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Which comes first? The fabric or the pattern?

I got to thinking this weekend. Is it the pattern that dictates the fabric, or does the fabric call out for a pattern? I have slowly accumulated a list, no, a MASSIVE list of garments that I want to sew, yet, with no fabric stores nearby I find it difficult to acquire what I need.

My only problem with online fabric, is that there is SO much choice. If I had all the time in the world, I would spend hours and hours scouring online stores for what I need, but sadly my time is very limited with the kidlets beneath my feet. I end up a bit like a deer in the headlights and so overwhelmed with options that I sigh and turn away from the computer, fabric-less. (I have to note here, I have the same problem when I go into M&S for food. So much choice, what to do?).

The reason I’m thinking about this is that I am lucky enough to be getting a quick trip to London in 2 wks. Of course I’ve managed to squeeze time for a morning visit to Goldhawk road, as unfortunately the budget doesn’t stretch to Liberty (although if I have time, I might go in there for a bit of fabric porn). Looking around at some of the amazing sewing bloggers out there, I just wondered whether you all accumulate the fabric with something in mind, or if the pattern comes first?

I’d love to hear what others do, especially those with ready access to fabric stores. Do you buy specific lengths for specific items, or do you let the pattern dictate your fabric choices?

Oh and if anyone has any tips on how to streamline my online fabric shopping, that would be great too!

Happy 2014 to you all – I have a good feeling about this year.

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