Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Attack the Stash – Plan A


My stash box lid won’t close. 

The problem seems to be leftovers. Don’t know about you, but when I buy fabric I buy by the metre – not halves or 0.4m – but full size. Then after I cut and make something I always end up with the halves that I didn’t need to buy in the first place. Leftovers that are seemingly too small to make a useful garment and too big to throw out. With our couple of days of holiday this weekend I decided I needed to do something about these bits. I mean I can’t buy any new fabric until I have a place to put it…..
So I cleared out the stash box. All the little bits were dumped and the larger bits stacked on the table. 
You may recognise some of the fabrics: we have .5m Fireworks jersey; .75m Boho 4 gore skirt cotton; .5 grey jersey from Don’s belt dress and various other bits and pieces collected and stored for years.

Because these have already been cut they are all irregular shapes and sizes. The challenge is to transform them into wearable items. I choose TOPS as the item of metamorphosis and dug out all the patterns that required very little fabric – vest tops, T-shirts  – that sort of thing. I need small pattern pieces that can be twisted and turned and cut off the fold to fit the fabric remnants. They should take little time to sew as I’ve made them before – not much learning or reading of instructions is required.

Number 1: Silk and cotton blend drapey and soft fabric in red and gold paisley and check pattern. Made up as Paco’s draped top.

Arm scythes are bound in bias strips of self fabric. No zip needed as this pulls on comfortably over my head.

Only change made was the centre seam of the lower front V section – cut as two halves due to lack of fabric.

Number 2: Same pattern but in grey marl jersey. 

Wow, same pattern + different fabrics = different looks.

And yes, they’re sleeveless – I’m becoming a little more comfortable with that look – but only at home.

I can’t believe how well this T-shirt sits – it just drapes so well.

The whole of the front had to have a centre seam because of fabric restrictions but this made getting a sharp point so much easier. Not too much care taken with this one, all sleeves and neck edges were just folded and stitched, then trimmed close to the stitching line. This fabric doesn’t fray and the top is meant to be casual anyway.

Number 3: Same again in Boho 4 gore printed cotton

This one doesn’t have a V point at the front at all – I just placed both pattern pieces together on the fabric and cut.

The V shape at the front really adds shaping however and so this one is a bit on the ‘square’ side. I might add some darts later to slim me down a bit.

It’s also a bit much with the matching skirt. Must seek out ivory trousers to wear with it.

 Three down……

If I run out of steam there’s always Plan B – put it all back in the stash box!

So, go to your stash, rifle through it looking for those 1/2 yds and see what you can rustle up.

Thanks for reading. Ruth

22 thoughts on “Attack the Stash – Plan A

  1. Cute, cute, cute! You're inspiring me. I have that pattern in the back of my head to knock off, and I think it's moving forward.

  2. Wow! I love your tops, especially the red and gold paisley, it is beautiful!! You are so disciplined, what a great feeling you must have from reducing your stash even further… if I had a tenth of your determination and energy I wouldn't be in the stash trouble I'm in. You are such an inspiration!

  3. If only my stash would fit in a box. You're doing great. The tops are wonderful for summer and I especially like the way you used the paisley in the first top. Really nice.

  4. They look great – I loe the grey marle version, and what a great use for those leftover bits of fabric!

  5. Love your blog and your sewing and you are always smiling!!!….I'm a new sewer but I've been using my leftovers to make pockets!! LOL

  6. I love No.1 the silk cotton blend the best, but all three are great. I have a similar problem with the shirt fabric. I tend to buy 3 metres and then find I have about a metre left over. I too was looking at these thinking "top".Arm problem?????? You have no problem exposing your arms……….

  7. Fabulous!!! I feel so proud when I can use my leftovers constructively- it's rare for me, I keep a box with under a yard scraps for repairs and then anything I can make a pillowcase dress out of goes in that bin for Little Dresses for Africa, but you know i';m basically a self thing- I should get a 2-fer everytime for me!

  8. Good job on hitting the stash. I've tried to alternate, one new sewing project then one stash project. But my track record is awful and everything is slowly turning into a stash project. Oh well.Love the tops! The cotton/silk blend is gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing what you sew next.

  9. Well, I think that the next pattern I have to include more than one label.Thank you very much Ruth. I love.:-)

  10. It really is a flattering top. I don't do it much justice here but I wholly recommend it.

  11. The trick is to cut everything out first- then you just sew. No believe me, determination and energy are something I don't really possess.

  12. Mmmm perhaps by stash box is too small.

  13. This was quite a surprise as Paco only uses silk and the like but it is actually my favourite

  14. I know we all keep them for some project that will never materialise. Thanks for stopping by and what's betetr than smiling when you are blessed?

  15. So lots of summer tops for you then too?

  16. I was feeling almost pious until this moment but you're so right – this was all about me when there are others who need stuff. I'm going to get the patterns for dresses for Africa – I'm joining in. Thank you.

  17. Thanks Jane – what about the above comment to get you inspired?

  18. The labels only go on the 'good stuff'. But I'll be honest, the T-shirt really worked out well – how about a casual line?

  19. What a great idea! And I love all of the new tops!

  20. Pingback: Big Scraps | corecouture

  21. You look fabulous in the color & soft drape of number two

  22. Pingback: SWAP A2, A3 & A2 Again | corecouture

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s