I love patterned fabrics. Even if I would never wear them, I love looking at them. For too long, the only fabrics available to home sewers have been of the "ducks on broadcloth" type, as my design teacher used to say. Now, we have a whole new generation of accomplished designers making textiles in modern colors and prints.
Due to the recent inescapable popularity of the empire-waist trend, I have been making a lot of my own clothes. My local fabric stores tend to stock fabrics with prints that look like the patterns you get when you rub your eyes to hard. Or floral chintz. I hate chintz. So, as usual, I poked around online until I found what I was looking for. The often blogged-about Amy Butler has, of course, a beautiful collection. I covered my desk chair in the blue and grey seedpod fabric in the bottom right corner. So cute!
Another designer I found is Anna Marie Horner, who I haven't heard much about. (Strangely, because she is fabulous, people. Fabulous.)
These are from her Chocolate Lollipop collections.
I also like Marimekko for skirts, even though it can be hard to find. You can buy most of the line here.
Sewing for the kiddos? Pixie Dust has some cute pattens that do not include licensed cartoon characters who will suck the soul out of your baby while she's sleeping. Wouldn't that make a cute baby quilt? Why, yes, it would.
I always stop by M&J Trims when I'm in New York to stock up on ribbons and buttons. For those of you whose travel plans do not include Manhattan as often as you'd like, they have an online shop with an enormous stock of trims and baubles for your projects.
Feeling a little more retro than your wardrobe? Follow the stampede to Reprodepot. They have all their reproduction fabrics arranged by decade and by theme, so you'll be able to find that palm tree and hula girl motif quickly. The even have pre-1900 stock, for those Holly Hobbie fantasies you don't like to talk about. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone.