Stashbusting and #2017makenine

One of my 2017 goals from my top 5 post has to do with stashbusting. In the stashbusting group, we were all asked to submit our totals at the end of January since the goal is to be 10% down as a group. Last week, I measured all the fabric in my stash and cataloged it using google sheets so that I would be able to access it anywhere. I made categories for fabrics: cotton prints, satins, crepes, suiting, etc. Then I held my breath and did a sum of it all.


Three shelves, two drawers, and a bit of flannel on the left there equals 233 yards of fabric. I have 138 different pieces of fabric. That doesn’t include my trim, like pieces of stretch lace or elastics. I didn’t see the point in including that since they are attached to fabric and don’t stand alone.

Plans are to reduce my overall stash to 150 yards and, if I buy fabric, to only buy for specific projects or to use up an equal amount that is brought in. For knit projects, I almost always use up what I buy immediately and as a result there are very few knits in my stash. I will likely continue to buy those more than other fabrics, but I do want to use some of my deep stash: fabrics that have been around for a while like brocades and satins and rayon fabric that I love, but have been reluctant to sew.

Some people in the group posted smaller amounts than me, but lots more people posted with 5 times or even 10 times my amount. It blows my mind to have that much space for fabric! Makes me think of Carolyn’s drool worthy stash….

I sadly don’t have that much room. I am able to house fabric in my cabinet, but outside of that… I slowly push my husband out of the bedroom so… I would like to avoid that since I love him very much. ❤

This month’s theme in the group is sewing organization. My stash is pretty organized and neat, especially after taking everything out and measuring it and then  putting it back neatly. I also have a nicely organized UFO area with everything in two wicker baskets and all of my supplies, trims, and tools are organized as well. The big mess is my scraps. I have two large overflowing plastic tubs and two large plastic bags of scrap fabric on the floor of our closet. *hangs head in shame*

Now that I have measured the stash, my next goal is to go through the scrap fabric. Whatever I can’t use will be put into bags so I can take them to H&M. Did you know that they take fabric scraps? I am excited to have a more sustainable hobby by packing up my scraps rather than throwing them in the landfill. I assume there are still amounts that end up in the landfill, but I would much rather a portion of my scraps goes towards recycled material than 0%.

The plan is to cut up some of the cotton scraps into quilt squares for a quick scrap quilt. It will probably just amount to a small quilt and I will back it with a fleece blanket from the dollar store or thrift store. Some things may become baby hats or little bags that I might post on etsy. I also have a huge bra project that will need some non-precious fabric for testing so I can use my scraps for that.

Another part of my stashbusting goals this year is to use up patterns that I have owned for a while. I have a lot of Burda patterns downloaded from the website that I want to use this year. I’ve made some Burda in the past and really liked them. KS_Sews is also doing a Burda challenge and has for the past couple years. I am joining that with a commitment of at least 6 patterns.

Last year, I didn’t accomplish a single item on my #2016makenine post. This year, I have a mix of easy projects and more complicated projects. My #2017makenine is mostly filled with the six Burda patterns I want to make this year. Starting with the first row and going across:

  1. Prairie Style Dress from Burda. I’ve been drooling over patterns like this for a while and really love the details in it. I am not a huge fan of the ruffles, though, and may leave them off. I actually love ruffles on a bodice, but they seem a bit excessive in this dress since there are so many lovely design details.
  2. I want to make the Cashmerette Appleton dress using up some lovely tropical print material I got in a local sewcialist swap. Ever since seeing Gillian’s lovely dress, this has been in my head and I’ve wanted a tropical maxi version of my own.
  3. Cowl Neck Top from Burda. I will need to buy fabric for this one.
  4. Keyhole dress from Burda. While this one is similar to #1 with those front pleats, it is different enough to have me wanting to make it.
  5. M7537. I don’t have this pattern yet so it would sadly add to my stash. I really love view C with the different prints and colours. I love the sleeves in view B as well.
  6. Raglan sweater with zip. I have some fleece and some cat print terry in my stash that I will use, but I might need to buy some more rib knit. I will leave the zipper off of the top, though. I’m not one for unnecessary zippers.
  7. Belted Kimono from Burda. This will require fabric, but I hear there are some nice bamboo terry fabrics at Fabricland. I’ll try to coordinate with a sale to make the journey to get to one.
  8. I have 22.5 yards of flannel in my stash that are begging to become pj pants using the 5 out of 4 free pj pattern that I made a bunch of for family/friends this Christmas.
  9. Boho maxi dress from Burda. I have a gorgeous crepe print for this pattern. I will have to wear a little slip under it since it is a bit see-through. Now I just need a lovely beach to walk along…

Considering how many projects I tackle in a year, I know nine won’t even really cover my plans, but I haven’t enjoyed planning my sewing for a while and prefer to live wild and free. I have a massive bra project I will be starting soon and a blazer I want to make and a bunch of party dresses I put in my top 5 goals. I also am full of plans to make bow tops and cute pinafore dresses to go with them. Not to mention the basics I need throughout the year, like leggings and underwear and little shorts for the summer to wear with skirts and dresses. I’d like to anticipate those and not scramble to sew them when I am desperate for them. Right now I need a couple more pairs of leggings to get me through the winter, but then around March I’d like to buy some fabric to get me ready for spring and summer.

I’m excited to show you some different projects this year. I really want to challenge myself to create an even better and more accessible wardrobe.


27 thoughts on “Stashbusting and #2017makenine

  1. I hear you on the stashbusting. It’s so easy to let it get out of control and fabric folds up out of sight so nicely I can totally miss the scale of it. I’ve told myself I’m not allowed to go back to a fabric store until my birthday in late March … except for Frances’s grade 8 grad dress … and so you see the exceptions and rationalizations begin! Anyway, good luck on the yard reduction.

    I’m overjoyed to hear H&M takes scraps. I had no idea. I’ve got a few overflowing bins too and could neither throw them away nor find a good use for them.

    Those patterns are going to look great on you. 🙂 Can’t wait to see them made up!

    1. I make so many exceptions and rationalizations! I really have to focus on not doing that. 😉

      I can’t wait to try more Burda patterns. I almost bought 5 more on the weekend! I have a problem! Whenever there is a sale on the website, I go a bit nuts. I managed to hold back this time. 🙂

      1. Yes, please! 😀 ❤

        And no "if," I'll be coming sometime in the next few months. Once I figure out the "how" for my bra project, I will need supplies and I figure shipping is the same as a GO ride and I'd get the chance to go to other fabric stores too. 😉

  2. Looking forward to seeing some of your future projects! My stash isn’t as expansive as yours but I definitely want to get it down some this year! A scrap quilt is a great idea – also I never knew H&M took fabric! (I wonder if the one here will do that too?! Must check it out! – thanks!) 🙂

    1. Probably best that you don’t have as big of a stash! It’s really getting out of hand.

      I’d check with your local H&M but the textile recycling is supposed to be in all countries as far as I know from what I read. It’s a corporate policy. They also apparently give coupons for dropping textiles off.

  3. I wish you the best of luck with your stashbusting goal–you can do it! You deserve to wear those beautiful fabrics, not just to admire them as yardage. 🙂 You make an excellent point about having space to have so much fabric; I had never thought about my stash that way but that’s a really great perspective!

    I can’t wait to see your take on that Burda cowl neck top–it looks gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Mads! I think I can do it! 😀 I can’t wait to try out the Burda cowl neck top either. I think it will be a winner. 🙂

  4. I’ve been sewing and teaching sewing for over 40 years. (OMG, that makes me sound really old!) 🙂 Without out a doubt, Burda patterns are the way to go if you make pants. They have a longer crotch length in the back which is terrific for those of us with lots of good stuff in the trunk. It also helps with the back of the pants creeping down when you sit. I never even consider another company for pants.

    1. I keep hearing the same thing! Pants from Burda are on my list for the future. I was thinking of getting their pants sloper for plus sizes and trying that out. 🙂

  5. I know you can hit your stashbusting goal!!!! At least a lot of your fabrics are from thrift stores (lucky!!), so in fact, you can think about it as re-using them. 🙂 But… I know you need to clear some space. I don’t have much of a stash anymore, but probably a little more than I wanted to have, so I guess that’s why I’ve never joined the stashbusting challenge. I do have a lot of scraps I have saved, so thanks for the info on H&M. I’ll have to find where my closest store is. I have like 6 garbage bags of fabric scraps in the basement!

    1. I think I can do it, too! 😀 Yeah, the fabric from thrift stores makes me feel okay about the stash since it is reusing something that may have ended up in a landfill.

      That’s awesome you don’t have much of a stash! You do so much sewing it doesn’t surprise me. 😀

      1. I think that you are more productive than I! When I get to cleaning out some cabinets and put fabric in there, I’m going to make a fabric (and pattern) spreadsheet in Google so that I can access it anywhere and then I will add up the stash and see what it is….

      2. Lately, I am the opposite of productive. lol. I used google sheets for that very reason. I need to be able to run through my list and see what I “need” or don’t “need” while at the fabric store. 😉

  6. So ambitious. I’m jealous of your ability to make so many things! Question on the leggings: is there a particular pattern and/or fabric you prefer when you make them?

    1. I’ve tried a lot of leggings patterns, but didn’t really like them. Haha. I copied my RTW leggings by taking apart an old pair. Then I added to the back a bit since I always like more room back there and shortened the front crotch a bit since there was always excess fabric there. The other patterns I used just didn’t seem to work and I figured I’d just start with something I know just needs a couple of alterations. 🙂 The fabric I prefer is cotton lycra for leggings (at least 4% lycra, but I find the best results with 5% or above). Look for good recovery and good 4-way stretch.

      1. Thanks so much for the advice. I’d probably make the same pattern adjustments for myself. 🙂 Also appreciate the recommendation for the fabric!

  7. This is a good plan. That’s a TON of flannel to bust! I especially like #3 and #4–those will be pretty on you. I love the neckline of the third one. Is there anyone cowls don’t look great on? They’re so feminine. I’m with you on the wild and free. I think that’s how I cook. I go through seasons of having really detailed shopping lists when I’m freezer cooking, and other days I just buy all the vegetables and random proteins and see what happens at the end of the day. But it’s good to plan. I’m just getting my make nine up and posted today. I haven’t come across this challenge before, and I’m interested to see how it all goes. I’m forcing myself to commit to projects I’ve been shelving for a long time.

    1. I feel the same about cowls! It drives me bananas when people say they don’t think cowls look good on a larger bust. I always jump in with pictures. 😀

      That’s how I cook too. I just have ingredients on hand and roll with it. 🙂

      Rochelle from Lucky Lucille started the #makenine challenge. I’m really hoping I stick to this list. Last year I didn’t make a single on from my list. hahah.

  8. Good on you for organizing your fabric stash. I have photos of all my fabric and descriptions and have vowed to buy fabric only once a year – the rest of the time I have to “make do” with all the lovely fabric I have already! Love your #2017makenine choices. All nice garments! I’m looking forward to seeing them! I’ve signed up too for #2017makenine – I haven’t started yet… 😦

    1. Wow! Buy only once this year?! That’s a lot of willpower.

      I haven’t started on my make nine list either. I signed up for two patterns to test. 😮 lol. That’s where my brain is at… shiny!

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