Thursday, 2 May 2013

Does Fabric Talk to You?

OK, I suspect that someone is going to call the little white men in little white coats, but fabric talks to me! 

I don’t typically buy fabric for specific projects.  I enjoy looking at fabric in shops and I do imagine what I could do with it, but I’m just as inclined to fall in love with a fabric and buy it, knowing that, when the right project approaches, the fabric will tell me.  Sometimes it’s easy, the fabric speaks to me in the shop.  This has the added advantage that if I know what I’m going to do with it, I can buy the right quantity.

The black and grey furnishing fabric fell into that category. 
From the moment I saw it in the remnant pile I knew that it would make a beautiful tailored jacket.  I heard it calling out to be something with structure, letting the subtle pattern soften the look.  I questioned the fabric – “You’re a large pattern” I said, “...and you’re only a metre and a half.  What if I couldn’t match the pattern?  Immediately a second piece slipped out of the pile.  “See, you can have plenty of fabric for pattern matching, and you know you need a black jacket, and let’s face it you’re getting a bit long in the tooth for plain black.  Let our silvery grey tones add a little you to a corporate look.”  I didn’t stand a chance!
Although it's not quite a jacket yet, it made it to the 52 projects, and I have made a start:
and even got as far as starting the pockets...

Other fabrics shout so loud that I don’t immediately understand what they are saying.  This aqua and beige print (part of my $1 haul) offered too many possibilities. 
A jump suit, a dress, a skirt; they would all have worked.  Fortunately I was browsing the Vogue Patterns web site the other day (while they were having a sale) and the fabric was peering over my shoulder when I clicked on V1353 and I felt the fabric (conveniently located in the same room) shiver in anticipation “That’s me, you know that I’d look amazing in that dress” I didn’t dare to disagree

Sometimes I sense that fabrics have something to say to me, but I’m just not getting it.  This black and gold print (one way stretch) was also in the $1 haul. 

Sitting on the shelves with the rest of the fabric it didn’t have a voice.  I separated it and hung it up in my studio where I could see it.  After a couple of weeks of silence I have resorted to draping it over my dress form. 
Still, it’s just not talking to me.  Maybe this one just doesn’t have anything to say to me.  I’m wary of discarding fabrics too quickly, as I’ve made a couple of mistakes recently...
...this ivory crepe stuff came with lining and 1.5 metres of matching lycra, but I disregarded it.  The blonde-on-blond look best suits blondes.  I just couldn’t envisage this material becoming anything that I would wear.  I even took it along to the Auckland Sewing Bloggers meet up, but while other fabrics were happily adopted, this collection was still left at the end.  Still stoically silent, it was neatly folded in my studio when I clicked on V8845

See”, she said (in a rather condescending tone) “I was never destined for cheap, quick and easy to do projects.  I am a fabric with class, and you will have to invest time and energy to doing me justice.  You know that I’d shine in that jacket and a skirt, if you have what it takes” I realised she was right.  Here she was, having wheedled her way into my stash without my consent, presenting me with the perfect challenge.  She will show every mistake that I make with this jacket; I will never be able to eat spaghetti in her, but if I can pull it off...

At no point did I even consider that the fabric and the jacket are not one of my 52 projects.  I just clicked on “Shopping Bag” and got my credit card out.
Does fabric talk to anyone else, or is this a special talent of mine?


  1. We fabric shop the same way :) And yes, the fabric talks to me too, don't worry, I think it's normal for us creatives. In the shops the bolts call out to me and as I sift though my stash at home they whisper until I find the perfect match to my pattern, hehe

  2. They sooo talk to me to!!! And when in a fabric/notion shop, I don´t know who to answer first!!