Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spring/Summer 2014 Fabric Hunt: Dream or Nightmare?

Oh the design process, a flurry of imagination and endless possibilities.

But it doesn't end there now does it? After the creative juices flow wildly through the mind of a designer, the next step is figuring out how to make these beautiful sketches come to life.

Fabric plays a huge role in this, as does trim, and all the technical processes that come along with the creation of a beautiful garment. But lets focus on fabrics for a minute...

In our last post, we discussed our theme, Petite Antoinette, and our initial inspiration and color story. Soon enough, it was time to set out to find the perfect fabrics for the garments we designed so meticulously. They had to be perfect, decadent, and beautiful...however we couldn't afford to break the bank! We also had to think of fabrics that would be comfortable for a child to wear. We decided to stick to the idea of cotton and lightweight silks.

One overcast Saturday afternoon we embarked on a painstaking process of sourcing all our fabrics. We encroached upon New York City's Garment District, our usual tried and true stomping grounds, to see what we could find. We went in with high hopes but prepared to have massive headaches by the day's end―it never fails.

You'd be seeing blurry too after fabric exhaustion...never fun.
We visited several of the more expensive fabric stores to collect swatches and scout out what was available. Stores like Elegant Fabrics, Mood Fabrics, and B&J Fabrics, though highly acclaimed shops, were much too overpriced and on top of that, we couldn't find what we really wanted there anyway.

$32.95 a yard? I don't think so...
So it was time to move on to the cheaper shops along 39th Street where over the many years as design students, we have delved in like honeybees in a flower patch, spending hours flower― hopping until we found the best fabrics for the cheapest prices. 

And that we did.

We checked out our regular shops, A&K Fabrics and Hamed Fabrics, and found quite a few gems.

These were a couple things we scoped out in the cotton department, and at only $6 and $7 per yard, is there a question?

However, we had some trouble deciding which fabrics we wanted to use for each of the dresses, finding the colors we wanted, and we even continued to run into some pricing issues. Every store wanted $15 - $18 per yard for silk taffeta, which was still massively out of our price range.

But there was light at the end of the tunnel. We ended up going with a cheaper alternative for silk taffeta, which was silk shantung. Hamed fabrics was a godsend with their availability of the perfect colors and textures that suited our collection. We ended up buying the majority of our silks there, each at a nicer $10 per yard (on top of the fact that they gave us discounts as we are frequent buyers―always a nice plus)

The visions were slowly coming to life...

We were still missing a lot though. We couldn't find the perfect cotton florals or textured cottons that we still needed so desperately.

And that's where came in, the most glorious website in all the world.

Initially we were going to source the majority of our cottons from Shabby Fabrics. Though they are a wonderful source of good quality printed and textured cottons, the prices with shipping set us over our limits. We had to forgo them.

So insert, an old stomping ground of mines forgotten. When we felt at a loss for our remaining fabrics, this site saved our skins. 
Let's list some reasons why this site is god.

1. FREE SHIPPING on orders over $35, an easy pass.
2. A CRAZY amount of quality fabrics available.
3. DISCOUNTS...discounts everywhere.

And with that said, we found everything else we needed―including lining at $1.98 per yard and crinoline at $0.98 per yard (and 72" wide too! Heaven exists...)

So what else exactly did we get? Images of the massive fabric haul in our next post! 
Stay tuned in and you will see them all in their glory and witness as our first collection comes to life.

Thanks for reading! (New posts select Sundays at 12pm EST!)

- Lilith et Adalia

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