Ah. The joy of fabric. And of course, the even greater joy of scoring discount vintage fabric from Atomic Boom on eBay. As a child, my mother was at her Singer almost constantly. We’d design and create bedspreads, pillows and clothes for Barbie. She created all of my costumes for school plays (I was in the drama club). For the home, mom also whipped up window treatments and those circular table covers that you use to disquise a wood table that looked like a plate balancing on four slim legs. You must recall those. I think they’re still around. Above all things, she was a clothing queen. I remember struggling to stand still for what felt like hours as she pinned things together. She had a huge cardboard box (that our dishwasher arrived in) kept in the sewing room, filled to the top with neatly folded textiles for upcoming projects. I loved going through that box, sometimes for hours, and when I was really little, I spent hours inside of the box (wierd kid) looking carefully at each one, the colors, the prints, the raw edges with the little type showing where it was made and in what year. It must have been during that time when the monkey jumped on my back and decided to hang on for my entire life. In fact, I’ve always carried a box of fabric with me over the years filled with neatly pressed and folded yardage with major doubts that I’ll ever use it all, but a need to hold on to it ‘just in case’. You must understand this.
Years later when we relocated to Boston, I had an older friend (Abigail) who was an interior designer at the Boston Design Center. When others my age hung around with older friends to have access to booze, I was working my resources to get a hook up, too. Abby would slip me the goods in the form of designer textiles that had been a part of displays that the BDC decided to scrap. Of course, as a designer employed there, she had first dibs on these displays and as her friend, I had 2nd dibs. I remember nights spent on her apartment floor in Kenmore Square rummaging through these scrap piles. A true junkie. Certainly other 18-year-olds had a life.
Okay, back to the boom. Whether you love to sew, or simply like fabric, Atomic Boom in Brisbane Australia specializes in mid century fabric, including Scandinavian and lots of geometric prints (my favorites). They have a store on eBay offering a 10% discount right now, so check them out. Like any vintage textile store, their selection is constantly changing, so if you see something you like, grab it!
Now it’s your turn. Any early signs that you’d grow up with a fabric fixation?
(images from atomic boom)