Thursday, May 6, 2010

Menu Planning

Every week for the past thirty years or so, I make a menu plan. I look at cookbooks and cooking magazines, consult with Mr. Hunting Creek and make my menu. Then we look in the pantry and see what we need, I make my list and the week is laid out for me. We don't always stick exactly to it, but it is nice knowing that I have all of the ingredients to make those seven meals on the list. I started making a plan because I discovered that I was completely capable of buying a weeks worth of groceries and having nothing to eat for dinner after two days. Then back to the store I went. This gets expensive. Recently, while going through fabric in my cave, and making plans to have a dedicated sewing room (now that my daughter has her own place). I had one of those uncomfortable epiphanies: I had been buying fabric all wrong my whole life.
I would go through a fabric store or online store and just pick out what I liked. No list. No plan, just a sailor on leave with a month's pay going crazy. What I have ended up with is the most beautiful, impractical collection of unmatched fabric a sewista could have. Vintage kimono? Check! Silk suiting? Check! ( I no longer work in an office, either). Charmeuse, silk name it, I have it. And in all of my favorite colors. But, if I considered what I actually wore every day, I'd be challenged to find three things that matched in the whole collection. I could never do a SWAP, I realized, because I never once bought fabric with a plan!
My daughter has offered to help arrange my new sewing room (she is a demon organizer. I sometimes wonder if she is really related to me, since I come from a long line of messy hoarding women, and she is neat, organized and most emphatically NOT a collector of anything. Kids today!) She has forbidden me to buy any fabric until what I have is all folded on shelves and organized. (Of course she knows that once she is finished I'll mess it all up.)
But at least I'll be sewing with a plan. Do you suppose it's too late to learn?

P.s. to the persons who emailed me saying that they couldn't read my handwriting: don't feel bad, sometimes I can't read it either! The menu reads: Asian Chicken Noodle soup with Chile; Carnitas Burritos, rice and beans; Steak and Snowpea Stir-fry; Chicken Sausage Calzone; Baked Potato Soup, salad; Fish, quinoa pilaf, roasted vegetables. (Yes, we really do cook like this every day. It's not difficult, once you get the hang of it.)


AuntieAllyn said...

Oh dear, I'm afraid that I'd come to the same conclusion regarding my fabric stash if I looked at it closely! I'm retiring in a couple of years and find myself somewhat frantic to get my "work fabrics" sewn into garments that I can wear while I'm still working!

beangirl said...

Of course! It's not too late to learn.

Please explain to me how you did it once you're done. Thanks.

sewing spots said...

How funny. I was just working on my menu plans for the week when I read your blog post (multi-tasking, you know). What a great observation about planning our sewing!

Nancy K said...

Well I learned to do it for my fabric and I have to say that it can be done! I got tired of buying the same pieces over again. My big problem is buying fabric that I had a plan for and not changing my mind! The economy has done a number on my business, but good for re working my sewing plans to use what I have.

cidell said...

You are totally right. I have a great deal of fabric but sometimes feel like I have nothing to sew. I'm jsut super focused now. That's why I'm not buying more this year. It just seems that I can't get to the bottom of it until I sew what I've got.

And, umm, if your daughter wants to come to my house and help, I would not say no to that.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Given your iron will re: fabric buying, I have no doubt you will be able to reconfigure your purchasing mindset. Please send along any spare self-control you may have.

Barbara at Cat Fur Studio said...

"A sailor on leave with a month's pay". LOL. You have identified my fabric shopping method. I think it's great that you plan your fabric purchases and your organization method works well for you.