Last year I set myself a challenge to use 5 fabrics from my stash that I was nervous about using for one reason or another. The intention was that any of those fabrics that I didn’t use would end up on the log burner at the end of the year if they weren’t touched. Well, to summarise, last year I only cut in to four out of the five fabrics. I have however, not thrown the last fabric on to the fire, because I have good reason for not cutting in to it. Over the past six months I have lost quite a lot of weight, and after losing that weight my shape has still to stabilise. I have decided on the pattern for this piece of fabric, but I don’t want to make a dress that is unlikely to fit me a month after I have made it, just so that I can complete the challenge. As such, this one piece of fabric has been added to my Use 5 list for 2018.
I have now chosen my Use 5 fabrics for 2018. For four of these I have a pattern selected, but for the fifth, I’m somewhat at a loss, so if you have any ideas, please let me know! I present my Use 5 2018 selection below, in no particular order:
Monochrome Floral and GBSB Shift Dress
The monochrome floral border print that I didn’t cut into in 2017 has to be in my list of fabrics for 2018. I think I have decided on the shift dress pattern in the GBSB Sew Your Own Wardrobe book, but I am also considering Simplicity 8258 (an Amazing Fit pattern) or Simplicity 1913 (another princess seamed bodice but with a possibility for a flared skirt). I’m not sure what shape skirt to go for, but I know that straight skirts tend to look better on me, so that’s probably the way I’ll go. I really want a waist seam, as I have plans for the pattern rising up from the hem and down from the shoulder. That said, I know I will have to do an FBA and I think it’s probably easier to adjust a pattern to include a waist seam than to do the FBA!
Black and White Faux Shearling with Asymmetric Zipped Jacket Pattern
About 10 years ago I had a black faux fur jacket that was fabulous – it was RTW and to be honest, I’ve been looking for something similar ever since. Well, upon winning the Wendy Ward book I decided to stop looking for the jacket and start looking for some fabric. Back in about February 2017 I came across this faux shearling in Fabric Land and ended up carrying home a rather large bag of fabric. I decided to use this fabric as the jacket pattern is unlined, and both the right and wrong side of this fabric are lovely. My real fear factor here is that I’ve never made a coat before (although as an unlined jacket, I’m not sure how this will be more difficult than say a shirt in a normal fabric) and I’ve never tackled such a thick fluffy fabric as this. What I am really confused and concerned about is attaching interfacing…do I shave the fluffy side, and attach it to the wrong side of the suede side? Do I attach it to the suede side? what on earth do I do?!
I have 2m of this metallic, described in the advert as chainmail fabric. It’s a black stretch fabric, overlaid with a metallic woven layer. I have absolutely no idea what to make with this. I think it has to be a dress or skirt and top set, but I’m not really sure what pattern to use. I am considering New Look 6209, as I think I could have the centre front and back panels in the metallic, with plain stretch black material for the side panels. This is up for consideration as I don’t really do sparkles or metallics – I think I’ve owned 1 garment with sequins in the past 25 years, and that was only worn once or twice. As for why this fabric is scary? It’s a stretch fabric with a metallic overlay – honestly, what more do you want?!
Stretch Denim with Jalie 2908 Jeans Pattern
Jeans…I live my life in them, but I’ve never made them, and never sewn with denim. I have also never made a proper pair of fitted trousers. All in all, this little lot scares me, and if I don’t get on and use it, it’s going to taunt me forever. It’s a lovely stretch denim bought for me by my family this Christmas, I can’t wait to try the pattern and the fabric, but equally, it terrifies me – a perfect candidate for my Use 5 list.
Teal Pionte di Roma with New Look 6000
Last but not least is this gorgeous teal / peacock blue ponte di roma fabric bought from Abakhans, that’s destined to become a version of New Look 6000. Again I will need to do an FBA, and I’m not entirely sure how to do that in an assymetric pattern piece. I’m also not sure about adjusting a pattern designed for a woven fabric for a stretch fabric, and I’m really keen for this dress to come out “right”, so I’m adding considerable pressure to myself.
So there you have it, 5 fabrics in my stash that I am anxious about using. I will obviously sew other items throughout the year, but I will make something with each of these 5 fabrics, else they’ll end up on the fire. Scary as that sounds, it actually takes some of the pressure away, as I don’t have the luxury / temptation / fallacy / excuse of waiting until I’m able to make the perfect garment. Does anyone else have any fabrics in their stash that they’re too afraid to cut into? I hope so, I really hope it’s not just me!
So another three months have gone past, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve had all that much time to spend at my sewing table. I have been busy recently doing other things; work has been busy, I’m trying to do more work on our house, spend more time with the kids and get more exercise. I’ve never been all that keen on exercise, but I’ve always liked to do a bit, but I’m getting more focused – I am really enjoying challenging myself to run that bit further or faster. As a consequence, I am losing weight, which is also having an impact on my sewing; after all, I don’t want to sew something for me if it’s not going to fit me at the end of the process, and I think we are all aware by now that I’m not one of those sewers who can rattle something off in an afternoon.
So, now the excuses are out of the way, let’s just have a quick update on progress on my Use 5 2017 challenge:
Navy Ponte Roma- made up into a skirt – now I just need to work out what to do with the rather sizeable remnant – I don’t need to do that to save it from the fire, but I really love the fabric and don’t want to waste it. I am thinking I can use some of the teal ponte in combination with the navy remnant somehow. Any ideas?!
Lindy Petal Skirt from the Front
Purple Jersey: Three months ago I was telling you that I had started the process, and since then I have blogged the final result. This was being worn a lot during the cooler weather, but I have put it away until autumn now that the sun is here. I am looking forward to wearing it again though. Again, I have some remnants – I’m considering making some undies out of this if any of the pieces are large enough.
New Look 6150 in purple jersey
Multi-Spot Jersey: At the time of the last Use 5 update I had decided that this would be a summer dress for my little girl. That dress caused me some issues; should I say it was a learning experience?! It is now finished, and being worn and loved – I’ll blog about it soon hopefully!
Final stitches on the dress
Monochrome Floral: I am now pretty set on this being a shift dress for me. Because I want the flowers to creep up from the hem and drape over the shoulders this will need to have a waist seam, and so I’m planning on using the GBSB Shift dress from the Sew Your Own Wardrobe Book. I will need to do an FBA on this pattern, and I also really need my weight to settle down, as I currently have no idea what size to make. I also want to drape this material over my dress form for a bit to check that it is actually going to look as I want if I have the flowers positioned where I plan. I don’t really like the idea of the flowers coming out from the waist, I want them on the bodice and skirt, but most monochrome RTW dresses have the darker shade at the waist so I am slightly concerned that my dream may not be the most flattering! If you’re the sort of person that knows about this, please help!
Grey Floral Border Dress Material, Prewashed on the Line
Pink cotton lawn: I had started this walkaway dress, but was actually quite a way from completing it, or at least so I thought – I had hung it on my dressform to allow the circle skirt to do its thing before I went ahead and finished the bias binding, and hemmed the skirt. After a while though it dawned on me that there’s not a lot of point, nor entertainment in hemming a circle skirt if I’m just going to unpick it – I also didn’t want to trim any more off the pieces than necessary in case that impacted on my future makes for my daughter. As such, there will be a post coming soon about this not really completed garment!
Finished Walkaway Dress on Mimi
So, out of the five that I set myself, I have cut into 4, and got 4 completed (enough) items…I’m happy enough to not have cut into the 5th, especially with my weight changing. At times it’s easy enough to give excuses for not cutting into that piece of fabric, but realistically I’m expecting my weight to settle down in about 3 months, so I will be able to get on and cut it at that point. It would be easy to use my varied sizing as an excuse, but I have already lost over an inch from my waist and I have a record of my measurements so that I can easily tell when the change is plateauing. All in all though, I have tackled 4 of 5 pieces of fabric I was avoiding last year, and I am already looking at my stash thinking about which ones should be on the list for 2018! In between now and then though I have a few other things I need to be getting on with; I’m trying to finish up a load of my UFO’s, and I’ve got a couple of other projects that I want to work on – oh yes, and there’s that blogging backlog to deal with too!
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