January 27, 2011

Fabric, or admitting to stash building

Every now and then, I make the resolution not to buy any new fabric until I've deminished my stash a bit. And many of my creations are from stash, so that should work well, shouldn't it...

Well, not quite. I'm just not in the habit of mentioning every fabric purchase here. Of course, there are always those projects which require not-in-stash types of fabric. Those purchases, I think, are perfectly excusable.

And then, there fabric-buying like this. Which has nothing to do with what I need for any project currently in preparation and everything with how I buy fabric.
You may have noticed frequent mention of sales and the market when I write about my fabric. And there's the reason. I really only buy at the fabric store when there's a sale on (very specific things like swimsuit lycra excluded). And then, I go for fabrics I know I love and will eventually use. Nice wools, mostly.
At the market, it's a different game. There's a lot of really nasty synthetic fabric but, if you can find those specific bolts among all the others, there are loads of nice, good quality cottons (knit and woven, printed and plain) some decent viscose/rayon and blends and in winter even some proper wool suiting and coating fabrics. Over time, I've become a master at spotting a bargain and I have my stash to proove it. To my defence, there's one big drawback about shopping for fabric at the market: when it's gone, it's gone. Many sellers buy up left-overs, so, quite often, there's just one bolt any given fabric.

Which is why I bought the pale blue/grey wool coating on the right. I don't really need a new coat and I still have black wool for one. But this funny colour might just work on me and it was only 2 euros a meter... I bought 2 meters at first. When I got home, I draped it over my shoulders and played around with it in front of the mirror. And decided this would be a great fabric for that New Look-alike coat I still secretly want. For which I would need more fabric. So, because it was still there, I bought another 2 meters.

The other fabric in this picture is a first for me. I bought it at the same stall where I get my vintage gloves, handbags and the occasional silk shirt. This time, they had hardly any clothing at all and piles of fabric. There were great 60's and 70's prints but unfortunately those were all on 60's and 70's synthetics. So I didn't buy any of those.
The blue fabric is not something I would usually go for but it's a very soft and drapey cotton/viscose blend (I think) and that old-fashioned print could be fun. It's a small piece, but it should be enough for a short-sleeved blouse.
The beige is felted wool. A classic fabric and colour for a coat. It's just enough for a simple coat and the colour should work for me if I make a design which doesn't put the fabric right next to my face.
The grey with stripes is wool too. Almost 5 meters of only about 90 cm wide. Those stripes are wide along one edge, and every new set of them is narrower, ending in a one coloured pinstripe. It is interesting but will take some time and imagination to become a piece of clothing.
These three fabrics cost me the grand total of 4 euros.

It is rather likely that all the wools will spend the summer in the stash but is that necessarily a bad thing? And they all have colour as well!


  1. Stash building seems to be a challenge for many sewists, myself included. I've got three milk carton bins full, so I'm trying to stashbust these next few months, rather than running to the amazing fabric stores that tempt me on a semi-daily basis. Having a few pieces that "wait" for the right season or garment is fine IMO. Things get carried away when you have a whole closet devoted to "waiting".

    Can't wait to see what you do with your acquisitions! That ice blue will be gorgeous with your colouring and the "New Look" coat would look stunning with your figure!

  2. Nice fabric you have there. I love its color and designs. Very nice! Fat quarter bundles

  3. How could anyone say no to those bargains?
    Embrace your stash and enjoy it... =)

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