Upcycled Polo Shirt Pillow

 

Mr StitchNSew needed a new pillow, I could have easily just gone and brought one but instead I made him something that I promised I would do at some point. Both Mr StitchNSew and I went through our wardrobes before we moved culling items we no longer wore or were past their prime. Most items were easily to let go of but Mr StitchNSew had one shirt he couldn’t wear but didn’t want to toss out so I said I would turn it into a pillow like I did last year for a friend.

This wasn’t a straight forward project of washing the shirt and stitching up a pillow. For a simple project there was a few steps involved and I am actually counting this as my “More Involved” project on my Sewing Bingo 2020 Card. The first thing was to soak the shirt to try and remove the stains, unfortunately they didn’t all come out.

The next step was to mend some tiny holes in the front. I used my darning mushroom for possibly the first time. I got it a few years ago at a craft show. I think I only paid a few dollars for it or it was possibly given to me for free as charity organisation had made some to sell and people weren’t buying them. Up until now I had never worked on a project where I needed to use. It worked well to help me oversew the holes.

Before I could square the shirt up and cut out my rectangle shape I needed to adjust the button placket. The first step was to slip stitch it shut on both the outside and inside of the shirt and remove the buttons. I didn’t want it to come open or tug from the inside. There were a couple of holes that couldn’t be mended shut so once I cut out my square rectangle shape for the pillow using some of the sleeve that I cut off I made a placket cover which I slip stitched into place over the top of the placket. It does make the area feel a bit bulky but not uncomfortable. I think it looks better than if I had tried to cover up the hole but still had the button hole openings.

To insert the zipper I used the method where you mark the zipper placement then sew the entire seam but put large basting stitches where you want the zipper to be. You then lay the seam open flat, place the zipper in the centre of the seam and sew around it. Afterwards you remove the basting stitches. I’m still working out my lighting in our new place. In my old place I knew where I could sit for certain jobs. I don’t have as much natural light in the new place and I’m still learning where I can sit do certain craft jobs. I actually went and sat on the balcony for all my hand sewing of this project as with my dodgy eyesight and lighting I couldn’t see inside navy on navy. It was a good easy project to learn my light source on.

I made my own pillow insert to go inside. Once the case was finished I just measured the size an cut out a pillow form to match. Fabric is very subjective and I don’t mean to offend anyone who likes this print but I’m calling it my ugly fabric. I can’t be certain if this was fabric that was my mum’s or if I picked it up in fabric swap day for charity pouches. It isn’t fabric I would buy myself but it was in my stash needing to be used. Actually it had just been upacked from a box of yarn where I used it to cover up the gap in the top of the box. For a pillow insert no one will see it was useful fabric. I haven’t unpacked my fabrics yet so for adhoc projects I’m kind of just grabbing any fabric that I can and using it.

Mr StitchNSew is happy with his pillow. I don’t often make things for him (or I say I will but never get around to it) Everything in this pillow came from my stash so it was free pillow and decluttered a few supplies too.

Cassiy

 

Replacement Ironing Board Cover

The first sewing job I wanted to do at the new place was make a new cover for my ironing board. It was meant to be a quick project but took longer than expected when I discovered my spare sewing machine wasn’t working and my main sewing machine was off getting serviced.

A new cover is something I had been meaning to make for a long time. From Bunnings (a hardware chain store in Australia) I brought felt to go under my top fabric, that was November 2018. I never got around to making the cover last year then once we decided we were moving I put off the task until afterwards so the cover wouldn’t get ruined during the move.

For the pattern I used the same one I made when I previously recovered it. I found a tutorial in magazine years ago. The template I made covered just the board and you added extra inches around it to account for the fabric that would go over the sides and your seam allowance. The felt wasn’t that much wider than my template so I only really cut the curves on the ends of the felt and left the sides as is. I was happy for the felt to go over the sides. The sides were the areas that my previous cover had really worn thin so extra protection over them would make the cover last longer. Previously I only did a layer of batting and my top cover. This time I used a base layer of calico, the felt layer and my top fabric. I hand basted all the layers together in the centre before machine stitching around the outside to hold all the layers together and make the drawstring casing. Once it was on the board in place I removed the stitches.

The fabrics were some I found in my stash. Actually both were used prior or during the move. The calico was used to wrap sewing supplies and the blue fabric was our temporary table runner under the tv prior to the move when I washed our other one. I do like the blue fabric as the leaves are heart shaped and I am a sucker for This cover is nice and thick so I am pretty happy with it.

Cassiy

Shape Pillows

Flat Pillows

Back in January I started to get organised with my Christmas gifts. January 1st I traced the patterns out for these pillows (thanks Instagram for dating my photo as I wouldn’t have had a clue otherwise) When I was on my January holidays I found the fabrics as I was packing and stitched the forms up.

Finsihed Pillows

Originally I thought stuffing them would be a tv job (something I do whilst watching tv) but as I had no sewing machine over my long weekend I decided to get in and stuff these so it was one job off my list. I did them over a few days so it wouldn’t be boring (I have a short attention span) They didn’t take that long to do but I think when I did 3 at once it felt like a chore and not a fun sewing task.

Pillows Blupper

At our new place we have this great roof top garden that anyone in the building can go and enjoy. It is a great space with loads of seating and a bbq area. With gyms being shut due to Covid I have done a lot of my personal training sessions up there. I thought it would make a great photography area for some of my makes for the blog. It even has bathroom which I can use as a change room if I have multiple outfits that I wish to photograph (it is easier for Mr StitchNSew to do batch photography) Who would have guessed it was so hard to photograph 6 pillows up there. Ok so it was my fault as I wanted to get my photos done early in the day as I had other things to do. The night before it had rained so a lot of the areas were wet. I tried to be as creative as I could without photographing the pillows with shadows or myself in them. I even tried to place them in the garden but they got mud on them so that didn’t work. Oh well now I know for next time to try later in the day.

If nothing else at least I have 6 gifts ready for Christmas. I have also used up some fabrics from my stash. Every little bit counts as I try to sew my way through it all.

Cassiy

Smile Crocodile

I finally finished the crocodile which I was aiming to make for this time last year!

I don’t have a nickname for this one. I must admit I think he turned out rather cute. The pattern used is Crocodile Steve from Funky Friends Factory. All the fabrics for this toy came from my stash. The mosaic tile fabric reminded me of the cracks you see on a crocodile’s skin so I had to use that for the top of him. From memory I think it is a Michael Miller fabric which probably explains why I like it a lot (I’m a Michael Miller fan) The fabric used for the underside of this toy is the same fabric as his spines.

The wool felt used on the face is also from my stash. I made the teeth section last year when if first started work on this toy. Just prior to packing away my felt I pulled out a couple of pieces to make eyes for toys. I wasn’t really thinking about the colours I picked so perhaps maybe I should have chosen a different colour blue. For the eyes I normally use black floss but blue was all I had still left out so he became a blue eyed crocodile. My only other option was red but I thought that would make him look a bit crazy.

I have said it before I do like Funky Friend Factory patterns but they can be a little bit difficult to construct. The patterns have all the instructions but there isn’t too many photos so it is more wordy. The pattern might be sew piece D to piece H. You need to really clearly label all your pieces otherwise you will have trouble even on a more simple toy. I mentioned I started this toy last year making the scales, the embroidery for the teeth and cutting out all the other pieces. My mind is having a blank I think I again attempted him before Christmas and I stitched the wrong leg pieces together and clipped the seams but didn’t notice it until I started sewing him again in March and the pieces didn’t match up when I attempted the next section. In the end I had to recut some of the pieces again and made sure I labelled them correctly. With the new pieces and reading the instructions carefully I was able to finish him. I hand basted nearly every step particularly curves or when I assembling different sections together which wasn’t part of the pattern instructions. It did take longer but it meant I wasn’t missing parts of the seam and having to go back and redo sections too many times.

After I finished stuffing him I noticed a very minor hole on his leg which I must have nicked with my scissors. I pinched the section around it together and slip stitched it closed so it looks like an extra dart on his leg.

I had a few dramas with this one but I am glad I was finally able to do him. He turned out rather snappy!

Cassiy

Pillows 2020 Part 1

I had a week off work last month as a summer holiday. Unlike in 2019 when I went away this year I stayed home and mostly packed the unit up as it was the only real packing time I had ahead of the big move (still no date yet) I don’t often take time off work and I didn’t want to spend the entire week packing as I wanted to enjoy my summer holiday and not have it feel like a chore – who wants to feel like they have been sent to clean their room for a week? So I made sure I fitted some sewing into my week.

Whilst packing up my fabrics in the garage I had the pattern pieces for the pillows I was intending to make for Christmas with me. I picked out fabrics from my stash suitable for the pillows as I went through all my boxes and over a couple of afternoons I got all the pillows cut and sewn. All I need to do now is stuff them with hobby fill and hand sew the openings shut which will be a tv job later in the year. For now I will pack these away knowing I have 6 Christmas presents almost done. This year one of my big aims is to enjoy my sewing and I enjoyed making these. In these pillows I have memories of finding the fabrics in my stash. The time spent sewing gave me a break from all the packing. Getting these done so early in the year also means I feel organised and in control of my sewing. These a bright happy cheery pillows which were fun to sew and hopefully will look cute in the kids rooms they are for.

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

 

Black Poncho

 

This is the second poncho I made from A Beginner’s Guide To Dressmaking magazine. I really fell in love with the poncho is this magazine, it is a really simple project to make it.

The fabric I used on this one is a french terry which I purchased with my discount voucher from February Frocktails from the Fabric Store. One side of the fabric has the french terry and the other side is like velour so it is very plush. It is a thicker fabric than my Brickwork poncho so doesn’t have the same drape but I still think has a nice shape.

I did cut the neckline smaller on this one. Perhaps a tad bit too small as I have to be careful if I’m taking it on and off at work that I don’t mess up my hair (yes I’m vain at times) The neckline isn’t strangling me and is giving me more coverage across my shoulders and back.

Instead of adding bands to the bottoms and side of this poncho I just extended the width and length to the poncho before cutting it. I knew both my overlocker and sewing machine would go into meltdown with such bulky seams that the bands would create. Also adding the extra width meant it was faster sew as there were less construction steps.

On the shoulders I just overlocked the edges before I stitched them together then topstitched them down. To cover all my other raw edges I used leftover bias tape from my Black Dolman top. I stitched the raw edges of the tape and the poncho together then folded it under and top stitched down. Super simple but more machine friendly.

This was one of those projects where I actually spent an entire day sewing on it. I’d cut out the pieces the weekend before then the following Saturday started sewing. Normally I sew for only a short period of time then I get bored or I get sore. My attention span can be very short sometimes. I just kept going back and doing another step on this or sewing another seam and before I knew it poncho was done in the day.

It is too hot to wear this now that it is summer but I did get a couple of wears of it this year. One thing I discovered is that ponchos don’t sit under backpacks easily. I just have to keep that in mind when I’m going to wear one. Most days for work I just have a shoulder bag which easily fits under the side of the poncho. I love this poncho. When I wear it with my velvet York I’m very textural. I walk up to work colleagues and say “Go on pat me I know you want too” because people love the feel of both fabrics, I certainly do. I’m not normally a touchy feely person but I don’t mind in this poncho.

Cassiy

My #SewingTop5 For 2019

Normally in December I do recap or review of my year in Crafting. This year I have decided to take part in The Sewcialists Sewing Top 5.
Here are my 2019 Top 5’s

Top 5 Hits

  • Sesame Street skirt
  • Blue Velvet pinafore
  • Denim pinafore
  • Lego skirt
  • Charity bags

In 2019 unfortunately I never did as much a sewing as I did in 2018 but I managed to make things both clothing wise and gift wise. My most worn items which get worn almost on a weekly basis are my Lego skirt which I made in 2018 and my Sesame Street skirt which I did make this year. They are fun skirts which bring smiles to peoples faces. I enjoy wearing them. My denim pinafore which I made following my trip to Melbourne this year is another highly worn piece, again almost weekly. With the pocket on the front it is really functional and the fabric means I can wear it with dress shoes or sneakers. I am really proud of the bags I made for charity this year so they have made my list. I like using my sewing skills in a practical way to help others. I think these bags turned out really cute this year. I’m proud of my blue velvet pinafore, I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it and it turned out just the way I imagined.

Top 5 Highlights

  • February Frocktails
  • I love My Fabric Party
  • Spring Frocktails
  • Fabric Swap Day
  • Melbourne Fabric Crawl

Winning a $150 shopping voucher for The Fabric Store at February Frocktails has to be the highlight of the year. I had the so much fun at both Frocktail events this year. It is fun to be around fellow sewing people talking all things patterns and fabric. The fabric swap day where I decluttered so much sewing related items was also a really good day. I came home with empty bags and a weight off my shoulders. Going to Melbourne this year and spending the day on a fabric crawl is an adventure I’m never going to forget. It was relaxing and I was doing my own thing. I met interesting people, touched lots of fabric. You don’t have to leave the house to have fun, the weekend I spent at home for the “I love my fabric Party” was fantastic. It really allowed me to connect to the fabric I had. I sorted my fabrics, culled a lot, saw pieces that were missing. I found fabrics I’d forgotten I had. I was sharing pics on Instagram with others but you could spend the weekend in your stash and not do that and still have fun.

Top 5 Reflections

  • Pockets!!
  • One Step, Two Steps
  • Missing Pieces
  • Do I Really Need It?
  • Relax and Enjoy The Process

Things I have learnt this year that pockets are awesome and they should be on everything. If I’m wearing something and it doesn’t have pockets I’m lost. Which brings me on to missing pieces, I need more skirts that have pockets. At this point that is probably the biggest missing piece from my wardrobe particularly in Summer but I do need to look at my wardrobe before I write my next To Sew List and see what is missing. From now on I want to make items which are missing from my wardrobe rather than making a pattern just for the sake of it or to complete a self imposed challenge. In terms of making things I have learnt that things don’t need to be made in quick amount of time. I need to relax and enjoy the process of making an item. By just doing one step and then the next step I can get things done. It doesn’t matter what I am making whether it be clothing or a gift doing little steps one at a time means the item gets completed in the end and remember if I am not enjoying it then why I am doing it? The last thing I have learnt this year is that I need to stop and think if I really need something before I get  it. This year I saw how much stuff I had that I wasn’t using. Not only did it cost me money in the first place, it was taking up space and causing me stress.

Top 5 Goals

  • Be Realistic
  • Get Organised
  • Plan Ahead
  • Shop My Stash
  • Sew Because You Want Too

Since I started sewing back in 2011 this year was the year I really felt pressure from myself to sew things. I felt really unorganised and I changed kept changing my mind at the last minute on gifts I was making which often resulted in me running to the shops or buying supplies last minute so I could make them. In 2020 I know I’m going to have less sewing time so it is essential that I plan projects for myself and gifts ahead of time. I need to write things out clearly, shop my stash for supplies and give myself enough time to make them and be realistic about it. I have to remember to sew because I want too and not because I have too which is something I have felt this year. I know these are vague goals but they things I need to keep in mind. I might even write them in my diary to remind myself.

So this morning I was inspired to share my Top 5’s for the year. What are yours?

Cassiy 

 

Charity Bags 2019

Last weekend I donated bags to Share The Dignity for their “It’s In The Bag” campaign. If don’t live in Australia or are not familiar with Share The Dignity they are a charity who support woman and girls across Australia who are in crisis. Each year they encourage people to fill a handbag with essentials that we all take for granted (toiletries, sanitary items, etc) The bags are distributed through local community groups to woman and girls who need them. I made up 3 bags this year. I make my bags as I don’t own any old handbags plus it is a way for me to use my sewing skills and fabric stash.

I used the same pattern I used last year which is McCalls M6338 View D. This pattern is a picnic tote bag but makes a great size handbag. I don’t include the extra pockets on the inside or outside. You make it a little differently to your average tote bag due to the drawstring top section but it still super easy to make.

The fabric I used was some I found in my stash during my “I love My Fabric Party” Unfortunately due to the way I stored my fabric previously the fabric had fade marks on it. I couldn’t use it for clothing but it was perfect for bag making. It is a flocked denim fabric that I fell in love with when I brought it. I played pattern tetris tracing out all the outer bag and tops from the piece. I just fitted them all on it. As the pattern pieces are straight edges it was easy to place the pattern piece on the fabric and trace around it with my quilting ruler and chalk pen. It didn’t take long at all to do them. Once the bags were finished you couldn’t see the fade marks at all. The fabric is sturdy too which helped the bags hold their shape.

For the handles and inner lining bags I used some blue rose fabric I brought a few months ago. This was fabric I only brought due to my obsession with blue roses. It is a quilting cotton more than a dressmaking cotton. It would have been too stiff for me to wear but was perfect for these bags. I was originally hoping to the handles in the denim but I didn’t have enough. I actually like how I have done the handles and the inner bags the same as it doesn’t look like I ran out of fabric for the handles, design feature! The drawstring is some ribbon from my stash. I needed to use a narrower drawstring than I used last year as the denim is rigid and the wider drawstring I originally inserted make it hard to pull the bags closed. These are my favourite bags yet. I love the colour, the fabrics. They fill up as a nice size.

I start collecting for my bags each year pretty much after I have donated the last lot. I have a box I stash everything in. I filled my bags with toiletries I had salvaged from hotel stays throughout the year, hair accessories/makeup I have brought on sale, socks, stockings, a few things I have made, face washers I have been given. When it come to filling the bags I empty out my collection box and divide it amongst the amount of bags I have.

I already have fabric set aside to make for next years bags. Next year I’m setting myself the $20 challenge. In 2020 I’m not going to be staying in as many hotels as I did this year which means I’m going to have to buy more of the items which I fill the bags with. Frugal me is up for the challenge and will be on the lookout for bargains and freebies throughout the year. I’m going to make a few things from my stash too. I really like supporting this charity and wish to continue for many years.

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