Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happiness is Using Up My Fabric

In the interest of retrenching on spending and decluttering, I'm pulling out my enormous fabric hoard and putting it to use! 

I think most sewers accumulate a hoard at one point or another.  Mine is the result of business ventures that went bust.  One year I was going to make quilted drum covers to sell at Renaissance fairs and Pagan festivals.  I bought fabric in bolts when I could find it cheap and the pattern was right.  When I let go of that idea, most of the fabric remained.  Ditto when I bought up several hundred dollars worth of brocade to make plus-size Kimonos to sell on E-bay.  Still sitting in totes in the attic.

That's a bad project habit of mine; I'm a planner.  I love to draw up intricate designs, price materials, buy materials, write out step-by-step what I'm going to do.....then it goes into a tote in the attic :-)

One project that's been sitting on the shelf is curtains.  We had very dark blue curtains that were disturbingly see-through at night when the lights were on in the house. We have a tiny house with bad lighting, so the dark curtains made it even smaller.  I've also been trying several ways to be able to keep plants without the cats either eating them or knocking them over.  So instead of waiting for money to buy fabric specifically for the project, I pulled out the bolts of quilting cotton once destined for drum covers. I made cafe' style curtains that give enough privacy, but let in plenty of light at the top.  I then hung plants from the ceiling where they could take advantage of the sun.  Between my fabric hoard and some bamboo sticks I'd bought to make a trellis (planned, priced, purchased, stuck in attic) I was able to make a major decorating change without spending an extra dime. 

The two yards of black pleather I found in a box made a rather hot and daring pencil skirt that I can't wait to wear to a party with my knee high boots.  I think I originally bought it for something punkish like the base for a skirt made of braided leather belts.  As for the brocade?  I have at least a few plans for dresses and jackets, but I may take at least some to make into a bodice for Ren-Faires.  Maybe even turn the rest into a nice luxurious quilt.  The point is that when inspired for a project, I need to look first to what I have before I decide I need to go out and buy more.


chutti said...

Thanks...I needed to hear your inspiration. We are packing up for a major move, and I had...eek!....SIX totes of fab vintage fabric and one of vintage patterns.

To many folks it may seem ridiculous to schlep this around, but I really will use it sometime later. I truly have pulled out projects and completed them 10 years down the line.

Often it's not what I was expecting (drums to curtains?) but exactly what I needed at the time. I think sometimes my projects are me being attracted to something in the future that I am not yet the person to bring into becoming. I've learned to be patient with myself about this.

Thanks for the nudge.

Notblueatall said...

Yay! I always have a box of fabric around and I just made a curtain myself a week ago! It can really change a room! Love this!

Dinaya Rose said...

The stuff you bought for kimono's. Lets talk. I so want a sewing machine. And I would love to make or have made a kimono style shirt. I have one hanging in my closet that is a size to small. Perhaps we could use that as a pattern.

If you have any of the pleather left I would be willing to (soon as I have the money) pay you to make me a skirt as well. OR we could barter for something. Let me know.

Sounds like you are begin very creative. I love that about you Jo. If I can get a sewing machine maybe we could work on some projects together?