Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Sewing Plans : Using Fabrics from the Stash

Most seamstresses have one, be they quilters or couturiers, a (sometimes quite large) stash of fabrics in cupboards, boxes, stacks, and piles, all waiting to one day be remembered and turned into finished projects. Perhaps you ran to the shop just to grab buttons for that new blouse and got distracted by the flashy cottons on the discount table, or maybe you were online searching for the perfect linen and found 2 printed rayons you couldn't live without, or perhaps you were super excited to make a new gingham dress until you got super excited to make something else and the gingham lay suddenly forgotten. Who knows why these piles of fabric grow in quite the way they do, but like a dragon hoarding shining golden coins, I've got quite the stash of fabrics laying in wait for inspiration to return.

Well, most of these fabrics here have been languishing in my stash for while a while, and perhaps they would continue to were it not for one crucial detail plaguing my summer : I have no pocket money for new fabric this year! Which means no matter how many new flashy ideas come into my head telling me to run out and buy fabric, I simply can't, so I must turn to the stash and return to old ideas long forgotten. It is rather fortunate actually, such economy will force me to use what I already have!

Some of your will even recognize most of these fabrics from past sewing plans posts, because I still haven't gotten to them! This is their year I promise, they will be clothes before the summer is out! Let us start with some long time languishers...

Sources: (1) (2)
These two lovely cotton floral prints have been waiting a long while to be turned into 1930s inspired button down blouses. The moth and butterfly print cotton was bought a while back to make a blouse to wear with my turquoise linen 30's skirt and I really want to finally get to that as the outfit idea still strikes me as pretty. The Liberty print floral cotton lawn I purchased in 2012 at Liberty of London as a final splurge (its 18.50 pounds a yard I believe!) before leaving for Paris that summer during my studies abroad at university. It is high time the fabric is actually put to use! I have already bought buttons for these blouses (last time Joanns was having a 50% off button sale, good time to stock up!) so I have no excuse not to get to work on these. The only think holding me back is that I will have to draft a new button down shirt pattern first and make a mock up, but perhaps I could document that process to share with all of you?

Sources: (1) (2) (3)

Sources: (1) (2) (3)
These next two fabrics are totally different. The first is a stretch metallic gold lace that I bought to possibly use in my senior collection at university back in 2012, and seeing as it is still hanging around I might as well make something 1950's lurex inspired. I am thinking a simple knit cowl neck top like view B above to wear with my hand painted tourist-wear Mexican circle skirt. Of course such a top would be very pin-up with my high waited black cigarette pants from Vivien of Holloway too!

The rose print cotton is actually quite sheer, but I already have some black poly/cotton I could line the dress with. What dress you ask? Well a classic bombshell style sarong dress for summer of course. Though I'm not sure exactly what to do about the straps vs. sleeves debate for this dress. Most sarong dresses have straps or are strapless and have a matching bolero, but there a re a few examples with sleeves as well. I don't wear sleeveless things, so if I made the dress in the more traditional way with straps and a bolero I would just always wear the bolero, which I suppose is fine. Then again would it be easier to just make the dress with sleeves? Yes? I'm not fully sure which way I want to go yet!

Sources: (1) (2) (3)
Do these rayons look familiar? More fabric that has been kicking around my sewing room for absolutely ages, and it's mostly because rayon just takes more work! Could I serge the raw edges? Yes. Would it be much nicer to bind them in rayon seam tape instead? Yes. So of course I put off making these lovely rayons into dresses because I know the silky flowing rayon will be more time consuming to both cut out and to prep the raw seams. I would really like to have some nice rayon dresses though, and I certainly can't afford to buy any real 1940s rayon dresses in my size, so I better get to work!

Montgomery Ward Spring Summer 1949

Sources: (1) (2) (3)
Even more rayon! This time its a black, white, and grey rayon in an almost taffeta weave from Mood fabrics (apparently it was Marc Jaycobs?). I like the bodice of the second dress from the left on the above Montgomery ward catalog page for this dress, but I think I'll be putting a plain a-line or half circle skirt on it. The vaguely tropical print is super nice and I'd love to have a nicer summer cocktail dress. The grey toned color palette would work with any color accessories too which is always nice.

The last fabric here today is this amazing white and green tropical palm frond print rayon crepe from Mood fabrics. This is dream level status fabric for me, I just absolutely love it! I'm thinking a 1940's draped dress, with some nice details like those above, something just a bit extra with gathers or sash/bows/drapes. I will be taking my time on this one for sure and if anyone has a nice green straw hat they would like to give me to wear with it I would be much obliged!

But before I can get to all this, I have to finish a green gingham dress as I have finally used up all of the gingham in my stash! Can one have too much gingham? The answer is firmly no I believe. What are all of your sewing this summer? Anything extra special in the lineup, or are you stash busting like me? I'm off to finish that gingham dress, hopefully you will be seeing it soon!


  1. I keep foolishly adding to stash, so I had been all "I just got this fabric and I know what I'll do with it!" But now I'm 3/4s done with the gown and I'm not sure if I like it enough to continue. I drafted out a 60s style Hawaiian gown with Watteau back - and turns out my self draft doesn't look as elegant and easy breezy as I thought it would. Pooh.

    I'm excited to see your blouses! 30s blouses have the cutest detailing!

  2. I, too, am working on using only fabrics from stash. Only in my case, some of those fabrics have been lying around for far longer than yours. So I wish you luck in working through all your summer plans. Your fabrics are lovely and they really should be seen, not hidden away "in stash". I look forward to seeing your summer creations.

  3. Oh my, you have some lovely fabric. I look forward to seeing what you make with it all x

  4. I'm trying to use some of my stash this year as my Vintage Pledge. So far I've been pretty good, although the two summer dresses I'm making are new fabrics in 2017. After they're done it's back to stash busting!

    Your plans all sound wonderful, as always, and I can't wait to see them all made up, especially those 1930s blouses! xx

  5. I have a tiny fabric stash and I don't even sew! I look forward to seeing all the lovely things you make. Those are all beautiful patterns.

    (Let's not talk about my out-of-control yarn stash...)


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