…last sewist standing…
I love a good challenge. I am both very stubborn, and super competitive, so challenges are a great way to leverage those less than ideal personality traits into something positive, and help me maintain an illusion of being a productive adult who has their ish together. Sometimes I fail. Spectacularly. Sometimes a challenge tickles my brain in just the right way and I am all in and rushing towards the finish line.
Most recently, I came across a challenge on instagram that plays nicely into my Lenten goals, all centred around grounding myself in helpful and productive habits. One of these is I am not allowing myself any starts, only finishing all the projects I’ve started accumulating. If I can’t start anything, I don’t need to buy anything…right?
Last Sewist Standing is a two level challenge run by @miss.taeschli on Instagram. In the heavyweight division, we can buy nothing save thread and needles. At any point we can drop down to the lightweight division, where we can buy anything but fashion fabric, or the main fabric for a project. I have a tub full of beautiful fabrics and remnants. I also have a list of things I want to sew that is a mile long. It should be easy. I don’t want to sew a million garments just to have something to sew. Instead, I want to make what I need. Slow fashion isn’t a great deal better than fast fashion if it’s being made for no other reason than to have something to do, or as an excuse to buy more fabric.
It’s a challenge reminiscent of Sew Your Stash Thin, hosted by AJ in 2013, which saw me sew through the equivalent of 10 metres of fabric. At that point, I was not stashing much fabric at all. In fact, I had taken the tub that contained my entire stash to camp in 2012, much to the amusement of a couple of the early attendees. “THAT’S your stash? Oh. That’s cute”. Over the years, as I’ve gained more space, I’ve been able to increase the amount of basics on hand, but I still try not to have too much on hand. I buy small amounts of blenders for quilting. I buy my go-to craft fabrics like pale linen and dark denim. I pick up remnants of fashion fabrics when I see them. But stashing fabric for the sake of stashing fabric? Not so much. I find I work better if I buy fabrics for each project, so I have what suits both my taste, and the trends, at the time. By instagram crafter standards, my stash is positively povo. It works for me, thought. Until, of course, a challenge like this, where I actually can’t buy anything!
In the way of these things, once I decided I can’t buy or start anything, my brain is on overload with new project ideas. I discovered some beautiful organic cotton fleece with matching ribbing that would make super comfy Hudson pants ready for winter. More recently, I found a cute print fabric covered in pages of a ledger book. My husband is an accountant, and once upon a time, before kids and homeschooling and making all the things in my spare time, I was too. I have many “his & hers” projects being added to my list for this fabric, once I’m allowed to buy again!
My biggest problem, in the immediate future, though, isn’t all the temptations that come with scrolling instagram. It is I ran out of time in the lead up to the challenge to buy backing and batting for my rainbow quilt. It is the one thing standing between me and riding out the heavyweight division. Ok, maybe a coat pattern too, though that is June’s problem, and if I’m still going in June I will consider myself impressed! I’m hoping to get the quilt together in the next couple of weeks, so the finishing parts of it are definitely going to be my sticking point. Maybe I could ask the mister to hook me up with what I need as my mothers day present?