I dream of a clutter-free life. My husband is the same. In our home, we are constantly aiming to make as little mess as possible and get rid of things we don’t use. I am not a person who gets emotionally attached to “things” so this is usually easy for me.
This year I have made a conscious effort to apply that to my sewing space as well. I remember last year during the #bpsewvember photo tag on Instagram, someone’s photo for the “stash” prompt was simply the fabric and associated notions required for their next project. That was it. I remember being in awe – I was stumped. I never realised that was actually possible! What is sewing, if not messy? How do you not collect tonnes of fabric? What about your leftover scraps from that project three years ago? What about the scraps from your mum’s project 30 years ago? You might want to use them one day! What about that stuff you just had to buy in the shop that time, and then you never really decided what to do with it so it just sits there? What about bits of fabric and things that other people have given you? And all those unfinished projects that you never really loved in the first place? But sure, you’ll finish them one day? I’m sure this is all too familiar to most people who sew. Before you know it you have a big old stash of different bits and pieces, half of which you’d forgotten about, taking up space and gathering dust.
Enough! Since I saw that Instagram post of one piece of fabric, I have been yearning for something similar. How refreshing and organised and easy, to only have one project to worry about at a time?
So I set about organising my fabrics. First I took swatches of the stuff I wanted to keep, but only if I had a tangible plan for that fabric. I gave HEAPS away to fellow sewers on Facebook, donated the rest of the big pieces to Vinnies and got ruthless and chucked away the little scraps. Ahh. It was so cleansing. I ended up with a small shelf of fabrics, each of which has a plan, and here’s my goal: I intend to sew them all up before buying any more fabric and starting any more projects. Hopefully writing it down like this will encourage me to stick to it!
So here is a quick summary of these plans:
- Red/white polycotton: summer picnic dress, Simplicity 1803
- Black/white and pink/white striped Thailand cottons: business shirts for Ben
- Stretch floral: short summer skirt, possibly a Hollyburn
- Confetti crepe: Tania culottes
- Aqua jersey: Agnes top
- Red/white striped satin: pleated party skirt
- White textured NZ jacquard: pattern mash of S1873, S1803, and Burda Young 7308
- Lace and ivory cotton: Burda Young 7308 again – I do love this pattern
- Red linen: winter dress, possibly another S1873
- Orange/purple textured weave: Cordova jacket
- Grey/white houndstooth: winter skirt, possibly self drafted??
- Polkadot and chevron cottons: Fifi pajamas
Phew, that’s a lot of work.
It’s a bummer, in a way, because I have other things I am really itching to sew (like an amazing pair of Ginger jeans, this Vogue winter coat (*swoon), a silk Pussy Bow blouse and sooo many other ideas that keep adding to my list)… but I figure if I get through the list above then I can reward myself with fabrics and patterns for these next projects. Let’s see how I go anyway – I know I will need to make one exception for a bridesmaid dress in July, but other than that I don’t really have an excuse to buy more stuff!
I have already made a start on this list and have actually ticked a couple off, but the challenge is to keep going and use up all of these fabrics. The sooner I do that, the sooner I can start new projects :D!
I’d love to know how any of you organise your sewing plans and your fabric stashes! Am I just the weird one who makes lists and draws piccies, or do some others do this too?