August 23, 2012

You make have already seen it over on Gingermakes, but a few of us are meeting up this Saturday to do some fabric shopping in the garment district. (If you live in the NYC area please join us.)

Although, yes, I have access to some of the best fabric shopping around living in NYC, it’s still more of an ordeal to get there and actually shop than it ever was before.  I can’t just jump in the car and buy those buttons I forgot at the local JoAnns for instance.  As a result I want to be very prepared for this trip. 
I put together a little document with the items on my “to sew” list, what fabric, yardage etc. that I need for them, and some pics of inspiration with each.  It’s a pretty ambitious list, I realize, and I may not get anything on it, but I want to be prepared just in case.  Otherwise I worry that I will just wander around without any purpose and waste the trip being in awe of all of the options.
Here is the plan:

Fabric Shopping List

Megan Nielsen Maternity Skirt – knit fabric, 1 yd 60”, 1 ½ yds 45”, 1” wide elastic, ¼” wide elastic

Blazers – linen or cotton or ponte knit 2 yds 60”, 2 ½ 45”, lining, buttons, interfacing

tshirt maxi or knee length dresses – knit fabric 1 – 2 yds 60”

Victory patterns Roxanne tunic – light weight flowy fabric, 2 ¼  60”, 2 ½ 45”, light weight fusible interfacing ½ yd
Easy Gathered Skirts – 2 yards of cottons or rayon challis, 1” wide elastic

Thick cardi / wrap – ponte or other thick knit/wool blend – 2-3

So I am curious.  How do you like to shop for fabric.  Do you go in with a strict list, or do you wander and let the fabric inspire you?

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  • Reply Sewing Princess August 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    How cool! I was there a few months ago and really enjoyed the trip. It’s great you have a shopping list… I found it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I make lists while others I let fabric choice guide me…but end up with too much fabric!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      ending up with too much fabric is usually my problem too. i have a new goal to only buy fabric and patterns that i am intending to make right away. we will see if i can stick to it this weekend!

  • Reply Kessem August 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Oh darn it! I’m around Nyc forthe next moth or so but I’m away this Saturday!
    Have fun, it’s such a nice place to get fabrics! It’s so overwhelming but in a good way!! can’t wait to see what you get!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      too bad you can’t come. i hope i have some good finds. i will be sure to share them.

  • Reply Cat August 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    How motivating and focused! Definitely need more of this in my sewing life!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      you know what has helped the most is pinterest. we will see how well i follow thru.

  • Reply Shelley Hesson August 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Smart idea!! I love your sewing plans. So many gorgeous garments. Have fun on Saturday.

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      thanks, here’s hoping i can find some good fabric!

  • Reply katherine h August 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Great idea to be so organised…I always forget the notions, but you have that covered as well. It takes me hours and hours to buy fabric as I am not very good at making decisions. Sometimes I look for fabric to match a project, other times I see a favris and wonder what could be done with it. My on-line purchases seem to be quite different to my in-store purchases.

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      i am not usually very good at making decisions either. i am hoping that having the inspirational images will help a lot for reference.

  • Reply Kristi August 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I wander around like a knucklehead usually with two whining kids. I like your way much better. So happy to see you’ll be sewing Megan Nielsen maternity clothes. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      i can’t imagine taking my toddler the garment district. i love megan nielsen designs. i have have two of her maternity patterns that i can’t wait to try.

  • Reply Mika August 23, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    This is what I need to do tomorrow night! I would love to shop without a plan, but I know I’ll end up with a bunch of summery prints and what I really need is solids and fabrics for fall. So, a plan it is. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      i am really looking forward to meeting you too!

  • Reply Amanda August 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Looks like a great plan…Do you already have a blazer pattern picked out? i’ve been looking for one. Since I got a smart phone it has opened up a whole new way of shopping. I can snap photos of pattern envelopes to take with me shopping…or coordinating fabrics in my stash. Have fun…can’t wait to read all about it.

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      smart phone. that is a great idea. i hadnt even thought of that. maybe once i get my iphone next month!

      i have a blazer pattern that i made from a thrifted blazer earlier this year. you can find it on my blog. its a chambray blazer. i am going to make that one again so i dont have any great recommendations except that sallieo made a great red one from a burda pattern awhile back.

  • Reply Miriam August 23, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I love these designs,especially the floral blazer–that’s high on my list to make. Do you have a pattern yet? And also, where is that floral blazer image from?
    Miriam from

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 23, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      the floral blazer is from modcloth awhile back. i have it on my pinterest board. i have loved it for a long time. i am using a self made pattern from an old thrifted blazer, but sallieo made a great red blazer from a burda pattern a while back that you might want to check out.

  • Reply Nikki August 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    I always take a little bag with handles with a bunch of patterns in it! It might seem dorky, but at least I always get the right amount of fabrics 🙂

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      not dorky at all. nothing worse than buying fabric for a project and realizing that you didnt get enough.

  • Reply Madalynne August 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I definitely cannot sew without a list. No way in hell! I will end up with so much fabric and most likely not the fabric that I need! I think your plan is just right – you’ll prevent any impulse or unneeded buys. Good luck with your meet up! Did I mention how jealous I am!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 24, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Madalynne, if you ever end up coming out to NYC please let me know. We will set up a shopping trip just for you.

  • Reply Crystal August 24, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    That looks like a great list and fun upcoming projects. I think you are on the right track. I like to shop with a list, yet flexible so I don’t miss out on something unexpected and fantastic.

  • Reply Kelli Ward August 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    I agree, I am hoping to find some unexpected wild cards too.

  • Reply gingermakes August 24, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I love your plan– can’t wait to see the finished products! (Sidenote: I’m SO JEALOUS of your completely perfect blazer, and I’m not sure I can take seeing another… I may burst with envy!) Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 24, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      you are nice. i do feel lucky that i found that blazer to take apart. i am hoping that the other ones turn out as well as the first. you are more than welcome to use my pattern anytime you want. see you tomorrow!

  • Reply Quinn's mom August 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Love all the patterns and jealous I am in VA and cannot go fabric shopping! Is there a pattern you will be using for the cardi wrap..I really like that!

    • Reply Kelli Ward August 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      I wish you could come too. I don’t have a pattern for the cardi wrap. I have looked, but can’t find anything close enough yet. I am thinking that it shouldn’t be too hard to drape one – though i may be kidding myself.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee August 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    This is such a great “to sew” list! I’m so excited to see your fall maternity style! I’m also super jealous about this meetup – it looks like so much fun! Sigh… wish I was closer.
    I always try to go fabric shopping with a plan – otherwise it can get a bit messy, and mostly time-consuming because I can be VERY indecisive! That being said – I think its always good to stay open to something that may cross your path and spark some sort of “unplanned” inspiration.

  • Reply Petite Josette August 29, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    I love this! I did the same thing a while back, creating a list with patterns and their fabric requirement. It was a longer list so whenever I go to the store, I can let the fabric guide me.
    90% of the time, I buy fabric first, and then find a pattern for it. I find that if i go out looking for something specific I never find it…mind you i don’t live close to the garment district 🙂

  • Reply Leuinda Fields September 9, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Oh!I’m so sorry I missed this meet up! And, I’m so glad to hear you have similar feelings about the fashion district. I feel so guilty other seamstresses don’t have access to Mood and all the rest, but you’re so right that a trip to 39th or 38th street for a yard of interfacing to finish a project is so much more than a quick trip to Joanns. Their hours are horrible and don’t dream of taking a stroller into 1/2 the stores. On the other hand, have you seen the fashion fabric selection at Joann’s recently? It’s almost non-existent.
    That said, I love nothing more than a day building up my stash with some like-minded gals. I hope to join you next time!
    Welcome to the city and congratulations on your growing family!
    Leu, sewing in NYC (and a fellow transplant to the city by way of PA, KS, and MO!)

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