Thursday, November 13, 2008


If SABLE is Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy SAALE means, of course, Stash Accumulation Affecting Life Expectancy.

I got my first stash-related injury over the weekend. I needed to add more shelves to my stash shelving unit. It's one of these modular Ikea systems (Stolmen; I recommend it for its flexibility), and to make room for more shelves (which I had already purchased) I needed to move the existing shelves around. Rather than do the smart thing and take everything apart, I figured I could just shimmy the shelves up and down while still fully loaded. Um, no. It was incredibly difficult and frustrating because as soon as I'd shimmy one side up and go for the other, the first one would fall down.

Then I was trying to loosen some screws using two allen wrenches. One of the wrenches came out of the hole in one of the screws and I'd obviously been exerting a lot of force on it because this sudden change caused me to fly forward, slamming my forehead directly into the corner of a shelf. It hurt so much that I sat there for a minute trying to decide if I wanted to cry. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance and haven't cried over a physical injury since I was a child, including when I had surgery in a delicate place and was sent home without painkillers and (because of various circumstances) I was five hours post-op by the time I finally got some. That's how much it hurt. I had a huge goose egg on my forehead, which has luckily subsided, plus two marks that look like giant zits, which have not, underlaid by a very faint sheen of chartreuse.

I still didn't learn my lesson from this. The next shelf I actually took all the fabric off it, but I still didn't want to take it apart. I couldn't budge the height, no matter how much I loosened the connectors. So I decided to exert some force on it. I got my shoulders up under it and pushed up as hard as I could. I managed to break the shelf.

After this, I grudgingly admitted that I had to take the darn thing apart, plus I had to go to Ikea for another shelf. Oy.

Let this be a warning to those for whom there is still stashing hope!


And speaking of stashing, there is no hope for me. When I went to Goodwill several weeks ago for my striped sweater, my eye was caught by an adorable bright blue houndstooth suit, which turned out to be from United Colors of Benneton and had been very well cared for and was my size. Or so I thought. The jacket fits great, but the size 38 skirt fits approximately half of my right thigh. I'm a BWOF size 38 (as near as I can tell) on the bottom, so I don't know what kind of crazy sizing those Italians use. I figured I would try to save the skirt with tuxedo stripes down the sides, giving me an extra five inches or so, but wanted enough fabric to make a whole 'nother skirt if that failed.

On the day I bought my serger I metroed out to Pentagon City with my old lady cart to get the serger, went to Trader Joe's for groceries, and then headed over to Exquisite Fabrics to try to match the fabric. Exquisite is having an inventory reduction sale--50% off most fabric--in preparation for its move to The Shops at Georgetown in January (I've updated my DC Fabric Resources post to reflect this); this brings their prices from stratospheric into about what I would expect to pay for fabric of that quality in the NYC garment district. And, behold! I found the absolutely *perfect* shade of blue wool to go with the suit.


Burying the lead here, I'm going on a last minute work trip to Paris--leaving Saturday!--and I'm using the same wardrobe concept I used for Germany. For that trip I had one suit and four dresses that matched the jacket. I wore the traditional suit on the day on which I had the most formal responsibilities and dresses with the suit jacket the other days. Paris is only two days so I'll wear the jacket with a skirt of the blue wool from Simplicity 5914 one day, and a dress the other (one of the same dresses that went with me to Germany, one of many many many items I have not yet photographed, a Vogue assymetric hem mock wrap knit dress that is so old it's not even on the website under out of print patterns anymore).

I *love* Simplicity 5914; this will be my third version of it. I made it in the boucle at left for my black and pink wardrobe to Italy five years ago as well as the pink version with the ruffle back I showed a couple weeks ago. I also have one in a black rayon with tiny subtle metallic pinstripes that's a perfect basic. I have the blue wool cut out, including lining--I just have to find time to make it before Saturday.


So I think the above wool was an excusable purchase. The suit was an amazing $11 and I really do need more professional clothes. My G Street $2.97 table purchases of Saturday are not excusable.


I love the colors and print of the jersey on the left. It made me think of my Vogue 2787 vintage S-curve dress, but the print is really large. I haven't decided on a project for that.

The plaid jersey is a nice heavy weight for a dress. No pattern chosen yet, though I'm hoping to wrangle the April issue of Knip Mode from Cidell long enough to trace out the top that Melissa keeps making me jealous with. Not sure if it will be suitable for plaid, though. Suggestions? I never have enough knit dress patterns.

And the blue is because I love lace and I love all shades of aqua. And I have no plans for it either.


I am not supposed to be purchasing fabric for which I have no plans. I've been good--since being gifted with The Carol Collection this is the first fabric I've bought. I need to continue to do well. However, pretty much as soon as I get back from Paris I'm heading to Philly with Cidell to meet up with Karen et al. I need to make sure jet lag doesn't sap my will power!


Myra said...

You are too much! Most of my stash is under the bed and in a triple dresser we JUST bought specifically for stash and to have a bedroom set. I thought I was bad, but I guess others are beating me to the punch for stash! Have fun in Paris!

Sherril said...

That pink/black outfit really is grown up and professional looking. The shoes add just a bit of your style to the whole look.

Dzesika said...

It's not just you ... Benneton sizes are itty-bitty! Great match though!

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Yikes! Glad you had no permanent damage. I've been rearranging stash and almost got caught in a Sterilite avalanche on Monday. Great(!?) minds think alike, I guess.

Vicki said...

Ouch! So you needed to buy the fabric to make you feel better. Love that skirt. I don't have a pattern like that - better look through my Burda's. Enjoy Paris :)

Anonymous said...

I love the outfit you are wearing! I have Simpl 5914 ready to cut out in a silk dupioni for Thanksgiving! Hope your head is better. Sometimes a handyman are worth every cent! Paris sound heavanly right now! safe travels.

AllisonC said...

Sorry to hear about your injury hope your bump and bruise are gone before Paris. The Simplicity skirt really does look great on you I can see why you have made it more than once. Have a great trip!

Monica said...

My first comment (even if I've been reading your blog for a few months now)! But I'm feeling compelled ;-) to explain the "crazy sizing" Italians use (I'm Italian, yes). BWOF uses German sizes. Add 4 and you get the corresponding Italian size. That is, the BWOF 38 is the Italian 42.
Thank you for the great inspiration you are! Et bon voyage!

Lisette M said...

Poor you! I hope your bump gets smaller by the time you leave tomorrow. The blues of the jacket and the skirt fabric are gorgeous. Have a great time in Paris!

cidell said...

Monica told you what I was going to say. I went up about four sizes when I try on Benetton. Note: try. Not buy. Can't afford it. You can borrow or trace the pattern next week :)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I love Simplicity 5914 - I have a couple skirts from it in my closet too...d*mn I need to get those out and wear them before it gets too cold!

Have a good time in Paris and hopefully I will see you next weekend too!

Elaray said...

You were very lucky to find such a great match for the blue. Great way to re-purpose and recycle the skirt.

Karen said...

What a perfect fabric match.

Sorry you got injured by your stash but glad to know I'm not the only one who attempts things like that and then is surprised when the fabric/shelving/plastic tub/whatever strikes back. Been there, done that, had the bruises.

See you soon. Enjoy Paris.

scottishquilter said...

Wow you look incredible in that pink outfit! Hope you have a fab time in Paris. Go for shoes if you have small feet -I always buy a couple of pairs when I'm there as I'm a US 5 , European 35, almost impossible to get in the Uk.

Jill B said...

Wow, awesome! I saw a cream-base color skirt like your black(ish) one and was entranced. Love the top, too!

My stash has outgrown my stash-space officially. The overflow is now shoved in my closet in the space where my carry-on luggage goes (because it was in my big luggage until I packed). Let's hope for big Christmas doings that will shrink it back!

Have fun!

vespabelle said...

Our local IKEA has a sewing studio as one of the display rooms and it uses the stolmen shelving!

That tweed skirt is so lovely! I love the fringy edge. (I may totally steal this look from you.)

Little Hunting Creek said...

More proof as if we needed it that sewing is a contact sport. You DESERVED that fabric :) I am so jealous about Paris!!! My work never requires me to go to Paris. more like Dallas, Atlanta and Kansas City. Perfectly nice places but no one would rank them in the Paris zone for coolness. have fun!

Jackie said...

That skirt looks so nice! And I have that pattern but have not used it! Have a wonderful time in Paris!

Keely said...

I hope you recover soon. My stash is in cupboards which are waist height but 1 metre (3 and a bit feet?) deep. This means that the easiest way to get to the back boxes is to climb in. I just know that one of these days I'm going to fall out.
Those blues were a lovely match.

Tracey Welsh said...

Bahahahahahaha!!!! "Old lady cart." LOVE IT!!!! I have one too and my kids HATE me dragging it around, but man it's handy. Lol.