11.03.2014

King Of The Library


oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

Mystery fabrics at rock bottom prices always get me. Postage stamp sized New York joints filled to the rafters with random goodies, gimmie. But, at under $5 a yard, there's little chance a fabric tag will accompany the myriad bolts threatening to crush patrons.

Should you find yourself fondling questionable items, the clean, mostly white samples in Clive Hallet's and Amanda Johnston's Fabric For Fashion: The Swatch Book hope to aid you in understanding fabric, through text and touch.

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

Though I'll be honest...it's the pretty pictures that have my eye. I almost don't see fabric when it's not patterned, or technicolor. I just sort of glaze over on neutrals. I totally get the why, but it's hard for me to buckle down and read the text. That's the point of course, the pale swatches are meant to help you focus on the characteristics of the fabric.

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

And maybe that's where I'll prove a bad student, because YES GIMMIE THAT WHATEVER IT IS

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S MY HAIR

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

I CAN HAZ POLYESTER COTTON CANDY???

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

DAMMIT, WOMAN! FOCUS! Let's be real, if I'm going to continue to be seduced by bargain bolts, this is medicine I need to take. When I'm enamored of a particular fabric type (usually through Mood, where things are nicely marked), suddenly every unmarked bolt I touch is that fabric by virtue of my current obsession. Back when I was working on my silk chiffon Anna, I swore everything I picked up in the shadowy streets of the garment district was silk. IT WAS NOT. 

As Ruggy says, I can tell myself a lie in the most truthful way.

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

But here you go, silk and poly CDC right next to each other, waiting to prove my silk colored glasses wrong. Um, yeah. THEY DEFINITELY FEEL DIFFERENT. Of course I know this. I just need proof every now and then.

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

Although the whimsically bound tome (I feel like I could definitely find some cool blank insert pages to insert for my own stash reference!) has 125 fabric samples in all, it's not just swatches. Overviews on Animal, Plant and Man Made Fibers, plus chunks of info on each little swatched subdivison, and the usual beautiful layout of a Laurence King tome grace 88 pages.

oonaballoona | laurence king review | the swatch book

Those 125 swatches do add up, over a buck a page at 95 smackaroos. Not something I would splurge on myself, but definitely something I would put on a wishlist! And the holiday season is coming, isn't it?

oonaballoona | laurence king at FIT


I most brattily thank LK for Christmas Come Early in Kalkatroona... it's a beautiful addition to my shelf. I do so love my little sewing library! Speaking of which...

There's a splendiferous FREE event happening at FIT tomorrow, hosted by Laurence King, with draping demos and raffles and lectures, oh my. I was drooling in anticipation until I realized it fell on my wedding anniversary, so you probably won't see my fabric dazed face there. Unless I can convince Ruggy that this would be a totally romantic start to the evening. 

There's a minute chance that I can actually do that. Last week, on his birthday, he asked if I might like him to build me some fabric shelves under our windows.

Which makes him King For Life.






this book was provided to me by Laurence King in exchange for an honest review. 

16 comments:

  1. Things sound very happy in Kalkatroona :) And I love that book, what a brilliant idea.

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  2. what a cool book! i definitely could use some fabric education. happy anniversary!!!

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  3. Apparently my comment is not commenting??? BOO

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    1. Oh, but that one did.... so my first comment said "Awwwww Ruggy, what a guy!!!"

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    2. boo and YAY. he's a mighty good man.

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  4. I seem to have this awesome knack for guessing the correct fabric content 90% of the time without a tag but I still want the book even despite the hefty price tag. It might be useful for those thrift store fabric finds that I can't guess

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    1. man i wish i had that knack! i also wish i had your thrift stores-- NY thrift stores just don't see the value in sewing patterns & yardage.

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  5. A fabric book with fabric! At last!
    Fabric shelves under the window? You've a good en' there girl!

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    1. i know, i've been wanting a book like this to materialize forever!

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  6. I have been coveting this book for a while. Congrats to you both.

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  7. I have the last edition of this book. I actually sat, er laid down, and read the entire thing while playing with the swatches. Nerds.

    Ruggy is such a good husband. Happy Anniversary.

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  8. You crack me up, "I'm pretty sure that's my hair." Haha!!! I'm seeing this book pop up now and I'll probably have to get it. We have a thrift store here that does tend to get a lot of fabric and THEN they mark it half off...as if it wasn't already cheap. I'm pretty sure that slippery stuff is silk...or poly. ;) I just posted my recent hauls on my blog yesterday. Thanks for the review of the book!

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  9. This is a good idea, but we need like a purse-sized version or something! I'd be carrying it around strapped to my hip like a sidearm LOL. I am with you - constantly feeling fabrics and going "this could be _____ but it's probably not because it's cheap" LOL. Still, even feeling the fabrics may not be enough sometimes - I found this cheapo fabric when we were on vacation earlier this year that I figured was a really good silk knockoff, but bought it just in case, and figured I'd use it for a muslin or something - it had this weird coating or treatment on it that made it feel like poly but when burn tested & washed, it turned out to be silk after all! Whoopah! LOL

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!