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Work It: 12 Months of Stash Busting

If you are a sewist, you might also work with the understanding that sewing and fabric shopping are two separate hobbies. Since buying a house, my fabric shopping habit has grown. Significantly. If you aren’t reading me here, a bit more bluntly – damn, I have a lot of fabric. Some of it I am saving for just the right project. Some is stuff I ordered online that wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. Some I’m holding for projects for other people (projects they are either waiting on me to have time for, or haven’t decided on actual details so I can sew). But there is sure a lot of fabric in my house. So this year, instead of using one pattern for 12 different pieces, I’m going to be sewing my heart out, using only the stuff I have in my possession already. (This is most of the fabric in my stash, but…not all. Clearly my organization is sometimes strong and sometimes terrible. Judge away.)

I’m sure I’ll be buying other fabric throughout the year, but for this series, I want to focus on clearing out some of the beautiful fabrics I already have. Bundles my sister and I are sharing. Loved pieces that deserve to reach their potential. Weird fabrics that I didn’t know what to do with. Every month I’ll choose something and give it a purpose. I might be breaking down a bundle to share with my sister or sewing something for other people entirely. I’ll be using patterns from across designers and sharing all the details so you can recreate any looks spark inspiration in you! I hope you enjoy this year’s version of Work It as much as I know I’ll enjoy sewing for it!

We are starting strong this month with a bundle we bought one of (why oh why do we always do this?) that we are both completely in love with. We had two yards of this sheer white with grey flowers (rayon jersey) and two yards of the lovely grey bamboo. This bundle is from So Sew English Fabrics and is so damn lovely. Both fabrics are soft and feel luxurious. I have to say the reason we were sitting on this for so long is that splitting two, 2-yards cuts between us was HARD! We bought this way back in April of 2017. Almost three years ago! Back when we were buying one or two yard cuts for most things. We have changed to buying two or three yard cuts so we have enough for whatever the fabric tells us it should be. (Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it shouts. You just never know until it is ready.)

Virginia and I pulled this bundle out, again (you can’t imagine how many times we’ve pulled this off the shelf to try to find what it wanted to be) and gave some real thought to what we could make with one yard each. Brainstorming was actually faster than I expected. Since it was an overlay bundle, I knew I wanted a tank out of the grey. My favorite tank pattern is the Strappy Cami from Rebecca Page Sewing. (Peeps! This one is a freebie for all subscribers!) It is the perfect basic tank for layering. Just fitted enough that it works under all my tops, but not so fitted it would double as shapewear. Basically, it is comfy AF. It is also super easy and quick to cut and sew. I love those quick sews! The bamboo is just so lovely to wear. And despite not loving sewing knit binding, it went so fast with this bamboo! Thankfully, Virginia picked the same tank, so it was a nice quick batch sew to make them both at the same time.

This leaves the overlay. What patterns do we love that I can get out of one yard each? Well, I had just finished sewing Virginia’s Camilla when we were chatting about this and it is one of my favorite 5oo4 patterns. Plus, if I go sleeveless and top length, I can sneak it out of a yard!! Decision made! I just love the drape with this sheer fabric. Camilla definitely highlights that drape. So, what does Virginia need with her yard? Well, her favorite shirt is the 5oo4 Jessie. Jessie has a sleeveless option that only takes a yard! BOOM!! All the decisions are made. We both have two new pieces that we can mix and match into our wardrobes.

Super excited to be starting another year of Work It and I hope you’ll join me to see this stash getting smaller all year!

Stephanie xx

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5oo4 Jessie Update

Virginia definitely has a favorite shirt. Every time we’re looking for a basic tee, or something with a little something extra, she asks for Jessie. When 5 Out of 4 announced they were doing a FBA and maternity update on Virginia’s favorite pattern, I knew she needed it!!

I’ve definitely shared Jessie before here, here, and here. It has a gorgeous low scoop back. Instructions for fun strappiness, and a suggestion to have fun with it and make it your own. Sleeveless, or sleeved. Top, tunic, dress length options. Basically, if Jessie is your jam, you can fill your closet with it and have so much variety!!

Virginia went for classic with this one. Top length, short sleeve, no strappy back. And she looks so lovely!! The fabric definitely contributes to that lovely look! The only problem? I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE WE GOT THIS!!! I scrolled through our orders from a few places and can’t find it! It feels like single brushed poly and the colors are just stunning. (Sorry I can’t be helpful! It is quite lovely.)

Basically, if you haven’t picked up Jessie yet, now is a great time to grab it!!

Stephanie xx

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TCCF Navy Daydreams

I already mentioned this fabric showing up by surprise. Can you say best surprise ever? Because this is right up there!!

Threaded Candy Customs cotton lycra base fabric is absolutely delightful. It is soft, has great recovery. They blow me away with the creativity in every round. And you know I love to nerd out with every new round announced! Right now, though, they have the summer round open. Every damn fabric is just so pretty. Happy and ready to take to the beach. If you’re looking for fun swim fabrics, check these out!!

This print is the Navy Daydreams. It is bright and happy and I completely love it. Such a vibrant, happy print that I plan to wear all summer long!!! (And probably pretty far into autumn.) Since it is perfect for summer, this clearly needed to be turned into tanks! One for me and one for the sister! Let’s talk mine first.

I am completely in love with the tie front tops right now. I want to fill my closet with them. Knit, woven. Fancy, casual. Don’t care. This tank is the Made for Mermaids Mama Ella. This is a great basic tank. Just fitted enough for funsies, without me feeling like a sausage. It has some super cute options included. A super low back that I haven’t been brave enough to try. Some fun ruffles and strappiness. And, most importantly, this adorable tie front!!

This cotton lycra is the PERFECT weight for this. Stable enough to hold up to the stretching and pulling of the tie without being boxy everywhere else. I feel great wearing it! I’m totally ready for beer gardens, chilling outside, and enjoying the summer sun.

On to Virginia’s tank. She adores the 5oo4 Jessie. It is one of her favorite shirts. She already has a couple and it is one of her most requested patterns. So I figured surprising her with a fun tank would make her happy. (Spoiler alert…it did!) I chose the low back option so I could add some fun strappiness!!

This particular option isn’t included in the pattern (though it does tell you to go nuts!) I took two straps, cut per the pattern and looped them through each other in the center of the scoop. So simple and so fun. Perfect for me to steal out of Virginia’s closet in a few weeks. 😀

Both of these tanks are exactly perfect out of this beautiful summer fabric. Is there one in this summer collection that strikes your fancy?

Stephanie xx

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Sly Fox Fabric – Back 2 School Celebration

I love reading Back to School blog tours and posts.  It means Fall is upon is (and we all know how I feel about fall!).  Kids are jumping back into school.  Temps are maybe thinking about possibly starting to drop (dammit Atlanta!).  Football starts up.  Everything is great!  But, I never know what to say for back to school blogs.  I don’t have kids.  No nieces or nephews either.  Graduated from my master’s program a couple years ago.  So, I was going to write about Virginia going back to school.  Her being out of the house more, and generally more busy, and what that means for me.  But, I realized today, back to school does mean something to me.  It is a reminder of how much I love school.

I might be in the minority there, but school has always been something I enjoyed.  When I was young, it was exciting to go every day and see my friends; learn something new.  As I got older, it was a way to get out of the small town I grew up in.  Experience more of the world.  And now that I’m in my 30’s, learning new stuff is still one of my favorite things.

So, I’m taking this opportunity to remind myself (and all of you) that learning doesn’t have to stop because we’re not in school anymore.  There are so many resources available to learn new things.  I don’t mean signing up for another degree (though I’ve considered it).  But, small, everyday things to learn and grow.

Sewing

I’ve transitioned a bit in the tests that I’ll tackle from any and everything to more challenging sews.  If there is a new technique, or a cool feature, I’m in!  If I know the designer will help me with better fitting tips or has a really unique construction for something, that is the best!  I love trying challenging patterns that push me to try something new.  The best part of this – the technique doesn’t even have to be new for me to learn something!  Maybe I’ll be able to try a new shape for me.  This dress is certainly out of my usual comfort zone!  Maybe I’ll see a different combination of basic shapes.  Whatever allows me to expand beyond what I know.

Beyond tests though.  I love learning new techniques and always enjoy taking classes.  Craftsy is my fav place to learn new sewing techniques.  It is where I learned most the techniques I’ve picked up as an adult.  YouTube is a wonderful resource for random things.  Reading other bloggers!  They have such great tips and resources to expand what’s available.

Sewing-ish

I am always trying to improve my photography.  It is so helpful to the designers I test for if my pictures can just be a little better than they were for the last test.  Or if you can see the fabric just a bit clearer, brighter, more true to color.  I love reading tutorials about my camera.  How different settings change my photograph.  And now I’m jumping into Photoshop.  I haven’t dived into post-processing pictures since college.  My time ended up filled with other things and I stepped away from it.  But, I still love it!  Small tweaks here and there to really make a photo shine.  And Adobe has some awesome tutorials available to really help me get comfortable with the software!

Fabric too!  I’m loving diving deeper into how fabric is made.  The different types of weaves are endlessly fascinating.  The Sly Fox reveal videos lit a fire in me to learn more and share that knowledge!  (Seriously.  I’m doing fabric how to videos in the Rebecca Page Facebook group.  What?!)  How is this fabric made?  What patterns will be a perfect pair?  How does weight related to drape for different types of fabric?  Endless questions, with answers available with just a few google searches!

Even blogging is something I’m spending time learning new techniques to improve on.  I started this so I can look back on projects and enjoy where I started and how I improve.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to bring creative, useful content to those that read it though!  And reach more people who might find it useful.  So, I’m reading all about SEO and what people want to read.  Social media is an ever changing area, with so many resources to learn how to better interact with other people around the world.

Not-sewing At All

Stepping outside the craft room altogether!  What else can I learn?  What other resources are available to frugal (ok, cheap) Stephanie to expand interests and keep learning?  Little things?  Big things?

I LOVE cooking!!  When I’m sewing (I know…I said not in the craft room), I usually have a TV program on in the background.  I’ve been loving the Netflix cooking shows!  No commercials, but I get to see fun new techniques.  Back to google for a recipe or more in depth video, and I’ve learned a new technique or recipe!!

But also, Netflix has a great nature program called Round Planet that I HIGHLY recommend if you like sarcasm and animals.

Speaking of google.  How many resources are available online to learn all kinds of skills?  There are free coding classes.  I’ve got Bruce for my website needs, but it is still fascinating.  Lynda.com has tons of classes on Microsoft and various software.  Want a step up at work, check that out!  The internet has woodworking videos, gardening videos, workout videos, organization videos.  Literally anything you want to learn is available.  (What a fascinating world we live in.)

Prefer to learn in person?  Google some classes!  I love paint nite.  Bring a bottle of wine (or two) and paint with your friends and some strangers.  It is fun, you get to learn new techniques, while supporting an artist, and bring home some cool shit for your walls!  Take a cooking class in person.  A friend of mine did an ax throwing class.  You read that right.  She learned how to throw a damn ax!  Step outside your comfort zone and remember that nothing keeps you young like learning new stuff.

To bring this full circle, if you haven’t tried binding, or working with Liverpool, this could be a fun project for you!  The 5 out of 4 Jessie is a super versatile pattern (one of Virginia’s favorites) that I hadn’t sewn for myself yet.  This GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics Mad Love Liverpool needed to be a dress to really show it off.  So the Jessie as a fitted dress (oh my) is perfect.  I’ve got more evenings free with Virginia back in school, so it is fantastic for date nights.  I get to show off a little of my tattoos, which I always love.  And it is the perfect length that I can throw a jacket on top and wear it to work!

Have you worked with Liverpool?  It is one of my favorite fabrics!  I was just talking about it with a friend (hey Sequoia!) and realized just how much I use it!!  It is easy to sew and easy to wear!  Plus it is tough!  It has outlived all my other knit pants.  If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it.  (Pants are my fav in it!)

So, welcome back to school.  Don’t forget to learn new things, right along with your kids, if you’ve got them.  And I’m not talking about that common core shit, either!  Learn something fun.  Something that sparks your soul.  <3

stephanie xx

PS – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Sly Fox Fabrics is an amazing company.  They are doing an entire Back 2 School Celebration.  There are giveaways in the Facebook group.  I highly recommend you check them out.

 

I received the Mad Love fabric for free in exchange for sewing and photographing it.  The rest of this mumbo jumbo is all me and not influenced by the perk at all.  This post does contain some affiliate links.  These don’t cost you anything, but if you click them and buy something, I receive a small commission.  Which I use to buy more fabric, so I can keep sewing and writing about it. <3

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5oo4 – Jessie Top

5oo4 Jessie 3XL

If you are looking for a top that is fitted but not tight and still full of options, check this one out!!  A nice simple sew, with minimal construction fanciness?  Check!

This was seriously the fastest sew, ever.  It look longer to glue the pattern together than to actually cut and sew!  For a shirt where I need to do minimal alterations to make it work correctly (ok, zero alterations), this is a win for me!

Now, if you’re looking for some fun options to spice up your t-shirt, Jessie has you covered as well!!

This nice low back is a great base for whatever strappy delight makes you happy!!  She included instructions for this combo and for a single strap across the back, but always encourages the sewist to have fun with it!!  The binding is fairly simple and quick but really takes a basic tee up a level!!

5oo4 Jessie 3xl (7)

I had so much fun making these to add some basic, but fun tops to Virginia’s closet!

<3 <3

My model for this is my gorgeous sister, Virginia.  She is cool with these photos being put on the internets. 🙂 Fabric for the red top is from Fine Fabrics.  Floral and stripe are an amazing bundle from So Sew English and of course, you can pick up your pattern here Jessie Top.