Tuesday, 22 December 2009

this crazy behaviour has got to stop!

Having recently returned from New York with enough winter fabrics to keep me busy for many months (or years!), what have I now done? Yes, I’ve just taken delivery of more fabrics! And some of them are definitely also ‘wintery’ and, at a distance, do look quite similar to fabric that I already have.
Any non-sewers must, of course, be seriously questioning my sanity but I am hoping that all my sewing friends out there will understand how this might have come about. I subscribe to a U.K. based fabric club, called Chrysalis Fabrics. I’m sure you’re familiar with the kind of thing – I pay an annual subscription for which four times a year I get fabric samples that I can order from. Having returned from New York my December samples were waiting for me and, although I tried very hard indeed to resist, it was just no good. Diana, who runs Chrysalis, has a very good eye for picking lovely fabrics. Let me show you what I just had to have

Left side from top to bottom: Golden Wheat pure wool with feint herringbone pattern. Mahogany 98% wool, 2% elastane. Marl grey 90% wool, 10% cashmere. Slate Grey, Burberry pure wool with a very tiny check.
Right hand side: Dove grey/black/ivory 92% polyester, 2% spandex. Lime/magenta/ivory/black viscose. Absinthe silk with slight crinkle finish

This is how I’m justifying the new purchases. Firstly, the winter fabrics, on the left hand side, can be categorized as ‘good quality basics’ – a must for any stash. Secondly, the right hand row of fabrics could definitely be utilized for spring/summer – for which I really must be prepared! Thirdly, well, I just love them.

It appears that since I took up sewing about a year ago, after not having sewn for a long, long time, I have built up quite a stash of both fabrics and patterns. When I last sewed regularly, in my teens and early twenties, I seem to remember that I did it differently. In those days I would go to a store, buy a pattern and, at the same time, buy the fabric and notions then I would make the garment. Only when that was done would I go and buy another pattern and more fabric. Is there anyone out there who works this way? It seems like a rational and organized way of doing things but, somehow, I find that very difficult to do. I like having fabric, looking at it, touching it and thinking about all its possibilities.

However, before Mr Fabulous notices that our home is turning into a branch of a fabric warehouse, I think one of my New Year’s resolutions has to be to either stop buying so much fabric or to sew faster.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the great pleasures of good food and spending time with loved ones. Season’s Greetings to You All.


  1. I think that's the way that we all started sewing but as fabric shops became less available and the internet bought so many fabric opportunities...I've definitely accumulated more. However, I must say that I've always dreamed of owning a closet of fabric (since I first started sewing) where I could go and pick out a piece and just sew! You are amongst friends with a wonderful fabric collection...and you are going to have to learn to organize better (as in hide) so that Mr. Fabulous doesn't notice what you own! :)

    Happy Holidays to you and yours, too!

  2. The Christmas/Year End sales have been amazing!! How could I NOT buy beautiful fabric at ridiculous prices. My hubby is starting to look askance at me when another big box arrives, though.

  3. Carolyn is so funny with her comment about being better organized (hiding). I've had to organize in such a way as well. I have fabric underneath our bed, in boxes in the garage and in my sewing cabinet. I used to sew where I picked out the pattern, fabric and notions and sewed it. But now I have a stash. It's nice having a stash because you can sew when inspiration hits; and if you go to the store, you don't run the risk of them not having exactly what you need for what you want to make. But I have found myself with too much, and I have nowhere else to store my it; so I am trying to use up what I can. I love your fabric choices. They are fabulous. And you sew amazingly for somewhere who just started this past year.

  4. Yes! That's how it used to be as a kid. My mom would take us to the fabric store; we'd look through the pattern books to choose a dress; then wander around the bolts of fabric; and finally go to a wall of notions picking the correct zipper, elastic, snaps, buttons, etc.

    That would be impossible now. I live in London, which I suppose is as good as shopping gets in England. But even here I cannot think of a one stop fabric shop. MacCulloch and Wallace is way too expensive. John Lewis Oxford Street has plenty of haberdashery, but not much fabric to select from. In the end, the only way to succeed, is to build up the bits and pieces separately.

    The problem is, I ended up buying pieces of fabric that are a bit bigger than I will actually need because I am hedging my bets. So, I end up with a lot of large scraps that aren't much good for anything. What a waste.

  5. It is so nice to have a decent stash. Your fabrics are beautiful.

  6. I'm also returning to sewing fashions after twenty years away only in-between, I continued to accumulate fabric so I have a substantial stash including patterns.

    What has helped me is to set space limits. I have about 16 feet of closet space designated for fabric. When that is full, my agreement with myself is to either give away, sell, or sew some. I've done numerous purges over that non-sewing time as well and mostly that helps.

    Right now, that area is STUFFED. I've drifted onto the floor in front of the shelf BUT... it's still all inside the same closet in my studio - LOL - so I'm pleased with some restraint and ready to sew. I'm working on a SWAP starting December 26th that should help.

    - Myrna

  7. Let me start by saying I love the fabric you bought.
    I used to buy just a few pieces of fabric and first finished them before I even started thinking about buying new stuff. I had never heard of a stash. Reading sewing-blogs changed that.
    Nowadays...well...let's say things are a bit different. I'm still not buying great amounts of fabric but the reason why I buy has changed a bit. I'm not buying because I need new clothes but because I need new fabric. Notice the difference? Buying through the internet has only made it worse. Receiving the package..oohh..it's almost like a present. You know what's in there but nothing can prepare you for the happy feeling you get when you open it.
    I'm glad to say I can also go to a wonderful fabricstore which is situated close to my home. (If that shop ever closes down, I'm afraid I will only have internetshopping left). Sometimes I go there just to feel better when I'm down, or as a treat. I guess it won't be long before I will attend a meeting, saying: Hello, my name is Lilian and I'm a fabricaholic ;)

    Enjoy making plans with your new fabric!

  8. Beautiful fabrics! I definitely have a stash of patterns and fabric... I need to make a similar new year's resolution as well. :) Happy Holidays!

  9. What fun and a wonderful way to start the New Year!

  10. My New Year Resolution is no more fabric. I do sew regularly but the stash must slow down. I am getting better but it can become mind numbing........good luck...beautiful fabric is addictive.

  11. Love the stash comments...welcome to the club. I'm afraid it only gets worse....or better depending upon your perspective!

  12. You bought some lovely fabrics. If you want to appease your guilt may I suggest dividing it up between what you can reasonably achieve this season, trans-seasonal stuff and what should be stored for next winter. Then put your credit card away.

  13. Love them all, but especially like the floral and gold fabrics.

    It would have been a crime to pass up buying a Burberry wool. So justifiable, and in fact, necessary, I'd say...

    Merry Christmas to you as well!

  14. Our sewing experience sounds so similar!! Like you, I did some sewing when I was younger. I began making garments in earnest in June. I just can't stop! I have created quite a stash of fabric now. Each time I think I am going to stop, another great sale comes along! I am having so much fun sewing, though. I think that is part of it, the fun of getting the fabric and figuring out what to do with it. Now if I just had more time!

  15. I love your fabric and understand you.You must be prepared for spring/summer. LOL
    Enjoy and " learn to organize better".LOL
    We are all the same. :)

  16. Happy Holidays to you too.
    I've been addicted to fabrics for more than 30 years now and I must say that I am still looking for a cure without finding any.
    My patterns collection is developing every month all the more so that I am a very slow dressmaker.
    I love browsing over my stash and BWOF sometimes the meandering become a real garment sometimes it doesn't but who cares but my banker.
    Anyway it does no harm.


  17. you are going to have to learn to organize better (as in hide) so that Mr. Fabulous doesn't notice what you own! :)

    Work from home India


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