Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ugly Fabric?

The New Normal for me consists of staying home on weekends, cooking, sewing, preparing for the work week and maybe cleaning. Extravagant spending seems to be out these days even for those who can afford it, but for a person like me it is just careless. Luckily I can find joy in the simple things like trying new recipes and putting together a new outfit with fabric from the clearance shelf or my extensive fabric stash.

I have almost always been attracted to fabric, first for doll clothes, then clothes for me, and eventually for quilts and home decorating. (Why buy curtains when you can make exactly what you want to fit any window?) My mother was a sewer and used to drag me to fabric stores. As a little kid I found this excruciatingly boring, but when she started buying me inexpensive remnants for doll dressmaking experiments, I began to be very interested in the stuff. If I had a size 8 model I'd show you some of the masterpiece outfits I made from challenging Vogue Patterns in the 1980s, the era of Dynasty. And now that I have figured out how to fit my middle-aged shape I'm at it again. it's fun.

Recently, I've started watching Project Runway. A friend convinced me to try the show, and I wondered why I hadn't already gotten hooked by it. I'm hooked on it now, and although I never learned to sew without a pattern, I sense the need to take risks. Look at this fabric:

Hideously ugly or out-of-this world cool? I am not sure. My mother bought me this piece, about two yards, at Fabricland. (This is the North Plainfield fabric store I mention in the wedding post below, where I found the scrumptious midnight blue silk for a dressy dress.) I had to have this gaudy fabric and I think Mom was nervous and repulsed by my attraction to it. She was going to make something for me--I don't remember what--but I think couldn't bring herself to do it. Months after she passed away, I found it in with her sewing stuff. Somewhat surprised that she hadn't found a new home for it somewhere far away, I took the fabric home. Roughly forty years later, I'm still not sure if it is hideously ugly or way cool. It is sloshing around in my washing machine now to get rid of its musty smell, and after about 45 minutes in my dryer with a Bounce sheet it's going to become a skirt. Or a jumper.

If you see me walking around wearing such a garment, remember this little blogpost and see if you can decide whether it is hideous or cool. (The skirt I mean--that's the risk. I know the story's cool.)

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