As you know, I’ve been taking part in the Swap Your Stash, hosted by Kat and Anne, this month. As of now, I have four pieces of my stash that will be making their way to their new homes, where hopefully they’ll find some better use than sitting around in mine! They’ve also been doing a series of interviews to show our stashes, and with Kat’s permission, I’m borrowing the questions to do a little reveal of my own. (Plus a very first sneak peek of my future sewing room! Which is absolutely nowhere close to set up.)
How long have you been sewing and stashing? How big is your stash?
I started learning to sew when I was about 7 years old. Thankfully, I have no stash that dates back to that time, but given that I’m in my early 30s now *cough*, I’ve been stashing for awhile. As for the size, it’s still hovering somewhere at 200+ yards of fabric!
Where do you keep your stash? How do you store it?
My stash is so big that it’s in two different towns, haha! Just kidding–the real story is that even though I’m not moving in with my fiance until after the wedding, I am in the process of moving what I can down to his place now. So getting my future sewing/craft room set up was a logical place to start, since I do have this somewhat all-consuming dress project going on right now. So I’m in the process of moving things from the wall of shame (which refuses to post vertically for some reason–I guess it’s appropriate, since it’s rather precarious of a setup to begin with), where they are folded into plastic bins, or unceremoniously stuffed in wherever they will fit….
….to the new space. I haven’t gotten a lot of fabric moved down there yet, it’s been more scrapbooking/jewelry stuff/yarn so far, but I did at least get this one bin down. The plan for the new space is to fold the pieces around these letter-paper-sized comic book boards, so they’re all nice and neat like this, and put them on shelving, kind of like this.
(Second shelf down.) Except not in the closet, because the mostly wire shelves that Doug so kindly put up for me wouldn’t hold it all. I’m thinking of getting something more along the lines of an Ikea Expedit.
What is the oldest piece in your stash? What was your original plan for this piece and why hasn’t it happened?
Chronologically, the oldest things I have are a brown twill-type fabric and a tan stretchy also possibly twill-type fabric. Both of these were given to me for free by my mother, who in turn was given these for free by someone connected to someone at my church who was destashing. (She randomly gets given fabric sometimes by people who don’t understand that not all fabrics are good for quilts, and I often get to paw through those leftovers.) I have no idea how old they actually are, and I obviously had no original plan for them but I’m thinking they will get turned into wearable muslins for the Thurlow and Clover pants patterns, respectively. Also, I didn’t take pictures of them because they’re just solid colors and therefore not very interesting to look at.
The oldest things I bought myself are these two printed polyesters, both of which date back to my college years. I honestly can’t remember if I even had a plan for the floral, I think I just liked it. I was thinking more of a 60s-style tunic top for the paisley, but I didn’t have a ton of time to sew when I was still in school, and somewhere along the line, I realized that boxy 60s tunic tops are really not flattering on me at all. So neither of them have gotten used yet. I did have a thought of making the floral into a Burda pattern, but I’m thinking now that I might be better off using this one for some kind of summer PJs, since this really doesn’t go with anything else I own.
What’s your favourite piece in your stash? Where did you get it, what do you love about it, what do you think you might do with it?
I have this lightweight floral knit print that my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I love the colors and the kind of old-world European look of it. And I keep going back and forth as to what to do with it–sometimes I think it wants to be a knit dress, sometimes I think I should make it into a top because I do wear separates more, but then I’ll probably have a bunch left over, and therefore it hasn’t gotten cut into yet.
Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding or do you wash it first?
I definitely wash it first. Ironing is another story.
How do you add to your stash? Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?
I’ve gotten better over the last several years about buying purposefully, and the majority of the fabric I’ve bought over the last year in particular were for specific projects that I had nothing on hand that would work otherwise–fabrics for curtains, waterproof fabric for a raincoat, and of course, the 20+ yards I had to buy for all the various layers of the wedding dress I’m currently sewing! Sometimes I’m given things, particularly by my mom, who likes to give me fabric for Christmas. (We have similar taste in prints, so this is not a problem.) Aside from that, it’s generally fabric lust, because I am most definitely a printoholic, and have to force myself to buy solids that actually work with those fabrics.
Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into? Why?
I have this suedecloth, which is from the same Christmas gift stash as the knit I mentioned earlier. I think this print is so fun, even though the colors are way more neutral than I usually go for–and I have absolutely no idea what it wants to be yet. So I don’t want to waste it, you know?
Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?
I’m actually not much of a notions buyer–most of my excess buttons and such have come from intended planned projects that never happened for one reason or another, or were salvaged from old clothes that I was getting rid of. And I’ve seriously cut back on pattern buying. Most of the patterns I buy now are from independent designers, and those are way more expensive than the $.99 sales at Joanns, so that curbs my acquisition a lot! (Plus I did a pretty major pattern clean-out a year or so ago.) What I do tend to also stash is non-sewing things, like yarn–it’s hard for me to resist colorful yarns that are wool-free, since that’s all I can use–or patterned scrapbook paper. Yes, I’m still a printoholic there too.
I also have a large bin of clothes that need mending or refashioning, since I just haven’t had time to get to it. I am guilty of thrifting clothes solely because I like the fabric and want to make something else with it, though I’ve managed to keep myself from doing that for the last several Goodwill runs.
Have you decided to do a “stash-busting” resolution this year? If so, what have you decided to do?
As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been trying to do stash-busting resolutions for at least the last 3 years! I’ve even been tracking the yardage numbers, mostly–I do have a few pieces that I think I forgot to add. (I was doing pretty well with seeing the numbers go down, at least until I got engaged and decided to be insane and make my own wedding dress and a bunch of curtains!) As far as this year goes, I am taking part in the Stashbusting Challenge from Cation Designs, though I’m unable to be an active participant in the challenges right now. And I did already have to break my no-buying-fabric pledge, but those were extenuating circumstances.
So there’s my stash! And a look in the new craft room closet, at least. Yes, the inside of the closet is painted–the room itself is turquoise. I hope you enjoyed taking a look–and I am definitely open to suggestions for how to use those fabrics that I showed!