Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stash Interview

I have really enjoyed reading the sew mama sew stash interviews from February. I might be a few days late, but no one can call me fat quarter short. I will now proceed to interview myself, and I will be very delighted by my own answers:

First of all, what do you usually sew?

Clothes for my son (mostly pants and shorts, but occasional jumpers), stuffed toys, clothes for myself, play matt/baby quilts, and children's clothing for Rose & Duke.
Scraps are kept in Ziplocks in an open toy trunk, on the floor of the closet.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)

When I buy for Rose & Duke appliques, I buy small quantities, maybe a yard. Very rarely do I buy less than a yard of something (unless it's from Japan and sold by the half-yard only). When I buy for Harlan I buy at least 1.5 yards, and when it's for myself, I buy 2 to 3 yards to make a shirt or skirt or even short dress.

SMS: Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
I mostly am an impulse buyer. I frequently look at my favorite online stores and buy things when I see them and fear they may run out. I also have certain fabrics that I need, and I look for those as well. I am constantly searching for prints with small fruit on them, for the tree appliques that I make with screen-printed animals standing next to them. When I am back visiting NYC, I also stock up on items in the garment district that I know I will need for sewing for my family: linen, solids, wools, velors, etc.

SMS: Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?

I just started pre-washing. I used to never pre-wash anything, because it's such a hassle. Ironing is something I find loathsome, and can not figure out how to perfect. No matter how long I go back and forth over certain fabrics, the wrinkles don't come out. Steam or no steam. Or they come out, but then they come back. It makes me crazy.
These are some of my rayon triangles, cut from all the '40s dresses I used to wear in high school and college. Once the arm pits came apart, they became quilt material. I have yet to sew the quilt. Maybe that should be my goal for 2009.

SMS: Do you iron it?

See above.

This is one of my favorites. Fans of Japanese prints will recognize it. I bought it a few years, and just bought more when I saw it available. I will probably hoard it for several years.

SMS: How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)
I have mostly cotton prints, and I sort by predominant color. I also have a stack of home dec. weight cottons, a stack of velor and cashmere/wools, and a stack of solids.

This is one of my favorite floral prints. It's from Japan, and I only have a small amount, but I plan to incorporate into a blouse somehow.

SMS: Do you have any special folding techniques?

SMS: How do you store your fabric?
It's all in a closet in my son's room. I suppose that when we buy a house I will have a better solution, but for now it beats keeping it in boxes under the bed, which is what I used to do back in Brooklyn, when closet space was a super-precious comodity. I also have some in boxes, but that's mostly scraps and ongoing projects.

I totally should have bought more than a yard of this Kokka print. I can not find more anywhere and I think it may one of the most perfect designs ever.

SMS: What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?

When you see something you like that might not last in the stores for long, buy it. Make sure you have the solids that you work with frequently, and play with different brands of solids for different purposes, to see which ones you like the best.

SMS: When do you say enough is enough?

When you run out of storage room!

This is a scrap from an

old feedsack that I cut and pinned to make into a blouse. I never sewed the blouse, and now that I've had a son and my ribcage has expanded, it will never fit me anyway. I recently noticed that some designer has reproduced this print exactly. Maybe Alexander Henry?

SMS: What are some of your favourite stash-busting projects?

Quilts are the best way to cut down on the stash. I have yet to make any adult sized quilts, but I sure will be ready when the time comes.

SMS: What’s your definition of the perfect stash?
The inside of Purl Soho.
This is an old feedsack. How can you beat cobwebs and yellow roses? What on earth should I cut into it for?

This one is blouse material. I think it is from Lecien. I bought it at Brooklyn General a couple of years ago, while shopping with Kimmy one day.


Daryl said...

I loved the interview .. you do well talking to yourself .. I am coveting that wavy pattern with the birds .. I want it ... make me something with it ...

muaaah .. come back to NYC when its warmer I miss you

Anonymous said...

I dont' know what to do about the stubborn wrinkles, either.... I loved the self-interview, maybe you should've argued with yourself a bit? Or stormed out of the interview in a huff?

Beverly said...

Very informative and fun to read.

{kimmymade} said...

I think that print was Lecien or Yuwa. Though it must have been Lecien b/c I don't think BG carried any Yuwa? I'm going to steal your idea and interview myself. And then I'm going to send you some vintage small fruit prints. Let me know what I can pick up for you in NYC in April and then deliver to you in June. Oh shit. Will you be around in June?

{kimmymade} said...

By the way, I had a really good laugh when I clicked on my name in your post. Though I won't tell you why -- click on it and see (I mean LAUGH) for yourself!

jen said...

i really enjoyed reading this - i think a person's fabric choices say a lot about them! you've got great stuff. i can just look at fabric all day. :)

mollywatson said...

I feel both envious of your fabulous stash and much less guilty about the size of my own. Thank you!

Kerry said...

Funny interviewing yourself! And a fabulous array of fabrics, I am drooling here!