Friday, January 16, 2009

Stashoholism Confessional: 2009 Edition, and General Stash Musings

So, I'm not big on resolutions but I do generally have some kind of resolution to buy less fabric and shop more from stash. I was trying to figure out a workable solution for this year and I think I'm ready to commit. But first, the already broken fast:


ThumbnailI got the hot pink knit because my mom loved my Knip Mode 4-08-13 gather front top when I wore it in Texas over the holidays and asked me to copy the pattern out for her. I figured I'd copy the pattern but also make one for her, because she never seems to get around to sewing for herself and her wardrobe is SAD. She has that mom syndrome where her needs always come last, even now that the kids are long out of the house!

However, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what colors are in her wardrobe, mentally looking through her closet of worn out, faded, out-of-date clothes that were of horrible quality to begin with (all you moms out there: for real, don't let this happen to you!), and while I couldn't come up with any colors I know she likes, I don't think the hot pink is right for her. She has a lot of red tones in her face, which I inherited somewhat, and I think the pink might bring them out too much. I found a fabric in stash that will be great for her (I hope), but that means I really had no justification for buying the hot pink! Especially considering I have 3 or 4 other colors of pink knit in stash.

PatternEnvelopeThe print I just loved, loved and is also connected to my visit home. My sister is not much of a sewist--she's an avid and talented paper crafter and scrapbooker--but she does have a sewing machine and makes pjs for her boys occasionally. She showed me a pattern she had gotten for herself, McCall 5752, and I really liked it.


I get so many compliments on my Simplicity 3775--the Spring version and a Fall version I also made and have yet to photograph--that I wanted to find more patterns with ruching on them. The print seems perfect for the pattern and I am having to hold myself off until at least mid-February to start Spring sewing! There's still a lot of winter left.


Anyway, it is just not realistic for me not to buy *any* fabric, inspired as I am by Little Hunting Creek's example--she hasn't bought fabric since March 2008!!!!! So I think I've decided I will buy** 6 yards per month. I was considering 4 but I think that might be unrealistic for me and unrealistic resolutions come with big ol' tags that read "Break Me." Six yards is two 3 yard pieces or three 2 yard pieces. That should really be enough to satisfy me. It adds up to 72 yards over the course of a year. I only started keeping track in 2007, but for 2007 and 2008 I averaged approximately 130-140 yards purchased and 100 yards sewn.

Buying 72 yards this year will take up the excess for one of those years, assuming I sew at the same pace, which is anyone's guess. I was actually a little shocked when doing my end of 2008 blog post at the volume of my sewing output. I don't *feel* like my life is out of balance, but I wonder if I should experiment with devoting less time to sewing (sacrilege!) and seeing how I feel, whether my life feels richer.

**I almost wrote "limit myself to" but I liked how Carolyn phrased it in her blog. She wants to purchase 100 yards of fabric. I'm not going to pine about yards unpurchased, but enjoy my generous allowance of yards purchased.


All that aside, srsly I have plenty of fabric to keep me busy! Here is a short list of projects I'd love to do in the immediate future. I keep a paper list at my desk so when inspiration strikes I can write it down and get back to work.

Purple Patrones coat 272-37
Red tropical floral tie neck tee from BWOF 08-2007-105
Knip Mode famous gather front top for mom, 04-2008-13
Plaid skirt for mom, BWOF 10-2008-103
Hot pink BWOF orchid neck knit "big shirt," 09-2008-110
Black stripe pleated sleeve BWOF blouse, 12-2007-117
Moleskin BurdaStyle Kasia skirt (which appears to still be a free pattern)
Taupe wool Knip Mode wrap/pleat skirt, 04-2008-11
Olive wool plaid tulip skirt, BWOF 09-2007-116
Gray stripe Knip Mode batwing blouse, 04-2008-14
Green/white/gray McCall 5752 (SPRING)
Giambattista Valli knockoff tee in aqua lace from The Princess Seam's blog (SPRING)

This is only a sample of what's on my project list, and only the projects I am currently most excited about. The list goes on, believe me. Unquestionably, this is enough to keep me busy until the end of the month, when my 6 yard clock restarts! In fact, these projects are enough to keep me busy for three months at my one-garment-per-week pace (the coat will take longer, but other projects will be shorter so it would all even out, I think).

Looking back at my list of projects helps me realize that buying more fabric keeps me from doing projects I love. Wait a minute, I think I just had an epiphany. Let's try that again:


Once the new fabric comes into the sewing room, long-planned projects lose their luster and I am drawn into the novelty of New!Stuff! This really gives me something to think about. I don't want to miss out on these projects:



I guess I also have a resolution to keep up with pattern reviews in a more timely fashion. Starting this year 17 reviews behind is not a good place to be! Clearly this was a resolution last year. Looking back at my list of pattern reviews I see I did 10 in January 2008--over 1/4 of my reviews for the whole year! I'm starting out strong this January as well, keeping my goal of posting two per week. I'll try to keep up the two per week pace until I've cleared out my backlog. Only 13 left (plus the 3 projects I've done so far in 2009)!


Cindy Lou said...

Love that idea: I'm not *dieting*, I'm *eating responsibly.* That's the gist of your Fabric Purchase Plan for 2009, isn't it? What a healthy atittude!
Okay, I'm in. I'm 'purchasing responsibly' this year, not 'Avoiding Purchasing.' I love your planned projects, too... isn't it sad when projects fall off the shelf because of new fabric?

Little Hunting Creek said...

Your epiphany is MY epiphany - you are so right! Buying more fabric keeps us from doing projects we love. It does! The thrill of always getting New! More! Shiny! is very distracting. Like you, I am going to try to stick to my plan of sewing favorite fabrics in to patterns that I love. You are a genius! Maybe we could give Stash Therapy Seminars :)

melissa said...

Yes!! I made that KnipMode top for my mom, too, and she adores hers!

It must be the time of year, but I'm also mentally pairing patterns with fabrics in my stash, getting ready for a big ol' burst of sewing. I really like how you've laid out all the tech drawings with the fabrics, though. I should really take more photos of my fabrics so I can do this, too.

Lindsay T said...

"Once the new fabric comes into the sewing room, long-planned projects lose their luster and I am drawn into the novelty of New!Stuff!" Bingo! This is precisely what happens with me. Aging fabric is a bad thing, I believe, which is why my stash is still relatively small and hopefully will stay that way.

Geertje said...

What about stashing patterns? With me, that seems to be an even bigger problem than the fabric...

Vicki said...

How true about the new "projects" pushing the old favourites into the dim dark distant past. Well this morning I am pulling out an old favourite untried BWOF pattern and I will see where I go with that.

Kathleen C. said...

Good post!
I like your epiphany and the theme rings so true. I loved every piece of fabric and skein of yarn I bought... So why didn't I use them? Why don't I have the gorgeous top, comfy pants, cozy sweater...? Mostly because I got distracted.
And allowing myself to enjoy rather than limiting myself... as CindyLou put it... "eating resposibly" not dieting...

Anne LO said...

Girl, that is so right. Buying more removes focus! That is so so true for me. I will write that on the wall!

Myra said...

A good plan, I need to limit what I buy and be more thoughtful about what I (attempt to) make. I also agree with the aging/losing their lustre theory, that is so true. I am reorganizing right now and am finding things I did not know I had and/or new plans for them.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Just found your blog by random clicking around - I'm just the same with yarn, I've been trying to stop myself buying more until I've used up enough of what I have to make space for it! :)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Two things:

1. I experience that new fabric euphoria also, but I've found that stashed or collected fabric sings its song again when I need a piece in the middle of the night or day, or when I have a project in mind and raid the closet and there it sits, the perfect piece waiting to be used. So fabric euphoria can be a temporary stage.

2. Shannon of Hungry Zombie Couture figured out that my goal means I can purchase up to 8.33 yards of fabric a month. Some months I'm planning on not purchasing any and some months I may purchase a little more but it gives me a very reasonable goal to work with!!!