I just got an e-mail from Holly that I was going to paraphrase, but my brain is fuzzy— so here it is. She writes:
"I just listened to your podcast on craftypod about sewing your own clothes. The part that struck me was the importance of choosing the right fabric. I have been disappointed by this mistake myself many, many times. My question, though, is where do you find good fabric that is not quilting cotton? At my local JoAnn Fabrics the choices are not good and online I don't find too much beyond solids and some uninspiring prints. Do you know of any online stores that sell nice cotton/lycra/blends?"
Yeah—quilting cottons (think Moda, Freespirit, etc.) are awesome for crafts and quilts but not always the best choice for clothes. There are exceptions, but for adult clothes they can be a bit heavy and stiff for the most part.
Using old clothes (especially wool sweaters, pants, and old t-shirts)
for sewing new garments is always so thrilling—and really rewarding. Check Melissa's pants for Sam.
I like to raid my own closet to make new clothes for the girls, then I
can use just the right knit or other fabrics that are hard to find by
the yard (and new garment fabric is crazy expensive!) I have had more luck doing this than thrifting for clothes to
take apart and reconstruct—but that works great too, especially if you
leave the house, which I don't do much right now. Check the excellent Wardrobe Refashion site for a lot of ideas about this kind of sewing.
For new fabric, I usually buy here in Portland. I need to be able to touch it and see it drape. I sometimes use quilting cottons for tops/dresses/aprons for kids clothes, so I can buy that online—I know how it feels. For linens, rayons, tencel, wool, bamboo, hemp, jerseys, all that, I usually buy in person. Most big cities have at least one high-end fabric shop that sells fabric suitable for clothes. Right? What is the world coming too?
In Portland, for garment fabrics, I shop at:
(Am I missing any Portland shops that sell a decent amount of garment fabric, not just quilting cottons?)
What about online? I don't have a ton of experience buying garment fabric online. I've listed some online shops I have used or that are highly recommended that have garment fabrics (Not just quilting cottons.) Do you all have a favorite online source for fashion fabrics? Especially knits? Please add it in the Flickr comments, because you know what book is coming out soon, right? And it's all about sewing knits.
I don't have hot links enabled in the comments here, so head on over to the Bend-the-Rules flickr group to add a link if you have one. Thank you!
***And Portland peeps, Anna Maria Horner needs your help! Please read and possibly get lovely fabric for your sofa! Free!