First, the silk pieces I bought. Most of them came from a neat store in Durham, The Scrap Exchange. This store collects random stuff of all types and then sells it for use by crafters and artists. And by random stuff, I mean RANDOM! You want a 2008 calendar from a dentist office? Sure. Old wallpaper swatchbooks? Check. Miss-matched work boots? Yup. Empty glass test tubes? Got those too. All in a large warehouse space.
But the icing on the cake? Bins full of fabric scraps, many of them about 1/4 yard, for 75 cents a piece. At first I thought they would be the usual bits of ugly synthetic home dec. But, I put my hand in the bin just for kicks, and I grabbed something that felt like silk taffeta. And then I realized there were a lot of pieces like this. Now, it could have been really good synthetic, but for 75 cents I was willing to take the gamble. Most of it was a lime/yellow color, but there were also some blue, green, and gold pieces. Some of the pieces were really odd shaped, with circles cut out of them, but I could still squeeze a bonnet or trimmings out of those. Others were large enough to make a spencer or jacket out of. When I got the fabric back home, I did a burn test, and it actually is silk!
I also bought two yards of a bright salmon silk taffeta from a discount home dec store in Richmond, U-Fab. They have a room in the back that is full of remnant pieces for $2.99 a yard.
Finally, I also picked up a bunch of cottons. Some 18th c prints from Colonial Williamburg, and also some remnants at the Scrap Exchange. My plans are regency and 18th c for these.