Friday, 1 January 2016

That New Year Post/Fabric Stash Pledge

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do differently in 2016.  Hopefully I will graduate for the last time this year (let's hope nursing sticks!) and my head is full of placement dates and job application stuff.  I turned 30 in November and this will hopefully be the last year I am a student, I have been very tempted to do something crazy like dye my hair purple, or shave it all off.  Soon I will be interviewing for jobs and will have to look presentable.

I have been thinking a lot about style and wardrobe building and how little sewing I did the last two years of uni.  During the semester I hibernate on the couch surrounded by textbooks.  Even if my course load doesn't take up a lot of time, it takes up a lot of my mental energy.  I keep my sewing room tidy, sit in my comfy chair and listen to recorded lectures.

I really want that to change this year.  I have been planning for weeks to do a "no buying new clothes" pledge to try and spur on my sewing.  The year I turned 21 I took on a "no new clothes" pledge and that has some symmetry for me.  Starting and ending the decade making more thoughtful choices about what I am buying and sewing.  But during the last couple of days in my sewing room I have come to a few conclusions.  I should only take on a pledge like that if I feel overwhelmed by how many clothes I buy.  Truth is after that pledge when I was 21 I don't have a problem buying new clothes.  I buy the bare minimum (bras, jeans) maybe twice a year and that's it. I do have a problem with buying fabric.  I wouldn't say NEW fabric because a lot of my stash I have found thrifting

I feel overwhelmed by my stash.  I have 12 sewing machines but when I want to change machines I have to move piles of fabric around to make room. Even when my sewing mojo is hibernating I can still go into a store and leave with two big bags of "couldn't pass it up" fabric.

I look at a trip to the fabric store as inspiration.  Problem is I can't just leave the store with ideas and a refreshed mojo.  Most of it I don't have a project in mind when I buy it.

It is not that I just need a better storage solution then piles on flat surfaces.  I have a built in wardrobe in my sewing room which I filled when I moved in to this house three years ago.  On the left is my scrap pile.  Yes that is the "hanging" space crammed in with scraps of fabric.  Top shelf is outerwear, below that is linings, then its dress weight and the bottom shelf is blouse weight (blouse weight is that a thing?).  My stash runneth over.

I need to stop buying fabric with so little thought.  It is not that I have read other bloggers pledges, in fact this year I haven't read any pledges of any sort.  Maybe the bloggers I read are not feeling very introspective.  I don't have a pledge I am going to cut and paste my name on to.  It is something I have come to slowly, feel like I HAVE to do but am not looking forward to very much.  I think it is going to be hard.  So ...

I will buy no fabric in 2016 

with a few guidelines ...

  • I can buy patterns and notions when and if I need them
  • I can buy fabric for specific garments if my stash has failed me

I currently do not feel I have a problem with over buying patterns or notions.  If you read my other posts you may notice the patterns I like I sew over and over.  I sew my own undies and may one day venture into bras.  I am planning to sew some casual cosplays for PAX Australia 2016.  I will not be making anything that far out of my skill set, no covering boots or building amour, I like to sew clothes! but colour and weight is specific.  Projects that require fabric not in my stash I can buy for but only when I am currently working on them.  No buying fabric for garments in my "to sew queue".  This pledge is less about black and white restrictions and more about severely reducing my mindless fabric consumption.

I am hoping that this time next year I will feel more in control of my stash, making more thoughtful choices about things I want to sew AND wear and will have more space in my sewing room.