Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Does your fabric have a story?

Isn't this a lovely trenchcoat?!

The wonderful Kathryn, who authors the blog, I Made This, created this awesome trenchcoat from some wool crepe that she bought at Fabric Mart and felted.  Of course I had to have some of the fabric too!  I had this wonderful idea to make a 3/4 length felted jacket and a matching dress from the  unfelted wool crepe.  So I bought 8 yards of this fabric at the amazing price of $2.99 per yard.

After it arrived, it sat out waiting its turn for awhile and then it got relegated to the fabric closet...the seasons changed several times and still it sat patiently abiding.  When I changed my SWAP plan earlier this month, it came to mind because the color of the fabric is one of the flecks in the fabric of the Vogue 8623 jacket.

It will become SWAP Dress #3 - another variation of my TNT dress.  I wanted a simple style dress to go under cardigans and jackets for work...a working neutral.  That's what I'm making missing sewing mojo finally showed up Sunday at 5:00 pm!

The entire time that I've been working with the fabric, I've been reminded of its tie to Kathryn's amazing trench.  So tell me...have you used a piece of fabric that had a story or sentimental value?  Does your fabric have a story?  Talk to me people because this is the Question of the Day!


  1. Ah yes, fabric with a background story. I think we all have those.

    I have some beautiful silk laying in my closet. It was a present I received some time ago, from my brother and sister in law, who are living in Maleysia (almost as far away from us as possible, on earth that is :-)). I have been looking for a long time now for the perfect dress for it, but haven't found it yet. And I don't want to pick a pattern I am not completely smitten with, because this fabric is just too valuable, emotionally.

    Great question, I love stories about fabric!

  2. Mmmmm. I have some beautiful Italian black and white cotton pique (sp?)with a metallic thread,that I purchased from Lace Star that Peter Som featured in his 2009 collection.

    It was a better deal than full price, still spendy, and I am still looking for the perfect pattern..... I just love it.....

    Great we bond with our fabrics......!

  3. I blogged about this so let me cut and paste.

    When I was in High School(1977) I worked at a local fabric store thus having a huge fabric stash. I would usually buy sever different colors of the same fabric. I made a polyester gabardine jacket vest and gaucho's. At the time I bought the same fabric in another color. I held on to this fabric for years. About 17 years ago my Mother in law was sewing a lot. I gave her a lot of my sewing thing I had been holding for years but never used. My MIL passed away 7 years ago and my Sister in law took most of her sewing supplies. I asked my SIL if she had anything I could use for my business that she wasn't using. She sent me the same fabric I gave to my MIL years ago. This fabric returned to me along with other things I had given to her. It was never used by me or my in-laws. When I had the idea of making the grocery bags for earth day and went to my stash, saw this fabric and I just knew I had to recycle this fabric to make my bags. For 30 years this fabric has been around without use.

  4. Wow, my fabric stash has a number of pieces with background stories. When I travel to foreign countries, I like to pick up fabric as a souvenir. Sometimes it's actual cut yardage; other times, it's a tablecloth or napkin that could be fashioned into a wearable item. This weekend, I hope to cut into one of the pieces I picked up in Tanzania two years ago . . . I plan to make it into a dress (#108) out of the April Burda Style and wear it at a conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, in a couple of weeks. I will NEVER forget the fabric stalls in Tanzania . . . where (mostly) men sat in front of the stalls with their treadle sewing machines, ready to sew your fabric into whatever garment you wanted (they had to use treadle machines because there was no electricity).

  5. Yes, a lot of my fabric has a story!

  6. I do have one piece of lightwell wool blend gabardine suiting, in a tiny check whose name naturally escapes me at the moment. I have lugged this around for years-from Ithaca NY where I worked at the Jo-Ann Fabrics, to Texas where DH was stationed for 4 years, to England where we lived for 6 years and now in Dayton where we've lived for 3 years and counting, now that DH is retired from the military. I foolishly purged all my sewing supplies before we left England because there was so little room for them in our home (English homes are SMALL-a 9x10 bedroom is considered good sized). I regret that now, but I managed to hang on to this fabric.

    I do hope to make something out of it one day but it comes from a very happy time in my life. I'd divorced myself from a sociopath, had met a lovely new man who has been a lovely old husband for quite some time now, had a car of my own for the first time ever, could spend my income on what I wanted for the first time ever and I was slim and trim and didn't have to alter patterns! LOL...If I never make it up, that fabric will still remind me of that time living in NY.

    Congratulations on getting your mojo back, BTW! You've been an amazing motivator for me in getting mine back as well, and I wanted to tell you so! I haven't sewn regularly in years now and this spring I started reading sewing blogs to see if I still wanted to sew. If I didn't start, I was planning to sell my machines-I'm so glad I didn't! It brings me such joy!

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  8. Carolyn, thank you for the nod to my trenchcoat in your post. You are such a sweetheart.

    I remember when I first met you on the SewingWorld forum when you posted some photos of your garments. I remember thinking "finally I have met someone who is as passionate about sewing as I am!"

    All these years later, I'm still eating your lint in the sewing arena (you are so prolific!), and you are still a joy in my sewing life.


  9. Theresa in TucsonMarch 31, 2010 11:11 AM

    Lots of fabric in my stash have stories. My favorite was a piece of pink silk. I bought it in Denver when I visited my sister, This was way back in the '80s. I was afraid of it and kept putting off doing anything with it until just recently. It came out of the stash and got made up into a princess style slip. And I'm no longer afraid of sewing with silk. Some fabric just needs to age. Love the stories. You come up with the best questions. Guaranteed response.

  10. Oh Honey,
    All my fabric has stories and a history...depends on which husband and the country I was living in at the time. I too, like Cindy, took bags of fabric with me when I went to live in England in 1994 but returning to the US 8 years later I gave it all away to a convent of nuns who made clothing for children in Africa. I get a smile on my face every time I think of kids wearing all those lovely fabrics from my stash which filled 7 HUGE garbage bags.

  11. I only started sewing last year, but I have a few special pieces: a designer brown and cream wool from Copenhagen, an olive green wool from Stockholm, and an uh-mazing, I mean beautiful, cut of thick navy Japanese cotton with a cherry blossom print that my BFF picked up for me in Sapporo.

    I love these 3 cuts so much b/c of the stories that accompany them. And I'm terrifed to cut into them for the same reason!

  12. I love how your fabric has a story! Many of mine do, too, but they're not quite as exciting as some of the commenters or as yours. :) Can't wait to see your dress!

  13. 12+ years ago a friend brought me a length of the most gorgeous purple & gold silk ikat from Indonesia. I didn't even sew at the time, but she could see how "me" the fabric was. It's the foundation piece of my stash, and has waited a long time for me to feel I have the skill and courage to cut into it. I recently acquired an OOP designer pattern that I hope will work. Now if I can just finish up some UFOs I'll be ready to start in on a muslin...

  14. All of my fabric has a story in one way or another. I've got vintage stuff and things that have been true bargains and then there's the fabric I buy in NYC on trips with my children. It's all good!

  15. I think all my fabric has a story to tell. Some of the stories I have forgotten over the years...(now where did I buy that fabric? And why?)

  16. All my fabric has the same story - I bought it without a plan for what to make with it. Instead, I just bought what I absolutely loved and craved, knowing that someday I'd match it with a perfect pattern and make it up.

    Now I get inspired by seeing what everyone on the blogs creates, and I'm ready to cut into all that wonderful fabric.

    Cindy C.

  17. I have a lovely piece of bitter chocolate boiled wool, bought on the PR weekend in Germany. I'm not entirely sure how much I paid for it, but it was a lot of Euros! I am waiting for a pattern I love before I sew it up.


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