OK, ok so I didn’t actually win a lottery, but it does feel a bit like it! For years now, I have been signed up to freecycle and my husband is forever asking why. I signed up years ago to get rid of some of the stuff that came with our house and just never quite got around to closing my account. A local lady was clearing out her mums sewing stash, and I got lucky. I have now ended up with a stash about twice the size it originally was, but this fabric came at no cost, and therefore I am much happier to use it for toiles and learning, so it really doesn’t matter if the final garment doesn’t get worn all that much, just as long as I learn something.

In addition to the fabric,

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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?

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The contents of the box from SewHayleyJane

A while back I made a cardigan for myself, and at the time the Cosy Cardi Challenge was going on on Instagram (I’m @sewsmartuk if you want to follow me there). As such, I decided to enter, and a couple of weeks later it transpired that I won one of the prizes. I won a super Stash Box from SewHayleyJane. Just to be clear, I don’t think this is one of Hayley’s usual monthly boxes, so I wouldn’t take my stash to be what you’d receive each month; I think this is more of a pick & mix. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but suffice to say that when the parcel was opened, I was so happy. Just have a look at the goodies.

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A Selection of 5 Fabrics to Use in 2018

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted here, so sorry for that if you’ve been wanting a catch-up! Sewing has been happening, but I think it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been my top priority. I have been somewhat hampered by a bad back, but we’ve also just had a lot going on as a family that has significantly hindered my sewing progress. I’ve just not found myself able to settle to anything, and sewing has felt like too frivolous a pastime to really deserve my limited free time. I do know though that I need to be doing something creative to retain my sense of self and balance.

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A Selection of 5 Fabrics to Use in 2018

Last year I set myself a challenge to use 5 fabrics from my stash that I was nervous about using for one reason or another. The intention was that any of those fabrics that I didn’t use would end up on the log burner at the end of the year if they weren’t touched. Well, to summarise, last year I only cut in to four out of the five fabrics. I have however, not thrown the last fabric on to the fire, because I have good reason for not cutting in to it. Over the past six months I have lost quite a lot of weight, and after losing that weight my shape has still to stabilise. I have decided on the pattern for this piece of fabric, but I don’t want to make a dress that is unlikely to fit me a month after I have made it, just so that I can complete the challenge. As such, this one piece of fabric has been added to my Use 5 list for 2018.Continue reading

One of the reasons behind Use 5 2017 was to reduce some of the stash. It’s gone quite well so far, and I have completed a couple of the projects. That said, I’ve not done too well at reducing the stash. I’ve had a couple of work trips that have taken me close to fabric shops, and much as steel is attracted to a magnet, I am attracted to fabric shops. Additionally I needed to buy some interfacing, so of course I had to add a little extra to the online basket and get free shipping!

So the end result is that we’re only half way through the year and I’ve added the following beauties to my little collection.Continue reading

Use 5 - 2017

I have spent this festive period enjoying time with my family and lounging around reading sewing blogs and eating too much. In doing so, I’ve noticed that lots of bloggers are doing their version of a best and worst of 2016 and plans for 2017 posts.Continue reading

Bright Pink Lawn

Wow! What a glorious couple of days we’ve been having here in the UK (I hope it’s the same wherever you are). Added to the weather, I also have a new washing machine! OK, so I know what you’re thinking “what on earth has this got to do with sewing?”Continue reading