Sunday, February 23, 2014

I have been sewing..

only not as much as I want or thought I would. I finished a pair of shorts for my son with the last scraps of the fabric I made Urban Don flat cap. I have a skirt I cut out a few years ago with this fabric but don't like the style anymore. These are too big for him but I just needed to put the waist band on and decided I'd make a channeled waistband (can't remember what these are called just at the moment).

When I cut out the pants I had so little fabric that I had to cut the pocket bags out of nice cotton (with helicopters) and just make the part you see out of the fashion fabric... and I mean I had to put the fabric against the grain to get the two small pieces out of it. That's making good use of every last scrap!

The next exciting news was I got my Style Arc patterns. I've cut the pattern out for all but the dotty blouse and the Alisha dress is the one I will make for my friend's wedding. I have cut out the slip and will show the fabrics in the next post. I've been under the weather the last two weeks... not sick, but not well and very tired. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.

I also 3/4 made a McCalls jumpsuit but of course it doesn't fit across the bottom! I'll finish it and start walking so I can wear it or if one of my sisters likes it, they may get it!
Till next time - happy sewing.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stash organisation (and shock!) + some basic resolutions

I have been busy! I am in the process of documenting my fabric stash. This is the organisation part of the title; the shock part is just how much I have!

I am using Busy Lizzie in Brizzy's template for fabric stash data but in a different way. Instead of putting it on cards I have put my stash data on A4 sheets/4 per sheet and put in a clear document folder. I did this more because I had no card to print on and just wanted to start. I like this idea now - suits my needs better, but big thanks for the template of the stock card!

This has taken ages! On and off for a couple of weeks with a huge mess everywhere. I haven't finished yet. I have 2 giant bins full, and 4 baskets (seen above) full with 2 bins (not full) of fabrics downstairs that I'm not going to get into just yet - I kind of know what is in there and some is old quilt covers etc with some fabric but not much (thank goodness).

The top photo shows 2 pages of the 'stock card'. On the left are some of my silks (swoon), and on the right some of my 'special' fabrics (ball dresses, lace etc). The next photo shows me burn testing some of the 'not sure what it's made of'' fabrics, and the last one is 2 of the 4 baskets that fit in my built in cupboard in the sewing room. The winter fabrics are in a bin and also the knit in another bin. These will live downstairs (under the house) and my catalogue will let me just get what I need, when I need it.

I find when I decide to make something, I rummage through a lot of fabric to find what I want, then I see 5 or 10 other pieces I get inspired about, then I caress it and think and get distracted get out patterns and end up making a big mess but no sewing! I am anticipating that this organisation will keep me on track and less distracted.

Some things I have discovered:
1. I have A LOT of fabric
2. I have mostly (90-95%) natural fibres
3. I have a lot of silk and linen (such beautiful and quality stuff)
4. I don't have a lot of support items - linings, suitable fusing etc
5. I remember how much I paid and where I bought nearly every piece of fabric
6. I have mostly solids with prints only making appearances occasionally and more so in the last 10 years
7. I have A LOT of fabric....

This leads me to wonder why do I have nothing to wear when I have the skills, tools and 'raw materials' to make an entire wardrobe to suit every conceivable occasion? The answer I have come up with is - fit. Yes, the elusive good fit. When I started sewing I was pretty much a standard (short) size 10 with maybe some grading to 12 for the hip. Easy. Now, my middle aged, menopausal body is all over the shop and while I can make something technically very, very well, I am mostly lazy and impatient with fit.

So some basic resolutions for this year. I will try to not buy any fabric, but I won't berate myself if I do (great cop out isn't it!). I have been sewing for over 25 years and this reflects my differing tastes and what was fashionable at a place in time and is an investment (in what I'm not sure). I will sew with my beautiful fabrics and not be fearful of using it - I have A LOT so I need to use it and wear it and enjoy it. The second basic (but challenging) resolution is that I will try not to rush and just make something, but slow down and focus on the fit. No point making technically great clothing if it doesn't fit me! I don't want to keep making nice things that I can't wear.

Phew, that's a long post - but I haven't finished yet. Onto the shock part. The stats. Not counting linings, bag and sheet material (I used to make kiddie sheet sets and library bags for kindys) and small bits of fabric that are useful for kids clothing I have..... approximately 210 metres of fabric.
I did say I have A LOT of fabric. Is this too much? Ok? Average? How much fabric do you have and how much fabric do you consider A LOT or TOO MUCH?  I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks for reading this long.