Fastforward several months and I was connected directly with a lovely person who works directly for Funkifabrics. She and I had a great exchange that was much more representative of the image their website portrays. She could easily answer my questions. Likewise, she asked the tough questions like "What can you do for us?", which is what I would expect of any company giving something away in exchange for marketing. In turn, I helped her understand how I could differentiate from others and show their fabric in new and exciting ways. This type of exchange is basic product management work and it felt really great to work with her and get the opportunity to sell my sewing work. Ultimately, we all want to know "What's In It For Me?" no matter what we are doing. In the software product management world, we called that WIIFM. (whiff 'em).
Why does this matter to me when considering them as one of my fabric sources? It actually showed me that they believe in their product, their pricing and think it's worth waiting for the right people to blog about them (and worth waiting for the right customer to invest in their products). That says, "We sell a high quality product that is worth investing in." If you just give your stuff away, but don't find out how it's going to help you, then do you really belive in your product? And if you don't believe in it, then why should anyone else? The final quality proof comes when I cut & sew the fabric, then one more time when I wear it and observe it's performance and durability.
The fabric was dispatched and arrived via DHL lickity split. I really didn't expect to see any of it until later in the week, after the New Day Northwest recording day. But, it arrived the night before the show! OH! MY! GOSH! I was giddy. I could hardly contain myself until I got home. I barely got in the door before I started laying out the fabrics to see how they would play together.
The 2nd fabric from top is their gradient shading print that transitions from FLO264 fluorescent pink to flamenco orange. It's so perfectly paired with the ikat! I had an idea to run the shading around the body (circumference) rather than vertically.
The 3rd and 4th fabrics are their fluorescent flexites in NE3057 yellow and NE 3054 pink. These are a little shear, but I didn't intend for them to be a main body fabric, rather to be accents.
The last fabric, their TS582 World Party Black printed on Titan, a performance knit is now being offered in prints. Woo hoo! A few features of Titan per Funkifabrics website are high stretchability, exceptional shape recovery powers, ideal for outstanding sport performance. Oh my the hand of this is lovely. More on what I do with it in a future post. Likely to be dancewear!
The shading runs from selvedge to selvedge. Woot! That means no matter how small or large a piece, you always have the pink to orange shading. So, it was placed the same way that the ikat was. Though, you'll notice I had a boo boo. I cut with the white edging down and didn't get enough of the print under the pattern. So I had an odd corner of white that would have stood out like a sore thumb. Thank goodness this accent piece is smaller.
I'm tickled with the results. This looks fabulously casual, business like, and I can also see myself rockin' it on the dance floor to a great Bachata or Salsa band. I really like how the tiny trim (1/2") of orange/white stripe I bought from Pacific Fabrics coordinates with Funkfabrics ikat. If I hadn't just played around with colors and let myself fall into the final results (rather than analyze and criticize and worry), I never would have picked this out. But it's perfectly paired!
The Clothing & Textile Advisors group, who help host Sew Expo through their volunteer hours, were visiting local Seattle TV show, New Day Northwest from King 5. I caught wind of it and just knew I had to go. It's been years since I visited a TV studio or was in the audience of a show. Plus, how awesome is it to connect with other sewers?
I was so fortunate to have my dance friend, R, join me. She's a lovely human who dabbles in sewing on occasion. We share a love of salsa and bachata dancing and we also enjoy long conversations about all kinds of interesting subjects. I always learn something whenever I'm around her.
Part of the joy of visiting the city is allowing the day to unfold as it desires. We made no plans other than going to the show and I didn't look up who would be featured. I was tickled that we got to hear Margaret Larsen interview Olympic Athlete and musician Shaun White. It was really interesting to hear him talk about committing to any trick or flip, and likewise knowing when to walk away because his mom taught him that there's always tomorrow. I found it fascinating that his mom made the rest of the family ride on their non-dominant side so that she could keep up. That helped him be a better snowboarder in the long run, and also kept their family close sharing time doing activities that everyone enjoyed. I am really inspired that she made that decision. It speaks volumes to me on what kind of mom I'd like to be one day. I love finding inspiration everywhere.
Shaun also talked about Halfpops, a local snack that is tasty & easy to take on the mountain for him. All the audience members received a sample and I must admit, it was super tasty! I'd take it hiking, rollerblading, or anywhere really. Low salt which is awesome!
R & I finished our day at Seattle's world famous Pike Place Market. She had never been and I was honored to take her to one of my favorite spice shops, Market Spice. It's been there since 1911. We walked all over, stopped by the original Starbucks, and then tried a new restaurant, El Borracho. Holy yum! Their tacos are amazing!
If you haven't worked with nylon-lycra fabrics yet, I highly encourage you to try. Start with 1 yard or 1 meter (enough for a tank top or the main part of a pair of swim shorts) and give Funkifabrics a chance. I can say without reservation, that I would choose to buy from Funkifabrics anytime. On my drive home I had even more inspiration on additional projects with this fabric. That speaks volumes to me! While sewing with knits might be intimidating at first, once you get going, you may not want to use anything else!
Have you used any fabric from Funkifabrics? What's your experience been?