A Wardrobe full of Fabric and nothing to wear!

I love the beginning of every new season. Whether it's  Spring or Fall  means it's time to re-think your Wardrobe. Something new to wear, peak your interest & help you want to face each new day!


If you have a large collection of Fabric and Patterns then the horse has bolted .. so you may as well giddy up and sew it up! Enjoy it while you can before the moths and silverfish get to it first!

I speak to a lot of Sewists who have stashes large and small but stashes nonetheless. One admitted she had been wearing the same Winter's coat for the last five years. I suggested, surely it's time to break out and make another...or a cape..poncho..unlined jacket... anything to change it up a and maybe use the Fabric she had. Yes there was a happy ending. A new funky jacket was made. Wardrobe up one! Stash down one! Double win.

It's fun finding Fabric & Patterns on sale and adding them to the Collection. Sometimes buying is easier than sewing but this turns into a bad habit ... buying, storing and not sewing as fast as we purchase, results in too much Fabric and too many Patterns. Overloaded and overwhelmed minds can cause too many roadblocks.


 Fabric Space: the final frontier. 

These are the voyages of a Sewists' Enterprise. 

Its five-year mission: to explore strange, Old & New Patterns and Fabrics, to seek out new ideas and new civilised outfits, to boldly go where no Sewist has gone before.

Apologies to Star Trek

Photo credit bostonglobe.com

Photo credit bostonglobe.com

Our Mission: Getting the Fabric out of the collection and onto your body....

I admit to a Fabric Collection and here's what I do to give myself a clear pathway to my sewing machine!

Let's imagine that the Fabric is just in a wardrobe

Get like colours together .. rainbow time

Put all the black together


Now sort; silks, polyester, ponte, denim, cotton...

If there is too much for the Wardrobe scenario hit the floor and stack your Fabric... lock the doors and do not let anyone in! It's concentration time.


Have a good look:

  • Eradicate the Fabric you wouldn't buy now
  • Get rid of the poor quality fabric that looks cheap
  • Get rid of Frumpy Fabric
  • Grab the Fabric that calls your name and makes your eyes light up

Now see what else goes with these pieces of Fabric and grab them

  • Take photos of the piles if you like so you can see what you have
  • Write yardage notes on luggage tags and staple a sample..get some string, thread through all the reinforced holes and keep your tags together for reference

Two choices now..

1. You can really get this Fabric sorted or...

2. Continue on the journey to decide on what to actually sew  ....

Get your patterns out

  • Sort into pants, skirts, dresses, jackets, casuals mix & match patterns
  • Think about what fabric you have and what garments you need in your wardrobe
  • Select the patterns that you really want to make
  • Next put the rest of the patterns away in an orderly fashion: simple white plastic bags with skirt / dress/ pants labelled with a black Sharpie

Two choices now..

1. While you're here sort your patterns into a system


2. It you want to sew some clothes keep going...

Sit with the Fabric and Patterns

  • Look at the garments
  • What is obviously the one pattern/fabric combination you see, that you want to make?
  • Put that aside with the pattern, then choose the next Fabric...and so on

Start with simple pieces

  • Make them
  • Wear them
  • Feel inspired
  • Make more
  • Enjoy your fabric
  • Make what you need
  • Remember the Fabric and Patterns you have
  • Use what you have

Only buy more Fabric and Patterns to help complete  your outfit gaps.. unless a Fabric is really irresistible of course!

Build your confidence to restart sewing by starting with a pattern that worked for you previously. If you want some ideas read my next blog post on my recent travel wardrobe I made for a 10 day trip to China.

You have what you need already

Clear the decks and let's get this party started  


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Fabric purchases: you love it, you buy it, you sew it, you wear it... mission accomplished.

Anne Whalley's China memade travel wardrobe... the Pattern and Fabric solutions!