Monday, September 04, 2017

There are easier ways...

The thought has been stewing in my brain for at least four months, which was only exacerbated by deciding to re-watch all of Lost Girl. Every time I see a succubus in a bathrobe, I want a new bathrobe. It was eventually going to have to happen and finally it I broke down after spending a month looking at fabric online and decided it was time to go to the Fabric Temple of Doom. Some people will spend five minutes shopping and pick the bathrobe they see online that looks about right. Some people have easier ways to do things. I am not those people.

The challenge with getting fabric online is that it is not always possible to get exactly what you want, and I wanted something with very specific drape and fall in order to make this very specific piece I had in my head. There was no pattern, there was not starting or ending place, just that I had a sense of what I sort of thought I wanted and figured with enough work I could probably get there eventually. This is usually how all my projects begin.

Going to the Fabric Temple of Doom is a catch-22. I love shopping for fabric, but I hate how small the selection is where in Korea, I could go on for hours and hours, past stalls and shops, spanning a one mile block, and three stories. In Korea, I could go for a hunt that would last 8 hours and never see the same fabric dealers twice if I wanted to. In Korea...

In Korea...

There was as symmetry to the trip in that the public transit journey was long and tedious, the anticipation dreadful, my lack of shower appropriate (for fabric shopping is heavy, sweaty work) and my hope that I would be able to find weighted only with the realization that I would achieve both more or less then I wanted. It took more than an hour to get to the proper point south of the city to get to the shop, and then from there as solid two hours of searching the smallish collection (which is VERY large for the US, but small when you have been spoiled). In the end I had almost given up, standing in front of charmeuse that is almost, exactly not quite the right thing when the thing I wanted as a very specific color palette. Finally I got so close I actually screamed, finding the right sort of pattern in the wrong sort of color.

And then I moved a bit of hanging fabric and there was the pretty thing I was looking for. Which then pushed me on a massive run to the other side of the store to find a matching lining, and still in the end I didn't find everything I wanted. I got close enough that I decided to be satisfied and ended up only picking up two things I hadn't planned to buy, which is a testament to how small the Fabric Temple of Doom is (in Korea, I would have ended up with about 70 pieces I had not intended to buy after negotiating hard with hajumas and ajoshis and stuffing bags and backpacks until I could barely walk under the weight of fabric and...and...and...gods I miss Korea sometimes).

Finally, having picked up the few things I wanted I went back home where this morning around 11 a.m. I started cutting. I had no pattern for what I was putting together and no solid idea what I wanted things to become, mostly just a sense in my head of what I was doing. This is pretty normal for me, I'm either following entirely predictable patterns or I am doing something completely on my own and you will never know exactly what it is.

The end results was a lot of sewing, only one mistake, and finally a pretty bathrobe that looked almost exactly as I had imagined it. Hopefully this will satisfy the need for now. It amuses me as this could be such a simple, one step process, but sometimes to get what I want I'm willing to complicate it endlessly while also excepting that it may never go as planned. The journey remains worth the effort.

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