Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How do you do it?

I buy fabric by how much I like it.  I search fabric sites and brick and mortar stores for pieces that grab me and make me want to bring them or ship them home. When I'm thinking of a new garment or challenge I find it hard to look for the fabric first or even to shop for the fabric because I never find what I want.  I'm happiest when the fabric is already in my possession and I can "design" or sew the garment from something that I've already fallen in love with...


So how about you?  How do you do it?  Do you shop for the fabric first or do you have the idea/pattern and then look for the fabric?  Tell me because I'm interested, and, of course this is the Question of the Day.  Talk back to me because I really want to know how do you do it?


Speaking of fabric, I just got this email from Mood for 15% off the site...




So I'm headed over to the website and in honor of Swatch's Birthday, I'm going to see if any pretty fabrics jump out and make me want to bring them home!


Peyton update:
I have two of the three versions completed.  I've actually worn one to work.  The third version is hanging waiting to be completed and once it's done, I will have my daughter take some pictures, and of course share it here.


...as always, more later...











34 comments:

  1. I do a combo of both. I have a fabric stash, like most people who sew, and add to via either falling in love with something while ostensibly on a visit to the store "just to get a zipper", or via thrift store finds. On the other hand, sometimes my stash just don't have what it is exactly that I need for a project I really want to do.

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  2. I've built up a home store of fabric and notions because I was through with being ready to create and then not finding what I wanted locally. Hence my growing international shopping knowledge and breadth of sewing blogger contacts:-)

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  3. My stash is pretty limited as I have been sewing for about a year, and on a low budget, so I tend to buy fabric with a pattern in mind. That said, I bought some fabric from a friend who was never going to use it, and it's still sitting there waiting for the 'right' pattern to appear.

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  4. I do it both ways - I would say just about 50/50, though lately I seem to be seeing patterns first, then looking for fabric. Sometimes I see a fabric that I *love* and I figure this will be a ______ (dress/jacket/pants/top/whatever) and think I will probably need about x number of yards and get that. Other times I see a pattern and think - oh I want to make this in _______ fabric and in ________ color, then I either search that fabric out or wait until I find some. Or sometimes I see a pattern and know I want to make it, but don't have a specific idea and I wait to find the right fabric. So, for me it just depends. I certainly have a fabric stash with lots of fabric that isn't designated for a specific project yet, but I also have a lot of fabric that I already have patterns picked out and I am either waiting for the right time or looking for coordinating fabric or buttons or whatever. Most of my pattern inspirations seem to be coming from Burda and Patrones of late - I have seen something I want to make and bought fabric for it for the last few issues. I just need to find the time to sew it all!

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  5. You know I started purely by purchasing fabric that I fell in love with - fabric that I drooled over. All the beautiful colours and pretty patterns - like a bowerbird I couldn't resist them and had to have them. I discovered that I had made a large fabric purchase on an average of once a week for months..... and then I realised that I have nothing that matches or coordinates. Now I buy fabric for a wardrobe of clothes that I want to sew and have been purchasing a lot of neutrals to make things that I can wear. I have been looking at your wardrobe sewing (and that of other bloggers) and have finally learnt what experienced sewers understand - it is great to be be drawn in and buy the pretty but you need to supplement it with coordinating fabrics to make it work. I am finding that I am purchasing with purpose now - an item in mind that will match my plan.

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  6. I rely most often on my substantial stash that I continuously add to even though I tell myself no more! But when I get something specific in mind that I don't have, I seldom find it right away when shopping on line. My area does not have any good fashion fabric stores (and believe me I would drive almost any distance to get there)so I mostly on line shop.

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  7. I'm trying very hard to sew through my stash right now, so most of what i'm making comes from the pile, all fabric I love. I've matched them with patterns, from the pattern sales, and know what almost all of them want to be. That said, i have a special dinner coming up, and bought fabric for that dress, as nothing was quite what I wanted. As long as more of my projects come from the stash, I'll continue to make progress ;o)

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  8. For a long time, I would choose a pattern, then buy fabric to use with that pattern. Now, I just buy fabric I like. With a large collection of Burda Magazines, I'm usually able to find a pattern appropriate for the fabric. I try very hard to find coordinating pieces - a fabric for a blouse/shirt and a fabric for pants/skirt – so I don't orphan garments.

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  9. For the first time in about 3 years I went to my local shop (not my normal market) to look for something specific - orange to make a jacket. I was lucky and found what I wanted (still to be made up) but on the whole, I see the fabric and think, shirt, suit, dress blouse etc - buy the yardage according to what I will make and then put it in my stash.

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  10. I don't think I've ever been able to find what I want at the moment I want it so I definitely stash first and match to pattern later. Even in RTW, I seem to have the best luck when I'm not looking for something specific. But you've seen my stash closet in "our" house ;-) so I'm sure you already knew that.

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  11. I buy fabrics that I love. I have been sewing for a very long time and I have a HUGE collection of fabrics. I am trying to sew from my stash; however if I am inspired by a design or a pattern and I don’t have the fabric in my collection, I have no problem with going to the fabric store to buy more fabric.

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  12. My fabric stash is starting to look like "Hoarders Gone Wild"--the result of buying what I love. I find the longer something stays on my shelf, the more ideas I have for using it, and the more hesitant I am to cut it in case I make the "wrong" garment. I need a little more Zen in the sewing room!

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  13. Fabric first. After sewing for 40+ years, I have a good idea of how much to buy for the styles I mostly sew ... plus a half-yard or so extra, for accessories ... I very rarely buy a pattern then shop for materials for it. Sometimes, when a decent fabric in a good neutral is on sale at a decent price, I'll buy 10-12 yards; and then amuse myself making as many wardrobe staples as possible from the yardage, secure that they'll all go with each other even if it takes me a year or more to stitch them up.

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  14. I have a small amount of space and a smaller amount of money. So I try not to buy a pattern or fabric unless I already know what to make out of it and have the other half in mind. I currently have less than 50 patterns and about eight pieces of cloth, all assigned to a pattern they will be made into. If I have too much stuff, I get burned out and stressed out and confused.
    Sophie

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  15. I do a combination of what many others have said. I mostly stash first based on what pretty little fabric draws me in, buying the yardage plus a little extra for what I feel at the time that it should be...blouse, jacket etc. I also purchase neutrals, when found on sale, in larger amounts for the staple pieces. My weight fluctuates so much that I may have 3 pairs of pants... same fabric ... different waist sizes and no one knows that I am having a BIG week (or month):( Years ago I would buy pattern then fabric and was rarely happy with what I found. Besides, my stash (although overwelming) is comforting and inspiring.

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  16. I do best when I have a pattern in hand and go shopping for fabric. I've bought fabric I like with not much thought as to what to make and that's how I came to have a fabric stash -- they never get sewn.

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  17. I don't usually buy with a specific pattern in mind unless I need a certain amount of yardage. I buy what speaks to me and then at some point I come across a pattern that I know would be perfect for my stashed fabric. Of course this means I have a large stash but I really enjoy having it.

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  18. I, like you Carolyn fall in love with fabric first. That has always been the case after I learned to sew. I often hear the phrase "the fabric spoke to me" and as corny as it sounds that is what happens to me. So I can truly say lots and lots of fabric has spoken to me over the years and I have the stash to prove it...LOL

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  19. Like most others, I do both. My best successes have usually happened when I purchase the fabric first with a general idea of the garment it will work best for. Many years ago, a seasoned expert told me that the best way to go was to choose the fabric first and then find the pattern or design that would work best with it. She said that choosing a design and then forcing a potentially "wrong choice" fabric into it rarely worked. After many fails, I find that her advice was spot on. Interesting topic!

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  20. I'm not a stasher. I only buy with a project in mind. Not to say that it always works out that way. But when I've tried to stash, I always end up with not enough or too much. Too much is the worst. I can't stand having a one yard scrap. There is nothing I can do with that. I maintain a crazy queue. So when I decide to make something, I just buy as needed.

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  21. Ooh, great question! I usually have a pattern in mind first, then I look for fabric. But I tend to accumulate a project queue way faster than I get things done, so sometimes I'll end up pulling fabric meant for one thing and using it for something else that I'm more excited about!

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  22. I've enjoyed reading everyones answers to the question. So many thoughtful approaches to fabric buyig/stashing.I recently moved to a (much) smaller place, and am nowhere near any fabric stores. So I struggle to find a balance between having what I need on hand when inspiration- or need- strikes, and not overwhelming my tiny space with stacks of fabric. I've shopped internet for years, but that of course has it's drawbacks. Some sites do a great job of describing and photographing the fabrics, while others have one or two meager shots, and almost silly descriptions. However, I do have a substantial quantity of black fabrics waiting for the day I finally conquer pants fitting!

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  23. I do both, yet when I need to search for a specific fabric I find that I really enjoy the HUNT!

    It helps to work very close to Vogue Fabrics though!

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  24. Another 'do both' here. Sometimes I fall in love and buy fabric just because I like it. I usually have a garment type in mind, but not a specific pattern. I can almost never find what I want when I want it, but usually have a mental queue of patterns to made next, so I keep an eye out for the right fabric for the pattern and buy it when I find it.

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  25. I shop with a list on my phone of patterns I want to make and their fabric/notions requirements. But I will buy a great fabric without a plan if I absolutely love it. And half the time, I end up changing my mind anyway, but at least I end up with fabrics I really like!

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  26. I buy fabric with "approximate intentions" - i.e. it's going to be a dress or pants or whatever - that way I know how much to buy. I can never pass up "good" fabric on sale! Unfortunately my buying and my productivity do not coincide, which leads to stash accumulation.

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  27. My buying style has changed so much over the years. I used to buy yards and yards of fabric for planned wardrobes and wearable muslins. I never made what I planned. I've made a pact with myself not to buy any more fabric till I sew down a good part of my stash. I seem to be sticking to it, despite the many temptations!

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  28. I don't believe I've ever shopped for fabric with a particular idea/pattern in mind. I just love the idea of walking into a fabric store and oohhing, aahing & caressing the fabric and then buy it.

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  29. I buy fabric. I have a basic idea how much fabric I need for different article of clothing and buy accordingly. And I love scraps, so buying more then I need is fine.

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  30. I usually buy the fabric and pattern if I need one, notions, trims etc all at once. Fabric only becomes stash when I don't have time to work on the intended project right away, However, there certainly are exceptions when the right fabric shows up.

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  31. I am probably in both camps on this. I have to say though I normally buy fabric if it appeals to me and have an idea of what I want to make of it-dress, skirt,jacket, blouse. Sometimes though I do buy specific because I have a pattern in mind. I try to shop my stash but know as a fabricaholic I have to have a new fabric fix regularly.

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  32. I sew from my stash. I buy mostly thrifted fabrics and occasionally from the discount bins at my only local fabric store. If I buy fabric to sew a particular garment I tend to spend more than I want to on the garment.

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  33. Mostly I find fabric I can't live without first, then I pick the pattern before I order the fabric.

    I have waaay too much stash. When you posted pics of your new fabric from low price fabrics, I absolutely couldn't live without the blue and 2 pinks!!! ...especially at that price!!! It's coming today, thank you very much!!!

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  34. I have a large stash of both patterns and fabric! And as in the case of this morning as I was waking up and started dreaming about fabric and patterns, a particular fabric came to mind with a particular pattern. The pattern certainly has to be modified, because that's how I work, but my stash always is my inspiration. If I'm out and see something interesting, it'll be my stash that comes to mind and how I can make it.

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