Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vogue Fabrics, part 1 of a primer*

For those of you who don't live nearby, there are directions here on how to get there. I don't see any instructions on how to get there from Mars, Venus or any of the other planets, but it must be well worth the visit if Mennonites from Iowa and Indiana travel miles upon miles to come here.
Anyhow, here are some highlights of a quick, 10-minute visit today. (I went to make a payment on my serger, alas, I left my wallet at home so I will have to return another day. Darn!)

On sale in the silk room:**
  • 28-inch wide Artisan silks, $3.99 a yard. The colors are a bit somber, but perhaps the greatest limitation might be the width, which is less than the circumference of my waist. If I had my druthers (and I often do along with Doritos), I'd buy a couple of yards for his-and-hers vests with a matching bowtie for both. I know this looks very "A Chorus Line", so what? Other than, this fabric might make for some great trim on a wrap-style dress.
  • Sixty-inch wide Designer wools, $9.99 a yard. Fantastic deal, I say. This would be a great place for those of you participating in the Great Coat Sew Along (which by the way, is already closed to the public. Apparently 75 sewers have signed Burlington Coat Factory a run for its money. I do hope that Marji at least re-opens so the rest of us coatless schlubs can at least live vicariously and post comments. But I digress). Anyhow, the abovementioned wools are poly/lycra and machine washable (moms should especially like that). Actually, I might like that since I dearly miss my princess-cut cream-colored coat which I tossed because it had been to the dry cleaner one too many times. I didn't see a cream wool, but there has to be at least one....
  • Soft Touch Jersey, 60 inches wide, machine washable. A mere $2.99 a yard. This stuff is delectable - incredibly comfortable. I wore this skirt you see above this past Sunday on what feels like the only warm day we've had five months into 2008. This fabric comes in array of colors - lots of bright colors if you're so inclined. What's really nice is you don't have to finish the edges, the raw edge is very ready to wear. Like Gigi's poly, this jersey wears really well in humid weather. I could also see it used like this.
Ok, onward and upward. Now for a few things that are not marked down but I couldn't resist writing about just because I like 'em.
  • 100 percent cotton galloon-edged eyelet, $11.99 a yard. If you love eyelet and really don't like to do hems, this fabric is your friend. What is a galloon you ask? It's this, and not this. I know, I know a galloon makes me think of Johnny Depp in Pirates of eh Caribbean" (by the way, dear Johnny is filming "Public Enemy" in Chicago as I write). Galloon is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying "scallop." Yes, this fabric has scalloped edges, perfect for a blouson for Mr. Depp for the next Pirates movie. I've always wanted to dye eyelet, but somehow I just want to sew the eyelet so badly, I leave the color alone...and end up with another eyelet dress that doesn't stand out on the streets. Anyhow, I wonder how eyelet dyed with Kool-Aid would look? If any of you have undertaken this experiment, I want to know. One last thing: if you do actually visit Vogue to buy the completely natural, be sure you read the labels. The pure cotton variety is parked right next to the poly/cotton blend, and it would extremely easy to pick up the wrong bolt and get it cut. While it's cheaper, the poly eyelet is a lot more lightweight and looks cheap to my contact-lens encased eye, and it's virtually impossible to dye.
  • Metallic sheen linen, 56 inch wide, $12.99 a yard. I'm pretty certain that hails from Italy. Last week there was rust and indigo versions of this linen. Now I only see an off-white and taupe, both still very nice, but not nearly as lux as the colors I mentioned. But if I get to the point where I've run out of fabric, I'd make a pair of slouchy full paints in stitching with gold thread. I'm fairly certain this fabric is dry clean only, but I wonder how it would hold up if you were to hand wash or gasp! even toss it into the laundry machine. I'd love to test out a swatch....
  • Church Brocade, $11.99 a yard. Sorry I didn't write down the exact width. In any event, this stuff is parked along the wall, not far from the exquisite eyelet. I often wonder who uses this fabric. It is just sewers making church vestments, does anyone else use it for any other purpose, say like a skirt or a coat? Or would that be sacriligious? There were a few bolts, but the only one I remember is the gold and white one, very traditional.
Finally, if you can't visit in person, you can buy yardage over the phone. Just be prepared to describe the yardage in question in great detail.
* The fabric above is sewn up into a New Look skirt.
* *The silk room, so named for all the silks on the tables, is in the middle of the store. The main room is the first room you see when entering the store at the street entrance closest to Lake Michigan. It's stocked with knits and other less pricey fabrics. The home decorating department at eastern end of the store, has its own. If you're not sure if you're in the silk room, it's the only part of the store that doesn't have a public exit.)

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