Use 5 2019

I know that some of you haven’t been reading my blog for all that long, so before I start, this is just a quick overview of the premise of my Use 5. This is not a challenge designed to reduce my stash (although that is a great benefit) it is more to get me to tackle my fears and expand my skill-set and confidence levels. Essentially, if I don’t cut into one of my Use 5 fabrics in the year they end up on the fire in the new year. It sounds rather drastic, but it does rather free me from that feeling that I can’t make anything with the special fabric unless it’s going to be perfect, and well, perfect is the enemy of good, right?

As I write this I am very conscious that my last two attempts to use 5 scary fabrics from my stash haven’t gone so well. Just as a recap, in 2017 I lost a considerable amount of weight which meant that I didn’t want to sew one of my chosen fabrics that will be turned into a fitted dress. As I’ve said before, I didn’t want to sew something that I knew wasn’t going to fit at the end of the process before I had a chance to wear it. It wasn’t that my measurements were shrinking all that rapidly, but more that my shape was changing. This changing shape is a recurring theme in 2018. Unfortunately I have had a recurring back injury for a few years and early in 2018 I decided to get a bit more help than painkillers and physio – basically the physio helped with the symptoms, but not the cause. The treatment (exercises) resulted in my posture changing; yet again changing my shape. Additionally, I haven’t been able to sit down much due to the injury, and I’ve not yet mastered sewing standing up 🙁

Finally, we’ve also had some rather bad health news in the family, so not only did I find it difficult to concentrate on anything (including sewing) but sewing seemed like a somewhat frivolous activity that was wasting precious time. As such, I am not throwing these fabrics on the fire this year, I am giving myself another chance. I think with the year we’ve had I’ve done well to get any sewing done at all, so I’m pleased that I’ve actually worked with 2 of the fabrics!

Without further ado I present the 5 fabrics that I will cut into in 2019!

First up are four fabrics from my year of hell, 2018:

1. Monochrome floral border print, destined to become a shift dress.

Monochrome Floral and GBSB Shift Dress
Monochrome Floral and GBSB Shift Dress

2. Stretch denim, destined to become a pair of Jalie stretch bootcut jeans.

Stretch Denim with Jalie 2908 Jeans Pattern
Stretch Denim with Jalie 2908 Jeans Pattern

3. The most unusual material in my collection, apparently described as “chainmail fabric” by the seller (this was a Christmas present) it is a stretch black fabric (not sure what) with a metallic net overlay (sorry, that really is the best description I can give!)

"Chainmail" Fabric
“Chainmail” Fabric


I’m not really a big fan of metallic fabrics, and the person who gave this to me knows that and bought it for me to experiment with. As such, there should be absolutely no pressure for me to make something wearable from it, but that just feels like a waste! I am considering a colour-blocked dress using New Look 6209, with the chainmail as the front and back panels and some black ponte as the side panels.

4. This one feels like a bit of a cheat, because I have actually cut the pattern pieces, so I can theoretically class this one as ticked off the list, but a project isn’t finished until you can actually wear it! This is the teal ponte that’s going to be a New Look 6000. This hasn’t progressed any further than cutting out the pattern pieces, because I am having difficulty with skipped stitches. I’ve tried different needles, threads, stitch lengths, tensions etc, and still I am getting skipped stitches. I will get this one finished though, I just love this fabric too much for it to languish for too long!

Skipped stitches on teal ponte

5. This last one is the only new addition to the list, and it is a beautiful wool mix suiting that I picked up in Abakhan, Manchester, back in April 2017 (I think!). This is destined to become a waistcoat for my husband. It will be the first garment I have ever sewn for him and is something of a celebratory piece. Because the fabric is of such lovely quality, and it’s the first garment for him I am putting so much pressure on myself, so this is a perfect candidate for Use 5.

Charcoal suiting
Charcoal suiting

So there you have it, I am hoping for a better year this year, both personally and sewing-wise, but either way I know I have some lovely (if a bit scary) fabrics to keep me busy. Happy new year all, here’s hoping to a fantastic 2019 for everyone.

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