Hey y’all – today is a first for this blog – I’m letting the Coach take over and write the post today. I figured Sewing for Men month is the right moment to let him speak his piece and give you his Guys Fabric Shopping Survival Guide. I mean, we have been married almost 20 years, so he must be doing something right, right?
After being asked to “guest write” a post about guys having to go to the fabric store I knew my wife had finally lost it. Why would the girl with the English degree ask the PE grad to write anything?
So of course I said I’d help. I was told to come up with 4 to 7 tips. This just keeps getting better. My next “guest post” will be how to get out of “guest posting.” (Step 1 – Act like you didn’t hear her.) Sadly I tried that move for this one and a week later she’s still hounding me.
And then she made me add a caveat – if you’re a dude that likes to sew and likes fabric shopping, more power to you bro. She tells me some of y’all read her blog, and I truly think that’s awesome. That’s just not me. But if it’s you, then you don’t need this guide. This is for the boyfriends/husbands/significant others that get dragged unwillingly to the fabric store.
Let’s just say there’s a reason Handmade Ryan Gosling is a complete work of fiction.
So without further ado,
The Guys Fabric Shopping Survival Guide.
Tip 1 – Don’t go. Few places are more soul crushingly boring for me than the fabric store. If you’re lucky, you’ll only waste about 90 minutes of your life on this trip but if she’s got a big project in mind, goodbye afternoon. The best way to get out of this trip is to find a substitute. What is her mother/sister/sister-in-law/friend/casual acquaintance/ANYONE ELSE up to right now? Send one of the kids with her. That’s why you had them in the first place, right? To do the stuff you no longer want to do. That reminds me, Tater needs to go mow the yard. Come up with whatever excuse you can because this is going to be one of the most miserable experiences of your life. And you might end up like this guy.
Ok, that didn’t work. (Did you try acting like you didn’t hear her?) Tip 2 – Don’t help, it will only make the trip last longer. This is a rookie mistake but we’ve all made it. She says she needs some red fabric for (insert weird pattern vocabulary word here. Bodice? Just say the top of the shirt) so you grab the first red you see, tell her it’s the prettiest one they have and start heading for the check-out. If it were only that easy. She said red, that one is more crimson. She needs rayon, you’ve picked interlock (more vocab – is it sad that I know these are fabric terms? Just don’t ask me to point out which is which in the actual fabric store). The list goes on and on. My go to move in this situation is walk over to the cutting table and get a number. This can be a double positive. It gets me out of trying to figure out the difference between teal and aqua and it puts her on the clock. “Honey! There’s only two more people before it’s your turn. Pick one.” Of course, it could also backfire on you if she knows you’re number 83 and they just called 47.
For some reason she still wants your help. Tip 3 – Get a specific list of items that you can get. It could speed things up if you take care of buttons, needles, threads, etc. But I must stress specific. This place has over 1,200 miles of elastic inside it but if I’m told ¾ inch, braided, white elastic, we just got that much closer to the door.
You couldn’t figure out the difference between embroidery thread and cotton quilting thread if your life depended on it. Tip 4 – Distract the kids so she can get the stuff faster. Make up some kind of scavenger hunt. “Who can find the Styrofoam?” Just make sure the game goes past the wife every so often so she can see the enjoyment on your face. That probably won’t help but her embarrassment at the amount of noise her kids are making may speed her up. Best case scenario, the manager asks you to leave.
You couldn’t figure out the thread reference above and you don’t have kids. Tip 5 – Start gambling. If you think about it, fabric stores and casinos are very similar. Neither have clocks on the walls because they don’t want you thinking about how long you’ve been there. So I say make some new friends with all the other guys who are waiting for their wives at the cutting table and start laying bets on everything. Whose wife gets back first? Who’s buying the most yards of fabric? The action doesn’t stop at the cutting table. Head for the registers and start betting on who spends the most. You hit a lucky streak and this trip could pay for itself.