Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Safari in Denim and the January Monthly Stitch Denim Never Dies Challenge

Isn't it a good thing when a sewing year starts off like this? The Monthly Stitch theme is Denim never Dies, I have yards of various colors of denim in my stash and Deby needed a skirt pattern tested where denim was a perfect choice. I even had the color and length of zipper I needed AND all the interfacing. Now that is a good start to the sewing year when all your "sewing stars" align.
A lighter weight brushed denim has been around here quite a while. Originally the hope was a classic style denim shirt. I know they are in and out of style but I am 50 and don't care.
My love for the denim shirt stems from my childhood. My mother was accomplished at needlework. One fall she embroidered all over the fronts and backs of denim shirts for myself and my sister. Mine had the most wonderful southwest theme with cacti, horses, burros, and cowboys. My beautiful sister still has hers and can still wear it!
Just love the pie on the cuff! I'm jealous because mine is long gone. But that is okay I have fond memories of my shirt and in particular remember how all the kids on the playground would gather round and ooo and ahhh over my beautiful shirt.
In January of this past year I had a goal of becoming a master at shirt making. That didn't happen in 2014 but it is back on my goal list for this year. One day, I will have my denim shirt and what the hay, I just might do a bit of embroidery on the back in memory of Mom.
But on to the great start to this year.  With my brushed denim ready to go I prepped Deby's pattern.  January was my one year anniversary as a pattern tester for Deby at So Sew Easy. As the year came to a close she sent us the most wonderful wardrobe builder, a sweet skirt with a fly front and flat felled seams.
upcloseflyfrontflatfellseamsI had sewn flat felled seams only a couple of times and never a fly front zip but as usual Deby made it very simple! Just love her easy to follow videos. I am not paid to say these things. All I do is test patterns. This one is easily my all time favorite, is well done and super easy, even if it does have some more advanced sewing techniques, and leaves you with a wonderful wardrobe staple that you can make in a variety of fabrics.
onsafariskirtExcited to make more of this skirt and happy about the great start to my sewing year! Now on to the Monthly Stitch February Challenge - my color is black.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mission Possible: Bust the Stash 2015

Around the middle of October of 2014 I literally spent hours looking for a particular piece of fabric that I knew I had. HOURS. Eventually I found it but by that time was so frustrated I didn't even want to sew the project that had started the search. I sat down to think about things and remembered how I had started 2014 with the intention of getting rid of my stash and being able to refresh (translate: buy) new fabric at the end of the year but only for the project it was immediately intended for.  Frankly I had made little progress. Worse than no progress on the stashbusting, I had added to it!

But how did that happen? I thought back and could only think of three times when I had purposely purchased fabric for a "right now" project. The rest had been impulse buys. All those pretties in the Hawthorne Threads newsletter, Instagram is the enemy when you are following Art Gallery Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop or the like, Mood Fabrics (dang them for their beautiful designer fabric deals), the mounds of vintage fabric at our local Antique Mall, the Craigslist ads, the resale store, the blah, blah, blah. Then the facebook (fb) flashback.

In the middle of last year when I was suppose to be busting not buying I was pretty active in a fb group where people post their fabric for sale. When I say active, I don't mean I was selling. I bought over $250 of fabric that I did not need or research the details of very well and truthfully will have a hard time finding a way to use it. It is not fabric that I would ever ever buy from a fabric store if I could see and touch it! And I paid way too much per yard...more than I could have at say JoAnn's with a good coupon.  People, heed my warning: when you are buying fabric on fb from sketchy individuals across the country from you, you just might have a problem. 

Oh... I was so low... down and out about my sewing; facing all these facts about my stash habit but out of it all realized something important. A huge fabric stash has been a real negative for me and actually kills my creativity and my desire to sew.

And I think I know why....

Stash reminds me of projects I intended to do but never did start;

Stash is money I spent for no immediate return;

Stash falls out of fashion especially in the quilting world where daily new lines of fabric are being introduced by a multitude of fabric companies;

Stash can't really be used for the type of sewing I like to do, i.e. huge floral prints from the 80's don't look so good on 5'2" middle aged women;

Stash makes choosing a good fabric for the project more difficult for me. There are too many options or possibilities. What if it doesn't look good when I'm done and then it is.....horror......wasted? This one is almost paralyzing at times because by nature I am a perfectionist. For me, the stash facilitates my tendency to procrastinate because "what if I get it wrong"?

Just looking at my stash became unpleasant. So I determined at the moment that from then, the middle of October until December 2015, I was going to sew, sell, give or donate my stash with the exception of some select pieces of high quality wools, silks and flannels if they had not been used. 

I boxed up all the fabric in my sewing room except for the fabric I would be using in the next several weeks. I sighed up for a craft show and sewed over 20 yards preparing for the show. I made a boatload of small Christmas gifts and gave them to pretty much anyone I knew. I just spent a lot of time sewing, some of which turned out awful, but by the end of December I had sewn through almost 40 yards!

Guess what? I can't even tell the difference. S-E-R-I-O-U-S. Did not put a dent in things, but that is okay. It will happen. Just like it took 20 plus years to get here, it will take some time to get out. Yesterday, I combined some totes and actually have an empty one. 40 plus large totes to go but...IT WILL GO.

Next week sees the launch of the Stashbusting 2015 group on fb. This will ultimately be a closed group but right now anyone who commits to Bustin' the Stash can join through the end of January and possibly beyond dependin'.  If it sounds a little like a support group, well, I suppose it is. There will be themes and bustin' counts and good folks. In February, here on this blog, I host the theme which will be announced soon.

It is a delight for me to a part of Stashbusting 2015 and I hope you join us (if you feel the need to...)