March Stash Busting Theme - Sewing with patterns you already have

3.02.2015

Come in, get comfortable, and have a slice of cake, because it's time for little announcement.  This month I am the Stash Busting Sew-a-long theme host.  *Cue Fanfare* What does this mean you might ask? Well it means I'll be "selflessly" quashing my natural tendencies to accumulate all the patterns and truck loads of fabric. Instead I'll be cheering/prodding you to sew up your fabric stash using patterns already lurking in your house. So pull out your pattern stashes and rekindle the passion that made you buy all those lovelies in the first place.

(Side note - The Stash Busting Sew-a-long is a low pressure group with the shared goal of reducing our fabric stashes. We have monthly themes but you can sew up your stash any way you want. For more details see Emily's blog post. We also have a facebook group and a flicker group if you want to join.)

Here's a couple of ways to utilize your pattern stash.

1. Finally sew a project that you've assembled all the materials for.
A new pattern releases and and you're so excited that you quickly buy fabric to go along with it. You'll start that new project right after finishing the one you're working on.  Or maybe life just gets in the way and sucks up all your sewing time.  What ever the case, that fabric/pattern is still sitting around waiting for your attention. This month is the perfect opportunity to finally make that garment.

2. Shop the stash for new pattern/fabric combinations.
Some times fabrics get bought with no real plans other than, "I'll make that into a dress," or "That print shall be mine!"  Patterns also get bought, filed and forgotten. Use this month as a reason to sort through your fabric and pattern stash.  See if any new pattern pairings come to light. Maybe you didn't have pattern X when you bought fabric Y. When you see them together an exciting new sewing project could happen. While you're at it, might as well weed out anything that doesn't thrill you anymore. Any kind stash reduction is good.

3. Whip up another TNT (Tried and True) pattern.
You love that pattern and wear it all the time.  Maybe you need another one in different color/print. Do a bit of stash diving and see what sparks your fancy.

4. Frankenpattern yourself a new garment.
Nothing really enticing you to get sewing? How about combining some patterns together? A new dress can easily be made by combining bodices and skirts.  Maybe you like the collar on one jacket but the sleeves of another.  Go ahead and mash those patterns up. Don't worry, your frankenpattern babies won't be hideous.

5. Plan your spring/fall wardrobe.
A seasonal change is right around the corner no matter what hemisphere you're residing in. It's the perfect time to sew a pattern that you ran out of time to make last year. By the time the change in temps arrives you'll be ready with some new garments.


I've sneakily done some pre-sewing along these suggestions and plan on blogging my projects related to the theme through out the month. So are you ready to make the most of your pattern stash?  Stash busters unite..... pattern power!

What about you? Do you have any tricks or tips for using patterns already in your stash? I'd love to hear about it.

32 comments:

  1. You must be reading my mind - I've spent a good part of the past week sorting and organizing my fabric stash - which involved unpacking every bin and box in order to see what's lurking in there! Can't repack into the boxes until I've figured out what size container each group needs to hold it, right? So I'm purging, and thinking about new projects as I go along. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. Sounds exciting! I'm hoping I can work in something that will fit this month's theme, since the project I just started this weekend is a bag pattern that I borrowed from my mom, and what I'm most excited about sewing next would have to be self-drafted from one of the few shirts I had in my previous closet that's still working at this stage of the pregnancy. Hey, can drafting from something in your closet count as "pattern you already have?" :)

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  3. Looking forward to pattern sewing, I have not followed anything 'to the t' yet, but warmer weather is perfect for it.

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  4. Oh dear... I was *just* feeling guilty about doing too much fabric (and let's be honest, pattern) shopping in February. I'm going to have a dig through ye olde stash and see what I can make!

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  5. Great post! It is sooooooo hard for me not to buy all the fabric! And patterns. Oh goodness there are so many that I want! Also, thanks for the links for the stashbusting group as I keep reading about it but never can seem to find the group anywhere - off to join! Yay!

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  6. I love a good prompt so I may join in. I've been trying not to buy any new patterns right now :)

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  7. This is a very timely post! I have almost finished my "pattern organisation project" which has involved 280-300 patterns (I lost count but I know it is somewhere between those), comic book boards/sleeves/boxes. My collection spans 7 decades (1930s to early 2000s, thank you mother, MIL and grandmothers) and if nothing else it has been amusing seeing the things that I once sewed. 1980s bridesmaids frocks anyone? 1990s long sleevless cardigans things (as seen on Rachel in Friends). 1970s tiered skirts and flowy sleeves. What I have discovered though is that there is nothing new in patterns, everything that comes around goes around. So the collection coupled with my bodice and skirt blocks, I'm figuring that I will never need to buy a pattern ever again.........


    Of course I want to sew all the pretty frocks. Does my lifestyle require pretty frocks? No. Well maybe a few times a year. I need to focus on workwear. But frocks are so pretty........

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  8. This is something I really need to work on - thanks for all the tips and encouragement!

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  9. How about frocks (obviously not ball gowns!!) to work? I have decided this is my new look. If you want to sew frocks, you've gotta wear them too, right?!

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  10. Way to go Janee. That sort of organizing is time consuming but worth it in the end. Hope you found some forgotten gems in the lower layers of the stash. :)

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  11. Excellent! Glad I could finally hook you up with the Stashbusting group location. Now you can sew up some of the pretties you already have. (I'll also turn a blind eye to any new pretties that need to join the stash. Some times you need fabric therapy.)

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  12. Hooray! Hope you have a great time working from your pattern stash. Sewing warmer weather garments is so refreshing.

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  13. Have to say you're getting a lot of things done while being pregnant Becky. I'm really impressed. Personally I'd count drafting from RTW as a pattern you already have cause you're not spending any money on it. :)

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  14. I'm never gonna wag a finger about sewing acquisitions, buuuuuutttt Froggie says sew one stash project and he won't have to get out the efficiency stick.

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  15. Yes come sew with us. We'll try to keep you on the pattern straight and narrow.....most of the time.

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  16. WOOOOO HOOOOOO! Release the baked goods and the sewing machines! We're gonna sew some stuff.

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  17. Excellent! Glad to gently prod you in the direction of using the pattern stash. Feel free to prod me in return cause I also need to work on this. :)

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  18. That sounds like so much fun looking at all your generations of patterns. High-five on doing a bunch of organization with those. I think that means you deserve at least one pretty dress between some work wear.

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  19. lifeinamadshouseMarch 3, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Aw man, this is guilt tripping me--I just bought 6 patterns after being SO GOOD for many months!! (Thankfully, I do not see anything about button stashing anywhere, so I can click the big button on my loaded Etsy cart and own ALL THE OLD BUTTONS without remorse.) Usually I'm pretty good about working with patterns I already own, but this is a group I may have to join for solidarity when my trigger finger gets itchy. Can't wait to see your pre-sewn projects!


    (One final thing: your continual references to baked goods always make me wish that Cake On-Demand was a thing. *sigh*)

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  20. Oh...you know I'm not good at this kinda thing....but oh how I need to do bust some of my stash! Great tips on how to approach this challenge, Heather, thanks!!

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  21. I completely absolve you of guilt since you bought no patterns for months. It was just time to get some new pretties.


    P.S. - Buy all the buttons. ;)

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  22. Thanks Margo. You don't have to never buy any new things, just sew a few old things. That's exactly what I'm doing.

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  23. I really do need to cull the herd! Patterns/fabric are not like dachshunds- you can have too many!

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  24. I'm planning to make the lady skater dress this month. I already have the pattern, but did buy the fabric last weekend because it was GOLD and needed to come home with me. I thought about it for a week before committing though, so no regrets.

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  25. Half of those Big 4 patterns you buy at the JoAnn's sales always seem like a good idea at the time. Then later I usually wonder how these things got into my stash. ;)

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  26. Gold Lady Skater dress sounds amazing! Froggie says that not buying the fabric would have been a crime.

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  27. Things I've been meaning to make B5982, sleeveless using a vintage inspired border print that reminds me of a tablecloth in a good way. M6696 in a chambray strip that's just sitting there in the stash waiting to be a shirt or dress. I just need to make the adjustments to the pattern. I also want to make a few spring/summer blouses and an orange linen a-line skirt. It's so cold and snowy here that I've been hibernating with my knitting needles. I wonder if this is why you don't see many Canadian sewing blogs.

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  28. That sewaholic trench coat I've had for ages with all the fixin's and just never get around to sewing. It looks like climate change says its gonna be wet and chilly for a while yet.

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  29. Oh yes! If you can slog your way through that project it will be the perfect FO. (I say that because my stash also has all the fixings for a sewaholic trench coat.)

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  30. Oh my I need this challenge! When I am short on time but long on ideas I tend to just buy another pattern rather than actually get something done!

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  31. I can commiserate on buying patterns instead of making them. Planning can be so much more fun, especially when you don't have the time to actually sew.

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