A comment about fabrics

originally published 4/10/12


in particular my stash of fabrics.  A few days ago I organized my fabrics by major color i.e. all the browns together, all the blues together, reds together, yellows etc   At the time I had been frantically hunting for dark brown fabrics suitable for summer slacks. Hunting without success, I might add.  Organizing the fabrics by color made sure that none of the desired browns were hiding out between the folds of other fabrics.  After so organizing, I ordered basic brown, black and brown fabrics mostly in pant weights. The reorg served me well for that particular fabric order.

But something else happened.  When my fabrics were organized in rainbow fashion, I was totally enamoured by their beautiful colors blending across my room. Try it with your own stash some time. It’s mesmerizing. Now that the fabrics are not in rainbow order, I’m seeing something else.  I’m seeing that I have purchased a lot of fabrics I may never use.  True, retirement changed my clothing needs.  Some of those fabrics stashed years ago when I anticipated an active corporate life, are languishing and I’m not buying more of them.

But beyond that  I’m also seeing fabrics which I bought without thinking through from purchase to actual use.  I have stacks of corduroys in wide wales that I know I won’t make into pants or jackets. I know because these fabrics have been sitting in my stash for years and I’ve never considered using them once.  I know I won’t use wide wales in pants and yet that is my primary use of corduroy fabrics, winter pants.  I’m also seeing darks colors in blouse weight fabrics.  I’m that classic pear shape.  I like my figure best when I visually balance the top and bottom halves of my figure.  One of the ways to do this is by using the lighter or brighter color on my top half in blouses or tops.  So dark blouse fabrics languish and make me wonder, what was I thinking?   Thirdly I notice stacks of “almost” my colors.  I’m pretty sure what happens with these.  Take lilac for instance.  Lilac is not my color.  Periwinkle is.  This difference?  Periwinkle has slightly more blue than red.  Lilac slightly more red than blue.  Or consider aqua-blue and aqua-green. One color has slightly more blue, the other slightly more yellow.  One is more flattering next to my face than the other.  At least for these colors, I do know why I acquire the wrong one.  The store lighting changes the color just enough that I don’t realize I’ve purchased the wrong color.  I also have this issue when buying on-line.  I have 2 cuts of daffodil yellow in my stash.  Daffodil yellow is a very intense bright color.  Through a spectrum you’d see that it has a touch of blue.  In real life you’d see it’s not the best yellow for me. It also conflicts with my personality.  I feel uncomfortable wearing this glaring yellow.  Why do I have 2 cuts?  Because I couldn’t see how bright it was in the on-line store. Why don’t I return these?  Well the B&M stores are too far away.  I never get back to them within their 30-day limit.  I’ve just ignored the fabrics purchased on-line. I feel like it’s partly my fault and besides I can always use muslin fabrics right?

Except that as I look through my fabrics, I have a lot of these fabrics which I don’t really want to wear yet don’t get rid of.  The number of fabrics I have which I want to sew with turns out to be much smaller.  Small enough that I don’t want to use those until I’m sure the pattern fits.  Which left me in a quandary about making the first “real” pair of 1010’s.  I wanted to use a good fabric. I wanted this pattern to have a real chance to be successful for me. But I didn’t want to use one of really good fabrics because the 1010 may not be a success–just yet.  I’m still concerned about where the waist sits and I’ve not fully fit the pattern so I don’t know if I can.  I love Kwik Sew patterns but I don’t use their pants patterns because a KS pattern will always have X wrinkles in the back. ALWAYS. Point is, I’m not sure yet about Christine Jonsens 1010 pants pattern and had a hard time deciding upon which fabric to use.

I think I’m formulating a new plan to purge my fabrics.  I’m asking myself, why am I housing these fabrics? And What can I do about these fabrics?