Knit Fabric Selection for the Conifer Skirt

When choosing fabric for the Conifer Skirt, there are several aspects to the fabric that you want to know and consider. In fact, these considerations are important for selecting knit fabrics for any garment! For the Conifer Skirt, you will particularly want to consider roll, recovery, stretch percentage, stretch of a print, and weight. I talk through all of these aspects in this video, for those of you that like watching instructional videos. Fabric type: A jersey is the most obvious choice for the Conifer Skirt. However, there are many types of knits and if you find one that has the necessary characteristics discussed below, go for it! ITY knits and four-way stretch knits are also obvious choices. You might even find a stretch woven that will work. Roll: Do the edges of your fabric roll? Don’t fret, this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. The edges of some knits will roll …

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Fabric Shopping in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An fabric store  Hùng Vương 2

The final stop in my attempt to fabric-shop my way across SE Asia – Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An is known as the tailoring capitol of Vietnam (more on that coming soon!) so one would think that I should have been able to go on one last fabric binge, right? The obvious place to look would be the building in town called the “cloth market”, right? The cloth market is a market in a building on the east side of the main part of Hoi An. It’s full of stalls of fabric, as one might expect from the name. Unfortunately, each stall had pretty much the same selection as the others around it and the touts were very, very aggressive. The fabric is really being sold as part of getting something custom tailored, and it usually took me a bit to get a price for a meter of fabric as …

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Fabric Shopping in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

fabric store ubud batik

We only had a few days in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, (our other time in Indonesia was spent sitting on a beach in the middle of nowhere on Lombok) but of course I had to buy some Indonesian fabric. We got dropped off in the heart of Ubud at the palace and ambled our way down Kajeng road (on the way to Threads of Life, more on that below) and one of the first stores I noticed was a little sarong store and sarongs = fabric! There was a beautiful assortment of different sarongs in a variety of quality of fabrics printed to look like batik, some real batiks, and some ikat. Since everything is sold as sarongs, it means that the fabric comes as ~2 yards. I talked to a driver that we had about traditional clothing in Bali and he told me that both men and women wear sarongs, although they are tied differently …

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Fabric Shopping in Chiang Mai: My Haul

thai ikat mudmee fabric

Hopefully you enjoyed reading about my experience fabric shopping in Chiang Mai. I’m sure what you really care about is my spoils, so here they are! I started my Chiang Mai fabric shopping with something shiny and pink (not a big surprise to anyone, I’m sure). It was stacked outside the store with many other bolts of eye-catching fabric, much like the stores I used to frequent on my trips to the L.A. fashion district (I’m a sucker for shiny no matter where in the world I am, I guess). It’s synthetic, but decent quality, albeit a bit scratchy on the wrong side, so whatever it becomes will need to be lined/underlined. The other synthetic fabric that I bought (yes, it was labeled “Thai silk”. no, it is not actually silk. trust me) had a lustrous gold and silver peacock design woven into a border print. Like the pink fabric …

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Fabric Shopping in Chiang Mai: The Experience

mudmee thai cottons

I can’t actually describe my fabric shopping trip in Chiang Mai without first raving about my new friend Gaye of Notionally Better. She drove into Chiang Mai from nearby Lampang to spend the day taking me shopping. I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that two sewists could instantly become friends, because sewing people are great people, but, after only one day of hanging out, I adore this woman! I had a brilliantly fun day fabric shopping and much of it was due to Gaye’s wit, friendliness, energy, and enthusiasm! So many thanks to Gaye for taking the day to play with me! All of the fabric stores that we went to were around the Warorot market, a daytime market that is centered around two multi-story buildings but extends out into the streets and lanes nearby. All of the fabric shops that we went to were on …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 1: Pattern and Fabric

off white wool brocade

Stop what you’re doing and look at this fabric. Off-white wool brocade with delicate gold flowers. Yes, I said wool brocade. Go ahead, stare. But you might want to catch that drool before it hits your lap. Really, you’re not drooling yet? Okay, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that a picture hardly does this beauty justice. Just wait until I get sewing on this project. There. Will. Be. Drool. Since I decided not to sew my own wedding dress (or shall I say the universe and my girlfriends decided for me), I’ve been obsessing about things I could possible sew (and make and do) for my wedding. Concurrently, a part of my brain has been obsessing about finally hand tailoring a jacket for myself. And the two ideas seem to have collided. Because I’ve decided to hand tailor an off-white wool brocade jacket to wear over my wedding dress for …

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My Stash is Out of Control

Grey cat in fabric stash

As part of my Organize January mission, and inspired by the stashbusting sewalong, I decided to take every piece of fabric I own off the shelf, measure it, organize it into piles, fold it back on the shelf, and make a spreadsheet quantifying my stash. Oh my goodness I have a lot of fabric. I have 254 yards of stashed fabric. Even I will admit that it’s a bit excessive. If I don’t count fabric that I have been given and don’t count fabric that I’ve had since highschool, it leaves me with 100 yards. That’s still a lot. So, I’m putting it out to the world that I’m happy to share my fabric! I’ve photographed everything and listed a description and yardage in the same order as the picture.  So, if anything catches your eye, let me know!!

Thrift Store Scores

thrift store fabric

I’ve been at the thrift store a lot in the last few weeks as I’ve gotten things to make holiday presents (mostly  tons of picture frames, to be revealed after Christmas). I’ve been rushing in and out with a specific goal and haven’t bothered to browse. I swung past the sheet section on my way to the register and found a whole shelf of fabric, several pieces of which I just couldn’t pass up. My favorite piece is the bold baseball fabric. Clearly printed with little boys in the 80’s in mind, it’s just too ridiculous for me to pass up. I’m going to have to make something for my mom and stepdad out of it as they are big baseball fans. I don’t know what, but something. There was an almost-full bolt of off-white polka-dot quilting fabric which I will give to my mom, the quilter who loves polka-dots. …

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More Fabric Stash Additions

guatemalan fabric

Many more thanks to my fabulous mentor and friend. She already sent me a box of fabulous fabric. When I got home from Alaska, I found another box waiting for me. Hooray! I was so proud of myself for recently getting my fabric all organized and nicely folded and fit into a single bookshelf. Well, with these two new boxes of fabric, it doesn’t all fit in on bookshelf any more, but I’m certainly not complaining! I opened the box to find these beautiful fabrics. I’m guessing South American? There’s not a lot of yardage, but they would be gorgeous as the yoke and pockets on a blouse, maybe with a matching purse. I love the colors. This is a blouse weight fabric with a lot of yardage. My first thought is 50’s shirtdress, but that’s my first thought when I encounter any light to mid-weight fabric in yardage. I …

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Fabric Stash Additions

rayon prints

I just got a box of fabric from a colleague/mentor/friend! A couple of years ago, she spent a semester sabbatical in my lab where we got to know each other and shared many discussions about knitting, sewing, and making things. I saw her again at a conference last month. She commented that she was ready to clean out some boxes of fabric from the attic/basement and asked if I was interested. Of course I am!!! The package started with these three pieces of linen. The colors look so nice together that I feel compelled to use them in the same project – a colorblock summer dress perhaps? Although each would individually make a very nice blouse. Two pieces of interesting prints. The brown and blue is definitely synthetic (probably rayon?) and is the perfect weight and strength for lining purses and bags (and I love having pretty fabrics greet me …