They say ‘make hay while the sun shines’, well in my case it’s ‘ignore the mess’ while the sunshines….this is my sewing room, and believe me it looks just as bad viewed from all angles…
As a result of valuable advice from Mrs C regarding sewing on rickety tables and how that can do nasty things to the internal workings of our precious machines, I beat a retreat and reinstalled machines back upstairs….and was confronted with the mess I’d left behind me. Well, of course I realised it was messy, it just became in my face again, not to be ignored at my peril….(I’ve slovenly transferred one pile to the floor & put a few patterns away. The table is now clear ….hey, tidying takes a back seat when the sun’s out)
Also sunshine eats into my computer on-line time because my G-ifi (ie my garden wifi) is non existent. And that’s hard, being outside, all of the gardening done, reading time a plenty, yet it has to be old fashioned offline books (kindle) & newspapers. I have so much blog catching up to do….but then the sun will not be here for long as well we know & I will be able to catch up again.
So, do you want to see what my latest fabric pile consists of? A few of my purchases from Abakhan the other weekend when I was in Manchester?
Ok. Apart from some flannel destined for PJ pressies for the men in my life I can reveal….
This is a length of some kind of matt poly satin festooned with polka dots and has amazing drape. It’s not overly synthetic feeling which is important as I’ve chosen it to make a summer dressing gown (mustn’t therefore feel as if it would be like wearing a bin bag if I got warm) . I had wanted to make an ‘heirloom’ gown, in fabulous floaty Liberty lawn, the type that evokes 1920s and could be seen to be worn by Lady Mary perhaps in Downton as she is getting her hair brushed….but funds have not stretched and this is a compromise. I see some red with it, the belt at least, but maybe also the collar….
Next, this cotton shouts day dress
And then there is this scoop I am truly delighted with…
It’s swimwear Lycra! Oo ooh I hear you utter. Yes, it can only be for the retro style swimsuit I’ve promised to make this year….and could have done with this weekend since a spot of sunning on the lounger has been undertaken….. I also bought some white lining for it.
So, this makes me ask the question. You know, that question that we all ask at some time. It can be rhetorical, but we ask it none the less. What comes first? Purchase of fabric or the dressmaking pattern? Does inspiration strike you in the fabric shop, or by seeing the pattern? For me, I think you can guess that it veers strongly in favour of fabric first and foremost. With the exception of knit fabrics, but that’s interesting in itself. But back to wovens for now. I am a sucker for a beautiful print. Take my peacock fabric, recently transformed into the Colette Ginger skirt. I bought it as a result of a fabric magnetism. My iron filings all converged at north and I could not get out of that shop without a length within my clutches.
Take this fabric too
Now in an inspired but exceedingly cheapskate moment I think I bought 0.8m. What possessed me? Did I think I could just make it into a simple gathered or pleated skirt? I think so. So I cut it roughly into a pleated skirt at the end of our dismal summer last year. It stayed in a basket, hungrily holding onto a set of pins that I could have usefully put into gainful employment. But then I had a thought. Why not combine it with some yellow pinstriped shirting and make it into a dress? Bodice plain, skirt stripey seaside? So that is what I’m attempting to do now. I’m using the Elisalex bodice as this will be a good ‘test bodice’ as preparation for other fabric destined to the Elisalex cause. But, still, do you see what I’m showing? That I buy fabric first and think about the outcomes much later. In this way my fabric stash, surprise surprise, tends to contain patterned fabric, and very little plain solids. I would say that I generally make specific purchases of solid coloured fabric once I have the pattern…the opposite of my usual buying behaviour.
And just to mess this up a tad, catch a glimpse of compelling inspiration from another blogger & that has me reaching for my pattern buying clicking finger. That way I end up with patterns that bear no relation to the fabric in my stash …
And then knits? It’s the other way around too. I am always planning my knit sewing from the pattern first, and largely buy solid coloured knits. (Or solids, stripes and dots if I am honest). I do have a knit stash, however, but that is because they are hard to come by locally and I buy them when I see an adorable colour or feel a swoonworthy drape. I’d say I have a high turnover of my knit fabric stash, which justifies keeping a range to hand as I expand and extend my knit sewing adventures.
So, I know it’s an old one, but what would you say you are? A pattern first buyer, or fabric junkie? And is it possible to be a fabric junkie and not to have a stash? If you can manage this one, tell us your secret!!