Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How deep is your stash?

I really need to know (with apologies to the BeeGees, I've just been hearing that song all evening as I've been up to my eyebrows in stash).

That wasn't the plan.  I've been working on a long cardigan from the first issue of My Image and I'm close to finished, so I decided to take a break and rummage around to see if I could find an appropriate fabric for the next piece of my 1912 wardrobe, the striped blouse pictured here. 

I didn't need to use a stripe, but I wanted to - I love that the stripes are vertical on the front and horizontal on the side.  And I think, though I'm not sure because I haven't muslined it yet, that because there's no shoulder seam and the piece curves, the stripes might actually go diagonal on the back.  How cool would that be?

But I digress. I had a nice pale gray shirting with narrow white stripes that would make an acceptable blouse, but I wasn't excited by it.  So I decided to dig around and see if I had anything better in the deep stash. 

Deep stash, you'll understand, is the stuff not on the shelves, it's the stuff so old, so obscure, out-of-style, or pretty but without purpose, that it lives in random containers in a wardrobe closet in my workroom.  For those who commented on my recent admirable fabric-rolling and questioned whether that was all my fabric, the answer would be, "no."

This, the fabric closet of doom, is all my fabric.  Except for the fabric that's in 3 vintage trunks also in the workroom, but I'm pretty sure I know what's in them.  This was the mystery fabric.

For those who have really large stashes, or old stashes (or both), you'll understand - digging through deep stash is like excavating your own past.  Every piece I pulled out was a memory, who and where I was when I acquired it.  In some cases it's a memory of my grandmom's or my aunt's stash.

And, no surprise, I found not one, but TWO fabrics that would be much more appropriate for my 1912 blouse than the shirting I had reserved.  They are pictured together here.  One is an ivory textured poly blend that feels like silk.  I know it isn't because I purchased that fabric in 1982 to make into a blouse to wear to my very first job, and I did not have a silk budget at that time.  And here it sits, nearly 30 years later, possibly being made into a very different blouse. 
The second fabric is a bit more recent, I'd say later 80s.  Real silk this time, dupioni without too much texture, a nice warm ivory with a light orange stripe.  I bought it because even though I had no idea what I'd use it for, I loved that it wasn't the usual jewel tones I saw in dupioni, and I thought it might have a purpose.

I haz a bellyache
And at last it might.  Both pieces are 2 yards long, and I believe both are either 54" or 60" wide. The 1912 pattern calls for more yardage than that, but it's also calculated for 45" wide fabrics, so I'm pretty sure I can make either one work.  I'm going to press them tomorrow and stare at them for a while to see if one of them speaks louder than the other.

Also - all you cat people out there, fingers, toes and claws crossed for my little fat man, Archie, who has to take a trip to the vet tomorrow.  It's probably something minor, except that he's 11 years old and 27 pounds, which will complicate anything else that might be going on.


gMarie said...

Oh Archie all hounds paws are crossed sending you good wishes for the vet tomorrow.

My stash is not as deep as yours but I do have some deep stash. It's good. g

T. Sedai said...

I hope Archie will be ok!

As far as the "deep stash" goes - I have had some skating costume fabrics for nearly a decade. And I have more black stretch lace than I can even remember. So, umm, I don't think it is quite as deep as your deep stash, but if I am starting to forget fabric I have, then it is getting pretty deep.

Janine said...

good luck for Archie - claws crossed
Good luck with your deep stash 1912 blouse - will you get to wear these items ?

wendy said...

Oh man - I have a single crate of 'deep stash' but it is indeed crazy to get into it.

best of luck to mr kitty!! :(

Rosie said...

I hope Archie will be fine.

Let's not go there about the stash. Mine is not nearly as deep as yours; cannot wait to see the the finished product.

meli88a said...

Stash... I've moved parts of my stash 4 times, and over state lines. I've made a point to use the icky and no longer cute fabric for muslins, but there is SO MUCH OF IT.

And good luck Archie!

badmomgoodmom said...

I have patterns and fabric dating back to the mid 1980s. In 2011, I sewed a pattern and fabric bought ca. 1985 (but for different projects).

Someone told me when I was learning to sew that great buttons was what separated home-sewn from RTW. So I started splurging on buttons. When something doesn't work out, or it is worn out, I save the buttons and give the rest to Goodwill for recycling. I'm reusing buttons I bought in the early 1980s.

Louisa said...

Deep Stash - so that's what the stuff is that's jammed into boxes in my attic! Some of it is at least 40 years old, I think. Yes, I have gone through it many times, though not recently. (Perhaps it's time to do that again.) The "good stuff" is more conveniently located in my studio where I can see it or it would be lonely and abandoned like the stuff in the attic!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Aaah, deep stash. All my stash is in the same place, but some is definitely deeper than others. In my case, it's the stuff that pre-dated my photographing new purchases and marking them with date, location, and price. I think either piece will look smashing in the blouse.

Colleen P. said...

Now THAT is one big cat! My cats Zoe and Yoda (15 and 10 pounds, respectively) give him nose dots and a friendly noggin grooming and tell me they hope he feels very much better very soon.

Sewingelle said...

Good luck for Archie.

I love deep stash. And I love that it brings back memories.

Mine sounds a lot like yours. Except all of my grandmas stuff has now one, except her buttons. (I love a good notion stash too.)

Marjie said...

27 Pounds? Archie, you are one big guy. There are many dogs in the neighborhood who are smaller than you.

I don't have stash inherited from my Grandmother. I do have plenty that's been around for a while, and a couple of silky fabrics which will be "mother of the groom" dresses some day (based solely on their color), but I have plenty of relatively recent fabric that's just piled on shelves (and the floor, and a corner, and....)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'll be keeping an eye out to see how your 1912 goes! Super cool pattern.