So many of us have astonishing stashes. My favorite stash story is about a woman who’s husband just built her a sewing room . He said” I bet you have as much as $100 worth of fabric.” God bless the ignorant. And long live her stash.
So we keep fabric we haven’t used. Sometimes for quite some while. I have a 20 year old piece of black wool myself. I just felted it. I just got a felting machine this year. And I’m delighted I still have it.
So it was with equal delight I saw that Tina Rathbone had blogged on a piece of fabric she dug out that we shopped for over 10 years ago. Tina is a California lunatic who quilts brilliantly, water colors beautifully, and bird watches obsessionally.
Her discussion of how she makes a pattern work for her in her blog Pattern Abuse is brilliant. And what she came up with for her garment is gorgeous.
It couldn’t have happened if she hadn’t aged her fabric.
I think the things we love change much more slowly than the technology and abilities that come and go through the sewing world. If you love big bugs and fish, it’s unlikely (and I know this from experience) to completely go away unless you’ve had a truly unfortunate vacation experience.
The other truth is that fabric is ephemeral. You often really only see it once. Some companies reproduce the same designs over and over. But it’s not the normal practice. Often you have just one chance to buy that silly thing. I still am grieving the robots over Manhattan fabric I gave to someone. I’ve never seen it since and it was fabulous!
Of course we all cull fabric.There’s never room enough and time. And it’s a great thing to give someone a stack of new possibilities. Although I had one dear friend who would announce the fabric she was bringing over to me with the word, “Incoming!” And it was sort of like that. Fabric Explosion!
Hand dye is especially that way. It only happens once. I tell people if they’re in love they’d best just consummate the relationship because it won’t happen twice.
So age your fabric well. If you love it, you’ll still love it. Toss what you don’t. Keep what you adore. And wait for the moment where it’s right.
You’ll find Tina’s delightful process on pattern making on her blog at Artelicious.blogspot.com
You’ll find amazing fabric everywhere. But most especially, in your stash! It’s material wealth!