So I can’t recall if I talked about this here or not, but my sister (who I live with) went to India for three weeks for her work – she was there to train some new non-union Mexican equivalents for some of her soon-to-be let go North American co-workers. She also did A LOT of shopping. When you’re right next door to the sweatshops, the prices go down even further, I guess. (Seriously, some of the clothing places she talked about had rows and rows of people hunched over sewing machines making made to order clothing for less than $15 CDN per outfit. And that was if you had it made with the nice fabrics.)
I asked her to pick me up two things: if there was a Starbucks in Hyderabad (there isn’t), I wanted a You Are Here mug, and if she could find a fabric store, I wanted her to bring me home something that I could turn into cushions or something. Since I couldn’t help her out, she basically just choose things in colours she thought I’d like (she went with jewel tones), but in prints that were more reminiscent of India.
I had a really hard time photographing these, especially the first two which are primarily gold, because they have so much sheen and just catch the light all over the place. They’re much richer and more ornate looking than I could get on this dismal afternoon.
Okay. My sister knows I have a thing about paisley. It’s hard to make paisley look modern because it’s such a classic and usually such a busy print type, but I have a weakness for paisley all the same. This is my favourite kind of paisley – randomly dispersed over the fabric, and without a bunch of other leaves and things filling in the spaces. The background pattern is subtle enough to keep it from being overwhelming. This particular piece is a half yard of fabric, with a lot more gold than the photo shows off. If you catch it in the right light, you can’t even tell what colour the background is – green or more turquoise, who knows?
I can’t tell if this is the front or the back of this fabric – should it be all gold with green dots and waves or like this, primarily green with gold accents? It’s hard to say from the weave of the fabric even. Probably I’ll put the green on the outside. The plan for this fabric and the one above is just cushions. They’re both half-metres, so I should be able to get a 20-inch pillow form into them (even if I do half inch seams, as I probably will). There’s a big part of me that thinks I should really go all out and get some kind of gold braid or tassels to edge them with. If I learned anything from my childhood obsession with pre-Communist Russia, it’s that you can always use more gold. Always.
This one is a salwar (or shalwar) kameez set. If you don’t know what that is, think about the clothing you see Indian women wearing (besides sarees) – a long tunic-like top with (usually) billowy pants and a long scarf around the neck or head. The plain green fabric at the top is for the pants. The blue material with the ginormous paisley is for the shirt – you can’t see it in the picture, but only half the width has the gold paisley print, and then the other half (for the back of the shirt) is a solid blue. The green checkerboard is the dupatta, or scarf, and has completely finished edges. I’m not certain what I’m going to do with this one – the dupatta is finished, so it could be used as is for a table runner or something similar but the rest… no idea. I could probably make a table cloth with it, if I edge the paisley portion with the blue and green material, but I’ll have to measure it all before I decide. (And it’s dry clean only fabric, so that’s something to consider when I decide what to do with it.)
This one my sister didn’t buy for me – it’s not the sort of fabrics she’d have chosen for me either – but it was given to her by one of her co-workers who bought it by mistake. It’s another salwar kameez set, with the solid purple for the pants, and another split panel for the shirt – the green embroidery with the purple edging is on the “front” part for the shirt, with solid green down the portion for the back. The dupatta (on the left) has a silver floral print across the majority of the panel, with the edges embroidered in gold. These aren’t really my colours (certainly not that purple anyway!), but I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it eventually. I just might have to think on it a little longer.
I feel like I haven’t talked about much more than stash lately, but this week I promise to have something new. I even have a post half-written that’ll post tomorrow or Tuesday, which isn’t on the subject of my fabric stash! And if I can get my shit together, there should be a third post even later in the week on some of the little stuff I’ve been working on lately. Things that are too small to talk about every time I finish one of them, but are worth showing regardless.