Dream fabric

I often find myself imagining a project and then being completely unable to find suitable fabric to produce it with. We’re fairly short on fabric shops where I live so serious fabric shopping means taking a whole day and travelling to London. I know a lot of people buy online, but I find I really need to touch fabric in order to have a good idea of whether it will work for me or not.

Only being able to shop for fabric occasionally means I often use fabric that’s ‘good enough’ – if I held out for ‘perfect’ I’d hardly sew at all! However if I could wish up any fabric I wanted, regardless of price or availability, this is what I’d go for:

  • Very stretchy wool jersey (maybe with a bit of lycra?) in white and black. This would be t-shirts and very simple dresses with cowl necks
  • Lightweight wool doubleknit in black, white, and red for 1960s style dresses
  • Tonic suiting in yellow/black and green/black just because it’s gorgeous
  • Black and white printed chiffon to be a maxi dress
  • Quilted silk in a neutral, preferably olive green or brown for a skirt
  • White wool tweed for a very ladylike boat-necked dress

Does anyone else have a fantasy fabric list?

2 thoughts on “Dream fabric

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I suffer from the same problem as you with regards to where to go and buy fabric. We have a drastic shortage of fabric shops here too. I am now having to research elsewhere and shop further a field to buy my fabrics, after all, you can’t feel and touch fabrics buying on-line. Personally, getting out there shopping is part of the process of making your own clothes, and when hold fabric in your hands it can inspire your imagination.

    As for your question, I really have not given it much thought but I suppose I would like as much Lycra in all fabrics.


  2. I’m just now finding your blog. I love your work. One thing
    that I do to help me find fabric is limit the number of fabric
    stores that I visit when I go to the city (New York for me). After
    5 or 6 visits to the same store, I have a mental inventory of what
    they sell, and I can dream up projects for fabrics that actually
    exist. If I go to too many stores, I can’t keep track of what I saw
    where. I have one cheaper store, one mid-price store, and one
    high-price store that I try to pop into every time I go fabric
    shopping. Generally, I pick the stores with the most helpful staff.
    Then after I have been shopping at a particular store for a while,
    the staff recognizes the fabric that I’m wearing, and they tell me
    how talented I am. This hooks me every time. Hmm, this may not
    happen in London, where people are more reserved than in New

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