Fabric Shopping!

Viscose with a whiff of lycra and polyester

I went Fabric Shopping today!  This warrants capital letters because I don’t often shop for fabric, and I don’t stash.  With a single notable exception (stable striped knits in natural fibers with a hint of lycra), I don’t buy fabric without an Intent.  Since my most recent Fabric Shopping event back in February, I dutifully shunned The Fabric Store.  It helps that TFS is all the way on the other side of the city.

I don’t stash, but I do deliberately buy fabrics that should go together for particular projects and collections.  This usually marks the beginning of a drafting and sewing binge that gives birth to another handful of Cake designs.  With Hummingbird, Tiramisu Second Edition, Cabarita and Bonny at the end of production, I’m “allowed” to shift my focus to the next set of Cake Patterns…

Red Velvet

Red Velvet

Last week, I went looking for some red velvet for an upcoming project.  *cough cough It’s called Red Velvet cough cough*  I found this at Spotlight.  It is 90% polyester and 10% spandex.  As a rule, I don’t work with polyester, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and challenge myself.  This was rather expensive dancewear velvet.  It’s 4 way stretch and because it’s intended for dance I assumed I could shove it in my washing machine with impunity.

This fabric is beautifully bulletproof, with  great drape and body.  I washed this on warm with reds.  I left it overnight because I’m lazy and forgetful, and then left it on the line for two days for a similar reason.  I expected expensive dancewear fabric to stand up to this kind of abuse*.  I was not disappointed.  I have the idea I want to make an indestructible cocktail dress.  Because.


I had almost given up on finding a beautiful stretch lace to go with my red velvet.  I kept finding clumpy, glumpy, gross stretch lace in bright white. I wanted something slinky and smooth and classy in a pale red.  Not pink, but a pale red.  I’d given up the search when I spotted this nylon lace today at TFS!


This lace will be underlined with a creamy organic cotton jersey.

Daywear Version


This I purchased recently from Cake retailer Strommig Designs.  I think she still has some pink/orange left, but I’m not sure about the blues.  I do know this is an extremely high quality medium weight cotton lycra knit and I plan to use it for a “daywear” counterpoint to the lacy velvety thing I have in mind…

Menswear Collection


My husband has been pestering me for new clothes for a few months.  I made the odd shirt and shorts for him, but I’ve also been squirreling away fabrics for when I roll up my sleeves to create a core wardrobe for him.

The the other day I cut a few pairs of shorts for him and we audited “his” fabrics.  Most of them were plain colored twills for bottoms in shades of brown.  I picked this up for him today, to break up the plain shorts and pants in his near future.  It’s a closely woven viscose, polyester and lycra blend and also feels beautifully bulletproof.  I kinda hoped he’d dismiss the fabric, allowing me to swoop in and claim it.  Nope, he likes it.


Here we have a lightweight striped jersey with a 5% lycra content.  I like a little Lycra in my knits, it helps the garment keep its shape and last longer.


This is a heavier viscose/lycra blend.  I wasn’t looking for a fabric like this when I went out, but I have several possible plans for this fabric…


Though the fabrics don’t “match,” I do think they coordinate well.

And that’s how I shop for fabrics!  Which do you like best?  I can’t decide, I really can’t.

Em at Tumble Weeds in the Wind recently interviewed me for Stashbusting.  She asked some interesting questions!  The first part will be live on her blog in the next day or so, do check it out.

*(in my brain expensive fabric = durable, though not always washable… but dance fabric should wash.)


  1. I don’t keep a stash either. With the exception of fabric that is an incredible deal that I can’t pass up, I don’t buy fabric unless I know exactly what I’m doing with it. I would blow alllll of my money on fabric if I didn’t stick to these rules, trust me…

  2. I’ve learned that stash drives me crazy and I’m frantically working my way through mine…I’ll be very glad to see the back of it! Lovely fabrics…love the narrow striped jersey and the trouser fabric.

  3. Menswear!!! Be still my beating heart. My husband is on the skinny side, so all mens wear patterns are huge for him. I’ll be very intrigued to see your sizing :)

  4. Love those ones with the skinny stripes! And I admit — I’ve totally stalked your RV Pinterest board and am excited to see if my theories are right… ;) I do stash, but I also know it’s an issue. I look forward to the day when I do it less!

  5. Love your fabrics! Can’t wait to see what you make of them.

    I stash, a lot. Trying to stop but I can not. I love my stash of fabrics and notions. Sometimes I sell a few of my fabrics but just end up stashing new ones instead.

  6. I don’t mean to stash fabrics, but I find myself with a big stash anyway. I always have a purpose for the fabrics I buy. I just end up dreaming more projects than I have time for and priorities in the sewing queue keep changing. :)

    I’m very curious to see how your synthetic fabrics work out for you, since you seem to prefer natural fibers! And of course, I’m hoping for a glimpse of Red Velvet some day soon. Happy weekend!

  7. Mmm…red velvet cake… my favourite… :D

    Oh, I have a stash, and it’ll grow even bigger when I head down south later this month! But this time, I have specific fabrics in mind, such as knits for all of the Cake patterns I just bought, along with some bottom-weight fabrics. :D And I’m hoping for one really fabulous piece of cotton-linen in a nice print or stripe (or even a lovely solid? Maybe a solid would be better since it’s more wearable) for a summer dress. Although I do have a lovely coral raw silk in my stash I should finally get around to using…

    Your lace find is gorgeous, and the mens-wear plaid thing would make a great skirt… :D I love the idea of making up a t-shirt out of lace, and pairing it with mens-wear inspired bottom. What a great contrast! Maybe I need to hunt out a nice piece of stretch lace while I’m down south as well…

  8. I do stash, mainly because there is nowhere to buy fabrics locally, so it’s either online or when I make a trip somewhere that has fabric stores. [My most recently acquired items were purchased whilst on holiday in the USA, at Britex in San Francisco, (expensive, but oh, what a treat!) and some random branch of Jo-Anns (cheap and cheerful!)] I also have a ‘notions’ habit. I bought every roll of steam a seam 2 lite in Jo-Anns, as it’s impossible to get in the UK!
    However, I am aware that my somewhat compulsive nature means this could easily get out of hand, so I am also working on reducing said stash.
    Love your blokey fabrics, very nice indeed, and also looking forward to seeing what happens to the red velvet. You know how to get us going don’tcha!

  9. I’m dying to see what you make with the red velvet! Last December I fell in love with a red velvet dress, but it was a little too short and skimpy for me. I’d love to see if this new pattern will end up as my new Christmas dress. :)

  10. That lace! Oh my goodness it’s lovely.

    I also love the coordinating menswear choices. Stripes and plaid, blues and greys! I’d like a pair of bermuda shorts in that plaid, and a Blank Canvas Tee in the bright blue stripe, please… :)

  11. Love the narrow blue stripe jersey, I’m a sucker for stripes. I am really struggling to find good quality stripe jersey here in the UK. I would have thought it a staple but apparently not!

  12. I am working through my stash but will definitely have to buy something new for a fancy Red Velvet. This sounds so interesting, when are you going to give us some sneak peeks?

  13. I have a little stash, just because I mainly order from online shops and it helps to reduce the shipping cost per meter of fabric. But I only order when I have plans so I think I’m not that bad (plus i don’t have enough room to store much fabric) :)

    I’m in love with all of your patterns and can’t wait to see and make more!

    Since you talked about men’s clothing, it woul be really really interesting to have a couple of patterns for them, especially trousers or polo shirts in bigger sizes. I can’t find much, for my husband, he’s a size 3x. Will you think about it? :)

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