New Fabric! (Well, New To Me)

by Erin on January 5, 2009

(It's actually vintage, but it's new to me!)

I swear, folks named Rita are really good luck for me lately. Rita C. emailed me out of the blue and said "Not positive you would be interested in this bicycle fabric …" Bicycle fabric! I don't think I finished the sentence before I clicked the link. I can't remember the last time I browsed fabric on eBay, so there's no way I would have seen this fabric without Rita's kind offices.

It was Buy It Now, too! Check it out:
bicycle percale

bicycle percale

It was from seller MarilynSue, although she doesn't have too much other fabric listed right now.

I love that this was marketed as a time-saver — don't wait for your fabric to be cut, just grab a "pak" and go! This is the fabric equivalent of bagged lettuce (which I love, btw)! I wonder if it was sold at stores that didn't otherwise have a fabric department, like the crappy thread they sell in the grocery store — or used to, I haven't seen a notions section in a grocery store for ages.

What will this turn into? Well, it's 4 yards at 35 inches wide, so probably a narrow shirtdress of some kind. When I know, you'll know!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Emerald January 5, 2009 at 5:41 am

Lucky, lucky ebaying! Well done!

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Lisette January 5, 2009 at 6:14 am

The Job Lot near me now has a pre-cut section of upholstery fabric. My boyfriend( who works there) got so excited and told me I had to come in because they had “Fabric, really cheap fabric!” Well I came in and needless to say we were both rather disappointed, because I can’t really use upholstery fabric.Well I could, but it would be very very hard.

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Anonymous January 5, 2009 at 6:28 am

I like the bike print, Erin. I bought some of that same print, different colorway (red) a couple years ago, for my daughter, who likes to ride a tandem bike with her sweetie.Colleen

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Sal January 5, 2009 at 7:03 am

Eeee! Can’t wait to see it. That print is utterly adorable.

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What-I-Found January 5, 2009 at 8:02 am

The fates have smiled on you…that is a great find!

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Amanda #1 January 5, 2009 at 8:03 am

I’m happy to report that my grocery store still has a notions section. Well, maybe not happy to report, since, as you noted, it’s crap thread. They also have a random set of size 5 double-pointed knitting needles.

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Rachel January 5, 2009 at 8:18 am

Oh my. That screams “full circle skirt” to me…with rick rack trim? I could see it done with a white, criss-cross wrap style, v-neck blouse…some chunky black/grey necklace/braclet/earring combo…maybe a black cardigan. Okay. So I’m a sucker for a full circle skirt…with matching belt and shoes, of course…lol…

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the_lazymilliner January 5, 2009 at 8:44 am

Bicycle fabric for a little cycling fun? Cute!

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winifred January 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

That fabric is adorable. It reminds me of a cardigan sweater my friend Jina had in college that I absolutely coveted. No matter what you end up making with it, you should definitely ride a tandem bike while wearing it.

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Defrost Indoors January 5, 2009 at 9:34 am

That is *very* you! I love it!

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Birgit January 5, 2009 at 11:09 am

Love it! An auspicious start to the new year, no?I do believe I have a much smaller piece of that print stashed away for a blouse – in red ;)

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xstpenguin January 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Daisy, Daisy indeed – some of the bicycles are tandems! We have a grey thing going in my house at the moment and that is a particulalry nice shade. Just the thing to set off bright accessories. Great!Don’t suppose you had time for sewing during the holidays? Any stunt dresses for the festivities?Cheers,AJ

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vespabelle January 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Love the fabric. I was reading a sewing blog the other day (name escapes me) and she was in Paris and went to several shops that sold fabric pre-cut in 2 or 3 meter lengths. (these stores had “coupon” in their name.)

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elke January 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Rita is a true friend (or possibly an enabler). In the past, one could find pre-cut fabrics in non-fabric stores, like Woolworth’s, Zeller’s, and also some larger places (sort of pre-Walmarts). I made a skirt when I was about 13 from one such piece. Thy had paper labels stapled on, and they hung on racks like the skirts they would be. Price was around C$2.99 for the skirt length, I think.

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Anonymous January 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I’d buy pre-cut fabric, especially if it came in decent chunks. 3 yards, minimum! Just last year I went cold turkey on remnant-bin browsing, and the addiction lurks just beneath my veneer of sensible fabric buying. But doesn’t everyone buy four or five yards at a time, without knowing exactly what will be made of it? I don’t even understand people who peer at the back of their pattern envelope and request “2 and 3/8 yard, please.”

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Marge, Born Too Late Vintage January 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I love that fabric!

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Jean January 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Might I suggest that “if” the fabric came with this tape on it and it’s been around (vintage)… you best have some good tape remover stuff available! I had some trim that I got years (too many to think about) ago and just recently took off the tape! It was a mess… white trim with yellowed tape stuff on it. Let’s just say that it will take time to get it out! Hopefully your’s won’t be the same type thing!Cute print though!

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Cookie January 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Mmmm! I think red trim on this would be nice. Look how neat the red wrapping looks on it! Plus some other people have mentioned owning this is a red colorway….so it’s really all a karmic “cometogether”. (I especially like grey with navy, yellow or lavender…but this bicycle print calls for something more active, I think, as a partner.)Cute!

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Cookie January 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm

PS: Someone in the Global Sewing Conspiracy needs to take on the [advertised] name “Priscilla Percale-Pak”, don’t you think?(signed) Francesca Bentley

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Nora January 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

So. jealous.Can’t wait to see it made up!

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Anonymous January 5, 2009 at 8:13 pm

This can’t be vintage, can it, if its still for sale by the bolt at retail stores? How old does something have to be to be called vintage? Is that just a special word for second hand?I ask because I bought this same print off the bolt just a couple years ago.

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Little Hunting Creek January 6, 2009 at 7:24 am

I love the bicycles- they are crying out for rick rack, can’t you hear them?

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Theresa January 6, 2009 at 7:30 am

I saw cut packs of fabric somewhere recently…big lots? Dollar General? YEs, it was Dollar General!

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AuntieShel January 6, 2009 at 8:39 am

Great fabric, Ein. Can’t wait to see what you make. One year when I was in grammar school, my mom make my sister and I matching, but different color, shirt dresses and the print was bicycle wheels.

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neighbourhood.gal January 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Too excellent!

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Sandra January 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Ya gotta love a label with alliteration! Such a cute print, but I’m a sucker for cotton novelty prints. I think it’s genetic. My mom was a sewer, and always made us dresses and shirts out of fabric with cute prints. Anon. must know that many companies are making reproduction prints and she probably purchased one of those. The 35″ width and label pretty much dates yours as vintage, as if you need provenance for fabric you like!

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Cookie January 6, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Anon: The term “vintage” means different things to different people. I myself would consider the 1970′s “vintage”…so that’s what, 30 years? Enough time has to have passed for the era to have really been looked at, with some distance. Personally, there also has to be enough time that’s passed that someone like me, who has memories of the era, can see it anew. Otherwise it would just be classified in the mushy, grey area of “out-of-style”.Some old fabrics that haven’t been stored under good conditions can rot, among other things, making them fragile…so a new manufacture of a “vintage” fabric print is sometimes better.

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Coralie Cederna Johnson January 7, 2009 at 4:58 am

Great vintage fabric! I also love to work with feedsacks from the past. For a dress, youd need more than one feedsack but one will go a long way for quilting or other small projects. The novelty prints are wonderful and the colors from the 30s, 40s, 50s are amazing!

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Cookie January 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

Interesting, Coralie! Thanks for the tip. I looked up “feedsack” and got this:http://www.rickrack.com/feedsack.html

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Pinup Dresses January 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Don’t you wear skirts riding bikes.. no that was roller skating, right? lol I’d make a breezy full skirt out of it and find a bicycle made for 2.

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JuliaR January 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

I am jealous! The DH and I have 7 bikes, including a tandem. I can only wear skirts on the tandem and travel bikes because they have a low profile (they are Bike Fridays). I’ll have to look for something like this for our days on the tandem!

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