Clever Fabric Shopping – Tip 1 Using Pinterest

The pitfalls of fabric acquirement –  Friends have seen my piles of fabric and told me I don’t need to buy any more. I’ve made all the mistakes you can make. Now I am trying to practice clever and well planned fabric shopping.

So imagine this – you are in Walthamstow, Goldhawk Road, Liberty, The Knitting and Stitching Show or Soho, absolutely surrounded by fabric choices and fabric shops. This should be heaven, but after ten minutes your brain will have a melt down. It is fabric choice overload. So many prints side by side. Your eyes glaze over as each bolt leads to a mental conundrum of “What could I make with that?” The danger of unsuitable purchases is high. You want to avoid:

  • too little fabric for the pattern you plan to make
  • fabric you have no pattern for (and so might never use)
  • buying it just because it is a bargain (and never using it)
  • buying too much fabric for the pattern
  • over spending

These will all lead to a massive fabric hoard, rather than an amazing new wardrobe of made by you clothes. But then carrying a large collection of patterns to the shops is difficult. Taking a list you have carefully prepared with exactly how much you need for that vintage style pair of trousers, would be a good idea, but what happens if you find a surprise, exactly the perfect fabric for a dress at a great price?

The solution is Pinterest

I have photographed all my sewing patterns and pinned them directly from my phone. So as soon as my eyes start to glaze, I can remind myself with a quick swipe through the pictures and I am back on track, shopping for a purpose – Genius! Even cleverer is adding text- It doesn’t take long to tag that photo with exactly how much fabric it needs and the size of the zip or how much interfacing is needed.

I’m an avid Pinterest pinner. For those who don’t know, it is a site for bookmarking websites by making “pins” which are a photo from the site and a bit of text added by you. But why it is brilliant for general purposes is that you can follow other people and search everyone’s pins. By following lots of crafters, I get a daily pick of the web, curated by people with the same interests. If I search for something, it will bring me pictures which have been chosen by other people, so it adds some quality control that a Google image search wouldn’t. And it works brilliantly on a phone. (The web version annoys me by having a too busy layout).

Here is a link to my sewing pattern board, for a bit of pinspiration.
Follow Caroline Brooks’s board Craft: My Sewing Patterns on Pinterest.

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