Gentlemen, if you would excuse us, I'd like to ask the ladies something.
Ladies, if you sew, do you suffer some sort of strange distortion of your judgment-related faculties when you walk into a fabric store? (Feel free to answer anonymously. I know this can be embarrassing.) The subject comes up because yesterday I got it into my head that I'd like a new skirt, and there is nothing left in the stash of cloth I originally bought to make quilts with, so for the first time in years I went into a fabric store. I almost, just very nearly, got right in and right out. After a quick swoop through the store, a nice print on a black background caught my eye and I picked it up and pondered and thought it would do and even started toward the checkout. But then I wobbled. And then I went around and around the store, half-deciding on this and half-deciding on that, only to choose something else, and then unchoose it. I was having a very good time at this, you understand. I considered color after color, print after print. My imagination had a heyday.
But, finally, I decided I'd spent altogether too much time on this, especially since I'm not all that particular about what I wear (ask anybody who knows me - I don't want to be an eyesore, but fashion-concerned I'm not).
To put it another way, the time and mental effort invested in picking out the raw material for what is to be an everyday, workaday skirt had reached well-nigh ridiculous levels.
So, I decided it was time to choose.
So, I had narrowed it to two fabrics.
So (ahem), finding myself suddenly unable to choose between those two, I (cough) grabbed a bolt of cloth that hadn't even been under consideration, and took it to the checkout and bought two yards of that.
Is to laugh. Is to sigh.
Not that it hurt anything. But...
I am painfully aware that this is not the first time I have spent an insane amount of time in a fabric store, only to buy something not in the top five as chosen during that insane amount of time.
In this case, I got it home and held it in front of me while I looked in the mirror, and wondered why I hadn't noticed what an odd green the background is. And how 1970s-ish it seems. And, in general, I wondered why I bought this instead of something else.
It's not bad, you understand. It'll do. My husband seems to like it, perhaps more than I do, which is just as well because he'll see it more than anybody else, once I get it made, assuming I can manage to get it made. (I'm trying to make this, more or less, but with in-seam pockets, and midi-length. It's about as complicated as I dare tackle when attempting to sew. A talented seamstress I'm not.)
But, honestly, fabric stores seem to do something to my brain. Tell me I'm not alone in this...
Notice to local seamstresses: I found out during checkout that the fabric store is closing in a week or two. There aren't any signs or notices, but the owners are moving across the state to be closer to their kids and they're taking the store's inventory with them. I don't know anywhere else within an hour's drive to buy fabric. Do you? There are lots of online options, of course, but if you delight in browsing and feeling the fabric before you buy, your days are limited around here. Fair warning.
If I might add another sewing story...
Recently I was about to get rid of an old flannel sheet, and it suddenly struck me that there was no reason I couldn't make a winter-weight slip from it. So I folded it double, plunked a full slip on top of it, cut a rough approximation of the slip's shape, making allowance for seams, and making the straps wide and the neckline a bit higher and the slip inches and inches longer, since this is for warmth, and then sewed the two pieces together. Worked like a charm. There's enough fabric left over to make a second one. Such a deal. With a bit more attention to the top, and appropriate fabric, I think I could make a sheath dress this way. The rub there is designing the neckline and straps (or sleeves), but I've got some old regular sheets I can use for trial and error and then for a pattern, if I ever decide to get ambitious in that direction. Anyway, I couldn't find winter-weight slips, and this solved that problem nicely.
Bonus Quotation of the Day… - (Don Boudreaux) Tweet… is from page 106 of the late Stanford University economic historian Nathan Rosenberg’s insightful 1992 paper “Economic Experiments,”...
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