It was supposed to be just a short vacation to visit family but in reality it was a fabric shopping trip. I was in the Twin Cities (MN) and got to go shopping at SR Harris, Mill End Textiles and Treadle Yard Goods with my SIL, who is also a sewist.
If you haven't been there, SR Harris is a mega warehouse (30,000 sq ft) fabric store, with all fabrics at 50% off retail always. Allow 2-3 hours if you are browsing. They have a wide variety of standard and specialty fabrics. Here is a link to a 2011 video posted by SharonSews. She also posted about the "Pattern Review 10th anniversary" shopping trip to SR Harris and other stores.
Mill End Textiles is a upper midwest chain store with discounted fabrics. The prices are about what you would get at Hancock or Joanns during a good sale, but you don't have to have a coupon or go during a sale (though I was there in early December and everything was an additional 30% off! Polartec 200 fleece for $3.99/yd!).
And now for something completely different...Treadle Yard Goods is a small, full service store with select stock of quality fabrics. They stock many natural fabrics, patterns from independent designers, and interesting buttons, as well as offering classes. I bought some chambray to make a shirt. I hadn't found that at either of the other two stores that I went to.
So, the point of this post is my 2012 inspiration fabric that I found at Mill End Textiles. I didn't want to randomly shop for fabric. I've done enough of that in my time. I found a plaid patchwork fabric that was labeled as burgundy, navy, and forest green and decided this could be my theme for the year. I plan to make this into a long sleeved blouse of some sort. And look at it this way, with this fabric I won't have to worry about lining up my plaid lines!
I don't have a SWAP project planned, but at least am going to mostly make things that will go together. My "fashion" style is quite casual. I wear scrubs at work and rarely dress up. (In fact, I'd have to think hard to remember if I even own an actual dress). Even though my clothes are casual, I still would like to have things that can go together and layer well, as opposed to the semi-random collection that is currently in my closet.
Sew on, friends...