Chicago Fabric Shopping

The hubbinator’s family lives in Chicagoland so a trip up there isn’t new. Periodically, we coordinate things so I can visit the city alone, in a mini vacation sort of way.

That’s exactly what I went for this past weekend. Some of you might have seen my IG and Twitter feeds aflutter with Chicago this and Chicago that. I didn’t tweet food, so… you’re welcome.

I met up with a long time costumer friend as well as Mari Miller from Disparate Disciplines and we went to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, just north of the city.

Here’s what I saw. I didn’t buy it all but it got me thinking about a bunch of projects out of my normal fabric repertoire.

The first thing I saw and the first thing I bought. I’m slowly compiling the necessary materials for my Titanic gown

I should’ve bought wool jersey, even if I stash it for next winter but I just couldn’t. I really want to sew for Spring and Summer now.

I had to play with this mesh a bit as a reminder that I’m making a friend a costume that will need this stuff so she can still wear a bra.

What could this fabric be? See, at Vogue a lot of the rolls only say “Assorted Fibers” or something like that. The 100% of anything are clearly marked but the mixed stuff isn’t always. You basically have to touch everything. Poor me.

I tried to fall in love with some of these prints. I swear I did try. I’m a solids girl.

Mari fondling the stretch laces. So many here and on another wall there were a ton of FOE and lingerie elastic. So pretty. Didn’t get any.

Gorgeous ribbon I have no current use for.

I wish I had grabbed even a yard of these ruffle knits. Maybe next time.

So, what did I get? To stay focused and use my funds wisely, I always carry with me a list. I have a notes app on my phone where I list the things I really want and am searching for.

I believe these are rayons. Anyway, I got this pink knit for my girl and the blue is for me and one of my upcoming costumes.

These are gonna be for my Titanic evening gown.

More lace for my Titanic gown

Ok. So, cool ruffle knits I don’t grab, but this I can’t leave without? I know what kind of person I am. A dreamer.

So, that was part of my trip to Chicago. I have a couple of fun things I’m gonna do here on the blog. I hope you like them all.

I do wonder, how do you keep yourself from buying the whole store when you go fabric shopping? Do you buy fabric first, then pattern? Chicken and egg kind of stuff. I’m always curious how other people buy fabric. I always go for something I’ve been meaning to buy and I use my list and work my way through it, always adding to it, of course. How do you shop for fabric?

23 thoughts on “Chicago Fabric Shopping

  1. Bird and Bicycle says:

    Loving the lace you picked – can’t wait to see your costume! As for my shopping I have lists of specific fabrics needed for upcoming projects as well, but I often search about online first a bit to get an idea of pricing and styles. It helps me focus at the fabric shop a bit easier, but I always check sales first and keep some stock fabric in my stash.

    Seems like you had a real fantastic time!

  2. sewexhausted says:

    I am a terrible fabric shopper- If I am making something specific I get the pattern first then go find the fabric. But I always seem to get sucked in by sales and pretty fabric. So I get the FABRIC first, GUESS at the yardage by thinking about what I would make… and basically it is a vicious circle. But I just can’t help myself!

    • Leila says:

      I know. There are so many lush fabrics out there. When I can, I treat myself. The only problem for me in not knowing what I’m going to make with some fabric is that then I end up not getting enough. yknow?

  3. Tia Dia says:

    I love fabric shopping. No. Actually, I hate fabric shopping because it’s a drowning-in-gorgeousness experience that leaves my wallet hurting. So, generally speaking, i don’t go fabric shopping. I’m totally with you on leaving the ruffle knits and going for the dreamy stuff – that’s exactly what I do! Rationale: I cannot afford RTW made with the dreamy stuff (or find it anywhere), but the ruffle knits are very RTW and easily accessible. I want so spend my $$$ on the dreamy stuff that I can’t find anywhere and make lots and lots of frosting (even if I rarely wear it). So I keep a list of what I really need and only go shopping for it when I really need it. Learning to say “no” is hard.

    • Leila says:

      Yes! I definitely felt drowned in gorgouseness over the weekend and I only went in for 2 hours. I think I needed a snack break and then I could’ve gone longer. ahaha.

      Ah, so you’re with me on the dreamy stuff. Yeah, I can usually find pants and tights and those aren’t hard in my size, but anything dressy…that’s the stuff I want to make. Frosting for everyone!

  4. laurahoj says:

    I used to go crazy and feel the need to buy everything, but now I’m a little more level headed. I try to think about what I need and will actually use, before buying fabric. Making lists helps (although I used to hate lists, now I seem to rely on them for everything). Also, the lack of funds really helps me to refrain from buying everything!!! Why doesn’t money grow on trees?

    • Leila says:

      I hear that. I’ve said no to some really nice stuff but when I think about it, I probably won’t use it and fabric not getting used it a sad sad thing. 🙂

  5. Brooke says:

    Pretty pretty lace! Can’t wait to see how you use it for your costume!

    It really depends on my project whether I have the pattern or the fabric first. I usually do okay when I shop for a specific project because I can be so focused on looking for something exact that I barely notice anything else. I do have a short list of a few colors of fabric I’ve been looking for for years. I’ll get lucky eventually or my view of a project will morph into something else and I won’t need to keep looking for it.

    I had a RTW ruffle skirt in teal a few months before I started seeing that fabric in the stores, so I haven’t been tempted to get any but it IS fun!

    • Leila says:

      I’m gonna be flying blind on this Titanic costume. I still haven’t done the muslin up or anything. If all my presents sewing gets done then I’ll try getting at least the fit down by the end of Spring. I don’t have anywhere to wear it yet so it’s kinda hard to put that much thought into it. I could wait till next years’ masquerade ball and wear it for that. 🙂

      I’ll totally change a project idea if I find something different or don’t find what I’m looking for.

  6. ladykatza says:

    Mmm, lace.I have nothing profound to add, I just wanted to add that when I saw Vogue Fabrics at the expo last year I spent 20 minutes digging through the button box. It was SCOOPS FOR CHEAP.

  7. lakaribane says:

    Thank you for posting this. Nothing cheers me up more than second-hand stashing and fabric+notions pr0n, LOL! And I recognized a fabric I actually own: that white daisy on orange in the challis rolls, 3rd after the sign *jumps up and down, clapping* The laces are gorgeous, make me wish I were an embellishment sort of girl. Le sigh.

  8. chuleenan says:

    I was a fabric sale addict for a while – buying something on sale seemed to justify getting some really gorgeous fabric. But it soon dawned on me that if I didn’t already have a use for it, it would likely languish in my stash for a really long time. And what if I finally found something I wanted to make from it but then realized I didn’t have enough yardage? This year I’ve resolved to make more stuff from my stash and to try to limit any new purchases to fabric I need to make a specific item. I think I’ll have to stay away from Britex Fabric’s upcoming sale on President’s Day. (sigh)

    • Leila says:

      The sale shopping is hard to look away from. I know I have to stay away from all sales for the same reason you mention. I need to sort through my stash and find projects for what I have. Oh, the sales. 🙂

  9. Lisa Hansen says:

    Great lace choices! Envy!!
    I put myself on fabric ‘time-out’. I have to burn down what I have. Of course I got some awesome Victorian patterns for Xmas so I just got a wool blend for an equestrian outfit… And bought some wool on sale for $2 per yard. Yeah, I have a problem. I only buy sales when the price is spectacular AND I have an idea what I can use it for. Otherwise I buy after I get the pattern. That doesn’t stop from having a couple of years of projects backed up. Maybe. So I’m squarely in the dreamer camp.

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