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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!

 

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

 

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Fabric Haul & Future Plans, January 2016

Here is the promised fabric haul! And I have to warn you, it’s pretty gigantic.

The majority is from the NYC Garment District.  I went there the week before Christmas and spent all of my Christmas money (and then some) on fabric. After I got home I went on a little etsy shopping spree with some of my youtube earnings, and the week after that I placed an online order for some sewing supplies I ran out of. So the pile of purchases continued to grow for a while there – but i’m done now! Officially on a no-buy until I finish a few projects.

Speaking of that in addition to this being a haul it’s also going to be a peak into what projects i’m planning for the next few months. I have sketches to share along with heaps of reference photos, which is part of the reason this post will be so long.

I went into the Garment District armed with a half dozen swatch cards and a huge list. I was mainly shopping for four ensembles: A 1890s afternoon dress and coat. A more casual 1890s ensemble that consists of a hat, skirt, and shirtwaist. An Edwardian evening gown. And a short 1920s evening dress. I was also shopping for plain fabrics that would work for the foundation garments to go under them.

Here are my swatch cards for the three most exciting dresses~

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And my massive heap of fabric I got to gaze at on Christmas morning.

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I promise there are lots of pretty fabrics to share but i’m going to leave those to the end. We’ll start with the ones I bought for foundation garments, since those will be the base for all these dresses.

Here is my stack of lightweight cotton fabrics (and shantung!) which I bought with that purpose in mind.

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One of my favorites shops (Fabric for Less) is going out of business. That really sucks since i’ll miss visiting their store, but it worked in my favor on this trip since they were having a big closing sale in an attempt to move as much stock as possible.

They had two cotton fabrics which I fell in love with. I’d looked at similar fabrics in other shops but they were all too thick or too expensive. I was almost ready to give up and use muslin instead when I came across these! The first one has an eyelet pattern and light striping across it. It’s pure white and has a slightly gauzy/sheer texture to it which I love since it won’t add bulk under dresses.

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This was three dollars a yard. I bought eight yards at first, then asked for another three yards since I liked it so much. This will be used for the chemise, bloomers, petticoat, and maybe the top layer of a corset.

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From the same shop I got four yards of a similar fabric. It was the same price, weight, and color, but has a different pattern to it. I really like this one – I think i’ll use it to make a blouse/shirtwaist for the 1890s ensemble.

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And also from the same store I got shantung! This was three dollars as well and I plan to use it for the petticoat. It has a stiffness to it which creates very full ruffles, which is exactly what I want. This will likely be used for one of the corsets as well.

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I should probably share a sketch of what I have in mind for the underthings, but i’m not sure how accurate this sketch will end up being. I am going to be making a chemise, two corsets, bloomers, and a petticoat. But the construction and appearance of those things is something I haven’t settled on just yet.

I’m likely going to base the chemise off this one from the Metropolitan Museum archives. But I really like the more traditional frilly ones as well, so i’m torn. The Met has some good bloomer references as well, which I might follow.

I wanted to make the petticoat with three tiers (as shown below) but two tiered ones are more accurate, so i’ll probably do that instead.

For corsets i’ll be making one with a very cinched waist and flat front below the waist (as opposed to the bulge below the tummy which was fashionable in the 1870s). And a longer one with a straighter silhouette that can be worn with dresses from the first quarter of the 20th century.

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With those in mind i’ve bought some trims! As you can probably tell, i’ve decided on a pink and white theme.

The middle trim is one I already had, I believe it was given to me by my grandmother. The embroidered one is from etsy, the ribbon is from onlinefabricstore.net, and the woven one is from Joanns. I think these will really dress up the foundation garments and add that frilly lovelyness that was so common at that time.

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The last of the “boring” things were from online shopping adventures. I got steel boning for the corsets, heavy weight buckram, ribbon, and twill tape from onlinefabricstore.net. The muslin is for mock ups and lining, and that’s from Joann’s. The busk is from CorsetMoment on etsy. I’m really pleased with all these purchases, though you won’t end up seeing any of them in the finished pieces!

Speaking of onlinefabricstore, I usually highly recommend them but this order was a huge mess. I made it on December 29th. Part of my order shipped out on January 1st and I received it a few days later. A week after ordering I got an email saying two of the items were backordered and wouldn’t ship until January 11th. Now it’s the 18th and though the shipping label has been created, my order hasn’t shipped. Really frustrating!

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Onto fun stuff! This is the project I put most of my Christmas money towards. It’s an evening gown from the early 1900s, which was inspired by the first few seasons of Downton Abbey. I spent days browsing pinterest for references and inspiration before compiling ideas from a bunch of the dresses I liked into this sketch.

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I want the focus to be on the bodice and hem, with elaborate beading and lace on all the edges. If i’m feeling brave I might attempt beaded feathers across the hem, like these ones.

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My first task was finding elaborate lace. The shop I planned to buy from refused to go lower than $55/yard for the lace I was interested in, and that was way too much. So I went into a shop I’d never visited before, called Fabric Express and ended up falling in love with this black and grey lace.

All the beads are metal and glass so it’s very heavy. The embroidery is filled with metallic silver threads, and it has symmetrical borders on each edge of the lace, which can be fussy cut out and used as trim. The lace is almost fifty inches wide and packed with beautiful beaded appliques. I’m so in love with this fabric, I can’t even tell you. The depth of it doesn’t capture very well on camera which is a shame since it’s one of the most gorgeous fabrics i’ve ever seen!

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This still cost more than I wanted to spend – at $30something dollars a yard it’s the most expensive cut of fabric i’ve ever bought, but since I had Christmas money I decided to put it towards something I really loved and wouldn’t usually buy.

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To go underneath that I picked up some silk shantung in a greyish cream color. This was from the store that was closing so it was very well priced for silk – I think $7 a yard or so, which is cheaper than i’ve ever seen it before. This has a lovely sheen to it and texture. It’s heavy enough to support the weight of the lace, but still light enough to drape beautifully.

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On the downside… It’s really badly water damaged. Somehow I didn’t notice this despite watching the shop owner roll out and cut the fabric right in front of me. The damage has horribly stained almost eighteen inches of the fabric all across the yardage I purchased. Which makes the usable width only forty inches. I don’t think it was a bad deal, considering forty inch wide silk of this quality usually costs more than seven dollars a yard.

But it’s not what I thought I was paying for. And I’m not sure i’ll have enough fabric to use this as the base for the dress. I’m hoping I can wash the damaged portion and hide it in the bodice or train of the skirt, underneath an overlay which will hide the color difference. But i’m not sure that will work, and i’m really annoyed by the whole situation!

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For the overlay on this dress I got seven yards of english net. This has a similar texture to tulle, but is more durable and less prone to tearing. It’s what lace is backed on, and is often used for veils. I had an awful time finding this in stores, everyone though I meant stretch net (used in athletic wear) or tulle. Luckily one guy had an unopened bolt of the stuff in black, which I grabbed up!

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This is the opacity it has. Very similar to tulle, just has a tighter weave and a bit of stretch to it.

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To embellish this dress I got lots of beads and sequins. I’m planning on using some vintage blue/black sequins a reader sent me as the main embellishment for this piece, since they are the only thing I can imagine being pretty enough to pair with this lace.

But I wanted to try a few different colors and sizes, so I got a large bag of faceted ones that shift between gold/black and two small bags of flat blue ones…which I thought were black when I bought them. I’m not sure either of these will match, but i’m going to try to use them and see how it goes.

The beads are from a shop whose name I can’t remember, but it’s near Beads World. I got a large bag of glass bungle beads, and a bag of glass seed beads that are dark grey. These definitely match and will be used generously all over the dress.

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The next project is an afternoon dress from the 1890s. It’s going to have huge sleeves and a matching hat. Most of my references for this were fashion plates and pictures from vintage Harper’s Bazaar magazines which were a gift from my Great Aunt.

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For this I wanted a fabric that was stiff enough to keep it’s shape – it needs to be to support the massive sleeves and pleated skirt. I also wanted the fabric to be cheap, since I needed eight yards. A fabric that falls into both of those categories is polyester taffeta, so that’s what I went with!

I got this from Hamed Fabrics – I think they have the best selection of taffeta, but Amin Fabric is good as well. This was priced at four dollars a yard and I love it. The color is amazing. It’s purple but has a pink/grey shift to it depending on the lighting. Here it looks like it’s all one tone.

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But when it’s gathered slightly and the sun hits it, it really shines. I think the amount of depth this has makes it look a lot more expensive than it is, which I appreciate!

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For the buttons I bought the cheapest metal ones that Daytona trims. I spent almost as much money on the buttons as I did on the dress fabric, which was painful. I can’t remember how many I needed (I know I got more than a dozen), but I paid $24 for the bunch of them.

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Since this dress has a lower neckline i’ll be putting a partial blouse underneath it. I’m planning on making it like a corset cover, so it will be sleeveless and tie at the waist. This means it won’t add any bulk to my silhouette, which I appreciate! This was from Fabric Express and is a bit stiffer than the other cottons I got. Other than that it’s quite similar – it is partially sheer and has a subtle print to it.

And it’s white but i’m planning on tea staining it to an ivory shade.

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Though the dress on its own should be quite pretty, it’s going to be paired with a cloak…coat…thing. I’m using advertisements from the late 1800s as reference, but it’ll be based off the one Edith wears in Crimson Peaks since i’m obsessed with it.

Finding fabric for this was a challenge. I wanted something that was heavier than a suiting, but lighter than a coating. I found a few ones that looked promising, but they were all more than $10 a yard, which was more than I wanted to pay since I needed so much of it.

I finally found what I wanted in Amin Fabrics – I didn’t even know they sold suitings, but they had a selection of them in the weight I needed hidden on the top of a pile (and by pile I mean wall of fabric – if I were any shorter I wouldn’t have been able to reach them, and i’m pretty tall!).

It’s a beige color, which isn’t very exciting.

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But it has a nice weight to it which should lay nicely over the dress, while still being light enough to gather into puffed sleeves without becoming too bulky. It isn’t sheer, but i’m worried the dark color of the dress might be visible through it, which wouldn’t look good. So I may have to line it. I have some beige taffeta laying around that I can use for that if that becomes an issue.

The best part about this fabric is that the nine yards of it cost $68! Which is amazing for such a nice heavy suiting.

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For the piping, bows, and hat I got two yards of velvet in this rich raspberry/dark fuchsia/ mulberry color. I really love this color and I think it looks nice with the taffeta I purchased (even though they don’t really match).  This is from Zahra Fabrics.

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My other 1890s ensemble is pretty simple by comparison. It will consist of a cotton shirtwaist (I showed the fabric for that earlier) and a velvet skirt, with a matching hat. I like simple ensembles sometimes, and I like making separate pieces. I think this will make a very nice side project, and be quite pretty as a finished outfit.

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The velvet is from Fabric for Less, the shop that was going out of business. I bought what was left, which is about six yards, and I think it was five dollars a yard. It looks linty as all get out because it’s velvet…that’s what velvet does.

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The last project on my list is a 1920s evening dress in the famous flapper style. I don’t care for the silhouette of these (I know it will be really unflattering on me) but i’ve wanted to make one for ages since they are so different than anything i’ve made before.

Unfortunately I didn’t do a lot of research before shopping for this project. I realize now that I prefer the hand beaded dresses instead of ones made out of lace appliques. And the base fabric I purchased is way too stiff. These dresses don’t hang properly unless they are made from slinky materials (the opposite of what I bought).

I don’t think i’ll be able to make the delicate beaded dress that I dreamed out of the materials I got, so I may have to rethink this project until my next trip to the Garment District.

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The lace for this project is from Fabric Express. It’s in a very pretty dusty rose/peachy color – quite similar to lace I bought for my birthday earlier in the year. The pattern is floral, with very wide borders at each edge and lots of appliques.

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The beads are glass, and in a milky pink color. This lace is packed with beautiful copper colored sequins that really make the pattern pop.

Once again i’m a bit in awe that i’m in possession of such a pretty fabric! Everything about it is gorgeous and I feel very lucky to own it.

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This is the stiff fabric I got to go underneath it. My reasoning for buying this material is that it would be easy to bead and could support the weight of beading. But it doesn’t have the right level of movement and was a really poor choice for this project.

On the bright side, it’s gorgeous. And I love having brocade around, since it makes the prettiest bodices. I’m sure i’ll find something to pair this with soon!DSC_0589

For the sash and skirt I got two yards of english net and four yards of chiffon. The chiffon looked like it matched really well in the store, but once I brought it home I realized it was too cool toned in color. So yet another fabric setback!

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I only bought two trims on this trip (I managed to restrain myself for once). One is peachy colored pleated ribbon, which I plan on using to decorate the foundation garments. And the other is a really pretty organza based beaded lace, which I think will pair nicely with the fabric I have for a 1860s ball gown.

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For hats I picked up some feathers. I wish I had bought a few more of these large ones but I wasn’t sure what colors to buy, so I held off and  only bought two. They are both in this purple taupe color, and they are massive! So floaty and wonderful!

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Then I got two little bunches of two tone feathers. I’ve never seen anything like these before, they shift between two colors and are gorgeous. I bought a bundle of purple/green ones and green/black ones.

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The last things are all for my 1890s dress/coat ensemble. I got a couple ribbon flowers and a fabric flower to decorate the hat.  I’m not a huge fan of how these look, but I wanted to get something and these were the cheapest ones they had ($2 a piece). The only reason I bought these at all is because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find millinery flowers online.

I feel like millinery supplies are really overprice in the Garment District. Some of the fabric flowers were $12-$15 each despite being in poor condition and not the best quality. In future i’ll only buy feathers in those shops, and get my flowers online or from Michaels.

Speaking of feathers, I got more two tone ones! Though these don’t shift between two colors, they have more of a gradient to them. One bunch is purple and the other bunch is brown. I don’t think the brown ones match these fabrics very well, so i’ll likely pair it with some plaid material I got from Joanns.

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That’s IT for things I bought in NYC! Here are some things I got online to compliment those purchases…

The first things are flowers! I made three flower orders, the main one was from SquishnChips on etsy. They have an amazing variety of flowers and they are all so pretty. I’m really happy with my purchases from them and would definitely order again.

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I got some from Dames A La Mode and 32NorthSupplies as well. These ones are very nice, and arrived quickly, but it’s cheaper to buy through sellers outside of the US (like Squish) and the selection was much better from them, so i’m not sure if  would repurchase these.

They are all being stored in pretty pink floral printed box, and it makes me really happy!

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From PrettyLaceShop I ordered some chantilly eyelash trim. I’m thrilled with this purchase, it was really cheap (three dollars for three yards!), is wonderfully soft, and has a gorgeous pattern. It also arrived really quickly. I would definitely order more, just to have it around in the future.

This is to trim the top edge of a corset.

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This one is from the same seller and also to trim a corset. It’s also very pretty and well made.

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From LaceTrimWholesalers I got five meters of this mesh based embroidered trim. This is for the shirtwaist i’m making to go with the velvet skirt. I looked at a lot of trims similar to this, but eventually chose this one since I loved the details in the edging!

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This shop is also where I got the embroidered pink trim for the foundation garments. This one is really pretty, it’s embroidered with rayon threads that have a nice sheen to them and the pattern is really delicate.

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And the last purchase was this trim. I’d hoped this would match the purple taffeta I bought, so I could use it on that project. It doesn’t (not even close) but I don’t even care because it’s really pretty. And i’m sure i’ll find a use for it some day!

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That’s it!  This was huge and I have no plans to buy anything in the near future because of this. This is probably enough to keep me busy for a good long while. And I can’t wait to get started, because I’m really excited to work with all of these fabrics and to begin work on my new projects for this year!

Thanks for reading – a new The Making of Post should be up later in the week! 🙂

*edit put 2015 in the title by mistake and fixed it. OOPS.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in 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: A Massive Fabric Haul

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to talk about fabric! This won’t be my usual type of Fabric Friday post, instead it is a haul of what  I purchased in the NYC garment district last weekend.

Some of you may know that my birthday was on Monday. I’m a bit of a picky shopper, so my parents gave me money to spend instead of presents. I spent a little bit on posters and jewelry but decided to spend most of it on fabric. So this post will be devoted to the things I picked up, and what I plan to use them on!

 I wouldn’t say i’m a thrifty person, but the things I make are created so I can learn. And I don’t need (or want) really expensive fabrics to be a part of the learning process. Most of my projects require at least five (sometimes more like twelve) yards of fabric, which adds up really fast. Then you need to buy lining fabric, notions, trims, buttons, embellishments, and the overall price skyrockets.

Which is why I usually go into NYC armed with a list of what I need to buy, how much i’m willing to pay, and how much I need of each material. I’ll bring swatches, sketches, lists, whatever I think will keep me organized and on budget. It’s very rare for me to purchase fabric without a project in mind, unless it’s super cheap.

But was a birthday shopping trip, and because I was spending my own money, it was a little different then usual.

I didn’t go in with a list – or any idea of what I wanted  (very scary) . My goal was to buy things I liked,  and to not be as concerned about the price or projects in mind. So that’s what I did!

I want to say i’m not writing this as an attempt to brag or anything like that – I asked on tumblr and people showed a genuine interest in what I purchased, which is why I’m posting this. Also, buying this huge amount of fabric is not a regular occurrence for me, this is a once a year type of thing.

My first and most frivolous purchase was this rhinestone encrusted chain, and a large pendent to go with it. The shop I visited had a wall devoted to different types of these, they were so damn pretty I knew I had to take something home. The prices ranged from $10 – $70 a yard which scared me a little at first. When you think about it, less elaborate necklaces would cost double the price, and a yard is enough to make two, so it isn’t that unreasonable.

I ended up going with a pendant made for bridal headpieces ($16) and a yard of a mid tier chain ($16) it was expensive and a bit silly, but I really love these and think they make a good gift.

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Keeping on trend with the trims. I’m not really sure what it will get used for, but I love gold trim, especially in the form of lace. It will either be used to hem a dress, or cut apart to make pretty appliques.

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In the same store I found this green lace and loved it enough to buy two yards. I’ve been wanting to make something green for a long time, and this inspired me to make that a reality!

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My final purchase from the shop was these feathers! I’ve been getting more into hats and headpieces, so I knew I wanted to buy at least a few feathers. My favorite store that sells feathers was closed, so these were the only two I bought on the trip. I’ll have to get more next time, or attempt to find a seller on etsy.

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In the next shop I went a little bit crazy. I left with twenty yards of fabric. Who does that?

Purchase number one were these embroidered and embellished satins. I intended to buy one yard of the ivory, and five yards of the red, but because it was the end of both bolts I got a yard extra of each, for free!

I have no clue what to use them for, but I think they are pretty.

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I also bought more of this raspberry colored cotton sateen. I’ve made a dress from this fabric before, and I love it very much. The fabric is a dream to work with, it drapes beautifully, and is only $4 a yard. I actually bought this with something in mind…Ever since I saw this painting at the Brooklyn Museum I’ve wanted to bring her dress to life, and this is the perfect fabric to do it with.

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In the same store I picked up two yards of black cotton sateen, three yards of glitter satin and two yards of stretch tulle. I’ve wanted to make a black embroidered capelet for a little while, and when that happens i’ll need a dress to go underneath, these seemed like a good base for that project!

(I forget to buy black velvet for the capelet though – that’s what you get for not making a list)

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Glitter satin isn’t a fabric I would usually choose, but I feel like the subdued pink color tones down the glitter so it isn’t tacky. Or maybe it’s super tacky and i’m just trying to justify my love for it. Either way I like it a lot.

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I also bought some brocade. Because I can’t have a shopping trip where I don’t buy at least a little brocade. I purchased three yards of the gold, and one yard of the pink one. These will either be turned into fancy bodices or made into piping and used with a more subdued material.

I kind of want to make a super fancy jacket from the gold one, but it would probably blind people.

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I picked up these two more subtle brocades, two yards of the black and a yard of the blue. The black one has a satiny finish, and though I loved it in the store I now think It looks a little too asian influenced to work in any of my projects. I still adore the royal blue brocade – I have no clue what to do with it but it’s lovely.

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The final pretty fabric I purchased (the rest are quite boring) is this black lace. I liked the black lace I worked with on my striped taffeta dress so much I wanted more. Obviously I couldn’t find more, but I did find something similar, and I snatched up two yards. I paid $50 for the two yards, which hurt, a lot. But I’m going to pair it with some taffeta I already own, so the overall cost shouldn’t be too bad.

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Moving on to the boring fabrics! I bought seven yards of bright red flat backed velvet, I purchased this kind of – sort of with a project in mind. For a while i’ve wanted to make something similar to the dress Joanna of Aragon wears in this portrait, but I may use it for something else. Large quantities of velvet always come in handy.

DSC_5951I purchased seven yards of linen, and three yards of textured linen in the same store. The plain linen is for a chemise – I’m not sure what type yet, but I have a few upcoming projects that will require one, so i’ll decide then.

I just liked the textured linen. I want to make some middle age-y things in the near future and I feel like this would work well with them.

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I also bought chiffon. Another fabric that is just good to have around, even if you don’t know what to do with it. These really caught my eye – although they are polyester chiffon, they flow like silk and aren’t at all sheer. Really different from what i’ve seen before.

I bought seven yards of each, at $4 a yard.

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I bought regular, semi-sheer two tone chiffon as well, three yards in each color. I’m not sure why but these colors really jumped out at me, and I liked how they looked next to the gold and navy.

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At the end of my shopping spree I realized something – I wasn’t sure if I had bought enough fabric for a complete project. Though I had bought bits and pieces here and there I didn’t think I had enough cohesive materials to make a single thing.

(I realize now that I did, but at that point I was panicing)

So I went back and bought two fabrics that had caught my eye, but I had passed by.

Thing one was this very rich, dark green stretch velvet. I bought seven yards at $6 a yard, but it was the end of a roll so I got almost two yards extra for free. This matches the green trim I purchased earlier very well.

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Then I zoomed back to another store and got seven yards (the magic number of this day) of ivory upholstery demask. This is my favorite purchase of the day, believe it or not. I bought it thinking it was sixy inches wide, but when I brought it home I realized it’s one hundred and twenty inches wide – twice the amount I expected. So exciting.

I think it will look really lovely as a dress worn underneath a green cape.

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So that’s that. My fabric collection has officially grown by fifty (more like seventy, yikes) yards and i’m not sure where to put everything. I guess I need to get sewing to make more room!

I feel pretty insane and a little guilty buying some much fabric, but i’m sure it will all be used before the year is up. Between this haul and what I purchased on fabric.com a few months back I have enough fabric for a dozen projects, exciting!

I hope you enjoyed, and if you are interested in my few non-fabric birthday items, i’ll be posting them under this tag on tumblr.

Sticking to Fabric Friday tradition, I suppose i’ll ask a question: What is the most recent material you’ve bought? Did you buy it just because it was pretty, or do you have a project in mind for it?

Thanks for reading!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Reviews & Hauls

 

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