Stashbusting update, and answering some comments

See this?

This, my friends, is almost 33 yards of fabric. Most of it was given to me for free– people from my church have this habit of donating fabric to my mom, and then she passes on the stuff that wouldn’t make good quilts to me. In fact, I think I only purchased two pieces of fabric in this pile.  One is a rather large remnant of leftovers from covering my ottoman, and I purchased some basketweave polyester stuff with the intention of making some throw pillows during the bedroom renovation, but ended up not doing that. And now I don’t need to, because I have the much nicer silk velvet pillows instead. I realized that, realistically, I’m not going to use this fabric. I mean, why do I need 4+ yards of sweatshirt knit when I hardly ever wear sweatshirts (minus the occasional hoodie, and I’d rather sew those out of regular knits so they’d look nicer)? Or weird scratchy twills in ugly shades of brownish taupe that are good for nothing except a pants muslin (and possibly not even that)? So I’m going to post it on Freecycle, and hope that someone out there can find a good use for it. Except for that palm tree batik on top, because my mom has already claimed it. For all I know, it originally came from her own stash, anyway… I’m honestly not sure how it got there.

What this means for my stashbusting efforts is that I’m down to about 210 yards. I started off this year with about 275– so, even though I’ve had to add a few things in for projects like the Anthropologie pants and the upcoming raincoat, that means I’ve gone down 65 yards in 11 months! (Granted, half of it is in that pile there, but still. A net of 32 yards in 11 months sewn up isn’t too shabby either.) I’ve also managed to consolidate from 7 bins to 6 now. Almost 5. That last bin may fill up a bit more if I get any fabric for Christmas (a likely scenario), but that’s still pretty good.

And none too soon on that empty bin…. I may have ordered a crapload of yarn to make that afghan I posted the other day. (I did go for that Red Heart Eco-cotton, in the Denim colorway. Not very tree-like, but I do like blue, and denim goes with almost everything, right? I wanted something that would be a versatile color long-term and still show all of the cable goodness. And I have to admit that the whole recycled fiber thing appealed to me.

And now, I wanted to go ahead and reply to a few of the comments from the last couple of posts, since I don’t have the option to reply directly. (Oh Blogger powers-that-be, if you’re listening, that would be a wonderful feature to add!)

Cheesepirate– Testing some things on cheap acrylic first is definitely the plan! I’m actually thinking of changing up the middle segment to this tree pattern— that was my first thought when I saw it anyway, using a different tree pattern in the middle, and then I saw a gorgeous afghan on Ravelry where someone had done basically exactly that. I think this might actually make it easier, since that entire center portion is knit in the round and the sweater is just a rectangle that I don’t have to remember to do 4 times. I just have to figure out the math on how to get a 130-ish row pattern to work when the center portion of the original ends up with something like 92 stitches per side. Ugh. Hopefully I can just do an extra border repeat or two and be done with it.

Alessa– I’d thought of the dyelot thing too, but it might be a moot point anyway….I had to get something like 28 skeins of the yarn, and I’m not sure they’d have that quantity in the same dyelot to begin with. Especially given the recycled nature of the fiber. So I figure if I get a few different ones, I’ll just mix it up and chalk it up to “natural variations.” Plus then I get extra insurance if I underestimated how much yarn I’d need. At least the yarn was pretty inexpensive. Also, good luck on finding the Bemberg! It really is yummy. I’m surprised Joann’s had it, to be honest. They tend to favor polyester in a big way for apparel fabric.

Karin– it’s actually more of a forest/hunter green. Though emerald would be gorgeous too, wouldn’t it?

Christina– I’m going to have to go with my standard Mary-Jane black heels. (Which I just realized I never actually posted the shoe clips I made for them on here– I forgot after posting them on Refashion Co-Op.) Given my big, extra-wide feet, vintage shoes are definitely not an option! But I think these will be ok.

Mary & Gail– thanks for the lovely comments! And Gail, I think you’ll enjoy the book. After sewing this up, I think all of the Colette love around the sewing blogosphere is fully justified. Even the fitting alterations were made easy!


6 thoughts on “Stashbusting update, and answering some comments

  1. I wouldn't say constant– more like every 3-4 years, someone will want to clear out their stash and will pass it along to her. And honestly, most of it just isn't nice fabric, either in terms of color or content. I've made a few small projects from sample fabric swatches that were maybe a foot square, and I made a blouse over the summer from the nicest piece of the last batch of free stuff. I think I've occasionally used a piece of the free stuff as a muslin. But most of it has been sitting in my stash for well over 5 years, and I've never found a use for it because it's just not my style.


  2. Oh, that afghan modification is lovely — I love the Tree of Life afghan. I am (not very) shamefully into instant gratification (I'm getting better), so I've never made an afghan — I can't wait to see what you do with it!


  3. I like the idea of quantifying the stash in yards. Since deciding to jump on board the Seamless Pledge I've been thinking lots about my stash. Once the holiday craziness is over I’ll need to undertake a similar exercise to put things into perspective and help me get organized with my projects for next year.


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