When I went to Baltimore to
The man himself was there! Michael is both personable and knowledgeable and was very happy to give us all the time we needed with him. We appreciated it because the store was suprisingly crowded. I think this is a good sign for home sewing and local fabric stores.
The store is much larger than you would think and is organized into several rooms. In the back at the left is the wool room. In addition to beautiful wool coatings and outerwear fabrics, they carry the most gorgeous suitings. You can also find fabrics in here for tailored shirts and whatever you need to look sharp.
I was most tempted by the silk jerseys. A whole table of them in the most gorgeous prints! There was a butterfly print that was really hard to walk away from. The prices in the store are in line with general prices for high quality fabrics. So they're not cheap, but they are not inflated either. The $18-24/yd price kept me from indulging in this table, and only my good manners kept me from rolling around in it!
In addition to the fabric rooms there is a notions and trims room. I LOVED the wall of buttons--so beautiful and truly a button for any project you could possibly conceive of. This room also has ribbons, which Cidell assures are very good quality, and trims galore.
Cidell was feeling a bit camera shy so here she is demonstrating the ribbon.
There is also a room for special occasion fabrics--all the sequins your little heart could ever desire. The main room contains the cottons and unbelievable silk charmeuse prints in all my favorite colors. And among the cottons you will find a selection of Liberty of London--it is so rare to see these gorgeous fabrics in person. I just sighed over them.
Cidell and I were discussing how if one could get away from being a stasher, every project could be made of "expensive" fabric. I calculate the approximate cost of each of my garments and it is unusual to have one that costs more than $20. But I don't count the time value of the money invested in the fabric that sat on the shelf for months or years, and I don't factor in the depreciation value of my giant inventory of stash. If I added these to get a true cost, I would probably be paying closer to $12 or $15 per yard than $5. It is interesting.
But truthfully, I love having a stash. I do wish I had a little less (and now I do have a teeny bit less--see IBOL note below) and I definitely do not want it to grow. But a room full of possibility makes my heart sing, even if sometimes the array of choices paralyzes me.
All the photos of A Fabric Place are here.
And speaking of which, here is what I recently added to the stash.
Pattern Review's Stash Contest is underway (nearly done actually). Every year in January and February the contest encourages you to sew up older stash (this year, at least 6 months old). I always try to focus on stash sewing in these two months, though this year I haven't done as much because a newer wool just *had* to be sewn up before winter's end.
However, I have done a few stash projects, including sewing up a knit print in what I consider Fall/Winter colors purchased at Jomar over a year ago. So when I went to G Street Fabrics for the monthly Fashion Sewing Club (my first visit to this den of temptation in the new year) I decided that I could replace that Fall/Winter knit print with the right hand turquoise and olive ITY.
I was also drawn to the crazy purple print fabric. It is a heavy weight knit like a ponte, though I don't know if it is actually a double knit or not. The motifs on it are huge. I couldn't think of any object to put for scale in the photo at right, but that is about 2 yards of length. It looks like it could be pre-printed pattern pieces that are to be cut out for midriff bands and hem bands, though the curved pieces baffle me. They are too wide to be for a neckline and too curved to be for a waistline. It needs a pattern with a lot of pieces to chop up the motifs. I don't have any heavy weight knit prints, so I decided there was a place for it in stash, especially as my awesome, awesome Butterick 5382 pleat neck long sleeve dress in similar fabric is pilled almost beyond wearability--although that probably should have cautioned me against buying this one!
Last but not least, it's IBOL time again! IBOL guy is looking for 500 Iraqi Bundles of Love to be sent for a special project. This is your opportunity to share your bounty of fabric, thread, notions, and sundries with Iraqi women who have suffered through decades of embargo and war and have a hard time clothing their families. You can send a USPS medium flat rate box to an APO address for $12.95. It's easy--I did mine last week. Lots more information on the IBOL blog.
If you want to participate, leave a comment on the IBOL blog asking for the info and IBOL guy will email you the address and give you links to detailed information on what is most needed (large pieces--this is where garment sewists have the advantage over quilters) and how to create and send a bundle (it involves a specific customs form, the 2976A).
Since they are trying to get right around 500 bundles, he is needing to track who will be sending bundles and how many so you must get the info directly from him. I forgot to photograph my most recent bundle before mailing it, so this is a repost of last year's photo.