Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Fabric-A-Brac

About a month ago, one of my lovely friends sent me a link to a rather irresistible event. As anyone even remotely crafty will tell you, having a drawer/box/wardrobe/bedroom's worth of material built up is a pretty common problem. Enter the Fabric-a-Brac! Essentially a market for material stashes, it looked like a decent opportunity for sellers to offload some old supplies and for buyers to grab a bargain.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much and I already had a lot planned for the day, so I figured I'd just pop in for half an hour. My expectations seemed to be reinforced by the plastic flags and coloured paper flowers adorning the entrance to the building. But when I actually arrived, all of that was rather pleasantly blown the window.

Photo by Angus Forbes
The suite it was held in was both big and packed. There were tables and tables full of fabric and accessories, and wherever there wasn't a table, there was a person. A lot of the people were about my age too, which was reassuring. It was actually somewhat intimidating! As I may have mentioned before, I'm more of a knitter than a seamstress, so all the fabric sent my head into a spin.


Luckily one of the first tables I found was full of wool, so I managed to calm down a bit with something familiar. If you haven't noticed yet, my favourite colour is purple. I've told and told and told myself that I won't buy any more purple clothes or wool, but I just couldn't help myself. There were balls of a maroon cashmere/silk blend for $4 a pop. Usually something like that would cost about $12 at my local wool store, so I went ahead and snapped it up. I have a vague idea to make a little lacy bolero with it, but I have to try and find a pattern for one!

Photo by Angus Forbes
Having armed myself with some wool, I decided to take on the fabric. Most of the fabric shopping I've done previously has been based on whatever brightly coloured print catches my eye, and I don't have much of a handle on what to look for when it comes to different fabric compositions - although I do know that somewhat thickish, quilting-weight cotton makes for nice pouches. Narrowing in on something good when you're faced with this much unfamiliar product is hard though!


After circling around the whole studio once or twice and still having no idea, I fell back to my normal shopping method. Usually when I want to buy something I'll find something I like, walk out of the store, and if it's still on my mind about it an hour later I figure I actually do like it and I'll go back and buy it. Yes, I am somewhat indecisive. After two goes around the studio, the only thing that I was still thinking about was a small strip of thick textured cotton in a nice retro bluish print. I couldn't remember exactly where it was, so I went round again until I found it. Strangely enough the stall owner had no idea how much to sell it to me for so we just came to some mutual agreement on pricing - I don't even remember how much it was now! The material will be up in the Oli-store soon if you'd like a pouch made out of it.


The last stop was a table that I had spotted that was selling patterns. I've never sewn up a piece of clothing before, and to be honest sewing patterns scare me. But I've been wanting to try it for a while. I really want to make myself a skirt out of some sort of spotty black and white material that's a decent length - mid-length skirts are a surprisingly difficult thing to find in shops at the moment! I started rummaging through the pattern box and lo and behold, there was a nice skirt pattern. Even better, both the packaging and the store owner told me that it was an easy one to follow, so I added it to the shopping bag. The owner also told me that the pattern would look nice with some sort of lace or trimming on it, and I should go find myself some.

Luckily in my confused wandering around the studio I'd spotted a trimmings stall. I managed to score myself some black lace which would go nicely with any spotty black and white skirt material.


I really wanted to go find myself some material for the skirt, but by this point my 30 minutes was up. I left the studio very very reluctantly, but with a bag full of goodies. Hopefully it'll be on again sometime soon, and I can find a friend to go with who knows what they're looking for so I'm not completely lost!

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