Reviewing the Pledges

Today is July 1st, the start of a new financial year in Australia.  I thought this was a good time to do a mid year appraisal of my sewing goals as I seem to have failed miserably on my new year pledges - especially with regards to stash busting.

I  have continued to stash gloriously.  And recently, I have built up a new stash in colours that suit me more - my old stash was very ho hum navy, black and white. Very classic, and will never date, but I'm a summer (or cool, muted, soft and lighter for those of you more familiar with that terminology)and need softer colours, especially now I am older.

Stash in new palette of summer colours

I will of course use my old stash - a sewer never ever ever gets rid of stash!  Some fabrics I don't like at all anymore, and I'll use these for muslins and test garments.

Suddenly I am finding that I no longer have a desire to stash.  I have a great selection of fabrics now, and a great collection of patterns, and now I want to sew it all up!  With my large stash, that should take at least twenty years.

So now I pledge to use this stash all up, because I WANT TO, not because I think I should.

And I will of course use my Tessuti gift voucher to stash - my Xmas gift last year from DH.

As it is the new financial year, it's time to take stock of my spending habits - especially with regard to sewing.  I'm now going to keep track of what a garment costs me to make - I'm curious about whether sewing really does save money.  I'm also curious about how much money I have tied up in my stash!

I've also reviewed my sewing progress.  Over the life of this blog I have made a number of garments - all basics, all casual, all very wearable.  I really don't need any more of these sorts of clothes.  I do need some smarter clothes, and I would love to sew some more interesting garments.  So now I am going to change the focus of my sewing.  I will use fabrics when they are in fashion, I will only add clothes that are needed (tops excepted, you can never have too many of them).  I will also make garments that have been on my wish list.  The first I plan to make is a Marcy Tilton jacket:

Marcy Tilton's clothes look a little oversized to me, but I do like this jacket, so I shall trial it.  I will use a fabric I have never really liked (don't ask me how it got into the stash, I can't remember buying it, so maybe it was given to me) - a drapey polyester viscose linen look in navy.  I think this will work for this jacket.  The jacket is unlined, so I think it will make a good summer cover up. 

It will also go with absolutely heaps in my wardrobe.

Which now links me back to my original goals for 2014, before I wandered off on a stashing detour, which were:

*   Do not buy any ready to wear clothes except shoes, socks and  undergarments.
*   Make a garment a month for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge
*   Each garment made to go with garments already owned.
*   If the garment does not go with anything, make garments to match.
*   Use up stash for making garments if I like it, muslins, or test garments if I don't or it is the wrong colour.
*   Only  buy more  stash if it is for an immediate garment.

The additional goal here is to start documenting the cost of stash in the garment.


The only other plan I had was to play a game when I didn't know what to sew.  I haven't started this yet, because I have been making things that I need.  When I do run out of needs, or haven't got a clue what to make next, I will start this game:

*   Assess pattern collection and start actually using it. I am going to play a game to encourage me to use it - when I don't know what to do, I will do a lucky dip from my hoard.

Do you review your sewing goals from time to time as well?

That's all for now, 'til next time,

Sarah Liz


  1. Interesting reading and with how your life has been this year, I think you have done really well. I don't formally review my goals but I do know that I am failing with my stash but the year is only half way through!

  2. When I began to sew my own clothes, it was a huge financial saving - but that was back in the olden days! I would not dare to cost my efforts now, but I am pretty sure it costs more to sew, but that is not a bad thing when I get something that fits me, is unique, and is exactly what I need. Today I wandered the shops looking for warm pants as we are heading south to Canberra. There were none to be found (that's Queensland for you) and I realise my time would have been better spend going to the fabric store for some wool flannel and coming home and making the pants. Guess I'll be using thermals :)

  3. I wondered what happened to the pattern/fabric game.

    Stash size and associated angst is a perennial favourite topic amongst sewing bloggers. I do enjoy the discussions. How lovely to have a stash that suits your needs for the next few years. Looking forward to what eventuates as you sew more challenging clothes.

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  5. I love to have both long term and short term goals for my sewing. Love lists, and plans, and focus on the future...accomplishing all these glorious plans is another thing! Right now my focus is sewing down some of my stash, so I can buy more. eek.

  6. I try to keep tabs on cost of sewing my garments. I have a spreadsheet list of every sewing related purchase complete with when bought, how much, where purchased, and when used. Another spreadsheet lists each garment as it is made and includes prices for each item used to create it. Some garments are huge bargains, others are quite expensive. Much of it depends on where the fabric was sourced (stores or estate sales, thrift shops) and whether the pattern was on sale (usually a Big 4) or not (usually an indie). I tell you, those year end totals of amount spent can be very eye opening! But I would never stop keeping my lists; it helps reign in potential spending binges.

    1. Very organised. I think I'll start to do this. I have kept receipts for things I've bought - I was surprised that I had to pay over £3 for the correct zip, and decent thread is expensive too. I buy fabric locally, I'm lucky that I have a couple of fabric retailers as I like to see the fabric but their choice is not brilliant so I don't say no to shopping on line. I've had to shop online for notions and the price really adds up as even when supposedly 'postage free' the cost is added in. I do pay quite a bit for postage anyway.

  7. Great Goals! Can't wait to see the interesting garments you create.
    Seems like everybody is stashbusting... Me, too. I joined Quirky Peach's SUMMER STASHBUST 2014 challenge:

  8. It is great to have sewing goals, and to stick by them. I can't wait to see what you make.

  9. Interesting post which did make me think about my goals it was a good prompt to refocus for the 6 months ahead. I like your idea of costing what you make it's something I think I will start doing too. Thanks for the post

  10. Love your ideas..[the jacket will be really nice and will go with your other garments..always a plus] Look forward to your new sewing.. I learn so much from your post..thank you.

  11. Great post. You made some really good pieces over the last year. I think you need a post with action pictures. ;)

    I tried to keep track of how much a garment costs for me to make but since I always just keep a ballpark on how much the fabric costs, I will never be accurate. I have also been meaning to keep track of how much time a garment takes not to compare to others but to understand how much time goes into what I sew.

  12. Thank you for your post...I have been thinking the same thing. Absoutely no buying patterns, or material. I have thought of buying some more Indy patterns, however the more I look through my existing patterns, vintage and modern...I have something I can make do with, just a few little tweeks here and there and should be able to make the same look at the Indy patterns. My main goal is financial however, I have become such a packrat, and need more room. I ran across some fabric I bought over a year ago, and forgot about... So I am right on board with you. Maybe we should start a "no purchasing pledge".. I even have double patterns, that I am going to be giving away to who ever wants them....will be listing them on my blog through out the year.

  13. It's nice to review our intentions from the start of the year. I think the Vogue jacket can be a staple garment that suits any occasion. I'm looking forward to seeing your version.

    I've also thought about tracking how much it costs to sew a garment. I don't have any record of the prices of stash fabric, so tracking would be hard to do. I'll be following your progress with interest.

  14. Good post. As replied above, I'm going to formalise my costings. I know it costs a lot and I don't yet have many garments good enough to wear outside but the odds are improving! Although I certainly couldn't participate in Me Made May, I made a personal pledge to start wearing me-made garments outside without worrying too much about perfection - my modest target was one garment in May. I achieved my goal and more. I sew for enjoyment, challenge, good fit, styles that suit without relying on what 'is in fashion' and as a hobby so once I get the garments tweaked to fit, really sewing will be cheap at the price! Good luck with your jacket.


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