Hi all …As most of you know, one of my goals for 2017 is to reduce the size of my huge (re: out -of-control) stash. To that end, I’ve produced my own Little Black Book, a three-ring binder that holds my catalog of fabrics.
Yes, it’s a bargain basement binder, but it holds the key to my heart…a record of my glorious, but soon to be significantly reduced, supply of fabrics. My method of recording is simple…I just take a snip of the fabric, note the amount I have and whether or not the fabric is woven or stretch, and what ‘bin’ it’s located in (big plastic containers I purchased at Target). I track all fabric that is at least a yard or more. Smaller pieces make it into the notebook if they are unique (sequins, silk, feathers, LACE….!).
Some fabrics stay in their bin for a long time….the longer the stay, the more special they become! This particular fabric lived in my stash for a couple of years before my mind could find something suitable for its vibrant turquoise.
There were two barriers to making this fabric into something special – – It’s a substantial flannel, the sort of fabric that doesn’t know what the word ‘drape’ means and — – my piece was a yard and a quarter (11/4); not enough for the usual flannel styles like a button up shirt or a style with long sleeves. (Side note: My stash is overflowing with small pieces like this…remnants from other projects, or small pieces I picked up on sale..too little for most things, but too much to toss!)
Simplicity 1377 was the solution.
This simple pattern is one I’ve used before. It has a front and back bodice, two neck facings, and short sleeves with drop shoulders. Because I’m only 5’4″, I don’t need much length in the bodice, so I was able to cut this top as well as a pocket and sleeve tabs from my small piece of fabric.
Pattern Modifications (Simplicity 1377:
- My version uses the neckline of view D and the sleeves of View E.
- The short sleeves in view E have been lengthened by 2 inches (roll-up length).
- I added self drafted button-up sleeve tabs.
- I self drafted a 5 inch square pocket to the bodice front and trimmed it with fringe from the fabric selvage.
- I used extra fabric to draft a tie belt.
- I added a side vent to the hem line.
March is a chilly month here in Oregon, and I know I’ll enjoy this warm flannel shirt with tee under it for weeks to come, and then in a few weeks (I hope) without a tee under it. Unfortunately, cozy is still an important word here, and I’ll be wearing my heavier clothes off and on for the next few months.
I love my new top!
It’s comfy and colorful with an added bonus – – it was a Stash-Buster. I got to pull another swatch out of my Little Black Book!
How do you manage your stash? Do you catalog it formally, or are you more relaxed about the process? And what about my fascination with collecting (hoarding) small pieces of fabric? What do you do with your one-yard wonders?
Happy Sewing and thanks for stopping by!
17 thoughts on “Stash Buster: Simplicity 1377”
Pretty colours! I don’t manage my stash. It just sits there. I invariably buy new fabric for projects. I wish I had your commitment. I need to give more away.
My problem is that I get wowed by the latest beautiful bolt every time I venture into a store and buy without a plan, I’m afraid. It’s a great idea to give it away. I should do more of that too!
I’m extremely impressed with the diligence your Little Black Book displays. I’m a lot more disorganised, in fact I have no method of recording stash other than what memory serves for.
I had a huge clearout a few weeks back, ruthlessly giving away all fabrics that in my heart of heart I knwe I wouldn’t use any more. I happen to know that they are put to good use in the local refugee shelter, so I don’t feel bad about giving them away.
Giving fabric to a shelter is a great idea! I’ve given pieces to friends, but haven’t gone the charity route yet. That sounds like a good next step for me. There are some pieces in my little black book that are in colors I’ll never wear. My next challenge is to remember to take my black book to the fabric store with me, so that I buy coordinating pieces of fabric…Wow if I ever really do that, even I will be impressed 🙂
What a fab top, the fabric is lovely and the fringed edge on the pocket is amazing, I never think of adding touches like that. My stash is too big and I could do with spending an afternoon sorting through it and then keeping track of it, maybe even earmarking patterns to use. I have a habit of buying fabric for a purpose then changing my mind or getting distracted by something else.
Thanks! The fringe on the pocket was a last minute idea when I saw how colorful the fabric fringe was. I’m the same way..I have such a habit of buying something with a plan in mind, then finding another bright and shiny project to work on that has nothing to do with my new purchase. By the time I get to that fabric, I’m unsure what I planned to do with it in the first place. That’s my next challenge, a better project queue!
A lovely, bright top and I really like your fluffy pocket! Such a useful pattern that uses up those annoying bits of fabrics (which I have plenty of!). I’m also intrigued by how you record your stash. I like to think that all my fabrics are in my mind but I always come across something I’ve forgotten about. My stash is getting to that stage where I really should have a proper record of it all!
Thank-you and I love your description of my pocket as fluffy! It’s nice to know other people have lots of small pieces of fabric hiding in their stash. I like my little black book because it makes me feel mildly in control of a situation that is so very out of control :). Now, I have to learn how to develop a project queue that makes sense so that I remember what was in my head when I bought the fabric in the first place!
I love the use of the fringed selvedge on that pocket! Well done on getting this whole top out of just 1 1/4 yards! I do sometimes buy fabric in 1 or 1.5 yard increments, but I only do that with stuff I have well-defined plans for (simple short-sleeved tops, skirt lining stash, etc.). Otherwise I think I tend to over-buy!
Your swatch book is a great idea! I don’t use one (because it’s another physical thing to find a place for, and because I am afraid I’ll forget to keep it up) but for folks who need to see and feel their fabric, they’re an excellent idea. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I use a Google Sheet (Excel) to track my stash. Every piece I’ve bought online (which is seriously about 99.9% of my stash) is cataloged in detail and that works for my needs. Swatch books are prettier though, that’s for sure! 😉
Thanks! The pocket was my favorite part of this make. I wish I had my plans in mind when I buy fabric! I think that’s part of what i have to figure out going forward, how to match inspiration with fabric. I used to buy only what I needed on a project by project basis, but that meant I couldn’t take advantage of the sales. I love your excel spread sheet ideA. Might have to do that for a project queue, since what I’m doing now is not working at all (sigh).
Great work – excellent fabric centred hack of your tnt. And LOVE your binder.
Thanks, Naomi! I feel quite accomplished with my little black book!
There is a Facebook group for stash busting. You would be leading the pack. I like your idea of cataloging fabrics. Once you put something away it is easy to forget! I do something similar with photos. I take a pic of the fabric and the roll end label or the receipt to know if it’s woven or knit and how much. I love the blue plaid. Nicely done!
I’ll have to check out that Facebook group. Oh, I love the idea of taking a photo of the info on the fabric bolt or the receipt! I often lose that info and am unsure what my fabric is made of by the time I get around to sewing it!
I got it from another helpful blogger! 😃👍
Very cute top! I like the plaid and fringe pocket. That’s a great idea about cataloging the stash. Talk about a stash, my aunt, who just passed at 100 years, had an unbelivable stash. She had sewn all her life and I don’t think she tossed out even the tiniest scrap! And until she was in her 90s, she could dig out from memory pretty much whatever you wanted! Me? Yikes! I’ve got a big stash of coating wools and still get sidelined when something new catches my eye. I’m going to try your notebook method as soon as the weather breaks. Why that makes a difference, I’m not sure, but here on the east coast it’s been pretty dreary this month. Sunny days make me look forward to spring cleaning and organizing.
I’m so impressed with your aunt’s memory! I can’t remember what I bought last week let alone several years Ago! I know what you mean about needing some sunny days to motivate you! I am craving some Springy energy!