Friday, 22 May 2015

Summary of my stash coping ideas

Where my blog posts are concerned, I often apply a lot of voluble outpouring in the verbal department.  I just can't seem to shut up.  Can't be a bit more concise. Not happy with that.

The very length of my posts threatens to bury the points I wrote about.  I am even less happy with that.  It took quite a bit of rereading of my previous blog post about stash busting (this one) to figure out just what my conclusions were that I had come to about how to manage my stash.

So I want to do a summary.  What did I learn, what ideas did I come up with?

  • I don't fear cutting into fabric but cutting out feels like it needs lots of effort
  • I don't have enough tried and tested patterns I can whip up
  • My stash is badly organised. As in not organised at all (gah)
  • I don't know my fabric fibres well enough to know what fabric is good for what kinds of garments
  • I bought several versions of the same thing because I forget what I have
  • I don't have enough colours or patterned fabrics in my stash

This leads me to the conclusions I came to:

  • I want to organise my stash lots better: put similar fabrics together
  • Use my stash app Clothio for lots more fabrics than so far
  • Measure the lengths of my fabrics properly
  • Put remnants and odd pieces aside
  • Examine each fabric thoroughly to get rid of tat
  • Put aside fabrics I can use for toiles/muslins
  • Look over my project ideas list to check my earmarked fabrics
  • Keep going on developing TnT patterns
  • Keep my self-drafted patterns in better order
  • Go through the fabric fibre bible I bought at the V&A
  • Chuck non-viable UFOs to lighten the load
  • Resign myself that I won't use most of my fabrics (sneef)
  • Use a specific fabric as starting point for the project
  • Get on with it: I can only learn from doing, even if badly. More sewing is the answer to so many different problems!

Ooh, I've had more ideas on practical ways of doing something with and about my stash. That feels very helpful. I want to really take hold of that last point: just get on with it!

I shall report back about how it's going.

PS: There is perhaps one more insight that just occurred to me: I don't want to use up a very special fabric on a pattern that I'm not sure of. I would rather sew that pattern with a less special fabric (it also reduces a bit of my stash) and perhaps make it a second time, than 'waste' the special length. I would be too heart-broken to find the pattern/fabric combo was awful. And you get more of a feeling of achievement out of a successful project even if the material used wasn't the most loved one.


  1. This is a good summary - I don't have any organisation for my fabric stash.
    The other day I had forgotten which fabrics I had pre-washed and it always takes me ages to find fabric. Another thing that I would like to do is record how much fabric I have purchased. Recently I have found that I have a certain fabric in mind for a pattern, but it turns out that there is not enough of it which is annoying.

  2. I'm still working on mine too! I did have a notebook system which worked fairly well, but I let it get out of date... I stapled a little swatch of anything new into it, then wrote down where it came from and how much of it there was. I saw a system that I might try instead though - someone had made little index cards with space for a swatch, the amount, whether she'd prewashed it yet, fibre type, washing info and what she'd made from it (if anything). She then had them all by fibre type in index boxes to flip through - when she decided on a pattern to use for a particular fabric, she took out the relevant card and put it with the pattern.