Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MPB Day 2013 / Eeeek! I'm Becoming a Fabric Hoarder

Since 99.9% of my readership has come via Male Pattern Boldness, an explanation of MPB day is probably unnecessary. BUT in case you're unfamiliar with Peter and his amazing sewing blog, just follow the link above. Peter is, without question, the ambassador extraordinaire of all things sewing for both men and women (with cute chihuahuas, a glamorous super model cousin and flea market finds thrown in for good measure). This was his third year hosting a "fabric dash" through New York's garment district. And, as fate would have it, it fell over my weekend off. Yay! I was up at the crack of dawn and on the road to NYC. Just another crazed MPB groupie.

I arrived a little late, but in time for lunch and the main event -- fabric shopping. I'd like to report that it's easier to shop for fabric with like minded individuals, but it's really not. It probably didn't help that I was the only "sewing guy" in the fanclub. Because I'm sewing menswear, I'm generally looking for something very different than what interests the ladies. I hope that doesn't come across as sexist. So, after striking out at both Chic Fabrics and Fabrics for Less, I left the group to prowl solo in stores where I figured I'd have better luck.

My shopping results? Drumroll...

Cymbal crash...

1. A kiwi striped shirtweight linen.
2. A lightweight cotton madras in tomato red, khaki, yellow and pink
3. A slightly brushed cotton twill in a deep teal.

The linen is from Gray Lines Linen, 260 W. 39th St. If you love linen like I do, this is your store. I think this will make a great summer shirt. I particularly like the herringbone stripes and that it's a whopping 60" wide. A linen shirt for under $20. Score!

The cotton madras is from Paron Fabrics, across the street from Gray Lines at 257 W. 39th St. Paron's is just a damn nice fabric store. Everything is well organized, they offer great customer service and they're one of the only stores that includes fiber content on the price tags. I've reached a point in my sewing where I like to know more about what I'm buying. I purchased this fabric to coordinate with a heavy weight oxford cloth that's been in my stash for awhile. The plan is for a Junya Watanabe style jacket for next Spring.

This is my inspiration, from S/S 2013. I want to use the madras for elbow patches and bias trim touches here and there. The colors are dead on, so this purchase was a nobrainer. While I was at it, I bought enough for a summer shirt. When in Rome..

My final purchase was a brushed twill in a very dark teal. This was purchased just a few doors down from Paron's at A & K Fabrics. A & K is another well organized store with a wide selection of menswear fabrics. It's one of the only stores I know of that sells striped sleeve lining for men's jackets. I do love the color (even though I was really looking for red), but my primary reason for buying it was that it DOESN'T have stretch. Good God, what is it with stretch? It's an epidemic! I'll be using this to make my first pair of pants, so stay tuned for that adventure.

I have always worked along project by project, and never had much of a fabric stash. But things are changing rapidly, and this little spree didn't help. It's kind of alarming how quickly it can start to pile up.

Especially when I add it to these shirting bargains that were just too good to pass up from Denver Fabrics a few months ago. (Hanging head in shame).

I hereby declare a moratorium on any fabric purchases!


  1. Speaking from the other end of the decision making process i.e. FAR too late to decide not to be a hoarder, I can honeslty say I wish I hadn't hoarded. I have saled off thousands of dollars worth of stash for less hundreds of dollars, I still have more fabric than I really could ever make up, and it's not actually as much fun making from stash as it is going shopping. So, good on you for making a stand now. There's hope for you! ;-)
    PS MPB day sounds like a rot - but I'd stick with you as my current obsession is sewing menswear!

  2. looks like you got some great fabrics! i have found it's good to stockpile a small amount, but i'm pretty sure i'll never have the "stash" so many complain is burdening them. i'll buy for four or five projects at a time mostly because it's more economical (saves shipping and/or making extra trips to the fabric store).

  3. I love your choices. I'm sure shopping with Peter (and the ladies) was a riot. I can only imagine what he's like in person.

    I too buy easiy when I see mensware fabrics for a good price. Why? Because they are so darn rare (on sale). BTW, I'm drooling over that linen with herringbone stripe. I want!

  4. I love having a fabric stash complete with basic notions and a few interesting embellishments. I've usually bought fabric on discount that I couldn't otherwise afford and I have plans for every single meter.

  5. Just catching up with your blog today , while I happen to be sorting my studio! This is not a hoard , I wish my stash was this reasonable! Can't wait to see all these projects develop :)

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