Thursday, July 14, 2011

Got Silk?

First, I chose the wrong pattern. Now, I think I chose the wrong fabric. Let me tell you a story:

I went to Hancock Fabrics (the only fabric store besides Hobby Lobby in Baton Rouge) to find material for the Gertie's Bombshell Dress Online Course I just signed up for. I picked my way through a sea of polyester (all in ugly colors), just past the dance costume fabric, to a tiny little shelf of silks. Most of them were balled up and shoved on the shelf (that was half concealed by another shelving unit) and the tiny available bit of end-of-bolt dupioni was laying on the dirty floor. ARGH.

Now, I'm not completely aimless. I do have a desired color/print. Something like one of these:

Alas! The only fabric that involved light blue or antique flowers was, of course, in the quilting cottons section. I vacillated, knowing it would never work, trying to convince myself it would. I finally bought a few yards (it was on clearance) and figured I'd decide later. I could always use it for something else.

After bringing it home and washing it, I know I can't use this cotton for this project. I'll have to buy some shantung online. This experience is a good example of my ongoing struggle with the sewing resources available in my city.

Baton Rouge, and probably most places in America, really doesn't have the resources - fabric-wise, or sewing education-wise - to support making your own clothes. Luckily we have the internet, and online fabric stores are becoming more user friendly. Websites like and are offering more style-savvy online classes.

But none of this can beat a little human interaction. I guess I'm frustrated that the in-person sewing world in mid-sized America is dominated by crafting. Not that there is anything wrong with crafting - I just don't want my dress to match my place mats. Or fall apart in the wash. And I'd like to learn more advanced dress making techniques. Or be able to buy non-polyester dress material.

I usually like my mid-sized city lifestyle, but MAN do I wish I lived in in the Big Apple some days. Anyone else get jealous of the big city sometimes?


  1. Hey! We are from Baton Rouge also!!! You are the 3 person I found on the Blog World this week from home.
    You don't have to only shop at Hobby Lobby or Hancock- we also have Allbrands.
    I hope we can keep in touch.

  2. It is frustrating but somehow I lucked out in Minneapolis/St Paul, we have a few shops that specialize in garment fabric. I agree there is no replacement for NYC.

    Please share the details on Gertie's bombshell dress. I signed up too but have done nothing to start the project beyond watching the first episode! I love the dresses and fabric you pulled for inspiration!

  3. @Chameleon Girls So great to hear from you! I will certainly be in touch. Baton Rouge is a small town ;)

    @Cathe I'm in the same boat with the Bombshell dress! I've purchased two different fabrics to possibly use... but have been too busy to start. Hopefully this weekend, and I'll keep you posted!

  4. UMM YES!! I too am doing Gertie's Bombshell Dress Online Course, and with our last trip to Joanne's it was terrible :( nothing was worth while, i'm looking for some beautiful brocade or like you that amazing shantung Gertie is using, but where or where can we find such things.. guess we'll have to continue browsing the internet corridors.. good luck on your dress building!!