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NinaMade's Profile

About

I collect.

I have been collecting since I was 12, atleast (now I am older than dirt, so it’s been a l-o-n-g time). I remember the summer I was babysitting in Woods Hole, I was 13. On my day off I took the bus into Boston. I bought some white clogs with wooden base. I stumbled upon the Marimekko store in Cambridge and fell. in. Love. I still remember the wonderful colors and designs. The light of the store, the lay out, the large bolts of fabrics hanging on long wooden poles so that the fullness of the patterns could be seen with ease. The huge cutting tables, the smiles and gasps of delight from all the shoppers. It was the quintessential fabric shopping experience. I didn’t even know I was fabric shopping in that moment, all I knew was the feeling of being transported By fabric. I’d always wanted to sew, but didn’t know how. I always had ideas of what I’d make, never really…

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  • Female
  • Born on August 30
  • Joined June 8, 2007

Favorite materials

rescued banners, vintage fabrics, rescued vinyl, rescued leathers, zippers I love pockets, cool 100 percent cottons, vintage buttons and trims

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About

I collect.

I have been collecting since I was 12, atleast (now I am older than dirt, so it’s been a l-o-n-g time). I remember the summer I was babysitting in Woods Hole, I was 13. On my day off I took the bus into Boston. I bought some white clogs with wooden base. I stumbled upon the Marimekko store in Cambridge and fell. in. Love. I still remember the wonderful colors and designs. The light of the store, the lay out, the large bolts of fabrics hanging on long wooden poles so that the fullness of the patterns could be seen with ease. The huge cutting tables, the smiles and gasps of delight from all the shoppers. It was the quintessential fabric shopping experience. I didn’t even know I was fabric shopping in that moment, all I knew was the feeling of being transported By fabric. I’d always wanted to sew, but didn’t know how. I always had ideas of what I’d make, never really clothing, but things I’d make, but didn’t have the skill nor the confidence to try.

I found a fabric I couldn’t walk away from. It is hues of oranges and browns, yellows and golds, all the colors I love. Flowers but not fru-fru silly flowers, stylized and now retro. I bought it–3 yards at a shocking $7.00 a yard! I had never spent that kind of money on anything which wasn’t immediately practical and useable. I still have the fabric, all 3 yards of it. It is now over 40 years later.

Yes, I still have it and love it. It is wrapped oh so carefully in washed soft cotton muslin, and then all of it heldin vintage pink ribbon on a 5′ round cardboard tube and placed, carefully, across the top of the closet. By this time the other pieces of vintage Marimekko fabrics I have found over the years have been added to the first one, but that piece is always treated with respect and care. My son, who has lived with me through my expanded fabric collecting and ultimate sewing projects, has been rejoined to Never give away nor get rid of The Marimekko! He asks what is to be done with it only to have me reply that he is to ‘save it’. He once suggested he burry me with it, I am still thinking on that suggestion.

I have, over the years collected much more fabric. I adhere to the adage ‘the one who dies with the most fabric wins’. Over the years I have gotten much more careful in what I bring home. My selection of materials has become more expansive and eclectic.

I got tired of being scared to try and sew anything and started to try to sew things, still not clothing but I imagine doing so someday. I have always loved bags and containers. I made baskets for a while, endlessly twisting and tugging, making bigger and bigger baskets. I corded wool and spun yarn and then wove it into shawls and fabrics. I still just wanted to sew, and to sew bags. Maybe the occasional apron or two, a few items of clothing for the girls across the street, but mostly bags. I would see materials, leather, industrial vinyl, banners advertising conventions or other events, full of graphics and odd images, vintage scarves and gloves, old woolen sweaters and suits which could be fleted into new textures and uses, all things that could bear a needle became, in my mind’s eye, a bag.

Now many of them do.

I use at least half rescued materials in my bags. I have developed shapes and sizes which seem useful. I make my own patterns and then have them cut out of plexi-glass down at Tap plastic. They open at 8am and have a parking lot on the side, add to that they are right down the street from the Goodwill and it’s an early morning errand I never shun. I love using a mix of materials, vintage fabrics with industrial vinyl or used banners cut with interesting graphics mixed with rescued Italian leathers.

And zippers, as many zippered pockets as I can get in! I even taught myself how to put in a hidden pocket zipper. I signed up for a class in zippers. Which, for anyone who knows me at all realizes is an unheard of act. I was desperate to learn how to put in these kinds of zippers. As it turned out I had a dental emergency that night, and I Really Did, and they would not refund my money, suffices to say that was money down the drain and no clue how to do the zippers. I looked on line and found a tutorial. For a week or so I read it over and began to get the idea, then finally in an act of desperation I brought the lap-top into the sewing room and actually followed the directions and, wonder of wonders, I put in the hidden zippered pocket! Not a perfect job, to be sure, but good enough that I knew how to do it, and now it has become one of my regular additions to some style of bags, even use it on the leather carry-bags with the vintage-rescued needlepoints on the front. The pocket is handy for keys or a wallet or other things one wants close at hand. Of course the inside of the bag has two full divided zipper pockets, but one can never have enough of them–pockets that is!

All my dresses have pockets, and since they are all I wear, I do find myself wishing I could sew clothing since it’s not always easy finding the dresses I want, at the price point I am willing to pay, and which fit in the really limited criteria I have for my dresses. Maybe someday the frustration with my clothing choices will urge me into trying a simple dress, we’ll see I guess.

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