We are back from vacation! We had a nice, relaxing time (and found a really fabulous fabric store—I bought two lengths of wool that will probably wind up in the fall line) but I, at least, am glad to be back in the studio working again!
This morning I went to the fabric store I normally patronize. (Yes, I do go to a lot of fabric stores. I’m the chief fabric buyer around here; Melody helps sometimes, but usually it’s up to me.) I was seeking not one, not two, but three, different, matching fabrics—a lace, a chiffon and a backing fabric—and it took me a very long time to decide which three to get. I kept on finding pairs of two that matched, but somehow, the third fabric was never quite the right color. After I had spent probably fifteen or twenty minutes deliberating, I finally decided on a set and went to go pay.
Of course, the lady helping me asked the question you always hear at fabric stores: what are you making? One of the other employees overheard that I was making a doll dress. She nearly jumped at that, for, as she explained, she had a big bag full of scraps sitting in her car, and she was looking for someone in the doll clothes line of things to give them to. Would I like them? After all, I’m in the doll dress business….
I’m often a little taken aback when people offer me fabric scraps. True, it is free fabric, but it’s more pleasant to use big, brand-new lengths than to try to squeeze your pattern pieces into whatever odd shapes are left over. And I have no idea about the kind of fiber I’m getting; polyester is all very well, but it’s everywhere, and it’s usually not as nice to work with as some of the fancier stuffs.
The ‘free fabric’ argument and her enthusiasm won out over the voice of caution. I agreed. (I could always give them away to somebody else, anyway, I told myself.) She ran out to her car, and almost before I could say “Jack Robinson” she’d returned with a large paper bag marked, appropriately, “For Doll Clothes”. I took it home and was pleasantly surprised this afternoon when I started going through its glories. She fit all of this into one bag, plus some more!
As you can see, she put in lots of thread and bits of ribbon along with all the fabric (and yes, she even put in the scissors!)
Some of the pieces were quite large—about a yard or so each; it made me wonder how they qualified as scrap! A couple of them will work nicely as backdrops for future photoshoots, and others will probably find their way into dresses eventually.
She put in a lot of velvet, all in delightfully rectangular pieces. (This means I’ll likely be able to figure out a way to use them; the usual triangular, stringy shapes left over from a project are just so frustrating to use that I usually ignore them.) There’s also a fabulous piece of burnout velvet, with circles and squares, and one piece of sparkly, vinyl-y fake leather (Lisette jumped on this one and now has a burning desire to try making ice skates, as this is exactly the kind of stuff she thinks ought to be used for the boot!)
However, all other scraps aside, this fragment of printed cotton really takes the cake. I mean, seriously, knights in armor on a harlequin background? I have no idea what people used it for (a little boy’s quilt, maybe?) It made me do a double take. Not the kind of print you see every day!
Some of the fabric I just won’t use, so I’ll pass it along to somebody else. But overall I was pleasantly surprised about the variety and quality of the scraps. It was a generous and amusing gift, and it made me smile as well as offering me a little bit of inspiration and some materials to use later.
Now, to figure out where to keep them all…!