Saturday, 22 January 2011

Fabric Spring Cleaning

I have always had a love of fabrics and have bought remnants for years, always thinking it will come in useful one day. When I started From Rags To Bags, I thought I had quite a substantial fabric pile. In truth it was a very large cardboard box in a cupboard. It was nothing compared to the amount I have now!

With fabric piles mounting up around my work room, the other day I decided I really needed to have a sort out. In 3 years I had gone from a cardboard box in a cupboard to a large storage box of fake fur, suede, leather and other oddments, another of velvets, another of patterned fabrics, another of cotton shirts and other lining fabrics, a large basket of woolen jumpers and felt, a large box of ribbons and had recently added a three drawer cabinet full of vintage linens, men's ties and interlining and zips. Let's not forget my "work in progress" pile too. Just a bit of a fabric explosion!

The "work in progress" pile was what really prompted me to have a sort out. The pile had grown into an unruly heap and I couldn't really see the wood for the trees any more. There's nothing quite like indecision to stifle your creativity. With so much choice on offer you end up not knowing what to do next and so do nothing at all.

I ended up, getting all my fabric out and going through every single piece assessing the colour, weight of fabric and size to decide if I really liked it and had a use for it. Some pieces I have had for years and are remnants of past projects. There is tartan from a skirt I made when I was 17 and studying for a needlework qualification. Bright blue taffeta was used on a ball gown I made when I was 19 and going to my college ball. I have actually still got the skirt and the dress in the wardrobe!

Having sorted through it all, it is amazing how much I decided not to keep for various reasons. Some has been sent off to a fellow crafter who was on the look out for some more fabric, a large bag full has gone to a local charity shop for sale and other bits have gone in the rag bag which will also go to a local charity for sale to the rag dealer. Nothing has actually been wasted and it will all be recycled when way or another.

My fabric collection has reduced but will no doubt grow again in the near future. I actually came home with some more embroidered linens today from the charity shop, having just handed over the large bag of remnants to them! My "work in progress" is now more manageable, which is the main thing, with one pile for door stops and peg bags and the other for handbags. Now that I can actually see what's there, new products should be flying off the machine soon.

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