Sunday, January 03, 2016

I Love Fabric!

Someone wrote me a note and said that they would love to go fabric shopping with me because I pick such great fabrics. That I see things in fabric that they are unable to see! Honestly I think that's because I LOVE Fabric!



I know some sewists collect patterns...loads and loads of patterns...because it fuels their imaginations and takes them where they need to be to get a garment made. Other sewists are really into technique and proficiency...the how and why or technical ways are what really gives them a thrill when they are sewing. Me it's always the fabric first.  Fabric and design are what move me to sew.



There is no way that I would own the collection of fabric that I do if I didn't love it so. I hoard nothing else in my life. When I had to give away my me-mades, it hurt, but I barely felt a sting when I pulled 12 boxes of unworn shoes out of my closet and added them to the donation pile.

Now while I love fabric, I don't like sewing with ALL types of fabrics. I definitely have a list of fabrics I just don't mess with anymore and greatly admire the sewists who do. Anything chiffon ~ poly or silk ~ is not being made into a garment by me! *LOL* I don't mess with cheap and shiny ~ not worth my precious time! I like a woven silk better than a flowy/slippery/sitherly silk anyday! Just say no to peachskin! I love Jesus and my language when sewing peachskin would send me straight to hell any day! 

Straight up satin is iffy for me ~ not because it doesn't sew well ~ okay take that back it can be a pain in the tuckus to get straight pucker-free seams. But garments made from satin tend to have a cheapish look to them I'm trying to avoid. Slinky knits are the devil...they won't come near my cutting table or my sewing machine. I love velvet but I won't go near panne velvet. It's just not worth the trouble.

There are some other fabrics that must be handled with care and attention but I will use them. Gabardine is one because getting that sucker to hold a press takes a lot of patience. Velvet because you have to be gentle with it, use good techniques and take your time. Faux suede and faux leathers make amazing garments but again, take your time and use good techniques. Otherwise, as my fabric collection bears witness to, I will sew a lot of different fabric types.



I love colors and prints. I love plaids and stripes. I love twills and tweeds. I love the drapes and folds of fabric. A good hand can be orgasmic...and the possibilities each new piece brings with it...is like breathe to my creative soul. So for 2016, I will primarily be sewing from the collection. I know I've said this several times in 2015, but I'm honestly having the best time pulling treasures from the shelves. Using some pieces in ways that I hadn't thought of before...

Now of course, there will be new tenants coming to the collection. I was gifted a Visa gift card for Christmas and of course I headed over to Emmaonesock to purchase fabric with it...fabric that I'd been drooling over for days. I won another piece in a Marcy Tilton giveaway, and of course I added a piece or two to my list. However, these purchases will be few and far between in 2016. The siren song of my own collection is calling to me, asking me to use it, begging me to make beautiful garments from it, to challenge myself to think outside the box! So for 2016, I will. I really will!




...as always more later!

44 comments:

  1. Wow, that's quite a stash. And so beautifully stored.

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  2. Always love seeing your stash! And I'm going to have to use that "curator" comment to describe my own stash in the future. Also have to 100% agree that life is too short to sew with panne velvet. I'm on team slinky knit though - that is one of my favorite fabrics to sew with! The drape is lovely, and it takes my appliqué work without puckering. My only complaint is that it doesn't come in enough colors. Otherwise I totally agree with you - I love pulling from stash, it always feels like my favorite items come from stashed fabrics.

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  3. Beautiful collection! I wish I had the space to store all of my fabric like yours. I've acquired quite a bit myself and have been good this year about transforming it into garments.

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  4. You have a beautiful fabric collection and you wrote so nicely about fabric! Thank you for this post and all the others, too! It's nice to follow your sewing life. All the best for the year 2016!

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  5. I love your fabric collection. It is wonderful finding treasures in your collection. I hope you have a wonderful year sewing from your stash.

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  6. I'll never forget about 30 years ago when I was a beginning "curator of an extensive fabric collection" and showed a picture to a friend. It was a stack of about 8 or 10 fabrics. Her comment was,"Oh yeah, let's get real!" Then I had to tell her I had two closets full of my "extensive fabric collection!"

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  7. Fantastic post!!!

    I love it. I there's so many possibilities on that wall <3 I can't wait to see all that comes from it this year!

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  8. I have an extensive fabric collection also, nothing compared to yours. I am going to try to use up some of my stash in 2016. I did add some pieces at year end, some from EOS which should arrive soon!

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  9. Beautiful fabrics - what an exciting year you have ahead. Enjoy 'shopping' your stash!

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  10. Your collection is stunningly beautiful ! I'm going to remember your fabric no's & not be tempted by shiny difficult fabrics .

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  11. Love this post cause I love fabric too! I thought I was the only one that hated sewing peachskin and my sewing machine also hates it!!! Satin sewing, for me, is reserved for kids costumes and I seldom sew faux suedes and leathers but I did sew them into jackets this fall. You talk about the sensual thrill of sewing with fabrics and I'm right there with you. I can spend hours in my studio touching my fabric and dreaming of the garments they can become. I've often wondered if there was something the matter with me to have this obsession. Karen

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  12. Wonderful stash! I'm showing this to my husband, who thinks I have way too much! :)

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  13. Wonderful collection. I can't wait to see what you make as well.

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  14. I've thought about putting my stash, currently in bins which take room, on the shelving units, I have two like yours, as you do, but I worry about the fabric getting dusty. Sunlight is not a problem. I would like to see what I have, and find some fabrics I currently cannot find. At age 71, lifting those full bins of fabric is getting to be a problem.

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    1. Patsjean - in the last reorg of the sewing room, I bought shower curtains and hooks and that's what I use to keep my fabrics shielded from sunlight, regular light and dust. I couldn't handle not being able to see and touch my fabrics so the bins I had needed to go. If you have shelves like mine the shower curtain system works well!

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    2. Oh, good. I know I forget what I have by keeping fabric in bins and the bins are difficult to move and lift, and look through. I think that, in a couple of weeks, all hell is going to break loose.

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  15. My sentiments exactly! I love my stashed fabric and really want to sew it down, so maybe this is the year :-) Your collection is so nicely organized, even my husband was impressed when he happened to walk by and saw your post! LOL

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  16. You have an awesome fabric collection. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make. Happy New Year!

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  17. Just a beautifully sorted and stored fabric collection. And your comments about the fabrics you will NOT use are spot on. Lovely post.

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  18. Beautiful fabric stash! I am just getting back into sewing, so I haven't accumulated a great stash yet (though well on my way :-). But I do have quite a collection of yarns for weaving and knitting. Good thing I have a dedicated room now for my creative arts.

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you have a dedicated sewing room - it really changes and enhances the way you sew, IMHO.

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  19. I love your fabric collection, it must be great just sitting down there and being surrounded by such beautifulness (is that a word, lol?).
    When I started sewing I thought that a good sewist had to be able to sew every type of fabric and I really appreciate that you don't, makes me feel a lot better about avoiding those fabrics that torture me. Sewing should be fun not painful! I loathe sewing chiffon and satins plus anything obviously polyester, all that slippery shiny stuff.
    Have a great new year and I can't wait to see what you sew next.

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    1. Suzy I've been sewing so long that I sew what makes me happy and works in my lifestyle. I can sew welt pockets but I no longer do cause I don't want to. I can make a coat, made several along the way but haven't made one in years because my patience is too short. I agree that sewing should be fun so I sew what strikes my creative fancy and makes me happy.

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  20. Quite a stash! As I peruse I see lots of grays and reds/pinks. Are these your preferences? Just curious what types of fabrics make you click "buy".

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    1. Bunny - actually I have every color under the rainbow. My favorite color is blue and I have 2.5 shelves with blue fabric but it's on the side of the room without much lighting and doesn't photograph well. I use to click buy because of need and/or want. Now a fabric has to be unique and not something I presently have in the collection to make me purchase it.

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  21. Love how organized you keep your stash!

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  22. I love how you can see all the fabric at once. Mine is two deep so I cant see half of it and that isn't good.

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  23. What a gorgeous collection! The colors are really dreamy! I'm looking forward to seeing your 2016 fashions!!!
    Happy New Year!!

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  24. As you know, your collection inspired me to organize mine. I still need to finish. I would love to go fabric shopping with you and actually have a couple of time! It's big fun - you find things I never would. I look forward to seeing what comes out of your sewing cave this year. g

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    1. Your set up is pretty awesome because your fabric has its own room! I aspire to that! I will pay more attention this time to make sure you take home some really amazing pieces.

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  25. I loved this entertaining post, especially the part about the peachskin! Like you I'm gradually honing my taste in fabric, but it's taken me many years. I sometimes think back to my young sewing days when I would sew any fabric (including peachskin) with gay abandon and wear it with pride. I could look back and cringe, but I don't remember the puckering and missed stitches, just the joy of sewing and wearing what I wanted.

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  26. I have found that if you leave your fabric on open shelves, eventually you will find the perfect companion fabric for it in your collection. I tend to buy colors that work together and sort them by colors and top/bottoms/knits, etc. Eventually, they find the fabric they want to be with- the coordinating pieces will just jump out at you. So your stash is good. They talk to each other when you are out of the room and dream up amazing combinations.

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    1. Patricia - I love that! And you're right they are definitely making love connections when I'm not around! LOL!

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  27. Your collection is amazing. I look forward your posts. Your cozy sewing chair is a comfortable touch.

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  28. Forget Mr. Kashi, Mood, EOS, Sawyer Brook. I can just shop in Carolyn's sewing cave! :) ~Valerie

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    1. Which is interesting because they are all represented in the collection!

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  29. Oh yes, how I love fabric too! I have way too much of the stuff. And I have way too much of that chiffon and silky stuff. I get tempted by its beauty and promise of fun tops. You have your fabric choices all sorted out! Looks like fun sewing times in 2016!

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  30. Oh I sew hear you! I love it too. It's all about the fabric

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  31. Very nice, Carolyn! I've always envied your stash! Over my 40 years I have signed, I've never had a stash. The last three years have actually changed that. I believe it's because of the ladies like yourself who taught me the true meaning of walking into your room and admiring or shopping in your own stash! The rewards are right up there with hearing your first born say mama for the first time! On to more beautiful fabric in 2016!!

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    1. Now that's an interesting analogy, comparing the siren song of fabric to your child's first words! I gotta remember that one! And I always say, that to me fabric is the paint that a painter uses. A painter has loads of tubes of paint, so why can't a sewist have loads of fabric?! *smile*

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  32. Oops auto correct is the DEVIL! I meant "over my 40 years I have sewed".....

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  33. I love your stash and I too, often see things you've sewn in fabrics I've passed on that are amazing. I am glad to see that you won't waste your time on cheap fabrics. Sales are one thing, but only from the right places!

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  34. Great stash! I solved the gabardine problem by working only with silk gabardine. Much more agreeable.

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  35. I had to smile as I read this post. I can totally relate to the joy and delight your fabric stash gives you. I love mine too. However I am really going to have to work hard to be as organized as you are.

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