Fabric Frenzy!

… or what I like to call “My Pilgrimage to the Church of Fabricana”.  I’m not in the least obsessive or possessive regarding all things sewing related.  (Ya, right!)  I have even sworn off fabric shopping – PERIOD – for the last year.  Well, except for the couple of purchases I made about a month ago, just some knit fabrics for T-shirts (to be made up “someday”).  But those were purchased with Gift Certificates – Gift Certificates given to me last Christmas!  Considering I didn’t actually buy those, I think they’re exempt from the Fabric Fast.

So I still claim that I have not purchased fabric for a year.. ever since August of 2015 when I last travelled to Vancouver to visit my Enabler/Sister.  She is always more than happy to drive me from store to store in exchange for a treat or a meal or even a fabric purchase for herself (for me to sew, of course!).  So last weekend, off I went again!  

My Pilgrimage started with a lovely sunny day and a not so peaceful ride on an incredibly noisy passenger-packed B.C. Ferry.  At the end of the voyage I was pleased to see the ramp coming for me to set me free in Vancouver!


One of the first places I went to was Fabricland*.  It was packed with fabrics, patterns and supplies, but there were only two fabrics that had my interest.  Since I was unsure. I photographed them and we went on to the next shop.  One of the fabrics was this soft blue “Aristocrat” solid – 88% polyester 12% spandex – suitable for a pair of comfortable, light summer pants.  The colour is more a medium blue.  It didn’t show correctly here.


The other fabric was this “Soleil” black and white paisley made of 100% rayon.  I did end up going back there and purchasing both these fabrics.  I easily found the blue, but for the life of me I could not find the black and white paisley anywhere.  I even showed my cell phone photo to the store staff who helped me search, but all we could find was this black and white paisley below.  So I settled.  This would still make a lovely dress!  

Surprise, surprise … as soon as I got back to the car, I realized that this was the black and white paisley I had originally seen.  Oops!  I thank all the helpful staff for assisting me in my search for the original black and white paisley that was right in front of my nose the whole time!  


Next off to Fabricana.  I found this blue “Dramatic ITY” print made of 96% polyester 4% spandex.  It will be a perfect dress some day!


Then the “Tower” print, 92% polyester 8% spandex, another dress (someday).  I love how occasionally a really white leaf pops out in this print.


This is a fabric I have not seen before.  A “Railroad Knit” 63% cotton 33% rayon 4% spandex.  It would make a fab top.  The white rows are slightly raised as is the blue squiggle.  *Love*


The best for last – 100% Silk Satin print that my sister said was calling to me.  Seriously, the whole time I was in the store I heard a tiny voice saying “Linda”… “Linnda”… and my sister swore that it was not her!  They had a large display of silk – all the weights, solids and prints, and believe me, we felt them all … over and over… until I picked out this one.


Unfortunately, when I pulled the bolt up from the display, it caught on the one beside, and like dominos they all started falling.  My sister and I managed to grab them and since our actions were a bit noticeable, a sales associate came over to fix the problem.  We offered to help her but she just asked “Are you done?”.  We are so sorry!  “You can go now.”  Ok! and we scurried off.  We could hear her sighing and groaning as all the fabric bolts fell to the floor and she had to recreate the display.

We moved on to another, happier to see us, sales associate and eventually made off with all our purchases without any more damage to the store – I think!

Next stop – an “antique” store.  We wandered through the whole two stories seeing things we remembered from our past and things that we had never seen before and couldn’t recognize.

One item I was very very happy to find was this Greist buttonholer.  In my research I found this blog which described the Greist/Singer working relationship.  Apparently Mr. Greist worked for Mr. Singer making sewing machine attachments – including the “Puzzle box”  (I want one!) and this buttonholer.  Mr. Greist also made sewing machine attachments for other sewing machine manufacturers as well.  Mr. Singer liked Mr. Greist’s buttonholer design so well, he copied it for the Singer brand.  I haven’t tried this one yet on my Vintage Sewing Machine, a Singer 15-88, but I’m very curious to see how well it works after all these years.


At the second “antique” store we visited we were quite surprised to find how opposite it was from the first.  So neat, clean and tidy – everything on display and prices for each item properly marked.  That’s were I found a real surprise… a true Singer buttonholer!  Now I will definitely be able to compare my Greist and my Singer buttonholers!


I also found some grab bags of sewing parts, feet and supplies.  I have yet to check if any of these are duplicates of what I already have at home, but if I do find duplicates I am just going to have to have a “Giveaway” again!

Now I know I don’t have an original Singer attachments box, so I was pleased to find this one.  Look what I found inside!  Wait, is that a fishing weight I see in there too… on the left top?


More toys.  These must be for a more modern machine, being plastic and all.


These are definitely more modern and I think I have quite a few of them already.


Now there’s a mix, some old and some new.  I’ll have to check if any of it is good for any of my sewing machines.


Do you recognize some of these sewing toys?  Do you have any of them?

That was certainly a fun trip!  Thank you, Enabler/Sister!  I found some lovely fabrics and more sewing toys.  Now my promise – no more shopping until next August when I can make the Pilgrimage again, I promise to work on my stash in the meantime!

Happy Sewing!

43 thoughts on “Fabric Frenzy!

  1. Nice haul! I see a pintuck marker, a fabulous toy. Before you use the buttonholers, take off the cover [the black bit] and get all the old congealed yellow oil off, then give them a good soak in fresh oil, and make sure it’s drained through before you start using them. Fab finds, the Griest is most like the one I have, the template one is quite a rarity, as I understand.

    1. So it was a lucky find! I am new to VSMs so I was pretty much grabbing every little bag I could see – hoping for the best! It definitely is going to keep me out of trouble for a while going through all this. And thanks for the tip on the buttonholers. Who knows when they might have last been used!

      1. Even when you’re using them quite a lot, they are very oil hungry, just watch out for drip through onto your clothes, mine catches me from time to time. It makes the most wonderful buttonholes though, after avoiding shirts for years, I’m really enjoying making them now!

        1. I was quite surprised by its size, and a bit doubtful that it would work, but if it does that good of a job then I’ll be looking forward to trying it out.

          1. search ‘buttonholes’ on my blog and you’ll see me raving quite a lot lol

            1. Ohh! I will! I love looking at other people’s stuff! 😃

  2. I managed to identify most of the bits from my machines online. I’m still looking forward to having time (after December – yippee!) to play.
    Your fabrics look great – and definitely don’t count. Enjoy your haul.

    1. Grr! I am so jealous of you! Just kidding! You are going to enjoy your freedom, that’s for sure! I still have to find the time to go through carefully and identify all that I bought home!

      1. You will have fun doing it I’m sure.

  3. Great haul, I wonder if any of the vintage/antiques shops around here have sewing stuff? Must check. The last picture – 7 spool holders? You can adjust one for each kind of thread you’d like, then.

    1. There’s an idea I never thought of. I just thought – Why so many! I was surprised to find these items too. I guess it never hurts to look!

  4. What a lovely lot of sewing treasures you found, have fun playing with them. I love that printed silk satin and the blue ITY.

    1. Thank you! I can’t remember the last time I sewed a project with silk. I shall have to be careful with it and share my project. Blues and reds are my favourite. I’m glad I found these!

  5. Wow, what gorgeous fabrics and such a great haul with all those feet and the buttonholers. I have a Singer one that I still haven’t tried out yet. I don’t think that I have much of a clue even how to attach it never mind get it sewing. As my Singer is still boxed up looking for a place to stay then this is a bit academic. I hope that you find out what ever thing is for. Xx

    1. Well the Greist has a small manual and they are supposed to work the same, so I am hopeful. Also I never realized how mechanical I was until I got these two VSMs. My son says I will be changing tires next (NOT!)

  6. Congratulations on your purchases, you showed great restraint with only 6 fabrics. 😉
    I have the buttonholed for my singer but have yet to give it due play time. There’s just not enough time in a day. Enjoy your new toys and I’ll be watching for your makes with some of your new stash.

    1. Thank you! I’ll be watching for your “Me Mades” too!

  7. All lovely fabrics. My favorite is the Tower print. It reminds me of toile. OK, to see the bolts going down like dominoes, I giggled. I would be giggling all th way out the store. Hey, I’m sure you’re not the first person that’s happened to. Good to hear you had a great visit and “got off the rock.”

    1. Thank you! Yes, unfortunately, we did think it was funny. At least we tried to help as compensation for our giggling!

  8. Ooo fabricana is deadly! Last time I went there with my mom and aunt I almost needed another suitcase to get all my purchases home!

    1. That’s right! I usually bring my carry on bag and a huge folded up IKEA bag on the trip here and then on the trip home I end up with everything full and looking like a pack mule!

  9. Oh, frabjus joy!
    What a day & what a collection of treasures (that don’t count 😇) to enjoy for a long time.
    Mum’s Singer had the black set with some of the cams, and how I loved doing buttonholes with them – so precise! Haven’t done any since . . . Recognized a few of the bobbin innerds in your last pic, and maybe now you’ve got some spares. Just in case… 😉

    1. I hope I have success with the buttonholers. I do have a manual and there are so many helpful references on-line. It was a fun day!

      1. Am sure you’ll succeed!

  10. I swear the fabric shouts at me in Exactly the same way! Love the fabrics and especially the paisley and floral. Great gadgets find and I have the organ package of needles. As for the ferry, I’d be running off to, but at least the finds made that ferry trip worth it!!

    1. I’ve seen the paisley and floral that you choose to work with – all lovely! Yes the shopping made up for the noisy trip over. Oh well… I guess that’s our tourist industry making noise!

  11. I’m sure your sister the Enabler had absolutely nothing to do with that little voice calling you from all over the store, but she was probably instrumental in the fabric bolts/dominoes incident.
    All kidding aside it sounds like you two had a wonderful shopping trip. Good on you!

    1. Oh yes, she is trouble! We did have fun! Thanks!

  12. The problem with going on a fabric shopping spree with someone who is a fabulous seamstress is you have this burning desire to buy buy buy. I managed to hold back this time but there is always next year. All the fabrics were lovely and there is truly nothing that feels like silk. Now we get to see the new creations bloom. On another note, I know absolutely nothing about the “voices” that Linda was hearing in her head but now that I do….well…..I may stand a little more to the left.

    1. So kind of you to hold off – I still have two more dresses to finish off on the “Sister’s Sewing Projects”. I’ll be free to go at it again for you next year for sure! And on another note… confess… you were the voices in my head!!!

  13. Fabulous purchases! I’d say you scored big time, and I can’t wait to see what you do with all of your goodies. The silk is my favorite and the vintage sewing toys are fascinating.I’ve never heard of Griest…learned something new and will be curious to see what you think of it after you use it. I LOVE vintage goodies and am quite envious of your haul!

    1. Thank you! Sometimes you just gotta let loose. This is only the second silk fabric that I have ever bought! I am really learning a lot about vintage sewing after getting my Mother’s and Aunt’s VSMs. I’ll be blogging more about them as I slowly get them prettied up and running.

      1. Have fun with your silk! You deserve it.

  14. *sigh*! Those are LOVELY fabrics! Especially the paisley. And the toy-shopping sounds such fun!

    1. 😃👍it was fun, every now and then, you just have to have something new!

  15. Oh what fun! I especially love that paisley and the tower print!. And how fortunate to have your “enabler” tagging along, I’m sure she was very helpful. 😉 All those vintage pieces are intriguing, you’ll have fun deciphering everything.
    Your tumbling bolts reminded me of a similar situation years ago. My daughter was probably around 9 or 10, and were in a department store. We entered through the lingerie department and the hosiery was demonstrated on plastic legs across the top of the shelf. You guessed it, said daughter knocked the end leg over, and they all skittered down, domino style. She was mortified!

    1. Oh no! I can imagine she was mortified! Poor girl. Bet that would be funny to see though! 😂

      1. Oh, it was just hysterical. I tried to be a good mother, but it was like something from Monty Python!

        1. I know the feeling… Like when you are picking them up of the floor and they are angry and crying and all you can do is laugh “It’s ok! You’re ok'” 😂

          1. Haha! Exactly!

  16. I used to have a buttonholer for my antique machine (newer than the one in your pictures) but it stopped working. For a while I looked around in a major state of panic looking for another one; finally gave up and learned to make buttonholes by hand which I actually enjoy doing now.

    1. It’s quite a proud moment when you can do them without an attachment! I had to learn that way when I was young as my Mom’s machine was basic. I got a lot of practice and did well. Probably forgotten it all now though after years of using an attachment!

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