Tag Archives: stash stories

Stash Stories – new season update

My Stash Stories for 2019 began in January when I set out some goals for myself to clear the seemingly bottomless pile of fabric in my sewing room.

The three key goals for my stash this year were:

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Arne & Carlos Summer Night Socks

I’ve finished another pair of socks for Dave. This time in Regia Arne & Carlos Design Line Summer Night Sock Yarn, using the usual Regia sock pattern.

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DIY Dancewear – Jalie 2803 stretch pants and Jalie 2802 stretch bodyshirt

So…if you follow me on Insta you’ll have seen me sewing up dancewear for my wee fella!

He’s recently partnered up with the lovely Lola (whom you may recognise from Baby Ballroom) and they meet up twice a week for practice sessions, and will be hitting the competition floor very soon.

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Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan

So my first finished garment of 2019 hits it right out of the park!

My perfect daytime ‘uniform’. Cute top, jeans, boots and a cardigan. I live in looks like this for everyday life!

Not only am I thrilled with the garment itself, but its made from stash fabric and a stash pattern, albeit the updated version.

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New Year sewing

We made it to Boxing Day before we started falling, like Christmas tree needles, with the flu.  Dave and I tag-teamed it, and, thankfully, Nana and Grandad whisked children away once they’d recovered.  We’re all on the mend now and trying to keep Dylan healthy before his biggest dance competition to date on Friday!

I haven’t knitted for over a week so it was lovely to do a few rows on Dave’s blue cardigan last night.  Mindless stockinette is perfect for when you’re off colour.  And a clear sign you’re on the mend!

But…lying in bed, scrolling blogs and instagram full of reviews and resolutions got me thinking about where I want to go with my sewing over the next year. (more…)


Stash stories – not stashing!

A couple of weeks ago I scored a complimentary ticket from the kindly folks at Linton Tweeds (swoon) to attend the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate.  I cannot tell you how much I was looking forward to a day off of mummy duties; petting yarn and getting elbow deep in the fabrics at Linton and Rosenbergs. (more…)


Newlook 6217 – my first TNT

This post is so overdue it’s ridiculous.  And it’s all been hanging on photographs!  Yesterday Summer agreed to take a couple of quick snaps as I was wearing my favourite of these tops, so here we go, at last.

I’ve already covered the fitting changes I made to this pattern here and, I’ll be honest, I’m still wearing that top on a regular basis, despite it’s imperfections.  It fits better than pretty much anything I’ve bought from a shop and is great to throw on when I’m running around the house with a pair of jeans doing chores.

I have, however, since then made 4 other versions, with varying degrees of success.  The success or failure of the finished garment has been purely down to fabric choice.

First up my favourite. This is a lovely sheer, lightweight cotton that has almost a cheesecloth texture to it.  The print is delicious, and it’s cool and lovely to wear as we head into warmer weather, but also a great layering piece with a cardigan for us women-of-a-certain-age!

The fabric is from deep stash and was gifted to me by my friend Christian, who is a seamstress with impeccable taste!  I’m glad I’ve finally got this one in my wardrobe and its in heavy rotation.

Second favourite is another fabric from deep stash, which I purchased yonks ago from Abakhan.  it’s a printed cotton jersey, and it’s my favourite for when I just need something comfy for dog walking or housework.  Love this top and it proves that this pattern is great for knits as well as wovens.

The first of the unsuccessful tops is this one.

The fabric is from the wonderful Stone Fabrics in Devon.  I bought this on holiday a couple of years ago, so again it’s good to get it out of the stash.  I’ve checked their site and the don’t seem to have any of it left.  Which is a shame because the fabric is beautiful, and the print is lovely.

Unfortunately I look like an extra from the Walking Dead in it.  It’s a really bad colour on me.

And finally is this lovely blue print.

Which is all the colours that look amazing on me.  But the fabric (a bargain bin purchase from Abakhan for very little money) is awful.  And clingy.  And just plan old nasty.

So I can happily say I’ve now got my first TNT pattern.  It’s such a useful little top I’m sure to make more.  However, on the sewing table at the moment is a Harris Tweed waistcoat for Dave, and the Imogen top in its second iteration with an FBA.  As the kids are back at school next week, I’m hoping to get some sewing done on both of them.


Stash Stories – February 2018 : A Year of Finished Projects

After spending so much time last year building a beautiful sewing room, clearing down my stash and cataloguing the remaining fabric, this year is all about Getting Things Done!

I have a pile of beautiful fabric, a smaller collection of beautiful yarn, and a surprising number of more crafty projects, all waiting to be turned into finished items.

This year I’d like to get at least 50% of stuff in my stash turned into garments, gifts or beautiful things for the home.

To do that I need to be a bit more organised, or it’s all going to be far too overwhelming.  And I do love a good plan!

The first thing I did was download the lovely, and free, Sewing Calendar from Sew DIY.

I’m sure you’ve already come across these planning pages, but if you haven’t, they’re just the prettiest, and simplest way, to get some order for your sewing plans for the coming year.

These have been cut out and pasted into my sewing notebook…a cheap, spiral bound artists sketchbook.  The thicker paper means you reduce the risk of bleed through if using coloured pens, and you can sketch, make notes and add swatches to your hearts content, without the restrictions of someone else’s ideas of what you need to note.

Next I made a list of outstanding knitting/crochet/craft plans.

It’s longer than I’d expected.

I’ve already added the current UFO, plus the dance wear that’s needed by the 18th March to the planner.

Next up….sheep.

I’ve had a tapestry cushion on the frame for forever now.  I’ve had the kit for at least a year….possibly even 2?  That’s not good.  Last year I only completed two squares.

Sheep are herd animals.

These lovely ladies don’t even stand next to each other.  I’m sure they’re lonely.  I need to crack on.

So every month this year I shall complete 1 square of the sheep tapestry, so that by the end of the year this one will be ready to turn into a cushion for my snuggler!    Already this month I’m half way through the third sheepy square!

So…it’s a start.

It would be way too ambitious to think I’ll get the whole of the stash cleared this year, but it would be really nice to halve it.

This month is time pressured as I’d like knitted mice and a crocheted pug for Easter gifts.  I also need to sew a new dance shirt for the wee boy and a dance outfit for me, as I’ve been roped into a dance competition!!!

Wish me luck!?


Stash Stories – October 2017

Back in June I catalogued my ridiculous stash, and then discussed how it was actively blocking my sewing mojo. This isn’t a new topic on the blog.  Back in 2015 I chatted about why a fabric stash doesn’t work for me.

But, as you know, thanks to the generosity of friends, and fabric shopping but not sewing, my stash had grown again.  And, I’ll be honest, it was making me uncomfortable.  I know that having a fabric stash is a bit of a contentious issue, and that many people would feel bereft without theirs, but I find it, quite frankly, oppressive.

When I started sewing, back in the days before the internet, I didn’t stash fabric or patterns, but simply decided what I wanted to sew, and then bought the fabric and pattern needed for that garment.

My goal at the moment is to pretty much get back to that state of affairs.  There are a couple of pieces of beautiful wool coating that will be the last things I sew, and some summer weight dress lengths that I’m not sewing till spring.  But everything else is going to be sewn as quickly as possible, just to get them out of a crate and into the wardrobe.

I even have a list!

So, October has been a bit of a crunch month for me, stash wise.  Not only have I been tweaking Newlook 6217 to perfection, I also decided to bite the bullet and go through the fabric book with a more critical eye.

I revisited each and every single piece of fabric, in a Marie Kondo fashion, and anything that didn’t “spark joy” was put to one side.  I filled two of the large blue Ikea sacks with fabric that I couldn’t see what I would make, or how it would fit into my wardrobe.  The friends who originally gifted it to me were happy for me to pass it on to a good home…so I did.  Another friend, who is learning to sew, was the overjoyed recipient of 71.9 metres of fabric that was weighing me down, but which has buoyed her up.  The gifting of this fabric sparked much more joy than the stashing of it ever did.  I highly recommend it.

I used another 5.4 metres for toiles, wearable or otherwise, and binned 2.5 more when I completely ruined version 3 of the Newlook top by completely not paying attention to cutting out!

So at the end of October I had 99.7 metres left in the stash, and I’ve pulled out about 8 or 9 pieces that have been pre-washed and pressed and are ready to go.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already have seen that November is shaping up to be a productive sewing month.

Stash Stories, then, is a monthly roundup of all things stash, where I’ll tally how much fabric I’ve used, what, if any I’ve purchased, and how much is left.  Hopefully, I’ll get to the bottom of the crates sooner rather than later.

By the way, if you’ve not already listened to the Love To Sew podcast “How big is your stash” then I highly recommend that you do.  In fact, I highly recommend you listen to all episodes…they are great!