Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PRINTS, DO YOU LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM?

Recently I was sorting through photos on my computer and came across this group of print fabrics.  For a woman who is a professed non lover of prints, I certainly have a lot of them! I do like an animal print and I am always on the lookout for another one.   I never know what to do with large, over scale prints and small ones bore me and make me think frumpy.   I am always striving for a wearable, cohesive sophisticated wardrobe where I have lots of choices and having  too many prints just doesn't work.   I do look for sophisticated, unusual prints and most of these fit into that category.  So why haven't I made them up yet?  Partly my plans are always bigger than my ability to get them  sewn,  Sometimes I buy with a particular pattern in mind and change my mind about the pattern.   Then I have  fabric with no clue what to make with it.  Plain fabrics don't go out of style, but prints do.  Most of these fabrics are spring or summer weight cottons, silks and knits  My New Years resolution is to get as many of these sewn up as possible.  No new prints until I get these sewn.  Yeah, right.  Of course if that gorgeous, unusual prints rears it's head you know it's going to come home with me.  Especially a good animal print.  I am much more selective these days and it  really needs to speak if I am going to buy it. This is a good thing.  At last count I had 363 yards of fabric in my stash.  This does not include linings.  That's  a lot of fabric!
All of these have plain fabrics in my stash to complement them.  Some even have garments already made that they would go well with.
I have a few more prints, but these are the  ones I like best and may actually get made up.


So where do you fall in the print debate? How do you use prints in your wardrobe?

31 comments:

  1. I use prints sparingly. On blouses mostly. I would love to have an animal print coat though. I love an animal print too and always looking out for another one.

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  2. It depends on what I'm making, but generally I like all kinds of fabrics.

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  3. Well I like prints but it was interesting to see your photo because I could name the seller of several of those pieces. That's bad isn't it? *LOL*

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  4. You have some beautiful prints there. What a stash! Go with what inspires you ;) Sewing is supposed to be fun right?
    I usually lean toward solids but have done quite a few prints this year. Like you said, it's just easier to coordinate a solid wardrobe, especially black, lol.

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  5. I don't dislike prints, but I'm not super creative so often when I see a pattern I like, my instinct is to do it up in a solid. If I use a pattern, it's usually something conventional, like a pinstripe or a plaid or a houndstooth, maybe leopard. I just have a hard time visualizing prints on stuff and I therefore never gravitate to them, even though I often think they look terrific when other people use them. The few I have sit on the shelf forever!

    And wow- you are the stash champ!

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  6. I have a love/hate relationship with prints. I love the idea of them, but so often they do not translate well to a garment. Having said that, the coat that I wear most often is a black and ivory and silver jacquardy print that NEVER fails to garner compiments. By the way, I am drooling over the second to last print in the first series. And the last one in the same set. Yes. Drooling!

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  7. My relationship with prints has always been bi polar. I love a black palette and an accesoory with color,but every now and then a print beckons me. I love a good quality leopard print and after a long winter,I need a vibrant print. But my first love is black. :)

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  8. I love prints, although I like plain fabrics as well. I like to sew with prints because it's interesting for the eye. I love all of your print fabrics. Like you, I have a real weakness for animal prints. I also love colourful tropical style prints - the one that you have on the second page, top row, far right is gorgeous. And the first one on the first page is wonderful. You're going to have some beautiful garments when you've made all these prints up.

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  9. 363 yards? That's too much! I mean that's like 180 ankle-length bias-cut skirts! It's 1500 dollars at least! Have you thought of a garage sale? I mean if you keep sticking it in the stash and never getting it out again, doesn't it mean you don't really like it/have doubts about it? Seriously, you could sell it on Etsy under "supplies". Or Ebay!

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  10. I loved Joanne M's comments about prints-bipolar indeed. I have a love hate relationship with them and mainly use prints in knits. Here lately I have been looking for some prints to use to make up a few blouse patterns that I want to try. Like you I find they are either too large or too small. Whenever I see prints like these I always think blouses/tops. Maybe I am limiting myself on the use of prints.

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  11. I'm a print person. I use them for blouses and knit tops. I tell myself that they hid my rolls behind the designs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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  12. And I thought I had a problem with having a too big stash :) 363 yards! I kind of envy you ;)

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  13. 363 yds?! what do you use to prop up your house so it doesn't collapse under all that weight (my husband's standard joke to me, heh, and I'm so happy to pass it on...). I think I have the same leopard print at top centre of your first photo... wool challis, right? it'll make a gorgeous dress... Some prints, like houndstooth and zebra, are unavoidable... others, like large garish flowers, intolerable. I steer towards the abstract, geometric, and self-colour jacquards - low key at a distance but splashy at close range.

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  14. I love prints. Do I sew with them much? Not really. Do I buy them much? Not any more. When I do use them it is for the following: children's clothing, linings for my bags, garment linings, piping accents.

    I am always amused in a good sort of way by a first or second time sewist who makes their first garment out of a cotton print they fell in love with, you know, the quilting kind. It's a real quick lesson.

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  15. Me again. Nancy- be proud of your stash-like I tell my husband,it is less expensive than a therapist. I refuse to be shamed by my stash,and so should you. Textiles rule. :)

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  16. Prints have their place, but need to be used sparingly. Personally I feel more elegant in block colours or prints that are very muted.

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  17. I know that I live fairly near to the NYC garment district, but it's 90 minutes by train so that having a stash enables me to sew more. I have 5 tops cut out right now and all of them are from stash. Two prints even! Because I know how much I have and what I paid for them(I have a spread sheet) it keeps me from buying what I already have and makes me much more selective these days. When I was in NYC to meet my fellow bloggers I bought nothing except some interfacing.
    Obviously I have many more plain fabrics, and I count pinstripes in this group, than prints. Except for that way too splashy tropical floral I love all of these. Alex likes that floral, so maybe she'll get lucky and I'll make her a dress out of it. Like the Selfish Seamstress, I prefer to sew for myself!

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  18. I love prints, but being short, the really cool large scale ones that are exciting and I love make me look odd, but I have a hard time finding small scale ones except florals, which I don't always want to wear or polka dots which I'm not a fan of.

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  19. My favorite project so far is a maxi dress I made from a print knit. But that was very daring for me. I tend to fear prints, or at least view them with suspicion. Maybe when I have more experience I will feel more confident selecting prints.

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  20. You do have some lovely prints in your stash! I'm in the love/hate department. I can be completely smitten with a print and buy it. Then it gets to my (significantly smaller) stash and I have a hard time finding the right pattern for it. I find it hard to make it work in my wardrobe, so in general I use prints mostly for knits, that more often than not are worn with a (solid color) cardigan in this time of year.

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  21. I completely fall in love with a print, but the downside is that prints have a shorter shelf life (which at my house is considerable) than solids. I fall out of love quickly if I don't make it up soon.

    I have the ability to add up my yards...hmmm...not sure if you are the champ or not, but don't ever take any criticism for it!

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  22. I like both. I think I prefer prints in tops and scarves, and solid colors below the waist, though.

    But don't quote me on that. ;-)

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  23. I love prints and I probably use too many of them and that contributes to the trouble I have getting together a wardrobe that works. I only use them for tops or the occasional dress, but too many in the closet make for chaos. I've been trying lately to use more solids, but that seems pretty boring to me.

    Lois K

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  24. OK, I take that back about it being too much! 90 minutes by train is NOT near. I might have to have a LOT more stuff is that were my situation. I am about thirty minutes on foot from two different and very good stores and my stash is about 9 metres, but 4 metres of that is because my sewing machine broke down in the summer and by the time is was repaired I had just stashed the summer stuff. But I won't buy more lightweight fabrics till I've used it in the spring. The other five metres is planned for the next couple of weeks, I hope. Keep working on it! And prints - yeah, difficult to predict what they will look like made up. I am VERY wary of them.

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  25. Ok...I just glanced over at my stash, the part I can see because if I knew how much fabric I actually owned the paramedics would never get here on time (this obessesion is another topic indeed) Probably 20 percent prints with 5-10 percent eventually ending up in wearable rotation. Prints are fun but memorable so my solids get much more use and with solids I feel I am wearing the clothes and not the other way around.

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  26. I love prints on other people, but not so much on myself.
    Yours are gorgeous!
    I buy them with the best of intentions to sew them up immediately, but they sit. And like a previous poster, I fall out of love with mine the longer they live in the stash.
    Mermie

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  27. I think we're in the same camp. I am actually drawn to prints and tend to buy them, but I wear mostly solids, so there sit my prints. I do like print dresses. Lately I have been wanting to find prints that look like splattered paint, but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I think I tend to wear more prints in spring and summer.

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  28. Interesting how much fear of prints is out there. Myself, I like them and tend to use them as the accent piece in an outfit. BTW, I wouldn't consider that herringbone a print--to me, they're like other wovens such as stripes and plaids.

    I'm also surprised at the strong reaction you've received regarding the yardage you have. It's yours, don't let someone guilt you into getting rid of it.

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  29. You know I'm OK with prints....but they are very tricky - like lighting for an interior decorator - it can make a garment go Wow, and just as quickly kill it, with no telltale sign of what really died or how it died!!!

    I'm a classic gal, so I'm going to go for the geometrics and classic baroque-y and mathematical devices, like paisleys, fleur de lis, symmetrical designs that sort of thing.

    I'm having trouble posting this, so had to do this via Typepad which has an awful number as my ID - very cumbersome and not very pretty!

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