Where do you get your fabrics?
Lots of places! So let me break it down for you:
• JoAnn Fabrics – If I’m making something simple I’m fine with getting their Blizzard Fleece or Anti-pill fleece. I also like their Ultra Fluffy Fabric. It’s like a cross between fleece and minky – a little thicker and stretchier but very soft. I think it’s great for making pillows and larger stuffed animals.
• Fabric.com – I go here for most of my minky needs. They have just about every color imaginable, there’s free shipping over orders of $35, and they have sales on the stuff a few times a year. I mostly get the basic minky, which is called Minky Cuddle 3. The ‘3’ indicates that the length of the fur is 3mm long.
I can also personally vouch for the printed minky selection – they’re very colorful and sew up just the same. Minky Rose Cuddle and Minky Crushed Cuddle are good if you want something with a longer pile. They don’t feel as thick because the fibers are longer, but they’re very soft and luxurious. Unfortunately they shed a bit. If you want regular minky with some texture, I like Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot and Minky Paisley Cuddle Embossed. Their Double-sided fleece is actually pretty identical to the Ultra Fluffy Fabric from Joann’s.
• Fabric Empire – This has been my backup as of late for both fleece and minky. Their prices are a bit cheaper, but then they don’t offer free shipping – so it can be a toss-up sometimes. The same kinds of minky can be found under the same names mentioned at Fabric.com because…
• Shannon Fabrics – Most minky comes from this company. Lots of other brands are trying to get in on the action (like Joann’s), but this is where it all started. Fabrics are sold by the bolt here, so if you’re really serious about plush making, you might consider this.
FABRICS FOR HATS AND HOODIES:
• JoAnn Fabrics –I stick with their Blizzard Fleece or Anti-pill fleece. Always nice to buy online and take advantage of sales and free shipping.
• Fabric.com – They have a pretty nice Anti-pill fleece selection of some unlikely colors. Occasional sales and free shipping over $35.
• Fabric Empire – Occasionally I come across an unusual fleece color here I can’t find anywhere else. A few coupons can be found here and there, so that helps.
• Your Fleece – Another good backup shop. Will sometimes have coupons or free shipping offers, so stay vigilant and always Google 😀
• Online Fabric Store – This is where I get the faux suede for my aviator caps, specifically called Microsuede. Comes in loads of fun colors.
What sewing machine do you use? Any recommendations?
I currently use a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116 🙂 I’ve been using it for over 6 years now and I still love it. It’s a mechanical machine that only does the basics, but it does them well.
I can also say that I started out using Singer machines, and although they have issues from time to time they’re not bad as a starter machine. Brother machines have not been as good to me over the years, though. So I lean more towards Singer than Brother in the low-range machine market. But really the biggest difference is getting to a dealer and trying one out for yourself 🙂
Do you have an embroidery machine?
I do! I actually bought one over 10 years ago, a Singer Futura CE-100. It was the first in the Futura line, so it had some kinks, but I learned to work around them and I enjoyed the machine. At the time I realized most of the projects I wanted to do worked better with hand-guided machine applique (so I could get to hard-to-reach places). So my use of the machine sort of faded away. But I’m thinking I might get a new one soon, so I’ll try to keep this FAQ posted on that.