Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Collage of Shame

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to tidy up my workroom. (Translation: my cutting out/work table, which is a conference table from IKEA and therefore large, had a usable area of approximately 6" square.)

In the process of putting stuff away, I found a length of fabric which I'd sort of forgotten I'd got. And then another. And another. So I hit upon the idea of photographing all my fabrics, printing off the result, and pinning it somewhere prominent so that when I'm tempted to buy more fabric I'll remember just how much I've already got.

How could this possibly not work (answers on a postcard please)? But in an attempt to increase the chances of success, I'm posting the evidence here. That way if I do buy any more fabric, I've got a whole lot of explaining to do.


I should explain that the photographs were just quick snaps taken as a record, so don't accurately reflect colour, are not always entirely in focus, and aren't to any consistent scale. But let's take a look at what we've got, shall we?

In no particular order:

This is a vintage fabric; 1920s, French. It's cotton, quite stiff, very narrow, and printed slightly off-grain. I've had it a while and am not sure what to do with it. Probably I'll use it for something very simple, from the period when it was made, and padded out with a matching plain cotton.

This is a modern synthetic fabric, but it always makes me think of eighteenth century wallpaper! It's destined for Butterick 6018, but I've not decided which version yet.

This is actually a georgette, and will need some sort of underlining. Ignore the shadow at the bottom. I'm thinking floaty, bias-cut, possibly 1930s?

The first of a great many dress-weight cottons. No idea yet.

This is going to become Vogue 2903 . . .

. . . this view.

This is a really fine cotton, so fine that it will need underlining. I'm planning a self-drafted 1950s dress from this, but first I've got to stop the colour from running!

Another print which simply begs to be made into a 1950s dress. And I have just the pattern, Butterick 6877.

Pale green with white spots. No idea.

More 1950s-inspired. It's actually a pale blue background, it got a bit washed-out in the photograph.
I haven't decided yet what to make from it yet, it's quite crisp.

Separates! I very rarely make separates, but found this lovely warm brown viscose in Venice (ooh, get me!), and bought enough to make a skirt. The top fabric is a printed silk, which was being sold off in a shop in Goldhawk Road for a mere £5 a metre. At that price it seemed rude not to buy some.

More dress-weight cotton. So 1970s that it can only be used for one thing.

Yes, it could be time to break out this.

If you wait long enough, you will find the perfect fabric eventually. I've had this Maudella pattern for several years now. Some pieces are cut on the bias, the rest on the straight grain, so it really needs a fabric which will show this off to effect.

On my most recent trip to Goldhawk Road last December, I found this. Matching the stripes down the centre front will be a challenge!

This incredibly complex print came from Fabrix in Lancaster.

I'm going to use it for Style 2170; a pattern which I've had for so long that it might, just, qualify for the Vintage Pledge!

This fabric is more green than the image suggests, and quite a thick cotton. I'm thinking 1960s boxy.

I've posted about this before, but not made it up yet. It's going to be Vogue 8875 (and it should look a lot more pink).

I want to make this remnant into Butterick 5707, but there's not quite enough, so I'm going to have to get creative somehow.

There's also not enough of this sightly bizarre viscose bird print remnant to make up the full-skirted version of New Look 6094, so I'm planning to include some contrast sections.

The only thing I've decided about this 1950s style print from John Lewis is that I'll use it for a dress with buttons, because I've got some vintage buttons in the same green.

I've had this fabric since, ahem, 1993. Yes, it's been in my stash for 23 years! The problem is, it's fallen victim to Special Fabric Syndrome - where you end up saving fabric for something really fabulous, but nothing is quite fabulous enough, so it never gets used.

This red/green shot silky fabric was really hard to photograph, but you get the idea. I'm going to use it for Vogue 9126, because I think that the gathering will really accentuate the shot effect.

This is another remnant, and quite a small one. However there should be just enough for the centre panels of New Look 6209.

This small flowery print will probably become another CC41 dress.

This was originally intended for Vogue 8850, but now I'm not so sure.

Finally, another remake. I really want to make Vogue 9546 again, this time in two different fabrics. I'd been eyeing the red and green print in my local fabric shop for some time, but couldn't think what I could make from it. Yes, this is occasionally enough to stop me! Then I found the plain red below, which was a perfect match, and it all became clear.

So that's the stash, in all its embarrassing glory. I don't expect to make up all of it, or even most of it, but at least now that I've put it all out there, I've got an incentive to get some of it made. Certainly I'm not short of ideas for this year's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge!


  1. I love all the 50s style ones but I also really want you to break out the 1993 fabric for Vintage Pledge this year. It deserves a chance to shine!

    1. It's a soft cotton, 3m long and 140cm wide. Any suggestions of what to make from it gratefully received, as after 20+ years I'm paralyzed by indecision!