Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love at First Sight.......

I"m hard pressed to believe in the concept of "Love at First Sight" when it comes to people (it happens just not as frequently as some may think) but I am a believer in it when it comes down to the way I choose my fabric. For years I couldn't understand my connection and "instinct" when it came to buying certain fabrics. I always just had a gut feeling and attraction to the fabrics I chose. I've come to realize that I intuitively select my fabric and this is something I've grown accustomed to.

To clarify, there are 3 ways that I shop for fabrics. I purchase fabrics specifically for a project, I purchase a fabric because it may be pretty, on sale, and I have a use for it, and I purchase a fabric because of "love at first sight". Again, it's fabric buying for the last category that intrigues me the most.
Case in point, just the other day I was at Hancock Fabrics and ran across this little number. I hadn't bought a piece of fabric in a good while.  I looked at it and I just knew. Right then in there I wouldn't have been able to give you a detailed explanation of why I liked it (intuitive people feel before they can usually explain anyway) but it was that initial "love" that let me know I needed to get it. Looking at it now I can tell you it's the colors (I LOVE the yellow mixed with the red, dark blue and gray) and paisely pattern that I love. The picture does it NO justice. I grabbed 2.5 yd and will scout out the perfect pattern for it later.

I have to admit, some of my most memorably sewn pieces came from fabric selected in the same manner.
I love my Easter Dress and although I had a pattern picked out but it was the fabric that I made an "instant connection" with.

This dress is one of my FAVORITE'S!!!! And Lord knows when I picked up that print I had no earthly idea what I was going to do with it. Those circles are HUGE! But there was just something about it that intrigued me about it and I'm so glad I got it!

Here are a few other fabric in my stash in which the same thing happened. I love unique prints and colors.....

I don't buy fabric as often as I used to. I'm not into impulse buys or collecting---my fabric closet is full already. And although I try to be careful and discriminatory in my decisions to buy fabrics I ALWAYS, for the most part, give into these "love at first sight" moments because I believe it's in those times that I can see the the raw nature of my creativity at work. Trust me, for a person who's as careful, intentional, and frugal as I am, it's good to have a moment of raw instinct:)

So how do you shop for fabrics? Do you buy fabrics for projects, at discounts, or just pick fabrics and decide on a project later?


  1. I generally only buy for specific projects, as I hate having a stash (feel it's wasteful) and I don't have the storage space for a lot of extra fabric. Plus, a lot of fabric ages and goes out of style. However, if I fall in love with a fabric I'll buy it and find a project for it. LOVE your circle maxi dress. Well done!

  2. Those fabrics are beautiful. I love that paisley!

  3. I do understand that love at first sight thing. It gets me too every now and again. Enjoy your beautiful prints.

  4. I buy fabrics because I love them. Sometimes I have a project in mind when I see the fabrics, other times I buy the fabric and wait for the right project to come along. I do wish fabrics would come with the extra time needed to sew them up.

  5. You love those gorgeous swirly patterns! I buy for projects and, usually while I'm at the shop, find a couple of other things which I either a) think will work well for a pattern I've been mulling over, but haven't yet settled on or b) decide I have to have - and then I think of a pattern for which I can use it.

    I do know that jolt of excitement on touching a beautiful textile. But I try to stay out of the stores in a serious way.

  6. I agree, that circle maxi dress is *amazing*!!!

    And I also have a visceral reaction to fabric. :)

  7. For me much depends on my current circumstances. If I live in a place like San Francisco where the fabric supply is varied and abundant and always interesting, I tend to buy for specific projects. When I live in the boonies where I only have very limited access to good fabrics, I tend to buy for my feelings of deprivation :-(. So the stash grows, which isn't good.

    On the other hand, there is always some of that love at first sight thing. And you're right, if usually leads to the best-loved items (you really did a good job with those huge green circles). It's good if you can analyze it a bit, and not let a good print distract you too much from necessary fabric qualities. But we all need a bit of spontaneity in our lives...

  8. Interesting post! We have a lot in common. I also buy fabric because it seems like a good idea (price, function, etc.) and I buy it because I love it. In the end, the impulse buys because I just love it, are the ones I never regret! My well thought through, sensible buys, languish in my stash.

    Oh, and I also think your circle dress is amazing! Wish it was mine, mine, mine!

  9. I love the paisley and the circles, too.
    I use all three options when buying fabric but only used one when picking a husband, heh heh. I knew I was going to marry him the first time I saw him. I'm still a skeptic about the idea of love at first sight, though (:

  10. I rarely buy fabric for a specific project, though I have some idea of what it will become, because how else would I know how much to buy. First and foremost - I have to love the fabric, then - the price has to be right. I do wish I had an unlimited budget, but... Still, with determination, some awesome fabrics can be had for very reasonable prices.

  11. I like the idea of buying fabric intuitively rather than on impulse. I am trying hard to train myself to buy smarter and less often, and to sew up my stash which I mostly still love :-)

  12. I can see why you fell in love with those fabrics. I find if I need to buy fabric for a specific garment it is usually a disappointing experience, I can never find exactly what I pictured in my head. So I prefer to pick up pieces when I see them, sometimes I know exactly what I want to do with them, sometimes it will come to me later and some do sit in the stash waiting patiently and gathering dust I admit! One thing I do need to do though is start picking up plain solid pieces when I am fabric shopping - as you have found it tends to be prints or unusual fabrics that jump out and demand to be bought!

  13. I sew in two ways: one, to build up pieces needed in my wardrobe such as solid tanks or tees, neutral pants and pjs. two, for fun and to add some zest to my life. I tend to plan for the first and let my intuition take me on the second. Hence my zebra striped dress among my plain tees.

    I love your fabric choices and must confess that I gather courage to try new prints from your blog :-)

  14. All of the above! lol. I buy for projects, during sales, and just because I fall in love with the fabric.

  15. Girl, all of the above. But I can't tell you how often it been "love at first sight". Lol

  16. Choosing wisely when you buy fabrics is not necessarily an easy
    feat. You need to know what kind of fabric you are looking for, you need to be able to work out what is a reputable merchant, and you need to be sure of all the fine details that may be involved in purchasing fabrics.


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