Thursday, May 22, 2014

Does Your Stash Ever Overwhelm You?

So...I had the dress pseudo-fail.
Then the Lekala top fail.

Then I wore my M6519 top yesterday and remembered how much I love that top. I made that a few months after I started sewing and it's not perfect but the challis is so perfectly comfortable. I remembered I had a pretty teal jewel-toned rayon challis (Hancock) in the stash. I pulled it out, cut the pattern, sewed the seams (only shoulder seams and side seams) and tried it on.

Huge. Colossal. Tent like.

Huh?


The latest fits NOTHING like any of these. NOTHING. It's huge. And long. It's extra long(?).

AAAARRRGHHHHHHHHHH.

I just need to take it in a bit here and there but it frustrated me. So when I get frustrated with projects, I go clean and organize my room.

There's this
There a LOT of patterns on that cutting table. Way too many.

I had too many things out as "in progress". I can't have 15 patterns in progress. So I pulled them all out and I will put them away until it's their time to be made.

Today I picked up two cheap-o totes because I wanted to put my scraps in one and have a rule that once that bucket is full, they need to be weeded out. I really try not to have leftover fabric unless it's a basic, e.g. black ponte or suiting or white knit. So I don't generate a ton of scraps...but it's hard for me to get rid of big pieces.

Well, this started me down a path of organizing fabric bins.

Coating/jacket fabric 

Shirt/dress/skirt(?) weight fabric

"lighter" weight knits

Heavier knits

Bottom weight

Bottom weight

And there is a bin with fleece and flannel. And there is a box of lining fabrics. And there is a box of "I need to do something to make this wearable but I don't know what and I am not certain that I should even hang on to it but I can't get rid of it just yet"

I had a few, "OH! I forgot about that" moments while organizing. Now, I do not get the warm fuzzies when I find a piece of fabric I completely forgot about. It makes me feel  bad!!! So I am really going to try to not buy any fabric for awhile and to sew from stash. I have more summer sewing plans but know not to go haywire because it is MN after all...

So I'm going to regroup and try to be productive this long holiday weekend.

Soooo, do you stash? Do you get overwhelmed or giddy when you assess the stash? 

47 comments:

  1. Yes, Nakisha, I do stash! I stash fabric for apparel, fabric for quilting and yarn for crocheting. I try to manage it all by keeping charts of want I actually own to avoid overwhelming myself.

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    1. I did kick myself after the fact like...I should have been taking swatches as I rearranged things!

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  2. I have been totally frustrated with sewing this week! I destroyed the Swoon cardigan I was making (there is no recovery from this disaster) and I made a maxi knit skirt that was way too small. Fail. Fail. As a result, I have been organizing too! But, I bought more fabric so that may have something to do with it!

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    1. OMG Annie I am like...WHY? WHY!!!!!!? AND do you know I forgot that I have an order on the way from FabricMart?! For shame.

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  3. Been there. Yes, I get overwhelmed, and I get that same sad, guilty feeling when I come across a piece of fabric I'd completely forgotten about. Making a photo list of all my stash helped, but I've added fabrics since I made the list in December that I haven't photographed, so I feel out of control again. :-(

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  4. Yes I stash! Not a huge stash but it's grown quite a bit lately with a fabric store closing. Locally there is only Fabricland chain stores for fabric now and quality is a little hit and miss. I do like having a certain amount of fabric on hand so I have some choices for sewing.

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    1. Now, I do enjoy stashing -vs buying on a per project basis. It has really helped when I "needed" to sew or wanted something specific - bam. I had what I needed on hand.

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  5. I think the longer you collect, the better you become at collecting the types of fabric that you will sew. That's because you've learned what works for you and what you like to sew. Once you reach that stage, your collection becomes a delight, at least for me!

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    1. That is a perfect point, Carolyn!! I find myself gravitating more to certain fabric types, when I used to just buy the fabric I thought was unique or pretty, regardless of the fabric content. I would really love to reach the stage of delightful sewing : )

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    2. I agree with both of you!

      This really opened a new 'can of worms' because yes, I have stuff that I bought for the price or because it was pretty and really...it's not something I could see as a garment on ME.

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    3. My stashing now is delightful. In the past I have brought because of color or price etc and realized when I pull it out it will not be a garment on me. When I have that revelation I immediately donate the fabric to some worth cause -t he local school sewing class etc.

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  6. I was starting to. And as a beginner, there is no need for me to be stashing as hard as I am. So the other night, I took all of my "summer" fabrics out, put them on the table and matched them with all of the summer clothes patterns I have. I made a sew list to last me til the beginning of september lol #destash #destash!

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    1. See, I cannot do that! I have tried to pair fabric and patterns and it feels like a sentence! LOL! I have to go with the flow

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  7. Mine is beginning to, mainly because of storage limitations. My ability to envision future projects far exceeds my ability to sew said projects up (I'm sloww). However, I still love to look through my fabric and imagine the possibilities. One thing I don't tend to do is to precut projects. This is because sometimes I change my mind about what I want to do with the fabric. Also, after I finish something, I love the feeling that now I am free to sew whatever tickles my fancy at the moment. I have no prior obligations (except to sew some of this fabric up:)

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    1. Agreed about precutting. I have had one piece of fabric "becoming" 5 different things.

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  8. I have felt better about my stash every since Carolyn (of DIary of a Sewing Fanatic) taught me to use the work Collection instead. It gives it a purposeful tone that "stash" simply doesn't possess! Sure you'll make it out of your sewing doldrums soon. Nothing like a spring clean to get you back in the swing.

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    1. Fabric collector!
      Fabric connoisseur!

      yes. yes!

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  9. Yes to all of it. I stash, but I LOVEEEEEEE beautiful fabric. My problem is throwing away the scraps. I am always thinking, oh I can use that for something else. Maybe as a small fill in this or that and it never happens.

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  10. I agree with Carolyn. The only time that my stash is a problem is when it out grows its storage space. It is a great resource when I need something to wear. Right now I'm building a new work wardrobe and almost all of the fabric is coming from the stash.

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    1. Nice Towanda!

      That's half of my problem. I could easily buy and have space for 4-6 more storage bins! O_o

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  11. I agree with Carolyn too! I definitely stash but I have learned what I like and what I don't like. I think for now I've got to put away all of the heavy double knits that I love in cooler weather and just leave out the summer fabrics - it's going to be 95 degrees tomorrow and 97 this Saturday so I'm focusing on lighter fabrics for the rest of the summer!

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    1. Oh gosh. I hate hot. I know I complain about the winter but that's because it lasts 6 months. 95?!?! Good grief. I'm good with 70! LOL!!!

      I definitely have to learn to buy what will work for me. Like right now I realized I haven't made a lot of woven tops because I don't like MOST of what I have! I need to purge that bin.

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  12. I stash. I did a huge weed-out when we moved last summer, and then donated another 50 yards a few months ago. I definitely had a few giddy "I forgot about this fabric" moments going through the stash, but I also finally felt okay with parting with a bunch of "what was I thinking" fabric that I'd bought in my first couple of years of sewing, before I was really in tune with what I enjoyed sewing AND wearing. (Some pieces that were donated were perfectly fine, but I realized that I probably wouldn't wear a garment made with them very much.)

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    1. I need to do that. I know there are several things hanging out in these totes that aren't "me" and won't get made any time soon.

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  13. I have a relatively small stash- two medium large plastic totes- which is fun to look at and imagine what to make next. But, for whatever reason when my stash gets too big, it kind of weighs me down. I'm that way with our home, too. Also i tend to save fabric that I really love for when I find the perfect pattern, or because I think I need to finish what i bought before it, and then sometimes never get around to sewing it. That makes me sad. I think my limit is about 1 1/2 totes, so I'm sewing down my stash right now.

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    1. See, that's the part I need to get back to. Being able to picture a piece of fabric in the stash and imagine it's possibilities!

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  14. OMG the stash. I love surfing the net for fabric, sewing it not so much. One thing I do which is helpful: when I finish the garment I keep the leftover fabric until I start the next garment. Then the old leftovers go into the trash, no matter how much fabric is left (unless I can make a tennis skirt of it). Beautiful fabric, but bye bye, there is plenty more on my shelves. The fabric which weighs me down so much is that really expensive stuff which I don't think I have the skills for yet...it's not just there to pet, for heaven's sake!

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    1. I need to do this especially with printed knits. I cannot make a new thing those scraps! Yet I keep them. And keep them. And... :)

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    2. Ooh, this is a great tip! I have bags full of scraps I can't bear to part with.

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  15. Ah, stash. Yeah, I have that. I really only find it overwhelming when I am stuck sewing skating commissions for other people (January-August) and don't have much time to whittle it down making things for myself. When I am sewing for me I love it. I tend to have a list of "to-make" projects in the back of my mind, and when the whim strikes and moves said project to the forefront, bam! I have the fabric, I have the pattern, I have the mojo. Love my stash. Just wish I could turn it into wearable clothes faster, because I have so many beautiful fabrics that I want to be able to use instead of just look at. I might be nearing my storage capacity, but hopefully after skating season is done I can turn the fabric storage problem into a closet storage problem ;-)

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    1. Ooooh. That is the hard part isn't it? Having enough time to turn those flat folds into 3D! :)

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  16. It overwhelms me when it doesn't fit in the fabric closet. Which is really a closet and a half.

    Last year was my "no fabric left behind" tour. It did not make me feel good at all to see it piled up against the wall! There is a sense that I've lost control when it's that much.

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    1. "No fabric left behind"! LOL!!!!!!!! Love it!

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  17. When i started sewing I made sure that I did not buy fabric unless I know what I am going to make. But i get overwhelmed when the fabric just sit there unfinished when I know what they are supposed to be. So no matter what you do you can still feel overwhelmed. Ps: you can always send fabric my way! Lol!

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    1. Oooh that's interesting too! That you don't stash a lot and still get overwhelmed.

      Hahaha! I do plan to purge. Maybe I'll purge via the blog.

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  18. What works for me is handling leftovers. I can save (and have a sorted place for: any lining bits. Interfacing bits. I make bias tape from leftover cotton/silk pieces (like mark/cut/sew/iron/roll up and store) and I Throw The Other Stuff Away. If it's pretty and funny and I have a deep deep need to use it for an interior pocket on a shirt in the near event horizon, it gets stuffed into the pattern for that item (I have a horrid love of novelty cotton prints and I've been making a lot of jeans and will make more at the end of the summer).

    The stash...not so well handled. Let's not bring it up again.

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    1. "deep deep need" - YES! :)

      Ok...we won't talk about the stash again...

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  19. My partner remarked he didn't realise I had so much fabric when my sewing cupboard doors were left open. I can't seem to stop buying fabric. I feel a bit anxious when it doesn't all fit and stays in the shopping bag.

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    1. After all this, I got palpitations this morning when I got the FabricMart sale email. Good grief!

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  20. My stash doesn't stress me, because some of it was my grandma's and its all nice stuff. I think of how much I appreciate using nice fabric, and it's not so bad. What scares me though, is the thought that someday, someone else my sew with my stash! Then I pick something and get going. I don't want my children thinking I might be a hoarder, too. : )

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  21. Your stash doesn't look that bad. I think all sewist has various stashes: a visible nice fabric stash, a scrap stash and a secret UFO stash. My stash is embarrassing but I have really resisted buying fabrics for the last couple of years that it`s actually starting to dwindle down a bit. But I have a long way to go. Have fun this weekend with your reorganizing!

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  22. Your stash is beautifully neat and tidy, and looks quite modest in my opinion! I like your weeding out rule too. I think I should adopt it too :)

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  23. I am in the midst of a move and realized the full size of my stash. It's a beautiful collection and I enjoy having it, but the size is overwhelming. I've only moved 1/3 of it to Boulder with me and will assess the rest of it later.

    One of my friends in Boulder has a similar figure and coloring so she will get some of my excess. Another friend has a different build and coloring and will get the stuff that is more appropriate for her than me. The rest will be given away in LA or brought to Boulder incrementally.

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  24. I am still a fairly new sewist, and had stashed fabric that I now know I will never sew, so I use it as muslin fabric. I too have problems with holding on to larger scraps of knit fabric, I keep thinking to myself I could a little skirt out of it for my youngest, or even some barbie clothes lol. I ended up donating a lot of the scrap pile to my youngest daughter's kindy for use in their craft projects. Meanwhile if I see great fabric now on sale.. I have to snap it up. Our options are bit more limited in Australia and great fabric is more often then not very expensive. A little stashing is in order :)

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  25. I have my fabric in bins like you I need to get to sewing though I have four plus my shelves are full.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one; even if I don't have time to respond back!