Month: January 2014

Stashbusting, go!

Stashbusting sewalong 2014

It’s that time of year again, time for another Stashbusting Sewalong pledge! EmSewCrazy and Cation Designs started this last year, to challenge sewists to look at and use our fabric stashes. (Who sews and doesn’t have a stash, right?)

Here is my pledge for 2014:

I, Gretchen, commit to using 12 pieces from my stash fabric in 2014. I also commit to turning at least half of them into wearable objects for myself.  

I participated last year and had a blast, even though my sewing plans were quickly derailed by The Pregnancy and The Baby. My fabric stashbusting goal this year may be lower than last year (I pledged 16 pieces from the stash last year), but I think it may be a bigger challenge, at least in the first few months. I currently have a 10 week-old baby and no functional sewing space (it became the nursery), so I don’t reasonably expect to get any sewing done for a few months yet. Add in a breast-feeding bust line and post-partum tummy and hips, and that’s enough challenge for me for now.

Why do I sew?
I love to make. Whether it’s a good meal, a great loaf of bread, or something to wear or use in my home. I also love the fun and challenge of turning a 2D pattern and 2D fabric into something that is (hopefully) wearable.

Why am I stashbusting?
Because I own so many lovely pieces of fabric that I want to turn into something! Honestly, if it weren’t for my friend’s Japanese fabric store tempting me from time to time, I would rarely fabric shop. I’m such a knits girl and good knits are hard to find here in Portlandia. (At least where I know to look.)  Most of my stash is from shopping trips in Tokyo, so the fabric has added meaning.  It’s time to stop looking at it and make something with it.

What’s on my list?
Easy separates. Because that’s what I wear. As much as I’m attracted to a nice dress, when it comes to my lifestyle (pre-baby at least, and I don’t expect any change now) I grab a knit top and pants. Or maybe a skirt. That’s what I want to concentrate on this year. Go-to separates. I would like 2014 to be the year that I tackle woven pants (probably Thurlows) and succeed in making a pair that fits me. This will be a challenge, as I continue to shed my baby weight. I also want to challenge myself to make some woven tops to wear, as I do tend to gravitate toward knits.  I also want to make an Anna dress, because I have yet to see one that isn’t flattering on the sewist who made it. (And I have the perfect fabric in my stash for it!)

We shall see. And that’s the fun of this Stashbusting sewalong. Seeing what you can make out of what you already have.

Happy stashbusting everyone!


That’s Japanese for “where”.  As in where in the world has the spiceweasel been for the last several months?

Here’s a little hint…



Yes, the Munchkin has joined us.  I was due in November and she waited until then, just.  October was mainly me trying to get through the month in some sort of comfort.  As my OB said on my first visit of the last month, “Welcome to the longest month.”  She wasn’t kidding.  There wasn’t any sewing in October, as we were concentrating on getting the rewiring done in the house and working on getting my sewing stuff moved out of the guest room to turn it into the nursery.

The highlight of the month, though, had to be meeting Cindy of Cation Designs in person.  She had posted that she was going to be in Portland and would anyone want to hang out.  Would I??  We had a great day together exploring a bit of Portland and hitting some of the fabric shops here.  (Although I was the one who ended up buying all the fabric!)  I felt a little bad, as I was very, very pregnant and ran out of steam; thank goodness for benches in the shops!  Cindy is an absolute sweetheart and just as funny and charming in person as on her blog.  It was an absolute thrill for me.

Just a few days later I went in for my routine OB check-up.  On Halloween.  My teeniny, female Asian doctor was dressed as an NFL linebacker, complete with shoulder pads, pants, cleats, and eye black.  It was so hilarious and awesome!  Checkup was normal and I was about 1.5 cm dilated; on schedule for my due date.  Later that night I woke up and felt what seemed to be menstrual cramps.  I thought, “Oh, this can’t be labor, it must be false labor.  My mind must be overreacting to the doctor visit yesterday.”  Needless to say, it wasn’t.  By the time I realized it wasn’t false labor and roused the hubby, it was morning. We checked into the hospital where they admitted me even though I was “only” 2-3 cm dilated.  Less than three hours (and no drugs) later, I had a baby girl in my arms.  She really wanted to come out.

Since then, it’s been a whirlwind.  Adjusting to no sleep, another human being, breastfeeding, etc. etc.  She’s finally getting old enough and napping enough in the day that I can have a few moments to update my blog.  Yay!

Sewing will have to wait, as my stuff is sharing a room with hubby’s office, our library, and the exercise bike.  All that in a 10ft square room.  We (by which I mean my hubby) have gotten all the electrical rewiring done, so there are just a few more projects to come before we rearrange things and make some space for the sewing room again.  Hopefully in a few months I’ll have a space.  Or I’ll make a space at the kitchen table.  🙂

Until then, happy sewing everyone!