Friday, February 8, 2013

How do the oddities make it into your Collections?

This piece of silk is my most prized piece of weirdness in my collection. I don't know on what occasion I would ever drape such a thing across my body, fit or not! But there is something about the color, something about the texture, that immediately caught my attention in the little silk shop on Rue d'Orsel. It is one of my favorite places for fabric.

The first time I entered, there was a roll of this pepto pink silk laying on the table. It was as if it said... "look at me, have you ever seen anything like me?" I remember thinking to myself, that is the ugliest fabric I have ever seen in my life! (pretty strong for me to be thinking 'ugly', I like most anything.

I walked over to it and found myself touching it, thinking. "What on earth would anyone make from this fabric?"

The gentleman from Pakistan, one of the shop owners, excitedly approached me and said "You like?" I didn't have the heart or the communication ability to tell him what I really thought, especially without it sounding rude.

And then, in my minds eye, I saw it, the vision of what this fabric wants to be! As I touched it, I saw a long floor length gown, with a tuxedo type collar, double breasted, bloused at the small of the back and flap pockets. A very 1940's style dressing gown.. As my mind was reeling from the vision, I was called back to reality, as the man said in broken english, "You like? You take, just for you, better sale, you take all!"

As if in a psychedelic drug induced state, I smiled and said, "How much?"  The Euro hadn't been introduced yet, so converting from francs to dollars, I have no idea how much I paid for it! After he measured it out, a whole 5.5 m he gave me an extra 20% off the sale price. So it must not have been too bad, I had money left. That was a good shopping day, I found many goodies in Montmartre that morning... Come to think of it, later that afternoon, I met the man I was to marry. (That is a completely different story! Not married any more, but great friends!) It was a good day. Maybe that is why I am unwilling to part with the fabric, it has a great story attached to it?  I am a lucky girl!

What is your favorite fabric story? What is the strangest thing you purchased that is still part of your collection? What are your plans for it? Will you do something with it? Me... I am in search of the perfect vintage pattern... and of course the buttons will have to be special, although, they could possibly be self covered fabric buttons... ah, Paris... maybe if I get some projects sewn, I can go back and peruse the shops again...

1 comment:

  1. It's so funny you should bring up this subject now, because I long held that the stories I attached to my fabrics were really important. I had fabrics that would have tenure if they were professors; that's how long I had them!

    But last weekend in a fever of organizing, I examined every fabric. And the story attached to each one was never the deciding factor for keeping it. I was surprised, actually. But if the fabric was not serving me in color and style, I removed it from my collection.

    In that pile were fabrics that brought back happy memories of trips to New York, Boston, Washington and London and visits to local sewing expos. But they had remained unsewn--because they were just not right for me, and I had been unwilling to admit that because the story had been so seductive!

    I can now see my remaining fabrics with so much greater clarity. They have compelling characteristics in common, no longer diluted by the mistake fabrics. And here's a neat thing that just occurred to me: together they are creating dynamic color and texture and style stories much more powerful than the static stories of their acquisition.


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