Friday, June 5, 2009

A confession

I'm not exactly sure how to say this, but here goes: I don't like fabric.
That sounds so contradictory, offensive and final, but there are a few exceptions.
I wear clothes, and I enjoy them for their unique, individual fabrics. I love dark indigo denim, Japanese brocades, soft cotton t-shirts, velvet trousers, my gabardine winter coat.
But here's the thing - you will never catch me sewing things up in fabric. Je deteste this activity.
I do not have a fabric stash, I do not make or buy sewing patterns, I don't have a rotary cutter... are you getting the idea?

I hate the fray factor, the pinning, the fraying again, the flimsy or bulky bits, the huge amount needed to cover bodies, the chalk, the giant paper patterns, did I mention the fraying?
Leather is great for me as there is no fraying, I can glue the pieces together so that they stay put during sewing, my patterns are smallish and on stiff card, it feels much more substantial and specific. I'm sure that there are fabrics out there which would give me more of this, but I don't care. I know what I like, what I'm good at, and I'm sticking to it.

Imagine my horror when Uncle Bill requests his slippers to be made IN FABRIC.
I tried talking him around to leather, but no, the man wants fabric. Who am I to censor his wants?

If I managed to convey how I dislike making clothing from fabric, then it pales in comparison to making shoes from fabric. I remember at TAFE we had to do a fabric-covered shoe project, like a court shoe, or pumps for those of you in the US (I really hate that word, it gives me the creepy shivers like 'panties' or when adults who are not yet nannas or grandpas say that they are going to 'pop over', or 'pop it down here'. See I even had to type the 2nd p word extra small to give it less volume, ugh! That's a whole other topic...)

Anyways the fabric-covered shoe project had me swearing like a sailor, it sucked and I haven't changed my opinion. I decided to make Bill's slippers out of manly corduroy with velvet lining. I had to quilt some cotton batting onto both layers to pad it out and give it some body. I had to overlock the edges together to keep them tidy, so that I could bind them with grosgrain ribbon. Too many procedures folks, the fabric is getting all handled and less virtuous, and you can't clean it like leather. And I'm not even up to the lasting where all the serious glue comes out.

Cutting the damn lining on the bias, because fabric doesn't stretch and compress like leather.

Figuring out how to thread the freaking overlocker, and feeling like I was reading a Tokyo subway map.

Aforementioned Tokyo subway map.

Overlocking, overhandling I say.
I hope that you don't think that I'm an intolerant wench, I really am quite OK. In fact some of you may benefit from my lack of stash, in that whenever I get fabric I tend to pass it on. I do have a few lovely bits of cloth that I am loathe to define in anyway by taking the scissors to them, perhaps I just have a limited imagination?

Listening to: Average White Band - Pick up the Pieces
They are Scottish, seriously white except for their drummer, and very very sampled. Check out the kilted guitar player! He moves his sporran in mysterious ways...

No comments: