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A Hard Denim Is Good to Find

Oops, did I really say that? Well, yeah, I did. So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest here’s the facts, Ma’m.

Finding good denim is tough! I have been looking for the last 5 years, through all the fabrics stores I’ve hit during business travels across the country, and by ordering swatches from Mood (thanks for the suggestion, Becki!) as well as other sites. I have bought denim for commercial and other uses so I’ve been around, loosely, er, loosely speaking, tasting all the denim I could.

The problem is that almost all vendors don’t know how the denim will perform over the years. They may not know the source of it in the first place. I tend to hang with my good friend Ann at GorgeousFabrics.com. She’ll know her source if she can and she sews the fabrics she buys. So I’ve made 3 to 5 yard denim purchases over the years from everywhere, and even bought out the last bolt of very dark wash, heavy shirt weight, denim from Textile Fabrics in Nashville. It was the closest thing they had to what I needed.

Textile Fabrics is an excellent store, BTW, should you ever get to Nashville. And if you don’t ever get to Nashville, you’ve blown your chance to visit one of the best fabric stores in US. Just my opinion and I’ve spent a lot of time and money gaining that opinion. LOL

A binding, seemingly insurmountable problem has been that Mr Stitch turns out to be very picky in his choice of colors.  He couldn’t use the light blue that has recently come back into fashion nor was he remotely interested in black. Oh, no. He has a total thing for blues. The color, not the music (darn it all) and he’d probably like the blue used in this paragraph.  Strong like Bull, stubborn like Ox.

So my 13 yards of very dark wash, slightly brushed for softness, yet close weave chambray (AKA Cambric) denim from Textile Fabrics has languished on the shelf, awaiting inspiration.

Desperation inspiration struck yesterday and 5 ripped sections of 60″ wide, 50″ in length yardage have been washed, dried and ironed.  The left over 6 yards is washed and folded.

Then I found my packet of patterns and notations and OLD SCRAPES from the years of shirt making for Mr Stitch.

Moving a work room is something that curses you for years afterward.  No matter how hard you try.  Remember this.

So late last night, I learned that my favorite pattern (I’d even forgotten I had numerous patterns, commercial and custom drafted) (I blame it on the chemo, so much got wiped out) calls for 1/2 yard more than the 5 segments I’d ripped.

Yeah, well, I might be bummed. I’ll have to do the layout with his alterations incorporated to see what I shall see. That’s on the menu for today.

The good news is that I have in my greedy little paws a whole ** load of ProWOVEN Super-Crisp Fusible Interfacing that I am really anxious to use in the collars ’cause that ironing last night and coming up during construction is probably the last iron these shirts will see.

And SCRAPES.  Gosh darn it where have these been hiding?  I could have sent  one off to Ressy, as Elaine Good suggested yesterday, many years ago and saved myself a ton of fabulous denim research.  Or not.

Que será, será

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About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

12 responses »

  1. Oh, yes! I’ve been on a denim tear and know exactly how hard it is to find what you want. I’m thinking maybe you can use contrast fabrics to pick up the shortage on the lengths you divvied out (inside yoke, etc.) Looking forward to your upcoming shirt review(s) ;)

    Reply
  2. I have considered cutting a large piece into sections for pretreating before, but I was too scared that I would come up short!
    Your husband must be related to mine, I can’t imagine have so many identical shirts. It must be like a uniform for them.
    If he doesn’t like the idea of contrasting fabrics, and you still come up short you might try changing your layout from a shirt per piece to sleeves or fronts or backs per piece. I know it might be a more of a layout challenge but you might get all of your pieces in that way.

    Reply
  3. Hi Mary Beth. The blue chambray sounds delicious. Do you know of any good fabric shops in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. We’re headed that way on holiday soon, and I hate to miss an opportunity :-)

    Reply
  4. Theresa in Tucson

    Hmm, the ProWoven SuperCrisp is sounding better and better. When you do use it, write about your procedure. Usually, I avoid fusibles in shirts as they tend to orange peel but I have some denim shirts in the future and just might try some. The crisp non fusible I’ve been using is almost gone.

    Reply
  5. Ah, yes, I’ve spent some $$ at Textile myself.

    Ok. It’s probably more like $$$…

    Reply
  6. Thanks for the tip about Textile Fabrics. I’m going to be in Nashville in a month or so and now I know where to shop!

    Reply

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