Making time for real clothes

I, like everyone else I know who sews regularly, have a stash. A fabric stash, that is. It’s filled with all kinds of things…free fabric I’ve been given (most of it polyester or poly-blends and in patterns that even I don’t think I would wear), bits of leftovers from costumes I’ve already made, scraps from quilts I’ve sewn, as well as random yardages of fabric I’ve seen in the store and thought “oooo…that’s pretty/interesting/absolutely hideous and therefore must be saved/only $1 a yard.” Some of the fabric jumps off the shelf screaming “I would make a wonderful skirt!” or “Wouldn’t you just love a shirt made out of me?” Certain fabrics just seem to have specific ideas about what they should be used for. Other fabric simply tugs on my coat as I pass, pleading and begging. “Take me with you, mum, please. I don’t want to go back to the work house.”

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t actually affect a David Copperfield accent and look at me with sad little puppy eyes, but I guarantee that, if fabric had eyes, it would be trying to play that card.

The point is, in addition to having stuff in my stash with specific plans attached to it I have a good amount of material just sitting around in the bins, waiting for me to figure out how to use it. I mention this because I pulled some of it out of a bin today.

I honestly don’t remember why I purchased the material I’m working with now. It’s not that I don’t like it. The color is interesting (kind of a smoky blue) and it doesn’t shed little stringy fibers or fill my machine with a cat’s worth of lint, which is always a plus. I just don’t typically purchase jerseys. I don’t have an overlock machine (though I dream of one day having a Serger…), so sewing fabric with a lot of stretch can be kind of difficult at times. Also, I’ve noticed that most of the jersey knits that I’ve seen at the store lately – both solid color and printed – seem to be kind of cheap. This one is lighter weight than I would normally pick up.

I think, ultimately, it was one of those spur-of-the-moment, $1.50/yard buys. I know I got it up in Ohio the last time I went. Their JoAnn’s had a lot of fabric that I had never seen. Anyway, getting off point.

The reason I pulled the fabric out tonight was because of Valentine’s Day, actually. For the past couple of years, my single friends and I have held our own special celebration in lieu of the typical candlelight dinner with significant others – kind of hard to have a dinner with your significant other when there is no other to speak of, after all. Friends call it “Relationships Suck Day.” I prefer the more PC term “Non-romantic Relationships Day.” This year for our celebration we’re getting dressed up and going to dinner and a movie. I suggested a trip to the batting cages, but that’s a little more difficult to do in a dress.

I don’t really have many “fancy” clothes, though. I have certain standards that I wear to work, but I wanted something special. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go out earlier this week. So, I decided to pull out my stash of patterns (yes, I have a stash of that, too…it’s actually probably bigger, in terms of items, than the fabric stash) and see what fabric I had to work with.

This is the third piece of “normal” clothing I’ve made in as many weeks. That’s pretty incredible, considering most of my time usually goes to costumes. I’ve already made a skirt out of this really cute blue and brown floral print I picked up a while back, and made a shirt for my Vagina Monologues costume last week. Though technically a costume it will definitely be something that will make an entry into the everyday wardrobe.

The dress is coming together nicely. I haven’t really had to alter the pattern much so far, which is always a plus. And the style looks like it will be nice and comfy, especially in the jersey. I’ve just got to see if I can find my slip before tomorrow night. Hmm….

Although I don’t make them often, I have to say that there’s something uniquely enjoyable about finishing an item of “regular” clothing. Something about not having to feel like you have to wait for a convention or Halloween to wear your creation (though, let’s be honest, sometimes we costumers just wander around the house wearing our new projects, don’t we?). Plus, there’s the added thrill you get when someone asks where you got your new shirt or skirt or jacket, and you can proudly tell them “I made it myself!”

Well, at least until you take off said jacket and they see all the crooked inside seams.

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