Holiday Wardrobe Project

I am planning a simple holiday wardrobe for my trip to Shanghai in October. Yes! Shanghai!  Can you imagine me going crazy at the fabric markets!!! I am going nuts just thinking about it LOL! If you have shopped there, I welcome tips, recommendations and any information 🙂

From now till end September, I wanna sew a few essential pieces to squeeze into a luggage I am sharing with my hubby and kids. With kids around, we always try to travel as light as possible.

I figured layering is the way to go. The weather has become temperamental. It was just 40 degrees Celsius (typically, it should be 30) in Shanghai a few days ago and by past years’ records, typical weather in October should be 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. My plan is to sew my first fall coat, first cardigan, first pair of jeans and to create a few coordinating knit pieces to bring along. At the same time, I am hoping that all these pieces will be versatile enough to be wore back home.

1) My first coat

I am gonna tackle the coat first. I have the Butterick 5295 sewing pattern but I am constrained by my stash busting effort to sew this-Insufficient yardage. Major major bummer! So, this pattern has got to wait.

I considered some coat sewing patterns on burdastyle where I chanced upon my dream coat named Alden.

This looks so retro. I love the back details! But alas, I still have a fabric constrain issue. I relooked at my stash and reluctantly let this go. It shall be made for my next fall holiday. It has been raining so much in Singapore, I just might get to wear this here if I use a waterproof material.  I convinced myself that Alden has got to wait. Stash busting is my priority at this point. That’s when I met Esther and got totally inspired by this lovely cosy version made of woven and knit fabric by Kitzler. I checked the yardage required and am a happy woman! By mixing knit and woven, i have enough to get this going! What an ingenious idea! Thank you Kitzler!

2) My first cardigan

I fell in love with this long cardi from Japanese sewing book ‘Les couleurs francaises’ but never thought I would actually make it.

The good news-I have the fabric for this in green! The bad news- the pattern is not provided. But, they did provide pattern for a shorter similar version (image below) and the sew gutsy in me said I’m not gonna let the lack of pattern get the better of me. I shall modify this to create a slightly longer cardi.

3) My first jeans

I am still tossed between making jeans from Wendy Mullin’s Sew U pants pattern and a high-waisted pair from burdastyle’s bella pattern. Afterall, the shorts version is so comfortable. The only certainty is I’m making this pair of jeans out of the only denim fabric in my stash, in Indigo.

Here’s what bella jeans look like. I love this pair by the Cupcake Goddess.

But, I am equally smitten with this Sew U pair by Le Printemps Jolie

What do you think? Bella or Sew U jeans?

4) Twinkle Sew Tops

These two tops from Wenlan Chia’s Twinkle Sew caught my eyes when I was going through my sewing patterns and I hope to create them in cotton jersey fabric from my stash. I have heard issues with printing out the CD Rom patterns but would still love to give them a try.

This project is going to be challenging. I have only sewn knit fabric twice.  Knit fabric. First Jeans. First Coat, First Cardigan. I’m ready.


Stash Busting!

I have a yellow sticky on my MacBook dashboard and it says “Stop unnecessary spending!”. I needed it to be there so that every time I felt the need for more fabric while browsing through etsy or other online fabric stores, it would hopefully play the part of a deterrent. It has been effective on a several occasions but one this month, which is pretty good for a person who finds beautiful fabric irresistible!   This morning I’ve committed myself to more restraint. I’m participating in The Train To Crazy’s The Great Destash Challenge!

There are three main things I have to do for this challenge:

1. Organize the stash. You’ll keep buying fabric if you don’t really know what you already have… how true!

2. Use only fabrics from your stash.

3. Decide the length of time or the amount of pile you’d like to reduce.

When I first started sewing, I bought many quilting cotton in one yard each as I was only making clothes for my prince and princess.

These are  stacked away in three small shelves, like the one above.  When my princess started school last month, I decided to stop buying fabric until these are used up. She wears a uniform now so it does not make sense to accumulate the stash.

Now, let’s move on to my stash. Off course, every one of the projects I sew contribute to stash busting but I think I have been accumulating stash a lot faster than I can sew. And, I am already sewing quite a lot. Anyhow, I spent my entire morning re-acquainting myself with them.

My knit/jersey (top) and pants fabric (below) stashes are looking very decent.

And so is my semi sheer fabric (chiffon, tana lawn, cotton voile) stash.

Now, comes the not so decent stashes of cotton or cotton blend. You are seeing 95% of all my cotton fabrics, these are two to three and a half yards each and pretty suitable for my made-me projects.

Japanese prints

Quilting cottons

More quilting cottons

Light weight ikea fabrics

Phew! So, after categorizing them, I took out my sewing patterns and started matching fabrics and patterns. These are what I ended up with.

One full box of dresses and half a box of tops and others to be made.

I also picked the fabrics I needed for the next theme I would be focusing on from mid August to mid September. I hope to start working on the boxes of projects after mid September. At the end of the morning, I still have a few unmatched fabrics and patterns but that’s all right. This stash busting exercised has already lined up many challenging (and I can’t wait to do)  projects. Till I finish each and everyone of them, I will not be buying any more fabric in Singapore or online.

Off course, having said that, I would like to put down a few exceptions to the rule. My fabric fast does not apply to:

1.  Fabric buying during my vacations overseas. The opportunity cost would be just too great!

2.  Lining fabrics as I do not keep any lining stash.

Oh Gosh! What a huge commitment I am making and I am actually happy with this plan. My Stash Busting Sewing Plan!