Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stash Augmentation

We were kid free this weekend. One at church camp, the other at the "rivah" house, as they say around here, of a friend. DH suggested a road trip to some of the small towns on Virginia’s Northern Neck, a peninsula nestled between the Potomac and the Rappahannock Rivers and spilling into the Chesapeake Bay. We drove up to the town of Tappahannock, which is on the Rappahannock River. I love saying those names! We had a nice lunch and wandered through several antique stores. I found a couple of sewing related items in one of the stores. A 1965 McCalls pattern for a interesting top. It has a U shaped yoke that extends into cap sleeves.The pattern description reads "Blouse with a bias front yoke and front draped neckline, is lightly fitted by a French dart in front and vertical back darts, has a center back zipper." For $1.00 I couldn’t pass it up. I also bought a copy of Singer Sewing Skills reference book published in 1955.
It has instructions and lesson plans designed to familiarize the reader with the sewing machine and all the attachments. Though the book was published several years before I was born, the machine pictured in it looked just the like black Singer sewing machine I was allowed to use as a kid. All metal parts and indestructable. I recognized all the attachments: tucker, edgesticher, multi-slotted binder, narrow hemmer (now called a rolled hem foot, adjustable hemmer, and ruffler. There were even lessons in bobbin work and free motion sewing. The book was $5.00. Trolling around I came across the same book offered for $30.00, but it included precut fabric pieces that supposedly went with the actual lessons. Etsy Listing . The other book I purchased was a 1959 version of The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction. I haven’t had a chance to take a good look at it yet, but there was a section on tailoring a coat that caught my eye.

We also visited George Washington’s birthplace, a beautiful location on a creek with a view of the bay. After reading all the plaques and watching a movie, I realized the first president of the USA came from a very wealthy, well to do family, he married a wealthy woman and a large part of his career, before becoming president, was in the military. Very similar to one of the current presidential candidates. And this is where my comments on politics stop. Just an observation, nothing implied.

On Sunday while DH was on his weekly visit with his mom, taking care of her finances, prescriptions, and shopping needs, etc. I headed out to run errands. We have two Hancock Fabric stores in this town. One is being remodeled, and a big mess according to a friend. After debating about it for three weeks, I had decided to return to the store and if it was still available, allow myself to buy an oriental print, silk burnout fabric I had seen and absolutely loved. Loved except for the price of $32.00/yard. Some stores carry quality silk worth that price, Hancock's does not. I was hoping it would still be available and on sale. There was no sale sign posted over the silk, but when the bolt was scanned, the price per yard that came back from the corporate computer was discounted to $13.32. Still no bargain, but a price I could work with. Many other fabrics were on sale at 50%. Simplicity patterns were $1.00. Long story short, I did some serious stash augmentation. For each piece of fabric I bought, I had a specific pattern or garment in mind. Then on the way home I stopped at Walmart to see if I could find more of a specific denim I had purchased at another Wal-Mart in another state. It was a medium weight, gray cotton denim with lycra. Last winter I tried to find a nice pair of gray RTW jeans, but had no luck. Though I don’t usually sew jeans, when I saw this denim it was the right weight and color and price. I couldn’t pass it up. This store had the same fabric, again a small amount of yardage left on the bolt. Between the two pieces I now have enough to make a pair of jeans. Sometimes Walmart has some really weird fabric on their sale table. There was this dark red, sueded fabric with a black knit backing. It was soft, but not stretchy. On a whim, I asked the clerk if I could have a little of her bottled water. I put a couple drops in the palm of my hand and dropped it on the fabric. The water rolled right off the fabric and onto the table, every drop, none soaked in. My current raincoat is 15 years old and desperately needs to be replaced. The stores are full of cute trench style coats, but most aren’t waterproof, or even water-resistant. It has to be raining for me to wear a trench coat. I am not enough of a fashionista to wear one just for the style. I bought 5 yard of this 60" wide stuff, at $1.00/yd, to make a raincoat.
The guilt hit over the fabric purchases hit when I got home. I don’t need any more fabric, no matter how much of a bargain it is. With a large house and good cash flow, space and $ aren’t limitations. My limitation is sewing time, but it is in the future, not the present. I have yet to find a fool proof way to summon the willpower/motivation not to buy fabric. Stash augmentation - sounds like staff augmentation. But staff augmentation is when you add extra workers to meet an increased workload or demand. Stash augmentation is when you buy more fabric for your stash and add to your future workload. Maybe if I wrote this on a card and carried it around in my wallet………

In the mean time, I am finishing up a BWOF jacket and starting on another MRS stylebook jacket.


  1. You are going to love the Bishop book! I have two in my collection and when I really need to "know" something...I head there! So that was a fantastic buy!

    As for the fabric accumulation, I have no magic words...I am in the same situation and keep telling myself that I don't need more and then find the "perfect" piece that does not reside amongst my very large collection! Now how can that be? So I understand what you are saying...TOTALLY!

  2. Stash augmentation = future work load...What a Gem of a statement.
    Sounds like you got some great stuff, but I understand completely both your guilt over having added to the future workload AND the inability to stop wanting to collect fabric.