Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fabric sources

Today has been a beautiful rainy day, full of heavy showers, wind and some lightning. It was a good day for staying inside and working on projects, so I finished a shawl/capelet that I've been working on. It's too dark for proper photos, so those will be coming in a couple days, along with a pattern. Instead, I'll share with you my favorite place to go fabric shopping.

For a long time, my only source of fabric was Jo-Ann. It was what we had always gone to, and they do have a decent selection (and lots of lovely colors and prints in cotton). I knew that there were such things as fabric warehouses where you could find all sorts of beautiful and exotic fabrics, but I had never seen one.

I've still never been to one. Instead, I've discovered the treasure trove of thrift stores. Yes, thrift stores. It's easier if it's a bigger one, like Goodwill, or around here we have Savers. However, I've also seen good things in smaller places, so it just depends on how patient you are.

Of course there are things like skirts and dresses that you can buy and take in, cut up, or alter. I recently cut the top off of a hideous prom dress because it had a really wonderful skirt, took in the waist a bit, and it became part of a costume for a friend. But what's also great is to head to the linens section. Sheets and curtains come in all sorts of colors and fabrics, and are usually pretty cheap. Pillowcases are also wonderful - you only need two  for a double layer Victorian-style corset.

These are some pieces I got a while ago at the thrift store - the orange and green are silky sheets, approximately queen-size. They will be enough for a dress each. The purple brocade-type fabric is actually from a couple of chair covers. I had to cut them up to access the flat pieces of fabric, but it's being turned into a fitted skirt with ruffles.

The thrift store is a great place to look if you're open for the fabric you want to use in a project, but it can also work if you have more specific guidelines. It's a great place to have fun looking for fabrics, and the prices are amazingly cheap.

Happy hunting!!

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