New Year’s resolutions mixed with Dutch wax

      3 Comments on New Year’s resolutions mixed with Dutch wax

Happy New Year, dear readers, I hope it’s a good one! I spent the last week of 2015 in the Netherlands. It was the first time in three years that I celebrated Christmas Day with my parents, sister, brother and partners/children. Last year we were too exhausted from moving and the previous year I was too pregnant.


This unassuming industrial building is located in Helmond, a short drive from where my parents live. The dreariness conveyed by this photograph is in stark contrast to the splendour one encounters inside the building. This is, in fact, the Vlisco factory outlet, filled to the brim with fantastic colourful fabrics!

Luckily, I managed to meet with my old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for several years. It was lovely spending time with my family and rekindling friendships. However, the year ended on a sad note with news of my boyfriend’s grandfather passing.

After a hectic 2013 and 2014, 2015 is best summed up as a relatively calm return to the old and familiar. I usually love new beginnings and the promise of something new, but the many changes of the previous years had worn me out more than I initially realized. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete my main non sewing-related goal for 2015. Sewing-wise, however, I learnt a lot.


The last fabric haul of 2015: two pieces of Dutch wax and one piece of Java print. The advantage of the outlet, besides the 30 percent discount, is that it is possible to find shorter lengths of fabric instead of the regular 6 or 4 yards. These three are each 2 yards long.

In 2015, I tackled more difficult and more varied projects instead of almost exclusively sewing cotton skirts. I also started collecting vintage patterns, became the satisfied owner of an overlocker and finished some very old UFO’s along the way. And I started a blog!


This skirt, based on Burda 02/2005 #109, was my first project in Dutch wax and is a good example of the type of garment I preferred to sew for many years. If I remember correctly my mum found the fabric at a local flea market. I still love this skirt, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit me anymore.

One thing I definitely should become better at is completing things in a timely manner instead of letting myself get distracted by shiny new projects while in the middle of making a garment. It is not efficient – everything needs to be ironed again, parts get lost during the break – and clutters the brain. So one of my New Year’s resolutions is to finish five ongoing projects/UFO’s before cutting into new fabric.


These awesome wax fabrics, from Vlisco’s 2013 Unseen collection, will have to wait until I meet my first sewing goal of 2015. At the moment I don’t think I will use them in one and the same garment, but I do like the idea of creating matching separates and mixing in plain black cotton to break up the patterns a bit.

Speaking of fabric; one of my highly unoriginal New Year’s resolutions is buying less fabric. After the last move, most of my fabrics, notions and unfinished projects were in one place for the first time in many years and it was a shock to see how much I had accumulated. In the beginning of 2015 I vowed I would not purchase any more fabric, but I gave up in March already and ended up buying more than ever before. Admittedly, many stash fabrics were too small for the projects I had in mind, but I still brought in a lot more than I used.


Duck-decorated Dutch wax – another thrift store find – that has been in my stash for way too long. Seeing the small size of the piece, this will likely become a short-sleeved blouse.

Deciding not to buy any fabric for a year seems to have the opposite effect, so I will allow myself to purchase second hand fabrics. Ever since I started sewing I have used materials found at charity shops, flea markets and the likes. However, as I was unable to go thrifting/fabric shopping in person for a while, I discovered internet shopping. It has been difficult to shake the habit of checking online stores, but as there are plenty of charity shops around where we’re living now, it should be possible to get everything locally and support some good causes in the process too. Of course, I do hope to reduce my stash instead of adding to it!

Javaprint vlisco

It is difficult to capture the vibrant colours of this floral Java print in a photograph. Outside it’s freezing and the city is covered in snow, but looking at this makes me feel like I’m on a tropical island.

Refraining from buying new fabric might not be easy now that I’ve seen the Vlisco outlet. I fear that I won’t be able to resist stopping by whenever I’m visiting my parents. Although I grew up in the proximity of Helmond, until quite recently it never seemed that easy, let alone affordable, to obtain Vlisco fabrics. The choice at the outlet, however, was overwhelming and so were the colours and patterns of the fabrics. Just what I needed during this dark time of the year!


3 thoughts on “New Year’s resolutions mixed with Dutch wax

  1. PinhouseP

    Happy New Year!
    Your new fabrics look fantastic, such vibrant colors! I too, am afflicted with not finishing things in a timely manner… And also buying fabric when I am not supposed too. I had a look at my stash before Christmas, and boy…! Much more than I imagined. My problem is that I have learnt during these last couple of years, that taste shift. What is in my stash is mostly things that is either the wrong color for me, or just not a good quality. So although I shouldn’t buy any fabric, I kind of need to 😀 The stash issue is a hard one, but I think having a moderate stash is not of the bad. But I need to get better at thinking purchases through. It certainly is a learning curve 🙂
    Looking forward to see what you do with your new stash-members!

    1. iris Post author

      Thank you, Siri, Happy New Year to you too! My stash is probably not that big in comparison to other people’s stashes, but it is definitely getting too big for our modest-sized apartment. Because it is stored in different places (the basement, the hallway, the bedroom, works in progress in the kitchen), I don’t have a good overview and find it difficult to find matching fabrics. A while ago I started to compile a list, but that felt too much like work! I probably shouldn’t be buying more fabric without a specific project in mind, but some prints I just can’t resist (and I should say that my dear mum, the fabric enabler, insisted on me choosing some Vlisco fabrics as a Christmas gift). Overall, I am quite happy with most fabrics in my stash, but I should really be using them instead of dreaming of sewing up patterns for which I don’t have the right fabrics.

  2. Pingback: Another Burda oldie: skirt in Dutch Wax – IrisArctica

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