Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Sewing Studio - Let Freedom Ring, 2016!

So, I chose to exerise my liberty this 4th of July by buying amazing fabric for a steal of a price - as I usually do :) I took a break from moving and unpacking to go with just my mom this year and we had a great time. For those of you not from Florida (or new to my blog), The Sewing Studio is a fabric filled treasure trove located in Maitland (just outside Orlando, still sort of Orlando). The store has high quality fabric for everything from quilting to wedding dress making to home decor and everywhere in between. Each 4th of July and New Year's Day, they put their entire store (!!!) on sale for 40% off. This includes the items that are already in clearance for 50% off - you get another 40% off of that price. Craziness. Since these biannual sales coincide with holidays where people sometimes give money (Christmas and my Birthday at the end of June), I like to splurge on all kinds of stuff twice a year :) Generally I spend most of my time in this store looking like this:
Yep - that's "The Sewing Studio Effect", lol. It's so much fun. I do still have to reign myself into a budget, especially since it would be SO EASY to spend way too much with all the lovely silks and laces and other fancy threads. I can let loose a bit, but still within reason. It's a pretty overwhelming experience the first few times you go, but I've gone enough to get something of a game plan each time. If you're in the Central Florida area, this store (and especially this sale) are well worth a trip on your holiday. Anyway, you're all here for the fabric, so let's get to the good stuff :)
This was my haul this year :) I went a little crazier than normal (meaning I purchased a few things that were a bit pricier than my usual), but I have plans for almost every piece of fabric. If only the purchase included guaranteed time to make up everything you want, right?  Here's what I came away with specifically (all fabrics listed clockwise):
  •  4 yards of Moda Bandana Bows and Dots print cotton - This will most definitely be a dress :) I'm thinking it would be cute as Butterick 6321 if I can find a matching blue or mint green for the contrasting pieces :) 
  • 4 yards of Cotton + Steel Homebody Buttons printed cotton poplin - This will be probably a dress, perhaps a shirt dress? I only wanted 3 yards at first for a Hollyburn skirt, but when there was just 1 more yard left on the bolt I bought the whole thing. 
  • 3 yards of  Windham Snippets mint green needle and thread printed cotton - Another dress here :) I may go for the tried and true Simplicity 2444 or 1419 - just depends on how those dotted lines handle darts.
  • 1.5 yards of Free Spirit Memory Lane pink floral printed cotton - this is soon going to be on my lampshades in my new bedroom :) Whatever is left will also be used around the room on pillows and whatnot.
  •  2 yards of Amy Butler Soul Blossoms Cotton Canvas in Temple Tulips print - This is another I have to decide on. Originally I wanted to make a bag, but it would also make a pretty cool a-line skirt. With how wide the fabric is, I might be able to do both :)
  • 2 yards of Free Spirit dark blue twist printed heavy canvas - this will also be a skirt, possibly a Melissa, and the excess will be great for a bag too.
  • 2 yards of Cotton + Steel Mochi Folklore Moon Rabbit Autumn Rice printed linen cotton. This is 55% linen, 45% cotton and has a metallic gold border print. I think it will be a great flared skirt.
  • 2 yards of Art Gallery floral printed lightweight denim - This stuff was a slight splurge for me. I almost bought this exact fabric a month ago on Fabric.com, but held off and got some Brussels Washer linen instead. So when I saw this for 40% off, I knew I had to get enough for a skirt. I'm still deciding on a pattern, but it will be flared :) It's so pretty and drapey in person! I can't wait to make it up.
  • 2.25 yards of crazy 3D squiggle flowers in pink and purple on mesh - This will be an epic skirt. I'm thinking circle skirt on this one :) The flowers are done the same way as one of my favorite trims I've used (on my mom's birthday shirt last year), and it was just so pretty and fun.
  • 2 yards of bright pink poly chiffon - this will line the crazy flower skirt :) It's not opaque at all, but the crazy flowers plus this make for just enough to not show off anything.
  • 1.5 yards of emerald green rayon jersey - This will be come a plantain tee with 3/4 sleeves. I adore this color, so I had to get some. Now if I can just find a nice mint green ...
  • 1 yard of Mickey and Friends printed cotton jersey - Isn't this adorable?! I'm not usually a "wear Disney characters" type person (I blame the oversized t-shirts of my chilhood printed with Winnie the Pooh), but I think in the right pattern this will be really cute (especially if I wear it to the park itself). I'm thinking a Sorrel top with white collar and cuffs, but we shall see.
These were all remnants, so they were really cheap :)
  • 1.75 yards of Amy Butler Alchemy Velveteen - this was a wild card purchase because to be honest I have no idea what I will do with it, but it was so cheap. This cut cost me $3.00. It's super soft, especially now that I washed it, and I can't decide if it would be ok to wear or not. It may become a skirt, but then it may end up covering a chair, lol. I'll have to see what inspiration strikes.
  • 1.62 yards of black and white polka dot knit mesh - This will be really cute as a shirt, maybe a Parisian top with a white collar? It's a fairly dense knit, so I might not have to line it. 
  • 0.9 yards of Ming green 100% silk chiffon - this piece was just one of my favorite colors and it's so beautifully drapey. This will become a top, but because it's only 42" wide I'm not sire if I can get a whole top out of it or if I'll have to use a different fabric for the back or something. I generally stay away from silks since I'm clumsy and tend to get picks in it, but this one seemed fairly robust. 
After the hours of fabric selection, we hit the notions wall and I was pleasantly surprised by some products I love that the store just started carrying (they now stock Sew Keys E knit stay tape!). The threads were grabbed for some of the fabrics I purchased that day (as well as the mint green zipper), plus I got white and navy thread since I go through those colors faster than anything else. The pink zipper is for my crazy flowers skirt, and the plum zipper was just really inexpensive so it will end up in a skirt eventually. I'm running low on Wonder Tape, and they only had this Dritz brand (I usually buy the Collins) but at 40% off I figured it was worth trying out. I gasped aloud when I saw the SimFlex Expanding Gauge! I've toyed around with buying one of these for years, but I just never justified spending $20+ on it. Since it was only $12 I decided to grab one and I can't wait to add buttons or pleats to something so I can try it out. My final decision of the day was the bag of buttons. I brought along my Hetty Cardigan to see about buttons for it since I'm almost finished and I didn't love anything in my stash. I actually laid my sweater out on the floor in the button area and went back and forth auditioning various button styles, and when I came across these round shiny ones I knew it was meant to be. All the others I tried were either too small, too red, too orange, too "old lady"-ish. These were the exact color of my yarn and they were the perfect size AND they were shank buttons (my preferred for hand knits). There was only one catch - I needed 9 and the store only had 8 if I bought the display button too. I tried out more buttons, but none held a candle to these. So, I tried out using a decorative button at the top of the sweater and ended up with a pretty mother of pearl checkerboard inlay button to possibly go with it. I still can't decide if I will use this button or just pull out the buttonhole band and redo the spacing to have only 8 holes. We'll see. I've got til the end of the month to finish, lol.

So, that was my sewing studio trip :) I think we were in the store for about 3 hours, which is pretty normal for us. It was crazy busy when we first arrived, but when we left it was much quieter (thus how I was able to lay out my sweater on the floor). It was a fun day, and I've been washing fabric ever since. I've also already uploaded my fabrics into Trello (thanks to Camille for this post - so great for organizing!), and I love scrolling through my collection online at will :)

I will confess that I started off my fabric buying weekend a little early by going to the local Hancock sale. Hancock is going out of business (which is so sad since I just moved to right around the corner from the nearest store), but they are in the final throws of their going out of business sale and prices are finally low enough to get some good deals. Saturday night I came away with this:
  • 4 yards of coral rayon challis - this will be a dress, possibly with some other rayon as a contrast to give more interest.
  • 2.38 yards of damask printed stretch cotton twill - this is going to be a skirt (I'm thinking a traditional knee length "jean skirt" style like the Style Arc Sally skirt) and I'm sure I'll have excess which will probably become a bag or chair cover.
  • 2.5 yards of charcoal gray stretch denim - I'm really wanting to try sewing Ginger jeans, but I've been too cheap to potentially waste fabric on a muslin. This was cheap enough that I'm not too worried about it, so we'll see how that goes.
  • 5 butterick patterns I've had my eye on: 6090, 6260, 6321, 6282, and 6285. The patterns are still not super cheap at $1.99, but I've wanted these for a while so I went ahead and bought them. I'm holding out that they will go a little cheaper soon and then I may get more. 
This was my second trip in to Hancock, and it's seriously so sad that they are closing. This store has been in the same spot my whole life and for a long time it was the only fabric store I knew about, so it's certainly the end of an era. I hope someone buys them out and reopens, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll especially miss them when I need notions on the quick - they were my place to go for thread and buttons all the time (so much so that the night shift ladies nick named me "button girl" because I was always there for buttons). I guess the universe just really doesn't want me to live that close to a fabric store - they are currently building a Hobby Lobby near my house that I'm selling and they are closing the Hancock around the corner from my new place - I can take a hint!) It's probably better for my budget, but it's still a bummer that now my nearest store is the Joann's in Melbourne :/ Anyway, it was a great weekend of retail therapy and fabric shopping :) Now I just have to get to making things with all this so I can justify going again on New Years' Day!

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