Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stashbusting 2014 summary

In the latter part of January, I joined the Stashbusting Sewalong.  My "stashbusting lite" commitment pledge says:  I commit to sewing from my stash first, and if fabric purchase is unavoidable in order to complete a project, to using at least two lengths of fabric from stash for every length I purchase.   Linings, underlinings, notions etcetera are of course not included: elastics and interfacings are necessities not guilty pleasures. I wouldn't buy them if I didn't have to. They don't count.

Note that I didn't actually commit not to buy any fashion fabric - just to sew twice as fast as I buy, so that by year's end I really ought to have less fabric than right now. 

Why am I doing this?  Because my stash is ridiculous.  Utterly head-shaking ridiculous.  In every other way I'm not a shopaholic, but buying fabric is just too easy.  For a start, there are two fabric stores right at my doorstep. Then, who hasn't impulse-clicked on that BUY button on a late Sunday night! Yep, big guilty face here. Too many internet stores!  It's all their fault!!! Enough, already.  I'm putting a stop to all that.  I view the Stashbusting Sewalong as my very own version of shopaholics anonymous.

What's even more ridiculous is that some of these very nice fabrics I've had for years are languishing because I haven't sufficient any experience in sewing them (for example, silk chiffon) and thus haven't dared cut into them.  A self-perpetuating condition if ever I met one!  So in confronting my stash I'll also be forced to confront my technical limitations, and, one hopes, expand my abilities?  Fearless sewing, here I come!  What's the worst that can happen? 1. a wadder; 2. a wearable but less than perfect garment that might not pass the X foot rule ("if a sewing flaw is not noticeable to the observer at X feet distance, it doesn't exist").  I'll be the first to admit that many of my garments are imperfect, but all that I've completed have been wearable.  So it's time to face the wadder possibility head on, right? 

Another reason is that, yes, I love making jackets and I'd love to make nothing BUT jackets, but one can't show up at work in nothing but a jacket ;)    I must discipline myself to create tops and bottoms to coordinate with said jackets.  I don't make enough of the go-with garments, and not nearly enough skirts or dresses.  Jackets with slacks, with an invisible, usually black, top under the jacket and a scarf to camouflage it, sum up my lazy fallback position. This is my year to try and get some of those dress weight fabrics, knits and wovens, out of their boxes and onto me, as dresses and tops that might want to be seen.  

That's about the extent of it.  Could this be my new year's resolution?  Why not.  For 2014, I resolve.... to love the fabrics I loved enough to buy, and to now love them enough to use.  To create a comprehensive wardrobe, all you need is love....

I'm aiming to keep this page updated with my progress since I took the above pledge, to keep me honest reflect how I'm doing. More for my own edification than anyone else's - I'm simply curious how it'll play out in the course of the year.  I'm also hoping that by keeping track of amounts used I'll gain a better sense of how much I need to make x, y, zed (yes up here in the Great White North we say zed not zee :))) if and when I ever fall off the wagon and (gasp!) buy some fashion fabric again, in the very, very distant future, that is. 

So here goes:

Running total:  used = 27.0 m               bought = 0

February: used = 11.5 m                         bought = 0

Royal blue velour lounge suit for DD (in progress, 2.3 m, 1.5 m wide)
Brown multi stretch silk georgette long sleeved blouse (Burda 10-2011-128) 1.8 meters (1.3 m wide)
Sapphire blue silk jacquard long sleeved blouse (Burda 10-2011-128) 1.5 meters (1.14 m wide)
Navy-white silk habotai sleeveless blouse         1.0 meters (1.14 m wide)
Brown cashmere three-piece suit (top, skirt, jacket) 2.2 meters (1.73 m / 68" wide) 
Brown silk jacquard lining for above top and jacket  1.8 meters (1 m wide)
Chocolate brown silk jacquard sleeveless blouse 1.3 m (1 m wide)
Green-blue python print silk crepe long sleeved blouse and matching scarf 1.9 m (1.14 m wide)

January: used = 6.7 m                           bought = 0
Yummy Pyjammy:  navy lightweight fleece trousers   1.5 m
                               and long sleeved top  1.3 m
Olive thick fleece warmup trousers   1.5 m
Black poly techno-knit at-home trousers  1.5 m
Scarf to top sleeveless blouse  (1 square yard)  0.9 m 

August:  used = 3.6 m                             bought = 0

Green and tan silk paisley cocktail (mother of the bride) dress and matching head scarf.

November:  used = 5.2 m                         bought = 1 m
Grey wool boucle jacket, skirt, and colour-blocked top, plus matching silk blouse:  2.6 m of the wool boucle and 2.6 m of silk twill for jacket lining, trim, and blouse. 
I bought 1 m of black ponte for the colour-blocked top. 


  1. I'm wishing you all the best and much success with your goal. I stopped buying fabric for 5 months and the minute I could again I went buck wild and bought an amazing amount of fabric. Filled all of those empty spaces right back up...let this serve as a cautionary tale and not be like me!