Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Gathering and Storing

I can tell the season is about to change because I've got a serious gathering thing going on. I keep trying to tell myself that I have plenty. Leave some for the other sewists...they need fabric to play with too...but it ain't working. *sigh* I'm like a fat little squirrel gathering and storing up for the hard winter months ahead...

A friend of mine called me today to tell me that her company is requiring all employees who make over a certain amount to take a 5% pay cut. She was really upset since like a lot of people she needs every dime in her salary to make it...and the thought of cutting back on something scared the bejesus out of her.

It really gave me pause. And then I realized that I gather and store fabric/patterns/thread and embellishments against the day that this could happen to me! I haven't always been able to purchase fabric and accoutrements as I pleased. For many years when my children were young and I was married, there were different priorities...so sewing whilst it played a major role in my life did not allow for stashing and/or collecting...if it came in...it quickly went out on the backs of my daughters or myself!

Then there was the time 12 years ago when my apartment caught on fire and I lost not only most of my small fabric collection but also my serger and sewing machine. A sewing machine that I had diligently saved for and then paid $10 a week for months to own...and it was gone...up in smoke sooooo quickly.

I realize that my collecting tendencies stem from these issues...but guiltily I thought this afternoon well...I could still sew if I had to lose 5% of my annual salary! Actually, I would probably turn off a few things...gladly...so that I could still buy an exquisite piece or two...but mostly I could turn out beautiful garment upon beautiful garment based upon the treasures I now posses.

And then I breathed a sigh of relief...because no matter what befalls me (as long as it's not another fire...cause there is no way the insurance adjuster is going to believe how much fabric and patterns I own!) I can still sew...and even though this doesn't help my friend...it did give me a sense that I would be okay! Crazy right?

BTW, the wool jersey that everyone raved about from fabric.com showed up at my house last night (pictured above). And all I can say, is that not one person exaggerated about how awesome this stuff is...I'm glad that being the fat little fabric squirrel that I am...I bought all three colors!

I have a quiet weekend planned...so hopefully my sewing machine and I will get reacquainted...as always...more later!

p.s. check out the Wednesday Web busters at fabric.com...the designer stretch wool suiting fabric selling for $3.99 - $5.99 per yard are the Ralph Lauren pieces!!! Yeah...I know I have a "thing" lately for fabric.com...*sigh*


  1. I got some of the wool jersey too and I love it!!! Now I just have to find something to make with it!

  2. Oh my, your story is so similiar to mine. I, too, lost my sewing machine and collection of fabrics and everything in between in a fire. I "know" that this contributes to my weekly plurges on fabrics, patterns,etc). Your friend is devasted now but given a few days, she, too will discover that she is able to fight through (a little less of this and a little more of that).

  3. Hi Carolyn, When you buy fabric for a to be determined project, how many yards do you buy as a rule?

  4. i don't think you need to justify your collection at all, if you can afford it and it makes you happy why not. of course I may be biased having just been on a mini spree with Slapdash Sewist Trena.......

  5. It's all about priorities. I'm glad you have yours straight. Sewing first, others things we can do without. :D

  6. I agree, you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about - anyway, fabric.com might go out of business without you Lol :-))

    I seriously hope you don't have another house fire - that must have been a horrendous experience, but if you ever needed proof of your 'collection', it is right here on your blog :-)

    I am sure there isn't a sewist out there who would want you to stop buying fabric just because they can't, I know if I can't, I can always buy vicariously through you and your blog!

    All that fabric is much more reliable than an investment fund any day, haha!

  7. Girlfriend, I hope fabric.com is giving you some sort of commission . . . every time you mention them, I end up going to their website and buying several yards!! I try not to "hoard" or collect things (having recently cleared out my deceased parents' possessions cured me of that), but fabric is different . . . I may not use it for a year or two (or three!), but eventually it will get made into something fabulous! And I will derive a great deal of satisfaction from creating the garment and wearing the finished product. How bad could that be??!!

  8. I understand the theory of putting fabric away for a rainy day, it's a normal reflex. Unfortunately, when my rainy days have come, I've always been caught with a stash that didn't quite fit what I needed right then. Styles had changed so the fabrics required didn't fit any more, colors didn't seem quite so fresh, prints were dated... Not to mention geographical moves with different climates, and different work cultures reflected in dress codes. Need I go on?

    Actually having saved a bit of money so I could buy what I needed in the immediate future was a lot smarter use of my resources. I don't always stick to it, but am always glad when I do. Planning for change is good :-).

  9. I really sympathise with you for having had a fire in your apartment. So devastating.

    Whenever I see a fabric I really like (and can afford) I have to buy it there and then, because a few weeks or even days later it is usually sold out and no longer available. Then I'm really kicking myself!

  10. I have the hoarding instinct too, but this year I have really been good at repressing it. It's not always easy to ignore the fabric sales, but I've run out of room in my house - I need to sew through some of my fabric before I can go all out again. So, 'til then I'll have to live vicariously through you!

  11. I understand how you feel. When this crisis started, I realized that if DH loses his job, I'll be sad that I did not accumulate more of a fabric stash while I could.

  12. What a great telling of a common practice we all share. Like you I could survive a 5% cut by sewing up the fabric I already own. Just a few days ago my sister and I talked about the "never ending" stash of fabric I possess. I'm still buying. lol

    For me sewing as afforded me some much needed resources during hard times. The fabric is beautiful. I would have bought all three colors as well.

  13. God forbid another fire, but just incase you've documented your stash well on your blog. Just helping out here....
    I think most sewists tend to be horders, the genes for these must be on the same chromosome or something. Honestly, right now, at my apartment, piled on my closed Singer are the edges of batting and backing cut from a quilt that's ready to bind. Throw that away? WHAT!?! Are you insane? I could use that for, um, well, I could use that. I'm sure, someday, right?

  14. Interesting that today on my blog I talked about "what's it all worth" from the same perspective. The province where I live in Canada - BC - has over 800 fires burning and my husband and I have been looking at our insurance to make sure that we are adequately covered in the event of. Not that I could replace a lifetime collection - that takes a lifetime - but I'd at least want to be able to re-stash because having a stash has a purpose. I've just closed my business (due to the economy) and have no income but plenty of time on my hands between now and finding a job - time to sew and the "stuff" to sew with. I'm grateful.

    - Myrna


  15. It's called saving for a rainy day--whether it's dollars or the materials we need for our soul-feeding handwork!

    I'm there--lost the job last fall, toughed it out for 8 months on decreasing part time work and savings, now distinctly unemployed and working through my precious materials reserves during the breaks between job searches.

    I am so grateful to be able to keep working with my hands during this fabulously stressful time!

  16. So, "gathering and storing" is what I'm doing. What a smart squirrel you are!

  17. Carolyn, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who loves fabric and sewing, and who is financially able, *should* be supporting the vendors so that they're still around when times are better. Think of it as a public service!

  18. Carolyn, there is nothing wrong with gather fabric for your stash. This will enable you to keep up with the fashion trend. My job had a major layoff and I was one of the ones to receive a notice. At this time, I am storing up on fabric and notions for the time I will be home between looking for a job. I wish your friend the best with her current job.

  19. We live in a culture of consumerism. Many people don't think twice about buying more than needed, so it is refreshing to see that you've thought it through and understand what are needs versus what are wants.


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