Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.