A fabric shopping tip

29 comments

It is so easy to get a little crazy in a fabric store. You might not know how much fabric a certain pattern requires, so you guess and buy what you hope is a little extra. Or you might get distracted by a fabric that you don't really have to have, but want to add it to your stash anyways. Next thing you know, your stash is questionably hoarder status and you've blown money that you shouldn't have spent. I know, I've been there.

One thing I have learned, and this is nothing groundbreaking, is to spend ten or fifteen minutes before leaving the house and put together a list. I have found that when I have a list I am better prepared for shopping. That's what lists are for, right?

On my list I will write:
  • The pattern name
  • Recommended fabrics
  • The amount needed for 45 inch and 60 inch bolts. 

Seeing this in front of me keeps me in check, helps me avoid spending $$$$$, and prevents me from straying from what I came in to buy. Willpower is also required. Plus, I like to add notes, so it's easy to quickly scribble what I ended up getting and how it should be washed.

Nothing in this post is particularly mind blowing, but I thought I would share anyway :) Do you shop with a list, photos from a phone, or another method? Or no method at all?

29 comments :

  1. I also find that if I don't take swatches to match fabrics, then I buy too many fabrics that are close! I go with a plan in mind, but more often than not, my plan is blown within the first 10 minutes!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a good tip, Nicole! I hadn't thought of that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tried a while back to record the requirements on Evernote, so I always had them on my phone, but it's kind of fallen by the wayside a bit. In theory it works though - presuming you can get a 3G signal in the shop, that is!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Like Amanda, I sometimes take a picture of the pattern envelope (or even bring the pattern with me!) when going fabric shopping. If I make a list, I write down EVERYTHING I need for the project, from paper to thread to zips and interfacing. I hate when I start a project only to realise I forgot something important... Unfortunately, it happens sometimes when I get fabric crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The last few times I wrote out a list I left it at home haha! Sooooooo stupid. But yeah, I definitely love making lists! Staying on track is always a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I always carry a little notebook in which I write all lists - from grocery list to fabrics and notions when needed. So yeah, I guess I do the same :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to overbuy on fabric quantities and forget notions so now I write a list. My local fabric shop has an online shop, they also give loyalty points if you spend over a certain amount. So before I head out, I go online and use the online shop to write a list complete with prices which I then take to the shop. If I'm pennies away from qualifying for loyalty points, I chuck in an extra pack of needles or something like that. It also means I'm less likely to stop by the shop on the way home and pick up the odd notion here and there, as I'd rather save up my shopping into one decent-sized trip.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a list on evernote with fabrics, yardages and colors and I try not to stray from it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I usually have no plan and buy what I see and like. But I am going to the L.A. garment district this month and have a list of what I need and want. Can't wait to see tons of new-to-me fabric at fab prices. Probably will buy everything in site. Hope so. Love it. Karen

    ReplyDelete
  10. I always take a photo of the bolt end with my phone. That way I've got any fabric content & care info. Plus I heavily use the notes section of my phone & the sewing kit app to keep track of everything,

    ReplyDelete
  11. I pin all patterns I have to pinterest. I use the vintage pattern wiki for stuff thats not current. That way I can look all that information up if I see a fabric I like, very quickly on my phone.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I forgot about that vintage pattern wiki, thanks for reminding me!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's good, I'm the opposite. Without a list I just get too wild with my shopping!

    ReplyDelete
  14. A sewing kit app??!?! How cool!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Not that you asked (haha), but I would highly recommend checking out Michael Levine if you go. I'm afraid that I am not too familiar with Downtown, but whenever I go I end up with something I like from Michael Levine and the Michael Levine loft!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What is evernote? Sorry, I'm out of the loop!

    ReplyDelete
  17. That is really good! I wish that I could get all my fabric and notions all in one spot. I feel like I go to one store for this and one store for that, but if one store had it all AND had loyalty points I would be in heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oooh that's a good idea. I need to have a notions list in my purse. I always seem to forget what notions I need.

    ReplyDelete
  19. hhaha that sounds like something I would do!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's so annoying when you forget one little thing that affects the whole project. I do it all the time and it drives me crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are the second person who has mentioned Evernote. Guess I need to look into it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah thanks. I used to live in Pasadena and work in LA so I know Michael Levine. You can be sure I will go there. I appreciate your comment. Will letbyou know what I find. Xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  23. I always try to write a list but I almost always end up forgetting. So then I'm standing in the middle of Joann's on my phone frantically trying to pattern search in hopes that the fabric requirements is easily visible on my phone.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I took the time a while back to upload pictures of ALL of my patterns to Evernote. That way I have a handy reference so I stop buying duplicates (or very very similar patterns) at those 99 cent JoAnn sales, and can also see what pattern might be best for the fabric I'm eyeing. Then I can easily look up how much that particular pattern needs...the joys of smart phones!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Because I just posted about it, too, I'll answer (not that you asked me!) - it's a handy little app that lets you make lists, store pictures, take web clippings, and is really easily searchable. Honestly, I only know about 10% of what it can do, but I started using it because of a couple of posts I saw (http://www.shawntasews.com/2014/01/06/evernote-my-sewing-thoughts-organization/ and http://finishedgarment.ca/organizing-all-those-sewing-patterns/). I took pics of all of my patterns, put each one in a note, and tagged all of the notes with labels like "skirt," "fall," "1960s," "vintage," etc. That way, if I see a fabric that would be great for a vintage skirt, I can just type that in and pull up the patterns I have that would match. The app is free and you can access it from your phone, tablet, or PC/Mac (meaning you don't have to do all of that uploading on a tiny little phone). I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you have the time!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Can you believe I visited the fabric district of Tokyo while I was there on holiday and only came back with four pieces of fabric for myself??!?

    ReplyDelete