I don’t know what’s gotten into your beloved Selfish Seamstress, but lately she’s not feeling all that selfish. Oh, don’t get me wrong- I’m not going around giving hugs and offering to make skirts for co-workers. It’s not so ridiculous as that. But lately I just kind of feel like I’ve got enough fabric. Some of you praised my restraint on my recent trip to Vogue, admiring my prudence in walking out with just a wool remnant and a couple of Husqvarna feet. But to be honest, I wasn’t really holding back; I just didn’t see anything else that I wanted. In all FOUR enormous rooms of fabric. And this past weekend during my unexpected abduction, thanks to all of your wonderful suggestions I headed up to Rue St. Hubert, with tons of fabric stores crammed into a few blocks. There were stores ranging from miniscule to fairly large, couture quality to questionable, immaculately organized to jumbled. Many of the stores were primarily home dec, but there was more than enough to keep the home fashion sewer well-occupied for hours. And yet, I VERY NEARLY left Rue St. Hubert without any fabric at all.

I had Dan in tow and was pressed for time, so I didn’t take too many photos nor take much note of the shop names, but I was sure to hit two that were highly recommended by my trusty readers:

The former, Couture Elle, is beautifully organized and definitely a place to go if you, say, get nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and want to make your own gown. Many of the fabrics are beyond “special occasion” territory and well into the”once-in-a-lifetime” realm. And the latter, Sam Textiles, reminded me of a smaller Mood- comprehensive, high quality, and well-organized as well. Sam Textiles also had the friendliest service I encountered on my jaunt- the super cheerful employee praised me for being “smart” and knowing how to sew my own clothes (surely this would make most of their clientele “smart”?) and offered a hefty discount too when I was waffling.

Okay, so like I said, I nearly didn’t acquire anything at all. It wasn’t that there wasn’t anything good- I just wasn’t feeling tempted. I have a decent stash of wool basics to work through, and a stock of pretty prints and knits (more than I need considering that I rarely sew with either), and there just aren’t that many gaps in my collection at this point. Except for this:

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is ultrasuede.  If it’s not, it’s something else that feels very realistically suede-y, without actually being suede. Here’s a close-up where you can sort of see the barely-there nap:

The back side is sort of satin-like, though not exactly in a standard satin weave:

Whatever it is, it’s soft, it’s luxurious, and it’s mine, thanks to the aforementioned hefty discount the Sam Textiles guy offered to entice me to buy stuff that I don’t need. Or do I?

After all, doesn’t everyone need a sassy leopard trench, like this one from Karen Millen? Perhaps another good use of my McCall 5525 pattern, already nicely graded and altered to fit me? If you’ve been keeping score, you might remember that I already made myself a leopard trench back in 2007:

But that trench is made of velboa, which in the intervening years has gone sort of limp and matted, and I rarely wear it now because every time I put it on, I kind of feel like I’m wearing this:

So I think it’s time for a grown up version! It’s funny, I never thought I would have *two* leopard print coats. Leopard print (and its buddies cheetah and jaguar) is one of those polarizing things.  People generally either find it chic or tacky. Where do you stand on it?

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