Monday, September 7, 2009

Two Generations Shopping for Fabric

Although I thought about shopping in New York for my fabric, I realized it wouldn’t happen soon enough. We were in New York two weeks ago for a family BBQ in Queens, which meant there was no time for a side trip to Manhattan. I head for my favorite independent fabric store, Sarah’s Fabrics in Takoma Park. My daughter and I managed to get to the fabric store 30 minutes before closing. Can you select fabric for a dress and two Chanel-type jackets in 30 minutes? YES! She even picked out a piece for a skirt. We know what we like. We walk up and down the aisles and when we see it. BAM!

I saw the fabric for my dress, or what became the skirt of my dress once I put the pale taupe charmeuse and the black charmeuse next to it. Quick conference with my daughter and the pale taupe charmeuse became my bodice, the black charmeuse became the midriff, and the “dotted” chiffon became the skirt. While those fabrics were being cut, we searched for the fabrics for our jackets. My daughter doesn’t like the boucles; the texture is too much for her. What else can I use, she asks. Wool plaids are good. There on the bottom shelf, a purple and black houndstooth plaid. Purple is one of her favorite colors. She can’t be persuaded to consider anything else. She’s done. I spot my fabric as we head for the cutting table. It’s too much for my daughter; her eyes roll toward the ceiling.

Behind the cutting table are the silk charmeuse fabrics. Do you want a purple lining for your jacket, I asked my daughter. NO! That is just too much for her. Black silk charmeuse for her. For me, only the bright yellow-green silk crepe de chine will do.
Behind the front counter are trims. I tell Sarah’s husband I need a trim suitable for a Chanel jacket. He has not an idea what I want, but Sarah does and points him to the section of trims. I select the purple trim for my daughter. NO! She wants the subdued black trim. I sandwich the purple between the black trim. NO! One row of black trim. I chuckle. There’s a yellow-green trim that I am not sure about, but it looks okay because it picks up one of the colors in the fabric. I think about putting black ribbon trim under it and I buy it just in case I don’t find something I like better.

There are buttons galore. I decide to save the button decisions for another day. Generational shopping is fun, but draining. Thirty minutes is enough. We end the shopping trip with two tall frappuccinos and chocolate covered grahams.


  1. Lovely fabrics. When together with DD I couldn't have done this in just 30 minutes.

  2. Very nice choices and I am impresed that you could do it in 30 mins.

  3. Nice story!
    In my home, I am the one to sew for the entire family, including my mom. She usually lets me choose a fabric and a pattern, since she's too lazy to go to the store and lacks imagination to envision the garment by seeing the fabric. If there wasn't for me, all of her clothes would be sewn using one basic pattern for every type of clothes (blouse, skirt, and jacket), which I find really boring.
    So, I guess you're lucky to have a daughter with distinguished taste, who knows what she likes and what she doesn't. And, both of you know what you want. I usually don't know what my mother wants - so she gets what I sew her, leaving her without and option to choose :-)