Stashbusting sewalong – Yet another commitment!

This weekend is the Australia Day long weekend, and after this post, I’m going offline for some family time and sewing thinking. Do you ever get over inspired? At the moment my mind is running ahead much faster than my sewing skills, so I’m going to really take some time to think about the patterns I have, and all the fabric I have, and start using them all!

And so, I’m yet another member of the stashbusting sewalong! The genius ladies behind this challenge are emsewcrazy at Tumbleweeds in The Wind and Cindy at Cation Designs.
Stashbusting sewalong

Making the seamless pledge has been very relaxing. By not allowing myself to buy RTW clothes (I did fall off the wagon a little in November in the UK – I needed jeans and a cardigan) I’m really appreciating the clothes that I make, and am veering towards sewing more cake, and also more excitedly, wearing more frosting!

This challenge might make me use some of the more tricky fabrics in my stash, the chiffons and silks and unknown 70’s fabric that frays like crazy. Challenge accepted.
There’s no promises not buy more fabric, but to buy more sustainable/quality fabrics. If I’m going to spend the time sewing it, I want it to last right?  We’re being given a little gentle guidance on how to use up some of those fabrics, from Cation Designs.

Here’s a list of the first six themes, which covers the first half of the year.

  1. January: Itty Bits! Sew up those remnants left over from another project, use up some of those tiny scraps that you’ve been saving…as long as it’s less than a yard of fabric, it counts!
  2. February: THE LOVE CHALLENGE.
  3. March: Impending Seasonal Change. Regardless of your hemispherical location, the weather will be changing soon…what will you make? Something fun for the coming spring, or something cozy for fall?
  4. April: THE VIBRANT COLOR CHALLENGE.
  5. May: THE KNIT CHALLENGE.
  6. June: Containment! Get ready for those long car trips, summer outings or some good old fashioned cleaning and organizing! We’re thinking bags, boxes, totes, purses, pouches, you name it; this month is all about making things to put other things in.

So, I will endeavour to use two pieces of fabric out of my stash (my pre-2013 stash) each month.  Do you think you could do it too?

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I’m taking the Seamless Pledge!

That’s it, I’m going to do it.  I’m undertaking the seamless pledge, with a little twist.

I Sarah of SewSquirrel am taking the #seamlesspledge until August 2013. http://bit.ly/tktV04.  With the exception of underthings.  And for every item of clothing I buy new fabric for, at least one new item must be made from my fabric stash.

The lovely Elena of Seamless has even given us some pretty prescriptive rules….

THE RULES

  1. No buying new clothes for the duration of your pledge. By new, I mean any new mass-manufactured clothes.
  2. You can buy second-hand manufactured clothes – so be prepared to get to know your local charity shops awfully well.
  3. Vintage clothing is a-ok!
  4. Anything you’ve made by hand is definitely allowed. Get your sewing machines and your kntting needles out, because handmade is definitely in!
  5. Get involved! Join in on the Flickr group and like our Facebook page.

The twist is to use some of my fabric stash as well – Sarai of Colette Patterns made an interesting point the other day about getting into good sewing habits, and I’m going to incorporate her challenge to use my stash as well!

You know what the really strange thing is?  I think I’ve actually been doing this for awhile now without even thinking about it.  Previously I worked right in the heart of the Melbourne CBD and shopping is just what everyone does at lunchtime.  Being at home with a little one, and living within walking distance to 4 op shops (you heard me, 4.  The only thing we have to rival op shops is pizza shops of which our little burb also has 4) it’s been easier to not buy clothes new.  I’ve got my favourite well fitting brands as saved searches Ebay, and sewing is something I’ve always loved, and finally had the opportunity to do more of.

On that note I’d better get sewing, I need a “new” skirt!

 

Heidi & Finn Cowl neck dress

Part of learning to sew knits I decided to try the Heidi and Finn Cowl neck dress pattern.  I’d seen some lovely dresses on ModelMumma‘s blog, and was keen to give them a try.  It’s a very basic beginners sewing pattern.  This was my WIP project which I sent a picture of to DidYouMakeThat last week.  It was fun trying to work out what everyone was sewing!

Baby dress sewing pattern knit

As a note to slightly clueless parents like myself – cowl necks catch baby drool.  It’s gross, and very damp.  Maybe more of a pattern for children that can walk and keep their slobber to themselves.  Oh yeah, and dresses are for those that can walk.

It’s pretty cute on, and very fast to sew.  Will be be a favourite?  Probably not.  Will it be a stash-busting childcare outfit?  Definitely.

Fit 

I’m a little underwhelmed by this pattern, it’s very basic, not very interesting and still the instructions to put the cowl neck in are not as clear as they could have been.  The finished result is nice, but the arms were much too long and the neckline was too small (and I cut a larger size than needed) and is difficult to get over her head.  This would be remedied by using a very stretchy knit, but even still I consider it to be too small.   Big disclaimer here, I also had this problem with the Heidi and Finn Hoodie, so either their sizing is a bit off, or my baby has a giant melon head.  Anyone else had similar issues?

Fabric

Nothing too interesting, a pale pink interlock from Darn Cheap fabrics in Heidelberg, $7 per metre and this was made from the offcuts of my renfrew.

Technique

Honestly after making the Hoodie, and the Sewaholic Renfrew this has no revelations.  If you have sewn a renfrew before, it might be worthwhile self-drafting a new collar in a similar shape, as a shaped cowl drapes much better than the rectangle.

Future lessons

I’m not in love with the pattern, but it is quick to cut out and sew which could make it a brilliant stash buster.  The real win here for me is the fact I can cut out a renfrew for me, and a dress for her out of 2m of fabric.  STASH BUSTER.  The finish of sleeves and hems on childrens garments are really important, as kids roll up their sleeve and run about generally exposing more of the internal workings of  garment than an adult.  Next time I’m going to really finish those seams nicely.  Hopefully by then I’ll have my grubby little mitts on my mother’s overlocker…..