Olympian challenge and Stash

Ruthie is having an Olympic Challenge. Sew five garments during the Olympics. I like a challenge, especially if it gives me a nudge to sew up a few things in the waiting list. Here’s my first. Authentic linen crumples thrown in. The linens weren’t stash buying. Well, not most of them. Three of us need some lightweight linen pants. The impulse bit was the fuschia one.  I don’t need that colour, its not part of a wardrobe plan, but it’ll take the dull and worthy edge off stitching up several sets of basics. I’m going to see if I can get them all done before whenever we get normal tv back. Whilst in trouser mode, I sewed up these – from basically the same pattern, but cut with no inseam.

So that’s garment 2, I’m catching you up Ruthie!  They’re a liner or a skort slip, to hide knicker line and with luck cut out chafing problems. The side panel seams are finished with pinking and top stitching, the crotch seam is a very narrow french seam, there’s a narrow hem done with a fell foot and the wide stretch lace is stitched on with zigzag. The blue satin top edge is pinked under the lace. I think I’ll trim it back a bit more, to follow the lace curves.  Here’s a close up of the lace.

I seem to remember I bought it mail order from Gypsy Lace.

Is there anything to note about the pants? I had to squeeze them out of the fabric. My mind went blank when I finally managed to flag down an assistant in Myrtille and I bought ten centimetres  too little. Ten centimetres almost made the difference between a pair of trousers and a pair of shorts with a lot left over. I should be ok with the other colours (fingers crossed here), because I’m different measurements. I woke up by the time she was cutting the length for the tallest of us. Cutting a yoke, cheating on the grain, and facing up the hem, just fixed the buying boob. Actually, faced up hems are quite nice on pants for lots of reasons, but it wasn’t intentional.

Now Stash Musings

Nemah asked me a good question in comments. Why stash? Sewing people seem sharply divided between the stashers and the purpose-purchasers. Readers, which are you? If you’re a stasher, what drives the habit? How much do you stash? How do you decide when its out of control? If you’re a purpose purchaser, how long does it take you to track down the right fabric for the pattern you’re coveting?

I thought I had a lot of fabric, but apparently, I’m just the baby of the Stashers. Some people have bolts of it, special rooms full of it, stash to leave in their will to nieces or neighbours who sew. Some Stashers have stash which is definitely worth passing on if they do, piles of silk, rich brocades, wonderful wools. Mine is ninety percent bargain basement fabric. Top price of most of it would be three euros a metre. A lot of it came cheaper than cleaning cloths.  How about you? High value, stroke-able beauties or stuff you scored in a sale?

Why exactly do I stash?  I live 30 and 40 miles from the nearest towns (opposite directions) and have you seen the price per litre of petrol in France? Or the cost of postage?  Plus, of course, I love fabric. I love the lovely stuff, and I love the unloved stuff –  and trying to make something bearable out of the runt of the designer’s litter. Do you have only beautiful fabric pieces, or an oddball collection? Or no stash at all?


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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11 Responses to Olympian challenge and Stash

  1. nehmah says:

    I admit that I purchase the best quality I can afford, at the time. Oddly enough, as my income was reduced by retirement, the cost of my favorite fabrics tumbled. On another site, I listed only the lawns, voiles and batistes I purchased this past twelve months. The final total came to just under 80-some yards. (I do sew for two DGDs-that’s my excuse) I wear mostly cottons, silk, linen, wool and viscose rayon. This year I went off the trail and am playing around with bamboos and hemps most of which are knits. That stuff is glorious to the touch and relatively easy to sew, so long as I use the titanium number 6’s and 8’s. Nehmah


  2. Lakaribane says:

    As I mention in my Member in Focus profile on PR: one grandfather was a stamp collector, several maternal (and paternal) relatives were/are seamstresses: I’m genetically predisposed to stash, LOL! I stash because the choices here are limited. With discovering the sewing blogsphere in 2006 and then joining it a year later, I have a firm and growing interest in knits. They are NOT sold here (except accidentally) so I have to stash them, mostly during trips abroad. Concurrently, as we have grown poorer as a country, sewing and NICE fabrics have grown scarce locally; the few remaining fabric stores seem to sell only fugly polyester crepes and White Linen, the staple fabric here. What’s a girl to do? STASH! Idem for envelop patterns and, even more heartbreaking, Burdastyle magazine which I grew up around (I’m going on 35!). Add an earthquake and it’s like the perfect environment to compell my stashing habits into a full-blown obsession. If I knew I had easy access to good quality cotton poplin or broadcloth prints, seersuckers (oh, sweet memories of yesterday!), colored/printed linens, piqué prints etc. like in the good old days, I would not stash. But I am not even garanteed to find size 70 needles because all those treadles mean it’s strictly 80 to 100 in size, so frustrating! So I stash every thing, from fabric, to notions to interfacing. I’m adding zippers and buttons because, while I do get YKK zippers, regular or invisible, the best store for them moved 1h away due to the EQ and they only buy basic colors: red, black, navy, brown, off-white/beige. How can you work in such conditions, esp if the zipper is not a design elements. So I stash. EVERY. THING.


  3. I’m a purpose purchaser & a stasher. Some things I see & I just have to buy. I love a good sale & that’s how I’ve gotten most of my stash. It comes in so handy when you come up with an idea that you need to work on NOW. Other times I know exactly what I want to make down to the fabric & I can spend months hunting for it, eschewing any fabric that’s not exactly what I want. Most of my fabric is like yours, bargain basement finds, usually in the $1-5/yd range. But, if I find something special I will shell out for it, but never more than $10/yd. Sometimes I think bargain shopping has ruined me when it comes to finer fabrics. Although, it makes finding nice silks & wools on sale even more exciting.


  4. bela s. says:

    I’m not a big fabric stasher. I still have some pieces from when I first started sewing and fabric buying was just as exciting as actually sewing something. Now I buy per project UNLESS I’m traveling since sewing notions/fabric are my version of souvenirs. Otherwise, I feel like those huge (and I mean huge) stash pictures I have seen verge on hoarding. Hoarding terrifies me. If you have ever loved someone with that disorder it will totally make you want to live as minimal as possible. I do understand why someone with limited access like Lakaribane would want to stock up when she can. That makes sense. Now patterns- I have a lot of those in my mind, but when I read that others have 100s I am in awe. I haven’t hit the triple digits yet . I’m already overwhelmed with choices. Yikes!


    • Pella says:

      The minimalist idea is appealing, but, I would pretty much never sew if I had to special order everything. If I lived in a city ………


      • bela s. says:

        Yes location makes a big difference. I live in the Baltimore/ Washington DC corridor so I have great access to supplies, and close access to New York or Philadelphia if I don’t find what I want here. I don’t really have a need to stash unless something is expensive or a rare find on sale.


  5. I have a small stash and I’m trying not to make it bigger. Kind of. I am very tempted by strokable fabrics that I’m not quite ready to sew yet – particularly silks. I love silks, but also quality cottons and wools. I tend to buy merino when I find it at a good price and then put it away for when there’s a need for it. My mum and neighbour have given me a lot of fabric too ….

    I have decided that I now have enough fabric for the pile of patterns I want to make up, unless something specific is missing. Now that I’ve organised it all into fabric types and boxed it appropriately I should be better able to sew with what I have rather than buying. Oh and I sew with glacial speed so what’s the point in stash building? I already have several lifetimes’ worth I guess.

    Fabric, knit and woven, are readily available here – I’m an hour’s drive at most from several very good stores too.

    PS I like the pants – I’m about to search for linen (in my stash lol) for some too.


  6. bela s. says:

    I’m also on the sewing with “glacial speed” track Calico! If I can get 2 garments completed a month that is HUGE for me.


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