Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Confession

Today's guest question is from Cindy of Learn2SewFlorida. She would like to know more about your stash. In particular, she asked if you would tell about the oldest piece of fabric in your stash and the story behind it. I need to think about this one. But I'll add my story to the comments too. In the meantime, we're both looking forward to reading yours! :)


Zep said...

Thanks for asking the question. I actually came up with it because I had a great fabric story from years past.
When I was in High School I worked at a local fabric store thus having a huge fabric stash. I would usually buy sever different colors of the same fabric.When I was in high school taking a pattern making class I used some brown polyester gabardine fabric to make a 3 piece outfit, a jacket, vest and gaucho pants. (we wore a lot of gaucho's back in the 70's) from my fabric stash I bought a few years eariler. At the time I bought the same fabric in blue too. I held on to the blue fabric for years. About 16 years ago my Mother in law was sewing a lot. I gave her a lot of my sewing thing I had been holding for years but never used. My MIL passed away 6 years ago and my Sister in law took most of her sewing supplies. Two summers ago I asked my SIL if she had anything I could use for my business that she wasn't using. She sent me the same fabric I gave to my MIL years ago. This fabric returned to me along with other things I had given to her (buttons, ribbons). It was never used by me in the 70's or 80's or my in-laws in the 90's. Every year I try to do something for earth day. I had the idea of making the grocery bags and went to my stash, saw this blue fabric and I just knew I had to recycle this fabric to make my bags. For 30 years this fabric has been around without use. Now it has become 20 grocery bags of different shapes and sizes. Pictures of my projects here
That's my story... I can't wait to read yours.

Shannon said...

My oldest piece of fabric is 20 years old. It's a brown/cream small houndstooth wool. This fabric was to become a suit (skirt and jacket), but alas it hasn't happened yet. Someday I'll get that fabric sewn up!

I bought the wool at Shanfields, a local indy fabric store. I loved this store. They carried the most amazing fabrics - everything from gorgeous bridal fabrics and laces to wool coatings. The proprietor, Mr. Shanfield, would tend to each customer personally - he had the best eye and was super friendly to boot. The first time I went there was to purchase the fabric for a Prom dress. When I told him that the Prom dress would be my first foray into sewing he didn't even blink an eye. I loved him for that - no eye roll, no tsking, no comment about biting off more than I could chew, just great customer service. I think in some small way he helped to make me the fearless seamstress that I am. I'm rarely intimidated by a technique - I figure what's the worst that could happen?

Summerset said...

Well, let's see the oldest pieces I own are probably from the 40's or 50's. They are woolens, given to me by a former client, who is in her 80's now. The pieces were originally her aunt's pieces, but when she died the stash got distributed. The wools are from local mills, long since closed, but this aunt used to work in the woolens mills and buy up pieces at discount prices.

meredithp said...

What a fun question! I'll be interested in reading the other stories. I reviewed my inventory (yes, I have one) and decided that the oldest piece that I actually still have is a large scrap of...wait for it...tricot. Not just any tricot, but actually a pretty abstract sealife print. I originally used this to make a muslin for a dress for my maid of honor in 1975! I've kept the fabric so that I can make many undies from it. I can't imagine wearing tricot on the "outside", but I loved the resulting dress, which I kept for myself. Wish I had made my own gown from that pattern. A dress disaster story from another time. Still married to the same guy, though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Probably the oldest piece of fabric in my stash is a piece of camel colored coat weight woolen. In 1981 the Navy sent hubby to Sigonella Sicily and I followed. Us young Navy wives had a wonderful time exploring the markets - for everyday provisions and for wonderful finds to bring home. I bought lots of yarn for my Mom and fabric for myself. All but this piece has been used over the years. I remember buying this piece. Another woman in the group spotted the fabrics first and she picked the choicest of the group. I was jealous of her luck in spotting them first and certain she would never actually make anything from that lovely fabric. I took the next best for myself. After that deployment, we all scattered in different directions, so I don't know if she ever used the fabric. I had the best of intentions, and have bought at least 3 or 4 different patterns to make it up with over the years, but I've never actually cut into it. It has followed me through countless moves - with the Navy and beyond. We now live in the south where I don't need a heavy winter coat, and I don't plan to ever again live any place I would need it. I probably should find somebody to pass it on to.

Lois K

Anonymous said...

My personal stash is a little under 4 years old. I lost my stash in a fire, and since then I have been blessed to get the stash from other people that don't sew any longer, can't use it, are just awesome friends.

That said the oldest fabric is one I have from the 20s. A friend's mother bought it from JC Penney in 1928 (it had the receipt still in the fabric) and is a really awful pink/black rose/graphic art deco style in a really nasty feeling cottony-type material. I, of course, actually love this stuff. I just recently got the perfect pattern to make a shirt out of it. Her mother initially bought it to make my friend and her sister matching blouses out of it (they would have been around 3 and 7), but both of them hated it so much, that until I got it, it got moved around back and forth until I swooped in and went gaga over it. Both of them felt it deserved to be in a home that had as much taste as their mom had. I've had this maybe 3 years.

The next oldest is a 60s honeycomb knit in brown with yellow/green/red/orange flowers all over it. It is seriously 60s. This was given to me by a lady on a sewing list with a lot of other fabrics. I just used the last of that gift, and this is the last of it. She gave me things she knew I would like (and I like ugly fabrics) and included it because it seemed like something I would appreciate. Unfortunately, it's got 1.25 yds and I am too fat to do anything really good with it, so it remains until I lose weight/get the right pattern. She got it for "reasons unknown". To this day she can't tell me why she got it, but did tell me she was glad to get it gone. I have had this for 4 years, since the fabrics sent was the first fabric I had after the fire and this is all that's left.

I have some from my mom, and then some of that came from my Aunt who was a seamstress for Montgomery Wards in the 50s. I loved my Aunt (she was the one whose husband I named my son after) but she had some really terrible polyester. They type old women wear and you wince at that I have. In dark brown. I also have some corduroy from her, both circa 1950s that my mom had for 25 years and I recently got, but it hangs around because I loved her. I have had it for 2 years.

Out of the fabric I have bought *turns around since the shelves are directly behind* the oldest is...some green rayon stripe in olive and some pinstriped stretch denim. I bought the first for a 50s dress, that now won't become it, and I have no idea what I WILL use it for and the denim is going to be a 1940s jacket from the vintage Vogue line with a pencil skirt. Both are about a year old.

Fabric doesn't collect too often here. Most of what I do have is things given to me that I haven't found the perfect thing for, or fabric I have from my mom to be aprons.

Pamela D said...

I made a skirt when I was in college (1973) out of some 1920s cotton I found which had been put away in our lake house by my grandmother. It was a home decor fabric with the date printed in the selvedge. The fabric fit the sort of Biba vibe of the time, as it was black printed with bold flowers in the odd colors of a different era. I wish I had kept the skirt.

My MIL gave me some 1950s yellow Viyella (50 wool 50 cotton flannel) printed with ducklings. Out of this I sewed my infant daughter a litle blouse with matching pants copied from a French magazine; this fabric had been intended for my husband 28 years earlier. I ended up inheriting my MIL's stash. Since she was from London, this meant Liberty prints and some woolens from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle. Linton does beautiful mohair boucles and manufactures for Chanel.

I still have unused fabrics I purchased as far back as 1972, including some handwoven Harris tweed only 28" wide which I bought as piece goods in NYC. I have some Anne Klein fabric of that period too. The coat of the AK fabric was featured in Mademoiselle.

I also have quite a stash of 1930s fabrics which I found at an estate sale. These include some lovely printed cotton voiles, an usually patterned white pique and quite a few silks.

I love old fabrics and eventually get around to either using my stash or passing it on.

Unknown said...

Some of the oldest things I have were my mother's, and have been passed on. There's narrow Sari silk in an apple green, and a lavender lawn print that was meant for dresses for me she says to use for my daughter... I'm sure older pieces exist, but I can't really go look right now!