HOWTO: buy material

[Above: material bought on someday in July, 2006]

Margo left a comment just recently asking me exactly how I bought fabric. I believed replying just “Like a drunken sailor on shore leave, if drunken sailors bought fabric” most likely wasn’t helpful, so I believed I would set out some rules for buying material that have served me well over the last few decades.

1. You never have sufficient fabric. If you tell yourself “I have sufficient fabric,” you jinx yourself as well as will instantly requirement more material (except now that you’ve angered the material gods, whatever will be horribly polyester as well as $15/yard). You always requirement more fabric.

2. If offered an chance to shop for fabric, take it. You never understand when you’re going to requirement more material (oh, wait — indeed you do know, as well as the response is “all the time” — keep in mind rule one: “You always requirement more fabric”?). So take advantage of every chance to shop for fabric.

3. If it is $1/yard as well as not aggressively hideous, buy three yards. If it’s $1/yard as well as acceptable, buy five yards. If it’s $1/yard and, if the material were a guy [or woman] you would agree to satisfy him [or her] for coffee (but not a dinner date) buy ten yards. any type of liking over that needs a fifteen- to twenty-yard purchase.

4. The fundamental system of material purchase is four lawns of 45″ or three of 60″ wide. any type of less than that as well as you won’t be able to get a fullish skirt out of it. If it has a big repeat (the amount of area it takes to repeat the pattern) or is a border print, or has stripes, or really, anything out of the ordinary, buy five yards. Don’t bother bring yardage for specific patterns with you: if you do buy precisely sufficient for a specific pattern, you will then cut out one piece wrong as well as when you go back out to buy more it will be all gone.

5. If you really, really, truly like it, buy it right then. otherwise it will offer out in less than 24 hours. (The corollary to this rule is that material you dislike will clot the tables as well as racks at the material store up until the location goes out of business or burns to the ground.)

6. If the material is as well costly to buy at least two yards, or is less than 40″ wide, you can still buy it, however only as an objet d’art. You will never make a garment out of it. As long as you accept this up front, you’ll be fine. (I have a one-yard piece of Matisse-print “Jazz” silk that I just pick up as well as look at every when in a while. It was $10/yard when that was astronomically costly for me.)

6a. If you routinely wear halter tops rule 6 does not apply to you. however you will be making a great deal of halter tops. (Note: conversion from non-halter-top-wearing to halter-top-wearing just to utilize up your stock is not recommended.)

7. The appropriate ratio of prints to solids in your material buying is 10:1. The rationale for this is that great prints are fleeting however solids are always available. In fact, you should never really have any type of black material in your stash. That is since keeping black material in your stock means you won’t have a reason to go to the material store when you requirement black fabric, which would contravene rule 2.

8. If you make theatrical costumes, or take part in historical reenactments, or have ever believed “Someday I am going to make the Kinsale Cloak” you may only buy velvet in 20-yard increments.

9. always make time to buy material when traveling. worldwide Economy, Schmobal Economy. They got different stuff there, anywhere “there” is. pack an additional bag, if you have to.

10. If you think, while looking at fabric, “I’d have no location to wear this, even IF I made it into anything,” close your eyes as well as envision yourself in tears of rage as well as disappointment, having been invited at the last minute [but with sufficient time to sew something] to just the perfect location to wear something made from that fabric. the most horrible thing in the world is regret: protect yourself from it by buying fabric. as well as besides, exactly how dumb will you feel when you’re freezing to death in the coming nuclear winter/ecological catastrophe, if you don’t buy five lawns of that wool now?

11. material bought on the internet doesn’t “count” against any type of self-imposed quotas (quotas which violate rules 1 as well as 2 anyway). material bought on eBay double doesn’t count.

Further thoughts: if you have little children, raise them in the belief that the material store is the very best location in the world to go, ahead of Disney as well as Chuck E. Cheese. resort to bribery if necessary. (Also teach them the “one finger rule”: they can touch ANYTHING in the store that adults are enabled to touch, if they do so with only one finger. [Check that the finger is clean!] very first infraction is a warning. second violation, they must clasp their hands on top oftheir head for the remainder of the visit.)

Know to the minute exactly how long it takes you to get to every material store in your area. This will enable you to plan quick anonymous stops between other errands.

It is much better to go to the material store without a specific material in mind. When the purchaser is ready, the true material will appear.

So Margo, I hope this assists you, however I’m afraid I cannot be held liable for the size of the stock that will come from complying with any type of of these rules. Obey at your own risk.

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