One of my new year resolutions was:
“3. Learn more about fabrics – the more I read about dressmaking on blogs and in books the more I feel I need to know more about fabrics.”
I have been working on this slowly through observation both reading blogs and in fabric shops. I have come to the conclusion that I am quite happy with what most of the stock in my wonderful local shop is by feel, but there are plenty of fabrics they don’t stock, and plenty of bolts that don’t have the fabric content labelled – I can work out possible uses and weaves by feel, but not fabric content which tells us so much about other properties such as warmth and longevity (among others)
While resting during my recent illness I had a thought – through ordering samples from online fabric stores I had gathered a collection of samples. Why not collect them together in one place for comparison?
So I bought a cheap artists sketch book which has thicker paper than normal notebooks (to support the weight) and started stapling samples under some rough headings which mean something to me such as ‘cotton’, ‘wool’, ‘synthetic’, ‘ponte’ etc. Then I started adding some notes about weave, fibre, weight, source.
Now I have all my samples gathered together in one place for easy comparison and reference. It is not very portable, as all the samples flap around out the sides – I wanted to leave them fairly free so I can test for stretch.
While I was drafting this Oonaballoona did a review of Fabric for Fashion: the swatch book, which is a book I have lusted after before. Perhaps this is my way of creating a cheaper version, although I can certainly still see the value of the full price thing – the comparison of silk vs poly particularly looks fascinating, but perhaps I can create something similar over time in my own book?