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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Small pieces

Yesterday afternoon I didn't work and Miss Scarlett and I went through my fabric boxes. I have the real yardages on shelves but four of those giant Rubbermaid boxes with just-in-case stuff a.k.a. scraps. So we made decisions and threw out my giant collection of 1/2 pieces of fabric that I have been hanging onto for years and years, along with enough fake fur to make three lion costumes (OK there was a sale and I thought one day I might want a fake fur coat - that day has  not come in the last fifteen years). 

This is what I thought I might do with those half yard pieces:

1. Line bags. I don't make bags, they do a real good job at the store. Although I have put that Marcy Tilton bag pattern in and out of my shopping cart 47 times over the last 24 hours. Which is often.

2. Make a quilt. What sort of quilt would combine dress fabrics, pants pieces, and cottons? Besides I am a quilting drop-out and would probably only get into quilting if there was a world wide ban on sewing patterns.

3. Get more creative. You know do one of those Koos outfits with all the pieces. Except these pieces don't go together, I wouldn't have quite enough, and I would go shopping again anyway.

So we threw them out, freeing up more space of course for real fabric purchases.

Know yourself.

I think I know myself fairly well but what I know and my sewing ambitions don't always connect at all. Sometimes you would think I was sewing for someone else and some else's real life.

Here are some shots my husband (who is leaving today for three weeks in the near to the Arctic Circle to a place call Deception Bay) took yesterday. This is who I really am, this is the person the clothes need to be made for:

What I need right now is a new apron, and there is that dog bum again

My husband says this is how I look most of the time, this explains why those huge heels I bought were a dumb idea and why all those ruched and wrapped dresses aren't me
Interestingly these self revelations occurred simultaneously with a BMV pattern sale. As a result I ditched some of the less compatible outfits (do you see the person pictured above in that black NYC suit with the pleather?) I think I will wait and see what other sewists do before I commit. I always act like this will be the only BMV sale of all time.


Bunny said...

I'm a quilt dropout too. I got rid of all my bits and batts when I moved a few years ago, no regrets. I think a fabric purge is necessary once a year with the question,"am I really ever going to make something with this and wear it?" You seemed to have answered that question. Now if I can just get invited somewhere so I can use up the eggplant, sequin encrusted stretch tulle.......

Karin said...

I think it is good to get organised and target the clutter, even if that clutter is fabric! My daughters pre-school LOVES fabric scraps they cut them, they glue them, they wallow around in them. It makes me feel good to know I have somewhere appreciative to off-load them.

Irene said...

It is so difficult to make the decision to get rid of all those bits and pieces of "dreams". It's also difficult to really come to grips with what one actually needs to sew, as opposed to what one wants to sew. I applaud you for having made that step, and reading about your efforts in these decisions makes me realize that I need to do the same. I would love to have a closet full of "party" dresses, and I probably have the fabrics to produce them. Reality is - where would I wear them all?

shams said...

I think there is a happy medium. I work at home and often don't leave the house for days. Using his reasoning, all I need to make is pj bottoms. But I like to make funky casual clothing. And I do wear it when I run to the grocery store, etc. Otherwise sewing would be no fun. (I don't make fancy clothing, because I have no place to wear it.) I showed my daughter a picture of a formal dress once that I really liked. I told her it was her job to create an event for me to wear it. She rolled her eyes. :)

Barbara said...

Great point Shams, I think I need to get some funky into my casual clothing. Off to your blog for inspiration.

debbie said...

When I returned to garment sewing 10 years ago I was drawn to and made the same dressier patterns which fit the job and lifestyle that I previously had, working in a bank. After a few jackets and skirts I suddenly had this revelation. Where the heck am i going to wear this? Now I admire those types of patterns but sew for the lifestyle that I have now.

With said return to garment sewing I went through boxes of fabric and found 1/2 to 1 yd. pieces that had been stored since moving in 1992. I'm still trying to figure out why I kept them, much less moved them!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I sometimes think that's why my blog is so repetitive because I sew for the life I'm living and for my greatest need which is work clothes. The few play clothes that I need can be purchased!

I skipped the Club BMV sale this time. They just had a great one for the 4th of July and I don't like anything in the new Vogue offerings. Guess I'm waiting to see what the Butterick offerings will be!