It’s quite an attractive sounding endeavour, isn’t it? A blogger whom I like is currently on a mission to unlock the investment of her fabric collection and turn it into actual useful items for wearing. She’s also currently on a me-made mission for the month of May, wherein she only wears items that she has made herself. But we can admire that aspect of her awesomeness on another occasion. For now, I am talking about Stash Bustin’ because it is what I have set out to do. Yes, bust some stash and make everyone like me. Here is how:
A sizable portion of my fabric stash is made up of weirdly shaped, small pieces of fabric I am not willing to make into a patchwork quilt. There happens to be a half-finished patchwork quilt in the stash also, testimony to the fact that I do not like patchwork much, and it is half-finished because I laid it all out, started sewing, realised it was going to be a lot smaller than I anticipated, realised also that I didn’t have enough extra blocks of the right things to extend it and GAVE UP. Patchwork and I are no longer friends.
But having a baby in the house (and the community, thank you dear friends who have bred also) has turned me on to the potential of my stash. All those awkwardly shaped pieces are just the right size for little baby girl dresses. And rompers. Dresses take only an hour or so. I like instant gratification. It feels like a bit of win going on here.
But there’s another project buzzing around my head. Because although these dresses take up some of these awkward pieces of fabric, they don’t use them all. There’s still a square here, a triangle there. And my house is clearly in need of some party decorations. So… BUNTING! Like this:
So, anyway, where was I? Oh, using up every scrap. It makes sense. I figure I can make some less than conventional shapes in my bunting, because nobody can really tell me off for it. And all those little strips from getting out the pinking shears? Well, I have started a bag of them, to use to stuff things. Like the small toys I may make for small people out of other parts of my stash.
The bunting is taking a ride in the back seat right now though, because a lot of my awkward shaped fabric is still usable for baby things. And I need to pace myself. I can’t make too many dresses in Rata’s current size: in theory she is supposed to grow out of them, though at present that’s not happening much (why? I don’t know). Plus, if I get too carried away making things for all the babies I know, Rata will end up with no fabric, energy, time left for her.
But this weekend I made a dress which I think MAY be the wrong shape… for a two year old… even though I measured her. But it may end up that it is not a dress for a two year old, but a smock for a five year old. Without spoiling the surprise, the fabric comes from this dress on the left…
…and I hope that the recipient doesn’t spill red wine on hers two nights in a row like I did. The one in the photo is currently in retirement, as in a moment of poverty inspired pillaging, I removed the zip for use in its negative copy:
I find the brown easier to wear than the yellow, mainly because it is brown and NOT yellow (much) but also, in the right lighting, I look like a Brownie Leader. Helped by the inclusion, by this here stylist, of a Brownie eye patch (made by me of course, who else would do such a thing?)
But Louis pointed out today, on viewing this latest mini-Lotte creation, that the yellow dress works in minature. So if it is actually wearable for its intended recipient, there will be a photo sometime soon. After her birthday.
Also on the cards is a miniature version of the Brownie dress, using two nice squares of the brown fabric with, perhaps, a yellow collar. The yellow fabric, by the way, was from the mythical haul of 2004, where a place called Geoff’s Emporium in Auckland had amazing fabric for $3, $4 and $5 a metre, and I think the yellow was $4. I also scored some grey cotton craft fabric with a scissor print, and the piece of fabric which classifies me as a fabricophile: the dark blue pyjama flannel with white fir trees.
Seriously, make pyjamas with such a fabric? Three weeks later it will be pilled, then they’ll be worn out, and you’ll have these pyjamas you can’t bear get rid of. No, I prefer to keep this fabric in the box, get it out and stroke it sometimes and never, ever use it. EVER. This plan has worked for five years, and I don’t see any reason to change it.
(I have since been back to Geoff’s and can sadly report that they no longer stock delightful cheap fabric, only cheap and nasty cheap fabric.)
Another piece of fabric is one I found in an equally trashy London fabric shop in Hackney, white with pink, green and yellow woven into it. I don’t like wearing white, though. And can you see me getting married? Ahem. No. So this white fabric, which reminds me a little of the fabric my mum would use for cushion covers back in the 80s, will keep the flannel company in the box. They can cuddle up to one another and maybe spoon a little.
So, I lose on the Stash Bustin’ front in one way, but win in so many others. I win the affections of parents whose babies I dress. I win the affections of my house, which needs a lift from its dreary valley location and pea-soup walls (why? why would you paint a dark room darker?) and Rata will one day thank me, I hope, for making her hilarious clothes and taking cute photos of her in them. And then putting those clothes away for future cousins/generations. No siblings, thank you.