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

 

Lou Box Top – First Attempt

The Lou Box Top by Sew DIY was the free pattern I chose as my Frocktails prize. It isn’t a style that I would normally choose as it is very floaty and not fitted so that is why I picked it, to get out of my comfort zone and try new styles. I had some cotton knit fabric in my stash that I brought at our Sydney Spoolette Spotlight outing earlier this year so last month I tried it out.

I adjusted the length by 6″ to make it a little longer. The pattern has a number of hem options but I went with a straight hem. I used the front hem pattern piece for both the front and the back as it was straight across and added to my extra inches to that instead of adding in the area marked to adjust the pattern. It was just easier for me to trace out, I don’t know much about pattern construction so I am not sure why the back hem piece had a slight curve to it but the front didn’t. The pattern comes with 2 options for the neck line I did the crew version. I am very pleased that it didn’t stretch out. I hand tacked it in place and then stitched it on with the overlocker. By going slow I discovered you can remove your hand tacking stitches before they get to the overlocker blade, it is the same as doing it with pins but you are removing basting stitches not metal pins. After the neckline was stitched on I didn’t do the stay stitching. If it starts to annoy me I can always go back and add that.

I’m happy with the finished top, however next time I will add further length to what I have already added. I prefer a longer tunic style top as I like coverage over my lower back almost to my hips. I don’t like drafts so I tuck my tops in to my skirts/pants if I am wearing a jacket or jumper which is most times. The reason this top looks crushed is that I had it tucked in all day as I wore it.

I guess you would describe the sleeves as dolman, they are baggy but don’t look too baggy. Upon wearing this I discovered that if worn under my fitted jacket the sleeves can be a little uncomfortable. There is very little room between the side seam and underarm so it pulled, I had to ruched them up to the shoulders almost like a tank top. I’ll try it under other jackets to see if it was just that particular jacket as I know that one is a snug fit. For the hems I used my hot hemmer  to iron them in place. To secure all the hems I did a stepped zig zag stitch. I am pleased how they turned out.

I am glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and gave this top a try. I normally don’t do floaty tops. I have one style of tops I wear all the time and it is a fitted knitted t-shirt style which I brought in a heap of colours many years ago and I can no longer get so I need to start looking at tops. This pattern was a great way to get used to top making. Years ago I did make a pj top which I never wear as it is too big and I have avoided making tops since but making this pattern was fun so I’m going to make a few more tops like this and other styles. This was also a very quick pattern to whip up.

Cassiy

Sydney Frocktails 2017

Last Saturday night the Sydney Spoolettes had their first ever Frocktail party.

So what is a Frocktail party? It is an event where those who love to sew get together for a night of fashion and fun. Many people made outfits for the night, some wore items they had previously made, some people made bags to match their outfit and one very talented person even made her own shoes! I would not even know where to begin to make a pair of shoes. Originally I wasn’t going to be able to make Frocktails so I never made anything for event specifically. At the start of the year I made my blue rose skirt for an event in March so I decided to wear that and I had made the handbag to match. I had never seen the rose fabric before I picked it up at the swap day last year as normally it isn’t fabric I normally look at to wear. Can you believe some had an outfit on made from the exact same fabric! When I got talking to the wonderful Alison I discovered she had only decided that week to go to Frocktails and the dress was something she had already made so wore that. Fabric fate that fabric was meant to make a Frocktails appearance.

frocktails-jewellery

I’m proud of the jewellery I wore as it was all items I had made over the years. My metallic necklace that doubles as a bracelet when you wrap it around your wrist a few times, the pendant I made at Urban Stitches and of course my latest make my viking knit bracelet. Can you see a theme in the colours. Someone jokingly asked me if I wore blue on the night after a previous conversation we had last year… Of course I wore blue if I don’t get to wear blue I’m going to cry.

frocktails-prize

Caz (Useful Box) organised the event and did an amazing job. Lots of different companies sponsored the event donating some amazing lucky door prizes. There were gift vouchers, fabric, sewing packs, patterns. I was lucky to win a pattern by Sew DIY. I can choose any pattern I want and they will email it to me. Naturally my first thought was I make skirts I’ll get a skirt but I’m actually going to get the top pattern as it looks very comfortable. On the night even if you weren’t lucky enough to win one of the fantastic prizes you still didn’t go home empty handed, each person took home a “lolly bag” full of discount vouchers to use at the various sponsors stores. I’m declaring it the best lolly bag ever. Sew DIY is among one of the vouchers so I will be able to get a skirt pattern after all….

Leading up to the night everyone had been sharing the makes on the Spoolette Facebook page and Instagram #sydneyfrocktails It was interesting seeing all the items up close in real life as you watched many of them get constructed over time. You spent the entire night walking around touching peoples fabrics without asking because everyone loves the feel of fabric. People were recognising different patterns and talking sewing. It was a lot of fun. I’m sure everyone is in agreement the night was a huge success. There is talk of another one again next and I hope there is as I’m already planning my outfit….

Cassiy

Spoolette Swap Day Nov 16

swap-day-haul-1

I said I was going to be good at the Sydney Spoolette Swap day and for the most part I was. I did take nearly 2 bags of stuff with me to destash but I may of come home with 2 bags of stuff.

swap-day-haul-2

The first item I picked up I’m going to use on a couple of gifts next year. I’m going to cut out the soccer balls and applique them onto something. Finding this fabric has saved me from having to hand embroider soccer balls.

swap-day-haul-7

The tan fabric is almost an upholstery fabric it has a little bit of stretch in it so I may be able to make a jacket from it. The dark brown fabric I’m thinking a winter skirt. I measured it up against myself and at worse I can get the A+ Skirt pattern made from it.

swap-day-haul-6

The blue roses is the most challenging fabric I picked up. It is a synthetic  but I think I can make a pencil skirt from it. I have a luncheon to go to next year so maybe I can make it to wear to that. Blue roses are my favourite flower so I was drawn to this as soon as a saw it. The pink fabric is like a stretch denim. I’m not normally into pinks but I do like this. Again maybe I can get a jacket from or at least a vest.

swap-day-haul-3

I picked up a few patterns. Yes more skirts. I don’t have these patterns I don’t think. The bag pattern I’m curious to try or at least read the instructions. These are brand new patterns so hopefully I’ll use them if not I’ll take them to the next destash.

A lot of the fabrics I picked up I can use on WIRES pouches. There are couple I will need to do the burn test on to see if they are 100% cotton but I’m pretty confident they are. I giggled when I found the fabric with the Australian wildlife on it, it is just perfect for WIRES pouches!

This was the first swap day I have been to after only discovering out about the Sydney Spoolettes earlier this year. It was a lot of fun. People brought an amazing amount of fabric, patterns and notions. It was a great way to pass on things you won’t use and to pick up new things. I’m now going to have a bag set up for swap day and if I come across things in my stash I don’t think I’m going to use I’ll put in the swap bag for the next swap. I think it is easier to pass on things if you know they are going to go to a good home. I don’t care if people took some of my stuff home decide it’s not for them and bring it to the next stash. Eventually someone will be able to use it.

Cassiy