One thing that I notice every year in other sewing bloggers' resolutions (ha! I say "every year" as if I've been doing this for years, but no, this is only the second time I've been participating in the online sewing community) is the desire to get rid of stash fabrics. Somehow, despite our best intentions, we all manage to collect more fabric than we can sew, and that takes up valuable room in both our sewing spaces and our minds! So when Emily aka EmSewCrazy contacted me and suggested that we host a stashbusting sewalong challenge for 2013, I was super excited. I've participated in other sewalongs and challenges before (like Me Made May and the Sew Weekly) and had tons of fun, but I've never started one before, but 2013 is the year of trying new things, so here goes!
Wait, what's this all about?
The 2013 Stashbusting Sewalong is a casual sewalong whose goal is to encourage us to reduce the size of our stashes. If you've got more fabric than you know what to do with, join Emily and me as we systematically purge our stashes by sewing items to fit a series of themes. We've got a whole schedule that you can follow if you need that kind of structure, or you can just join us by pledging to destash in your own way; it doesn't matter if you want to follow our themes, as long as you use up that stash fabric. Either way, we know we're in it together, and we know that others will be cheering us on as we go. If it takes a village to raise a child, well, it takes an online community to bust a stash!
Here's how you can join us!
- Leave a comment here or on Emily's blog with your pledge: "I, _______,commit to using ____ pieces of stash fabric in 2013. Additional option: I also commit to not buying any new fabric/patterns/ notions except for _______ until ______."
- Post on your blog (if you have one) about your commitment! There's nothing like accountability and public shaming to get us to use up fabric that's been lingering in our stashes. Please share the link back to this post so others can join in if they want.
- Join our Flickr group! Whether you have a blog or not, this is where you can post photos of your stash, your plans, and (hopefully!) your finished projects. We can encourage each other and gush over the reduced piles together at the end of the year.
- In one of those above options, tell us about what pieces you would like to use up this year:
- how much there is,
- how long it's been in your stash,
- what your original intentions were when you bought each piece, and
- what you would like to make from it this year.
- Be reasonable and kind to yourself, though -- as tempting as it would be to list everything, the point of this challenge isn't to make us feel guilty at the end of the year about our failed plans. Choose pieces that you could conceivably sew up this year; don't choose everything. If you've got a gorgeous piece in your stash that doesn't match your current lifestyle or sewing skill level, feel free to leave it in the stash to wait a little longer. Its day will come! It's just not this day, and that is okay.
So what's this about themes and challenges I hear?
- January: Itty Bits! Sew up those remnants left over from another project, use up some of those tiny scraps that you've been saving...as long as it's less than a yard of fabric, it counts!
- February: THE LOVE CHALLENGE.
- March: Impending Seasonal Change. Regardless of your hemispherical location, the weather will be changing soon...what will you make? Something fun for the coming spring, or something cozy for fall?
- April: THE VIBRANT COLOR CHALLENGE.
- May: THE KNIT CHALLENGE.
- June: Containment! Get ready for those long car trips, summer outings or some good old fashioned cleaning and organizing! We're thinking bags, boxes, totes, purses, pouches, you name it; this month is all about making things to put other things in.
Okay, I think I'm in! I made my pledge and joined the Flickr group, now what?
Start sewing up those scraps for January! Emily and I have a very helpful Pinterest board going with all sorts of ideas for using up scraps, so you can check it out if you need inspiration. It's up to you if you want to post every month about your project on your blog, but we encourage you to interact with your fellow stashbusters, whether it's through Flickr or blog comments. Besides documenting our own projects, Emily and I will also post round-ups each month of your makes so that you can see all of your fellow stashbusters' projects gathered into one place.
Lastly, if you want to proudly proclaim to the world (or just to the people who have to share a living space with!) that you are Finally Doing Something about that stash, you can grab this nifty button for your blog's sidebar:
The button features a Sewasaurus Rex tackling a piece of stash fabric in a rather, uhh...extreme manner. It was done by one of my former chemistry students; you can check out more of Jen's amazing artwork here, or you can contact her here.
Yeah, yeah, that's great, but what about you? Are you just going to laugh at our stashes and not show your own?
I've got a whole lot of stash fabric that I need to sew up before we move in June, so I am definitely going for serious stashbusting this year. Bonus points to me if I manage to make things that also work for the Historical Sew Fortnightly! Look for a post tomorrow featuring my own guilt-inducing piles and what I plan to make from them.
What about Walnut? Is he stashbusting too?
Nope. Walnut's all about saving all the stash fabric for sleeping on.
|You take this fabric away, lady, and you will pay. Do I look like I'm joking?|
|Ahhh, see, that's much better.|
Isn't that just like a cat, to be diametrically opposed to everything you want to accomplish?