The House of Tatterdemalion

Unfashionable, unskilled, inexpensive--but still sewing.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Quick Thank-you. . .

. . .To my brother, who kindly picked up an invisible zipper for me when he came down this weekend. I usually get my sewing notions from the nearest little fabric shop--well, actually, I tend to think of it more as a "general store" and my Mom always thinks it's some sort of tourist-y gift shop. It has a fabric/notions section, but also tourist-y gifts, and a dry food goods section (we get all of our granola supplies from there). It's only about 8.5 miles away, so it's very convenient. Unfortunately, although they had a zipper in the perfect color, it wasn't an invisible zipper (the zipper itself isn't invisible, but the manner of installing it the garment renders it more invisible than a standard zipper). No invisible zippers at all.

The nearest JoAnn's, on the other hand, is about, according to Google Maps (haven't actually timed the trip myself, but it sounds about right), 38 minutes away. I really, really, really hate to drive 38 minutes out to pick up one stupid invisible zipper, and then drive 38 minutes home. It just does not make sense. But I really, really wanted an invisible zipper. (If you note, I really, really, really didn't want to drive out, and I only really, really wanted it.) I would have simply done without, but my brother graciously picked it up for me on the way here.

But it was the wrong color. That wasn't his fault; JoAnn's simply has a terrible stock of invisible zippers (though I could simply leave this sentence as "JoAnn's simply has a terrible stock" and it would still be just as true). I wanted a zipper whose pull tab matched the bodice of the Fancy Dress I am working on for my sister. He got a zipper that matched the skirt--a lighter shade of blue. So it still goes, but I would have be quite ticked to drive 40 minutes out of my way just to find out that I still couldn't get the zipper I wanted, and still have to drive 40 minutes home.

Is this to say that my only to choices for buying fabric are a tiny stock of quilter's cottons 8 miles away or a pathetically stocked JoAnn's 40 minutes away? No, not at all. Just about anywhere you throw a rock (provided you give it a good heave; you won't hit anything if you just give it an easy toss over the back fence) you hit a fabric store--a quilt store, which sells nothing but quilter's cottons! I am surrounded by quilting stores, which don't believe in clothing construction, do not sell zippers, and the only buttons they have are in "country" colors of rather dirty looking blues, reds, greens and yellows.

I don't have anything against quilts--I'm working on a few of them myself. And I don't have anything against quilter fabric; some of it is quite breath-taking. I do have something against supposedly "country" colors, but that's a different rant. I just wish that things weren't so one-sided. Is it any wonder I usually sing "The internet is my friend, the internet is my friend"? Some people complain that you can't buy fabric when you can't run your hands over it and observe it's drape, but when your only other option is sewing with nothing but quilter's cotton and gross buttons, the internet comes off looking blindingly good. Most on-line stores have swatching services, and it's awfully hard to find an internet store that has as bad a selection as the nearest JoAnn's.

As far as the zipper goes, I think I once heard you could change to color of the pull tab with a bit of nail polish. Unlike most girls, however, I don't have any nail polish, and certainly none in a deep royal blue. I can certainly make this work, but the perfectionist part of me is irked. It shouldn't be this difficult to find a royal blue invisible zipper that is 14" or longer. One of the ump-teen million quilt stores around here ought to switch to garment sewing and actually keep a decent selection of zippers on hand!

(But still, a thank-you to my brother, for being willing to take the time to do my shopping for me. I'm sure JoAnn's is even lower on your list of places you'd like to be than it is on mine.)


Post a Comment

<< Home