The stash swapping party seems to have go off to a very good start over the weekend, it’s been great to see some of the lovely things up for grabs on Pinterest and blog posts. A reminder that you can see a lits of all the participants here. If you’d like to join in the swap, just leave a comment below with a link to your blog, and we’ll add you to the list so that other sewists can find you easily.
As promised, Kat and I have decided to reveal our stashes to the world. You can see mine on Kat’s blog, but here we are revealing Kat’s collection of fabrics etc. I set her the same questions as I answered, and demanded photographic evidence too!
How long have you been sewing and stashing? How big is your stash?
Oh gosh, do I really need to answer this?!? (*Goes and hides in a corner in embarrassment.*)
Um, well, I got into sewing again back when I was in the early days of university, so around about 14 years ago now. And I’ve been stashing since then. I come from a long line of stashers – my mother has a nice big stash (part of which has migrated to my stash, haha!) and my grandmother apparently has a stash of sewing and knitting patterns (which I hope to be able to see one day soon, she keeps them hidden away). So you could say I come by my stashing tendancies naturally, and there wasn’t really any way to avoid stashing. I’ve also inherited a few stashes from friend’s mothers when they found out I sew.
Yes, my stash is out of control. It’s bigger than I want to contemplate. Here’s some of it…..
Where do you keep your stash? How do you store it?
Anywhere there’s space!
About half of it is stored in boxes lined up against the wall of our spare bedroom. The rest is stored in my bedroom (which is quite large, and half of it is my sewing area).
The fabric in boxes is all labelled to make it easy to find – I group it by knit or woven, and often by season as well. I list all the contents on a label on the outside of the box, and cross it off when I’ve used it. (And write in when things get added, naturally!
I’ve got three suitcases full of fabric as well – I’ve got labels written out and attached to the suitcase handles to tell me what’s in there. Having labels on the outside of the fabric storage containers is great – I can browse my stash at a glance and easily find what I’m looking for. (And yes, I know pretty much all of what I have in there, so usually I’m just looking for a specific piece for a project.)
I also have a cupboard full – patterns (grouped by era) on the top shelf, and fabric on the bottom shelf.
And three shelves in my wardrobe have ended up being fabric. And one shelf is patterns.
And there are a few bolts of fabric in the wardrobe in our spare room.
(Yes, I have a fabric “problem”. *sigh* But it’s all so purty!!)
What is the oldest piece in your stash? What was your original plan for this piece and why hasn’t it happened?
Eek! Good question. I have no idea. The oldest by age would be some I inherited from other people’s stashes. Oldest I bought myself? Probably one of these crazy bright synthetic knit things – I went through a stage in early university years of dressing in crazy bright 1970’s print fabrics and flared jeans. I still have some fabric left over from those days, heck knows what I’ll do with it as it so isn’t my style any more…… (Maybe swap it??) Pretty much as soon as I started sewing I started accumulating fabric faster than I could use it!
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?
Oooh, so many options! I love most of my stash, it makes me happy and I see ideas and pretty things whenever I look at it.
Some of my favourites are:
This cotton fabric with retro swimming ladies printed on it. I got it as part of the Sewists Secret Santa swap – whoever sent it to me totally nailed my style! (And I really want to know who it was!!) I’m going to turn it into a 1950’s shirt at some point soon.
My mother just gave me this Mondrian-style cotton drill. Ain’t it fabulous? It’s going to be a 1950’s full skirted dress, to make the most of that awesome bright print.
I’ve had this stitchbird printed quilting cotton for a couple of years now. I absolutely adore it, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to turn it into a dress. 1950’s or 1940’s style? One or the other…..
Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding or do you wash it first?
I always wash it as soon as I get it home. When I want to start a project, I want to start straightaway, so everything needs to be ready to use as soon as I want to use it! (Impatient? Perhaps.)
How do you add to your stash? Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?
A bit of both. I stash patterns as well, and sometimes I find fabric that I know will be perfect for a pattern I’m wanting to make up. Most of the time, the fabric is what dictates a project for me though – I see something, it calls my name, whispers in my ear that it wants to be a dress or a shirt or a skirt, and next thing I know I’ve bought it home and it’s sitting on my desk while I try and find space for it. Oops!
Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into? Why?
I bought a length of gorgeous lightweight dark green silk, with gold metallic thread spirals on it, a few years ago. (Read: about 9-10 years ago. Oops.) I love it – it was one of those (very very few) times when I bought fabric without knowing what it was going to be turned into. And I’ve never used it. It’s so pretty, it seems it needs to be an evening dress, but I never wear those so see no point in making one. And so, it languishes in my stash. Every so often I bring it out to look at it and admire it, and feel a little bit guilty that I still have no idea what to make out of it….
Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?
Oh no, I’m a nice well-rounded individual. My problem includes everything. I have boxes and drawers full of patterns and notions. I even have two sewing machines sitting around unused, both vintage ones I’ve picked up somewhere, intending to get them working and try them out. So many plans, so little time…..
Have you decided to do a “stash-busting” resolution this year? If so, what have you decided to do?
Hah, yes indeed! No fabric or patterns or notions buy for me. At all. (Unless it’s something I need to finish off a project, like interfacing or a zip.)
(You will note, however, that there are a couple of little loopholes in this. I’m allowed to be given fabric etc, win it, or swap for it. All permissible activities. I need some way to refresh my stash, even if I’m not allowed to purchase things, after all!
Thanks Kat for letting us have a glimpse into your fabric hoard! I love your vintage suitcases, and I think I may have to start labelling my boxes, like you do. You certainly do have a lot of fabric, good luck with the swapping!