Because I'm still a rookie sewer (that's one who sews not place where waste travels), I hate to use fabric that's too nice until I get better and am finally making things I will actually be able to wear. I have a not inconsiderable amount of incredibly gorgeous nice high-quality fabric waiting for me in my stash when the magic days of increased skill level arrive, purchased before I realized how far away those days are. Meanwhile, I have to work on other fabric to get better, and that's what I call practice fabric. Stuff that was acquired cheap or free where the investment is low in case I screw up, because let's face it, I probably will.
This morning something funny happened. Back in the spring, I inherited some fabric from The Professor's mother, and a couple of pieces were decent-sized lengths of what appear to be pretty nice wool. Stuff for which I would expect to pay at least $20/yard if bought new. Well, I figured that stuff would be put away to use when I get better at sewing, because it's just too precious for a new sewer to use. Not practice fabric. But when I looked for a cheap wool or wool blend at Joann's yesterday per the instructions of my home ec teacher friend, I had no luck, and a trip to the nicer fabric store yielded only some nice polyester fabrics that I was assured would behave similar to wool because of how they are woven. They were a little pricey, though, at $13/yd for one, $15/yd for the other, so they don't really help me in terms of being good practice fabric.
I made enough progress on the simple cotton skirt yesterday to know that I am going to have to start over in terms of adjusting the fit of this pattern, and since The Professor is teaching today, I have to wait to get measured before I can start that process (he's my faithful measurer). So, I'm cleaning up the sewing room, and I pick up these pieces of nice wool, just to see how much of them I have, and a receipt falls out. Turns out The Professor's mom got these at a mill closeout kind of place. And she (not me) paid $13. For both of them. In 1981. Hmmm, I think those could be practice fabric after all. I think I will still take a quick jaunt to the other local fabric store and see if they have any remnants of a wool blend out of which I might eke another practice skirt, though. Heaven knows I need plenty of practice.