First, Mill Ends closed in the MidWest. It was my favorite place to shop for upholstery and designer fabrics. Since these remnants were no longer a competition factor, when Hancocks remodeled they too did away with their wonderful flat fold tables. As a consequence, I’ve somewhat soured on Hancocks. Although they are one of the few places I can shop for fashion fabrics, I terribly miss the flat fold resource. I’ve taken to shopping online at FashionFabricsclub.com peeking into the “specials” just before checking out. The “specials” are sometimes of insufficient yardage to appeal to me. Sometimes they are full or partial bolts which are too vast of yardage for me. But from time to time, the specials include 1-2 yard cuts of a personally appealing fabric. Today’s wool boucle was from that section. At a mere 1-1/3 yard long and 62″ wide, it spoke to me:
Unfortunately when I pulled it out of the box it said “Here I am. Your BUMBLE BEE fabric.” I knew immediately I’d made a mistaket. I did not complain. This was an incredible bargain. I think I paid $2. For wool. For wool boucle. The hand is incredible. Soft. Fluffy. A little body. Not at all scratchy–this is no brillo pad. It is intended for high fashion and would make a beautiful, skirt, jacket, suit….. Just an excellent fabric except it kept hollering “BUMBLE BEE” “BUMBLE BEE. I’m a bumble bee and you will be too” Without question, this is not my yellow and therefore this is not a fabric I will wear. I could have complained. However, I don’t think the fabric was misrepresented. I think I just didn’t realize how much orangey-yellow it was and how that would dominate IRL.
To tell the truth, this is the kind of disaster from which some of my greatest successes have sprung. So I let this marinate in my stash for a few weeks, no more than 3 months. It might have sat longer except I decided I needed to “get off the stick” and make my winter vests. I loved this fabric in my hands, so the question was: How do I make the yellow not dominate? How do I get rid of the bumble bee factor?
Well with a few of these:
and several days of stitching, I fixed it. I couldn’t resist the call of black with bright blue. The call that created my Winter 2014 6PAC. I spent 2 days at Ruby (my sewing machine) adding ribbon, pearle cotton and crochet thread to my fabric. For the pearle cotton and crochet thread, I used a narrow zig zag 6MM long and 1.5 mm wide. for the ribbon I programmed a stitch that takes a stitch forward 6mm, switches to the other side, makes one stitch, moves forward 6mm long and then switches back to the first side. My Ruby has several pre-programmed stitches that would have worked equally well. I decided to program this stitch because I wanted the ribbon to catch you eye, not the decorative stitch. I attached the ribbon and yarn in an uneven repetition because the fabric is an uneven plaid. I am terribly pleased with the final fabric. It no longer says bumble bee. Instead, it blends well with my recently completed winter 6PAC saying black, with bright blue and a dash of yellow and bit of white for interest: