I have lots of fabric. And buttons, beads, sequins, vintage trim, threads, wool roving, silk roving, silk cocoons, rayon seam binding, dyestuffs, paints, paint sticks, metallic foil…I feel a little guilty even making the list, but the list leads directly to the topic of my musings. And I feel a little less guilty because even though I have lots of fabulous stuff, I made a rule (really, it’s more like a guideline, as Capt. Jack Sparrow would say) that I would use the fabulous stuff I already had to make, or do, other wondrous stuff with.
Here’s a quick example. When I reclaimed Son #1′s bedroom as my sewing space, I re-arranged furniture and painted (low VOC, thank you very much). And when the vivacious Vickie Howell stayed with me during a photo shoot for Pop Goes Crochet!, I needed some quick decorations for the re-imagined room. To the stash! I found some kimono panels to fill the empty space over the bed. I like to think of them as fabric banners.
Kimono remnants are among my favorite materials to repurpose, in fact. I find the silk kimono scraps to be irresistible, as the inherent sheen of the fabric itself always intrigues me, and the surface decoration can be fascinating, whether made by printmaking methods or resist-dyeing techniques such as shibori. You’ll often find them sold in yummy batches containing a variety of fabrics. Ah! Kimono is a great source for kimono scraps; I always stock up when I run across them at trade shows.
Many of the kimono pieces you find for sale will have been taken from damaged and/or deconstructed garments, and I especially love to use pieces that still have bits of thread attached. I don’t care if the pieces show some wear and tear, either—it’s part of the personality of the textile. Sort of like a visual biography, don’t you think?