and then there was stash

by Charlotte

I own a lot of fabric.  You see, the Internet will lead you to believe that it is nothing if not normal to own bolts and bolts of fabric.  I’m not 1000% sure it is.  I have no research, I have no evidence, so I have no idea what the average sewist has in their stash.  However, I do know that exposure to Internet has probably led me to buy more fabric than was absolutely necessary.  I read sewing blogs for years before I sewed, and I bought fabric for a bit before I actually owned a machine.  I only have about a hundred-and-something yards, but my output does not match my intake by a longshot.  Tis a disease.

Do I think we should all stop buying fabric?  Are you mad?  Of course not.  I do think that my fabric habit is teetering on the brink of untenable.  I don’t think I should necessarily stop buying fabric, but that I should set up sound ground rules and a timeline.  Yes, this how I think.  Yes, it is totally over-structured, but here we are.

I suppose I want to:

  1. Try to keep the rate at which I sew yardage in step with the rate at which I purchase.  It won’t be perfect given how I tend to buy fabric (save, save, binge), but a rough estimate might help.
  2. Keep fabric for no more than two years.  I need good turnover in my stash to keep it fresh.  I think it must feel wonderful to uncover a buried treasure after a decade or so, but I’m not sure that works for me.  Also, I really am attached to more than a few pieces, and don’t think I’ll ever take a needle to them unless it’s imperative.
  3. Faithfully track intake and output.  I’ve been trying to figure out what a healthy sized stash would be, and I think I’ve got it.  Enough fabric to last for a year of average sewing.  A year with as many seasons as you’ll experience.  Hopefully, this year I’ll keep track of how much I sew, how often, and what I need.  I’d like to have a solid estimate by 1 June 2013, then I’ll set parameters on purchasing, etc.
  4. I need to always know exactly what I’ve got—from lining, to zippers, to notions, to interfacing.  That prevents getting a whole bunch of doubles from the dreaded Jo-Ann.
  5. Match at least 75% of my fabrics to patterns.  I really do think that’s half the battle.
  6. Weekly-ish stash check-ins to keep accountable.

My summer schedule is a bit thin, so I do hope to log some serious sewing hours before things get busy again in the fall.

I don’t know about you, but I’m nosy as all get out.  Whenever I read someone’s blog, I want to know what’s in their stash, where they got it, how much they paid for it, what they want to do with it; what size pattern they cut, what kinks were encountered, and all of that jazz.  It might be too much information, it might even be obnoxious, but I love getting a peek into the cupboards of others.  I’d like to let y’all know everything that I’d like to know, most especially from a blog that is ostensibly a tool for reining in a fabric habit.

All that to say: Here is the inaugural stash check-in.  It is all the fabric I’ve got, minus leftover bits from projects, linings, muslins, and interfacings.  It’s probably not a lot for the average sewist, but I do require a kick in the pants to jumpstart a healthy turnover.

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