Daydreaming my way Through March & into April

Hello?  Anyone still out there? I feel as if I am coming out from hibernation!  Spring in the UK this year has been so slow to arrive, and Winter so reluctant to leave, but there is rain and sun outside, so it’s time to get on.  I must admit that apart from the appaling weather keeping me from felling like blogging, I haven’t actually done any pattern cutting, which afterall, is what this blog is really supposed to be about.  That and fabric hoarding!  The Swap your Stash project co-hosted with Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes has gone really well, we had some amazing interviews, and it was great to see into other sewist’s hidey-holes.  I have to confess that it rather made me want to go fabric shopping, soo not the right thing to do!  So what has been going on in the last 2 months?

Well, I have still been sewing, and am currently working on project no 34 for this year.  Not all projects are clothing, but I have been keeping track of everything I make this year, just for interest sake. When I last blogged back in february, I was working on project no 15!  So here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been upto.

In the Stash Swap, I exchanged 2 pieces of silk for 2m of pink habutai from Becky from Sew and So.  It went into this dress from the March issue of BurdaStyle as the lining.  Thanks Becky, the colour is perfect!  For more details about this make, pop over to the BurdaStyle page.

The 1m dress, or, you never know until you try!
The 1m dress, or, you never know until you try!

Then I made some stuff for daughter No1, who came home for Mother’s Day weekend.  It was a nice suprise, but she had a problem, the standard university student diet of booze & pasta had had an unpleasant effect on her fitting some of her clothes!  So Mother’s Day weekend was spent making theseshorts & tees, again, more info is on Burdastyle.  All the fabric for these was from my stash, I’m doing well on the stash-busting front!

Earning my Mother's Day presents
Earning my Mother’s Day presents

Inbetween the clothes, I also ran some of these up, not-so-little grey wool pincushions, free machine embroidered with an image of Hall’s Croft, one of the 5 Shakespeare properties in Stratford on Avon.

Hall's Croft pincushions
Hall’s Croft pincushions

And I played with fonts and twirly bits and fabric paint to make these linen cushions…

"Love" cushions
“Love” cushions

And a few more…

Love Tea & Cake at Home!
Love Tea & Cake at Home!

Then, to use up some of my stash of bits of silk, ribbons & braid, I made some lavender cushions & piled them up:

Vintage ribbons & brooches bind silk lavender cushions into fabulous scented bundles
Vintage ribbons & brooches bind silk lavender cushions into fabulous scented bundles

Through all of this, Kat’s swap parcel arrived…  I got a fab printed cotton that Daughter no2 wanted for a skirt, some stretch black lace that I will use for Daughter no1 & some rather scrummy New Zealand chocolate for me!  😀  I made the new blue t-shirt too.

Print cotton skirt & swap stuff from Kat
Print cotton skirt & swap stuff from Kat

Phew, what next..? Using the pattern for the above t-shirt (see the Mother’s day project for pattern details) I ran up another in a Liberty Print cotton jersey, but I don’t seem to have a photo of that anywhere… I also used up some stash fabric & made some PJ shorts for Daughter no2, in anticipation of summer.  Yeah.  Give us a while.

Using some black linen from my stash I made pants 123 from June 2011 BurdaStyle for Daughter no2.  As it was a petite pattern I had to lengthen it a bit, but the result was worth it.  She really likes them, & we are still going to make another pair in the spotty twill I got from Ditto fabrics back in January!  Details of the adjustments etc can be found on BurdaStyle.

Black linen vintage look trousers
Black linen vintage look trousers

The Sew for Victory project was a great hit with Daughter no2, and although I have made her a couple of 60’s patterns before, she hasn’t been hugely into the whole thing.  Until now.  She has added a fair few pins to my Vintage Pinterest board, and we’ve made a pile of the vintage patterns from my stash that she wants this summer.  One of these is a little seventies shirt-dress.  I made the first from a cotton viscose, and it’s ok, but I way prefer the second which I made with a John Kaldor print cotton Daughter No2 picked out at the Stitching show in Birmingham at the end of March.  Details as ever are on my BurdaStyle page.

Moonshadow
Moonshadow

Something more for Daughter No1.  She chose some black cotton with red roses at the Stitching Show for a pair of cropped trousers for the summer.  We settled on a pattern I’ve made for her before, Burda 7533.  It needed copious amounts of shortening and taking in, but the result is a fab pair of pants!

A pretty funky pair of pants!
A pretty funky pair of pants!

Two shirts follow, one vintage, one not!  I had cut out some stretch poplin with a small spot design last summer, and for some reason put it away.  Or it just got mixed up with the stuff that went back into the cottons box, but whatever happened, I found the cut pieces this month & decided to get it finished.  Thankfully it still fits!  The pattern is a Burda favourite that has been made many times now.

The second is a pattern from 1975.  I found the pattern in a charity shop last week for just 20p, and I pounced!  I found some ex Paul Smith stretch cotton with a multi-coloured stripe in my stash, leftovers from a previous project.  It proved to be just enough to get the short sleeved version out, & I can tell I will be using this pattern again!

Two shirts
Two shirts

Then another vintage make.  From the stash I had rescued a small piece of stretch navy & ecru twill, and some fucshia pink linen.  The linen went into the washing machine with some navy Dylon and we were in business!  I made a little 60’s dress with a contrast upper bodice, details on BurdaStyle.

Blue 60's dress
Blue 60’s dress

Right, last, but by no means least was a pattern cutting project!  Like I said, Sew for Victory was a hit, and Daughter No2 picked out another piece of fabric for another version of the 1944 pattern I made in February.  Initially I did think this fabric was going to be too much, and i definitely left the ruffles off the front.  It would have been waay too Victorian, nevermind 40’s with this particular fabric.  It was finished off on Friday last week, and we took advantage fo the little bits of sunlight coming into the garden to take photos.

Sew for victory, take 2
Sew for victory, take 2

DSC02659-1

Ruffles at the sleeve only!
Ruffles at the sleeve only!
Happy customer!
Happy customer!

So I am steadily working my way through my stash, and trying very hard not to buy anything new unless I have used 2 pieces from the stash first.  So far so good, but this is what I bought (with a fair bit of help from daughters 1 & 2) in Birmingham in March.

The little pile of fabric that had to come home with us from the Stitching show in Birmingham.
The little pile of fabric that had to come home with us from the Stitching show in Birmingham.

Now 3 of those pieces have already been cut up, and they all have patterns allocated, except for the jersey in the middle on the right, but I’ve no doubt something will come up!  So I’m off to plan the next item to be sewn, and in the meantime, if you have been watching the Great British Sewing Bee & think you have a chance, they are apparently going to make another series and are taking applications now!  Rules and forms etc are available here.  Have fun!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Show us your Stash…. Lizzy!

It’s Wednesday – again – which means time for another instalment of Stash Reveals!  The lovely Ginger from GingerMakes kindly showed Kat the extent of her fabric collections over the weekend.

I love seeing how everyone stores their stuff, although it has made me book a trip to Ikea with the husband this weekend, I think I should be taking better stock of what I have!  I wonder if any of these reveals have made any of you think about how you store and keep track of your patterns and fabric.  Rachel and Pia use computer programmes, Kat lists the contents of her boxes & suitcases….

So for today’s sneeky peek into the stashing habits of a sewist, I give you SewBusyLizzy!

How long have you been sewing & stashing?  How big is the stash?

I’ve been sewing over 15 years – however is was largely patchwork sewing for a long long time.  So I have a patchwork fabric stash (that I’m not sure what to do with!) and a fairly new dressmaking stash.

The patchwork fabric pile (on the right)
The patchwork fabric pile (on the right)

Where do you keep your stash? How do you store it, etc. 

I am lucky enough to have a sewing room – my guests are unlucky enough to have lost the guest bed…  I came to the sensible conclusion that I sew every week, visitors only appear every few months!  Our house is for us to live in so I decided it was more important for me to have a sewing space than a guest bedroom. The children now have trundle beds to accommodate any strays that might need to sleep over at my house.

Lizzy's knit fabrics "breeding"
Lizzy’s knit fabrics “breeding”

I have a couple of tubs, two mini sulo bins and an antique wardrobe that houses my two stashes.  I’ve started to categorise the stash into piles of fabric based on types/weight/drape.  So my lawns and voiles live together, sateens are happily coexisting in their tub, my knits appear to be breeding in their sulo bin, office fabrics (ie boring and sensible types) and I have a pile of fabrics which are ‘muslin’ candidates.

Fabrics for work outfits
Fabrics for work outfits

 What is the oldest piece in your stash?  What was your original plan for this piece, and why hasn’t it happened?

Hmmm, for dressmaking I don’t really have a particularly old piece as I’ve only been sewing for over a year.  I do have lots of old pieces of fabric that I have picked up in op/charity stores.  I estimate a couple of those pieces to be at least 20+ years old! It’s time for them to meet their destiny!

I think it’s important to use even the bits you love.  Over time our tastes change and we should enjoy our precious things while we still love them.

lizzy denim and linings in the wardrobe the other side houses patchwork pieces

What’s you favourite piece in the stash? Where did you get it, what do you love about it, what do you think you might do with it?

At the moment I have a mad crush on a piece of emerald wool crepe that I got at an op shop for $2.  It’s 1.5m in length and is New Zealand merino.   It’s a divine rich shade and it’s just been announced as the colour of 2013!  It’s going to be a pencil skirt – paired with a black lace blouse and heels it is going to be gorgeous (I hope)!!  Discovering the By Hand London pencil skirt sealed the fate of this fabric.

I have many cotton sateens I adore.  At some point they will become dresses or skirts.

Beautiful cotton sateens
Beautiful cotton sateens

 Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding, or do you wash it first?

It usually gets stashed and then washed as required.  I really should wash first but I tend to wash when I don’t have a glut of family washing to deal with!

How do you add to your stash?  Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?

When I see fabric I often immediately imagine it as a dress, skirt, top etc.  I never buy something without a project in mind.  I think certain prints lend themselves to certain shapes and styles.  If you can’t look at a fabric and see it as a garment then you probably never will.  Just being pretty does not merit a place in my stash…

Such pretty patterns and colours.
Such pretty patterns and colours.

Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into?  Why?

I thought it would be hard to cut into the lovely emerald green crepe and it only cost me $2!  Simply because it is lovely and even though it was very cheap, it’s still great quality and I hate to waste things!

I suspect that it will be hard to cut into my black/purple wool jacket fabric – it was a gift but it is expensive fabric.  I think when people gift you fabric and patterns they carry with them a weight of expectation, it adds a bit of pressure!

I’m also deeply in love with a length of cotton sateen that GingerMakes sent me at Christmas – it’s a deep navy with mauve/purple flowers – just gorgeous.  I can’t wait to wear it, I can’t bear to cut it – but I will as what’s the point otherwise!

Bird prints
Bird prints

Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?

I’m also a pattern stasher.  Patterns and fabrics are my weakness.  Not notions.  I’m not much into frippery and frills so I am less inclination to buy laces, trims and whatnot.

Tubs for patterns
Tubs for patterns

Have you decided to do a “Stash-busting” resolution this year? If so, what have you decided to do?

I didn’t formally enter into a ‘stash-busting’ pledge.  I love what Cation Designs is doing, however my life is full of personal and work commitments and that’s enough.  Mentally I am committed to using more of my stash this year.  I’m already seeing a drop in my purchases of floral fabrics and I’m resisting more rolls on the bargain table.  I’m not sure this will continue on my London trip though!

Thanks for answering our questions Lizzy, I just love those birdie prints!  I wish you all the best for resisting buying fabric in London though…  Maybe you could consider bringing an extra bag??  😉    If you are in the UK and would like to meet Lizzy (and a fair few other bloggers), Rachel is hosting a meet-up.   Pop over to her blog and read all about it!

The stash swap is continuing, there are still lots of patterns and fabric pieces available on the Pinterest board.  If you have already signed up and have arranged a swap, make sure you get it posted before the end of the month.  For more guidelines, etc, check out Kat’s fab Guidelines page.

A Septuagenarian Updated

I don’t blame you if you have difficulty pronouncing that!

Rochelle from Lucky Lucille has been hosting a 1940’s sewalong this month.  The vintage look has been around for a while, but not something I have really embraced for myself.  I have a large box with a number of vintage patterns (no, I haven’t counted them) and some have been sewn up for Daughter No2, who seems to be able to carry the look.  But although they have been 60’s or 70’s patterns, the look is still modern, contemporary.

Now some people have no problem pulling off a vintage look, and I mean the whole look.  Have you seen Katie’s wardrobe?  It is stunning!  And Rochelle‘s?  And Casey’s?  Now these ladies obviously lead a very different and far more elegant life than mine!  I don’t think even Daughter No2 would go that far!

So if I wanted to join the sewalong, one of my resolutions for this year, I had to think quick.  I mooched around on Pinterest and various other sites for ideas, and then Rochelle posted a link to some vintage pattern sources on Etsy.  I hit gold!  I found this on Retro Monkeys‘ site…

Advance 1944 blouse pattern
Advance 1944 blouse pattern

Cute, right?  Daughter No2 thought so too.  She even liked the ruffles down the front!  We thought this would work with jeans and smarter “bottoms” too.  I’m trying to think ahead here, she starts 6th Form in September and the dress code is “Business wear”.  I didn’t buy the pattern in the end, postage and all that.  I figured I’d be good and let someone else have the original, but in the “make do and mend” spirit of the 40’s, I was going to pattern cut this baby myself.  Luckily for me the owner of the shop had scanned in the reverse of the pattern, allowing me to see the shapes of the pattern pieces.

Advance 1944 pattern reverse envelope
Advance 1944 pattern reverse envelope

This was fab, as I could see from the sketch that the longer sleeve actually has two little darts at the elbow, a detail common at the time.  I could also see that the neckline is raised, and that the blouse was actually quite short.  With skirts that actually sat on or just above the waist, they could get away with a shorter blouse.

sleeve detail  + goosebumps!
sleeve detail + goosebumps!

Changes I made were first, to lengthen it!  I approximated where the blouse in the sketch actually ended and pinned the paper pattern to Daughter No2.  We checked it against her low-rise jeans, and decided it left waaay too much tummy exposed!  The addition of 7cm and a change of style line at the back meant we were in business.

The back
The back

We raided the stash and found a fair few fabrics that would be suitable, but the green spotty cotton was begging to be made up in this pattern!  I had a matching thread in the cottons box, and found the cutest little wooden buttons in the button box.  My mum had sent the buttons last year, she knows what makes me tick!  The fabric was bought from Tatler’s in Derby last year, so thankfully it hadn’t been around too long!  We did loose the ruffles down the front, but not because we didn’t want them!  Unfortunately there was just not enough fabric for the long ruffles.  Next time maybe!

So here it is!  She cannot believe she is wearing a top made from a pattern that is essentially 69/70 years old, and it doesn’t look it at all!

DSC02088-1

DSC02089-1

By the way, I am entering this blouse as my contribution to the polkadot February frock fest, even though it’s not a frock!  😀

DSC02095-1

Still a little bit of tummy showing, but these are the lowest cut jeans, so with her smart trousers and pencil skirts it should be fine!

DSC02094-2

One down!  A couple more to come, I think.  I had spotted this very pretty pattern on Cynical Girl on Etsy…

Advance 1940's Blouse
Advance 1940’s Blouse

How cool is that collar?  And those sleeves and the double dart tucks??  I’m going to start the pattern for this tomorrow!  How is everyone else doing in their “Sewing for Victory”?

 

Show us your Stash…. Rachel!

One more brave blogger has held up her hand and admitted stashing.  Rachel from House of Pinheiro has graciously answered Kat & my questions about her stashing habits, and sent us some lovely photos as evidence.  The longer we do this, the more I am ashamed about my organisation – or lack thereof!

How long have you been sewing & stashing?  How big is the stash?

Rachel from House of Pinheiro
Rachel from House of Pinheiro

I first threaded a machine in Sept 2009, completing my 1st ever project (a denim skirt) early December. By then, I was hooked by the sewing bug and my fellow had no choice but to get me a machine for Christmas.

For the 1st year, I only bought what I needed for each project. That meant fabric, threads, zippers…  nothing extra, very controlled.  My stash actually started building when my sewing books started to take space out from my baking bookshelf.  As I enjoy quilting too, those little fat quarters sure know how to multiply….

By mid 2011, when I started to engage with other sewists and the blogsphere, my fabric shopping attitude changed and I started to buy a lot more fabric, specially during meet ups.  Blogging is the biggest stash enabler.  That’s why I loved your idea to community de-stashing.  Last year my stash has grown from 10 pieces of fabrics to 40.  That’s not considering my quilting fabrics.

I’m trying to avoid shopping online and only buy maximum of 3 pieces during meet ups shopping trips and that seems to do the trick and stabilise my fabric stash growth.

I don’t know how many sewing magazines or haberdashery I own.  I like to keep it all tidy into boxes and dive in when I need something.  I only recently stated cataloguing my stash using APP Evernote.  It’s fantastic.  I used it often at work.  I use it for adding blog post ideas, general notes and visual photo and info of my stash.  I’m hoping to catalogue everything I own by the end of the year.  I have been meaning to blog my progress as a means of getting me doing it.  My last pattern count was a bit over 130… Scarily growing.

Books, fabrics, notions...
Books, fabrics, notions…

My sewing addiction is actually stashing a bit of everything.  I hate when I am in the middle of a project or at the start of an idea and I got to go out to buy something.  My buying reflects that… I have at least something of everything I would need – like running a small shop!  Now that I tidied all my equipment in one place I found I had a bit more than one, lol.  My current pincushion collection count is 10.

Where do you keep your stash?  How do you store it, etc?

I keep my dressmaking fabrics divided into sections inside the bottom of a wardrobe.  It’s sectioned by left side being summer and right side being winter.  Every few months I pull the fabrics out and check what I want to sew with.  Then I arrange the ones I want to use first at the top of the pile for easy access.  I would love to have separate drawers so I could also separate by season and content.  My more expensive fabrics are also in a transparent plastic bag.  Some fabrics have note with description of size and content.  That’s another problem I hope Evernote will fix.  When you have a small stash, it’s so easy to control what you have but now, I feel if I don’t get organised immediately my stash will explode and I will really loose time digging in.

My daily sewing equipment is kept in 2 drawers on the sewing table.  Everything else on my bookshelf, he bookshelf arrangement keeps changing as I buy more stuff and try to fit in.

My patterns are kept in 2 big baskets, the light colour is the patterns already cut and the blue are the uncut patterns.  All the cut patterns are stored in individual plastic folders.

rachel stash2 Collage

What is the oldest piece in your stash?  What was your original plan for this piece, and why hasn’t it happened?

My oldest piece is this beautiful and flimsy Diane Von Furstenberg inspired silk.  It was on sale, and I bought it by the end of 2009.

I like to find special fabrics for special projects.  At the time I didn’t have anything in mind for it or even now, I don’t… so it’s back to the stash.  That fabric will have it’s time to shine sometime in the future.

Diane Von Furstenberg inspired silk
Diane Von Furstenberg inspired silk

What’s you favourite piece in the stash? Where did you get it, what do you love about it and what do you think you might do with it?

That all time favourite piece has been transformed into  V8674, version C and recently I used the left over on Cynthia Rowley Tulip Skirt 2512.  This beautiful Mohair wool from Macculloch & Wallis cost me £30 per metre.  I had bought 3m of it and don’t regret at all. I love wearing it.  It’s warm, soft, elegant and looks very expensive!

The next one, it’s a lovely black and white houndstooth wool that I bought back in 2011 and It’s going to be Colette Anise.  Very Chanel inspired.  I love it for the same reason of the mohair wool above.

Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding, or do you wash it first?

Confession time, with all my good sewing habits, I don’t like pre-washing my fabrics… (Horror face???) They go into storage.  When I wash them (If I do… I overlock the edges before…)

Rachel's bookshelf
Rachel’s bookshelf

How do you add to your stash?  Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?

I have Poly-phobia.  I don’t like to buy polyester (knowingly) and rarely will buy man made fabrics unless blended on natural fabrics like cotton satin.  I have a passion for wools and linen.

For my wools and more expensive fabrics, I buy them when they are on sale out of season.  Linen, cottons and knits I buy when I find a nice drape and colour.  Well, recently I have been buying loads on the cheap markets (and maybe turning a blind eye on the content…)

Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into?  Why?

No, everything is fair game.

Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions? 

What you guys think? lol

Stashing!
Stashing!

Have you decided to do a “Stash-busting” resolution this year?  If so, what have you decided to do?

I will rarely buy fabric for a specific project.  I will always try my stash first, so I am constant stash busting mode, but to help the cause I’m on a fabric shopping ban until my birthday.  That’s 6 months away!

Thank you so much, Rachel, for letting us have a peek at your sewing room.  I think it’s time I did some re-organising of my own!  Don’t forget, if you’d like to take part in our stash swap, leave a comment below.  Check out the guidelines etc on Kat’s blog.

A Tale of Two Skirts

Better late than never, right?  These are two skirts I ran up after New Year for Daughter No1.  They both use up fabric from my stash, score!

Straight skirt
Straight skirt

One very simply cut from the straight skirt block with a shaped waistband & invisible zip.

Gored Panel Skirt
Gored Panel Skirt

Another developed from the straight skirt block, same shaped waistband as before, but this time a gored panelled skirt with piping in the seams.

Fitted straight skirt
Fitted straight skirt

The straight skirt first – the fabric was from my stash, the left overs from the trousers I made in the Autumn.  I usually over-buy fabric when I’m not 100% sure what I will make.  Anyone else have this problem?  Thus I am frequently left with pieces of about 50cm or so.  Thankfully daughter No1 was happy to have me use up this little bit for her skirt.  The lining also came out of the stash in the cupboard, (as did the lace & invisible zip) so I did well on this!

Dressed down with t-shirt & puffy jacket
Dressed down with t-shirt & puffy jacket

I thought it would be nice to have a pretty hem detail, the hem was edged with some black lace and hand stitched in place.

Hem treatment
Hem treatment

DSC00514

I used a skirt hook & bar for the waistband closure, rather than a button.

For skirt no2, I had some black & white heavyweight herringbone wool that I’d got from Harlequin Fabrics in Leamington Spa in September (£8 for 1.5m in the sale!).  I had originally thought to make a 60’s style skirt for Daughter No1, but she nixed the idea.  Instead she wanted a skirt with the same waistband as the straight skirt, and the same length.  I still wanted that a-line shape, and we compromised on a gored panelled skirt.  I had in my mind an idea to emphasise the panels, so went digging to see if I had any black bias binding in the stash boxes.  Instead, I found pre-made piping, perfect!

DSC00538

That piping has been hanging around a while, the lable is in Afrikaans, with a very cheap price tag in South African Rands.  I shudder.  It could be as much as 22 years old…  Nevermind, it has been used now!  😀  As you can see from the shiny black stuff in the picture, I didn’t use the wool to face the waistband.  Daughter No1 is a sensitive little thing, so I used some black crepe backed satin, again from the stash.

Piping in the seams
Piping in the seams

I piped the seams in the panels, and along the lower edge of the waistband.

DSC01632

The result…  I also bound the hem with black cotton bias binding.  The idea was that as it is fairly stiff, it will add bulk to the hem, making it stand out.  This herringbone also frays like mad!  I had overlocked all the seams to make sure we had no mad unravelling, because this skirt has to survive being washed in a machine at Uni…

DSC01637

Art student??

Love the flared hemline
Love the flared hemline

You will notice I didn’t pipe the side seams…  There is a good reason, I promise.  1 – the invisible zip is in the other side seam, and invisible zips do not play well with added bulk, or piping.  2 – I had run out…

The making of these two pieces allowed me to buy that fabulous giraffe print for Daughter No2’s Jungle January jacket, and another two pieces from my stash have been allocated to another two projects, which is why I was allowed to buy some spotty twill from Ditto for Daughter No2 to make her Polka Dot offering for February.  In addition, I have (almost) finished a project from February’s Burda, just the hems to do, also using a piece from my stash.  Phew, this is exhausting!  I have finally succombed to keeping a note book to keep track of everything!

Has anyone else signed up for the Sew for Victory sewalong with Lucky Lucille?  That’s another job for February!  I have started on the pattern cutting, and identified 4 pieces of fabric to use!  Daughter No2 and I will both benefit from this little challenge, we have chosen blouse patterns, because we can bring them up to date with jeans etc.  So I had better get some sleep, because I need to crack on with the toiles tomorrow!

Don’t forget the Swap your Stash party is continuing, if you’d like to join in the swap, leave a comment below or on Kat’s blog.  You can also just show us your fabric stash.  Maybe it’s madly chaotic and leaves you a little frazzled, maybe you are a queen of organisation and can share some secrets with the rest of us.  The “questions” are available, just copy them onto your blog, fill in some answers and post some photos of your fabulous fabrics for us all to drool over!

 

 

 

Show us your Stash……. Anne!

In our ongoing investigation into the sewist’s tendency to hoard fabrics, patterns and shiny, pretty things, I can now reveal what goes on in Anne‘s fabric room – yes, you read that right, she has a room!!!

anne b small, manageable   

How long have you been sewing & stashing?  How big is the stash?

Gracious- I would say that my stash is anywhere from 2 days to 15 years old. I’ve sewn off and on forever, but stopped and started again when I moved to SC.  My stash is safely contained in 1 room in a variety of boxes and (cue sinister music) the closet of infinite textile hoarding

anne b under the loveseat

Where do you keep your stash?  How do you store it, etc.

I hang all dress fabrics after pre-washing on hangers in almost no order (although current season in the front) in the closet already mentioned with reverence, fat quarters are all in tubs under the love seat (thought of as beds by some less-respectful 4 leggers) and upholstery and quilty stuff is in a series of giant totes stored in dangerous teetery stacks in said closet. One day a cat will pull the wrong thing jenga style and the entire side of the house will collapse in a black hole style vacuum of fabric doom. But I’m sure it’s fine. You aren’t a fire marshall, right?

anne b Katze Lu (1)

What is the oldest piece in your stash?  What was your original plan for this piece, and why hasn’t it happened?My friend Deanna gave me a ton of fabulous sheer fripperies and I have used them almost- almost. This brown sheer floral print is my fave and it must be used just right- so it’s been supervising the closet for at least 8 years.

 

The oldest piece
The oldest piece

What’s you favourite piece in the stash? Where did you get it, what do you love about it, what do you think you might do with it?

Honestly, I am shallow- they are all my favourite pieces, because I think of this as textile fostering and wouldn’t want any of my charges to feel like I didn’t love them and nurture them equally. This helps me with the guilt when I swap. I’ve sending them to permanent homes where they will be loved and each given an invisible zipper and a pony.

anne b flocked tafetta

  Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding, or do you wash it first?

I’m rewash gal. It goes right into the laundry room. I think the husband thinks that sometimes I only do his laundry if I haven’t bought enough to fill an entire load.

anne b mine, mine!

How do you add to your stash?  Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?

Ok, sometimes I have an idea, a grail project, sometimes…ok, most of the time, it’s just lust. What if it goes to the wrong home? What if they don’t love it as I do? What if they use it to make shortalls or something? I just can’t have that!!!

anne b paisley terry
Paisley Terry

Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into?  Why?

The first time I saw the generosity of the sewing planet in action was over a year ago. I coo’d at a piece of fabric and that gorgeous blogger sent it to me! It’s the most distinctive and lovely plaid fabric and it screams Vivienne Westwood. It must be the perfect pattern and I would curl up and die if I didn’t do it justice in form and finish.  ElleC– I haven’t forgotten my treasure- you sweetie!

The untouchable...

Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?

I think I am part crow on my Father’s side. No, not the tribe- the birds that like shiny, tacky objects. I have an obscene amount of potential use items- covered button kits, bias tape, buttons, ribbon roses, rulers and lets not even talk about patterns. That part of the fire hazard is pretty scary!

The magpie's hoard

 

Have you decided to do a “Stash-busting” resolution this year?  If so, what have you decided to do?

Um, well, I mentioned it briefly to the husband and he took great umbrage with the whole idea. His shopping for his hobby out-costs mine, so his guilt is assuaged every time fabricmart comes a creeping up to the door. You don’t want him to feel bad, do you? I mean really, have a heart! Also, I must say that now that I have seen a particular young ladies walls of catalogued pretties, I feel like I’m still in the minor leagues, so I think I’ll do a little shopping when we are done here!

anne b Flannery is bored
Flannery is bored

Wow, I think I need a wardrobe for my fabrics too now that I’ve seen yours all hung up like that!  I wonder if husband will swap his cupboard space for a few plastic boxes..  :/  Thank you, Anne for letting us into your sewing space!  A reminder that you can see the list of participants here, and check out the offerings on the Pinterest board.  If you’d like to take part in our great swap, have a quick look at the guidelines and then join the fun.

 

Show us Your Stash….. Kat!

The stash swapping party seems to have go off to a very good start over the weekend, it’s been great to see some of the lovely things up for grabs on Pinterest and blog posts.  A reminder that you can see a lits of all the participants here.  If you’d like to join in the swap, just leave a comment below with a link to your blog, and we’ll add you to the list so that other sewists can find you easily.

As promised, Kat and I have decided to reveal our stashes to the world.  You can see mine on Kat’s blog, but here we are revealing Kat’s collection of fabrics etc.  I set her the same questions as I answered, and demanded photographic evidence too!

 

How long have you been sewing and stashing?   How big is your stash?

Oh gosh, do I really need to answer this?!?   (*Goes and hides in a corner in embarrassment.*)

Um, well, I got into sewing again back when I was in the early days of university, so around about 14 years ago now.  And I’ve been stashing since then.  I come from a long line of stashers – my mother has a nice big stash (part of which has migrated to my stash, haha!) and my grandmother apparently has a stash of sewing and knitting patterns (which I hope to be able to see one day soon, she keeps them hidden away).  So you could say I come by my stashing tendancies naturally, and there wasn’t really any way to avoid stashing.  I’ve also inherited a few stashes from friend’s mothers when they found out I sew.

*gulp*

Yes, my stash is out of control.  It’s bigger than I want to contemplate.  Here’s some of it…..

Very full fabric crates
Very full fabric crates

Where do you keep your stash?  How do you store it?

Anywhere there’s space!  😉

About half of it is stored in boxes lined up against the wall of our spare bedroom.  The rest is stored in my bedroom (which is quite large, and half of it is my sewing area).

The fabric in boxes is all labelled to make it easy to find – I group it by knit or woven, and often by season as well.  I list all the contents on a label on the outside of the box, and cross it off when I’ve used it.  (And write in when things get added, naturally!  😉

More fabric!
More fabric!

I’ve got three suitcases full of fabric as well – I’ve got labels written out and attached to the suitcase handles to tell me what’s in there.  Having labels on the outside of the fabric storage containers is great – I can browse my stash at a glance and easily find what I’m looking for.  (And yes, I know pretty much all of what I have in there, so usually I’m just looking for a specific piece for a project.)

Vintage suitcases
Vintage suitcases

I also have a cupboard full – patterns (grouped by era) on the top shelf, and fabric on the bottom shelf.

And three shelves in my wardrobe have ended up being fabric.  And one shelf is patterns.

And there are a few bolts of fabric in the wardrobe in our spare room.

(Yes, I have a fabric “problem”.  *sigh*  But it’s all so purty!!)

 

Pattern shelf - or is that shelves?
Pattern shelf – or is that shelves?

What is the oldest piece in your stash?  What was your original plan for this piece and why hasn’t it happened?

Eek!  Good question.  I have no idea.  The oldest by age would be some I inherited from other people’s stashes.  Oldest I bought myself?  Probably one of these crazy bright synthetic knit things – I went through a stage in early university years of dressing in crazy bright 1970’s print fabrics and flared jeans.  I still have some fabric left over from those days, heck knows what I’ll do with it as it so isn’t my style any more……  (Maybe swap it??)  Pretty much as soon as I started sewing I started accumulating fabric faster than I could use it!

What’s your favourite piece in your stash?  Where did you get it, what do you love about it, what do you think you might do with it?

Oooh, so many options!  I love most of my stash, it makes me happy and I see ideas and pretty things whenever I look at it.  🙂

Some of my favourites are:

This cotton fabric with retro swimming ladies printed on it.  I got it as part of the Sewists Secret Santa swap – whoever sent it to me totally nailed my style!  (And I really want to know who it was!!)  I’m going to turn it into a 1950’s shirt at some point soon.

Swimming ladies
Swimming ladies

My mother just gave me this Mondrian-style cotton drill.  Ain’t it fabulous?  It’s going to be a 1950’s full skirted dress, to make the most of that awesome bright print.

Mondrian style drill
Mondrian style drill

I’ve had this stitchbird printed quilting cotton for a couple of years now.  I absolutely adore it, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to turn it into a dress.  1950’s or 1940’s style?  One or the other…..

Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding or do you wash it first?

I always wash it as soon as I get it home.  When I want to start a project, I want to start straightaway, so everything needs to be ready to use as soon as I want to use it!  (Impatient?  Perhaps.)

Bags are packed!
Bags are packed!

How do you add to your stash?  Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?

A bit of both.  I stash patterns as well, and sometimes I find fabric that I know will be perfect for a pattern I’m wanting to make up.  Most of the time, the fabric is what dictates a project for me though – I see something, it calls my name, whispers in my ear that it wants to be a dress or a shirt or a skirt, and next thing I know I’ve bought it home and it’s sitting on my desk while I try and find space for it.  Oops!

Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into?  Why?

I bought a length of gorgeous lightweight dark green silk, with gold metallic thread spirals on it, a few years ago.  (Read: about 9-10 years ago.  Oops.)  I love it – it was one of those (very very few) times when I bought fabric without knowing what it was going to be turned into.  And I’ve never used it.  It’s so pretty, it seems it needs to be an evening dress, but I never wear those so see no point in making one.  And so, it languishes in my stash.  Every so often I bring it out to look at it and admire it, and feel a little bit guilty that I still have no idea what to make out of it….

Green embroidered silk
Green embroidered silk

Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?

Oh no, I’m a nice well-rounded individual.  My problem includes everything.  I have boxes and drawers full of patterns and notions.  I even have two sewing machines sitting around unused, both vintage ones I’ve picked up somewhere, intending to get them working and try them out.  So many plans, so little time…..

Notions boxes
Notions boxes

Have you decided to do a “stash-busting” resolution this year?  If so, what have you decided to do?

Hah, yes indeed!  No fabric or patterns or notions buy for me.  At all.  (Unless it’s something I need to finish off a project, like interfacing or a zip.)

(You will note, however, that there are a couple of little loopholes in this.  I’m allowed to be given fabric etc, win it, or swap for it.  All permissible activities.  I need some way to refresh my stash, even if I’m not allowed to purchase things, after all!  😉

Thanks Kat for letting us have a glimpse into your fabric hoard!  I love your vintage suitcases, and I think I may have to start labelling my boxes, like you do.  You certainly do have a lot of fabric, good luck with the swapping!