Spring Frocktails 2019

Last Saturday was Spring Frocktails. Mr StitchNSew and I decided to make a weekend of it and stay in the city for a couple of nights. Even though I was tired after work on the Friday it was actually a lot of fun.

This year on the Friday night we had a special Frocktails VIP night at The Fabric Store. I left Mr StitchNSew at the hotel and went along. It was nice to sip a glass of bubbly whilst you were surrounded by fabric! The night was open to anyone in the Sydney Spoolettes regardless if they were going to Frocktails or not so it was nice to meet some new people, catch up with old friends and touch fabric.

On the night we got a 20% discount on full priced however The Fabric Store was a having a big spring clearance on all their knit fabric at $6/m Now I know I’m on a fabric buying ban but my exceptions were if we got a discount related to Frocktails. I’m calling a $6 sale at our VIP night Frocktails related. I was conscious though of what I actually brought. On the night I purchased up 2m of black crushed velvet to make a wrap. I don’t have a black wrap in my stash. Thinking about it later I thought I would also have enough to make a skirt but more on that later… I also purchased 3m of a grey jersey cotton. I don’t have grey in my stash. A grey top is missing from my wardrobe.

I haven’t posted it yet but I have made my poncho with the fabric I got using my The Fabric Store voucher I had won. I actually finished it in time for the shopping night. I couldn’t help but pose with a role of the fabric. Yes I am a total dork ūüôā

I found more of the black french terry fabric I purchased on my voucher shopping trip with a discount voucher I had. In the store I remembered thinking after I brought it I was tempted to go back and buy more but I couldn’t recall what project I had in mind for it so I didn’t get any of it. I didn’t want to just buy extra for my stash as that is what I am trying to avoid. At midnight I was lying in bed still thinking about that fabric which was now part of the $6 fabrics. It then occurred to me it would make a great poncho. The next day I once again left Mr StitchNSew at the hotel and made another quick trip to buy the rest that was on the roll which was 2.9m This piece is actually more than I originally brought so I will use this for my jacket and use the shorter piece for the poncho.

Before I left for Frocktails my personal photographer aka Mr StitchNSew took some photos of my outfit which was my velvet york pinafore and black dolman top and the knitted shawl which I wore to February Frocktails. It turned out to be a chilly night but because the pinafore is a thicker velvet and the top polyester I wasn’t cold at all. In fact when I was coming home I just tied the shawl around my handbag as I didn’t need it.

My accessories were my knitted handbag, a necklace made from and old scrabble tile I brought in Fremantle Western Australia when I was last there years ago and knitted bangles which are something I made to go with this outfit and haven’t posted about yet.

I have anxiety issues, being in a room with so many people can be daunting to me at times. Most Frocktails I have been a little quiet and left early. This time I was actually very chatty and I barely sat down all night which is quite an achievement with the hip issues I have (the mixture of prescription painkillers and alcohol may of helped)¬†I have OCD in particular relating to food so for me eating before I went and not eating there also helped reduce my anxiety levels too. It was nice to chat to different friends I’ve made through the Sydney Spoolettes but also chat with new people. Frocktails is such a great event because you all have something in common the love of sewing and fabric so it is easy to make conversation. The time just seemed to fly and before I knew it a lot of people had left and it was nearly time for it to end.

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Frocktails on Instagram

Frocktails is organised by Caz (Useful Box) she does a wonderful job creating the event. Once again her lovely husband My Useful Box took professional photos for us. It is really nice that he gives up his time for the night to take the photos. It is something special to Sydney Frocktails. You can see more photos from the night on Instagram here.

We were lucky enough to get a goodie bag!! I love it when adult get good bags as you leave a party. We were given a heap of discount codes by different fabric shops including The Fabric Store, discount codes for indi pattern designers including Helen’s Closet who designed the York Pinafore. We got another fabric panel from Next State, lace from Pitt Trading. Thank you to all the sponsors who gave us treats.

The next Frocktails has been announced for April 4th 2020. I will be going along. I actually planned out my outfit before I went to sleep after Frocktails. Using the black crushed velvet from the VIP night I’m planning on a skirt and a wrap. I’m also thinking I will make the silk dolman top. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear a silk top so I think Frocktails is the perfect event.

Cassiy

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Self Imposed Buying Ban

I have put myself on a self imposed buying ban from buying fabric and yarn. The reason is simple I have so much yarn and fabric in my stash at the moment that I am running out of space for anything new. I have lost control of my stashes and to be honest I don’t even know what I even have anymore. It is time to stop buying more and start using more of what I have.

Yarn Stash

My yarn is currently stored in 4 places in my craft wardrobe, my regular wardrobe, a tub in my craft storage room and under my bed. Well I say stored some it is just dumped on top or shoved in a bag. Some of it is grouped together in a drawer unit into WIRES yarn which is 100% wool, cottons and other yarns but I don’t know the amounts I have in there anymore. As for the bags and tubs it is a mix of cottons, acrylics, half finished projects, soon to be projects, leftover yarn.

Some bags I don’t fully know what is in them. I can’t really remember where I put all the yarn I brought when I went down to Melbourne earlier this year. I think I have put them in a tub but I’m not sure. My yarn stash is a mess. I need to go through it all and actually see what I have. My wearable yarn tastes have changed so I want sort things out to yarn I will wear, what yarn I can use in gifts and take stock overall of what I have. There is no point in buying more yarn when I have perfectly good usable yarn on hand already.

Fabric Stash

My fabric stash is a little bigger. I’m just talking about the fabric I have upstairs which is mostly dressmaking fabrics (wovens, knits) and fleece scraps. I again have it store in tubs and in shelving units or on top. I do kind of have a vague organisation system of it grouped into categories such as knits, wovens, WIRES but the system has gotten out of control as I have added to it and just started shoving stuff in.

I have usable (from memory) scraps in the stash but I can’t see them and I don’t know how big each fabric is. Some fabric I’m holding on to even though I know in reality I am not going to use it due fabric tastes changing. I have lost track of what fabrics I have and what I don’t. Some fabrics I have projects in mind for, others I could use in projects if I only I knew they were there.

I haven’t shown my full stash of yarn and fabrics these are just a few pictures but as you can see I am not short of fabric or yarn. It is time to do a stocktake of it all. I need to need to know what is in my stash so that I can use it. It is something I have been thinking of doing for a while as I found myself trying to stuff fabric and yarn into empty places. Last Saturday I did find something in my fabric stash that I didn’t want which was a big silverfish!! No! No! No!

Beth (Sew DIY) is hosting a virtual “I love my fabric party” this weekend and it has come at the perfect time! You can read the details about her party but basically it is a chance for you to show your fabric some love by going through stash whilst joining in with others on Instagram at the same time using the #Ilovemyfabricparty for the weekend. It is up to you what you do during the party. You might organise it better, find ways to keep track of your stash. I’m going to use the party to see what I actually have in my stash. I might try to pair up fabrics with patterns, measure the quantities of different pieces, destash fabrics I no longer will wear or want. Get back in touch with my fabric. My sewjo has returned so I am itching to dive back into my stash.

I don’t have a time limit on how long my buying ban will last. I do have one exception if by chance at Frocktails next month I get discount vouchers to fabric shops I will allow myself to use them if I find fabric I absolutely love. My main aim with my buying ban is to stop all the impulse buying I am doing particularly online. It is time to put a halt on things and use what I have.

Cassiy

To Sew List Jul 19

Another 6 months has passed so time to update my to sew list. In January my list was

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black Winnats top – Wendy Ward ‚ąö
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury¬† Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield¬† pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt¬†– Wendy Ward

Ok so I have only managed to get one item off that list made. To be honest I just haven’t been sewing much this year. Even though in my January post I said I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to sew for myself I did kind feel pressure to sew – I’m my own worst enemy

I have made a couple of clothing items this year. At the time I wrote that post I hadn’t been to Melbourne where I picked up some lovely fabrics including the denim which I turned into a York Pinafore. I have been wearing that dress almost weekly since. I wear it with sneakers, my work shoes, it is the best dress. I did make my Sesame Street skirt too which has been fun to wear at work.

I have acquired a few new patterns as well as fabrics since January. Recently I purchased 2 Helen’s Closet patterns so I am adding to my list.

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Donovan skirt – Helen’s Closet
  • Winslow culottes – Helen’s Closet
  • Blue velvet York pinafore – Helen’s Closet
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poncho – Beginner’s Guide To Dress Making magazine
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Bomber Jacket – McCalls M1700
  • Paisley Granville skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury¬† Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield¬† pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt¬†– Wendy Ward

I must admit the items I want to sew first are the ones with newly acquired fabrics. The only reason is they are winter fabrics and I would love to wear them this winter if possible. They are also mostly patterns I’ve made before and I am comfortable with, however I think I might go down in the sizing of the Granville skirt. I’m not neglecting fabric that I have in my stash, the lining I’ll use on my Granville is from my stash. I want to make a trial of the Donovan skirt from stash fabric first before attempting it in the Rose Liberty fabric I got during my Voucher shopping trip. Spring Frocktails is approaching in September and I do want to get my Appleton finished for that as I didn’t for the one earlier this year.

My overlocker is back from getting serviced so it is time to start sewing!

Cassiy

Voucher Shopping Trip

Earlier this year at Frocktails I was lucky enough to win a $150 voucher to The Fabric Store. I’ve mentioned The Fabric Store a few times. It is a shop that has stores around the world including 3 in Australia. I’ve been to the Sydney store a few time and went to the Melbourne store on my holiday earlier this year.

I had 2 vouchers to use, the one that I won plus a 20% discount voucher which came as part of our Frocktails goodies bag that I had to use separately. I had to use both of them by the end of this month. I’d been saving them as a little reward after doing some extra stuff at work this year which was a bit stressful. Last Saturday I decided it was time to go shopping. Now to be honest I actually freaked out the morning before I left home. I had this awesome voucher and I didn’t want to waste it but I didn’t know what I wanted to buy. I’m fussy with fabrics, I generally only wear cottons, I don’t wear fancy stuff, I don’t like the feel of certain fabrics. I was going to this big fancy store which had some many wonderful fabrics but I didn’t even know if I would find fabrics I liked. Face it I basically live in cotton jersey knits. Some of the fabrics in the shop are what I consider pricey so it was a chance to buy fabric that wasn’t in my normal price range but I didn’t know what. It hasn’t helped that I have been in a real sewing funk of lately. Fabric shopping for me can either be really fun and relaxing or stressful, this awesome opportunity was freaking me out. Earlier in the week I had gone through my patterns, sewing books and mags and found a couple of items that I would like to make so took some them with me as inspiration to find fabric.

Even though I had no idea what I would buy I took a long a medium size suitcase to carry it home in. I knew I would be getting a few pieces of fabric and I normally buy things in at least 2m lengths so no matter what I got it was going to be tough carrying it home on the train with one arm because as I’ve mentioned before I use a crutch to walk with. When you have a disability you need to take into consideration small things like how will I carry things when you go shopping. Good job I did take this size suitcase as I filled it.

Ok so lets get to the actual shopping. I put my bag behind the counter then did a walk around the shop to see what they had.

The first thing fabric that I came across was some blue velvet. It was blue, it was pretty, it felt nice. I instantly thought York Pinafore. In my stash I actually have some pink velvet I picked up at a fabric swap which I was thinking of making a York from if I could squeeze out the pattern from it. I knew I needed a blue York. I can’t wait to make it now.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a sewing mag I picked up. One of the reasons I got it was it had a self drafted poncho pattern in it. The fabric used is a scuba or some soft of synthetic knit that had drape to it. I came across a double knit which was actually on special at I think $10/m I liked the pattern of it. I’m hoping it won’t make me look like a giant blue brick wall. It came in another colourway but I didn’t like it as much as this colour. Because I will be wearing this over a jumper or long sleeve t-shirt I think I can get away with wearing it even though it is synthetic. For winter it will be something different to wear. This fabric was actually stuck in the washing machine to prep the fabric the day I got home. Hopefully I can start making it very soon.

Once I got the above 2 fabrics I still had an amount left of the voucher… Time to look at Liberty fabrics. The Fabric Store is known for its range of Liberty fabrics which are on the pricey side but on the day I went they happened to be 30% off. I was hoping to get some of their knits or loop backed prints but all the colours they had were pinks or light colours. Some Liberty fabrics are really girly in pinks and pastels but they do have bold prints, unfortunately not so much when I went. I did find 2 lots of blue roses, one was in a swim knit which was a white background with traditional roses and stems but this fabric was more my style. It is a cotton but it isn’t too fine. I’m gong to make some sort of skirt with it. I got 2m so will see if I can get some sort of circle skirt or elastic waisted skirt. You shouldn’t be able to see through it.

One pattern I did take with me is McCall’s M7100 which is a jacket pattern. I’ve had the pattern in my stash for a while. Thinking about it the pattern is very similar to a ready to wear jacket I’ve had for a bout 14 years. I want to make version D of it which is just plain with a kangaroo style pocket.

Using my discount voucher I found some loop backed stretch velvet type fabric. It looked perfect for an unlined jacket. I got 2.4m which is what the pattern calls for. I will see if I have enough fabric to not have to worry about making cuffs for the arms or bottom band but if I do I will use black cotton jersey for that section as I am not a big fan of ribbing.

I did have fun using my vouchers but it was kind of mentally exhausting. Shopping to a budget is a little difficult but I had an amazing opportunity to buy fabrics that weren’t in my normal price range and importantly get fabric I know I am going to use. I’ve changed my shopping habits to no longer just buy things fabrics or yarn for my stash. I have to get my overlocker serviced (on the plans for this week) then I can start getting back into garment sewing. My poncho I should be able to do on my regular machine as the fabric won’t fray.

Cassiy

Me Made May 2019 Wrap Up

So for the 2nd year I did Me Made May. This year I set myself the challenge of not repeating a me made item on the same day of the week for the entire month. I was documenting what I was wearing each day on Instagram to keep track of which day I wore what.

Ok so I don’t know if I cheated as I never really thought about what I called “me made item” I guess I meant in terms of clothing I have sewn and not knitted items. This year May ended up being really cold as I wore a lot knit wear in terms of cowls and shawls. My Magician’s Cape got a lot wear which is great as I never actually got to wear it last year. I did discover that my skin is a little sensitive to the yarn so I couldn’t wear it close against my neck. If I had my work jersey collar pulled high or if I wore a cowl directly around my neck I had no issues with the cape. I’m glad I got a lot of wear out of the cape in May and I’m sure I will continue to this winter.

 

In terms of the items I had stitched which I guess really was my challenge I did ok. I never actually repeated a me made item with the same RTW work t-shirt or on weekends my outfits were never repeated on the same day for the month. The way I wear clothing is that unless a skirt or pinafore gets dirty I will wear it several times before I wash it, dresses and tops are different they get washed after every wear. As a result of the way I wear things I didn’t actually get through a lot of different me made items. I found myself wear the same skirts and dresses that I have been pretty much wearing all year. With the skirts they were with the different RTW tops but not repeated on the same day of the week.

I did actually mix things up a little in terms of wearing my black lou box top differently to how I normally do. I wouldn’t say on weekends I was getting desperate but weekends became a challenge as I normally live in store brought leggings and music t-shirts. The only t-shirts I’ve made are pj shirts and if I went out on a weekend I couldn’t exactly wear them to do the groceries so I tried my black top with leggings and decided I love it. I now want to actually make more of these tops so I can wear them casually.

Having made 5 Turner skirts meant I was able to do a work week of Turner skirts which was fun and made me realise I don’t wear my green one enough. Black and Lego get worn pretty much weekly and so is now my sesame street. I do wear my red one but not as much as my green so I think I need to rotate these two more.

I thought I would wear my Kinder cardigans a lot this year but in fact I only wore my teal one once and that was it. Last year I loved them but this year I think it looked a bit too big on me and I wasn’t drawn to wear it. Another draw back was that it doesn’t do up at the front and as I mentioned May was cold this year in the mornings and I didn’t want to wear something I couldn’t do up. I have considered making one and adding a zipper to the front so I might try that and also go down a size.

Another discovery was I really hate with my concord t-shirt. The pattern is great but the one I have made just doesn’t fit me. The neckline is too wide for me and I will need to do a round back adjustment if I was to make this again which I want to do. I wore it one day and it was uncomfortable but the good news is that the sleeves aren’t as tight as they were when I first made it so my arms have toned up but I will still need to do a bicep adjustment on it.

Will I do Me Made May 2020? To be honest I’m not sure. I have thought about this and have decided if I do my challenge isn’t going to be focused on wearing items but maybe more in the planning of items from patterns, fabrics and yarn in my stash. Since last years Me Made May I now have a lot of me made items in my wardrobe and it is very rare for me not to wear a me made item to work. In ways I found the challenge I set myself a little stressful. I had to really think ahead of what I was going to wear and when. I had a couple events that I wanted to wear certain items to so I had to make sure they were clean for that or I that I didn’t wear the item on that day of the week beforehand so I could wear it on the day. I have particular items I can wear with sneakers so I had to plan ahead to ensure I could wear them that day as I need too a few times in the month. With the stress of work and few other things going on thinking ahead about my clothing was something I didn’t need. I hang my clothes out the night before work for the next day and that’s about as much planning as I want to do which I know is why I set my challenge to get out of that habit of just thinking a day ahead but really that is how I function. I’m not totally convinced I will be doing it next year.¬†It was fun seeing everyone with their me made items on Instagram. I liked seeing the different outfits people wore, it gave me ideas on items I would like to make or styles I would like to try.

Cassiy

Me Made May 2019… I’m In!

After the fun that I had in my first Me Made May last year I have signed up again this year

If you’re not familiar with Me Made May it was a challenge that Zoe from So Zo What Do You Know set herself to see if she could wear more of her me made items for the month of May. Now in its 10th year it is a challenge that people all over the world now take part in. There are no real rules except that you set your personal challenge on what you would like to do for the month that you don’t normally do. There is no point of challenging yourself to wear me made items every day to work if that is what you do anyway. I’ve gone to Zoe’s blog and signed up and here is my pledge

I’m challenging myself to wear Me Made items for the entire month. Last year I only aimed to wear me made on work days. The other part of my challenge is that I won’t wear the same item on the same day of the week so for example if I wear a particular skirt on Monday I can’t wear it on another Monday for that month.

So how do I think I will go? To be honest I may struggle a bit particularly as last year I lived in my 2 kinder cardigans I made and I can only wear them a total of 7 days each for the month. Me Made May isn’t a photo challenge but I will use Instragram to help me keep track of what days I have worn which items as I will forget otherwise. Without realising I have started to wear the items on the same day each week and I want to get out of the habit so I don’t end up as this is my Tuesday skirt. I now have a lot of me made items and I want to mix them up and wear them together but also mix them in with stuff in my ready to wear wardrobe more so that I get maximum use out of the clothing I have.

I’m looking forward to May

Cassiy 

Sydney Frocktails 2019

Last Saturday night I went to Sydney Frocktails. I love Frocktails it is such a fun night.

Originally I was planning on making an actual frock for this time around but sadly the heat we’ve had this summer in Sydney combined with the stress of my over locker not playing nicely in recent months meant I never actually got a dress made. I didn’t have the sewjo or time to try out a new pattern in the limited sewing time as Frocktails loomed. I have sew much respect for all the amazingly talented ladies who did make new patterns or try new techniques on their dresses on the days and hours leading up to the night and had them finished in time.

Photo Courtesy of Mr Useful Box from Sydney Frocktails on Instagram

I decided 2 weeks out from Frocktails my outfit would be a shawl I had actually knitted for the event at the end of December, one of my sparkle skirts that I made in December and a tank top. The tank top I did actually make one week out from Frocktails but it was the Winnats tank which is a pattern I had made before so I was comfortable with plus I was needing a black tank top in my wardrobe. Sewing up the tank was pretty stress free and I enjoyed making it (my over locker even behaved) I am really happy with my outfit.

I managed to find a beaded necklace which I think got around 10 years ago which fitted in with the black and red theme I seemed to have. My hand bag was one I knitted many years ago and was the same coloured cotton as my shawl. I even wore my metal cuff which I made at a craft show a few years back, it has little ying yang symbols on it. I’m really happy with my little outfit.

I had a wonderful night. At last years Frocktails I had a migraine and didn’t have the best night but this year I made sure I avoided any migraines so I was able to really enjoy myself. I sipped on my cocktail and enjoyed the other complementary drink we got with out entry tickets. I chatted to all my sewing friends and made new friends. I was touching people’s fabrics and meeting different people that I had known from Instagram but had never actually spoken to in real life. It was a really relaxing fun night.

As we have been spoilt every year each person got to take home a goodie bag or in this case a goodie parcel. Our parcel included a copy of Peppermint magazine (I have wanted to read this mag), a little bag to sew up, some embroidery thread, sew in clothing tags plus discount vouchers some printed, some sent via email. It was an amazing little parcel of sewing happiness.

Once again this year there was some amazing lucky door prizes…. By pure luck I won a $150 gift voucher to The Fabric Store!!! I couldn’t believe it when my name was called out. The Fabric Store is an awesome shop. I often go to the one in Sydney, I made sure I visited the one in Melbourne last month. I have no idea what I am going to buy with it. I think I am going to go there one day, browse all the fabric and see what jumps out at me. Enjoy the shopping trip.

Sydney Frocktails was so popular this year that Caz from Useful Box who organises it (and does an incredibly amazing job) has announced there will be a 2nd Frocktails in September, originally I thought I might sit the next one out as I have a lot of events in August but the more I thought about it the more I decided no I would like to go so I have already brought my ticket.

Now to get sewing on my Spring Frocktails outfit.

Cassiy