Make Nine 2018 – tops, skirts and jackets for the new year

Hi, I made these collages on my phone last month and I’ve even sewn a couple of things already, which has to be a record for me. It can take me a while to just get started. But this year, I decided I would start with patterns and sewing books in my collection as well as the fabric I already have. So here is my Make Nine 2018 list:

  • Top with Epaulettes from She Wears the Pants, a Japanese sewing book by Yuko Takada. I made my own striped version in 2015, which you can read about in this post. I still wear it. I have an odd synthetic knit in a pretty purple that I’m going to use. I’ve already cut the pattern pieces.
  • A midi-skirt from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, which I reviewed here. I’ve made a skirt and tunic from this book. I had this maroon red knit fabric that was originally going to be yoga pants. I decided to make a skirt, which I hand sewed last month. I still need to photograph it.
  • I finished the Pilvi Coat a little over two weeks ago and blogged about it here.

Make Nine 2018 - Top from She Wears the Pants, skirt from Alabama Studio + Design, Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

  • Toaster Sweater Version 2 in a striped knit. I made a reversible Version 1 of this pattern by Sew House Seven.
  • Decades of Style Chore Skirt, which I started last year but still haven’t finished. This beautiful rose print will be the contrasting part of this pleated skirt.
  • Twist-and-Drape top from Shape Shape, a Japanese sewing book by Natsuno Hiraiwa, released in 2012, it is the first Japanese sewing book I ever bought. I want to make this interesting top in this interesting cotton lawn print. I’ve been making a muslin using a polka-dotted cotton-silk blend I have in my stash. It’s slow going because the fabric is a bit delicate and the raw edges are finished with bias tape. As I was making it, I discovered that there was an Instagram #sewjapaneseinjanuary sewing challenge going on – the idea was to make something from a Japanese sewing pattern in January. I got started but I haven’t finished it but it gave me the inspiration to get going. Thanks to @bloglessanna and @craftyjane_makes for hosting!

Make Nine 2018 - Toaster Sweater, version 2, Chore Skirt and Twist-and-Drape top

  • Megan Longline Cardigan has been in my stash for more than a year. I’ve had this striped knit fabric in my collection for more than three years. I got it for $1 or $2/yard at the FIDM scholarship store in Los Angeles.
  • I want to copy this top I saw in the window at Max Mara in the fall of 2016. I even bought fabric to make a black-and-white silk (as opposed to leather and wool) version of it. I got a black plaid print, a solid black and then a print at Britex Fabrics back then. I just need to pick a tunic pattern to make a color-blocked version. if you have any suggestions for a square-necked pattern, please let me know!
  • Last but not least is this Spiral Scarf from Shape Shape. I have this bright magenta wool silk organza that I got at the Britex yard sale, which would be perfect for it. I just need to decide if I want to get a contrasting color or just make it all one color.

Make Nine 2018 - cardigan, top and scarf

My Make Nine 2018 goal this year is to make some inroads on my fabric stash and to make more garments that I would wear everyday. I’m holding off on making pants because I’m working on losing a few of the extra pounds I’ve gained over the past two years. Skirts are a little more forgiving.

Oh, and I almost forgot! I’ll be attempting to start and finish a bias cut skirt and vintage top in time for the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails in February event this Saturday! I only have a few days to sew up version D of the Vogue vintage reissue and this midi skirt.

Frocktails 2018 ensemble

Instead of sewing a dress I decided to make separates so I will get more use out of the ensemble. I tend to wear separates, not dresses. I’m hoping that I’ll have enough leftover fabric to make version D of the Vogue pattern. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

3 reasons why I buy fabric

I attempted to go on a fabric diet this year because my sewing has not kept up with my fabric buying for quite some time. I even experimented with selling a few pieces from my stash via Instagram and Facebook, which you can read about here. Now that 2017 is nearly over (can you believe it?), I’ve been thinking of all the reasons why I buy fabric. Here are my top three:

  1. It was on sale. Yep, if I’m really honest with myself, this is top reason for a fabric purchase. When I started sewing again around 2009, I was a sucker for a sale – whether it was in-store or online. I would buy fabric that appealed to me and I liked it even more because it was on sale. I didn’t yet know what I would make from it.Now I tell myself, don’t buy it unless you know what you’re going to make with it. I’ve even avoided sales because it’s so hard to resist buying more fabric. I love touching fabric and looking at all the lovely designs. That said, I broke my fabric diet in San Francisco when there were sales at Britex Fabrics and Fabric Outlet. Britex was having a “Yard Sale” discounting many bolts of fabric – all in preparation for the store’s big move to 117 Post St. in December. They are now in their new location – a beautiful space that really shows off their wool and silk fabric.Over a two-month period, I got several pieces of fabric from Britex, including a red crinkle cotton and these four fabrics – clockwise from top left: ponte with a huge print (maybe a full-length Pilvi Coat), cotton lawn from Italy (marked down to $10/yard because of a flaw in the print, possible blouse or skirt), a black and silver stretch lace (skirt) and a black lace knit fabric (sleeves for a knit top).Britex Fabrics purchases - ponte knit, cotton lawn print lace knit fabrics
    I also got a couple yards of some fun home decor fabric for free because I did a guest post about the fabric for the Britex blog. I also wrote about it here.At Fabric Outlet, which had a 40% off sale, I used a $25 gift certificate one of my sisters gave me for my birthday. So I felt that gave me license to just browse and buy whatever struck my fancy. I got a couple yards of black french terry (Toaster sweater perhaps?) and a berry red stretch cotton, which should make a nice shirt.
  2. It was irresistible. Sometimes you see a piece of fabric and you just have to have it, no matter what the price is. You love the design, the color, the way it feels, the drape, etc. When I saw this fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, I just had to get it. I eventually I made this Pilvi Coat from it, which I love.

    Pilvi Coat - back view - CSews

  3. It was a planned purchase. Sometimes I buy fabric with a specific pattern in mind. I’ll bring the pattern envelope with me or I’ll take a photo of the front and back of the pattern and consult it when I’m in the store to make sure I have the correct yardage. Or if it’s a PDF pattern, I’ll just look up the info on the company’s website to make sure I have the right info.

Now the fabric is piling up. It’s in bags in the closet and in a couple of plastic bins in the bedroom. For 2018, I’m going to do my best to shop my stash and to start making some of the things I planned to make with the fabric when I bought it. My plans have changed for some of the fabric I bought a few years ago (no surprise) so for some of it, I’ll be rethinking my sewing plans.

I have not taken any inventory so I don’t know how many yards are in my stash. I’m not sure I want to know. I don’t have space to maintain a large stash so I am going to try to sew more in 2018 and attempt a RTW fast. Goodbye Valentino is hosting a RTW fast, encouraging people to sew, not buy clothes (see her invitation here sign up by tomorrow, Dec. 31!).

What are your reasons for buying fabric? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic.

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram

Hi, I don’t have a huge fabric stash but I don’t have much storage space in my apartment. I don’t have a dedicated sewing room or fabric on shelves. My fabric is in a couple of bins and some bags. So I decided to experiment and try destashing fabric online specifically via Facebook and Instagram.

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - csews.com

I went through my fabric and found several yards of six different cotton fabrics that were impulse buys or were intended for projects that I never started. I told myself that I would not get any new fabric until I sold some of my existing fabrics. Then I went outside to shoot in natural light, taking many photos, including shots with a tape measure so people could see the size of the design. I also had to measure each length of fabric and document the info, if any, on the selvage.

Destashing fabric on Instagram

I decided my sale would start on Friday, July 21 on Instagram and started a few days before that date, I created a new account – @csews_destash – and posted photos there. I decided against posting photos on my @csews Instagram because I didn’t want my followers there to feel like they were being spammed by fabric sale photos. One of my @csews followers @liblib, suggested that I have a separate destash IG account, commenting “Spam destashes drive me crazy!!” I decided that was good advice. Thanks, Libby!

Destashing on Instagram and Facebook - csews.com

It took me a while to take all the photos and I didn’t want to start my @csews_destash until all the photos were done. I took multiple photos of each fabric, including a close-up shot of the design, a shot with a tape measure and one of the selvage, if there was printed information there. I also searched the hashtags #destash, #destashfabric and #fabricdestash to see what other people said in their destash posts.

It seemed best to just describe the fabric and include information about the amount of fabric, such as 44 wide, 4 yards. I also mentioned that it was stored in a nonsmoking, no pets home. I told people to comment SOLD to claim the fabric and DM me to pay. I gave people the option to pay via PayPal or Venmo. I limited sales to the US because international shipping costs are so expensive, especially when you factor in customs. Here’s what I said about this fabric:

Selling destash fabric - Instagram post description

I didn’t make any sales over the weekend.In retrospect, I could have posted just one photo in the account long before the sale and said that more photos were coming.  Then I could have had some followers before the sale began. After all, it’s hard to sell anything if you only have a few followers, right?

But I did sell this cute fabric about five days after my initial post.

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - Timeless Treasures - Kidz - csews.com

The buyer is someone I know because she’s a member of the Bay Area Sewists meetup group, which I organize. She commented that she wanted it and then sent me a DM on IG and told me she could send me payment via Venmo and wanted to pick it up locally, which saved her the shipping fee. I sent her my info and received the money. We’ve arranged for me to give her the fabric at the next Bay Area Sewists meetup on August 6, which is, appropriately enough, a fabric swap.

Setting a price for destash fabric

I really didn’t know what to charge for these fabrics because for most of them I didn’t remember how much I paid. I did some searching for the fabric to see if anyone still sold it but I’ve had some of them for more than five years so I didn’t find them.

Nearly all of the fabrics were quilt-weight cotton wovens. Two had Timeless Treasures printed on the selvage. I did a quick search online and saw that sale prices for that fabric were around $7.50/yard, full price was $10.60. So I decided that about $4 to $7 per yard + shipping, was fair.

Destashing fabric on Facebook

After I posted all my photos on IG, along with the descriptions, I realized that I may not sell anything via Instagram so I searched Facebook groups and found some private US groups for selling destash fabric. I requested to join Fabric Marketplace DestashSew Its for Sale Fabrics (sic, it’s spelled without the apostrophe), Fabric Addicts Destash, and Stashbusters Destash Sale Group, a sister group of the Stashbusting Sewalong Group. They all responded fairly quickly so I could now post my photos there.

I started with Fabric Marketplace group because it was the first one that accepted my request. I decided to start a photo album and  upload photos of the different fabrics for sale. Facebook seemed to take a long time to upload the album so I decided it might be better to just upload photos for each fabric as individual posts. I listed my PayPal email in the album description and then one of the group admins told me that I needed to get the PayPal email of the person buying the fabric and invoice that person. Oops.

I did not read the group guidelines in the post pinned to the top. Sorry! The way most of these FB groups seem to work is that you agree that by posting to the group, you agree to use PayPal and invoice the buyer. Once you receive payment, you agree to send the fabric in 48 hours to the buyer.

Once you’ve posted something to sell in a FB group, FB makes it really easy to sell to repost your info to another group. All you have to do is click on the blue button that says “Post to More Places.” Then a new window opens listing all the buy/sell FB groups you are a member of. Just check the groups you want and voila! It’s automatically posted there. I used that button to post to Sew Its for Sale (sic) group.

Sew Its for Sale has very detailed group rules and asks people to comment “agree.” The posting rules ask members to provide detailed information about destashing fabric and to post your own original photos, no photos from other sites, and reminding people that it’s a site for fabric not completed items. I posted my photos there on Saturday, July 22 and two days later I got a message from a woman in Colorado asking if this fabric was still available. I said, yes. I priced it at $15 for 4 yards, 44 wide.

Destashing on Facebook and Instagram - Whimsyland by Lizzie B Cre8ive for Henry Glass & Co. Pattern #7803

Then she sent me another message saying she was interested in this fabric, too. I was selling about 3 yards of this for $15. it was 56 wide.

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - Timeless Treasures - Mosaic - csews.com

I told her they were both available and that shipping would be via a US mail, medium flat-rate box $13.60. She sent me her PayPal email so I could create an invoice and then she could send me payment. I marked them sold in the Sew Its for Sale group and then its status as a sold item was automatically updated on the Fabric Marketplace Destash group.

Once you post something for sale on a group page, it can be tricky to find your posts, depending on how the group uses FB. For example, it was very easy to find my items on Sew Its for Sale because on the left side of the group page, it says “Your Items” directly beneath the “Items for Sale” link. I clicked on that link and all my posts appeared.

Fabric Marketplace Destash group doesn’t have a link for “Your Items,” which means you have to search the posts to find your item. I haven’t sold anything there yet.

Stashbusters isn’t really active. With less than 300 members, there’s not much going on there so I decided not to post anything there. I just posted my fabrics to the Fabric Addicts Destash group so I don’t have anything to report there.

The destash fabric

Here’s a closer look at my fabric that still for sale on IG and FB.

Update: This pink and green fabric is now sold.

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - Windham Fabrics - Le Poulet by Whistler Studios - csews.com

SOLD Quilt weight cotton – the selvage says: Windham Fabrics presents Le Poulet by Whistler Studios, Pattern No. 30797.
44 wide, 2 7/8 yards, 2.6 meters, uncut – $9 + shipping. This fabric has been prewashed.

The fabrics below are still available.

This border print is called Natural Effects and was designed by Michele D’Amore. The stripes and leaves (brown background) repeats on the other side of the flower design. It’s a quilt-weight cotton. The selvage says: Windham Fabrics presents Le Poulet by Whistler Studios, Pattern No. 30797. This fabric has been prewashed and is uncut.

44 wide, 3 yards, 2.7 meters, uncut – $15 + shipping

Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - dyed violet fabric - csews.com

I got this unusual dyed fabric from Britex Fabrics. It was a remnant so it still had the tag on it. It’s very hard to photograph purple. I tweaked it in Photoshop to get it closer to the actual color. The lightweight cotton is finely woven.

2 2/3 yards, 44 wide, uncut, $20

My conclusion is that it’s easier to sell destash fabric on Facebook rather than Instagram. I think Instagram would work if you had a big following for your destash account. I don’t plan on selling a ton of fabric there so I don’t see how I’d get a ton of new followers. Destashing fabric on Facebook and IG takes a bit more time and thought than you think but it’s likely easier than doing it on Etsy and eBay, especially if you don’t plan on making it a regular business.

Have you tried destashing fabric on IG or Facebook? Did you sell anything? Please feel free to comment below and let me know what groups worked for you. And if you’re interested in buying one of the fabrics still for sale, please comment below or on my IG destash account @csews_destash.

div style=”display: none;”>Destashing fabric on Facebook and Instagram - CSews