Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Sewing Goals: Pattern Stash

I am going to blatantly rip off an idea from Lynn over at You sew, girl! and write my own post about my goals for pattern stash busting in 2014. She set stashbusting goals for herself by identifying a goal of sewing at least 10 stashed patterns and 30 pieces of stashed fabric in 2014.

I am going to do a similar thing with the following pledge:

"I, Michelle of happilycaffeinated, commit to using at least 15 patterns from the candidate pattern stash and using at least 20 pieces of stash fabric in 2014. Stash includes any fabric or patterns on hand/purchased prior to the date of this pledge, 8 Jan 2013."

If you'll recall, I wrote a post a few months ago where I was debating how best to add some focus and order to my sewing projects for 2014:

Thinking ahead to 2014: Seeking Balance

In particular, I was interested in finding a way to prioritize sewing up some of my stashed patterns that I truly wanted to sew but hadn't done so because I kept getting distracted by other projects. By using Lynn's challenge as an inspiration, I think that I should be able to accomplish my pattern stashbusting goals for the year but not feel like I'm locked into sewing only one company's patterns.

Here's how I'm planning to accomplish these goals:
  • The fabric stash part is easy. I'm planning to try to shop my stash for most of my projects this year unless there's a pattern that I have in mind where I really don't have an appropriate fabric (Believe it or not, I do have a small handful of projects in mind where I don't have the right fabric. Probably not surprisingly, these projects are all either fleece pajamas or outerwear.)
  • For the pattern stash part, I wanted to focus on patterns that have either been in my "to sew" queue for a while or have been and out of my queue several times. These patterns are the ones that I really want to sew but haven't gotten around to for whatever reasons. To create this focus, I created a spreadsheet of "candidate" patterns:

    2014 Pattern Stash candidates
    I won't be restricted to sewing from this list, but I will try to sew 15 of the 39 patterns on here this year. Given my sewing pace under normal circumstances, I think this is a reasonable goal that will leave me with some flexibility for new patterns and new project ideas.

    Also, lest you think that I have some sort of ungodly self control, note that my pattern stash is much, much larger than this list. In my early years of sewing, I hit nearly every cheapo pattern sale at JoAnn's and accumulated hundreds of Big 4 patterns, most of which will probably never be sewn, but that I can't bring myself to part with. (For some reason, I have a much easier time donating "what was I thinking" fabric than patterns.)
  • My weight has fluctuated a lot over the past few years (getting pregnant, having a baby, taking off a chunk of weight, putting a little bit of that weight back on), so I've been really feeling like I need a wardrobe revamp, especially taking into account Seattle's cooler climate. I tried to put together a list of where I see the "holes" being in my current wardrobe and mapped that to the pattern stash candidates:
Stash chart 2014
I think that my goals/wardrobe holes line up pretty well together. This chart and my overall thought process does assume that some patterns will be made multiple times (I'm pretty good about making multiples of many of my knit top and knit dress patterns) and that there will likely be a few wadders in the group. However, I am hoping that by the end of 2014, I won't feel like I'm wearing the same 4-5 outfits all the time and will be able to mix and match things up a bit more.

You might also notice that the "stash plan" doesn't have many entries for Eva or David. The reason for this is that I'm pretty good about sewing things for Eva fairly soon within buying the pattern, so outside of a few Oliver + S patterns that were bought on sale, I don't really have a pattern stash for her yet. And I don't have much of a pattern stash for David because there aren't a whole lot of men's patterns out there, let alone patterns for larger men that don't require a ridiculous amount of grading. The first thing that I'll sew for him this will likely be the new HP men's t-shirt pattern, which I don't have in hand yet but ordered the day that it was released.

I have a few other sewing-related goals for the year, mostly related to refining certain skills and trying a few new things to step out of my comfort zone, but I'll save those for another post.


  1. Having read your previous post about how to do it, this looks like a really good way to manage sewing through your pattern (and fabric) stash.
    I have a similar list, and should make an effort to sew from my list rather than getting swayed by shiny new patterns!

  2. That is so incredibly organized, I'm overwhelmed and so impressed. I could go for the Colette bag or Hawthorne, the HP track pants and 4 season kimono. I also have high on the list for myself Grainline's Tiny Pocket Tank and Scout shirt. Also some Dalliance gloves, including a pair for a friend who is getting into steampunk styles.

    Other things I'd like to prioritize-- my HP backpack and a Sarine top and a cake dress.