a history of my fabric

i had written a long explanation and thought process about how i am modifying my bust my scraps challenge to save my time and encourage my motivation to make things, but my computer decided to malfunction, and the whole post is now lost into the void of nothingness. (but actually, where do unsaved parts of the internet go? they have to be recorded somewhere, don’t they?) i’m a little frustrated, not going to lie, and i don’t particularly feel like rewriting everything.

so long story short, i have decided to give away a lot of the fabric i don’t like, and i also cleaned and organized my scraps bin by throwing away small scraps and selvedges and making my scraps more accessible. i realized that i was holding onto fabric i had no use for because of their sentimental value. the collection of fabrics i have pictured below is very old, and is mostly from my elementary school days when i was just learning to sew and knew barely anything. it’s fun to think about the memories associated with these fabrics whenever i see them, but they were taking up space and i knew my friend would have a better use for them than i would.

so here i am, recording the stories behind these fabrics, so i can look back on it someday and smile a little:

pink panda flannel! this flannel is so old. i remember walking in to the fabric store for the first time when i was eight and being overwhelmed by all the different fabrics on the wall. i had just started machine sewing back then at a summer camp, and my teacher had told me to choose fabric for pajama bottoms. little me only knew two types of fabric back then – quilting cotton and flannel – but that suited my projects just fine. i made my first big sewing project, and first pair of clothing out of these adorable pandas, and the remnants have been sitting in my closest ever since. i was so proud of those pajama pants and i wore them so much. knowing me, i think i still have those pants somewhere in a box in the garage.

this fabric is lovely. it’s got a pretty design with gold details, and i love it – except it’s pink and green. what’s funny is i bought this fabric to make a pillow for my room back when i was eight to ten, and back when my room was pink and green coloured. i can’t remember if i actually made that pillow…

grade 4, halloween. i’ve never been much of a costume person, especially on halloween, a holiday i have never really enjoyed (except for the sugar). to get around a costume, but not be questioned by classmates and the adults in the homes i would trick-or-treat at, i chose to at least wear the colours of the holiday. at after school camp, i made an orange dress and a black skirt to go underneath. i remember sewing a zipper, and feeling so proud to make clothing, though i’m sure the teacher did most of it. she definitely did the cutting part, because i can still hear my mom commenting on the uneven hem on the skirt that the instructor had ignored and assured me wasn’t noticeable (though it totally was).

also grade 4. we went on an overnight trip to a historical 1800’s pioneer fort, and everyone had to dress up. we wore long dresses and bonnets and learned how to make rope and candles and build a stool. my mom came along too, and she used this fabric to make a skirt for herself. i think i helped her use my sewing machine for this one.

i laugh when i see this fabric because i used it to make a pouch for my flip phone in grade 5. the pouch wasn’t perfect and there were a lot of raw edges, so i had planned to make another pouch, but i never got around to it. two years later, i got my first iPhone, so i abandoned the attempt all together. but my first prototype and self-driven project (without an adult helping) was so cute!

last piece – a lime green flannel with the cutest winter penguins on it. i saw this fabric at the store back in grade 4 and bought it to make something for my aunt, who loves penguins. i made a tote bag (i didn’t know flannel wasn’t meant for bags back then), a four patch pillow (a classic), and another pillow for my baby cousin.

i love looking at these fabrics because they show me how much i have grown. i feel incredibly advanced to even be sewing with a material like linen and canvas these days, because little me only knew what flannel was! i had no idea quilting cotton and knit were different materials. i laugh so much thinking about how far i’ve come, and i know i will have the same feeling ten years from now as well!

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