Do you buy all the right stuff for your projects? Is your sewing virtuous and saintly? Do you obediently follow all the lists for notions, yardage and fabric type?
I used to, oh yes. When I wanted to make something, I’d go into town, spend hours browsing all the pattern books in our big department stores [remember Lewis’s in Birmingham anyone?]
I’d eventually choose one, and spend more hours browsing for the ‘right stuff’ from the packet instructions.
This is how you learn what all those fabrics are called isn’t it? If I couldn’t find the ‘right’ fabric I’d worry about guessing wrongly, and sometimes abandon the attempt until another day. Oddly, in those early forays, I rarely ventured down to the markets, preferring the elegant and tempting displays in the department stores, and the air of luxury. I was scared of the assistants in Rackhams though, that was toooo posh for this baby Fairy.
Now I just buy what I fancy, willy nilly, and have a decent stash- even if most of it is scraps and leftover bits too large to throw away.
But what about ‘the Right Stuff’? When I was the only one I knew who liked sewing, I had nothing to compare my habits with, and never even thought that my messy heaps and boxes constututed a stash. From my forays onto t’internet and a sewing forum over the last three years, I’ve realised that I do everything WRONG. I don’t care about the make of my threads, I’d never even heard of Gutermann’s [and the PRICE!!!] I buy any old machine needles from the market, cheapest possible cones of thread for the overlocker [would you argue at a squid a cone?] my machine threads are a load of tat I got free when I foolishly bought a Joy’s machine some years back [ne ver, ever again] and they just keep on going.
Interfacing? Any old iron on thanks, the cheaper the better. Zips? I’d never even heard of an invisible one until quite recently, I thought it was to do with the way you put them in [always by hand from preference, as machine insertion was never satisfactory].
Well, t’internet [and the forum] being major enablers, I stumbled onto Craftsy, and the Couture Dress course, perfectly timed as I started in on my daughter’s wedding dress. Revelation! And all those amazing notions to hunt out! Stuff I never knew I needed!
Mind you, the price of Gutermann’s still makes me go pale, the thought of pricey interfacing scares me, and having been convinced by the delights of silk organza for all sorts of uses, I still hunt out the cheapo stuff from ebay! [and save the tiniest scraps, cos you never know.]
I’ve organised quite a few meetups in Birmingham Rag Market and thereabouts, and everyone always pounces on the bargainalicious stuff…so I’m not the ONLY sinner.
What about you guys? Are you saints or sinners? Purists or bargain fiends?