clockwise from top left: liberty of london, tessuti, liberty of london, leatherwise, tessuti, tessuti
my poor dad used to always lament that i could walk into a store filled with racks of things that all look the same, and somehow i'd pick out the most expensive item.
this trait didn't really end when i started paying for things myself. in fact for a time it got worse. my money - i buy what i want, right? i admit i may have spent my food money on a new sweater more often than i care to say. or, more accurately, bought the food and the sweater and overdrew my bank account. thankfully, this habit didn't carry itself too far into adulthood. at some point, i learned that for every extravagance there needs to be a sacrifice.
i don't make a lot of money. making a lot of money is not a priority in my life. but that doesn't change the fact that i have an appetite for nice things - namely clothes. this is one of the reasons i began to sew. no. this is the one reason i began to sew. my mother doesn't sew. i didn't grow up around it. my love for sewing is directly and inextricably linked to my love for beautiful clothes. garments that are often outstandingly out of my price range.
but when it comes to sewing - my habits really haven't changed. i have a weakness for expensive fabric. no lie. i have endless amounts of admiration for all the sewing bloggers that pillage their fabric from thrift stores, or swaps. whose total cost for a garment is $2 (sew weekly ladies, i'm looking at you!) and look amazing! but thats just not me! ever wonder why i don't post the total cost of my garments? because most of the time, i'm too embarrassed to say!
full disclosure: i probably spent $150 - 180 total on supplies for my red jacket. the bulk of that was the wool gabardine i used for the shell. $180 dollars is a lot of money to me. but out of those materials i got a jacket, a pair of pants, and now i'm working on a dress from the leftover lining fabric. so three items for $180 doesn't seem so bad anymore! especially three items that could retail for $180 each at a store like jcrew. true, i opted for the rayon lining over the silk, but that wool was... well... gorgeous, and do you know how hard it is to find a good red?
so how do i manage this expensive fabric habit? well for starters - i may be the one and only sewista out there that doesn't have a stash (or has a very very very small, extremely manageable one). i don't really buy fabric without a plan. and i try to be as exact as possible with my yardage. secondly, i sew slow (as we know) so i'm not really making tons of clothes. and finally, i skimp in other areas of my life. i take a savage pleasure in a low grocery bill. i have the bare minimum health insurance. i make, cook, concoct or grow what i can. i'd take low rent over new appliances (or structural soundness) any day. i don't have cable (or own a tv). because for every extravagance - there are sacrifices.
sloper update: i decided i really needed to draft sleeves. if i ever get over my disgust with this whole endeavor perhaps i'll post the results. the title for the post will probably be something like "slopers: the many headed hydra"...