“Stashbusting” silliness – sewing my strangest fabric

The Stash Monster is eating our office. Seriously, I have so much fabric it’s ridiculous; stacks and stacks in teetering piles on the floor and the sittables of our spare room/office, with only a semicircle of clear floor around the desk unencroached upon. So of course I wanted to participate in the Stashbusting Sewalong co-hosted by Cation Designs. Each month has a theme, and of course February’s is “love” – that is, make something from stash for a loved one. Add needing a special Valentine’s gift to the equation, and I finally had the motivation to sew up what is possibly the Most Bizarre Fabric I Have Ever Encountered.

I picked this up at (where else?) the Crazy Fabric Store a couple years ago. I mean, how could I not? I always intended it to become something for my husband, but I didn’t really know what. I only had a yard of it, so there weren’t a lot of options. I considered making a tie, but that would only showcase a sliver of the awesomeness (plus he sadly almost never wears ties), so I finally decided on boxer shorts. Really awesomely weird boxer shorts:

bizarro boxers

Why yes, that is a Hawaiian-style print with all Russian things! I’m particularly fond of the poorly illustrated caviar in the bottom right corner… Please, tell me, why does this fabric exist? Why can I find Russian-Hawaiian-shirt fabric but not a nice chevron print jersey? And why was there enough of this fabric in the world that not only did a bolt of it show up in a discount fabric store in Solvang but also online at Fashion Fabrics Club? (I actually saw this exact print, in two colorways, for sale on that site last year. I had a minor freakout at the time, but couldn’t tell my husband why I was convulsing because I was keeping the fabric a secret from him until I made it into something. So of course I have no proof. Wait holy crap I found it! It’s still for sale! That means you too can make bizarre Russian boxers for your special someone!) At any rate, I’m glad it does exist, because my husband has a random affinity for all things Russian, so this fabric seemed like an in-joke especially for him.

For the boxers, I used the Simplicity 2317 pajama pattern as a base. I used the XL in the regular pajama pants pattern, and cut them off just under the crotch (I made them as long as my fabric would allow, which is to say not very long at all. The inseam on these is no more than 2 inches, hence the very narrow serged-and-turned hem.) Since it’s a pj pants pattern, the crotch is rather low for boxers; I’d raise it if I used it again. I measured the elastic for the waistband off a pair of his RTW boxers. And I cut an appropriate piece of the print (my husband loves chili peppers) from a scrap, serged the edges, and stitched it on the inside back as a tag so he could more easily tell front from back. From cut to finish I’d say these took no more than an hour and a half. I can see myself making more boxers in the future – they’re a good way to showcase a wacky print that, well, perhaps I may not want featured in a garment that my companion wears on the outside… Anyhoo, he loved the finished product, even though they’re far from perfect. It’s the thought that counts – and the bizarro fabric, of course.

So that’s my “stashbusting” for the month. I say stashbusting in quotes because, really, sewing up a fabric that took up probably a millimeter of space in the stack (it’s rayon, so it’s super thin and folds up to be almost nonexistent) is not exactly making a dent in the Monster consuming the office. Sigh. I may not be capable of busting the stash, as evidenced by what’s on my sewing (/dining) table now: two dresses using fabric from my most recent visit to said crazy store – they didn’t even make it into the office at all! (One of them I’m trying to finish for the current PR contest, which ends – gasp – day after tomorrow! Best be getting on that.) Not to mention I just found out that I’m being sent to LA for work again next month… and how could I not partake of the fabulous fabric offerings of that great city when I’m living there for two and a half weeks? Especially not when I could have the opportunity to do so with awesome local sewasauruses? (And I now can track you all down, thanks to this totally brilliant map!) So what do you say, anyone in LA want to meet up and support my totally unhealthy stash habit? Or, ya’ know, just hang out. But surely our office can hold just a couple more cuts of fabric…

  1. Becky said:

    I love those wacky boxers! Great idea for using up this very small piece of your stash. You’re like me, I need to get busy. Too much fabric!

  2. Ruth Meek said:

    Oh my gosh…those are awesome! I buy random yards of weird fabric that I don’t have a plan for, but just love the wacky prints. This is a great idea!

  3. That fabric is amazing! I immediately sent a link to my best friend who is Russian. Thanks for doing the research and finding out that it was still on sale!

    As for the boxers, they do sound like the perfect showcase for a fun fabric…I totally feel you, though, on the not-really-making-a-dent-in-the-stash issue. Corsets are the same way. We need to stop making undergarments, stat! And you know I totally want to go fabric shopping with you once you’re here!

    • aleah said:

      Right, no more tiny things! I’m of course excited to add to my monster in LA with you! I’ll email you when I have my schedule!

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