Another 10 things post in a row. Why? This was actually combined with the previous one but then the list of fabrics too over the post and I decided to split it into two.
I do not shop for many clothes, anymore, but I think that most of the fabric shops in the Helsinki region know my face! In my years of sewing, I have definitely bought wrong fabrics for wrong projects, bought too little or too much, paid too much or embarrassed myself when trying to keep my kids in control while, at the same time, trying to select a right kind of fabric to my project. So, I thought to share what I’ve learned when shopping fabric.
1. Be smart and frugal
Always check the factory remnants and discount bins first. You can find good quality fabric at very cheap prices.
2. Check the quality
If your fabric shows any signs of pilling, leave it. It will get worse, believe me. Also, if the fabric still looks good after being manhandled, crushed and stuffed into a bin with other remnants, it will probably be worth getting.
3. Does it wrinkle?
Breath into your hands to get them a bit warm and moist and crush a corner of the fabric into your hand to see how much it wrinkles.
4. How much to get?
1,5 metres will make a pair of trousers, a short-sleeved top, a shift dress or a narrow skirt for me. Two-metres will make a fuller skirt, an A-line dress or a shirt. 3,5 metres will make almost any dress.
You need more fabric if there’s no waistline. My trench coat took over 5 metres of fabric!
5. Not all salespeople are experts
Keep in mind that not all the fabric salespeople are experts. I have got some very confused looks when mentioning my coverstitch machine. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
6. Know your basic fabric types by feel
Learn to recognize the following fabrics by feel: wool, cotton, linen, silk, polyester, viscose. If you need help, check my previous post!
7. Notions are surprisingly expensive
Buttons, trims and zippers are expensive and can double the price of your project. Consider stashing at local flea markets. Also, it’s a good idea to save buttons when you throw a worn-out garment to the bin.
8. Remember the matching thread
I do stash the fabric without any idea what to make out of it. However, it is very annoying if I get the inspiration and can’t start the project since I don’t have the matching thread.
9. Ditch the kids
Don’t take your little kids with you or if you do, zombify them with a phone and some videos. You don’t want your kid climbing on top of the bolts. That will give you a reputation…
10. Straight into wash
At home, don’t take your fabric to your sewing room before washing it. That way you can be sure that the fabric in your stash has been washed. Wash at the highest recommended temperature and tumble dry if it’s allowed. You will want the maximum shrinkage to happen before you cut it.
I hope you found this useful! Thank you for reading and do subscribe! Special thanks to all of you who already subscribed to my blog! Happy sewing!