A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

In defense of the stash

I do not consider my stash huge - in its entirety, it fits into four plastic tubs.  At some point I'd like a more display-able stash storage system, but for now this will have to do.  The downside of my system, as many of you know, is that out-of-sight fabric is often out-of-mind as well.  So I started keeping a running list of all the cuts I buy, along with the date purchased and the price paid, in a draft file in my email.  (A quick tally before writing this post found that I currently have roughly 130 yards of fabric!  It is a lot when you look at it in numbers.)

My stash tally has proven to be very useful.  A quick glance at it before hitting "place order" on a cart full of goodies often is enough to pare down my purchase, or cancel it altogether.  It's also handy when I am thinking about a potential project and whether I have anything suitable on hand.  And most useful, I have found that tracking my purchases (and deleting them from the list after they have been used) has allowed me to see what I use quickly and what tends to collect dust in the stash tubs.

What I have found is that cotton knits (especially those with lycra content) don't last long at all in the stash.  I guess I like sewing knits even more than I thought I did.  Wovens, however, linger on and on when I am not doing much sewing for myself.  I have a number of larger shirting cuts that are earmarked for projects for myself, and once I drop a few more pounds, I hope to use those for some new Lisette Traveler shirts and tunics.  When I'm not sewing for myself, I tend to sew wovens for the kids mostly during the warmer months. Basically I should not buy any more woven fabrics, but I can pretty much always justify purchases of knits.

I was very happy earlier this week to have a stash.  Natasha is in her ballet school's performance of the Nutcracker this week (dress rehearsal is tonight!) and she needed a robe to wear backstage.  I hit up some brick and mortar retailers looking for one, but there were no little girls' robes to be found.  Everything online was more than I wanted to spend, so finally I gave up and decided to sew one.  I used the free Sleepy Robe pattern from Melly Sews, and found a yard of this drapey cotton rib knit in my stash.  I didn't love this fabric at the time of purchase - and I would not have bought the fabric if it had not been 100% cotton and only $2.97 a yard - but now I am glad I did because nothing else I had stashed away would have worked as well.

The pattern comes in four sizes.  I sewed the 5/6, which as you can see, is really roomy.  Natasha is skinny but I would say that the 5/6 fits more like a 7/8 - the sleeves are much too long too.  But it was a quick and satisfying sew.  And it's cozy and will do the job, and should fit for another two years, so that's something.

This is also a case where I like the fabric sewn up so much more than I liked it on the bolt.  I love the play of the stripes cut in both directions.  I should have bought more of it ...


  1. Oh how sweet! My daughter was JUST saying "i've never owned a bath robe (in a slightly sad tone)" haha! Guess I know what to make for her birthday! & I also love the stripes going in different directions, it's really fun.

    1. Thanks Mae! My other daughter was pretty jealous of this, too, so I will be making another one shortly.

  2. The robe looks oh so comfy! I keep on saying how I need to use this pattern to make a new 'halatik' for my big girlie... Looking at yours... well, I really should!


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