Subversive Sewer

{June 17, 2010}   Eureka!

Wow, do I regret not returning to Jay’s Fabric Center in St. Petersburg sooner!  I went there once in 2005, before I really understood what quality fabric was.  I didn’t think much of it because I looked at a few bolts that were $10/yard and decided it was too expensive, not even looking around much.  Dumb move.

Today I went knowing much more about fabrics, and let me tell you.  This place was all I wanted in a fabric store!  I wish I would have thought to take pics.  It’s the size of a standard Joann’s but it’s ALL fabric and notions!!!  They have solids on the perimeter and prints in the center, which the employee told my inquisitive 6 year old is so that you can see the prints in more detail (since they’re more accessible).  They have a modest selection of quilting cottons, around $10/yard, then an awe-inducing array of fashion fabrics.   They had everything there, from sportswear to formal.  I saw the most beautiful special occasion fabrics, the likes of which I’ve never seen.  The most expensive I saw was $130/yard, but most were $30-70.  Rolls and rolls of them. Tons of French terry, which I was very happy to see.  They had a sale table of knits, lots of swimwear, denim, broadcloth, batiste, gabardine, satin, chiffon, everything, I tell you!

I was so overwhelmed by all the wonderful stuff I only bought 3 things… French terry for $6/yard, knit print for $4/yard (sale price), and some hot  pink elastic belting, the price of which I forgot but I know was cheap!  They have cool zippers, drawers full of buttons, notions, threads, patterns, home dec fabrics and notions.  It was beautiful.  I won’t have to order my swimwear elastic online anymore, as they carry it in 2 widths, plus the hooks for bikini tops.  So much unique stuff I’d never seen before.

The service was very good.  I was asked if I needed help or a cart to carry my fabrics while browsing, and I waited less than a minute to have my fabric cut by a very nice employee.  Their hours are limited (9-5:30, closed Sunday), but other than that I can’t think of a single complaint!

I went to Miami looking for a store that is a mere 1/2 hour away!!  I haven’t been to many independent fabric stores (just Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL once when I lived in WI), but I can’t imagine it getting any better than this unless you’re in NYC or LA.  SO worth it!


And Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, who posted this warning tip about Fabric Mart’s fabulous sale on some lust-inducing fabrics!  So, those of you who missed her post, consider yourself enabled!  I myself quickly justified a $50 purchase of several $2-3/yard knits and some drapey cotton that I already have a dress in mind for!

{March 20, 2010}   New Patterns

I stopped at Joann’s to look for patterns on sale, and I’m super glad I did because they had several patterns I wanted!

vogue 1154

McCall’s 6091… is this Natasha from America’s Next Top Model??

McCall’s 6074- the lack of a photo makes me nervous

McCall’s 6078- making the one on the far left

Butterick 5446.  Carolyn’s review was very helpful- I’ll be narrowing the sleeves too

{March 1, 2010}   Miami and Kwik Sew sale

If you’re anywhere near a Hancock Fabrics, you have GOT to go!!!  For the first time ever (and they point that out!) the Kwik Sew patterns are 20% off!!  Since I’m saving money for the out of pocket expenses associated with closing on a house, I used some restraint and bought just 3:

My apologies for not being able to format this right.  Anyway, Since we live in Florida and my daughter loves to swim, I thought the swimsuit pattern would be a good investment.  The strapless top I thought would be good for summer and if I actually go out.  And the bra- self explanatory!  SO sick of RTW bras not fitting right, or trying to find a large size that doesn’t have padding!  Back in the day when I  barely weighed 105 pounds, I needed that padding, but now I’ve got enough of my own!  I’ve got a few bra notions, so I’ll see how it goes.  I’ve gotta find some sources.  I really like the bra kits that Summerset makes.  I find Sew Sassy’s website so user-unfriendly that I avoid it.

This past Saturday, my cousin and her best friend, who were visiting from chilly Wisconsin, and I all went to Miami to do some shopping and sightseeing.  I stood in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time (too cold to swim!), bought some underwear at American Apparel to clone, and bought a few cuts at Fabrics for Less.  It was a tiny shop and didn’t have much beyond special occasion and suiting fabrics, but I did find some knits, a remnant of stretch lace, and some pink shirting.  It was all $2/yd, so it was worth a trip.

In house news, I think I’m going to put in an offer on a villa I looked at.  It’s much smaller than my current home, but I am inspired by people who happily live in small, urban spaces, and saving money on utilities is also great.

Gross.  One of my cats just barfed, which reminds me how much I liked the laminate and tile floors the place had.

{February 5, 2010}   Snoop Shopping

Yesterday, one of my coworkers had a great idea to help solve my fit issues and solve the mystery of what size I am: call a tailor!  So, I called Alterations by Nora, explained my dilemma, and she says, “no problem, just come in and I’ll do it!”  I ask how much, she says no charge, I say come on, you’ve gotta charge me something!  She says, ‘it takes two seconds’ and I should come by anytime next week!  I’m always so incredulous when someone does something nice for me.

Tonight I’m just laying low at home on the couch, doing some snoop shopping.  My cousin and her friend are visiting later this month and asked me to take them to Miami.  I’ve never been there, and it’s as good a time as any, so I say sure.  The catch?  They want to go to Dash, some store run by the Kardashian bimbos.  How very sad.  I make her a deal:  I begrudgingly take them to the bimbo store if we can visit a fabric store or 2.  We have a deal.  So, I hear Miami is a stylish place, so I need to make my frumpy ass look cute.  Hence the snoop shopping, so I can find out what’s fashionable right now.  Wouldn’t ya know that my favorite item so far is a t-shirt dress….

{August 23, 2008}   Amy Butler Score!

My ex reinstalled drivers for my camera, so I can upload and post pics again! And I can show you the great Amy Butler fabrics I scored!

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to check out a quilt shop in nearby Sarasota to get some Amy Butler fabrics, which I love. I went to Alma Sue’s Quilts, about 20 miles from my house. I nearly fainted when I saw that they were on sale- 45″ wide quilting cottons were $6/yard, and the Nigella 60″ twill weight fabrics were $7/yard!!! That’s insane!! The quilting cottons are normally $9/yard and the Nigella collection retails for $18/yard!!! Turns out it was the last day of their anniversary sale- talk about luck!!! I ended up buying 6 pieces of fabric and 2 patterns. Check out the beautiful fabrics I got! It was so hard to decide what to get!

I hit the sale at joann’s 2 nights ago and actually found some presentable fabric!

The one on the left was from the clearance area- I paid $2 a yard for it! I think it’s a cute retro print, which will be great for Butterick 4919:

The yellow is just a poly/cotton broadcloth, which will be a wearable muslin for this tunic:

And the lavender cotton has some embroidery on it and is a nice light weight for summer. I’m making this top (view D), which was out of stock at Hancock’s tonight:

Tonight I went to Hancock Fabrics to grab some 99 cent Buttericks and found stretch poplin on sale for 3 bucks a yard! They had great colors, but I immediately went for the magenta. That’s eventually become:

I was just browsing the catalog when I ran across this one. I bought it for the princess seams, which I can do a FBA on, and the collar looked really simple and quick.

I’m hoping to get a lot of sewing done this weekend!

{June 15, 2008}   Hitting the sales

I felt pretty crappy today with some mystery virus, but Michaels and Hancock Fabrics had great sales.  Sofia and I drove across town and picked up some scrapbooking supplies at Michaels, then went to Hancock’s.  We got 4 cones of MaxiLock thread for $1.77 each, a spool of thread to make a UFO skirt, some machine needles and Velcro for 50% off, and some patterns:

Something different.

I’m going to try the Kwik Sew lingerie patterns I have first, but if nothing else, the camisole is cute.

I’m thinking of making view C in a cute Amy Butler print.

This just looks like the ultimate hot weather dress.  The binding intimidates, though.

I got my Hancock Fabrics ad in the mail today and was absolutely thrilled to see Project Runway Fabric! It’s 45″ wide cotton from Robert Kaufman, very bright colors, and they have straight pin, safety pin, and dress form prints, plus another that says “Make it Work!” I think I found a fabric to make a serger cover out of! (The pillowcase isn’t too aesthetically pleasing.)

You can view the ad here.

et cetera