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Why I Buy Designer Fabric.

2013 November 29

I’m surrounded at all times by amazing fabric. Not only in my own home, but in all of the blogs I read. It’s a work hazard that I am happy to deal with! As a graphic designer I’ve always been attracted to well designed fabrics, they make a project. If the project is amazing, but the fabric is not, it can be seen as less appealing. The same pattern, followed exactly in two fabrics can be completely different and that is part of the reason I love sewing. Things can always be altered and changed. You can add a gathered sleeve, or a hem band and create a new unique piece!

Sewing allows me to be creative. To take some flat pieces of fabric and create something 3-dimensional. These gifts make other people happy and taking the time to create something for them sometimes means more than the use of the item itself. But I’m getting off track…

Back to designer fabrics! When I sit and think about how much my stash is worth, I sometimes wonder if it really is worth buying the “expensive stuff”. I feel wasteful and a bit like a hoarder. Anyone relate?! The other day, however, I was reminded of one reason why I spend the extra cash. I washed the fabrics for Monday’s Sally Dress and accidentally leave them in the dryer for longer than I intended. Here’s how they came out.

The fabric on the right is designer Robert Kaufman fabric. The fabric on the left is cotton at less than half the price. Can you see the wrinkles?! I don’t know how many of you LOVE to iron, but it’s not my favorite. I iron everything when I’m sewing it, but once a garment is finished I like to wash and wear it as much as possible. The designer fabric is so much less wrinkly than the less expensive cotton. I have been amazed in the past when I hang up other dresses I have made, damp out of the dryer, to find the next day that they are virtually wrinkle free. I didn’t make the connection between the fabric quality and the wrinkles. Only problem is… I mixed these two fabrics in the one dress… hmmm…. I suppose I will be ironing the pockets!

That said, a lot of expense is tied up in my addiction and I am working on buying less stash and am hoping to make a few Christmas gifts this year without buying much more than some zippers and thread. Which is totally do-able, I just have to make it work – and maybe cut into those pieces I have been saving for “just the right project”. It is just fabric after all right? (Or maybe not!)

What do you think? I know that Dana from Made rarely (if ever) uses designer fabrics. And we all know how popular her projects are! Do you go for the local sewing store fabrics, or are you addicted to the rush of designer fabrics in the mail (like me!)? Do you think twice before spending the extra cash?

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. November 30, 2013

    I’ve never bought fabrics online. I want to feel and see the fabrics with my own hands and eyes. And almost all the online fabric shops I found and like are abroud (that is not in the Netherlands). This makes the Postage expensive. On the other hand, there are little local stores (only two little shops nearby, and two stalles on the weekmarket in the city I work in). And I think twice before spelling extra cash, but maybe that’s becouse I’m Dutch ;) . So I’m always haveing a hard time find the right fabric. So I’m glad I find a nice fabric at all, I don’t mind if it’s designer ;) .
    Mirjam recently posted… Verplichte pauze – Mandatory breakMy Profile

    • December 3, 2013

      Hi Mirjam – its true, the feel of a fabric is most definitely the best way to see what it is like. I’ve gotten fabric online before and it has been completely different than what I expected. I suppose the availability of reasonably priced shipping here helps to make it more of an option. :) Your market sounds like a fun experience though!

  2. December 1, 2013

    It is just fabric :) Cut into it! Looking forward to seeing all the gorgeousness you are going to make from you special fabric :)
    Jenya recently posted… Secret Squirrel: Stop 6 – As It Seams to While she was sleepingMy Profile

    • December 3, 2013

      Oh how I wish I had your perspective! I have such trouble cutting into my fabric – though, as my stash grows I don’t hold so tightly onto it! Thank goodness. I will get better… I think?!

  3. Tania permalink
    December 9, 2013

    I love quality and fabrics that are designer catch my eye without me even knowing they are designer but because they are gorgeous. Hubby asks how I can walk in and like the most expensive thing lol, because I notice quality. I can’t usually afford to buy designer though I would like to but I do have a yard here or there in my tiny stash (I usually buy when I need to make something). Usually I use them up quickly and the garment end up looking pretty new even once my monkeys outgrow it.

    • December 10, 2013

      True Tania! Once you have the eye it’s pretty hard to walk past great fabrics! :)

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