Stashbusting 2014

A lot of you will be aware of the 2013 Stash-busting challenge, where people pledged to sew a certain amount of their stashed fabric. Last year, I mainly wanted to join in because the button was so cool… but thought I was too late to join + didn’t have a blog for most of the year.

ImageWell, it’s back for another year, and I’ve decided I will join in this year. My stash isn’t as big as some people I know but still, a stash is a stash. I actually start feeling uncomfortable when it gets too big (I’ve had nightmares about that hoarders TV show), and am less likely to sew, so last year I actually got rid of a lot of fabrics I wasn’t all that keen on sewing up – I was very tough on myself and, at an estimate*, probably got rid of half my stash (most of which was given to one sister-in-law).

Nonetheless, a made garment is a hang of a lot better than fabric sitting on a shelf, and I never want to have pieces that are so precious I’ll never sew them up. Yes, I have a piece of chiffon and a piece of silk cotton that will be in there for a while, but only until I feel I have the skills to not balls them up.

So, without further ado: I, Sophie-Lee, commit to using half my stashed fabric in 2014.

I actually just counted my stash and it comes to 53 pieces in total. I have an average of 2m per piece so that’s about 106m of fabric. Plus, there may or may not be a 40% off sale at Global-That-Was this coming week (I see some wool crepe in my future…) Some of this fabric is for other people (two pairs of pants for Mr. Guy, leggings for my mum, merino’s for people) but most, of course, is for me.

Luckily I have a 3 month contract up in the far north (several hours away from any fabric stores) so I’ll be doing my very own Desert Island Sewing. So if I take up a reasonable amount of fabric I should be able to churn through it, because I WONT BE DOING 15 HOUR SHIFTS FOR THREE MONTHS! Yipee!!

ImageThis is my “I could sew any of these, any time” pile. Plus notions on the left.


These are my more specific pieces that wont get sewn in the near future (wool felt, chiffon, laces etc)

Are any of you thinking of pledging? I’m not sure how well I stick to challenges like this but it was good to actually count how much I had (and I separated some more that I’ll be selling at the next Fabric-a-Brac). Do large stashes make you nervous or do you love the idea of rolling around in that much fabric?

* I’m very bad at estimating. Once, my husband asked me how tall I thought some trees were, and I guess 100m. Also, I hate the word “guestimate”.



NB: No finished item today as I have a dress needing hemming and neckline finishing; and have lost a bit of my mojo. It might be a tracing day today.


I was as excited for this years fabric-a-brac, as I was for Christmas when I was 15 (which is not as excited as when you’re a child, lets be honest). Unfortunately I was busy for the April FAB (not so unfortunate, because it was the same day as my wedding) but this time I cleared my schedule. I do have enough stash to have my own stall, but my sister-in-law has decided she’s going to get back in to sewing when she comes back to town so wants ALL of it. Which is good (another sewing buddy!) and bad (could have made money – easily enough to off-set my purchaces; or I could have given it all to the hospice shop)

I was, however, lucky enough to be asked to volunteer at the Hospice Stall (lucky because I love handling money) – which meant I could come half an hour early to look through all the stalls. This year there was only three (I think) stalls selling new items – Made on Marion (she only had 45 minutes notice!), Whirlwind Designs, and The Sewing Depot. The rest were all stash-busters.

And those of us who were stash-growers:

ImageClockwise from left:

  • a thick-ish floral fabric, $2. Will become a mini skirt
  • Pale floral cotton with TINY birds, 4m for $20
  • Paisley cotton, 250x109cm, $4, will likely become Tania Coulotts
  • Blue cotton, the exact same as the green my shirtwaist is made from. 250x170cm for $5; a Colette Crepe
  • Owl jersey (according to The Dreamstress who bought the same last year, it’s polyester and ended up pilling like craaaazy). 200x165cm $10
  • Polyester with tiny umbrellas 90x240cm, $2. No idea, will probably be given to my sister-in-law.
  • ImageTaupe with white polka dots, ?rayon, 150×110, $7. Very drapey – maybe a La Sylphide if I have enough?
  • Navy and red cotton shirting, 90x490cm, $15. NO IDEA, perhaps a bleuet? I don’t know how well the bow would show up though; I would love a contrast but would not want to do a red contrast.
  • Marroon cotton rayon blend with leaves. My ABSOLUTE favourite and I probably would be happy if this was all I bought. 3 yards ?width, $4!
  • Red checked cotton with daisies, no idea. It was only a couple of dollars.
  • Black and red houndstooth check knit, 212×140 $5. A dress of some sort.

I know almost every Wellingtonian sewist was at Fabric-a-Brac if they could make it. Wouldn’t it be great if there were more opportunities to stash bust like this? Next time I’ll be getting in early to have a WSBN table (I know we’ll all have stuff to stash by then!).

Anyone got any clever ideas for my fabrics I haven’t thought of?




I’m getting ahead of myself.


So, Arthur Toye’s, a fabric shop in Wellington (and Palmerston North) is shutting down, and selling EVERYTHING in store at 50%. While the other girls of the WSBG are mourning, I’m merely happy that I got to pick up a “bargain”. IE the fabrics there are so over priced compared to other shops in Wellington, that their sale merely brings the price to “relatively affordable”. $39.95/m for a stiff cotton sateen when I can get a silky one for $18/m at The Fabric Warehouse? $30-40/m for linens when I can get them for ~$18/m at Global-That-Was (The Fabric Store)? Add to that an extremely rude serving lady, and I’ve only been into AT once in the year I’ve lived in Wellington.

In saying that, I’m always up for a sale, and did end up getting some nice fabric for a good price; and I actually have plans for all this fabric although it will take me a while to sew it all (and my stash is growing at an alarming rate).


Clockwise from top:

  • Leopard print stretch denim, originally $39.95/m (!), got 1.5m for $30 -> will be a pencil skirt
  • “Nectarine” viscose polyester blend – looks like linen but doesn’t crease – 2m for $15
  • Floral rayon, 3m for $30 (this one was apparently priced wrong and she was adament that it was originally $25/m despite the ticket saying $20. The man gave it to me for the cheaper price). Am thinking this will be a maxi Anna? Not sure how I feel about maxi’s but I figure I’ll try it out.
  • Swallow viscose 2m for $25. Lovely drapey feel, this will be a summer dress.
  • Plain cotton (?voile) for lining, 2m for $15
  • 8x cottons, $2 each!
  • A few invisible zips for my large zip stash, $4 each
  • 1m of woven interfacing. Boring, but half price = $7

I know this is another post that’s not related to a finished garment; I’m trying to finish off my Butterick 5747 and it’s dragging on a bit. Almost there but I might cheat on it today and make something simpler to get me going again.

At this stage there’s no way I’m going to meet my initial goal of 4 dresses for Frocktober (working 60-70 hour weeks kind of tuckered me out) but 2.5 is still pretty good, right?? And I have already made my November item for The Monthly Stitch which puts me ahead.