Saturday, 31 December 2011

Contemplation: Are you Shamed by your Stash?

Fabric/ Pattern stash of course! Or wool, or craft stuff, we aren't craft specific around here!
I've been thinking over this today as I had a massive cleanup of my sewing room this week. (By god it needed it.)

I have to admit one of my favorite things to do is look upon the oodles of lovely fabrics I have amassed and "dream in possibility." ( to quote Emily Dickinson.)

I have noticed a few bloggers, who have been taking stock of their year have mentioned their stash.
Some (probably most) are endevouring to cut theirs down or only use what they already have.
This is completely admirable and there are many different motivations for doing so (from doing my uni course of fashion history we talk a lot about consumption theory and sustainability.)

 However I came across Carolyn's blog post about her year and I was interested to read her part on being a Fabricaholic. I think I feel pretty much the same way as she does. Excuse me quoting you Carolyn:

 "Buying fabric makes me happy, encourages my creative process and inspires me...I hope they (her Daughters) remember fondly my love of my craft and how I adored collecting each piece." 

I too, love every single piece of fabric and I have often pulled out something years after buying it and made it into a favorite piece. This year, I put a lot of thought into the idea of doing a year without buying clothing or fabric and decided why should I need to? I consume in a similar way to most people, but I am usually careful with what I buy. Partly because I am already a student on no income and partly because I believe there i worse things I could collect. I rarely drink, I don't smoke or gamble so how harmless can a few boxes of fabric be?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! I hope everyone has a wonderful evening and a Happy New Year!
I shall see you on the other side!


  1. I agree! I don't buy a whole lot but what I do buy is special (or a great bargain). I've turned to my fabric stash a lot this year and with many great surprises! Though I must admit that I usually have things planned for each piece :) Though I do like just going through the fabric and thinking up possibilities!!!

  2. I hear ya, Stevie! I think the key point is that you've been careful with your purchases and that's resulted in a stash you love. I always find that if my mojo's lacking it always helps to go fabric shopping, the only problem kicks in when I start buying indiscrimately because I'm bored, or caught up in a shoppers high or not thinking about what I really need. So long as that's in check and you have the room to store it, happy stashbuilding!

  3. The rarely drinking and not smoking or gambling thing is something I often quote. That is, there are worse things I could be doing with spare cash. I must admit though that this year, I dived into my stash hoping to use it up, but instead it's remained the same becaused I seem to have added to it at the same rate! Not complaining though and have had loads of enjoyment from it. A lot of it is from charity shops too, so Ive helped out there as well as been 'sustainable' in my purchases.

  4. I would like to use up my stash but it is not extensive IMHO. And if I am going to spend time making something I need to like the fabric. I rarely buy new fabric that I don't use but I have been given a few pieces of random fabric that I haven't used up. I have used some of it though! For a future project I want to make a Colette Truffle dress and I have been thinking about the fabric for ages. I won't feel bad buying it at all! I buy very little RTW and this year have pledged not to buy any. If there is an area where I should cut down it is patterns. I have LOADS. Far more than I will ever use. I even "rescue" them from ebay when they are not in my size but lovely and not bid on. Now that's a worry! I cannot promise I won't buy more because I suspect Colette will have some new ones to tempt me with in the spring ;0)

  5. If fabric inspires you and sparks creativity, then collecting it is way better than, say, going out and buying a stack of clothes that you'll never wear (that's a pretty pointless 'stash'). My problem is that I have bought fabric that I loved, but then I hold off using it because it's too 'good'. I need to be brave enough to cut into it, otherwise it will just sit in my stash forever.

  6. I am not shamed by my stash! My stash represents a zillion fun potential things that I could create. And I have managed to keep it to one big box/shelf so its really not that bad. What I am ashamed of is the number of completed garments that don't get worn nearly often enough. I suppose that should be my New Year resoulution: to wear everything in my self-made arsenal.

  7. I have mixed emotions about my stash, which I vowed to cut down earlier this year and have been very successful. I love to have all these lovely fabrics just waiting to be sewn into great garments right at my fingertips. However, I do feel like a hoarder if it gets to a certain point. My husband also nags "why are you getting more fabric when you have a closet full of fabric"? I don't think that my stash is outrageous though, ranging from 10-20 pieces at a time. Ok... it's more like 20-30 probably:)

  8. I think my stash is reasonable, I buy good quality fabrics on the cheap & sale, I really don't buy with a project in mind or if I do i don't end up using it for that project.
    I am a slow sewer and I get distracted often, almost like a "squirell" effect. Hehe. I had a sewing friend who's just started out and she couldn't get over my stash, its in 8 tubs and 2 boxes. Its organised & I have a lot of new & old patterns (1 tub & 2 boxes)some I plan to keep, others will be off to ebay. My fabric makes up 6 tubs, and notions 1 tub.
    I was made to feel bad about how much stuff I have but compared to other sewers out there I'm not at all bad.
    Plus I've liked/loved everything I've bought, sure I've had some what were you thinking moments, but doesn't everyone? I love giving away things and I know one day, I'll help someone else out with my beautiful fabrics.

  9. Hehe, funny, there seem to be different approaches to fabric and pattern stashing. I've been sewing for almost three years now, and my pattern collection is made up of less than ten patterns and a few Burdastyle/Ottobre magazines. My fabric stash fits into four compartments of an IKEA Expedit shelf, and while every pice wasn't bought project-specific, it was bought with a possible project in mind. This means that almost every time I don't sew from stash, that's a project I've fantasized about not realized! Of course, my stash still gets bigger because I think of new things to sew all the time. *g* But I don't think it will really get out of hand - possibly because I'm also a student and don't have that much available cash, and the thrift shops around here don't seem to sell decent fabric or *any* patterns. *sigh*
    In the end, I think I wouldn't want a huge stash, because I wouldn't like the feeling of not ever being able to sew up all the pretty pieces of fabric I own. Then again, there are people out there who actually sew up more than one garment *a week*. So... stash size should definitely be realted to productivity, no?

  10. Please feel free to "quote" me anytime! *LOL* It's nice to know that I'm in the company of a fellow fabricaholic!

    Happy New Year! I hope this year is full of wonderful garments and amazing sewing adventures!

  11. I have a cupboard full of fabric and another with zips, bindings, goodness knows what. I must admit that I feel I should be using it up rather than adding to it. Unless it's something irresistable. Or a bargain. Having a stash meant that I could just get going on a new dress to wear out last night with no messing about, so it definitely has its uses.

  12. Great post! I'm with Alyssa. For me, stash guilt is less about the consumption and more about plans uncompleted. There becomes a point (and I'm sure that point is different for everyone) where the fabric changes from inspiring to just stuff that's weighing me down.

  13. I definitely mentioned sewing from stash in my New Year post... but what I didn't say out loud is that I will probably allow myself one new purchase for every piece of fabric / lot of yarn that I use: one out, one in! That way the stash doesn't get out of control and I still get to have new fabric to play with / inspire me: double prizes! :D

  14. I completely share your sentiments (and your predicament): "Partly because I am already a student on no income and partly because I believe there i worse things I could collect. I rarely drink, I don't smoke or gamble so how harmless can a few boxes of fabric be?"

    Exactly! haha. There are more expensive, less practical, and more space-consuming things to collect than fabric. At least fabric can be used by many people should the need arise to sell it, and generally fabric keeps its value if properly stored.

    I wish my stash were bigger. I have items I want to sew, but which I don't have appropriate fabric for.

    I'm not ashamed of my "stash", but I know Sasquatch wishes it were smaller. LOL. I also save old clothes to make dog toys, doll clothes, and stuffed animals for my kids, so I also have a stash of "remake" clothing. lol....*sigh*... good post, girlie. I love your blog.


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