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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Friday, January 5, 2018

A new year, time for new perspectives, right?

This is the time a year when we reflect on the past year and think about what we would like to differently for next year, am I right? 

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For me, my stash is seriously out of control. 

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I have a very nice sewing space that my kids helped me put together.  The carpet was replaced with a faux wood floor, there is additional lighting, double L-shaped computer desks to host my four sewing machines, a folding chamois-covered quilt planning wall, and lots of storage.  I even have very wide island in my sewing room for cutting, piecing, and ironing--should I desire to do so as I covered it with fabric and padding to make it multi-purpose.  So, what is the problem?  I have too much fabric.

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Were I to measure it, this is undoubtedly what would show! 

Don't laugh--I will only showing one photo of my sewing room that will hopefully represent the problem.  My stash 'overfloweth' into the rest of the space and even other parts of my home--just ask my husband.  In fact, it is such a problem that my oldest daughter, who lives in Baton Rouge, entered and said something to the effect of, "Mom, you've got a problem and it isn't a lack of space...."  Ouch.  But deep down, I knew it.  She just put into words what was in my heart and mind and she also challenged me.  You see, she sews herself and she also knits.  She knows all about 'needing' the necessary supplies so you don't have to go somewhere and get additional materials to create a project.  She also understands creativity and how sometimes the best projects are those that you need to think about, be creative with on design or material usage as she designs her own knitting patterns and has numerous publications in a variety of formats including magazines, pdfs from her website, and such.   As I was crafting a rebuttal, I knew she was right.  At that moment we challenged each other to use only from our stash for the next month-- or the month of January and as I contemplated this challenge, I wondered if I could truly do it.  Her motives are to inspire more creativity as she feels she is lacking.   My motives are purely to find what I have in my stash (especially those treasures that are hidden) and use it to make some new additions to my wardrobe. 

So while DD1 wants me to not purchase patterns, notions, or fabrics for a month, I have decided to challenge myself for three months.  As I have tried to clean up my space in the last week, I have found at least a few duplicate purchases of patterns (I my REALLY) like those if I purchased them twice! and so many treasures of fabric that I would consider somewhat precious.  Those precious fabrics must become wardrobe items.  Right? 

If I had to stretch myself (other than getting my stash to a manageable level) my next goals for the new year would be the following:
1.  Brush up on my tailoring skills.  I've made several more tailored items this past year but it has been a l-o-n-g time since I've pad stitched a collar and lapel and I'd really like to do it so I dust off the skills I used to have long ago.
2.  I have joined the RTW fast--I've wanted to do this for years and finally took the plunge!  Yay!  Now, I just need to resist the urge to purchase RTW. 
3.  Make undergarments/lingerie.  I have so many patterns for these items and now that I have 'taken' some Craftsy classes, I feel ready.  It is time, just do it!
4.  Sew for pleasure and stress relief.  Sometimes I create just to create, but I want to spend more time enjoying the process. 

What image(s) led my daughter saw to challenge me?  While I won't show them all, I will show you one: 

While pictures can only say so much, trust me that the rest of my sewing room was just as terrifically bad.  It looks better now, just seven days after her departure.  And, I have had a great time 'shopping' my stash.  I will get my new makes posted soon!

And I must give DD2 props.  She loves to quilt and has made some incredible designs from my cast-offs.  While I am a part-time quilter, she is a full-time one and her designs are just gorgeous.  I really need to look at my scraps as treasures, worthy of a design, if I would just take the time to look more carefully--just like she does. 

Until later, Happy New Year, and Happy Sewing! 

What are your plans?  Do tell!
Sue :)   



    I too am abstaining from fabric purchases for the first few months of the year. I've actually resolved to sew from stash through April - unless I find the fabric I need for a nude slip. Otherwise it's stash, stash, stash!!! Goodness knows I have enough fashion fabric, lining fabrics, zippers and other notions to do so. Not to mention patterns!

    I rarely purchase RTW so I didn't join that challenge. But I am also planning to stretch myself a bit by sewing three needed but very different pieces of outerwear Feb-April. I'm so excited! :)

    Can't wait to see your new makes!

    1. APRIL!!! Oh my! I have enough fabric to do that, but do I have the will power??? That is the question!
      I really don't purchase many RTW either but sometimes I will and then find I really don't wear it.
      Can't wait to see your outwear!
      Sue :)

  2. I'm doing the same thing! I've joined the RTW Fast (the fb group is already a lot of fun!) and I've extended my fast to NO patterns, fabric OR shoes :)) for the whole year. I know, I know, really??? But honestly I've never been a hoarder or collector by nature (in fact quite the opposite!) but since returning to sewing 3 years ago (after a 40 yr hiatus!) I've been buying fabric and patterns like a woman with alzheimers who keeps forgetting she HAS fabric and patterns already (and yes I've done this - bought the same pattern twice! At least consistency in taste is evident but seriously!?) I've un-subscribed to ALL fabric shop and pattern newsletters. And like you I have some GORGEOUS fabric. It's not as though it's not all good! Much of it is excellent quality and plain colours (I didn't go bonkers with a lot of crazy prints thank heavens!)I honestly believe I have enough fabric and patterns to keep my clothed like the Queen for the rest of my life. If I'm successful in meeting this challenge I plan to continue on until my 65th birthday (Nov 2019). Then I can splurge a bit :)

    1. FB RTW fast? I had no idea! I am searching for that today! So I totally understand the fabric, notions, and patterns but shoes? That is where I have to draw the line. I simply love shoes! And, since I have a few friends that I shop with, I have to be able to purchase something!
      You made me laugh with your Alzheimer's comment...and the 40 year hiatus. I took a hiatus as well and have loved coming back to sewing! Thanks so much for commenting, I love hearing remarks from others!

  3. I loved your post - my mom had Alzheimer’s but I still loved the readers comment . I made a list the other night & came up with 60 projects for the year—- some were craft & embroidery items but the majority were garments. No way can I sew that many items but it helped to write them down as I’d forgotten so many pieces of fabric .
    Yes there is a FB group for the RTW Fast with Sarah Gunn - I’m number 300 - hope you can join !

    1. Hi MaryEllen, thanks for your encouragement in that you have so many projects you can make from your stash! I was thinking that I was one of the few hoarders out there! I do hope to get a handle on this mess by March or so. I have been going through some of my stash and realizing that some purchases were a mistake and those have been donated. I have found some real gems in there and now I am looking at my mess through new eyes! I am going to join that FB group right now!
      Happy Sewing!

  4. I've also jointed the RTW fast and plan only to sew from my stash all year. I am only allowing fabric purchases if I travel and find a souvenier. Its easy not to buy more fabric and patterns - just don't look and you won't be tempted. But of course lots of fun in buying but my stash has become a burden, so sew I must! Plus I really need some clothes.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      You must have will power that I don't possess! I know, don't look, right? That is the hard part! I do like the idea of souvenir shopping as that is fun and special. Good luck!

  5. I feel your pain--I'm reorganizing my sewing room and trying to get it under control as well. One thing that has helped tremendously is documenting each of my fabrics and patterns in Evernote-- I've got a much better sense of what I have on hand, and haven't purchased a duplicate since!