Thursday, May 27, 2004

Just call me weak

I know I write about the guilt of fabric buying - quite often in fact. I'm ok with the fact that I buy it and I'm ok with the money spent on it. The only thing I'm not ok with is that it takes up room to store it and that my wish list for the projects I want to make exceeds my ability and time to make them. My weakness for fabric falls into three areas: 1) unusual fabric 2) bargains 3) travel fabric. When something satisfies all three, look out.

Buying fabric while traveling is part of the fun of traveling. It's a souvenir that I can really use. I wish every tourist location sold fabric then I wouldn't have a collection of enamel pins from all the places I've been. When I travel on vacation, I enjoy seeing the sites, learning history, and sometimes shopping. I don't like to just lie on a beach and I don't play golf or tennis. Too often the shopping districts one sees as a tourist cater to tourists, which means you're often prone to buying trinkets to remember your vacation by. I don't need more refrigerator magnets or floatie pens or t-shirts, but I feel compelled to buy something as if the memory of the vacation will fade without a material possession. Fabric would be ideal. Sometimes I am fortunate to find the local fabric shops and seek out a treasure to bring home. More importantly is the fact that my hubby indulges me in this area of weakness. He understands both my obsession for fabric and my need for a token.

My buying of fabric while traveling is not limited to vacations. I have had many business trips to various parts of the country and while there I'm apt to flip through the local phone directory yellow pages looking for fabric stores. What starts as curiosity often ends with a purchase. Although I'm sure that fabric in California is the same as it is in Virginia or Florida, buying it someplace else makes it different in some obsessive fabric-buying way. My last conquest was a dumpy fabric store in Mesa, Arizona. I had nothing to go on but the small yellow page add proclaiming it as the "place for all your fabric needs." The store was quite large and was stocked with lots and lots of fabric, however it was mediocre stuff at best. No unusual fabrics. No fine silk or wool. Nothing that was a must buy. Well, there were a couple fabrics. And yes, I bought them. I was disappointed at first by the humdrum prints and patterns of the crepes, rayons, knits, and cottons. I only had to look around to realize the age group the store catered to so I shouldn't have been surprised. Nevertheless, I wandered among the bolts of fabric because sometimes just smelling and feeling the stuff is enough to satisfy. I contemplated heading to the airport early but then I spotted some interesting prints. They were a stretch woven in a cotton lycra, similar in weight to the EOS cotton/lycra I purchased to make the Textile Studio skirt. My spirits brightened over a tan, black and white floral but plummeted when I saw that the fabric was flawed. Oh well. A similar print in black, red and white didn't hold the same appeal. My eyes fell onto a happy summery print. Slices of oranges on a bright green background. Quite bold amongst the other prints of floral bouquets and tiny flowers. Dare I make a Textile Studio skirt out of this? Would I wear it? I might. If not, the fabric would make a cute apron or summertime handbag. Then, lo and behold, another oddity. A black and white toile. Ok, two more Textile Studio skirts. The price was not a bargain but less than EOS so I felt the purchases were ok to make. Besides, there was plenty of room in my suitcase.

Travel fabric is one thing. I allow it. Online ordering is going to kill me. Either all this fabric I buy through the internet is going to bury me or the boxes will fall over on me and knock me out. I just had to visit EOS today, didn't I? There was a most unusual fabric there that I just had to have. It was a single cut piece, so I had to act fast or someone else was going to get the pleasure of having it in her stash instead of me.


The little photo doesn't really do it justice. It's 76%viscose/14%linen/10%nylon and the more solid looking part at the top shows what the other side looks like. I think it would look really cool in a jacket with the reverse side as accent. Of course I can't just order one fabric. The shipping is kinda high when you do that, so...

photo photo

These found their way into my basket. I've been eyeing the linen (55 linen/45 rayon) for a while now and had decided not to buy it because I thought I can always get floral linen. But I really like this and I think it would make a lovely dress. The orange knit (51%acrylic/28%rayon/21%cotton) would go well with the citrus cotton lycra I just bought in Mesa. I'm hoping the color matches. I got a yard and a half to make a little sweater jacket.

So much for a my no-buying streak of a few weeks this May. I was on a roll! But I didn't really have hope of making it to the end of the month without buying anything because my mother is visiting starting tonight and we will be going to some fabric stores. The next best thing to buying fabric while traveling is to show your traveling visitor around to your local fabric haunts and well, how can you resist a fabric if it's unusual and/or a bargain?

Travel fabric: 3 yards
EOS: 6.75

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