Valley FABrics

Please notice that I emphasised the "fab" in fabrics.

I mentioned in an earlier post that fabric shopping equals visual overload for me. The patterns! The colors! They're simply too much for Subway Knitter.

So, I thought that I was prepared for the visual spectacle that would be Valley Fabrics. [The website is in an unfinished state; expect improvements in the coming weeks and months.]


I tell you, readers, I was not!

I cope with too much visual delight by first allowing it to wash over me. I accept that almost everything will appeal at first glance, then I try to find cracks. Juvenille prints? Those can be eliminated quickly. Flirty florals? I already knew that I didn't want one of those. Velvets? No! Black and white? Eh, I can always get a black-and-white print. Light backgrounds? Those won't be very practical for this city girl. This continued for several rounds through the aisles.

Here are a couple photos of bolts which did not make the cut. Normally, I would be jumping for joy to find these in a regular fabric store. Perhaps this will give you a sense of the depth of the selection here:



I was drawn to several very loud patterns, but I reluctantly decided that I didn't want someone to notice my skirt before noticing me. I tend to have this inclination when buying fabric, and by now I know that indulging it leads to no good end--although in the moment it's difficult to ignore.


I was taken by many of the east Asian-inspired prints. They seemed not only very out-of-character for me, but also of colors which would have required a serious infusion of coordinating tops. For that practical wardrobe consideration I decided against them.

It then occured to me that what truly appealed were circles. Perhaps I would have some polka dots, or a very abstract flower. A directionless repeat would be best. Because I don't yet have the pattern with its cutting layout, I don't know how a repeat with a direction will affect the skirt's look.

The staff at Valley Fabrics understood completely the position that I was in, as they let me circulate and collect potential bolts at the front desk.

Finally, I had refined my selections to a few finalists.

Then, we had a winner.


It's a Kaffe Fassett-designed print for Westminster Fabrics and Rowan, called "Paperweight" (GP20). I find it surprising because I usually don't like Kaffee Fassett's fabrics. They seem too bright and busy. I won't argue that this print isn't busy, but its colors are perfect for me. And while the print mildly suggests flowers, it suggests fireworks just as easily. I'm happy.

I had a pleasant conversation with both of the ladies working that day (Hi Kate!). All in all a highly satisfying experence and I expect that I'll be back before long.

And, for all you who expressed concern for my ability to ferry my purchase home, I'll have you know that the above photograph represents a piece of washed and dried material. I'm ready to begin!


I find fabric stores truly dizzying. Maybe that's why I knit.
Dyeing yarn today. I've got your color suggestions. I'll send pictures!

What great fabric. Love your final choice.

What a great little shop. I miss good quality fabric stores in the city. Sound slike you had a fun adventure, though;)

I'm so glad you had a good time. That store makes me want to sew, instead of just living vicariously and buying fabrics for others. I love Kate!

i tell you, fabric shopping is v. overwhelming. what looks good on the bolt may not look good otherwise and vice versa. but... i LOVE all of your fabric choices and the last one.

Excellent choice! My favorite of the bunch.

ahhhhh fabric for skirts! i've been thinking of making a skirt for myself as well, but having little to no sewing skills, i just can't. i really like that last fabric. very klimt-esque!

It looks like some flowers from Gustav's Klimt paintings.

I have been eyeing that fabric online! Guess I'd better make a trip to Valley Fabrics soon, eh? Can't wait to see your skirt.

Woo! that is great fabric! glad you managed to get it home this time. :)

It looks like heaven!

That's a gorgeous print - I'm looking forward to seeing the skirt take form!

great choice! though i doubt that i could have gone in that store and spent less than $100 :) you have SUCH will power!

oh, and yes, i have a feeling that flowers and fireworks are intimately connected in the brain. in japanese, firworks is "hanabi" which is "fire flowers". makes sense, no?

It looks like the rolled clay beads! I really like it! I need to get sewing :)

Very pretty.

Reminds me of miliflora. Although, I'm not sure that's how you spell it. *L*

My! I love all these fabrics, truth be told, but I think you indeed chose the best one! Mmmmmmmmmm. How much per yard is it? Or do I even want to know?

I so love this store. It is not only right near WEBS, but only 40 min from my house! I got some really neat Marimekko fabric there and had a hard time choosing!

Very nice choice. I look forward to seeing what it becomes...

Great choice. I can visualize your skirt in this fabric, and it will look fantastic on you. A cute little skinny tee-shirt or tank on top, and you'll be set!! maybe a little balarino wrap to go on top?? Love it....

wow! you have some wonderful restraint! Great pic of fabric, should be a great skirt. :-)

Man. I love those fabrics! Just wish the store wasn't so far from me. Ah well, another stop on the way to MA Sheep and Wool!

LOVE that fabric! Please post a pic of your skirt when it is finished! Great choice! :)

The print is absolutely adorable. My problem in fabric shops is that I have a preconceived notion of what I want, and get frustrated in failing to make the match. Do you do French seams?

ooh fun. skirts are perfect for fun fabric like that. and think of the top possibilities!

I love the print! That will definitely make a great skirt.

i have that kaffe fasset fabric in other colors...was just wishing today that i'd gotten more, not enough for a garment. you got a great one. i also have that black and white liney one in a rose-ish shade. your skirt's going to be FABulous!
p.s.-love the ideas for the bucket 'o chic.

Hiya, Colleen!

I wondered about the photography going on in the shop the other day...great photos!

Have I mentioned that I can't *wait* to see your skirt made up?


seeing pictures of the walls of bolts of fabric brings up memories of running around the local sewing store looking at all of the possibilities while my mom looked for patterns at the big table in the back. The store we always relied on is no longer in business, and I haven't found a store as cozy or with as many intersting fabric types - I might need to add Vally Fabrics to my list of shops to visit sooner rather than later!

the fabric you chose is beautiful, and I, too, think it'll make a beautiful skirt.


Comments are closed on this entry.

Previous | List | Next

(Viva Knitsmiths South!)

Knitting Bloggers
Previous | Next