Not the actual Mecca, but the annual trip to LA’s fashion district is about as close as I’ll ever be allowed to get (also there are totally fabric stores in Mecca) and it is such an amazing place.

Last year was my first trip with Roo and Christina and from the moment we turned the corner and I had my first glimpse of rolls upon rolls of fabric pouring out of windows and lining the shop walls, I couldn’t stop gawking. How would we possibly get through all of these stores in a single day?

But, I’m jumping a little ahead.

It starts on Friday. We leave our respective workplaces as early as we can short of taking days off and start the first portion of the drive down to Bakersfield. Roo, being the only one among us who can, you know, drive, bears the brunt of this (and we love her lots and lots for it) until we finally hit our Double Tree hotel and pass out for the night.

The next morning we pack up, have breakfast in the hotel lobby, take out any last minute cash (you can sometimes get a better deal if you have cash), and finish the last hour or so drive into the promised land. Find a parking space, grab the fabric lists, and go.

Everything after that becomes a bit of a blur. You go from one store to the next, sometimes having a specific location or fabric in mind, sometimes your eye is caught by the tiniest bit of plaid poking out between the rolls on the side of the street. Before you know it, your arms are full and you have to make a trip back to the car and you’re still not done. Cue hilarity as you’re trying to fit the roll of fabric that is larger than your trunk or back seat into the car which may or may not involve a tug of war with the fabric and the roll its on.

There’s the general rule of don’t buy it on the first pass unless you don’t think you’ll get a better deal anywhere else (or find something you want more). We (maybe just I) didn’t do so well following that rule last year and by the time we were well and truly finished, we had enough fabric for 19 garments from ball gowns and to play clothes.

Last year’s purchases:
-Aqua and orange striped fabric that I’m using in my May 12 in 12 project
-Embroidered silk taffeta from January’s project
-A share in the purple plaid wool of doom we made last year’s themed Dickens dresses from
-Red silk velvet for my 1900s dress for February’s 12 in 12
-White with blue/silver stripes for March’s 12 in 12
-Fabric for my lavender shepherdess dress for last year’s Halloween Gaskell

This year’s shopping list (in order of priority):
-Gold taffeta (possibly shot with black if I can find it) for the Dalek Day Dress (possibly also a ballgown bodice). Minimum 10 yards, trying for closer to 14 or so since I have no idea how much I’ll need for all the extra bits.
-Fabric for the Belle dress for this year’s Halloween Gaskell. Not sure about the final design yet (definitely not a movie replica, bleh), but it’ll clearly need to be gold as well.
-Fabric for another Dickens dress. I already have one dress lined up, but I’d like to have another. I have a few dress ideas already so I just need to keep my eyes out for anything that might work for any of them.
-Some fabric for a ball gown to match my aqua/copper trim I purchased last year from Britex.
-Any particularly awesome trims or laces for various projects.

I can’t wait!