Monday, January 21, 2013

January Stashbusting: Itty Bits

Dear readers, my apologies for disappearing for a bit and not answering your lovely comments on my last couple of blog posts! I've turned into a Regency era sewing manic this last week after I realized that I not only had a ball gown to make, but also a day dress for the afternoon tea, plus a reticule and bonnet. I had grand plans to make a pelisse as well, but a whole Regency wardrobe in two weeks might  have been a bit too ambitious. As it stands, I've got the day dress finished, most of the ball gown (missing sleeves and final hemming and trimming), and most of the bonnet (also missing the trimmings). My hand is cramped from all the hand-sewing, even though most of my seams are done by machine. I don't know how actual seamstresses in the day managed to do everything by hand, and on a tight schedule, too!

Anyway, after all the intensity of historical sewing, I decided that I needed a break from staring at the same two pages in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion and checking my Pinterest compulsively for pictures of extant gowns. I pulled out my scrap bag and whipped up a couple of pouches for all the sundry items that get lost at the bottom of my big purse. Sadly, these pouches hardly made a dent in my significant scrap pile, but I just tell myself I have to start somewhere.

The outer fabric is from my Ms. Frizzle dress; the cotton twill is sturdy enough that the pouch feels substantial even without interfacing or fleece lining. I ended up using scraps from my Alice in Wonderland dress as lining. The zippers are 7" ones that came in a big grab bag, and I'm unlikely to use them for anything else so technically even the notions are part of the stashbusting! There are a million lined zipper pouch tutorials out there so I won't bother with writing up my process; I'll just say that it was a relief to only sew straight lines and not have to worry about fitting or a historically accurate silhouette. I didn't even bother trying to aim for a specific finished size, just started sewing without a plan!

Bonus stashbusting: I used up all the scrap bias tape (and some ribbon) I had left over from other projects to make some pattern weights! Goodbye cat food cans, hello pretty fabric-covered washers! Thanks to JillyBe for the tutorial/idea


Pouch-making appetite whetted, I dove back into the scrap bag and pulled out scraps from my hobbit skirt, some red fleece, some striped jersey scraps, and another random zipper, but this time I specifically wanted one in white, with metal teeth. I needed this combination because...

Every time I see this adorably derpy face, I just laugh. 

Bwaaaah! 
I think the choice of red fleece for his maw was spot on...it just makes it so much creepier!

I can't take credit for this adorable idea, though; I saw it here first, and it's been on my "Crafts to Make" list for ages. It took a while to figure out how to make the zipper extend out, and even now it's still pretty ugly up close, with lots of dubious hand stitching to close up awkward gaps (darn! to think I was trying to give my hands a break!). Still, I'm pretty pleased with myself. Even Mr. Cation was impressed, and that's saying something.

Okay cats, everyone stick out your tongue and make a derpy face! 


So that's my small stashbusting step for January...itty bits indeed! I actually started teaching myself to sew by making zippered pouches, and I'd forgotten how fun it is to finish a project in less than an hour. After spending 20+ hours on one dress, it's a relief. What about all of you stashbusters out there? How do you use up those tiny scraps, or do you just toss them?


Incidentally, if you're wondering if it's too late to join the Stashbusting Sewalong, the answer is it's never too late! You can join anytime, and you don't have to follow our themes if you don't want to. This is one of those commit-only-as-much-as-you'd-like kinds of sewalongs; the bottom line is as long as you're using stash fabrics, you're golden. 

50 comments:

  1. I love the derpy face bag!!! I may have to make something like that for by itty bits project - I'm thinking maybe Gir from Invader Zim :)

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    1. Ooh, that would be a great face to pouchify!

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  2. Gah! These are amazing! That face! LOL!

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  3. lol - CUTE! I love little projects like that after something complicated.

    I've used scraps to make hat decorations (flowers, bows, etc.) and even managed to make a few hats out of scraps by cheating grainlines and stuff.

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    1. Hats, eh? I don't think I wear hats often enough to warrant that as a method of scrapbusting, but it sounds like a good idea! Heads are generally smaller than bodies, after all :)

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  4. I resonate with the "start somewhere" comment. All your pouches look super cute! The cat is very creepy yet interesting at the same time!

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    1. Creepy yet interesting...just what I was going for!

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  5. That's awesome; now I kind of want to make a skeleton-face pouch with zippy teeth!

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    1. Do it!!! A skeleton face would work so well for this project!

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  6. hahah derpy face. love it! now I want to make tiny projects, too.

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    1. I'll bet you could make some killer scrapbusters!

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  7. AGH cute! And I'm so impressed that Walnut is sitting so calmly next to anything that resembles a living creature. My cat would have freaked out trying to decide if he was superior or not to the cat-faced pouch.

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    1. Hahaha Walnut was mostly asleep, which probably helped!

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  8. How nice!! What great ideas for stashbusting, especially the pattern weights!!

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    1. Even though I love derp-face cat, I have to say, the pattern weights are much more practical!

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  9. *twitch* adorableness overload *twitch* so much cuteness *twitch*

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    1. Look who's talking, you and your fantastic fabric choices and poses during photo shoots!

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  10. Love the derpy face bag! It's gorgeous.
    I'll wait for the next post with your regency outfit. Now that's going to be impressive.

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    1. Sorry that the next post isn't Regency related at all! I promise, it's coming!

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  11. That last one is sooooo awesome!

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  12. Ahah that is Sooooo darling!! I want to make one:)

    www.becstitches.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Darling was not the first adjective that came to mind when I looked at the finished pouch, but I'm glad someone thinks so! ;)

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  13. OK. That kitty/fish/derpy thingy is The. Best. Pouch. Ever!!!!! I don't care if I don't need any pouches, someone I know does! Must make pouches.

    (& thanks for the shoutout - I want to see pretty covered washer weights in every sewing room!) ;-D

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    1. I loved yours, and now that I've finished my first batch I want to run out and get more!

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  14. Pouches are a great way to use up your tiny scraps. they look great and the cat one just made me laugh especially when I saw the pic with the open zipper. What fun!!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, pouches are the way to go for scraps. Unfortunately, this also perpetuates the mindset of "I must keep every pouch-sized scrap!"

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  15. Oh, that is so funny! And the red lining was inspirational!!

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    1. The original cat pouch inspiration was cute; I went for realistically macabre!

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  16. I love the pattern weights! I think I'm going to do some shopping today and outright copy you!

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    1. Glad you liked them! I was outright copying JillyBe, so I'll be happy to pass the torch on to you!

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  17. I love your pouches, and the creepy cat is brilliant!!! :) Good luck with the rest of your regency outfits, that sounds like a lot of sewing.

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    1. Thanks, I'll need all the luck I can get!

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  18. you make the freakiest cutest damn things.

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    1. I'm going to award myself a certificate for that.

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  19. Oh dear, I love all your stashbusting projects. I need some pattern weights; now only to get something wrappable to make them from...

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    1. If you can't find washers near you, I think filling tiny pouches with rice would work too!

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  20. The cat pouch cracks me up, especially the pic of it with Walnut! Cute, cute! I'm hoping there will be a pattern/tutorial for this soon? Please?

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    1. I don't think I've anywhere near perfected the process enough for a tutorial! It was very sew-as-you-go, but if you've made zippered pouches before I think you could experiment and figure it out...

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  21. I love the cat pouch! Time to bust out my small scraps too!

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  22. You have been busy. The pouches are a great idea for using up scraps. Thought the following link would inspire you to carry on with the historical sewing:
    http://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/index.php

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    1. Oh, I wish I could visit that museum in person!! Thanks for the link!

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  23. Ack! The Derpy Face is adorable! And thanks for mentioning the cat food cans as pattern weights... We have lots of those and since they are on a different floor than my sewing space, I would have never thought to use them! Though I do like the covered washers, so maybe I'll make up some of those instead.

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  24. These are brilliant! Love the pouches, especially that awesome face with the red mouth, and the pattern weights are such a good idea!

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  25. Adorable derp face! And that's just Walnut. have you trained him to stick his tongue out on demand? But the derp face pouch is amazing and I love the puches too. I haven't figured out how to bust my scraps yet, I have them tucked into a box waiting ideas, and you have given me a couple of goodies!

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.