Have you noticed the new button on my blog? That's right, I've joined up for a year-long sew-along based in stash-busting. Hosted by Cindy of Cation Designs and Emily from Em Sew Crazy, this is an idea I can really get behind. I've got at least 15+ years worth of accumulated fabrics. Some are fairly recently acquired (in the past few months), but got put away with the rest of the fabrics instead of being immediately made up. Others have been sitting around for quite a while (years really). Regardless of source or timing of my acquisitions, I have overflowed the cabinet I've been keeping fabric in, and added several plastic tubs. I also use these tubs to store Romeo's clothes until Ace grows into them, so I need to get some things sewn up before Romeo outgrows things and I need somewhere to put them. Buying more tubs needs to not be an option.
I like the premise of this sew-along too. It's "casual" so if I don't have a lot of fabrics that fit a particular theme, (or as often happens with me, someone in the family needs something specific that has nothing to do with any sew-along process) it's not a big deal. On the other hand, each month is going to have a theme, so I will have a good reason to "shop my stash" and make up as much as is reasonable. Having some direction is nice; it keeps things from getting overwhelming and lets me focus on one direction at a time.
The rules to join include leaving a comment with your personal pledge for how much of your stash you are committing to use on either Cindy's or Emily's blog. They also have set up a Flikr group for the sew-along so we can all watch each other's progress. I've gone with 25 pieces as my number to try to use out of the stash by the end of the year. That works out to just over 2 garments a month, a totally do-able amount. They did have the option to include a pledge not to buy stuff (fabric or something else to make it personal). I didn't add anything under that option. I have a goal of trying to avoid buying cheap clothing for myself and the kids (Pete can do as he wishes, but in general he goes for better-quality stuff as a matter of personal taste and fitting needs. If there's something he wants me to make him, though, I''m totally up for it). I need to be able to have the option to buy fabric if there's a wardrobe gap that isn't otherwise going to be filled. I'm thinking specifically of boy's dress shirts right now; it's getting hard to find these for Romeo without either spending a small fortune (on a plain white shirt), or ending up trying to get a tie onto something with no collar stand and where the manufacturer decided clear, flat buttons were ok as opposed to real shirt buttons. I don't have a lot of shirting in my stash, so some things are going to have to be acquired as the kids keep growing.
So here's my plan. As I make up things that have been in the stash, I'll include that specific information in my postings. For now, here's a little bit of information about my plans.
I have 4 pieces of knit fabrics that I bought with the intention of making them into Tiramisus. I bought these back when the first pictures of the Tiramisu were shown, long before it was ever printed or shipped. Now that I have the pattern, I do plan to make up a few.
I have a 3 or 3 1/2 yard piece of a sort-of oatmeal colored linen/linen-look fabric with all-over flowery embroidery that I bought about 8 or 9 years ago, whenever it was that I was pregnant w/ Romeo. My intention at that time was to make a maternity dress, but I never did, and that's probably ok. It would have been a lot of flowers for a pregnant belly. My new plan is to use a vintage pattern with a bit of a fit-and-flare look (assuming there's enough fabric for that).
I have several lengths of flannel, mainly bought within the last 6-8 months, and growing children. Right now Guinevere needs nightgowns, but I'm pretty sure Romeo will need new jammies in the next 6 months too (I won't make him make all of his own jammies just because he made the one pair).
I have a pretty piece of pink gingham taffeta (acquired last spring) that will make a lovely full-skirted dress for me (also a vintage pattern)
I have several pin-striped suitings that I bought in the fall with the intention of making either dresses or suits for myself...that's still the plan, I just haven't got around to it.
I have 3 large pieces of quilting cotton bought about a year ago to make myself summery dresses. I'll work on these as the weather warms up. Yes, I know quilting cotton makes lousy dresses compared to actual dress fabric, but the prints on these are fun, and I just want them to wear for every-day anyway.
I have a blue rayon suiting I bought last fall that I plan to make up into a dress from a specific vintage pattern. One with a large contrast bow in the bust area. The contrast I have planned is leftover from another project, so just a small piece left. If there's enough of the contrast, I plan to make a hat too, from a 1950's pattern I recently acquired.
I bought some Strawberry Shortcake fleece for a robe for Guinevere. A fairly recent acquisition (within the past 2 months) but it got put into the stash instead of cut out...I need to remedy that soon.
Also, several pretty Rayon Challis fabrics. Some with enough yardage for just a skirt, others in longer lengths that I plan to make up from 1940's vintage patterns.
Some kind of rayon/rayon-blend suiting that would make a fairly awesome Gertie Coat-dress. I bought it with that in mind anyway, and I still would like it to end up as such.
One piece of plaid wool-suiting that is just the right weight for a boy's suit. This might not get made up until the fall though. It might be a "breathable" fabric, but it doesn't seem like it would be comfortable in the summer. It depends how fast Romeo outgrows his current suits.
So that's the short list of what I can come up with off the top of my head. I'm not including pictures of my plans, but as I work through the stash, I'll point out which of these ideas I've followed through on or if I changed directions, or if its something from the stash I'd forgotten about when I posted about these. Trust me, there are plenty of other fabrics and ideas available.