Stashbusting in the New Year

Happy 2013, everyone! Welcome to my new blog, the Fabric Alchemist (a reference to the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). Crafters, like the alchemists in the anime/manga, combine raw materials and create new objects.

After a year of blogging about a variety of subjects I felt it was time to start fresh. The Fabric Alchemist will focus on my crafting pursuits and the community of crafty geeks & gamers I have discovered.

If you have followed me from As a Duck Takes to Water (, thank you for continuing this adventure with me. Although sustainability will not be the focus of this blog (as it was previously), it remains a significant influence on my lifestyle and project decisions. In fact, many of my upcoming projects hinge on the REPAIR and REUSE themes by which I live my life. I have a torn sweater to patch, a ready-to-wear knit shirt to alter (too big), and a fave t-shirt to refashion because the pit stains got out of control (too much info?).

I have also joined many other sewing bloggers in the 2013 Stashbusting Sewalong that Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy started. I love this idea, it helps me REDUCE my fabric collection and my accumulation of new fabrics, while encouraging me to REUSE scraps. And it dovetails nicely with many of my pre-existing project plans. I appreciate that the monthly sew-along categories are open ended. I constantly struggle with my desire to live a clutter free life and the fact that crafting inherently produces more stuff. Hopefully I can choose projects that are useable or giveable as gifts.

My pledge:

I, Meris (aka the Fabric Alchemist), commit to using at least one piece of stash fabric in every sewing project in 2013. I also commit to not buying new fabric unless the new fabrics are to be used alongside stash fabric to complete the larger project (e.g. a costume). 

I opted to avoid specifying an exact number of stash fabrics. I have no idea how much time I will have to sew (between work, internship, school), but when I do find the time I will make sure a stash fabric is used.

To get myself started, I simultaneously made a 60th birthday card for my mom and began to whittle down my collection of tiny and misshapen fabric scraps. It is not a sewing project, but it is well within the limits of fabric alchemy. As an adult, Snow White is my least favorite Disney princess. However, when I was 4-years old my mom made me a Snow White dress for Halloween, with a stand-up (sorta) collar and a red headband. I looked adorable. Looking back, I feel that this dress symbolizes my connection with my mother through sewing. I hope she will feel the same way.


In general, I see the Stashbusting Sewalong as a fantastic challenge for the Fabric Alchemist—let’s see what I can transmute from the myriad scraps and overlooked stash fabrics cluttering my closest.

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