Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stashbusting and Fasting in 2015

As you can see from my sidebar, I've signed up for both the Stashbusting Sewalong and the RTW Fast in 2015. Here's my formal hat-in-the-ring pledge:

 "I, NancyD, commit to using 15 pieces of stash fabric in 2015. Further, I pledge to refrain from purchasing RTW in 2015 (excepting socks and underwear, but I'll try to make that too).

Made from some dotty cotton I got 4 years ago in Shelton, WA
As proof of my good intentions, here's my first stashusting project, a Maria Denmark Edith blouse.

I've done some thinking about stash as I considered jumping into the pool this year. There's no doubt I have stash that needs dealing with, but I believe that stash can be a good thing.

When you're a sewist, especially a sewist with a busy life, you need to have your tools and materials ready and waiting when you manage to carve out that hour or two to indulge your passion. I love having a selection of pre-washed fabrics, multiple colors of thread, elastics, zippers and buttons all set when inspiration strikes. 

Now, you can't go hog wild with stash, or you end up with fabric leaking out of all your closets and drawers and you can't find those two yards of turquoise ITY knit when you need them. I'm close to that point, but quantity isn't really my problem.

For me, it's a question of balancing the stash. 

I probably have three times as many knits as I do wovens. When I first took up sewing again 10 years ago, good knits were rare on the ground. I developed a habit of buying a couple yards whenever I saw a knit I liked. The result is, I have a TON of knits. Part of my strategy for 2015 will be to find a variety of patterns so that I don't end up with 20 versions of the same tee (though I'll always love a good Renfrew).

My other problem involves those scary fabrics acquired earlier in my sewing cycle. Some of them are scary-good, like my pretty blue wool, earmarked for a jacket. Some of them are scary-bad, like my chiffon-y bits bought at cut-rate fabric emporiums. My strategy here will be to just hunker down and use them. What's the worst that can happen? As The Man points out, they aren't doing me any good wadded up in the fabric closet.

I won't pledge not to buy fabric, because I'm participating in Goodbye Valentino's RTW Fast again this year. I need to retire some of my trousers, which means sewing replacements, which means buying some fabric, on account of I don't have any pants-worthy fabrics in stash.

I had a great time with the fast in 2014. I totally went the whole year without buying any ready to wear clothing. Except one vintage beaded jacket  - it fit me and it was $30 bucks. How could I say no? Not buying RTW meant that if I needed (or, OK, wanted) some wardrobe item, I had to figure out how to make it myself. I sewed some things I wouldn't have thought I'd be able to manage, including running gear (!!) and a bra (!!! - the Watson, still to be blogged).

Plus, I'm going to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA in February. How can I not allow for the possibility that I'll buy a yard or two of some delicious fabric on that trip? My friend, Jessica, and I are taking the train so we can bring an extra suitcase. Just in case.


  1. Thanks for pointing me to the Stashbusting Sewalong. I went straight there to sign up. I definitely need to use and reduce. Good luck to you in your commitments.

  2. Sounds like good plans! Look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you make this year.

  3. Cute blouse, Nancy. If that's a recent picture, I am jealous of your weather. I don't anticipate wearing short sleeves for many months!

    Are you going to follow Make A Garment A Month over to Facebook? Being on the RTW Fast will certainly help you meet that monthly challenge,

  4. I like your blog and your style A Lot! TFS, and I am here from!