I love “The Office.”  I can’t get enough of it.  As of this season, it has surpassed “30 Rock” as my favorite show on TV.  It’s hilarious, and the Selfish Seamstress just loves funny. Last week’s Christmas episode was no exception.

In the episode, Angela (notoriously prim, unsympathetic, judgmental, and uptight) is opening her Secret Santa gift, and exclaims:

“It’s fabric.  I really wanted this!”

To which her boss, Michael, replies sardonically:

“That’s fantastic.  You can make another dress that goes past your feet.”

Her reaction to this puritanical gift from a work colleague is supposed to be funny, and it is. Most of the millions of people who watch the show would agree– in normal society, it’s weird to give fabric as a gift and it’s dorky to get excited over a gift of fabric.  And yet, in the selfish seamstress world, who wouldn’t eagerly accept fabric over just about any other gift her friends or family would think to proffer?

I come from a family in which we didn’t ask for specific presents. You got what you got, and as a result, to this day I never ask for specific gifts. Odd for someone as selfish as I am, right? The truth is, once Christmas rolls around, there usually isn’t anything I want anyway.  In recent years, I’ve asked close family (the ones who wouldn’t be offended, like my sisters) not to give me presents as I have too much stuff already, and some make donations to charities instead, which works out great. But despite my desire to reduce the clutter… ahh, to receive a gift of fabric… Can you just imagine opening the package from your mom, and surprise!  It’s three yards of charcoal and white chalk-stripe wool flannel suiting!  Visions of perfectly cuffed trousers with front welt pockets are dancing in my head.

Tomorrow, (weather willing!) Dan and I will fly back to New York for the holidays, our home and native land.  And that means Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations, catching up with old friends, meeting the new babies, seeing loads of beloved relatives, eating all sorts of good things that you can only find all in one place in New York, museums, Central Park in the snow, and handing out the S.W.A.G. projects I have painstakingly sewn instead of making wonderful things for myself. Damn you, family, and your stupid unconditional love and support of the last 33 years!

But most of all, going home for the holidays means:


It’s a Very Selfish Seamstress Christmas, and I’m going to be on the prowl for:

  • Ever elusive wool and rayon jersey and wool double knit
  • Classic, high quality suitings in menswear solids, stripes, plaids, houndstooth, and herringbone
  • Lightweight wool tweeds and flannel for pants and skirts
  • Wool and silk boucle for jackets and sheaths
  • Poplin in rich colors for shirts and dresses
  • A perfect plaid wool coating
  • Sophisticated sweater knits

And whatever else happens to strike my selfish, selfish fancy. And after every acquisition, I plan to exclaim, “It’s fabric.  I really wanted this!” (But no more dressy fabrics.  My stash of classic wools has worn down to scraps, while my stack of embroidered georgette and and silk chiffon remains unchanged since last year.) 

So.  Shall we shop?  Mood, Paron, B&J…. what are your favorites?  Share!  The Selfish Seamstress will leave no bolt in New York unexamined!