Challenge accepted – and met!

A long time ago (in a land far away…..) I joined a Stash busting Group on Facebook. Yes, I see the joke too. It hadn’t occurred to me that this would be so useful – and it also directed me to a group that were issuing Sewing Challenges. What better way to induce you to sew. I love a challenge!

So, back in January I joined a challenge – the SSW:Deep Stash Challenge. It seemed like a breeze to sew eight (yes, 8) garments from patterns bought before 31st December 2016 before the 30th April deadline. A mere two a month would be a piece of cake. Or so I thought before my gall bladder interfered so much.

I started strongly in January with the Fehr Trade VNA sports top and the self drafted warm ‘leggings/trousers’. The top was blogged hereย as my Jungle January garment but I never blogged the trousers. They were made from warm lycra from Funkifabricsย bought an age ago and have been worn pretty much constantly since. I love these trousers, and the top has been worn for both yoga and running and I can heartily recommend it. I even managed to use Butterick 6388 for the first time.

February was OK too, I made up the Savage Coco Presto top as a dress, and also made the first incarnation of Butterick 6388 as a dress. Loved them both. Both patterns that had sat around a while, the Butterick unused until January and now a strong favourite in my wardrobe. Details here.

Although made in March (I’m pretty sure) the dresses I made next weren’t blogged until mid April. Yet another Butterick 6388 – didn’t I say it had become a firm favourite? – and Vogue 1410 by Lynn Mizono. Both now well established in my wardrobe (I have even cut out another Mizono for summer – ever the optimist!) and I seriously can’t work out what I had against wearing dresses for so long as it makes getting dressed a breeze. No trying to find matching bits. That truly appeals to my lazy side ๐Ÿ™‚

Following this I got seriously slow and almost gave up on the challenge. We had the break in Cornwall, followed by a manic week clearing jobs before my surgery, and then a week recovering. And reading old blog posts, sorting through patterns, and making plans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sharp eyed among you might recognise these flowered ‘what nots’ as the garment The Management called ‘scrousers’. The pattern was from Patrones magazine and was first made in July last year (details here) and worn more than I expected. I decided that they needed to be shorter and have pockets this time.

Since the originals can be worn facing in either direction I didn’t want to lose that when I added pockets. Easy alteration to do – side panels make adding the pocket a very easy alteration. There is a (very) minor nod to current fashion by using a floral cotton fromย very deep stash for these. Nice to clear that away, and I know that when it is positively tropical here in July/August I’m ready . Stop sniggering – I told you I was an optimist.

I really thought I had given up after making six of the eight garments required to complete the challenge and then I saw Carolyns blog and another of her gorgeous makes from her Japanese pattern book collection. Back on the horse Hood!

Now Carolyn had adapted the last incarnation of the top she made but I knew I had that book (She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada), knew I had taken it off the shelf frequently with the intention of making several of the garments inside, and had made precisely ….. ย none. Time to change that.

I really liked the Square Top (No. 11) and decided to make that first – although I had cut out the other top at the same time. The ability to wear it in two distinct ways appealed, and though I like it as a straightforward top it really isย very square. The clue was in the name so I should have known. I will wear it like this but I think I prefer the way it can be buttoned up, turned around, and worn as a shrug. Magic!

The red striped top is the Top with Epaulettes (No.4 in the book) that I had been admiring on Carolyns blog. Why didn’t I make this earlier!!!!! I freaking LOVE this top. This will be worn to death (despite the fact that I look a bit ‘Where’s Wally’ in it) and will spawn lots of friends in my wardrobe.

So that’s it. I actually got to the end (and well done if you have too) and made all 8 garments needed in the time allowed. Just.

What have I taken away from the challenge? Get those unused blessed patterns out and start sewing woman!

So what about digging out a pattern you have been giving house room to and never made, or an old favourite that could replace one of the worn versions you made and love. You must have liked a pattern enough to stump up cash to buy it so off you go! Which pattern are you going to make? I have an idea which of mine you will be seeing soon.



27 Comments on “Challenge accepted – and met!”

  1. CeeJayKay says:

    LOVE your style!!!!! That grey dress is just beautiful! and you are looking absolutely STUNNING!!!!

  2. Ann Webber says:

    I freaking love that striped top as well! Good to see you’re blogging again. My challenge which I am enjoying is wondering what that skull fabric could become. Ax

  3. tialys says:

    You are looking well in these photos – are they all post-surgery? It must have been a hideous time for you – my Mum has gallstones and says it was the most dreadful pain she’s ever experienced in her life. Despite that, she refused to have surgery and she lives in fear in case they ever ‘play up’ again.
    I have quite a few patterns I haven’t made yet but that’s because I’m in a patchwork phase at the moment and am waiting for my dressmaking phase to return ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • All but the February photos are post surgery. Tell your mum to do it! Keyhole has been wonderful and I’m so glad to be able to eat without worry again. Recovery has been great so far.
      My patchwork is fitting between garments – and is growing VERY slowly ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. jay says:

    You’ve made some terrific stuff! Very stylish, it’s hard to pick one as a favourite, but I do like the flowery pants. It’s not an easy style, but you’ve sorted it.

  5. I am in awe of your talent and your style! Did you have your gall bladder removed? Had mine whipped out in October last year…what a relief!

  6. Fadanista says:

    Great post Kim and you are looking absolutely amazing!Your health is obviously back on track and you are blooming.

  7. Well done! Stash sewing can be strangely satisfying can’t it …you know exactly what you have to work with, you get a garment made out of fabric you love and you feel extra virtuous afterwards!

  8. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Congratulations on getting rid of Gertie as well as meeting the other challenges so beautifully!

  9. Glad to hear you’re feeling well again. The vogue dress is a lovely shape on you, and a summer one is a great way to get value from the pattern.

  10. Roxane says:

    Love them all! I am amazed that you got so much done, especially with your surgery. Last weekend would have been a perfect time to sew, and I have two things cut out, but my mojo refused to show up.

  11. Evie Jones says:

    Goodness you’ve been busy. And you look so well. Glowing!

  12. Carolyn says:

    I was just thinking how wonderful all your gorgeous new garments were, and then get to the end to find a mention of me! thank you so much for those kind words and I’m so glad you got around to using that pattern, it’s an absolute winner! It looks fabulous on you I LOVE the red and white striped version! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I really need to get myself that Fehr Trade pattern. I love your’s. I’m still wearing RTW exercise clothes!

  14. […] I have been very happy to have had this available (and both pairs of scrousers). I repeated the Epaulet top in the leftover cotton which worked well (The Management likes it) but I think it could do with a […]

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