I recently completed a final project for my patternmaking certificate, and I think that one of the most challenging aspects was selecting the fabric.
The original blouse design looked like
The denim took to pleating excellently.
Stitching down pleats made
them even more knife-like.
The project was a blouse with a peplum, and when I think of a blouse, I naturally think of softer, more flowing fabric. But I kept thinking that the design would make a good jacket, too.
I went into my fabric stash, which is considerable. Going into my fabric stash and not finding something to sew for a project is akin to looking into a crammed closet and not finding a thing to wear. I wanted something with body, but with drape. I was thinking of a double knit, which is a great fabric with all the benefits of a knit and a woven. However, that particular fabric did not exist in my stash.
At this point, my thoughts veered, like a good fabric-holic, to shopping, but there was not time. Good thing, as I really need to use the fabric I have, not buy more.
I kept searching through my baskets and I landed upon a dark denim sample that I had bought many years ago, when I first returned to sewing. My first projects were all home dec projects, especially curtains. I made curtains for everyone. I had 10 or so yards of this denim. Some went to sewing a slipcover for a couch. More went to making a beautiful curtain with a muslin lining for my sister-in-law. Now I was down to the last 2-3 yards.
As I considered the fabric, it grew on me. The denim had good body to it, but with just the right bit of drape. It would press nicely for the peplum pleats, form a nice shawl collar with the help of some good interfacing, and hang nicely, without drooping, on the dolman sleeves.
I was so excited to have found a match between a project and my fabric stash. How long had the denim languished there, just waiting to be used?
The denim was everything I dreamed it would be, and more. I stitched down the inner pleats on the peplum to give them a sharp edge. Denim is made for topstitching: I topstitched the top of the pleats and the shawl collar to reinforce its lines. I threw in a colorful lining, also from my stash, and finished it off with some vintage buttons from my family collection.
At the end I was so much more satisfied having used my stash. I just needed to open my mind to the possibilities, as denim certainly would not have been my first choice had I just gone shopping.
For lots of colorful projects to use up your stash, check out Stitch Summer 2014 in the Sew Daily Shop.
Do you have any stories of sewing fabric from your stash? Tell me about your marrying a fabric to a project.