Or, what to do when your stash needs to start paying rent.
What do you do when your stash is full of fabric that is ‘too pretty to use’? It’s gotten to that stage: I have piles and piles of gorgeous prints that I don’t want to cut into because I am scared of wrecking them. I deliberate for hours over what fabric to use for projects, too timid to pick the ones I’ve hoarded ‘for best’ in case I ruin them. When I went to Japan in 2008 it was fabric I bought as a souvenir rather than tea sets or kimonos – fabric I still haven’t touched. I bought these things because I want to live with them everyday, not to stuff them away in a drawer!
One solution is as old as DIY itself – use the fabric in such a way that it can be re-made at a later date. The skirt in the photo above is made of some of the hoarded Japan fabric, a Kokka print that I bought in a beautiful little fabric shop in Kichijoji. It’s a lovely cotton/linen blend of a quality that is rare in Australia, or at least horribly expensive, and when I cut into it I swear my hands were shaking! In the end I made a very simple full skirt of two rectangles sewn together and gathered to a waistband. In this way, I can unpick and re-use the rectangles if I ever get sick of the skirt or don’t fit into it anymore. Even though I love patterns with complicated seaming, they would not have done this fabric justice. I have already altered it from a shorter bubble skirt shape to a longer, slightly more wearable version!
Am I just hedging my bets? I could spend my life as a crafter making simple shapes for fear of ruining a pretty fabric. What are your tips for getting over The Fear? Are there any patterns you use to show off the fabric, rather than the stitches? Or should I just give up and hang my uncut fabric on the wall?