We've all been there, stood in a fabric shop, money clasped in our sweaty palms, thinking "I MUST BUY ALL THE FABRICS!" and feeling completely overwhelmed.
So heres my comprehensive guide to making sure you walk away with things you'll love and use!
1 = Take a list. I find its a good idea to have a pattern stash peruse, see what you'd like to make and come up with a list of fabrics to buy and the quantities. Then when your fabric shopping. feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you actually need 4 metres of cat print Spandex. you can calm yourself down and get something you actually need.
2= Abandon the list. [I know I'm a contradictory little devil aren't I?] Sometimes you have to stop looking at the list and just start looking for fun things! See if you can think of something to make from them and if you can't just get 2/3 metres and put it away for a rainy day. You never know the next pattern you buy might be perfect for that fabric.
3 = Check out the bargain bins. There are some real gems in there. Just remember to take a good look for fabric flaws and discolouration.
4 = Do a colour test. Fabric shopping is just like clothes shopping. Some things just won't suit your skin tone! I suggest taking a mirror so you can see if they wash you out or taking numerous selfies on your phone.
5 = Ask if your not sure. Fabric shop staff are usually hugely knowledgeable about the fabrics they stock and are option keen sewers themselves. Can't find something you want? ask. Not sure if the fabrics right for the pattern? ask! Remember there are no stupid questions!
6 = Keep a running total! and Check prices. Unless your a rockerfella of some kind then your going to have a budget of sorts in mind whether its large or small. Keeping an eye on prices and adding as you go can save embarrassment at the till! Nobody wants to have 3 metres of beautiful lace cut only to find its £200 per metre! and before anybody says that fabrics never that expensive! here's some!
7 = Dress sensibly. Comfy shoes are a must ! But I also recommend an across the body handbag so you have both hands free for looking at fabric! And remember your bags for life!!!!!
8 = Eat and Drink! staying hydrated is the key for any shopping trip, but remember not to eat or drink in store in case you spill or get crumbs everywhere!
9 = take pictures of what you like. Someone once told me that when your online shopping you should delete everything you want from your basket before checkout and then re-add them. Then you end up with the things the REALLY want! I personally find it easier to take pictures though! that way you know which print to liked before you take it to get cut.
10 = Take a friend and have fun! Fabric shopping is the best fun in the entire world, why not share it with a friend, that way you can giggle over the naked men prints! They do exist! and they can help you carry bolts to the cutting tables , an extra pair of muscles goes a long way.
What are your fabric shopping tips?