On the weekend, I visited with Andrea and Sara on a special stash expedition. Don't get excited; it was not a swap. Alas.
We actually got together to review Andrea's patterns against her fabrics to support her in a couple of upcoming sewing projects. Sara and I played the role of Tim Gunn, setting the sewing scene by choosing 2 garments, from A's pattern stash, to be made using 2 fabrics, also from her stash. Now she has the opportunity to simply pick-up-and-go on 2 future projects. All the fussing is done! I'd go into more detail but there was a bit of wine happening and I can't quite remember which fabrics we paired with which patterns... I do hope A writes about this on her blog, in upcoming posts!
It was a terrific process in a variety of ways: fun with sewing friends, being creative in a team, learning about new materials. While I do think of myself as an upstanding sort of girl, there was a brief moment when I seriously considered, ahem, "doing away with" Andrea and running with as many pieces as I could carry. And some built-ins and patterns. Lord, that woman's stash is amazing - well-organized, colour-coded, delightfully colourful, varied in texture, luxe, interesting, exotic! I cannot believe she's on a fabric-cleanse because she's so good at accumulating it.
Kristin's Lesson-Learned Number 1: Fuck stash dieting. I need to go on a binge!
Really though, I did learn a few other things:
- Unlike myself, some sewists use independent patterns extensively. I barely know what's out there, apparently, and, even when I'm aware, I'm not increasing my pattern inventory with the indie outliers. Now's a good time to mention that, whenever I'm with other sewists, they love to talk about the (insert latest cool) pattern. They go into all kinds of details about designers, the etymology of the company name, 5 other bloggers who've also made the garment, and the list goes on. As I can barely remember the names of my freakin' TNTs, I do occasionally feel outclassed. I sense I need to pay a bit more attention.
- Moreover, if you never sew with a particular fabric, chances are you don't know anything about it. For example, having never touched a Liberty fabric till this weekend (Tana Lawn, for those of you wondering), I had no idea of its drape and hand. It's much softer than I imagined it would be. Chiffon? I confuse that with Tulle on a regular basis. I feel, if only to improve my skills, I need to branch out into sewing with new materials. Don't get me wrong, communing with fabric is one of my strengths. But, really, I'm not getting to know enough of it!
- More can be more! Leave it to me to get cozy with two committed Stash Busters only to decide that I've gotta buy stuff.
Look, I completely understand the impulse to go on the Diet. Andrea makes the reasonable point that she simply wants to get going on using the beautiful things she owns. And I totally see where she's coming from. I, on the other hand, managed to use up 10 yards of stash fabric during the construction of my last capsule collection - and I wasn't even following a program. So I'm betting on myself not to let the stuff languish. We'll see how that goes. (Clarification: I'm only talking about fabric here, not yarn. Yarn I've got enough of.)
Of course, I'm not intending to go completely insane, though I did just purchase 2 new fabrics (one of which is a navy/pattern chiffon). All of the fabrics I've bought since Jan. 1 have been targeted: I want to know more about stretch charmeuse because I sense it's going to be my go-to shirt "woven" in the future. I bought the stretch Bengaline (from StyleArc) because the designer(s) make up most stretch woven garment samples in it. Since I intend to sew StyleArc patterns, I want to see the properties of a garment made in the "optimal" material. I got a bunch of new jersey (rayon, cotton, merino - washable!) because I love it and I use it and I'd like to work with a few different weights and drapes, over and above the "very drapey" summer-weight stuff I have much of right now. More on this to come.
Mind you, there's no free pass. I still have to find a way to keep everything neatly organized in one cupboard. Dammit. I sense a scrap cull coming. And a lot of sewing in the near future. So please stay tuned.
Today's question: Does all this talk of diet make you want to binge? Certainly I cannot be alone.