Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Swatches from Michael's Fabrics

Spring is finally here and I want to make some new pieces to coordinate with my spring clothes.  

Although I am traveling to Baltimore the first of June, I e-mailed Michael to send some swatches for me to evaluate, and order if they worked for me.   Over the past 3 years I've had to travel to Baltimore every 6 months or more often,  but swatches are great for shopping from home.  Swatches also give me a better idea of what he currently has so I can make good use of my limited time when I get there.  

Today I examined and photographed the swatches I received yesterday from Michael's Fabrics in Baltimore.   

Michael has so many rolls of so many fabrics that he couldn't possibly put all of them up on their web site.  So I just e-mail them, explaining what I'm looking for in terms of textures, stripes, solids, fabric content, weights, to include the types of garments I want to sew and a general idea of colors.  Then I let them pick through their inventory and swatch based on my specifications and garments I've identified I want to sew.  There is no charge for swatches and their fabrics are amazingly affordable given their origin and content.   The garments that the designers make from these fabrics cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars retail.   I am always blown away by what he sends me and what's in the store when I visit!    

So here's how it works - Michael swatches from his inventory based on my request and loads an envelope with nice size swatches like this.   Here's what I do with the swatches before I call him to get more information about fabric content, width, etc for the ones I'm considering before ordering.

I examine them in natural light, and see what coordinates with what.  Then I put them alongside or over my garments/ensembles to see what they work with.  Maybe I could use a pair of pants to go with the striped jackets...  As I'm doing that, I take photos so Michael and I can look at them together on Flickr and discuss.  While on the phone he tells me the fiber content, the manufacturer and width and answers questions.   We did that this afternoon and I added that specific information to the Flickr photo descriptions.  FYI,  photos of all the fabric swatches he sent me this time are in the Flickr set for Michael's Fabrics.   Enjoy and call him if something that tickles your fancy.   If not, he'll customize a set just for you.

Then comes the hard part - deciding which to buy!
Silk woven stripe with my linen and cotton garments

Neutrals and browns with swatches
 Disclosure:   I am not affiliated with,  nor am I compensated by Michael's Fabrics for writing about their swatches.  I'm just a very satisfied customer who enjoys the clothes I make from his fabrics.