That’s my signature over on a sewing forum. It’s actually my philosophy, and I try to apply it in life as well. I’m a Diva. I admit it; I’m proud of it, and anyone who thinks that calling me a Diva is an insult just doesn’t get it. The fact is that my philosophy has nothing to do with snobbishness, and everything to do with wringing the most you can out of life. There’s a wonderful quote from the movie “Auntie Mame”, where Mame takes her secretary, Agnes Gooch, by the hand and tells her “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!!!!” That’s the way to approach fabric, life, and everything.
Sewing Diva MaryBeth inspired this post. She was talking about being frustrated with a batik of indeterminate age that she bought from a very reputable fabric vendor. She decided to give up on working with the fabric because it was causing her such grief. She also paid a lot of money for that fabric. It was expensive, but it wasn’t worth it. And therein lies the crux of this post.
When someone attacked me via email for my signature line, I told her, look, just because a fabric is expensive doesn’t mean it’s not cheap, and just because a fabric is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s inexpensive. I love a bargain on good fabric. The thrill of the hunt, you know.
Conversely, I have paid a lot of money for fabrics that were dreck. I’ll pick on one of the big nationals, who shall remain nameless, but they are the only one in the Boston area. They carry some velvets that they charge $24/yard for, and they’re crap, plain and simple. I have seen fabrics costing an arm and a leg that I wouldn’t let my worst enemy’s cat sleep on. Look at it this way. If you sew as a passion, regardless of whether it’s business or hobby, spend your money on the best you can. That doesn’t mean spend your life savings, but it does mean that you should get yourself educated about what makes a quality fabric, and find vendors that supply quality fabrics and patronize them. Oh, and the corollary to my philosophy? Life is too short to drink cheap wine. Speaking of which, dinner and a lovely glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are calling my name.