Autumn SWAP – stashbusting with a plan!

After the lingering ennui of the last couple of weeks, Saturday was overtaken by a flurry of activity.  After the necessary household chores had been attended to (good grief, I detest ironing!), I attacked the sewing loft with gusto.

We’ve been sorting out rubbish up there for a few weeks, but it was all piled up at one end of the room, creating creeping claustrophobia. A few trips up and down the stairs lugging crates of crap gave me space to breathe again.

Next up the table.  Oddly, if you don’t have a pile of sewing books, every pair of scissors you own, spare sewing machines, several patterns, cut out garments, and a pile of scraps and cut threads on your sewing table, you can actually see the surface.  And find the things you are looking for. Who knew?

And as the clutter cleared my thoughts finally turned to sewing.  And my autumn Stashbusting With A Plan.

The first order of business was to sort the fabrics I’m actually going to sew with from the scraps and potential upcycling projects.  This done, I had a pile of bags ready for the charity shop and a clear view of what is available to me that I actually will, and want to, sew.

Next…divide into summer and winter fabrics.  I packed up the summer fabrics for next year without the faintest twinge of guilt that I’m not planning to sew them any time soon.

I think this surfeit of fabric in my stash, and my self imposed fabric embargo until it’s cleared, has been stifling my creativity.  I now know that I’m not a stash person.  I find it vaguely oppressive.  It becomes a “to-do” list rather than a joy. The spontaneity of sewing things you want to make at a particular time is restricted by the fabric you have in your stash. And my stash isn’t big enough to meet my random sewing impulses.  Also, as time passes my tastes and lifestyle have changed so that pieces become obsolete.

I do realise that I’m swimming against the tide with this and I really admire those amazing seamstresses who have spectacular stashes and “shop” them on a regular basis to make wonderful creations.  I’m just not that girl.

So with all this clearing and sorting done I was left with a pile of fabric divided into four piles, one for each member of the family.  And this is what I’m going to be making.

Button is in the most need…she’s growing like a weed at the moment.  So for her I’ve got 2 pairs of skinny jeans cut from old pairs of The Husband’s jeans:

An Oh Suzanna Smock from one of The Husband’s old shirts:

This is surely going to look better on her than it ever did on him…it had short sleeves and that is not a good look on him.

There’s a Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress from a sweater dress from Ma SIL’s wardrobe:

And, of course, the fauxbury check dress.

The Boy has stacks of t-shirts but needs trousers.  Which he hates wearing.  As it’s really too cold for shorts now, I’m hoping this soft cord will change his mind:

I’ve been promising to make The Husband a waistcoat for almost as long as I’ve been promising to make him a pair of trousers.  Neither have materialised, so unless I can snaffle this lovely tweed (which is more Forest Green in real life but I couldn’t capture the colour on camera as the light is so grey today) for a skirt, I’ll be making it into a waistcoat for him this autumn:

This fabric is a classic example of how my taste in fabric changes.  I bought it and stashed it.  I then decided I didn’t like it and allocated it to a waistcoat for The Husband.  Now I’m thinking it would make a cute autumn skirt and his waistcoat would look better in a navy pinstripe fine wool suiting.

And finally, for me:

This marbled chocolate with latte coloured polka dots is going to be a simple top for layering under a cardigan.  I’m thinking I might try a Scout Tee for this. The fabric content is a mystery but it’s washable.  I know, it’s been prewashed!

This lovely aubergine with a cream leaf print is going to be another Washi…this time a dress.  Hopefully with the new longer length sleeve, if there’s enough fabric.

This is a textured polyester (which is much nicer than it sounds!) and has some weight.  It will be lined and styled with opaque tights and a cardi.

And last, but by no means least, is this swallow pattern fabric:

Again this is a heavy polyester, and I’ll admit I snuck this one past the fabric embargo about a month ago.  It’s from the dreaded Abakan, but was only £1.99 a metre.  I simply couldn’t leave it behind.  I’ve got 2 metres so I’m hoping for a shirt-dress  again lined, and layered with a cardigan and opaques.

Butterick 5600 – already in my pattern stash

I’m enthused to sew them pretty much all of these things.  The less inspiring items will be sewn first to get them out of the way.  Thankfully these are also the pieces for the kids. Hopefully I’ll whiz through these reasonable quickly.

As for the garments for me, well, I simply can’t wait to get them into the wardrobe and wear them.

And once I’m done I can start making a real plan for sewing to build myself the wardrobe of my dreams.

So…I’d better crack on, then!


17 Responses to Autumn SWAP – stashbusting with a plan!

  1. Vicki Kate says:

    Your plans sound lovely! I have a stash of fabric, but like you struggle to shop the stash sometimes… In my defence most are bought with an intended use which then just doesn’t happen for whatever reason! I’ve got quite a few fat quarters that I really ought to use or re-home as I don’t make bags as often as I used to so they may languish for sometime, if they ever get used at all!
    I love the tweed fabric, as well as Mr’s soon to be up cycled shirt! And I can’t wait to see your birds creation!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I’m itching to get rid of the stash. I have pages of ideas of complete outfits and mini wardrobes that I want to sew but have promised myself I’ll clear this fabric before I do. And now it’s sorted and allocated (and most of the stuff for Button already cut out), I should be able to get the motivation together to actually do some sewing! 😉

  2. Andrea says:

    This is a pretty comprehensive sewing plan! I love the fact that you’re making upcycled clothes for your daughter – pretty ingenious especially given the fact hat kids grow out of clothes so fast!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Thank you. It seems such a waste of perfectly good fabric not to reuse them. We sorted her clothes out today and I really need to get on with her stuff…she’s shooting up!

  3. Jane says:

    Andrea has said exactly what i was thinking, lol. It’s great to be able to reuse things like that.

  4. Anne W says:

    Wow, good luck with your plan! I have a mini pile on my sewing table too, and another on the chair. Unfortunately I have no desire to make up anything that is in those piles at the moment! Planning – what planning?? 😀

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I have to say I think there is something in the water at the moment! Everyone I know is struggling to find the enthusiasm to do anything but curl up on the sofa with hot chocolate and a movie! 😉

  5. Sounds like a very productive plan. There will be loads of lovely garments soon. Long sleeved washi sounds like a great idea.

  6. moonthirty says:

    I am so with you on the oppressive stash thing… I’ve noticed that lately as well. I knew I needed to do something differently when I looked at it and felt guilty instead of creative. You’ve inspired me to tackle it!!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I so glad that I’m not alone with this…I thought I was slightly mad! But I’m more thrilled that we are tackling this together and making beautiful things from our stashes as originally planned. Good luck with your planning.

  7. Love what you´re doing and am seriously impressed by your organisation!

  8. That aubergine print fabric is lush!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Thank you! I’m itching to sew it but getting the less fun stuff out of the way first. I even bought shoes to go with it at the weekend! 🙂

  9. Pingback: What fabric embargo? « Pendle Stitches

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