Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sew-a-holic's Fabric Stash for an Emergency

By The Pleasant Times Sewing Room Editor, Miss Thread.

Since The Pleasant Times' Editor seems to be thinking along the line of "preparation," I thought I would put in my two cents worth!

You hear it all the time on the radio-- ads for emergency supplies you can buy for the time when the country goes under. Certainly this is wise advice for everyone whether or not we have a big monetary crash-- every year, winter snow storms and hurricanes and floods and power outages happen across the country; to have a supply of food and water is vital for times like these. Whatever the event, we need to be prepared.

I hope no one thinks I am making light of that fact (this is a serious article, folks), but I have wondered: what about our sewing rooms? What if gas prices get so high that we cannot go to the fabric store, or if we do, the prices are outrageous? What if you car does not run any more? What if the local fabric stores shut down, and it is too far to bike or walk to the city where they are located? What if our dollar today, is worth 1 billionth of a penny tomorrow? What if you lose your income? What if the cotton mills shut down and the farmers plow their fields under? What if sheep farmers are told to slaughter all of their sheep for food or under orders of the government?  What if no one knows how to weave any more, or repair looms, or these skills are not passed down and we go into the dark ages? All number of horrible things could happen-- use your imagination, or just go and read a history book.

Sewing Kit of Tin at Rancho De Las Golondrinas, a Spanish Colonial Homestead Near Santa Fe



Sewing Kit of Tin at Rancho De Las Golondrinas, a Spanish Colonial Homestead Near Santa Fe
Buy This Allposters.com



If you sew a lot, you cannot help but build a fabric stash. Fabrics you just love but   have no immediate plans for go in the stash; large scraps from projects or fabric you changed your mind about and did not use in a project go in the stash; material you bought for a specific project that you never had time for go in the stash;  large stashes are often built by gifts of boxes of fabric some other seamstress never got around to using; materials recycled from other items such as thrift store sheets are put in the stash; and of course there are the irresistible sales at the fabric store

Some of that fabric sits in the closet (or on the shelf, or under the bed) for ten years. But there may always be that ONE time that you need a particular kind of material, and you know it will be there waiting for you. 





Sewing Circle



Sewing Circle
Knight, Daniel...

Buy This Allposters.com



If I were to build the ideal stash to last me during a National Emergency, it would include the following fabrics:

Heavy weight duck or denim (you never know when you need to sew a pair of sturdy pants)
Pretty upholstery material (what if you need to re-cover the couch in the bunker?)
Even if you don't use heavy material for these items, you never know when you need a nice tote bag:)
Lots and Lots and Lots of cotton calico prints and coordinating solid colors (for the endless possibilities of quilts, clothing, curtains, rag rugs, pillow cases, flags, and tablecloths)
I'd be careful with any splashy-looking trendy fabric, lest it be too dated by the end of ten years. However, if it speaks to your heart, it is worth getting just to make you happy, isn't it? Certainly a few yards are cheaper than a therapist.
Various embroidered and eyelet materials. You need them for gussying up your dresses so you can feel your best during times of crisis. 
A few yards of different kinds of fibers for various uses-- linen, wool, silk, etc. 
Iron-on and sew-in interfacing in different weights.
Camo -- I've never used it, but I'm sure if it was sitting around I'd find some use for it. You could at least cover stuff up in the back yard with it!

Singer Sewing Machine



Singer Sewing Machine
Buy This Allposters.com


Besides fabric, I would stock up on trims, ribbons, webbing (for straps and handles), elastics of different sizes, hook-and-loop tape, sew-on snaps and hooks, zippers (the long ones-- because they can be shortened to the right size), buttons, and thread. Lots of basic white thread, black, and then several shades of each color; also different weights of thread besides all-purpose.

The single most important items to have on hand are the sewing machine needles and hand-sewing needles (all different kinds to go with all the different fabrics). . It would be so handy to have a working treadle sewing machine, just in case electricity goes out for a long period of time. Specialized presser feet that make life easier (may as well get them now) and a good sewing manual or two-- or perhaps a small library of sewing books (you never know what you may need to look up, after all! especially if there is no more Internet)-- will be such a comfort.


Excelsior est la Plus Douce



Excelsior est la Plus Douce
Buy This Allposters.com


I'm glad I have a good variety of patterns on hand (thanks to the 99-cent sales!) just in case I need to make my own winter coat, or a man's shirt, or a slipcover for a chair, etc. Online instructions are great, too, but what if the Internet is down?


If all plans for stocking up fail, then there are many ways you could re-purpose household items -- remember Scarlett O'Hara's green curtain dress?
Like most of the population, I am hoping that nothing bad will happen to the country and every day life will go on smoothly as usual. The rising cost of Everything makes me want to take advantage of the sales and beef up my sewing stash even so!

Mischief with the Sewing Basket



Mischief with the Sewing Basket
Merlin, Daniel

Buy This Allposters.com

Here are some good articles to read about building a sewing stash!


http://www.elizabethlee.com/info/sewingstash.htm


http://www.elizabethlee.com/info/sewingstash2.htm



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...