sequins. I wish the velvet quality was a little nicer, it isn’t very pleasing to the touch but it does look lovely. I fell in love with the colors and embroidery pattern and knew I had to have it! I got it for $12 a yard from Amin Fabrics but I saw it at other stores too.

I know this has indian inspirations behind it, but I think it could make a lovely regency court gown. Definitely not an accurate one, but it could be so pretty. I feel like fabrics like this do all the work for you and I don’t want to cut into it too much, so a style like that would suit it well.

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I actually bought satin! I haven’t bought satin in…years? I think it has been years! This is an off white polyester satin with matching embroidery all across the fabric. In the store I really really liked it and decided it was perfect for a simple Regency dress, which i’ve already started on.

Now that i’ve played around with it I have mixed feelings about it, because I think the sheen makes it look a bit cheap.The sheen is actually identical to some silk satin I have, which is a high quality fabric. So maybe i’m just not used to shiny fabrics…or maybe it looks like costume satin and i’m in denial.

DSC_1594 The red fabric underneath it is a cotton sateen. I’ve actually used this exact material a LOT, I’ve made two dresses, a bonnet, and a corset from it and I still adore it. I love the weight, color, sheen, and price! So I picked up another six yards on this trip.

It will be used for a robe a la polonaise, worn over the ivory satin dress.

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 This year i’m finally going to tackle a gown from the 1640s! It’s my favorite period when it comes to fashion and i’m so excited to make something for it. It will be of this style. I chose a light blue taffeta for the project, I had hoped to find a richer shade but I think this color is nice too!

DSC_1946 I also got eight yards of champagne colored taffeta and eight yards of this lovely emerald green. Jewel tones are my favorite colors and i’m looking forward to working with these! They will eventually be turned into a monster ball gown from the mid 1800s.

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 I picked up eight yards of this ivory damask. I wish I could remember the shop name from where I bought this so I could recommend against visiting them. I was browsing trim while they cut this and when I unrolled it at home I found that over a yard is filthy and the weave is damaged beyond repair! Very annoying.

Hopefully I will still have enough to make the dress I planned. It will be an unusually elaborate dress that will be worn under a riding coat, with a mid 1700s theme.

DSC_1939 I also picked up a lace to pair it with! This is from Dianas fabric. It was $13 a yard, it’s sixty inches wide and both edges have gorgeous scalloped lace. That means I only needed three yards and I have enough to hem the dress with, so it works out to being cheaper than buying trim by the yard. And in addition to the lace edging, it also has appliques I can cut out and use.

Unfortunately the lace doesn’t really match the fabric (damn store lighting) so it may get a tea bath before I start the beading process!

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The fabric I bought for the riding coat is a stunning melton wool! Not the most exciting looking fabric of the bunch but I love the weight and texture of this. I got the three yards for $35 which I think is pretty good considering the quality!

I’m going to do a heap of research before starting on this project, but i’m so excited. It combines my love of lace and pretty dresses with tailoring, which is great!

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 I found these taffetas in Amin fabrics for $4 a yard and fell in love. They are really light and have a sheen that reminds me a lot of irredecent silk taffeta. I think they will make a really lovely renaissance ensemble.

I got some pink chiffon and trim as well, which actually don’t match. That’s what you get for trying to match fabrics without swatches. I think I have some chiffon in my stash that will match anyway, so i’m not too worried! It will always get used for something else!

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 The final fabrics I got are for a Tudor piece. I showed a few of my inspirations here, unfortunately I couldn’t find materials as intensely colored as I wanted. I ended up settling on this gold and orange damask, which I like but don’t love. But i’m confident it will grown on me once I start the project.

Bright colors can look a bit garish in historical recreations so I think in the end i’ll be happy with how it looks.

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I bought silk – a shock to the people in the fabric stores who remembered me, because I never buy silk. Usually when I ask how much something is they will just respond with “That’s silk” and that means it is  more than i’m willing to pay. But this year is about quality over quantity, so I decided I need to have one project that uses something other than cotton and polyester.

It’s a nice copper color with some deeper red tones.

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 So that is it on the fabric front. But i’m not done yet! Because my allowance money from the last four months went into beads. My dad and I went to Beads World, it was our first stop and I was determined to buy a lot of seed beads and glass gems.

Most of the seed beads I bought were gold, because it’s the color I find myself reaching for most often and crafts stores don’t have a good variety.

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I also got some orange ones with my tudor gown in mind, some blue ones for the baroque dress, and some cream colored ones of the same size. I would have chosen differently if I had bought the fabric before visiting this shop, but the location of this store meant we needed to go to it first.

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 I also really wanted glass gems for my tudor and baroque dresses. They have very elaborate beading at the necklines which should be easy to replicate with these.

I got a dozen of the larger red ones, and a 72 pack of the smaller red ones. I think it was $5 per a dozen and $12 for 72, so I opted for the latter.

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A dozen of medium sized clear ones and a 72 pack of the smaller ones. I REALLY wish they had some square ones since those are more accurate, but i’m happy with what I got. I think with less variety they will be easier to arrange, so that’s good!

DSC_1930 Some larger ones in this taupe color.

DSC_1929 A mixture of blue and clear oval ones! I really adore the color of these blue ones.

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And two large ones, for pendants.

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While walking to the fabric stores we came across another bead shop which I got a few things from. I purchased two (massive!) bags of sequins, two bags of plastic pearls, two feathers and some thread.

These feathers are fantastic, I never thought I would pay $5 for a single feather but these are just…I can’t describe them, they move like they are alive. Like some sort of underwater creature. It’s fantastic. My dad and I sat on the floor of this shop looking at them and talking about how “Nice those feathers are” which sounds odd looking back on it but was totally justifiable at the time because they are really nice feathers.

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I thought the pearls were super cheap because they were in a big box and all strange colors. I realize now they are probably so cheap because they don’t have holes in them. I am officially the biggest dummy ever. I should have checked but I just assumed beads would have holes in them.

Luckily the sequins do, in fact, have holes!

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I also got three spools of thread because it was really cheap. But a blog post filled with such pretty things shouldn’t be finished with something so boring, so i’ll end this here!

I’m not sure if it can really come through my writing but i’m so pleased and excited with what I got and really looking forward to working with all the new supplies!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday and I wish you a happy new year! It has been a really exciting year blogging wise and i’m looking forward to continuing it in the new year. I’ll have a big gooey round up post with my goals and such up next week, so I won’t get too mushy here. But thank you all for visiting and reading what I have to say here! It means a lot to me!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric & Flower Haul

So this is a haul in place of a progress report.  I was sick for the beginning of September, and worked on my Monarch Series for all of August so I don’t have much to report. I’ve done hauls before and gotten really positive feedback, and this time I bought a lot of things I wouldn’t usually reach for, and I have reasons behind them all so I thought it would be fun to write about!

The other day I went to Joann’s and Michaels since I had a whole bunch of coupons and there were several appealing sales going on. I ended up getting almost everything I wanted, and left with enough fabric to complete four future projects….and ten yards of trim.

The first thing I wanted were fall fashion fabrics. I had seen these a few days ago and decided against buying any. Mostly because they only had a few yards of each type, and if I have less then five yards of a fabric it’s unlikely to get used since my projects are all so large.

Of course after I left the store I remembered that I already have fabrics that would match these perfectly. Bright red suiting I have leftover from my mountie costume, black and grey plaid I bought last year and haven’t used, and six yards of very dark grey suiting.

I’m still not sure what these will get turned into, but I think they would make really lovely skirts and sashes. Maybe something red coat inspired? I definitely want to get back into doing military and menswear inspired projects so perhaps these will be the motivation I need.

These fabrics are all really nice, they feel like lovely wool (even though i’m 100% sure they are cheap polyester) and with the sale they were only $5 a yard which is less then what I would pay in NYC.

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Here is the black and grey fabric I already have, paired with the new addition.

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Next up I wanted to get fabric for a Renaissance skirt. I know I need to branch out and make things from different time periods, but my Monarch series has been such a stretch for me that I want to have something fun and familiar in progress on the side.

Besides I already have four yards of chocolate brown knit, two yards of printed brown material, and pheasant feathers with flecks of brown in them. I wanted fabric that would match what I already had, and there wasn’t much to pick from. After a lot of searching I found a roll of pin tucked taffeta hiding in the back that was perfect! I love the texture and sheen it has, and it’s really soft too. Quite nice quality considering where it came from.

Trims were all 50% off so I ended up buying eight yards of matching brown lace.

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On the more boring side of things I picked up two yards of white eyelet lace (for a bonnet), and  two packs of silver eyelets.

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Then I bought fabric which looks quite boring but is actually for a very exciting project. Five yards of matte tulle, and half a yard of silver mesh.

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I’m actually making a Halloween inspired project. It’s not a Halloween costume since I celebrate Halloween in my pajamas, eating candy corn, and handing out candy to neighbor hood children. When I make a post devoted to this project i’ll go into more detail, but for now i’ll say I don’t condone the excitement towards the “holiday”.

However I had this idea. And when I saw Michaels had Halloween decor 40% off I needed to make the idea a reality. I’m not sure why but I really want to do  something that is silly, tacky, and strange.

It’s going to use some of the techniques seen in my other flower dresses but this one will be a lot more obnoxious.

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The base fabrics are going to be the black tulle and mesh, but I have this horribly tacky purple fabric that I think i’m going to turn into a cape. I also have some bat print material that will be an overlay on the bodice.

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Now onto what I bought at Michaels! I’m quite annoyed because the items I wanted were listed as being on sale but apparently were excluded because they are “seasonal floral decor” not “seasonal home decor”  so I passed up some of the items I wanted and ended up spending more then I had planned.

I’m still really happy with what I got though. The main Item I wanted were glitter dipped black roses. These didn’t photograph very nicely – partially because i’m shooting against a window. Hopefully in the skirt they will look much better!

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Then I got some black maple leaves which have glitter spiders on them. I’m not sure why I find these so adorable but I really, really do.

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I got these glittery bats and pumpkins! These are probably my favorite items. Weirdly enough these were the only items I didn’t expect to be on sale, and they scanned up at clearance prices…I would have made different decisions if the sales were labeled better.

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I got twenty four glitter spiders which will “crawl” across the dress.

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And three clip on spiders for the headpiece.

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That was it for Halloween decor, but you may notice my selections are all a bit dark. That’s because most of the non black decorations were green or purple, and I wanted to stick to my black/orange/silver theme. Luckily and aisle over they had Christmas decorations on sale, which ended up being exactly what I needed!

They are these super glittery sprigs that ended up being less then a dollar each! I love them so much. Such a good glitter/dollar value. I got eight of the orange ones and two of the silver.

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So that’s everything! Quite the shopping spree. I’m officially putting myself back on another two month shopping ban, because I have enough supplies for like ten different projects now, and I don’t have any excuse to keep buying stuff….until December when I have Christmas money, then it’s totally justifiable.

Thanks for reading! I’ll have a “The making of” post soon.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric Friday: Fabric I never expected to be buying

I recently made a post on fabrics I regret buying, where I criticized fabric my past self had purchased, and it got me thinking – what would my past self think about my most recent purchases and fabric obsessions?

Honestly, my past self would hate them.

My newest fabric love is floral materials. I went to Joanns the other day and swooned over the summery flowery prints, which are intended for curtains or throw pillows but have serious pretty dress potential.

And I wanted all of them. Every singe one.

(I restrained myself and only bought one – and some matching buttons.)

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Which is weird because a year ago I probably would have looked at them and laughed if someone suggested I buy any, much less make a dress from them! I would have had some snarky comment about how ugly and old looking they were, and I wouldn’t have ever considered exchanging money for something ugly and “old” looking.

But now I absolutely adore them and have dozens of ideas bouncing around in my head for what I could make with such lovely fabrics. I’m really not sure when I was bit by the “floral” bug but I’m so incredibly fond of how delicate and girly these prints are!

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My past self would also be disappointed in how boring my shopping tendencies now are. Though I still love brocade, jacquard, and shiny fabrics, they aren’t what I usually end up buying. More often then not I buy muslin for mock ups, broadcloth for lining, and linen for undergarments. Foundation fabrics have become way more important to me in the last six months and unfortunately, they aren’t very exciting.

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Now days I consider two tone chiffon adventurous – not two toned four way stretch sequin encrusted fabric.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my current fabric choices, but they aren’t the sort of thing I would have looked twice at a year or two ago.

Is there a type of fabric you never expected to buy? Something you probably would have hated, or ignored just a few years prior?

Thanks for reading!

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric Friday: Love-Hate Relationships (fabric style)

Hello everyone! I suppose it’s only been a week, but it feels like i’ve been away from blogging for a long time. Last week I had several days all to myself – and I had big plans to spend the majority of that time writing, blogging, and making updates to existing posts. Unfortunately on day one my laptops hard drive had some surprise issues that left my laptop unusable. I’ve restored my old drive to it’s factory settings and right now everything is working fine – hopefully it will stay that way!

Since it’s Friday it seems only right to do yet another Fabric Friday post. This weeks theme is a little less positive then last weeks, and it will probably be less visually interesting too.

There area a lot of materials I love, some that I hate, and some I love to look at but hate to work with. The latter of which is what this post is all about!

In my two years of sewing I’ve worked with a lot of fabrics, and have discovered that every material has certain qualities that makes them wonderful – and others that make me a little angry. Brocade frays if you stare at it too long. Peachskin will happily break any needle you try to shove through it. Taffeta requires a huge amount of ironing and steam to make seams look smooth. Velvet is stunning but jams up machines in seconds. And good luck making a fitted garment from cotton sateen that doesn’t look stiff.

The more I make with each fabric, the better I get at using them. Now I know what problems to expect from the materials, so I can work around them and better decide what’s suitable for certain projects. I often deal with frustrations related to fabrics when sewing, but they happen WAY less often then they used to.

When they do happen, i’m usually using the fabrics i’m going to talk about in this post.

For this week I selected two fabrics – Silk [satin and taffeta], and chiffon.

Chiffon is a fabric that I use in almost everything I make. The sheer material has a gorgeous drape and adds a lovely, light, delicate quality to anything you make with it.  It comes in every color you can imagine, along with matte, two tone, and iridescent finishes. It’s pretty damn stunning and I adore the way it looks in most of my finished projects.

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But the pretty fabric has a dark side. A side filled with fraying, puckering, pulls, and making it impossible to get patterns cut out precisely.

This fabric is so impossibly slippery – no matter how many pins or pattern weights I use, two “identical” pattern pieces never look the same. Even when cutting two inch strips (something so simple it should be impossible to mess up) I’ll find massive inconsistencies – sometimes more then a half inch off. It’s insane, and frustrating, and a real pain to deal with.

The materials frays more then any I have ever worked with, and it puckers so easily that machine sewing hems is nearly impossible. It’s slippery so getting seams to line up (even when pinned) is a challenge – and after those seams are sewn you have to be really gentle since the fabric is so delicate the stitches can easily create tears or pulls in the material.

Working with it is a thing of nightmares, i’m telling you. But I probably won’t stop using it any time soon, since the end result is something I dream about.

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The second fabric  I’m going to talk about is one I have less experience with – silks. Since i’m a student, and still learning, I tend to purchase cheaper fabrics. If I have a costume with a large budget, i’d probably rather spend the extra money on trims or embellishments, since I think those tend to make a garment look more fancy and interesting then expensive fabric.

But I have had a few projects made entirely from silk – and they weren’t much fun.

The most recent was an off white, fully silk satin dress. The majority of the project was hand sewn – partly to finish things nicely, but mostly to avoid creating pulls in the delicate fabric. It’s such a fine weave that even the sharpest needle seems to catch on every thread and create annoying and ugly pulls on the pretty fabric.

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If you get anything wrong, tearing it out is going to be a nightmare. The fabric will never look the same and can even be damaged beyond repair, all because of a tiny mistake. And the mistake will hurt so much more because of the fabric costs.

To make it worse – there isn’t a good substitute for silk satin, or silk shantung, or silk taffeta. They are all very unique looking, and the polyester alternatives just aren’t the same (or even close).

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Of course dealing with the challenges  are worth it in the end – I certainly won’t stop using a fabric just because it puts up a fight. And i’ll never avoid using a fabric just because it may be a little challenging…but I can’t promise I won’t complain when dealing with those challenges.

Are there any fabrics you have a love-hate relationship with? Or tips on how to make them a little less painful to sew with? I’d really enjoy hearing about them!

Thanks for reading!

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric Friday: Fabric you love so, so much…

…That you are terrified to touch it. Or cut it. Or use it. Because the fabric on it’s own is more beautiful then anything you are capable of making and cutting into it would ruin it’s perfection.

Yes it’s Friday again. And since I loved reading the responses on last weeks post so much, i’m bringing it back! And this weeks theme is about material you love a little too much.

I’ve selected two fabrics for this weeks theme – a gorgeous pink and white bridal lace, and a pretty blue brocade.

The brocade was purchased a whole year ago, along with the fabrics I used for my Red and Silver Gown and my Christmas Costume. I bought these with birthday money, and my entire goal of the fabric shopping trip was to buy the prettiest materials possible. I was a little too successful.

Within days of buying the fabric (the majority of those days were spent lovingly gazing at them) I had designs in mind for three garments.  It took me over six months to use up the other two, and now it’s been a year and I still haven’t found it in me to destroy use this one.

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I only have a little under two yards, not enough for an entire dress. Because of this i’ve been hoarding blue materials and trims like crazy – I have plans for frilly sleeves, a cloak, and a cathedral length train – all of which would be trimmed with hand dyed lace.

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I’m envisioning a blue version of Lucrezia’s wedding gown in The Borgias. It would be wonderfully grand, but to make it I would have to cut up this brocade and it would probably get stained with tears in the process and ruin the whole thing.

No i’m not exaggerating at all. 

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Fabric two is a more recent purchase – I got this right before Christmas with a fantastic ball gown in mind. I had been looking for simple cotton lace to go with some pink cotton sateen I had purchased a few months before.

After searching a dozen stores I still hadn’t found any I liked – and then I saw this. 

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A beautiful sixty inch wide, beaded, sequined, embroidered mesh bridal lace. I needed it. You don’t even understand – this fabric and I had a moment, and I couldn’t leave the store without it. By some miracle and a lot of bargaining I got the four yard length for under $80.

This is the type of fabric i’ve seen go for $180 a yard. So in addition to being beautiful to look at, it’s also lucky.

Really lucky.

And if I cut it up i’m positive I will anger some fabric spirit – the same one that must have bestowed this beautiful lace upon me. And i’m pretty sure that angering the fabric gods would be ten times worse then breaking a mirror, or walking under a ladder.

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So until I feel really confident in my construction and design skills, these fabrics will probably remain unused.

Do you have any fabrics you love a little too much? I’d like to hear about them!

Thanks for reading.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric Friday: Fabric I (really!) Regret Buying

I’m not sure if Fabric Fridays are going to become a permanent thing – but I really like the idea of it. I’m a nosy person and I really enjoy seeing other peoples fabric stashes – so I thought some of you may be interested in seeing my own. I figured this would be a huge flop when I tried it out last week, but people on tumblr seemed to like the idea of it so I’m bringing it to wordpress too!

It’s a bit different from my regular posts but I think it’s a good way to end a week on a lighthearted note.

For those wondering what a Fabric Friday post is – well, each week (on a Friday, obviously) I will pick a theme and a few materials I own that fit into that theme. Then I will write a bit about how I came to own the fabrics and my feelings towards them.

I’m totally open to opinions about this – whether you like it, hate it, think it should be left on tumblr, etc. I won’t get offended!

….

Fabric Friday: Fabric I Regret Buying

In the last few years i’ve become really good at justifying my need for material, even the super impractical ones. I’m someone who gets inspired by fabric – usually I buy material then design a dress to go with it, instead of the other way around. It’s kind of backwards, but it works for me.

Because of this I don’t mind having large quantities of material laying around, even if i’m not quite sure what to make with them, I figure they will get used eventually.

Well, most of the time that’s how I feel.

But there are a few exceptions. I own several fabrics that make me cringe when I look at them.

And these are some of those fabrics.

To start it off here is some heavily sequined satin material, paired with some teal foil dot, four way stretch spandex.

I must say I still think the sequined material is pretty, but it’s not the type of thing I will ever use in any of my projects. It might make a pretty, slinky dress – but a single yard of it weighs a good three pounds because it’s so heavily decorated. It would be terrible to work with since it’s more plastic then it is fabric, and I don’t even want to think about what it would do to my nice sewing scissors!

Foil dot spandex has a place in this world, but it doesn’t below in my collection. What on earth would I ever do with this? Can you imagine a fancy, full length Renaissance gown made from teal spandex? The horror.

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The fabric I cannot believe I purchased (and adored at one point) is…this. I loved it so much I bought it in two colors, too! And now I can’t even look at it because it blinds me with it’s insane sparkle and tackiness.

I can’t even describe this fabric, it feels like AstroTurf that stretches in four directions and it sparkles like a disco ball on steroids. I’m not even sure why fabric in this texture even exists – I don’t understand what you could do with it, or if you can even sew it.

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I’m glad to say I don’t regret any of my recent fabric purchases. All the materials in this post were purchased on my first even trip to the NYC Garment District, back when I didn’t sew. I was more interested in sparkly things then anything functional.

Now i’m the person at Joanns that I used to scoff at – the one who buys the most boring fabrics in the store.

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I’d rather be boring then have a closet filled with fabrics like the ones above – so i’m very glad my tastes have changed!

My question for you guys is: Do you have any fabrics you regret buying? That one material that makes you angry when you look at it because it’s so useless? Or haunts you at night because you can’t figure out why on earth you ever bought it?

Thanks for reading!

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in All about Fabric

 

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Fabric.com Review Continued – Fabric Haul

My two boxes from Fabric.com arrived a while ago, so I can finally write the second part of this review! The first part was very negative and talked about my experiences with customer service, and the actual ordering process from Fabric.com. This will be a proper review of some of the products and surprisingly, it will be positive.

I made two orders from Fabric.com. Order one was placed on March second, shipped out on March fifth, and arrived on March Tenth. Order two was made on March fifth, shipped out on March tenth, and arrived on March twelfth. They have slow processing times, but the shipping was super speedy.

This is what my orders looked like – I got over thirty yards of material for a bit more then one hundred dollars.

I took advantage of some really amazing sales, unfortunately most of them are no longer available. I’m not sure if the low prices were a fluke, but now all of these are only 20% off instead of half price.

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My order arrived in two boxes – the first weighed thirteen pounds!

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The second one was only seven pounds, much less impressive, but my dog found it interesting.

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The fabric that originally tempted me into ordering was the cornhusk colored twill – well I originally ordered shantung, it was out of stock, had to reorder it in twill.

For some reason I thought this fabric would match some other material I had.  I’m not sure why I was so confident about that, since the photo on the site is much darker then the material I wanted it to match.

But I bought seven yards of it.

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And in person it looks like this.

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To be honest it looks nothing like the photo. It matches the name though – it’s a beige-y yellow that looks like a dried cornhusk. The material itself is a decent weight twill, with a really nice sheen to it.

(Though not as nice in texture as cotton sateen, it does look similar to it.)

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And by some miracle – it matches my other fabric perfectly!

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I bought five yards of the twill in pink too. I regretted this right after the order went through because I realized I would probably end up with a pile of pepto bismol like fabric (blush probably means hot pink by fabric.com standards).

I bought five yards – I figured it would make a nice early 1900’s dress, and if it was awful, I could use it to construct a giant ruffly petticoat.

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Like the cornhusk material, it’s very different in color then the online photos – but it’s really pretty too! It’s  not the peach color I had hoped it would be, but It’s a lovely cool toned light pink, which manages to look bright and cheery but not overwhelming.

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Again it has the twill texture and a nice sheen to it. After I took this out of the package I found myself regretting that I didn’t buy more.

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….

 I was kind of clueless what this would be like (it’s suggested to be used to make window sheers and lingerie) I thought it may be sheer like chiffon but I wasn’t sure. I purchased it mostly because I liked the color, it’s really different from the colors I usually go for, and more interesting then ivory.

(I always use ivory as an accent color, if you hadn’t noticed)

I bought three yards of this.

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It’s not sheer, at all. I’d describe the appearance as a double sided satin with a little less sheen. But it feels like silk – so soft and pretty.

DSC_5075The color is a little different, instead of being brown toned, it’s more of a greenish colored khaki. I really dislike the color, but it does feel and look really nice – sadly it will probably end up as lining material.

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Moving on to the final fabric from the “Crestmont” series. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect form this one either, but the color drew me in. It was cheap and in my favorite shade of dark red, so I really couldn’t say no.

I bought six yards of this.

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In real life it’s more of a brick red then I had expected. I’m slightly disappointed but I still like the color a lot. The fabric itself feels quite nubby and flimsy, like really cheap polyester suiting .

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The print adds texture but is still relatively subtle. The fabric really does feel awful, but I think I can make something pretty out of it anyway. I’m not sure what yet, but it will be used eventually.

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I snagged some white shantung which i’m really happy about. It’s such an easy fabric to work with and I love the weight of it (stiff but not heavy – amazing for full length dresses) and although it’s not the traditional material, I picked this up with a chemise a la reine in mind.

I got five yards.

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It’s the stiffest shantung i’ve ever felt, so I wouldn’t consider it “very lightweight” nor would I use this for bedding or regular apparel. But it does look very nice! It’s a bright white with a pretty, subtle sheen.

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The slub is obvious up close, but not very visible from far away. Nice if you are like me and don’t care for large slub, not so nice if you are looking for an accurate “dupe” for silk shantung.

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….

This fabric was the one that frustrated me the most out of the bunch, since I can’t use it for anything really.

I bought it because when I saw it I instantly thought of pirates – and i’m a sucker for pirates.

Luckily I only wasted money on one yard, though.

Untitled3334The problem with this fabric is that [unlike the photo shown]  the pattern is situated vertically instead of horizontally. I guess this makes sense if you are purchasing it for drapery, since then you can have the length longer then 54″ without having a seam. But I went off of the photo and assumed it would be oriented horizontally, so I could make a skirt from it.

That isn’t the case, so it won’t really work for a skirt unless I want it to be quite short. I do like the fabric print a lot. It looks aged, almost like a map, and the ships and still reminds me of something piratey.

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It looks almost like burlap, but it feels like a very heavy linen.

I think I will eventually make a (grumble) shorter skirt out of it. But for now it’s tucked away. I’ll pull it out on a rainy day when i’m fed up with all my other projects.

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And the cotton backing mentioned in the description.

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I saved my favorite for last! This fabric is one I bought with something very specific in mind, so I had higher expectations then I did with the rest of the materials.

I bought five yards.

Untitled333The fabric feels like regular linen and the print looks like  an oil painting.

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I don’t see much teal in it – it’s more like a true porcelain blue in my opinion, but I guess other people may feel differently. Either way I really love the print, color, and texture of this fabric.

A year ago I probably would have thought this fabric was hideous – funny how tastes change.

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So that was that! I’m happy with almost everything I got. As usual the photos aren’t very accurate to what you end up with, but this time around I wasn’t too bothered by the differences.

Make of this what you will – but in my experiences fabric quality varies a lot. The photos and product descriptions [usually] aren’t super accurate, so you can’t really be sure what you’re getting unless you buy a swatch first.

Customer service is pretty awful – there has always been something wrong with every order I have made, and the fabric.com staff has never done anything to help resolve the issues – even when they are responsible for them.

I’ve been really frustrated with them many times, and I bet I will be frustrated with them again in the future. Fabric.com is NOT the first place I go for material, it never will be, but I do enjoy taking advantage or the amazing sales they occasionally put out.

Sleeve post should be up tomorrow! Sorry for the delay, my brother and father have been home all week so its been a bit chaotic – I haven’t had my quiet time in the morning blog.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in All about Fabric, Reviews & Hauls

 

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