So Christmas left me with many things, including a new sewing bag (made by my mum), a keyboard for my iPad, and Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing (YAY!)

But it also left me feeling a little impoverished (a health issue helped with that, to be fair), and with a renewed resolution to stop mindlessly buying fabric and patterns, and actually do something with the ones I have.

So, with an eye to actually going through my stash and taking stock, come with me and share the pretty (and the mysterious, and the ugly).

THE PRETTY

First, the fabric that you’ve already seen.
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Wasn’t sure whether to include the purple dot fabric here, but this piece hasn’t been cut into yet. It needs to be sleeves. For the rest we have 40s dress fabric, cream/fawn dot silk-cotton blend for a blouse, white-on-white fabric for a blouse, fox fabric (probably also a blouse).

I Have A Blouse Problem
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I bought all these fabrics in the last year to make blouses with. Most of the fabric is from Spotlight (various ones have been my local fabric shop for years), other than numbers 2 and 3, which are from Rathdowne Remnants on the first (and thus far only) trip I’ve ever taken there.

The Social Sewing Bunch
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These fabrics are from my Social Sewing group. Well, technically the one on the far left I bought. I’ve taken it to Social Sewing to swap it a couple of times, but no-one wants it. Not sure what to do with it; it’s too good to just throw out. Use it for muslin-making, I guess. Or maybe lining fabric.
The other three were fabric that others were getting rid of. Not sure about the roses and the pink satiny fabric now that I look at it again. They’re not really my style. Maybe give to my youngest sister? She’s just starting to sew and might find them more her thing.

The Lustables
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The first one my sweet girlfriend C bought for me because I was trying to be good and walk out of the fabric shop with things I needed, not just wanted. But it was cotton with spotty teapots on!! The teapots are quite big, and I had no idea what I wanted to make from it. But I’m tempted to make a gathered skirt like Sew Busy Lizzy did with hers.
The middle fabric has a very art-nouveau design to it. I don’t have a particular project in mind, but I think I’m going to make a 30s dress out of it. I have Wearing History’s Moderne 1930s pattern, so maybe I’ll use that.
The final piece in this bunch was a bit of a mistake. I loved it, and still love it, but I misread the label, and it cost way more than I thought. I thought it was a bargain, and nope. After the five metres had been cut, I realised my mistake. Happily, I have blanked the horrific price from my memory. I still plan on turning it into a 50s style dress (and using some of the remainder to cover a matching hat), but not until I’ve made a muslin of the dress. I’m not messing up that expensive fabric, even if I can’t remember how much it cost.

The Ghost of Projects Past
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I bought this years ago to make it into Folkwear’s Beach Pyjamas. Obviously that never happened. I’m kinda glad it’s still around; I really like the ferny fabric (I plain like ferns), and the pink in the fabric always reminds me of Pink Heath, Victoria’s state flower (some things you learn in primary school never go away).

“Current” Projects
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These were all in my Current Projects box, although none of them are particularly current. The bird fabric on the left is a voile that I was making into a circle skirt last summer. Not sure what the white fabric was specifically for, but I think it was the lining for the right-hand fabric.
The right-hand fabric is a green and brown geometric rayon for the 40s pattern at the bottom right. I bought it during the first summer after the split from my last partner. It’s partly cut out and I should really get it back on my sewing table.
The green fabric is a voile that I bought for another project, but I have earmarked for making a blouse for morris dancing with. (It’s the perfect kit colour.)

THE MYSTERIOUS, THE UGLY, AND THE USELESS

I’m Not Even A Quilter
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So these are mostly (all, I think) from years ago. The top row was all bought at a crafter’s and quilter’s expo. The five on the left were all from a New Zealand fabric stall. I had plans that I would make it into a NZ-themed quilt. That would have been four or five years ago, and it obviously hasn’t happened yet. And is probably unlikely to for the next while. So all of these will probably go back into my stash for the time being.

Whut The Heeell Iz It?
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I’ve been sewing a long time. And I’ve therefore got some fabric in my stash that I have no idea of the provenance or what it’s for. The red fabric is probably leftover from the dress I made for my North-West morris dance kit (AKA uniform). Probably. The blue-green fabric I probably just bought because it was pretty, although there doesn’t seem to be enough to do anything with. Maybe it was once a fat quarter?
The dark purple fabric seems to be cotton. I could probably do something with that. I should measure it and work out how much I have.
Not sure what the heather purple corduroy was for. I think it might have been designed for a corselet. Possibly as a muslin? Either way there isn’t much of it. Not sure what I could do with it.
The last isn’t really a mystery. The gold curlicues were bought at Christmas and I used them to make stockings. I still seem to have quite a bit left, though.

A Mysterious Selection of White Cotton
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What are all these? Who knows. They’re various weights. I did, at least, label the top one: it’s left over white cotton twill from the Victorian Polonaise which I made a few years back (and technically never finished, due to some self-cover button issues).
Then, from left to white right (I swear that was unintentional), we have: a soft lightweight weave, probably good for a shirt; a very stiff, coarse weave that I have no idea about (but would probably make good interlining); a medium-weight even weave that I think might be broadcloth; another heavy denim-like weave that I think might be the duck that I was using to interline the corset I didn’t wind up finishing; another bunch of medium-weight even weave that I think might be the second batch of broadcloth I bought (I bought one lot last year, lost it, bought another lot, and then found the first lot).
I think I might turn the broadcloth into petticoats, since that was more-or-less the original plan, and I have two voile-weight skirts that are as-yet unfinished that need either slips or lining.

Extremely Misc
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The top row is voile, for some Tibetan prayer flag–style bunting I was going to make. I’ve only made one so far, and it hasn’t been hemmed yet (just realised that craft project was from three years ago. Eugh).
Of the bottom row, I remember the middle fabric was going to be made into a corselet. The other two fabrics’ purposes are a mystery to me, though. Maybe I could just pif them. I don’t have any purpose for them. I think they’re both fat quarter sized, so not a large enough amount to do anything useful with.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER

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Then I found the white and green cotton on the left on the washing rack (I’d forgotten to bring it downstairs with the rest). Then I realised there was one more box (which mostly held fabric scraps). And then I realised there was still the hessian bag under my sewing table. These are their stories.
The left fabric is the fabric you saw in my last post that I mostly bought because it was cheap.
The next is a Deco-ish fabric. I bought some of this and made a bag out of it. Then my housemate was sweet and bought me more, but I have no idea what to do with it.
The red-looking mess in the middle is a dark pink fabric that’s meant to be a muslin for a 30s blouse from Wearing History. It’s cut out and half sewn together, but on hold because I think I’ve lost a pattern piece.
The brownish fabric was bought on a whim at the same time as the green and white dot fabric that I showed you last time (that is a mostly completed circle skirt). It’s also planned for a 40s dress. I know I had a specific one in mind, and I’ve a feeling it was one of my actual vintage patterns rather than one of the two repro Vintage Vogue ones I have.
The right-hand fabric is another spontaneous fabric purchase in 2012 (the frequency that happened is rather the reason why I’m shopping my stash for awhile). I do love paisley, and I like the olive colour. But I’m not so keen on the blue bit in retrospect. I did have this planned for a blouse, but I’m not sure I’m going to use it for that in the end. Maybe I could use it as a lining. I think it would be nice as a lining on something, even if (since it’s a cotton) it’s not slippery like a satin.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

So, what’s the plan? How long do I want the ban to go for? I want to get through a bunch of things:

  • the purple and white dot dress that I’m still finishing
  • the green and white dot skirt that’s getting hemmed
  • the lilac/maroon flower fabric in the first photo
  • at least one of the blouse fabrics from the second photo
  • the bird voile skirt
  • the green and brown geometric rayon dress
  • the brown leaf print 40s dress from the last photo

Once those have been completed, I’ll start buying fabric again.

Also, I can buy notions only if they’re in aid of one of these projects. And I might bend the rules and buy perhaps one more piece of fabric if it means using up one of these pieces (I have my heart set on this cute top that would use one of my new fabrics and the orange blouse fabric … but it needs a knit). If I do buy another piece to go with a project, I will aim to wait until I’ve completed at the very least one of the other projects on the list.

Can you tell that I do best with really defined rules?

Also, I am not allowed on Emma One Sock until I’ve sewed some things up. I only went on it today for the first time and I fell in love with this lantern fabric. I want to make, yep, another dress (probably 40s again – I have plenty of patterns). Maybe I should ask for it for my birthday? (Which is in February…!)

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