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Sources of and Inspiration for Unintended Yardage

Not-so-obvious places to find fabrics for garment sewing

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Sewing enthusiasts are always on the prowl for fabric. As more fabric stores close, building a stash becomes more and more challenging.  I have found that with a little detective work, you can find fabric in interesting places. I’ve shared my strategies for turning up garment-worthy fabrics in the drapery fabric aisles, but there are other fabric gold mines just waiting to be uncovered.  Here are some of my favorite sources for unintended yardage.

My taste has always leaned toward contemporary, so hunting through antique stores and malls had never really been on my radar—until I realized all of the luscious linens that are to be found there.  

I adore 1940s vintage tablecloths for sundresses.

Vintage tablecloth sundress

Colorful vintage tablecloth sundress

Sometimes, working around the gravy stains and moth holes is part of the fun.

Old lace tablecloths and dresser scarves supply lots of yardage and often come with finished edges for interesting details.

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  1. User avater
    sew4th | | #1

    Your fabric combinations and garment details are so inspiring! For me it's easier to start experimental sewing with "found fabric," such as my thrifted cotton Ikea futon covers in quirky prints. Nothing to lose, so why not go for it? As you've mentioned, matching the fabric type/drape to the desired look is the key to success. Your straightforward writing style keeps me reading (and sewing) on... Thanks!
    JillV, aka sew4th

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