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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > Fear of cutting ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Fear of cutting
what's holding you back?
Georgene
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Georgene
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Date: 1/3/03 4:08 PM

OK I confess, I have a piece of copper chinese brocade that I bought in high school at a rummage sale.  Then when I went off to college I bought a piece of upholstery velvet that was the perfect color copper to go with it.  It's still there, waiting for the perfect item.  Will it go to the lucky person to goes to the estate sale after I die?  Or can I finally have the courage to do something with it?  Anyone develop a way to overcome this not so rare affliction?  I'd be interested to know.

P.S.  This isn't the only antique item in the stash.

Teri
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Teri
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ID USA
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Date: 1/3/03 6:42 PM

I don't know what to say, I have at least 2 pieces of beautiful handwoven in my stash I can't seem to work up the nerve to use!  Help!!!!!

Gloria Allender

Gloria Allender
Intermediate
MO USA
Member since 3/14/02
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Date: 1/3/03 7:08 PM

Georgene, I have a beautiful piece of silk from Taiwan that I received when I was in 7th grade. I am still waiting for the perfect pattern to come along.  ???

------
Gloria - "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed." Booker T. Washington

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/3/03 7:35 PM

Hmm, if you keep the fabric long enough you are are going to have to get it restored before you can use it!  Call us the museum curator!  

While I certainly do hesitate sometimes, I have not had too much difficulty in cutting into my fabrics.  I take a while visualizing some of the possibilities of what I could make with the fabric.  But if it is a fabric that I like, I want to actually be able to use it or show it to other people.  And unless you show it to other sewers, others will appreciate it much more if it is sewn into something, like an outfit.    ;)

I definitely belong to the fabriholic group (I'm only a patternaholic edge member).  I am trying to be good about not getting carried away.  But it does serve to remind me that there is a lot of beautiful fabric out there, and that if I don't like how this effort comes out, the next one might be better, and will be with some other great fabric.  

In fact, I think the way to get over this might be to get some sample or swatches of really nice fabric.  Get the sample pack from Thai Fabrics.  Have DeCarlo put you on his swatch list.  Even Fashion Fabrics have some nice swatches.  Get Michael's swatches and Timmel's (I don't have either of those, but they sound great from what people have said).  If you want to get really wild, there are those fabric "books" that I have seen links to; if I can find it I will add the link.  Anyway, with all of those swatches of nice, available fabric you should be able to convince yourself that you can buy more nice fabric.  And meanwhile, you will get something lovely out of the current fabric.  

I have a long way to go in the fitting department, as well as techniques.  But even so, the clothes I have sewn with the fabric I like get compliments more than the clothes I have sewn with the mediocore fabric.  Fabric definitely makes a difference.  

So:  
Use that nice fabric, and then post pictures of it in your review of the pattern!


:)
Anne

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Nan
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Nan
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Date: 1/3/03 7:47 PM

Georgene,
I think you'll use your fabulous fabric if you have/make a special occasion to wear it!!
With all your design and fashion skills, I'm sure you've got many ideas for how to use it :D
Nan

Georgene
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Georgene
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Date: 1/3/03 8:29 PM

Maybe its too many choices?  Over the years I have thought of many things, but never actually took that step.  Just carrying it around like a totem, along with the rest of it.  These 2 fabrics in particular are more well-traveled than President Bush. Funny how I can be fearless about a lot of things and then clam up over something like this.  I like Deepika's new motto: It's just fabric!  I notice though that I am not alone in this, and I wondered what others have come up with for a motivating factor.
Maybe the 'county fair contest' in the category of oldest fabric in the stash I might be motivated to finally cut it?

Gloria Allender

Gloria Allender
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Date: 1/3/03 9:11 PM

I was thinking that the new contest would provide just the motivation I need to sew up my silk. I get lots of fabric swatches, Michael's, Nancy Erickson, Fashion Fabric Club, and on and on. I don't have a problem sewing those fabrics. There is just something really special about this particular piece. Maybe because when it was given to me at age 13 or 14 it was the most beautiful piece of fabric I had ever seen. Anyway I intend to take the plunge and make something with it this year. (That gives me another 12 months to decide.  :D )

------
Gloria - "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed." Booker T. Washington

bunz
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bunz
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VA USA
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Date: 1/3/03 10:25 PM

Georgene,

I'm not sure exactly how much you have, but one thing I do with "untouchables" is use them as appliques, for the back of a jacket  or in some way that I can later use the same pieces again if the sytle goes out of fashion, or I get a better ideal.

My 2 cents
Nina

Rhonda Noah
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Rhonda Noah
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NC USA
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Date: 1/4/03 6:14 AM

I think we have difficulty sewing up fabric that we treasure as simply fabric.  Sometimes it reminds us of our youth or family or happy occasions, or someone who is now gone.  In those cases it isn't just 'nice fabric,' but a silent testament to who we are.  

Perhaps we shouldn't try to sew up those fabrics.  Perhaps what we feel subconsciously is that we are cutting up our past or our personal history if we were to do so.  There's nothing wrong with just loving a beautiful thing as it is!

Georgene, the person who buys it at your estate sale will undoubtedly take it home and treasure it as this wonderful and beautiful thing they found.    :)

------
Life is mostly froth and bubble; two things stand in stone: Kindness in another's troubles, courage in your own.

Gigi Louis
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Date: 1/4/03 8:01 AM

What a great topic, Georgene!  I think we all suffer from this disease to some extent simply because we fall in love head-over-heels with the fabric itself.  For the last several years I have adopted that "it's only fabric attitude" and just dive in.  Good grief, I spend so much time fitting the pattern (so I told myself) that what, really, are the chances of ending up with a wadder?  Here are my fears (perhaps yours are the same! ):

1) Ending up with a wadder (unlikely)

2) Not being able to buy such a beautiful piece again (I've learned that I can find another beautiful piece any day of the week.  Where there's $$, there's fabric. )

3) Finding a more perfect pattern right after I have cut into the piece (big deal, there will another piece of fabric and another pattern!  Kind of like putting off buying a new computer because a new model will be out soon. )

My museum piece is a yard of Escada wool.  It's a flashy plaid piece in red, gold, green and black with some sparkly black threads in it.  At the time, I was going to make myself a short, straight skirt.  Fabulous with a black turtleneck, I thought.  But fear overcame me - this was the most $$ I'd spent on a piece of fabric at the time.  Oh, if only I had just made the skirt then - with 34" hips it would have looked really cute on me.  Now my bum is a little too generous to be flashing it in a colorful plaid.  I am determined at this point to just pick a pattern - I'm considering a fitted jacket with leather sleeves and collar.  I don't have enough for anything else!  My other option is to just make a shawl since I wear those a lot this time of year.

But I think Rhonda is right - it's IS perfectly okay to just own a piece of fabric whose beauty you appreciate.  I recall a discussion going on at SW about how much fabric we all generally buy.  Someone (I think it was Shannon Gifford but I could be mistaken) said  something to the tune of "X-amount for tops, x-amount for pants, (and so on) and x-amount if it's just a beautiful piece that I want to own".  That was the first time that I had considered owning a beautiful fabric just for the sake of appreciating it.  Great if you know that's where you're at.  But, if you really know you want to wear these fabrics I say make a decision and take the plunge.  My dear friend Barbara passed away just recently - all of her beautiful fabrics will likely become garage-sale victims.   Her death really reminded me that life is too short to save anything "for good".  I want to use "good" every day!

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