Friday, July 01, 2016

It's all about the numbers...

A couple of weeks ago I sat down to figure out how much fabric I've bought so far this year, how much fabric I've sewn and how many garments I've made. Why you ask? Well one, because I've made a conscious decision to sew as much as possible from the fabric collection. For another, I wanted to see if it made a difference in the fabric in/fabric out situation. Finally, it's taking time to build a new wardrobe and to figure out what to wear.

Let's start with garments made and fabric used:
Garments sewn~
I've sewn 27 garments since the start of the year. First I'm amazed at that number because some years I would only sew 30-35 pieces and I'm close to that already. However, since I did a lot of unselfish sewing in March, I'm sure that's why my totals are so high! Four of the garments in that number haven't been photographed yet so expect to see a couple of them later on.

On that note, I've decided that I'm not blogging any more versions of my TNT dress. I have nothing new to contribute regarding their construction so no need to share. I will probably show a photo of them on Instagram, so if you follow me there, you will see them.

On the fabric side ~ 
I've used 52.5 yards of fabric since the beginning of the year! This is major! Again more than I've probably sewn in previous years and it's encouraging me to continue to sew from the collection. Now here is the downer to that number ~ the number of yards in. I bought 45 yards in Seattle to kick the year off...cause I'm not counting Christmas fabric that came in during January. Then with my birthday money/gift cards I bought another 24.5 yards and finally on my trip to Philly I bought 14 MORE yards...so grand total 82.5 yards in the last six months. I was feeling good about that 52.5 yard total until I added up those fabric buys. Geeze!


I really thought I'd done better than that because fabric doesn't arrive weekly like it has in years past. I also haven't been on many fabric shopping trips...I guess all that birthday celebrating really blew it out of the water! *LOL* Since I have plans to use quite a bit of fabric for the summer from what I've already bought I guess I will even those numbers out.

Wardrobe building:
This late spring/summer, I'm wearing more me-made. I think it helps that I started working this job last June so I have a previous season of me-mades on hand. Before we started summer fridays, I was wearing me-made 4 out of 5 days. However, I want to lose that RTW day because I feel like that's when I'm most sloppiest. How do women who don't sew do it?  Seriously!

So I went to Macy's to snoop shop and I did something I don't usually do, I tried on a couple of dresses. How do retailers sell things to plus size/curvy women? Never mind that the assortment is just deeper with more variety on the other floors than is available for plus size women. But let's factor in that whole dressing room atmosphere - Gawd I'm glad I sew!

INC ITY dress with zipper in the front

Handkerchief hemmed halter type dress

I also went to Macy's to get some more perspective on what I want to sew for the rest of the summer. One of the things that I just don't have enough of a handle on is "What is my Style Now?" I have a list of things I don't want it to be and I kinda have an idea of what I'd like it to be but it's not cohesive. I'm still seeking the cohesion.

I will be sewing some new pieces this four day weekend. Yes, I'm off today (it begins the first of my five fridays off - or my month of three day weekends) through Monday which is Independence Day (July 4th) here in The States. Originally I'd decided to work on just two major projects but I've changed my mind in the last couple of days. I need to have enough garments to wear me-made every day I go to work.

So this long behind rambling post is to talk a little about the numbers and a little about what I'm going to sew...but mostly to say that I'm drilling down and coming up with more separates. Yes, a dress or two will show up 'cause I am a dress girl, but several different types of garments will show up soon.

...as always more later!


29 comments:

  1. Hi Carolyn,
    Everytime I go to the fabric store ( Just to browse ) that one fabric is there which I have to add to the already overflowing collection. So kudos to your decision to sew from your fabric collection. Love your blog. Keep on sewing :)

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  2. I to have started to keep track of what goes in / out of my fabric stash and make a conscious effort to sew from it (I have started to follow The Craft Sessions stash less to reduce my stash (I only have a corner of my husbands office as my sewing area and my fabric has to fit under the dropleaf table my dad built me so storage is limited as is my time to sew with 2 girls under 4!). So far I'm not doing so well as I've added 40 metres to my stash and they are currently sat on a dresser as they wont fit in the stash - oops! I need to avoid the fabric store and keep myself off the Internet to avoid online stores!

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    1. I'm hoping by keeping closer tabs on what I buy and sew it will encourage me to continue to sew from the collection. We will see! LOL! So I feel you.

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  3. Carolyn,have you ever been tempted to take the pledge? I only ask because I feel I need to but can't bear to miss out on some irresistible piece that could become something wonderful? Like you, I'm sewing from my stash but buying just as much as ever.

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    1. Diana - the short answer is no. I've never successfully completed it so I recognize my weaknesses. However, I have been buying less this year. So I was surprised at the numbers especially since fabric no longer shows up once a week. I guess small short frequent buys add up as quickly as one enormous big buy!

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  4. Sadly my stash just keeps on growing. I really need to get it under control!

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  5. You and I briefly chatted via one of my blog posts about sewing from the collection. I have done more of that and buying fabric has been curtailed somewhat since December, however lately I have made a couple of purchases.

    I understand your comment about limited plus size garments, same is true for petites very limited selection compared to "regular" size. Actually in some stores and our Macy's in my area they push plus and petite sizes into the back of the store area on the second floor. I am glad I sew also.

    I am off today also and have prepared fabric for cutting and sewing over this 4 day holiday weekend. Happy sewing.

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    1. Linda - I was in what's supposed to be the "biggest store in the world" and I concur that petites are sadly lacking. While Macy's does incorporate the petites into the floors better, the selection was small and you had to go from designer to designer to find anything. At least the plus size clothing was all in one large section of the 7th floor!

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  6. Oh, yes I can agree with everything you have said. I am almost into plus size and enough away from the norm (short, high waist and tall) that RTW doesn't fit me either. Like you, so happy I can sew.
    Theresa in Tucson

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  7. It is so interesting to see someone put actual numbers to what they've bought and used. And... compared to me... don't feel bad about how much you've bought or have not sewn. I GUARANTEE I've got you beat!

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    1. Mimi - I've never been good at it before but I've also never made a real attempt at keeping track. Always before I'd give up after awhile...but I've made a real commitment to sewing from the collection because what is the point of all those treasures if I don't sew them! And I know that there are people out there with way more fabric than I have...

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  8. I love that you are sewing so much from your collection as I tend to sew up my newest fabric purchases. This post got me thinking about RTW for plus sizes and I think the main problem is that as women age they seem to add inches to their torsos which results in the many baggy,shapeless tops and dresses sold to accomodate many sizes. They also add inches to shoulders which is usually not needed resulting in a poor fitting garment. I agree that I'm so happy that I sew and can get a lovely fit even though my plus size shape is not what I call lovely! Karen

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    1. I can honestly say I didn't see a lot of tents, however, the closer fits cause a bunch of troubles too! There is just so much goodness in the collection that it seems the right time to sew from it. I'd like to add some space so future treasures can go into it.

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  9. That handkerchief dress is gor-ge-ous! When are you going to make that???

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    1. Faye - it fit like CRAP! I liked elements of it but the dress looked horrid on me. So no I won't be making that! *LOL*

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  10. How do you keep track of those numbers? Amazing. My late husband used to say: "If only you could wrap yourself in fabric and safety pin it, you'd have a never-ending wardrobe". Have fun sewing over the week-end.

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    1. Irene - I'm just making more of an effort. It was easier to track the "in" numbers because I've only bought fabric 3x this year.

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  11. My stash grew far more than my sewing output so far this year, mostly due to Hancock going out of business :-( I already miss them, tho my finances are a bit happier.

    It seems many stores at least have special departments for plus-size and petites, there is no such option for tall. And it gets worse if you are both tall and plus size, it seems RTW doesn't think tall women come in sizes larger than about 16-18. I could write a whole rant on this subject!

    Does your fabric used yardage include fabric used by your daughter? If not, maybe you need an "enabler" category for fabric sewn, but not by you.

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    1. Yes I included the fabric numbers I used for my daughters and the granddaughters. And her taste is similar to mine so she just goes through and picks out pieces for garments. There will be more sewing for her and the grandbabies so hopefully that will use up some more fabric!

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  12. Those dresses are very pretty; I'd love to see your me-made versions of them.

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  13. I admire your ability to keep track of how much yardage you've sewn and how much you've purchased! For the life of me, I just can't keep track that well. We are so blessed to have learned the art of sewing, and the fact that we love it so much!

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  14. Starting this year, I started monitoring very closely how many yards of fabric I buy and the associated costs. While my spending is way down compared to previous years, my fabric-in to fabric-out ratio is still off by a lot. I hope we both make headway in sewing down the stash.

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    1. L - that's me too! Not spending 1/2 as much on fabric as I have in years past but those yardage numbers in still seem to be climbing...I just need to work harder for the rest of the year to be even more conscious of what comes in.

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  15. From Creative Hormone Rush: Question: Is it really necessary to have a "style"? Do we need to decide that beforehand? Would that stifle spur of the moment inspiration and creativity? If you buy patterns with garment lines that flatter your figure and buy pretty fabric that inspires you, or vice versa, won't that result in creating a style? Maybe I'm just too ADD, but I think if you just make what you like right now in your best colors, it'll all work out and a style will emerge. From the movie Shakespeare in Love: "So what do we do?" "Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well." "How?" "I don't know. It's a mystery."

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  16. I don't keep a log like this....but it certainly seems like I should. I do however, keep a journal of all the items I sew, and especially those I don't blog, which are many. I just may need to start documenting the yardage and matching to the sewn goods. You are on a roll for sure this year in comparison to your prior years.

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  17. Another interesting post. I find I need to keep a good eye on RTW and the fashion magazines/newspapers as the pattern companies are usually behind the curve and also avoid the some of the more interesting trends I like. In terms of using up what we already have I have been creating a dress a week for a college course and I made a point of using up what I had already, which worked just fine.

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    1. It's interesting because I think it's what sewists, blogs and IG accounts you follow too that determine what fashion you see on sewists. Although, sometimes I think our little sewing sphere puts too much emphasis on certain types of looks that aren't necessarily as popular in RTW. But then again isn't that why we sew?

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  18. You are a trooper with logging your in & out fabric. My fabric stash is so out of control and need to start logging in & out fabric.

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  19. We've chatted. I'm not keeping track, but I have been using fabric deemed too good to try new patterns. I also need to stop buying patterns and use what I've got. I was surprised at how many lengths of fabric I pulled to cut maxis that weren't long enough. I'm sure there is a lesson there. As always, you encourage and inspire. g

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