Wednesday, January 23, 2013

from Drab to Fab - and a Guilty Confession

I have been fascinated by sewing stylish clothes  for most of my life,  although I have to admit that my attempts to both sew and wear stylish clothes have been rather hit and miss over the last decade (longer if I'm really honest) and randomly and haphazardly fitted in around other demands that life and work tend to bring - along with the inevitable haphazard results.  This year I am going to attempt to resolve this situation and actually make my  sewing and styling attempts work.

Like many other sewers I go through periods of wanting to make all my own clothes. Advantages of sewing your own garments are that they tend to be more what you want, not what you can get - better fabrics, better fit,  and with a style and colour that suit you personally.  I also need to make sure that what I make goes with what I already own, or what I can easily buy or make in a short space of time.  In short, no more making (or buying) a garment  with nothing else that goes with it. It's a good basic idea to make sure each garment goes with a minimum of two others, if not three that are already owned. And for me, it's unrealistic to make all my clothes as I have other demands in life.  In any case, sometimes a great little white t-shirt from your local store is a fantastic buy, or, in some situations, a store garment or accessory can transform a garment that is otherwise a sewing mistake!

Sewers, unlike "ordinary people" who admittedly have the usual style challenges, have another style issue - that of the fabric stash. Fabric stashes are wonderful hoards of potential and possible (or impossible?) dream garments unmade and unworn.  Languishing fabrics put away in storage somewhere  and waiting for their own textile life to begin.  Stashes usually contain  lots of fabric that is  no longer fashionable or suitable for the wearer for whatever reason - perhaps too young, dated, wrong colour, or just not liked any more.  I have gone through my stash and removed the worst offenders - they have been used either as sample garments or have gone to charity. There remains a have a large stash, and a wardrobe  full of hit and miss sewing projects along with an assortment of store brought clothing.  Some garments  go with other garments and and some garments don't go with anything at all.   Its time for a disciplined sewing approach so that everything in my wardrobe can be worn with something else.

Sewers also accumulate patterns - usually lots of them, for usually the same reasons the stash was accumulated.  Often fabric in the stash was purchased for a particular pattern, and sometimes a particular pattern was purchased for something in the stash.  Or sometimes, the pattern was just purchased because it was liked, or for ideas, or for one day, when you finally get around to it. Fabric stashes grow like that too - one fabric entices you and leads you to another, and before you know it, you are surrounded by stash.  Which is lovely, but when the time comes, its always too tempting to buy something just perfect for the project that once again never seems to quite start. I'm guilty of all these  sewing sins  that have resulted in a large pattern hoard and fabric stash.

So, a disciplined approach to using fabrics from the stash and pattern collection is also needed.  I'm going to document my progress on this blog  to see if I can actually achieve this goal.

My stash is a good stash (in terms of both quality and quantity) consisting of  very classic fabrics in very classic colours like black, grey, navy and white. Most of my current clothes are also, well, classic, but, perhaps really, more honestly, quite safe and drab.  So, I also resolve to make some garments that are a little more fab and a little less drab.

And, wouldn't you know, as luck would have it today, I had to call into a local supermarket, which just happens to be close to a fabric store - and - a guilty confession - a quick detour to the fabric store just to have a look - but as luck would have it - more fabric for the stash - but at least a with more colour and vivacity.  More for the stash - although the dream of an eventual sewing session always keeps me sane - and sanity comes at a price, n'est-ce-pas? But this purchase was justified because the fabric pieces are fab and not drab.  Just what I need, after all - and this is how the stash grows.

So, my  sewing goals for the year are:

 1:  Make one garment a month which must go with at least two other garments I already own or am prepared to buy or make to go with it - in a reasonable time frame (which means straight away or it will likely never happen).

 2:  Start wearing these garments instead of my usual default of plain black pants and top or whatever else is lying around.

3: Use fabric in my stash before I buy anymore - it can be used for garments or if I don't really like it anymore, for a trial of the planned garment.  Of course, there are umpteen proviso's here- obviously, if I need some fabric to go with some fabric, that would have to be okay, or to make garment to go with something I already have, that would have to be okay as well.  Or if you see something absolutely divine, of course, there is always a proviso for that. Or if one is in a place where there is a wonderful fabric store that they just don't have where you live - well, you couldn't miss that opportunity, could you?

4. To actually use some of my pattern library and to actually use my Burda magazine patterns instead of just drooling over ideas I like.

5. And to do some knitting as well. 

That's it for today, but before I go - my (pleasurably) guilty fabric purchases:

Stetch Cotton Sateen, black and white print

Certainly more fab than drab.  Can't wait!! Stretch Cotton Sateen.


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