Monday, May 19, 2008

Fabric Heaven

I'm a tag sale gal. I love to shop but I'm cheap - let's say "frugal."  Honestly, in these days of being green and recycling/repurposing, being cheap is actually quite fashionable.  In years past, I have sought out tag sale toys for Magoo.  But he really, truly has a ton of toys, so my new purpose is fabric.  And boy oh boy, did I hit the jackpot on Saturday.

The ad read "designer fabric" so I wanted to get there promptly at 9am.  I figured some person probably sewed a bit and had some left over stuff.  I didn't figure there would be much.  I was wrong.

There were three - 6 ft high - shelves in the back of the garage filled with bolts of fabric. BOLTS!  Hundreds of bolts.  $5.00 a bolt.  FIVE DOLLARS A BOLT!!!!  Naturally, I bought 16.

Actually, the first time there I bought 8 bolts.  That wiped me out of my tale sale moola and I had Magoo with me so I didn't want to take forever.  The man who lived there had worked at an interior decorating company and these were left over bolts from reupholstering jobs.  And there were more in the workshop!!!     I got my 8 bolts home and then started thinking that I should really go back and look for some solids and neutrals.  As it was, I got mostly patterns and I needed things to pair them with and at $5 a bolt - it was cheaper to go back to the tag sale then Jo-Ann Fabrics.  So, when Michael came home and I could fly solo, I did.

I was more meticulous this time.  And I found lovely, lovely things.  I have no intention of buying 8 more bolts - but I had pulled out about 16 and dwindled it down from there.

The next day I did end up going out to Jo-Ann's for some notions: thread, buttons, zippers.
(I found some awesome wood buttons!  Look at the one shaped like a kidney bean at the top.)

Now I'm really ready to make some bags!  My plan is to build up a stock of about 12 or so and then open a little Etsy shop to sell them. I know, I know - like I need something else to do.  But I'm really looking forward to it!  Sewing little bags is more fun then work - I just need to do some time management.  :)


ang said...

Thanks for the fabric heaven hookup! I love your buttons. I remember my grandma had a collection of awesome buttons but unfortunately the buttons were lost in a fire. Re: time management, as you know from our lateness, I definitely need some time management.

ang said...

Oops. By "our lateness", I meant me and the kids. You are NEVER late!

Julie_c said...

I knew you didn't mean me. :)

äiti said...

Yay! I love it when good things happen to good people :-)

An Etsy shop is a great idea..but, girl, your wares are going to fly off your cyber shelves and it will keep you busy. No doubt.

Natalie said...

Oooh, *raising my hand* could you make a pre-sale announcement to your faithful blog commenters?!? With the time difference (and my luck), you'd announce the sale in the middle of the night (for me) and the bags would be all sold out by the time the sun rose. :-)

ang said...


Didn't I hear you say something about washing all of that fabric already? What was your process? Did you cut yards of fabric with pinking shears and then wash and press the fabric? Obviously I am trying to figure out how to store my "bolts of joy".

Julie_c said...

Natalie - when the time comes for me to open an Etsy shop - you may already be back here in the states. But I will happily announce it to you. I also think you're over estimating how soon the bags will sell. There's a lot of women making nice bags in the land of Etsy.

Ang - I have not washed all the farbic yet. I just cut some of it (a yard here a yard there) and washed it so I could get started. I hate when I want to get sewing but I have forgotten to pre-wash the fabric. I'll probably do some more today. As for storage - I'd keep it on the bolt until you think you know what you want to make and how much you need.

Aiti - yes - it will keep me busy, but this is a fun kind of busy and my only goal is to make back about $100 b/c that's how much the fabric and notions cost. I don't intend to become a full time bag lady.

Joan said...

Hey Julie,
I second the idea of advance Etsy warning for blog readers. I have been drooling over your bags ever since I saw that last post with the pics. I gotta have me one of them!!