confessions of a fabric obsessive

Monthly Archives: April 2011

This week I have been mostly…

… making flowers, making sense of my fabric, and making costumes.

New flowers (for my online shop, Handmade by Claire Bear)

New costumes (for a grown up fancy dress event in a few weeks time)

New storage arrangement (so my son can sleep in his old room when he comes home for the holidays)

I didn’t take a “before” photo, but if you think of this…

         or this…

in fabric instead of paper, and with a bed instead of a desk, you’ve pretty much got the state of my craft room (aka my son’s old room) in its “before” state. Plus odd bits and bobs scattered around the house (ok, piles and piles stacked in strategic points around the house).

When I knew my son was coming home from Uni  for a week (proud Mom moment, sorry, couldnt’ resist) my first thought was “Uh oh, how’s he going to get to his bed!”. My second thought was, “I’m moving to somewhere smaller at the end of this year, I need to reduce the mess so I can pack”.

Two birds with one stone,  not just bunging it in bags and stuffing it under the bed, but thinking it through and organising properly.

You know the photo in my last post? Three big piles of second-hand fabric, clean and waiting to be ironed? That’s just the latest lot, I already had 4 or 5 times that amount (did I mention that this blog was almost named “Stories of a fabric addiction”?).

First step in dealing with any problem (the organising, not the addiction) is finding out the extent of the problem.  Meaning, I hunt it all down and pile up as much as will fit on the kitchen table (which pulls out to double its normal size – luckily), and then mentally add everything that’s tidily stacked away in aforementioned son’s bedroom.

Step Two, panic and procrastinate. Spend two days trying to get my head round the sheer volume of stuff (fabric) I have, and how to divide it up so I can deal with it.  And eating meals on my lap in the living room. And watching dvd’s in the evening while the problem goes round and round in the back of my mind. Just in case you think I’m exaggerating, here is the kitchen table part-way through the organising process.

(Note – Claire Bear would like to apologise for the lack of photo in this location, this photo has been lost in a pile of fabric. Should this photo ever be recovered, it will be restored to its rightful place)

Add this to 18 of these (from Poundstrecher on offer)

and 3 of these (from Ikea also on offer – wheel not included)

already full and you’ve got the idea.

So, having banned myself from any more buying trips, and fortified myself with a certain supermarket’s own brand version of a popular energy drink, I settled down to separating the brand new fabrics from the recycled/reclaimed (for me, an important part of what I do is upcycling rather than making from brand-new fabric, it’s more of a challenge and some fabric/patterns/designs you just can’t get any more).

So, after days and days of sorting, tidying and labelling (dyslexia means never remembering where you put things, so if it isn’t labelled, it doesn’t exist!), I now have all my new fabrics in lots of these

fabric tubs

just a few of my tubs of new fabric waiting to join in with some sewing

all my reclaimed fabric in this

 which used to look like this (but that’s a story for another day)

and enough space for a 6 foot tall, 19 year old boy/man to sleep in his own bed for a week.

Plus,  I’m organised for the future move in six months time.

YAY ME! (good thing I was off work this week for the easter break, I wouldn’t have had time otherwise)


new corsages on Etsy

at least, there will be when Etsy decides to listen to my computer and lets me list them. In the meantime, I had to show them off somewhere.

Can you spot a theme in the photos? Yes, the photographic props have come out. Today is the turn of the top hat, once I had finished chasing my (teenage) son (home for the weekend from university) round the house with it on his head!

Yes there is a wedding theme to my photos this weekend, and to my new corsages too.

Apparently, there is some wedding going on in London in almost a fortnight’s time, I don’t know if you’ve heard?

I wouldn’t normally get excited about someone else’s wedding (unless I knew at least one of the people involved of course) but I’m doing some wedding themed corsages for a fancy dress party over that weekend, and wedding fever suddenly hit me!

I have off-white faux-embroidered corsages, and red white and blue satin ones, I have white chiffon and pearl corsages and grey striped and black striped ones (think morning dress: those very formal long black or grey jackets with the black and grey striped trousers).

Here is just a taste. I’ll put one or two of each up on Etsy this evening just so you can see (and maybe snap one up in anticipation of the big day).

Although my invite to the big do in London seems to have been mislaid in the post, it’s not just W+K who are tying the knot this year. You may be a wedding guest needing a beautiful corsage sooner than you think.


way out of my league

I saw this on Juicy Bits blog today, and I just had to share it with you.
I wish I could make dresses like this I think I’ll have to stick to corsages, bags and costumes for a little while longer.

click on the link above and see it in action

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