Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stashoholism Confessional, Golden D'Or (Dallas, TX) Store Review, and The Inevitable Resolution

Golden D_Or 12-2010

My parents live in the Dallas area of Texas, so I was there over the holidays. I had heard of Golden D'Or, on of the fabric warehouses in Dallas's tiny garment district, several times. I went to the garment district once with friends when I was in high school (yes, I have been obsessed with sewing for that long), but my only recollection is falling asleep in the back seat of the car on the way back. It turns out to be (sort of) in between my sister's house and my parents' so I snuck in a quick visit. Oh my! This place is dangerous.

Sorry, long narrative with no photos. I didn't think to bring my camera into the store.

Like everything in Texas, it's huge. I mean huge. The fabrics are roughly organized by type (cotton, silk, wool, home dec), with a secret clearance room way in the back of the warehouse on the left. There is a room of stretch fabrics, but unfortunately it was almost entirely nylon/spandex swimwear type stuff (not great quality, not good prints) rather than everyday garment fabric, and I didn't find anything in there.

I had justified my visit to myself because I have been looking for a nice boucle for a skirt for a couple of months now and found absolutely nothing online. I visited the Joann superstore near my parents' house (superstore=super amount of crap that has nothing to do with sewing) where they had exactly one boucle, 100% acrylic, $19.99/yd. Even with 40% off, that is still $12/yd for nasty, low quality, synthetic fabric. Absolutely not. But Joann is a whole other rant.

When you walk into the warehouse area (after a little bit of a maze from front door to fabric), you find a table of (allegedly) cotton remnants for 99 cents/yd, where I found the little floral print. A burn test proved this to be a rayon/poly rather than cotton, but man, don't you love the print?

Then I asked someone to direct me to the wools. The selection is quite small, but the black and white boucle immediately caught my eye. It was labeled Versace (have looked through Versace's Fall and Pre-Fall runway shows for the past few years and seen zero boucle, so I doubt the veracity of that claim), has tiny metallic threads running through it for just a hint of sparkle, and has a wonderful hand. $20/yd is more than I have ever paid for any fabric, so I had to take a breather before making a decision.

I headed back toward the clearance room. It was mostly filled with uninteresting polyesters, but there were several of these sheer sweaterknits in different colors. Although I already have a transparent moss green sweater, I went with green. I probably should have chosen hot pink instead, but I love that green. At half price, it was $4.25/yd. A burn test shows definitely a man-made content, but I think I got a whiff of wool as well. I passed through cotton on the way into the clearance room and found this Hawaiian print perfect for boxer shorts.

I had now contemplated the boucle. I had come to peace with the price. I will wear a good quality wool black and white boucle skirt every couple of weeks for *years.* The end price will be pennies per wear. There are garments that are not worth splurge fabric, but a wardrobe staple is the exact right place for splurge fabric. I had originally been looking for a colored boucle, so I also picked up the second wool piece (only $10/yd). I would have preferred it to be more in the warm family, since that is what I wear, but the accent threads are purple, turquoise, and pink--all my colors.

What I love about boucle is that it is both a solid and a print. With a solid top, the texture of the boucle adds some interest to the outfit. But with a print top, the boucle acts as a solid. It can be worn with anything!

My total at the register was around $50. This place would be so dangerous for my stash shelves if I lived near it.

Though there are not quite enough of them for the size of the store, the employees were all very friendly and willing to help when I flagged them down. I almost wish I never got good customer service in Texas because it would help me get used to DC's non-existent customer service culture.

Golden D'Or has a small online store, but it is tiny in comparison to the real thing and doesn't have the deals. The prices for non-designer cotton are good, though, if you're looking for novelty-type stuff.

Liberia Gifts 12-2010

A dear friend is working in Liberia this year and brought me back some local fabrics! The fish print is the favorite local motif. She said that every time they introduce a new colorway in the fish print, everyone rushes down to the market to check it out. The tie-dye is a local specialty--it's very elaborate and the underlying fabric is jacquard to add even more texture.

She showed me one of the skirts she had made in Monrovia and it is sensational! I will have to get photos of everything she's has made when she returns home permanently (probably in a year).


20 Projects From Stash Without Even Trying

1. Mustard wool crepe side pleat dress

H&M Fabrics, 11_2010 Raglan Sleeve Peplum Dress 2. For the awesome black and pink houndstooth wool I bought in New York a couple of months ago, another 80s throwback of Butterick 5520. With a peplum--lined in pink satin--and long sleeves, this will be an office power dress for days when I need a little drama in my life.

3. Red, white, and blue floral swiss dot Simplicity peplum blouse

4. Vogue wrap/drape dress of Turkey turquoise and black rayon

5. Silk organza plaid pleated skirt

6. Black/pink batik vintage dress

Goodman, Montreal, 6-2010 For Yellow Pique 7. I spent about four months last year obsessed with Vogue 8633 but couldn't find just the right fabric for it. I found it in Montreal, but didn't get a chance to make it before it got too cold for short sleeves (though I could probably wear my ubiquitous black Burda turtleneck under it).

8. Anna Sui black/pink/turquoise silk tank.

9. Blue/orange paisley shirtdress.

London Textiles 5-2010, $3/yd Wide Collar Wrap Dress 10. For the double-sided acetate polka dot fabric I bought at London Textile Warehouse at PR Weekend Philly, this Butterick 5451 wide-collared wrap dress. The body and undercolor will be cut with the light colored fabric as the right side, and the upper collar and tie with the dark colored fabric. I will add sleeves.

11. Purple silk/cotton pleat front Burda blouse

12. Green seersucker surplice pleat dress.

13. Paris white/blue embroiedered shirtdress.

Spain 2009 Fabric Purchases For Spain Green Dots Fabric

14. Simplicity 2360 with the flutter sleeves out of the silky green and white circle print I bought in Spain while hanging out with Paco. I keep seeing this pattern made on PR and am getting so impatient for Spring!!!

15. Vietnam silk Rachel Comey knot blouse.

16. Yellow eyelet shirtdress.

Fabric Mart, 3-2010 For Bandana Print 17. Butterick 5490 out of the bandana print fabric I haven't been able to decide on a pattern for, although I may possibly make this pattern out of the colorful wheel fabric seen in the same photo as the pink and black houndstooth wool above. By the way, why didn't I buy like 100 yards of that orange silk chrysanthemum fabric? I made a dress out of it this summer (one of my many unreviewed projects) and really wish I had some more.

18. Hot pink wool jersey Vogue 1191 Michael Kors crossover knit dress

19. Navy white/floral skirt

20. Green/black abstract print knit crossover Burda dress

Note that this list does not even include the two boucle skirts I plan to make soon, the coat I'm working on now, all the gear for my bike trip (supplex tops, rain pants, rain cape, biking skirts), and a thousand more of my ideas. Assuming one project a week, this list will keep me busy nearly half the year.


So here goes the resolution: I am going to try to be more mindful in my fabric purchasing this year.

This is simple, but number restrictions just haven't worked for me.

I have very few regrets of things I purchased last year (I really wish I hadn't bought that $18/yd wool from Kashi--the color is really not quite right and it will take me years to get around to sewing) and, given enough time, all of it will get sewn eventually and what I don't love is already in the giveaway pile. But I bought too much for general stash, without considering whether it filled a hole in my closet or in my stash.

While some would legitimately dispute whether there can be a hole in stash that does not correspond to a hole in closet, I'm going to give myself that leeway. At Golden D'Or, I really tried to be mindful of those things. The boucle will fill a skirt hole in my closet. I have only one piece of sweaterknit in stash, and it is a completely different weight than what I purchased. The Hawaiian-style print is for a gift. I do not have any dearth of lightweight woven prints for summer, however, so the little green/blue floral was a needless indulgence.

Here are a few things that will fill holes:

-Animal print knit of the cheetah/leopard variety. The boyfriend comments *every* time he sees something in animal print, has made very clear that he would quite appreciate seeing me in a slinky animal print number, and gets very excited when a pattern envelope shows a dress made up in leopard (I don't think he quite understands that the pattern doesn't come as a kit with the fabric included). I have been looking for a nice knit in an animal print for over a year and found nothing!

-Boucle in the purple/pink/blue family

-nice solid t-shirtings in the type of rayon blend that RTW t-shirts are made of. Never seen this anywhere. All the rayon t-shirt fabric I've seen is way lightweight and unstable. I've not seen a decent cotton t-shirting fabric that won't fade and actually recovers, but that would do.

-I really want ruffled knit fabric in black for a LBD and gray for a skirt. Gray is out of stock here and has been for months, and I've not seen it anywhere else.

-Maybe fabric for a trench, but only if I'm really ready to sew it. Honestly, I don't even know what fabric is used for a water-resistant trench coat.

Wow. I can't even think of anything else. I have many, many cotton prints now. I don't have a lot of silk prints, but I don't have any particular ideas for silk prints. I have plenty of wool (thank you, Carol!!!). I even have several knit prints, though not a ton of them. Add to that the miscellaneous fabrics...and then add some more.



Trisha said...

Wow! I can't believe you have enough in your stash for 20 projects. I'm jealous of your stash.

I saw that you have Butterick 5520 on your list. Just finished a dress with that pattern, and I am in love! Can't wait to see your version.

If you're interested, here's mine: http://madebytrisha.blogspot.com/2011/01/plum-sheath-dress-with-lace-shoulders.html

beangirl said...

Speak of the devil... I just (very conscientiously) deleted a sale email from them (without even READING it, I might add) and then clicked over here.

I'm pretty sure that "Versace" table has been there for at least four years. The merch seems to rotate, but the sign doesn't. I can't quite decide what exactly they've determined "Versace" to mean, to be quite honest. It is nice fabric though, so who cares, right? You got some nice stuff and sounds like at a good bargain. Love your sewing plan!

(You make me feel slightly better about my Warehouse Envy in saying that Golden D'Or is huge compared to what you're used to... because when I first went there I was terribly disappointed in it's being pretty small when compared to Mill End Textiles in Minneapolis... er, well, Burnsville, to be totally accurate. I mean don't get me wrong, I can totally find 400 things to buy in there every time I go in, but it's just not the cavernous acres of fabric that I was used to. Good grief, talk about spoiled. I guess it just proves there's never "too much" fabric.)

Karin said...

I have family in the Dallas area, if I ever manage to visit them, I will certainly put Golden D'Or on my to do list.

Just thinking about stashes for a minute, a fabric buying mistake is usually less expensive/awful than clothes buying mistake. I take comfort in that. These days, I noticed that I have built up a stash of "yuck." I just can't pass up a bargain. In future, I should buy less of better quality. After all, I am not managing to sew it all, and I have enough ugly fabric for muslins for years to come!

I think you are quite sensible to save a fabric splurge on a wardrobe basic that will be worn many times.

Irene said...

A great sewing plan that should keep you busy for quite some time. Your fabric choices are wonderful. Buying fabric with a plan is a good aspiration, however, as we all know, sometimes we come across a piece that we just have to have. Don't have a clue what it will be, but have to own it.

BConky said...

I'm from the DFW area and go there once a year or two. Always buy more than I need but it's fun. Did you try the other fabric stores in that area. There is one little hole in the wall I always find unusual stuff.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

These posts always make me feel better about the over abundance that resides with me...knowing that a twin collection is living at your house gives me comfort! You bought some awesome pieces!

Eilane Vida Costura said...

PArabéns, você encontrou um tesouro e tecidos, eu estou verde de inveja, rssss, aqui somos muito pobres em opções de compra. Absolutamente amei suas ecolhas de padrões e tecidos, acredito que suas peças ficarão maravilhosas.


Eilane - Brasil

The Sewing Loft said...

Ahhhh.....Golden D'Or! It just so happens that I made their sale on Friday. Got there at 9 am when they opened and was glad I did because when I left, there were no parking spaces and it was getting too busy inside. You can sign up for their email list and get coupons. I got a coupon for 30% off everything but the clearance room, but the clearance room was marked down to .99, $1.99 a bolt. I hear you on the swimsuit fabrics, but I did find some good knits for tops. The sweater knits you talk about...the olive...I walked away from and have wished I had gotten it. Some of the fabrics are so bad you wonder why they take up space to display then, but then ou can find some good deals too. The wall shelves when you walk out of the clearance room, I got really, really nice summer weight denim that must have poly in it with a tiny woven stripe. Ended up paying less than $5 a yard for it and scooped up 5 yards. The denim would easily sell for $15-$20 a yard at Emma One Sock. I did not mean to take over your blog, sorry. :/ Saw the magic words "Golden D'Or" and lost control. lol


Anita (Summer Gypsy) said...

Wow. Those are some great fabrics you picked up and an ambitious sewing plan for the coming year. I look forward to seeing the results...

and reading Beangirl's comment about MillEnd fab in MN. Ooooo. I used to live there and soooo miss it. Where I am now, it's JoAnn. Period.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful fabrics- I love the Liberian fish tne most. I have a thing for fish.
I live vicariously through your purchases, since I haven't bought anything in a while. I love how you have everything planned out.
I'm too flighty for that

Venus de Hilo said...

Those wool boucles are stunning, well worth a splurge! And your stash plan is very impressive. Look forward to seeing the finished garments.

Clio said...

Animal print - yeah. That's tricky. The bad ones scream tacky.

Sounds like you've got a great plan for 2011! I can't wait to see what you sew.

Kitty said...

I love t-shirt knits too and they are impossible to find. The biggest problem (besides the questionable quality) becomes that you usually need some matching ribbing to finish a neckline or cuff, etc. Ten years ago I had a sewing business and made custom pieces. I came across Siltex in Canada. Each year they pick a selection of colors and mill and dye their own knits in sweatshirt, french terry, t-shirt, ribbed, etc. in each of those colors. My family is still wearing the fleece items I made for them during that time period. They just never wear out!

At that time, I had to go through customs to get Siltex orders but all of that has changed. I ordered bolts, but I think they are only 10 yard bolts. And there are a few retailers that carry their line in the U.S. I hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

For a water-resistant trench, think gabardine - that's what they are traditionally made of, and that's why.

Lindsay T said...

I am so proud of you for buying that bouclé! That is an excellent price for good-looking wool bouclé.

I lived in Dallas (Highland Park) when I was in my twenties. Such a good time there. I love Texas.

Anonymous said...

Um, missy, what happened to your resolution to write shorter posts? You've got about five days worth of posts here! Signed, Meg, your friendly editor

Faye Lewis said...

I am so in love with your stash.

AllisonC said...

Great fabric finds and the pieces from Liberia are gorgeous. Wow thats quite a plan you have there - I would find a 20 project list totally overwhelming, about 5 is my limit I think and even then it would change 10 times!

Katie said...

Great fabric finds! I love your Stashaholic posts, they are so inspiring :)

Anonymous said...

Next time you come, you should call and we can meet there and go somewhere else for lunch (Harry Hines isn't exactly the place to go). Glad you found something, I never seem to manage to!

Kristy said...

that's a very thoughtful resolution, much better than just declaring "no more purchases", and then failing miserably (as I seem to do most years). I think I will take a leaf out of your book and think more before buying.

Looking forward to seeing Vogue 8633, that's beautiful fabric you have chosen

Mae said...

re a ruffled grey knit for a skirt- I used this for a skirt
and it's gorgeous

cidell said...

LOL, I'm with Meg! This is a long post but chock full of good information. I'm with you. I could sew 20 to 40 things from my stash and still not see the bottom. It's good to have a plan and fall back in love with what you have.

Although, I'm trying to think of a way to talk you into roadtripping to Fabric Mart in PA.

TE said...

Why not a trade along, instead of a sew along. No doubt that wool you regret buying would be perfect for something for someone. No doubtl someone you know in the blog world has something equally regretted, or just meh, that they would trade. Try not to get hung up on dollar value, but focus on project value. I (age 51, no kids) ended up with lots of a cute a farm animal novelty print. Hope to trade it with a woman I know for even a black serger thread cone!

Eugenia said...

I love reading about other people's stashes - it makes me feel much less guilty about my own! You certainly have got some beautiful buys there. I like your sewing plans. I have made Butterick 5520 and like it a lot - I'm looking forward to seeing your version.

McVal said...

I LOVE that tie-dye from Liberia!
My stash is just that. A stash of fabric. I wouldn't even begin to tell you what it is, other than that's the pink stuff that I don't know what to do with. Or the camouflage stuff that I don't know what to do with. I'm going to just sit and document things... Thanks for the inspiration to get organized this year!
Too bad there's no fabric district in Iowa...

MushyWear said...

I loved seeing all your new fabrics and what you plan to do with your stash fabrics. Very impressive planning!

cheryl said...

I just wish that I could sew some of my stash, but the time seems to just fly by!
To help with that though, they sell a ruffled fabric here:
When I looked, they had a grey in stock.

mjb said...

These might be the kind of knits you're looking for: http://stores.ebay.com/highendfabrics-organics-more/_i.html?_nkw=stripe&LH_SellerWithStore=1&LH_TitleDesc=1&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_sasi=1

Anonymous said...

I have these ruffles and they are fantastic: http://www.naturesfabrics.com/pul-and-poly-fabrics.html
(and if you join her yahoo group or facebook you get a code for 20% off everything all the time!)