Saturday, December 24, 2016

Checking in: A year of stash-busting

I made a resolution that I would finish 3 things a month.  And then I did that thing I do where I disappeared for months at a time... Life took over, y'all.  There's a big stack of projects that are SO CLOSE to being done, and a smaller stack that only want a photo and a little note before they can be shared.  I have sewn.  Some quilty things, some mendy things... A couple of wearable muslins, and even a finished-up UFO.  Because y'all, sewing is one of those things that is necessary to a balanced life for me, and I am SO THANKFUL to the Stash-busting Sew-along for the encouragement to see that.
But I have not taken pictures because mending is blah, and quilting happens in spurts, and, to be honest, I wanted to spend more time this summer with my tomatoes right now than my camera.   I taught a block of the month for 6 months, but it's been on hiatus, so I have a quilt to shape up and share after that.

And hopefully, slowly, as I come up for air and make time for myself, recording these things will gain some more importance, and I will make the time to share some things here.  I think for me it might become more about telling the stories about the things.  See, in my day job, I get to tell stories, and people who know me will tell you I am a talker and a memory-maker and a story-teller, and I reply with phrases like 'guilty as charged'.  In the last year, I have gotten to slow down and embrace that side of myself, and I am seeing the benefits in my life and in my relationships... And I think, if I can get myself out of the garden and in front of the computer, they would show up here too.

2016 by the numbers:
More in than out, I'm afraid... I've been jotting purchased fabric down on little sheets, and when emptying the 30-gal bin(!) of fabric I bought this year, I kind of gave up on counting.

But things I made:
-Tiny Pocket Tank, times 3!
     -First wearable muslin was a wadder.
     -Then 2 successful ones! Green dottie fabric from the 70s and gingham.
-Moji pants, times 3!
     -First wearable muslin was a fail.
     -a white pair finished the week after labor day, and a red pair in November.
-Baby quilt, times 2!
     -quarter-log cabin that ended up looking like tetris blocks
     -scrappy trip around the world from old shirts for a cowboy-themed nursery
-Friend Quilt, times 1!
     -Charm squares for the win.  This one was a labor of love.

Now, off to photograph and blog about these things... Maybe some stories and catch-up posts soon.  And plans for the new year are coming at you too!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Stash

Well, short of the stuff I've had since high school and just retrieved from my mom's attic, my stash is all counted up and cataloged.  It's a good feeling, even if the number is a little scary at... gulp... 317 yards.  Not counting Fat Quarters.  Or Scraps.  Or anything currently in progress.  But, I am happy to say there are some goals and plans, and I am officially sewing along this year as a Stashbuster.
In January, the goals were revolving around organizing stash and sewing space, and there were some great blogs written and posted about organizing.

So the other thing I am supposed to do for January is to make my goals and plans for the year.  I want to...

-Do the mending.  Simple things like buttons and hems have sat... and sat... and sat... in the WIP basket, and I want them to hang and be loved in the closet instead.  I want the mending basket to be empty when I switch clothes over for spring/summer, and again when I switch things back over for fall/winter.

-Keep the Progress in WIPs.  In the process of organizing my fabric and cataloging everything, I opened up a steamer trunk and a plastic tub... both of which contained half-started things.  Some of which were started in high school.  And I am proud to say I chucked 21 things, making them forever UFOs(UnFinished Objects) to get down to a manageable(ha!) 15 bags/pieces of clothing and 4 quilts... And I'm really good with the variety of these projects.  As I was tallying them up, I made a separate list of things that will take less than an hour.  I want to complete at least one of these a month, and finish 2 quilts this year.  

-Use yardage I have for a project, if at all possible.  If something old will work, why buy something new?

-Finish 3 things a month.  At least 1 WIP.  

So I, Rev. Sarah McBrown, promise to do my very best to meet these goals, and check in monthly as to my progress in these matters.

Oh! January finishes:
-mending a shirt
-a new wallet- will blog soon.
-cataloging the stash.  It took up a whole Saturday, and then some, so it counts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Queue: Revised

Looking at that long list of projects, I realized that I have about a million things in the Work-in-progress bin, and a lot of them are likely to be declared UFOs- unfinished, never-to-be-finished objects I need to up-cycle or let go.  But some of these things really are worthy things.

Part of what the Stashbusting Sew-Along, which I joined on Facebook, encourages is setting some yearly goals.  I think one of mine is to come to grips with the giant WIP bin, and be realistic about what I find there.

So, with that and my current life in mind, I present my Wardrobe Queue, to be placed back on its page, only a day late.

Wardrobe: Items that will work with at least 4 things I already have in my closet, which fill specific needs, and which fabric and pattern already exist for.  A mix of quick projects and things that will take a little longer.  Properly finishing seams as much as possible.
Thurlow pants, by Sewaholic in Hunter Green They're cut, and in a color I've had on my pants wish list.  Everything is together for them.  Just gotta do it to it.
Charcoal dress and jacket.  I have fabric and lining, and even a relatively well-fitting pattern for a professional dress... I just need a simple jacket pattern to accompany it.
 Moji pants, by Seamwork in black. For those nights when I'm teaching or have meetings.
Already have fabric.  I know I will wear them. Without the drawstring but with the cuffs, I think.
Scout tee by Grainline, in red and(if I like it and if/once it fits well) in Liberty.  Heck, if the first one fits well, I'll make several!
Blue Moneta knit dress(Colette), or Mesa knit dress(Seamwork).  Will transition nicely to Spring, and work for some of the same situations the Moji pants will.
Pencil skirt trio in blue, red, and camel wool, all from the same vintage pattern; to be assembled assembly-line style where possible, which will require lots of hand marking.
Anna Graham's Envelope sleeve dress from her book, in red chambray
Thurlow shorts in twill
Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline in several cuts of rayon I have waiting for this pattern, also sewn up assembly line style
Easter Wrap Dress in crazy rayon

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Queue:

Friends, I have made the choice to start a new leaf.

It's a new year, which is giving me motivation to re-write the sewing queue I have kept for years... But I think I am going to take the old queue and place it here for posterity's sake... When's a better time than throwback Thursday??

Looking back has me thinking... And the new queue, with a post to explain, will go live on Monday.


Gwen over at After the Dress inspired me with her queue posts, which are added each Wednesday.  This is the place I'll keep a running list of upcoming projects, and the blog entries they will(I hope, one day) link to upon completion.
Not everything will come to life, and definately not in the season the idea is posted, but I figure this is a way to begin to keep track of what I'm doing.  And let my imagination come up with all the things I could be doing.  Strikethroughs are the things that don't quite make the list anymore, what with all the new inspiration coming my way.  I'm not completely erasing them because they're part of the journey though, you know?

Winter 2013-2014
Corduroy blazer
Quilt for J.
Bag for Mama
Jewelry roll for KDB
Purple plaid kindle cover for my baby brother
Big brother backpack for a little cousin
Fancy dress for a feisty fancy girl(and her baby doll will need one too, of course.)
Slippers for dad

Fall 2013
Colette Juniper wearable muslin
Sewaholic Thurlow wearable muslin
Pleated yoke shirt in floral print
Colette Laurel? Eucalypt tank dress? Something.

Spring/Summer 2013
Red TNT skirt for baseball season
Red stole completed 2016
Knit tees. With cute details.
Navy stripe mystery fabric skirt
Crazy floral pleated skirt
Border print pleated skirt
Bag for my BFF

Winter 2012-2013
Blue cord skirt
Green knit shirt
White knit shirt(Spring 2012)
Red patterned woven top
NICE black or navy pencil skirt
Pink patterned woven top

Fall 2012
Red cord skirt 
Brown woven skirt:  Kickpleat, pencil-ish, pockets
Stripy dress… Maybe just a top? Wide band at the bottom and sleeves in the shot cotton? Just to get it done without more fabric…
Green linen-blend skirt:  Big pockets! Not much trim, A Line.  (Completed 1.12.13)

Nana’s dress tried on again, none needed
McCall 5801 Dress… Or just make it a (lined) skirt, but make it wearable! With pockets!  Maybe divert from the princess seams till I have a block? Work them out with a fitting buddy?
Deep red dress... Hemmed and belted- Completed 2012

Spring 2012
breezy white woven top
another woven top: moda half-moon paisley in grey in an OOP Simplicity pattern
grey pleated skirt from Winter that was not Completed Aug 2012
White topper- half-sleeve in white twill
white tee with fun neckline
lavender tee
Spring Refashions/alterations galore:
Restore Mom's white eyelet dress to former awesomeness Completed July 2012
red skirt Completed 4.3.2012

Summer 2012…
Brown bike-able skirt… maybe knit, maybe a bubble.
Scraps of the purple-white floral dress to a bike-able skirt
Rie dress- eyelet and dotted swiss
Shirtdress- blue Oxford cloth
sky blue knit top
royal blue gauze skirt

Spring/Summer Refashions/alterations galore:
Re-work Easter 2011’s dress for better insides and fit
Finishing touches on the Easter Dress of yore- M5801
…Pinstripe dress of yore needs bindings and a cowl.  Do it to it!
See 2011 list… Do those

Winter that Was Not 2011-12:
Coat liner
Pop-of-color dance skirt- Completed 2.10.12
Refashion purple plaid skirt
Winter schoolbag
3-season grey twill bikeable skirt…pleats? Pockets for sure…- Completed Aug 2012
Grey button-back man’s shirt refashion- half-sleeves

Winter Alterations galore:
Cobalt dress- take it in (gave it away instead, it's three sizes too big now)
Purple/grey tweed dress- take it in
2 pairs of pants… take in
Cardigan refresher

Fall "6PAC" 2011
      filled out with the sweater from Feb. 2011, and the red dress from April 2011.
brown multi-gore swish skirt
brown herringbone pieces:
     pencil Skirt (February's suit skirt)
     vest (instead of February's suit jacket)

Alterations galore:
Rose dancing dress
White vintage eyelet dress
Easter Dress
red pencil skirt
Vintage green shirtwaist dress

April 2011:
Red dancing dress completed 1.4.12
Re-work print dancing dress
Add gores to black dancing skirt
Easter dresscompleted 4.24.11
March 2011:
Print dancing dress - completed 3.18.11
Elastic belt-completed 3.18.11
Black dancing skirtcompleted 3.14.11
refashioned men's shirt to sailor shirt-completed 4.6.11
February 2011:
Suit jacket
suit skirt
refashioned sweater
January 2011:
-A dress w/  Burda turtleneckcompleted 1.21.11
-a half-circle skirt with bias strips- completed 1.24.11
-a makeup bag
-elastic belt- completed 1.23.11
December 2010:
-Burda Turtleneck- a long-sleeve version
-Burda Turtleneck- a half-sleeve version wadded 1.19.11

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, New....?

Well, new lots of things.

I'm trying to write and create more as disciplines, I owe y'all a tour of my new sewing room, and I REALLY want to write a project list and set some self-imposed deadlines.

My new year's resolutions?

Sew more.
Post more.
Finish 6 quilts.
Finish the fabric catalog.

Oh boy!

Plans are in the works.  Hold me to them, folks!