Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stash Maintenance

Okay, so it's no secret that my stash has gotten a little out of hand. I mean, when you start losing fabric in your stash, you know you have a problem. So I decided that since I have a rare four day weekend (due to taking time off for the kids' Fall Break), I would take advantage of some of the time to go through my stash and reorganize, refresh my memory as to what's in there, and hopefully cull some stuff. You'll be happy to know that I found the brown gauze safe and sound.
So I started the stash project last night. It's going to take at least another day, but I got through the oldest and most mysterious part of it last night. I did, indeed, find stuff that I'd forgotten I had. I also found some stuff that I knew I had, but just didn't have any idea where it was. And I found a lot of stuff that I don't really need to keep. Unfortunately, even though I made a whole pile of fabrics to get rid of, once I filled in the boxes with the piles of fabric I had stacked up all over the sewing room, it really didn't seem like I'd even made a dent.
As I said in a previous post, I'm on the lookout for some fabrics suitable for making the Princess some winter dresses. I found this in the stash:

This is a beautiful periwinkle blue fine wale corduroy and a really nice coordinating cotton print in dark blue with tiny flowers in shades of periwinkle, gold and mauve with green vines. I love these two fabrics together and I've wanted to use them together to make something special for a long time. This is kind of what I had in mind:

This sweet little ensemble is a project called "Winter Garden" from AS&E #59. It's a long sleeve smocked dress with a shaped yoke and two piece collar, with a coordinating jacket bound with the print dress fabric. The jacket in the magazine is made of wool blanketing which looks really soft and warm, but I think I could use the corduroy with a lining and a thin layer of batting and get a nice little jacket that way. The only problem is that I don't have enough of the blue print to make the outfit exactly like it's shown. The dress calls for a little over four yards and I only have three. I know I can cut my skirt pieces on the cross grain and have just barely enough for a smocked bodice (I'd have to make a size five, and a 45" width of fabric is just barely enough to smock from side to side, as we saw with my last project.) I could also make short sleeves. I hate to do that, though. I really feel like a winter dress needs a nice long sleeve. I actually measured the pattern pieces and drew a cutting diagram. I could squeeze the dress out of three yards, but would I have enough fabric left to bind the jacket? Let's face it, if I can't bind the jacket, what's the point?

So I kicked the idea around for day or two and I came up with an alternative idea. What if I made a simple, unsmocked yoke dress out of the print and made a smocked pinafore/jumper out of the corduroy to go over it. The print sleeves and collar would look nice against the corduroy, and I could even make the dress a little longer so the print would show at the hem, too. I could use the same floss colors: blue, gold, and mauve on the periwinkle cord and maybe even add a third fabric for contrast, just like Winter Garden, which has some gingham piping. I should be able to make it this way with the fabric I have. Then I could make Winter Garden the right way out of something else, even if I have to go buy something special for it. (Like that would be a bad thing!)

I found a couple of other pieces in the stash that will make nice winter dresses, but I can't show them right now because they're in the washing machine. Stay tuned for a preview. There will be smocking this weekend!


jemima bean said...

winter Garden is one I've sticky=noted too. I'll prolly never get around to it, but hey this winter would be the winter to do it. I doubt I could get Lu in a smocked dress after this year. My baby has grown up. :( She's Hannah Montana now.

Shannon said...

Yeah, you're right. Where does the time go?