Staples and splurges

The Vogue Fabrics location at Roosevelt Road is going out of business. Sunday is their last day. The only remaining locations will be in Evanston.

I used this as my excuse to go to their 2-day warehouse sale in Evanston. I know, logic, right? The near location is closing, so let’s go to the far one! Um… Yeah. I have no real explanation, except that I’ve never once managed to make it to one of their warehouse sales. I’ve been to the Evanston Main Street location a bunch of times, but never to the warehouse. It’s always on a bad weekend — too broke, too busy, too whatever to be able to go.

So I went this time, determined to know if it is worth the drive. Well, I’m not sorry I went, but I’m not sure I’ll go all that often. I bought a full bolt (50 yards) of muslin and a full bolt (25 yards) of Armo fusible interfacing in gray. Fifty yards of muslin — that’s a lot! But I usually buy it ten yards at a time, and it seems I’m forever running out, so I thought I might as well buy the full bolt. The way I run through both these utility fabrics, it made sense to buy them while they were on sale. The warehouse was surprisingly clean — much cleaner than the Roosevelt Road location, which is always in need of a good sweeping. But the better fabrics weren’t part of the big sale, and I didn’t like any of the low-end fabrics that were on sale, so that pretty much took care of that.

And then I stopped at the Roosevelt Road location on the way through the city, because why not. Between their regular store sale and the end-of-bolt discounts for the clearance sale, I was able to score some excellent wools for not a whole lot of cash.


The full bolts from the warehouse are in the back, still shrink-wrapped. The gray fabric center front is a nudge over six yards of menswear wool, a very fine woolen, actually — tightly spun fibers, smooth weaving, and a lovely hand. This was an end-of-bolt score so I ended up with plenty for pants, skirt, jacket, etc. The paler gray is a 2-yard cut of the same fabric for pants, and behind that is 6 yards of a gorgeous wool crepe that manages to be fluid enough for dresses but firm enough for tailoring. I’ll probably make pants and a long jacket out of that, maybe a skirt, too.

So that was time well spent, and money well spent on things that will mix well into my plans. I’m glad I went. I doubt I’ll be buying much fabric for a while as I work on sewing what I’ve got. There’s plenty to keep me out of trouble for a while. I might need some bits and dabs — I know I need some shirting to match a plaid wool I bought for a skirt, for example. But other than some odd bits like that, I’m pretty content with my stash right now and look forward to sewing a bunch of it up.

The same can be said for my yarn stash, which is exponentially larger than my fabric stash. This week, after finishing the Kyoto turtleneck, I cast on for the Montera jacket, a Knitty pattern. How adorable is this?

montera knitty

Photo from

I love the asymmetrical front band, the flare from waist to hem, and the placement of the cables. And the belt. And the hem. Oh, heck, I love everything about this pattern, and I have to say, now that I’m knitting it, I love it even more. The details such as placement of decreases are thoughtful and well-designed, and I know I’ll get a good result. It might take a while, though. This is a pretty big project. Here’s the current status, just started on the second ball of Glenfiddich Wool Aran.


Not a bad start. The hem is over 60″ around — that’s a 47″ cable needle, you guys! I think that will be lovely to wear, warm and almost blanket-like below the hips, fitted and smooth through the torso. The wool is a very appealing jade green with flecks of blue and white — my camera is making it look a bit more blue than it actually is. I really like the fabric this wool is making at this gauge, and so far, so good, knock wood.

Speaking of muslin, I think I finally figured out how to do a FBA on that Ralph Rucci coat for the sew-along — I’ve cut yet another muslin piece, and if this one works, I’ll post about it in a few days. Tomorrow I’ll show you another fitting trick on a yoked skirt. Because I’ve been sick for two weeks now, my blogging (and my sewing and knitting) have been unpredictable, but there is some progress to report. Some! It’s funny, but one of the women at Sewing Pattern Review was saying she got loads of sewing done because she was sick, and I was so impressed by that! My progress is sputtering, at best, when I’m not feeling well.

Do you tend to sew/knit/create more or less when you’re down for the count?