More Me Mades Gone

This morning I took another bag of me made clothing to the charity bin. I did another search of my drawers and wardrobe to see what I was wearing and what I wasn’t. So what did I discard this time

Kinder Cardigans –  I did like these when I made them but last winter I wasn’t wearing them and I realised it was because they didn’t do up. I like jackets or cardigans that do up. My torso gets cold so I like the coverage of a closure in the front.

Bear Hooded Scarf – I really like this but I never wore it. I’m not really a hat person, I struggle to wear my beret so a hooded scarf will never get worn.

Christmas Skirt – I haven’t worn this for a few years so out it went. I’m not sure if it even still fits or if it too big

Frocktails Outfit – I think I have only worn each of these pieces once or twice since wearing them to Frocktails. The top was too big I think. If I was getting rid of one piece I thought may as well get rid of the entire outfit so someone can have it all. I did keep the bag I made with the scraps though

I’m sure there was other items in the bag that were me made along with RTW clothing but I can’t think what else. I culled the items a few weeks ago but only got around to dropping them off this morning. I guess once I unpack I will go through my clothes and find what else has gone or maybe what else can go!

Cassiy

 

My Craft Space Set Up Before

I can say it now we are moving!! We have purchased a unit and later this year will make the big move. To help me remember how I had my set up before I started packing I thought I would share it on here. Crafting can take up a lot of space with supplies and machines. I’m always curious as to how people have theirs set up

I had 4 main areas within my rental unit that I used plus my garage which I kept fabric and my first sewing machine which I called my travelling machine in.

Study

This is where my sewing first started. Before I started sewing in the loungeroom on Mr Sttichnsew’s suggestion I had my machine set up in here in a cabinet, all my craft magazines/books and few craft supplies on bookshelves.  If I was going to sew it would only be when I had enough time to set up and pack things away afterwards. I’m lucky enough I can leave sewing projects out without animals or kids touching them but when I was sewing in the study I was limited with space. I would have to pull my sewing cabinet out into the centre of the room and move things about a bit to use it. It was a nice little room to sew in but it was also very isolating. In the end the study turned a storage area for some of my sewing machines which I wasn’t using and I had a spare sewing cabinet which held my overlocker in it and the top it was used for a dumping ground for patterns. My roles of interfacings and pdf patterns rolled up were kept in there too as well as all my foam blocking mats. My bookshelves contained some craft supplies and my remaining craft magazines and books. By the end of 2019 I had sold 3 of my extra sewing machines and sold my spare sewing cabinet. Once I started clearing out my excess craft books and magazines I had space on my bookshelf to store my overlocker so I sold the cabinet.

Spare Room

This is where I kept all my dress making fabrics, sewing notions, yarn most of it anyway. I had a wardrobe which much to B’s amusement I called the “Craft Wardrobe” It contained a shelving unit full of fabric, containers of yarn, a bookshelf of sewing supplies and a heap of other crafting items hanging or squished at the sides.  In the room I had boxes of fabrics, another shelving unit of fabrics and all my paper dressmaking patterns. I also had my clothes drying airer which often would have fabric drying on it. I would try and keep this room under control but it did get a little crazy at times… ok a lot crazy. Having my sewing patterns and dress making fabric within the same room meant sometimes I would just go and play around with my patterns and fabrics to get ideas on what to make. Sometimes that was all I needed to help me relax.

Garage

In the garage I keep a lot of my general crafting fabric. This is fabric I use in gift making and for making WIRES pouches although I did have a stash of that in my spare room too. My fabric boxes weren’t organised at all and I would have to go through several boxes to find fabric I want. It was fun “shopping” in my mini fabric store but my dream would be to organise it more so perhaps all colours were together or all prints are together. I need to go through as there are a lot of fabrics in there I know I won’t use such as Christmas themed fabric or fabrics which have like a metallic finish on them which aren’t suitable for WIRES pouches. Future me will get this organised and that way I can use it more. In recent times sometimes I have gotten lazy and just brought new fabrics instead of going through it all. As mentioned I would store my travel sewing machine here but I don’t travel with it any more so have kept it as my spare machine instead.

Bed Room

This isn’t one of my main storage areas but I managed to stash a lot of yarn in here. Most of it is under the bed where I also kept my yarn winders. In the bottom of the wardrobe I also had a stash of yarn. This was big lots of acrylic yarn for future projects or scraps from previous blankets.

Lounge Room

This was my sewing area and preparation area. I permanently have my sewing machine and ironing board set up. My machine sits on sewing cabinet by the tv so I can watch it as I sew or I can listen to music. We have no dining table so in the space behind the lounge where most people would use a dining room I have my ironing board and craft table set up. My craft table is actually a cutting table which I think you can no longer buy. It is higher than most craft tables which is good for my back as I don’t have to bend so much. With my mobility issues the higher table helps immensely. The table was my mum’s and it was one of the few things I said I wanted when we were clearing out her stuff. Most times it is pushed against the wall but I do pull it out into the centre of the area when I am tracing out/cutting out large patterns as I can get around all sides of it. When I use my overlocker I used it on this table. My craft trolley used to live under my table but I now keep it near my sewing machine as I can reach over and grab things from it.

I have no idea what the set up will be in the new place but I know things will be different. I won’t have a garage to store fabrics in I know that for sure. The unit layout will be different and it will take me a bit to work out where to put everything but I will get there. As with most things I had just gotten the right set up and balance of things before the decision to move was made. I have limited time off before the move so late December I started packing away things I wasn’t going to use in the coming months. It has been an interesting task. I have had to really plan out what I’m going to knit/crochet during that time to leave enough yarn out for projects. I had to also think about the projects themselves, I didn’t want anything too complex as knitting/crocheting is my relaxation from everything else that is going on. It helps keep my sanity. I decided on a few easy projects and so far so good. With my sewing I have kept out a bag of essential tools and supplies and my projects are again relatively simple or things I need to get done by deadlines which may fall near our expected move timeline. We don’t have an actual move date yet but have a rough time frame. I’m even thinking of gifts for Christmas 2020 and as I pack my remaining craft fabrics I’m happy to even make a start on those knowing I can always place them in a box and know where they are as during my packing I’m numbering each box and writing contents in a notebook.

It might be many months before I do an “After” blog post but once I get settled in I will. Ideally I would like to have it as a similar set up but as for the most part it was working for me in this place but I will have to wait and see.

Cassiy

 

Sewing Bingo 2020

Around the end of December early January a lot of crafters on Instagram share the 9 projects they wish to make the following year and call it a Make 9. It is a personal challenge they set themselves. Although I like the idea of it I have never done it as it would cause me too pressure to commit to it. I also have a habit of changing my mind all the time too as my mood changes or I see different patterns. I don’t want to lock in 9 projects and feel obligated to make them for a self imposed challenge.

I came across a challenge PatsyPoo Makes has set of Sewing Bingo 2020. Instead of doing 9 set projects there are 9 themes and as your sewing through the year you decide which theme your project fits into and mark it off your list. The 9 themes are

  • Pattern From Stash
  • More Involved
  • Print
  • A First
  • Fabric From Stash
  • Quick And Easy
  • Solid
  • A repeat
  • Long Time Coming

I really like this spin on the Make 9 challenge. You don’t have to commit to 9 projects at the start, you just decide on things as you go. I am going to take part this year in this fun challenge. My 9 items won’t all be clothing, some will be gifts others charity items. I’m going to relax and have fun with my sewing this year. Tick things off my “bingo card” as I make them. I have a few ideas of which theme boxes I can tick off with different gifts I am making but I might change my mind and find something which could tick off that theme instead.

2020 is going to be the year I relax and enjoy my sewing

Cassiy

Handmade Charity Bag Extras 2019

For my charity bags this year I did make a few things to add into them.

 

Firstly were the sleeping eye masks. All the fabric and supplies came from my stash. The fabric used was leftover from another project, the elastic and binding were items I had on hand. A useful project made from stash items.

The second thing I made were infinity scarves from the leftover fabric of my Brickwork poncho. These are narrower than the infinity scarf I made for myself but I think are still a good size. They folded nicely to fit in the bags. The brickwork fabric has 3 colours in it – blue, gray and white. I realised I had the same shades of cotton yarn in my stash to match so I had to knit bangles to match the scarves! Knitted bangles are super easy to do. I love that I could make them match the scarves. I knitted myself a set of the bangles to match my poncho whilst I was making these.

I loved adding in handmade items into the bags this year. It is something I will do again for next years bags. I’m not sure what I will make yet, bangles for sure but as for other things I’m undecided at this time. I have 12 months to figure it out!

Cassiy

Culling Me Made Clothing And Accessories

So my decluttering journey continues. This time it was opening my drawers and culling items of clothing and accessories that I have made that I just don’t wear.

So what did I cull and why?

Basket Weave Skirt and Scarf

 

I don’t think I have even really worn this skirt since I made it even though the fabric was so soft. I thought I would wear it in Winter but I never did. When I made it the sizing was a little bit big and I know since I have made it I have lost weight so it would be falling off me now so out it went. There is no point in keeping the matching scarf which I made from the leftover fabric so that went too.

Roewood Skirt


As much as I love the colour and the fabric was really funky in texture I have only worn this a couple of times. The fit was a nice fit and I was really happy with that but the main thing for not wearing it I think was the fabric. It is a nylon spandex and I just don’t wear synthetic fabrics. I enjoyed making this skirt. The texture of the fabric was fun as it felt like fish scales but I have so many skirts and I don’t wear it. I would make the pattern again but this time in a cotton spandex not nylon.

A+ Skirts Green And Blue

I have made several of this skirt pattern but these 2 versions I just don’t wear. There is nothing wrong with them. As mentioned I have lost weight and the version I wear the most is currently taken in at the waist by a safety pin (needs permanent alteration) Before I had more skirts in my wardrobe I was wearing these a lot but now I have so many skirts I can’t remember the last time I wore each one

Longshaw Skirt

I nicknamed this my origami skirt due to how it freaked out my brain trying to fold it all together.   wore this skirt a few times last summer. The pockets are fantastic! I don’t know if it is the colour or the print but I always felt this skirt made me look too hippy. Not in the free spirted way more in the hips are huge way (which I know they are not) I want to make a black version of this pattern to see if the shape of this skirt really works for me but I know this version isn’t crash hot on me.

PJ Top

This was my first attempt at making clothing for myself back in 2014 although I never finished this until 2015. I have worn this top a couple of times but it way too big for me. I’m not comfortable in it as the neckline is too big. I am “Miss Paranoid” who is always concerned about getting a chill in my shoulders. This top does not give me the shoulder coverage. I think I even gave the pattern during my purge earlier this month. I don’t wear long sleeve shirts to bed so I won’t be making this again. It was a good learning experience so not a total waste.

PJ Pants

These pants were made from an old poly satin sheet. It was only reading my blog post back I remembered thinking they looked like scrub pants. Not just the style of them but more the classic operating theatre scrub colour. I wore them a few times but I stopped wearing them. From memory they were a bit big and were a trip hazard. Last year I took a tumble when my foot got caught in a pair of store brought pj pants and I stopped wearing anything really long baggy. I still have this pattern and would like to make more of them but this pair I don’t wear.

Pink Beanie

I am not a pink person. I made this when I was volunteering at a charity event with a pink theme. Sadly I don’t volunteer anymore at it. I could save it as a spare beanie for Mr StitchNSew but he has enough beanies in colours he actually wears so this one can go.

Tunisian Scarf

This scarf is now a felted scarf after I accidently washed it on the wrong setting in the washing machine. Even though it is felted there is nothing wrong with it. It is still lovely and soft but I just never get around to wearing it. I’d rather pass it on for someone else to get use out of it.

For me it wasn’t hard to cull my me made items. I know some people struggle to part with things that they have made and I can understand their reasoning for finding it hard. Whatever you make there is a lot of time, costs and hard work that goes into making each item. I don’t know if I find it easier as I have been making gifts for years so I’m used to items I’ve made leaving my house or if it is because I am detaching myself from the emotional side of things when as I am decluttering. I don’t want to get all Marie Kondo and say I have picked up each item and asked myself “does it spark joy in my life?” That wasn’t how I looked at my clothing and all the items I’m in the process of decluttering. I look at it purely from a practicality side.

Do I wear it or use it?
Do I have another item that forms the same purpose?
Do I have the space for it?

If the answer is no then out it goes. I am not short of any clothing so there is no chance of me going naked anytime soon – the world breaths a sigh of relief 😉  I have more clothing than I actually need if I am to be honest. It isn’t just me made items I’m culling there are a lot of store brought items too that have gone and will continue to go from my wardrobe. I’m happy to take them to the charity bin. I would rather someone else get use out of them than them just sitting in my drawers and wardrobe. Every item I make is a chance to practice my skills on or try a new pattern or work with a new fabric. It wasn’t a wasted time making it. In a couple of years I will go through my wardrobe including my me made items again and cull items I’m no longer wearing. By then my style might have changed or maybe the colours I like might change – there will always be lots of blue Maybe I will go crazy and make 20 of the same pattern to find out I’m only wearing the same 3 each time, who knows what will be in my wardrobe.

Cassiy

 

 

Fabric Swap Oct 19

Last Sunday the Sydney Spoolette’s held a fabric swap. Although it is called a fabric swap there is a bit more than just fabric that gets brought along. People bring sewing notions, patterns and books some are sewing related others not. They are a lot of fun and I do highly recommend if you able to get to one in your local area that you do!

I mentioned back in August I used my “I love my fabric party” to cull fabrics from my stash. I did take most of the fabric I pulled out to the stash. Yes a few pieces did go back into my stash after consideration. These were fabrics that I knew I could use in projects that I hadn’t thought of before so they were taken out to be used and not stashed for “I might make something” purposes.

Recently one morning before work I decided to cull my craft books. I was ruthless and culled I think around 50 – 70 books I would say. I divided them up into categories (yarn, sewing, kids toys) To the swap I took most of my sewing and kids toys books which ended up being 4 bags full. The other books will be taken to my knitters guild group or donated to the volunteers at my work to use or sell at their bric’n’brac stall. Guilty again a couple of books have gone back to my stash as I was packing them.

Prior to the swap I went through my sewing notions and patterns. After 8 years of crafting I have gathered a lot of things I’m not going to use. Some were items I won at craft shows, gotten in “sew boxes” subscriptions (sadly that company no longer operates) sewing patterns I’d brought or gotten for free, items I brought at Australian Sewing Guild Industry days which were a “bargain” and I thought I would use. You just gather things in your stash over time without even realising it. If I wasn’t going to use it out it went.

In the end I took 7 bags to the swap. My suitcase contained all my fabrics, 4 bags of books and 2 bags of notions. The day before I also found a set of sewing needles for a sewing machine I no longer have and since a friend I knew had the same machine and was going to the swap I put them in my handbag to give to her.

There was a last minute change of venue for the swap and it ended up being held in a café. We had a room to ourselves and from the outside it looked like a “Spoolette’s Pop-Up” shop from the street. The room was packed with fabrics, patterns, books, buttons, threads. It was a wonderful turn out of people and items. Since I wasn’t “shopping” I pulled up a seat, drank coffee, minded people’s bags and called out coffee orders as the café staff brought them in. I may look quiet but I have been called “Miss Megaphone” in the past so I am happy to yell. Ok so admittedly by the time I factored in the taxi ride to the venue and back it was it was the most expensive cup of coffee I have ever drunk but I didn’t care I still had fun. Every so often I would get up to touch fabric and watched the different layers of the fabric table emerge as people took stuff and the pile decreased. I was chatting to people and looking at the items they took. It was a relaxing Sunday morning.

So what did I come home with…. Nothing but empty bags!!! Yep that’s correct I took nothing home from the swap. I even decluttered a couple of carry bags 🙂 Everyone said I was very restrained but the reality is I wasn’t. For me the swap was the opportunity to declutter my sewing stuff knowing they would go to a home that would use them or at least appreciate them. I didn’t want to bring stuff home and repeat the cycle of having items in my stash. Even though I culled so much stuff I still have a house full of fabric and sewing supplies so there was no FOMO (fear of missing out) by not taking things home. It was wonderful that everyone else was able to take items home but I am in a mental space at the moment where I don’t want anymore stuff. I was started to get overwhelmed by how much stuff I had. In 2020 we might be moving house. I don’t want to pack things I’m not going to use, I am already starting to freak out how I will pack everything in boxes so I don’t want anymore after 10 years in the same place. I’m finding decluttering very therapeutic, each item I remove is like another little weight off my shoulders. To be honest I don’t know if I can really see a difference in my stash with all the items gone. I do have more room on my bookcases but my fabric stash is still packed to the brim, not overflowing but still heavily packed. I have learnt to distance myself or ignore thinking how much I have spent on my craft supplies over the years so there is no guilt attached to giving things away. After the swap I have seen photos of things people picked up and I smiled each time I spotted something that was once in my stash.

Cassiy

 

Tough Decision

After years of making all the gifts that I give to so many kids who I dearly love this year I have made the tough decision to cut back. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and there was a lot of guilt behind it but the reality is I just can’t do it anymore. Last year I made birthday gifts for 15 kids plus my best friend and Christmas gifts for 12 kids and best friend. This year I can’t sustain that amount now. I love making all the gifts but I just don’t unfortunately have the time now.

I’m going to miss being an elf making every gift but to be honest my gift making has started to stress me out this year. I always thought if it stopped becoming fun then I would stop doing it and I have now reached that point. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Most of the kids are now getting to an age where they have outgrown a simple soft toy. There are only so many times you can make the same kind of gift for the same child each time.

I will be honest the cost factor has come into things as well. Home made gifts are not cheaper to make. Sadly by the time you purchase supplies then actually make them it all adds up. I know you can’t put a price on precious unique home made gifts but the reality costs do come in to play and also the time it takes to make things. Over the last 12 months I have found myself leaving things to the last minute and instead of looking through my stash properly for supplies to see what kind of gift I could make I have had to purchase fabric and supplies last minute as I would change my mind at the last minute as to what I was making and of course wouldn’t have the supplies on hand.

I found with trying to get all my gift making done my charity sewing has dropped off. Charity sewing is very important to me as it is my way to give back to the community. I’m the kind of person who would rather donate my skills to a charity over a monetary donation. Only in the last couple of weeks I have had time to sew for charity this year. Even my charity knitting has decreased. I want to spend more time doing that.

This may sound selfish but my sewing style has changed too. I’m enjoying making clothing for myself now. I am having more fun doing that than making toys. I have never really been into cloths until the last few years. Now I’m actually taking notice in what I wear and I like making my own unique clothing. Me made clothing helps me during the day at work as it brings down my stress levels if I sit and pat the clothing made by me. My clothing making is more than just making the item it has reoccurring benefits to me.

 

I have now cut my gifts back down to direct family, my personal trainer’s daughter who is still little and I can make simple things for and my best friend. I’m hoping that by taking this stress off my shoulders that I will start to enjoy my gift making again. I don’t want gift making to be a chore or an obligation. I want it to be creative and fun like how it was when I first started doing it back in 2011.

Cassiy