Well, I've always chosen the latter. Probably 95% of all the fabric I purchase is from a local shop. Now I think online Fabric Stores are awesome. With their never ending variety of fabrics just a few clicks of the mouse away and being able to make all of your purchases from the comfort of your home. Herein lies my problem though! I have such a limited knowledge of most fabrics out there, I am hesitant to make the purchase online. Even when I think the fabric is just about perfect! So to finally alleviate this problem, I purchased Simplicity - Fabric Guide - The Ultimate Fiber Resource.
I spent the day reading this wonderful book cover to cover and have to say "It's Excellent".
The table of contents covers everything from Fabric Basics, Fabric Types, Linings and Interfacings and much, much more!
It starts you off with a brief history of Fabrics and how they were made.
My favorite section "Fabric Types" was exactly what I was looking for and needed. It gives you a great photo of the fabric and then under it gives you a brief description of what it's made of as well as how it is made. Along with the best uses for the particular fabric, i.e. tops, pants, skirts, etc... Also added are some excellent sewing tips.
All this put together makes buying fabric online so much easier. It really insures your buying the right fabric for each garment your making. Big BIG Help!
Another really helpful chapter is the "Linings, Interfacing and Stabilizers". It really does break down these three areas very well in a way you can understand. Clear cut and simple. Yeah! Which is great for when I start making coats and vests.
Thread is also covered. Which is really cool because that seems to be a subject that's not discussed that often. Pairing up the best thread to the fabric. The different weights of thread and what each is used for.
At the very back of the book they have a section for all the projects you completed and its particulars. Along with a place to attach a sample swatch of fabric. Now that's really cool.
Now this book covers so much more than I could ever cover in this blog. Let me just say I definitely have tons more confidence when it comes to ordering fabric online and it surely takes away the doubt. Now I don't know if it will ever overtake the fun that one can have with purchasing fabric at a shop but it sure is helpful to have.
Until next time....Happy Sewing! Seam Ripper Joe