22 Jun

I couldn’t do it.

Last August I decided to try and find a use for all my teensy fabric scraps, and vowed not to buy any more brand new fabric. It’s official now. I just can’t do it. The scraps were the first to be let go. I still keep scraps 2″ or larger to incorporate into my quilts, but the smaller stuff just goes in the trash. I found it was very heavy and dense to use for stuffing. Too dense for pin cushions, and I worried that if the softies I used it in were washed, they might mold before they actually dried out. Giant pillow, Herr Hedgehog, is still doing well, but he weighs a ton.

As for fresh-off-the-bolt fabric, I think my first slip was buying new flannel for the back of my niece’s baby quilt. That then led to new flannel for the Ladybug and Strippy Blue baby quilts (hopefully balanced by the blue one’s exclusive use of scraps). It’s a slippery downhill slope to then buying fat quarters for “class samples” and so as not to be rude (it was red and white polka dots after all). I realized at Craft Day last Saturday that I had also bought brand new fabric when one lady brought me yardage I had requested from Poland. It matches my dishes so I HAD to have some. (I’ll post pictures of the table runners I’m going to make from it, just as soon as I buy new muslin to use as backing — the damask comforter covers are too heavy for the muslin-based pottery fabric.)

Which then leads me to the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I could no longer lie to myself that I’m not buying new fabrics. Two of Katja’s best friends are celebrating their birthdays on Monday. I decided that rather than buy more pink plastic sparkley things for the girls, I’d make them tiered skirts. I’d make Katja one too. Then I’d use the scraps for gym bags (as “wrapping”) that they can use when they all start school in the fall. Great idea, but I couldn’t make three au currant tiered skirts for six year-old girls out of my stash of dirty greens purples and browns, odd silk snippets, hand dyed table cloths, and leftover samples. No, I had to go to the fabric store and buy new, fashionable, yardage:

NEW fabric

(The fabric which matches my dishes is the one to the right of the pink camo.) I had actually seen the pink camoflage fabric the week before when I went to buy batting and kicked myself for making such a silly no new fabric rule. When I realized that I couldn’t follow my own rules I ran back — straight to the pink — and built the rest of the skirts around that fabric.

Here’s Katja’s skirt on:

K's tiered skirt

Here’s all three:

Girl skirts

I love that the ribbon I bought a while ago from Serukid matches so well:

Girl skirt detail

Katja matched up the appropriate skirt with it’s gift/gym bag:

Girl Skirts and Bags

And here’s how they’ll go to the party:

Birthday presents

Well, Katja’s already used her bag today for her tumbling class. She’s dying to wear her skirt to Kindergarten, but I’m not letting her until the party so as not to spoil the surprise for the other girls.

And though I can’t seem to keep from buying new fabric, I have proven to myself that I can find alternate places for fabric, and significantly reduce the amount of new fabric I buy. I’m not saving the world, but maybe I’m making it a little prettier.

11 thoughts on “I couldn’t do it.

  1. Very cute, way to go in your war against plastic. The girls will love the skirts and the bag. Thanks for including the close up of the ribbon, what a sweet scene.

  2. So cute, so cute. You remind me of my quilting sister-in-law, who also lived in Germany several years ago. I am anxious to see the rest of those new things from a few days ago.

  3. What fun skirts! You are right, they couldn’t have been made of fabric stash. Your no-new-fabric pledge certainly didn’t stop the creative juices from flowing. It will be nice for you to be able to do some guilt-free shopping again (but only when you really need something).

  4. You haven’t put a ban on buying gifts though, have you? It seems to me that you just bought supplies for gifts. The skirts are so cute. I used to make that style for my granddaughters when they were little and they loved them.

  5. Ya know — pledging to buy less, use what you have, and not simply add to the clutter in your life is good. But I have the feeling, like with all things, the key here is moderation. I know I haven’t strictly kept to my plege to buy no fabric this month (see — MONTH and I can’t make it). Though in my defense, none of the fabric purchases (with the exception of 1/2 a yard of muslin) were fom me — they are actually gifts for quilters. There ARE times when only new fabric will do. Your purchases qualify. The skirts are adorable and the girls will love them. Heck, I would love one!

  6. soooooooooooo cute!
    oh how i envy you for being able to sew for a girl…
    (though it’s okay to sew for boys, too. but no pink, no ruffles, no good kitsch…! *sigh*)

  7. thanks for reminding me that one of my countless projects was to make Isa a skirt like that… and guess what – she needs a gymbag for school since she´s starting 1st grade on Aug 21st!
    I know I had the pattern somewhere – sketched down or on the web? Don´t ask.. all of my bookmarks are gone.. no idea how..
    can you give me the link again? Maybe that´ll be my next craft day project?? 😀

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