Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Exquisite Fabrics Update, Trip to Philly, and Stashoholism Confessional

I had a very productive weekend...if you consider stash-building productive. Ahem.

Gifts from PanamaCidell came to visit me in DC. We exchanged gifts from our recent travels; she picked me up a ton of knit lining and a cute little shirting print in Panama.

We spent Friday hitting up the Simplicity sale at Joann, where I picked up 8 patterns at 99 cents each. Score! My top picks are 2473, a princess sheath with faux-belt separate waistband; the Cynthia Rowley 2512 paper bag waist skirt with shaped waistband; and a tie-neck blouse 2501 that comes in both peplum and one piece variations with an awesome ruched sleeve.

G Street 10-9-09Then we hit up G Street, where I SWORE I was not going to get any fabric. Until I did. Luckily only one piece. I could not get the color to come out right in the photo--the flash kept washing it out--but it's a dark gray (of the blue gray variety) knit. There is a dress in the Drape Drape book that I want to try, but it is a bit wild and crazy and has to be done in a sober solid color, not to mention that it will EAT UP the yardage so the $2.97/yd price was a big sell.


Then it was some snoop shoppping in Georgetown. Embellishment is big, is all I can tell you. We went in J Crew and every t-shirt had some kind of ruffle, bow, lace, sequins, applique, etc. on it. I am all for girly details, but the indiscriminate application of sequins was a bit much on some of them. I NEED to do something with a froth (or bib, for the less poetical among you) of ruffles at the neck.

Exquisite FabricsWe also made a point of stopping into Exquisite Fabrics' new(ish) location at The Shops at Georgetown. They moved there about a year ago from their old K Street location, which was metro accessible and *ahem* easily drop-in-able from my doctor's office. It's still very high end, as it was before, with high end prices to match. There are a lot of very nice wools and a large selection of silks, though I found the vast majority of the silk prints...inexplicable. By which I mean hideous. They still have the "bargain" section, with yardages allegedly in the $2-10 range, though most were $8/yd and above. There was nothing much to interest me there. I will say, the notions section has expanded and I can definitely always find a zipper or thread here if I'm in a pinch, which is awesome. I ended up getting only one thing, an AWESOME gold bow buckle that, judging from the packaging, is actually from the 80s. It was marked down to $5. I'll be using that puppy at the first available opportunity.

I must say that service is crap. Ugh. Cidell and I were greeted when we came in, which was nice. But then after I figured out what I wanted I went and stood at the register, patiently waiting (that is to say, no sighing, eye rolling, finger snapping, or other boorish behavior) where I was PATENTLY ignored. I mean, the clerk went out of her way not to see me while standing a few feet away. She made a huge show of helping another customer, who obviously didn't sew at all, look for buttons. Had the other customer been there first, I would of course not complain at all, but I was waiting first and since I was at the register was probably going to be quick, while button chooser had no idea what she was looking for. It felt very much like the clerk considered me too young to be a "real" customer, and treated me accordingly. It left a very bad taste in my mouth. So, buyer beware.


The next day we hit the road and headed up to Philly to meet Karen and sate ourselves at Jomar. I brought my camera but of course failed to take a single picture. Sorry about that. I had limited time so we got straight to business. Jomar is crazy, man. It is huge, there is so much fabric, it's a little weird, and the prices are insane. So I, um, went a little crazy.

In the fashion fabric category, I got two silks for blouses and four knits:

Jomar Silks 10-09JomarKnits10-09

The dark silk is navy. I never wear navy because (1) I like black and think it looks good on me, and (2) what shoes do you wear with navy????? But I am branching out. I also got gray because I have been feeling the gray this year. It's a good color. On the knits, the three ITY prints are self-explanatory. Cidell maintains that the metallic tweed-ish knit defies explanation, which it sort of does but I was really drawn to it.

I also picked up linings in black and silver/gray (the lightest color I could find in an acceptable texture) for $1/yd. Sadly, I couldn't locate any rayon lining so I have either 100% poly or acetate, but I have often found myself in need of a silky lining, especially as we go into Fall and tights are necessary. Now I can never say I don't have any lining. Then there was the interfacing--also $1/yd, I got two wovens and a knit. But my total for all of this was right around $70, which is crazy for six fashion fabrics, two linings, and three interfacings!

After our shopping, Karen led us to the most delicious falafel place. The fries were made with onions and peppers along with the potatoes, which was divine and I don't understand why everyone doesn't do this. The falafel and hummus sandwich was incredibly delicious. Mmm. I have been thinking of this place ever since!


So now I really, really, really need to stop buying fabric! My plan for this year was 6 yards per month. I am guessing I have exceeded that, although there have been several months where I didn't buy anything. I have certainly exceeded my sewing because I have been busy lately and not been able to spend an entire day each weekend sewing. I wish I could learn to sew during the week, but unless I have a deadline I've never been able to bring myself to do it. So, discipline in buying is really the only alternative. If only I could figure out how to develop it...


Christina said...

Maybe you didn't intend to buy so much fabric but you just can't beat those prices. There is *no* place around here where you can get any fabric for $3/yard, or silks for $6/yard (except for Joann of course, but that doesn't count).

Anonymous said...

A blogger commented that she sometimes spends only 15-30 minutes in the evening sewing, but her progress through the week adds up. I tried that, and was able to finish a shirt over the course of a few evenings. I always have the best intentions of sewing more in the evenings, but something always seems to come up.

scormeny said...

ooooh, what a bummer about your Exquisite Fabrics experience! I shop there frequently and I agree the service can seem chilly, but what you had to go through was worse than chilly, for sure.

I hope you have a chance to go back sometime and if you do, be more assertive; I find that if I take on what I think of as elaborate Japanese-y or Southern-belle manners (what does that mean? I'm not sure but that's how I think of it), and am super-gracious but also fairly pushy, that I get excellent service and lots of good yardage dragged out from the back of the shop to choose from. I think of trying on that other set of manners as part of the adventure, and just set it out there as an observation and suggestion for other prospective Exquisite Fabric shoppers!

I always enjoy your postings and your great photo montages and draw inspiration from them, thanks so much.

cidell said...

Hee hee. I hate that fabric. But, I love that you love it!

senaSews said...

This sound like a really fun day. I wish we would have something like yomar near by!

Jules said...

Boy do i wish we had something like Jomar around the Detroit area. I'm loving that green/navy print knit you bought there.

Lori said...

Sounds like lots of fun, except waiting at the fabric store and being ignored, but the rest would be so fun.

Like all your new fabric purchases.

caroline said...

What shoes don't you wear with navy?

Though it's a question you can't answer without knowing what color skirt you're going with.

But seriously: red, pink, camel, green, silver, gold, turqoise, off-white. I do tend to stay away from black or dark browns, but they go if something in more of a color won't work for some reason.

McVal said...

That kind of trip sounds like a blast! Take me next time!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Actually I'm marveling at the restraint you showed at Jomars. I'm staying away from that place like the plague! They ALWAYS have something I want at a REALLY good price!

Marie-Christine said...

About Exquisite - some fool did a study that showed that people steal less from stores where they're greeted. It's left to your imagination whether that's from feeling they have an eye on you and you will get busted, or whether it means you will feel fuzzy-wuzzy about the people who work there and refrain. The upshot is that the sleaziest places now force their staff to greet every entering customer. But that's where 'service' stops, and it's completely self-serving.. In fact I think some of the staff resents it so much that they ignore you even more after greeting you than they did before, but that's my own cynical opinion.

Sz said...

Restraint is a 4 letter word! Besides, who needs discipline where fabric buying is concerned. It's not like it will get moldy, like, say, the groceries!

Ivalyn "Tee" Jones-Actie said...

Hey you guys were in my neck of the woods. I live in Baltimore and work in DC. I hate to shop at Esquisite Fabrics, they are always so snootie! I stopped shopping there years ago when they wouldn't let me touch or look at the fabric they had displayed on shelves behind the cash register. They wanted me to stand there and point and they would only take it completely down if I wanted to buy it. I went there for the first time in years when they had some terrific "moving" sales just before the moved to Georgetown. Surprisingly, the service was much better. So sorry to hear they have returned to their old wicked ways! Next time your'e in my neck of the woods give me a shout In Baltimore we have a great independent fabric shop called "A Fabric Place" on Falls Rd.

Sue said...

I don't know how to build in more sewing time either, so I feel for you there. I like the idea of 30 minutes a day but I am usually so tired after a day at work and a visit to the gym that I can't think about threading a needle or cutting fabric.
Love your fabric buys!

Elaray said...

You DID have a busy, sew-y weekend! Karen swears by Jomar, yet I've only been there once or twice. I'm going to make it a point to get there more often.

AuntieAllyn said...

I haven't been to Exquisite Fabrics sine they moved from K Street; I sure do miss their button selection! And I loved to walk down there at lunchtime to pick up a spool of thread or a zipper (instead of wasting my valuable precious after-hours time on such mundane things). I never got fabulous service there, but I didn't exactly expect it . . . in fact, it doesn't seem like you get good service practically anywhere anymore!!!

Isabelle said...

This sounds like so much fun.
The Cynthia Rowley skirt is going to be absolutely fab on you.
I really like the knit prints that you got. I wouldn't have passed them up either for this price.

You must all have had such a great time together!

Kathi said...

I am so jealous of the Jomar finds! I have looked at that same green/blue knit online and it definitely was NOT $3.00 per yard!! I wish I lived near there!! (Or knew somebody who did and would just mail me stuff!)

amber said...

You got some great stuff there! I'm also loving grey this season - it works with so much stuff! Even though I don't think it looks all that great on me, I'm still stocking my closet with it. Heh.