diy project planning | fabric shopping at joann’s fabrics

I signed up for a sewing class! I learned how to do some mending with my mom so I am very excited to learn how to sew on a machine. I also want a hobby that doesn’t involve a screen.

I’m going to use my knowledge of handbags and luxury accessories to create my own. I’ll be learning how to sew a tote and put zippers in.

Eventually I would love to learn how to work with leather but I’m not quite sure how I would go about that; perhaps work at an upholstery or saddle shop?

My first order of business was to buy fabric. Sifting through fabric at Joann’s, I felt overwhelmed at the sheer number of options and endless possibilities.

It’s hard to manage my own expectations of what I can realistically do.

I fell in love with a vinyl mock croc print, but vinyl seems difficult to sew for my first bag? Should I use a print? What should I use for the inside? Does Joann’s carry something like what Louis Vuitton uses inside their bags? What weight of interfacing do I want? Straps? Adjustable straps?!

I ended up going with duck canvas, which is a heavy woven cotton, and a croc print fabric in home decor weight. I love the weight of duck canvas and how durable it is, so I’m excited to see what I can create with it. Both Filson and Fjallraven use forms of duck canvas on their bags and it’s a common duffle bag fabric.

I’m excited to see what I create but like any new activity… I feel scared. I don’t know if I can make anything good, but at least I’ll feel accomplished and like I made something with my hands…a feeling I’ve been lacking for a while. I have been a digital creator for the better part of 2 decades and I need a break from pixels and keyboards. I want to create something with my hands, but I feel anxious about creating something that sucks. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to make anything good with my hands given my record of mediocre, unfinished artwork and burnt dinners. It sounds pathetic, but spending valuable time and energy on something that isn’t good feels like a waste.

I just hope I can create something I’m proud of.

While I was browsing at Joann’s, I documented some of the fabrics that caught my eye. I realize I could have asked for fabric swatches of the fabrics I liked, so maybe I’ll do that next time. Let me know if there’s anything that catches your eye.

Joann’s fabrics
The mock croc fabric on the left is what I really wanted
Duck canvas in a variety of colors
Marbled black and grey fabric and croc print home decor fabric. I purchased the fabric on the right.
geometric fabric that could become nice pillows
quilted faux leather
perforated faux leather
handwriting fabric
metallic silver snakeskin print
I’m not sure what this print is called but this as a blanket
the artichoke print kept calling to me
I found the PNW section

Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

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