Fabric shopping in Chiang Mai

Last Friday I was fortunate to go fabric shopping in Chiang Mai with the lovely Lara from Thornberry. You can read about it on her blog too if you want more details about Chiang Mai and the shopping experience. Plus of course Lara was in tourist mode so not only did she bring a camera but she actually used it. Unlike me.

It was so nice to meet Lara (and her lovely family – hi everyone!) and to go shopping with someone. This is usually a solitary pursuit since I don’t know any other sewists in real life.

As well as buying fabric, we pored over clothes in small, local “boutiques”- checking out the details and how they were designed and made.

I didn’t actually buy that much, after all I can go back next week if I wish. And I will be back soon. So what did I buy?

First up, we went to Ban Thai which sells locally produced machine-woven cottons. Both Lara and I bought this

It is black and grey double gauze and the reverse side looks like this

Of course we both immediately said “colour blocking!” So it will be interesting to see what we both do with it. And yes, it is black but I took these at night after waiting for several days for some sunshine. I decided I really needed to just do this now because when the sun does shine I will be very busy photographing all the lovely new fabric I bought for the shop.

I also bought this intriguing fabric which appears to be samples of fancy stitching/machine embroidery/whatever all stitched together. It was impossible to photograph all of it so here are some shots of the individual ‘rows’.

And yes that is my shadow. Oops.

Now obviously each section is not very wide but I’m sure that at least some are wide enough to become yokes on my beloved V8805. The narrower ones could be used for neck bands or even hem bands. I’m sure I’ll find a use for them.

I also bought some plain black stretch denim which I didn’t even bother to photograph. Becuase really it is just black fabric and you all know what it looks like. This will become a pair of Style Arc Barb pants. I have already made a very wearable muslin, which I actually wore on our fabric shopping expedition, so expect a post on those soon.

But my buy of the day was definitely this

It was impossible to photograph well as each of the white semi-circles are about 40cm (16″).

This photograph shows better how they are offset from one another. And apologies again for the shadow.

Now such a dramatic graphic print obviously needs a plain (and large) canvas. I’m thinking of the Tessuti Pia.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while and while it is outside my comfort zone I definitely want to be a little more adventurous. I also figure that if it looks dreadful, I will be able to salvage a top and recut another skirt.

And it is black and white and the Monthly Stitch are having mono-sewn month so that fits. It will also be my Make a Garment a Month for July. And it is my birthday early in August and would make a great birthday dress. So it ticks lots of boxes.

What do you think? Is the Pia a good choice? Have you made it? Or do you have any other suggestions that might suit my very dramatic fabric?

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10 Responses

  1. LOVE the squares you and Lara both got. Been looking for something exactly like it since I laid my eyes on v9004!!! And I guess I'm all about the black and white because I'm also completely intrigued w the last one you showed as well. I think the pia would be an outstanding choice. I hope you make that soon and then post it as well…I want to see it!

  2. Gaye Proctor says:

    You're right the squares would be perfect for V9004 (which I also really like). I will be back in Chiang Mai again soon and can get some for you if you like. Drop me an email to the address at top. And thanks for the vote of confidence for the Pia.

  3. RhondaBuss says:

    Oh my goodness, do I ever love the embroidered piece and the black and white circles, well, I'm jealous 😉 enjoy your lovely finds.

  4. Gaye Proctor says:

    I must admit to being very pleased with them both. The embroidered piece is kind of strange (I've never seen anything like it) and I absolutely love the black and white.

  5. mandy c says:

    Gorgeous fabrics. I think the Pia dress would be gorgeous in the black and white semi circles, I love that fabric. Enjoy!

  6. Gaye Proctor says:

    Thanks Mandy. It is quite spectacular fabric, isn't it?

  7. thornberry says:

    Hello there Gaye! What a wonderful day we had – you are such a great fabric enabler! I am now sadly home in cold Melbourne, about to pre-wash my fabrics. And the more I look at that black with white semi-circles, the more I think “oh I should have bought that too” despite my “don't buy more black” rule. I think that the Pia would be great for it – I love my Pia, and will definitely be using that pattern again. Looking forward to seeing what it becomes!

  8. Gaye Proctor says:

    Oh we did have such a good day, didn't we? And I am still very pleased with that fabric although when I measured the semi-circles and realised that they are 40cm long, I also realised that I'm going to have to really pay attention when cutting it out. Glad to hear you approve of the Pia for it. Today I even splurged and had it printed in large format – so no taping Yay! Can't wait to see what you make with your fabrics.

  9. thornberry says:

    I think that the pockets of the Pia will be great in that fabric – it has enough structure to make them look quite architectural. I think!

  10. Gaye Proctor says:

    Architectural is exactly the look I'm hoping for so here's hoping…..

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