Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The state of fabric and notions

Have you tried to buy fabric lately? How about thread? It's almost as rare as toilet paper, but not quite. You can order from Joann and pick up curb-side, but you'll be lucky if they're not out of the fabric you want. You can go to Walmart to get thread, if they have any left.

Did any of us ever think that there would be "shortages" of our sewing items?

If you go to eBay, you'll see some fabric for amazingly inflated prices. After a couple of weeks, sellers got wise to the mask makers and started offering 1/4-yard pieces along with fat quarters that have been cut and are selling for way more than the initial yard it came from was. It's gouging and taking advantage. The fabric shouldn't be so expensive. Is it opportunistic and capitalistic to buy and then sell at high, really high prices? I have really mixed feelings about it.

I have purchased from these sellers because they have the fabric that mask buyers want. They also have the fabric that people who have masks donated to them want. I take the money made from masks and put it back into mask materials.

Even thread - thread! - is getting hard to find online, but I now have a stash of white thread and the variegated threads I like.

I've gone through most of my novelty fabrics, some of which are 30-40 years old. People love the old stuff - Smurfs, Sponge Bob, M&Ms, etc. I find they also have a hankering for dogs and other animals on their fabric. It's been interesting to see what people like.

I'm working on a large order for a local nonprofit and it's filled with not novelty fabric masks.

Anyway, get to sewing everyone! The world needs us and they need us to teach them how to do this for themselves. 


  1. Agreed! It's so annoying that people up their prices just because others are in need!
    I had to start rationing my white thread. Years ago when Hancock's had the 50% off sales, I would always get a couple spools of white thread. So I've not bought any white since before they closed.
    As I started on the masks, I decided to use the colored thread whenever possible. Luckily, I used to make pageant dresses for people so I had a good stock of colored threads especially pinks, blues, aquas, lavenders, purples, and some just odd colors.
    Yes, I have to rethread the machine more, but it's worth it to not run out of thread. I would try to use one color on as many masks as possible.
    I never, ever thought I'd be getting low on any thread for the rest of my sewing years!
    Luckily, I also had a lot of scraps given to me, and I'd won some pieces on blog giveaways which really helped!

    1. I have so much thread, more thread than I'll ever use. But the white is impossible to find. I used up all my old white thread with the first round of masks. I'm doing them in batches when I give them away. Anyway - I'm using variegated thread on most masks now, either red/whte/blue, black/gray/white, or rainbow thread. I, like you, have changed spools often. I keep threatening to set up my other sewing machine to handle the colorful threads. I'm glad it's not just me!