Friday, 18 January 2013

Apparently, managing your stash...

... is a part of successful sewing! Should we be looking to quantify how much fabric is in the good old stash in measurement terms (that's metric for me), as well as the dollar value of the fabric? I think we would all be amazed at the investment we have made - who needs real-estate in retirement!


There is a bit of a start-of-the-year trend happening, to find the best use of the hoarded fabric stash, and the best management of that ever growing stockpile of luxurious fabric. We have all spent so much time, and money on our stashes, whether it is one piece of must-have fabric, or shelf loads. We build the fabric stash, just like we build our homes - with love, care and thought!

From the blogs popping up at the moment, it seems that many (many, many, many) of us just simply collect fabric. We see a bolt of fabric that just 'grabs us' and we simply just have to have it. Beautiful fabric that we simply must own, we buy a length and take home with us. There is no garment in mind, no plan for its use, the fabric on its own is gorgeous and we can't go home without it.  And then later, we will take these gorgeous pieces from their new home, unfold them, touch and stroke them, label and iron them. We might leave them out in the sewing area, or hang them up, admire them, but in the end we carefully fold them back up and place them back in the stash. 

This part of our stash, the gorgeous fabric part, we really have no intention of cutting up and using on an everyday pattern. We will always save these fabrics for 'a rainy day' - its innate to our female psychic. We can't fight it. Our shelves, tubs and boxes will never be totally empty! 

But if you have an inkling of reducing your stash, head over to 

Cation Designs are sending out a life line to those bloggers who made the New Year's Resolution of cutting into their stash and reducing that pile of treasured fabric in 2013!  Whether your plan is reducing your stash  by one piece of fabric, or just plain LOTS of fabric, Cation Designs has a plan to help us all 'systematically purge our stashes by sewing items to fit a series of themes.' So head on over and sign up. Pledge to join the STASHBUSTING SEWALONG. Places are filling up quicker than the stash on your shelves.

But I do wonder ... is there any fabric in your stash that you just can't take the scissors to! That special piece of fabric that you can never bear to cut. Someday, maybe you'll come up with a worthy garment for it, but until then it must just stay as one pristine condition piece of fabric. Or have your taste changed so much that the fabric is just so 'out-of-date' and no longer has any appeal. I have fabric in each of these categories - can't cut, and just plain hate. 

Cutting into the stash is just so plain hard. 
Do we just pick a few and go for it ... 



37 comments:

  1. I one piece of fabric I don't think I'll ever sew, its a beautiful plaid grey wool from my hubbbies Nan she bought in the 1970/80's. I've ruined enough fabric over the years that I am honestly scared to cut into it, what if it doesn't fit, I make a mistake, etc, I can never replace it......I find too, the longer I leave it in the stash the more likely I am not to want to use it (either because I love it too much or it doesn't suit me anymore).

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    1. That's exactly it!!! What if it gets wrecked in the sewing process????? I am posting tomorrow my don't-touch-piece...

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    2. Have you ever considered framing the lovely piece of fabric, or wrapping a canvas for wall art, or maybe a pillow!

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  2. I kept a length of navy lace over 10 years, before finally making it in 2011. Lace dresses were happening everywhere, and it's time had come!
    PS I'd love to know where you buy your fabric; there are so few places in Brisbane, my stash is quite small simply for lack of opportunity to buy the fabric I dream of.

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    1. I will email you my list of shops, though I am prone to travel up and down the coast to shops as well...a day outing in itself...

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    2. Thank you Judith, I will look forward to that. I like nothing better than a Hunt and Gather expedition for fabric..

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  3. Mm Judith, food for thought indeed! My quilting stash far outweights my dressmaking stash, but that's not to say I don't have way more fabric than I 'need'. My question is......no matter how much fabric is in the stash, why oh why is it, that when a fabulous new pattern comes home with us, there is never just the right fabric in stash?

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    1. Exactly!!!! That's why you have to pick up the fabric with the pattern, and an extra piece 'just in case'...

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  4. I think you just pick a few and go for it! If it's fabric you don't like, use it for a practice run to keep from ruining a piece you do like. I'm going to try some stashbusting this year too, we'll see how it goes. Good luck!

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    1. Good luck with your stashbusting...

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  5. Great post. I dont have too many fabric lengths, and 70% I know what I will be doing with it, but what I do have a lot of is the leftovers of lengths that I always think may be useful, for crafting.
    I certainly dont have any fabric I would never cut into, however I do own 1 metre of Michael Miller fabric that I would love to wear, but have yet to find a pattern for it.

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    1. Keep looking for the perfect pattern...the pattern companies keep coming up with plenty of new ones...

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  6. oh dear - gives me shivers just reading this.... I have some wonderful fabrics from Linton Tweed (only cut into two pieces so far) and some beautiful suede which I have put on my "to-do" list for this year..... but actually most of what I make is from my stash, not often do I actually go out and buy fabric specifically to make the next item on my list. The exception to all this will be my wedding dress fabric.

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    1. Your wedding dress is going to be gorgeous - we all can't wait to see it finished...and worn on your special day...J

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  7. I haven't even been sewing that long and I have a crazy stash.. I'd hate to think of all you long term sewers stashed hehe.. rooms filled..would be great to have though :)

    www.becstitches.blogspot.com.au

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    1. You will catch up quicker than you think. And it is lovely to have, and look at...

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  8. The stash...so well explained.. That is definitely me!!!
    I don't know how the closet shelfs[and lots of them] filled so quickly. But oh what fun it is looking at them and dreaming.
    Another reason I buy fabric is; the "on sale", "on clearance", and Oh Lord...the " every week coupons".. these get me. I love a good sale, and honestly, I think I could make this or that out of this while its on sale..hahaha And the shelfs fill up.
    So enjoyed this post.. And you have encourgaged me to attempt to DE-stash.

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    1. I think those fabric stashes multiply on their own, makes you wonder what goes on behind those closed closet doors....

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  9. I am not sentimental about my fabric stash. Nothing is safe from my scissors. And if you have fabric that you think is too precious to cut, bring it over here, I'll take a whack at it!
    It's just fabric, they'll make more.

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    1. You have the perfect attitude - just go for it! Might actually just do that...J

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    2. This is something I have to continually remind myself of - doesn't always work though.

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  10. You're right, we all seem to love collecting fabric and adding it to our stash and yes.....I have a couple I just can't cut into.

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    1. Collect and treasure - that is me...J

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  11. Emmm I may be a bit odd, but I don't have a stash! I purchase for a purpose PFAP.
    Does that make me a bad person in the sewing world?

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    1. What!!!! No stash!!!! That doesn't make you a bad person at all - it actually makes you a person we are all envious of...please teach us how to do this...now...J

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  12. I don't think I have any that I get that "I just can't cut it yet" feeling. Although my stash is smaller than most peoples it still gets a bit overwhelming at times.

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    1. You always choose such beautiful fabric for your sewing...

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  13. I feel that way sometimes, but, when I have a pattern in mind for that fabric. I can't wait to make that project. I just have so many projects in mind LOL. Stopping by from Sew Many Ways Find a Friend Friday linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared this week: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fun-fur-boa-scarf.html

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    1. Thanks, Alisha! There is just so much inspiration out there, and so little time to make it all...

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  14. I saw the challenge and signed the pledge. A lot has gone on in the last few days and I don't even remember what I wrote.

    My stash is ginormous and needs serious taming. It doesn't quite overwhelm me until I open up the plastic bins.

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    1. I know - don't open the bins and everything is just all fine!

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  15. I made the pledge and I've already walked out of Lincraft when they had a 50% off sale, even though they had some lovely black cotton lace ......

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    1. Now that is brilliant self-control...

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  16. Ha! I tell my husband that the fabric and yarn that I am buying now is so that I do not have to spend so much when we retire. I don't think that he quite believes me, but he has not made any adverse comments so far!!

    I tidied up my stash as we are moving house next month and a photographer is coming round next weeks to take the pics for the listing - and my usuable stash is not as bad as I thought - I have some rather nice pieces! I have a closet half full of other fabric, but I think that may not survive the move - it is rather old and nasty. But you never know when you might need it!!!

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    1. Great thinking - might pinch that 'husband-telling-idea' off you...J

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  17. I think I have bought more fabric than I have sewn this year (darn that Fabric Store 40% off sale!). However for the last year I have been doing a lot of my sewing from stash. Cash has been a bit tight so fabric shopping was not always an option, so at that moment the stash is my haven! I am sewing a piece now I bought last year at the Fabric Store and did actually have a pattern chosen for it all this time, but now I have need for that item, it is finally getting made. :)

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  18. My father was an importer/exporter of fabric. He passed away 23 years ago this month. I still have a redish pink silky cotton that he gave me. I used to wrap it around my Christmas tree in lieu of a skirt. I could not bring myself to cut it. This year, after the confidence of my sewing classes I cut a part out of it to make a real Christmas skirt, along with a ribbon border.
    This year, I too will be delving into my stash. G;ad to know I as not the only one!

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