Saturday, 11 August 2012

Hi, I'm Amy and I'm an obsessive hoarder

I've been alluding to a blog post recently in which I reveal the extent of my fabric stash. I've been putting it off because it is quite ridiculous and I'm scared to admit the extent of the problem. But after watching a programme recently on real obsessive hoarders, I think the time has finally come.

Deep breath.

My stash is spread around my flat in various boxes and bags, under the bed, on shelves, in trunks. I dream of having a dedicated craft room with proper storage where I can see all my fabric but no time soon. I only really buy second hand fabric, from charity shops and car boot sales. A lot of my stash has been gifted to me by friends and family (so it's not really fully MY fault...)

Part of the problem is that I can't bear to waste things. Any things. Ever. This applies to fabric, food, wrapping paper, you name it. I'm getting better now, I used to keep all my old jeans with holes in the crotch with the intention of using the material but with the advent of Cash for Clothes, I've finally found somewhere I can recycle those things. I hate the idea of throwing things away, only for them to spend the next 600 years rotting down in a landfill site, leaching chemicals into the soil. So I can get rid of things, so long as I know they're going to be recycled. If I have to just put them in the bin, I'd rather keep them and try and reuse them. Or give them away on freecycle.

The other part of the problem is that I just love fabric. I love it when you get a piece of fabric for a bargain ("£2 for 3m of wool tweed? Yes please!"), bringing it home, thinking of all the lovely things you'll make with it ("Maybe some cushion covers for Frances' birthday", "Maybe a tablet case for my Etsy shop", "Maybe a bag for me!"). Unfortunately though, what invariably happens is I carefully store it away thinking I'll do something with it at the weekend, then find I'm too busy and it never gets sewn. Especially I find not having a proper sewing space means the effort involved in getting my machine out and the ironing board and my sewing box with all my pins etc, means I never get round to it. So, over the years I have accumulated a lot of fabric.

Let me show you around. First up, remember the box I rescued from the bin and make over (partly anyway!). Well, here it is again, it hides the first stop on our tour. There's no theme to this box, just decent sized pieces of fabric.



Next up, a trunk under the bed. It hides clothes waiting to be altered in some way and offcuts of felted wool from Andrew's Christmas present a few years back. Also a load of wool jumpers left over from my Etsy shop, waiting to be turned into a blanket. Scared yet?



Away from the bedroom and into my study, there hides 2 innocent looking black boxes on top of the bookshelf. The smaller one holds offcuts, I mainly use these for cards. The larger one holds small peices of fabric.


Large one:


Small one:


And now, for the piece de resistance. The trunk in the spare room. Awesome trunk right? See what it hides...



Oh, the shame.

I do like having a stash though. It's a satisfying feeling to be able to make something almost entirely from items you already own (see the recent tartan tablet case, knitted mobile socks, sorbetto top and baby presents for examples of stash busts!). It's also nice to be able to give things to people. In the past I've shared my stash with friends starting sewing and for Halloween costumes and with my Gran for theatre costumes. It's nice to be able to take advantage of cheap fabric as well, on top of the fact that buying it second hand is better for the environment. Am I justifying being a mildly obsessive hoarder? Yes. Do I care enough to stop? Not even slightly!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Summer straw hat make over!

This was a really simple make-over of a 'straw hat with naff raffia flowers' to 'straw hat with awesome floral scarf'!  I've had the scarf in my drawers for about 7 years now, it was free with a magazine I bought in my first year of Aberdeen (I don't know why that's stuck in my head but it has.  I think it was my first 'grown up' magazine purchase i.e. not Just 17) and I've always liked the colours but never been sure how to wear it.


Apologies for the lack of proper 'before' picture, I didn't take one myself and the Marks and Spencer website has that stupid 'zoom in' function where you can't download the picture itself.  Stupid M&S, not letting me steal their photos for free... Hopefully you get the idea with the tiny picture though!  I really liked the classic floppy-brimmed straw hat but wasn't a fan of the raffia flowers, luckily they were held on with the minimum of thread, so it was a simple job to cut them off and replace them with this scarf.


A few stitches in the relevant places to stop the scarf slipping off and we have a winner!  I'm a big fan of make overs, an easy and thrifty way to update your look and reuse old clothes.  Perfect timing for the lovely warm sunshine Edinburgh has finally been enjoying!


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tartan tablet case


For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a little teaser photo of this project a few days back.  Well, now is the time for the big's a tablet case from thrifted tartan wool!


When I shut my Etsy shop down just before finals, I had a few items left to deal with.  Some went to friends, some went to charity and some I kept for myself.  This red tartan ladies kilt was definitely a keeper, being 100% wool fabric and made in Scotland.  I thought maybe it might become cushion covers, but when Andrew lent me his tablet to take down south with me to visit my folks, I knew I'd need to make it a cover so I didn't accidentally scratch it.  I'd just inherited several old Ikea fleece blankets from an emigrating friend and it was a match made in heaven.


The tartan is manly enough that Andrew can take it to work with him without embarrassment (the ditsy floral print that was my second choice wasn't as versatile...) and it whipped up so easily I may just make some more for my Etsy shop, once it gets going.  I'm now up to 6 mobile socks, I reckon 4 more of them and 10 tablet/ipad covers and I'll be good to go!