Monday, 30 January 2012

Fabric stash management and burdensome fabric

I have entered most of my January sewing in the pattern review fabric stash challenge. The conditions are that fabric must have been in your posession since June,or maybe July 2011. In my fabric collection, this purchase date would make the fabric practically a new purchase.
I rarely sew fabric straight away.
It has to sit in my collection for a while until I find a project that is just right for it.
This may be because I mostly buy fabric over the internet, or on rare trips (once or twice a year) to a large city with fabric shops.
I buy up big on these visits.
It may also be because I love fabric. I like having an extensive collection so that if I think "I fancy a new batiste print dress" I have several fabrics sitting right in my cupboard waiting for such an opportunity.
Majority of fabric collection
I would hardly sew anything if I had to wait to buy the fabric.
However, I do have some problems with stash management. I buy considerably more silk and wool than I sew, and I am always running out of woven cottons for shirts, blouses, dresses and shorts etc for my children. I have been working on this by giving myself permission to buy as much cotton as I like since about October. This was rather expensive, so I have withdrawn this permission until I go to New South Wales in April. I should be able to sew from stash until then.

This year is the year of silk sewing. Wool, well, maybe I will try to hold off on buying woven wool fabric until stash balance is restored. This will be tricky.

Nothing I have entered so far in the Pattern Review stash challenge was purely to use up fabric. Unless it is truly revolting internet surprise material, I would rather save my fabric.
This leads to a fabric problem. When I finish a project, and have might=be-useful pieces left over, I keep them.
They are invariably too small to make garments, and only so much crafty stuff can be done with these scraps. They become burdensome and take up too much room.
I have been purging the stash. I sent quilting suitable pieces to my mother (I don't quilt), my husband has a lot of new rags for his shed, and yesterday I made some purely-to-use-up=fabric double sided placemats.
Ridiculously, there was not even enough flannel/polar fleece fabric to make 8 the same. I need to get over this might=be-useful issue.
I will work on my silk dress whilst I think about it.


Kyle said...

Your stash looks TOTALLY manageable! Is the purpose of rolling to reduce wrinkles? space? some other reason?

I give my scraps to the Girl Scouts. They seem to like receiving the scraps and I like getting rid of them--a win/win situation!!!

shams said...

Your stash looks pretty tame to me! I hear you on the problem of buying fabrics that don't really fit into one's lifestyle/climate. I don't tend to buy silks, as tempting as they can be, because I don't really wear silks. I do wear wool coats in my chilly climate.

But what I seem to always need are good knits for tops and good stretch wovens or stable knits for bottoms. Can't get enough of those. :)

Carolyn said...

I know exactly what you mean. This may have been me writing this, actually... I am on a mission to purge myself of scraps too, and have been managing this quite well. But sometimes I feel I would like to give myself permission to use the nice pieces of fabric too. I guess I am thinking of them as my "reward" for when I have used up the scraps; delayed gratification, if you like.
(It's funny, I've been planning a blog post on this subject too!)

Carol said...

I actually threw out a bunch of scraps recently AFTER hauling them all the way to Tasmania. I struggle with cutting into some of the pieces in my stash because I worry I haven't chosen the 'right' project. I notice that I buy way more prints than plains. I think I need help.

Anonymous said...

I have a big problem with those little scraps. Especially since I make doll clothes. Most of the scraps are unsuitable for that as well...

Janine said...

Thanks for a peek at your stash - It looks pretty decent without being a SABLE. YOu must use your silks or else I suspect your DDs will one day. I keep my scraps too - they come in handy even if it is a decade later but they do seem to breed somehow.

Anonymous said...

Your stash would be small by American standards. I consider myself to have a small stash, and it's about the same as yours.

This may sound wasteful, but silk makes a fabulous lining fabric. Garments lined with silk are just wonderful to wear. Try it, maybe starting with some silk you may have that's a strange color.

velosewer said...

I would also not survive if I had to wait to shop when starting a new project. You have developed a managable stash.

Ruth said...

Oh silk and wool - my favourites. I'm just envious of the space you have to hold a stash. Like your mats though, it's trendy now not to have all the place settings matching.

Mary Nanna said...

Just catching up on my holiday reading. So envious of your trip down South! I hope Dunedin turned on some unseasonably warm weather for you (unseasonably because it is never warm). Looks like you had a very energetic holiday! All that tramping! Brings back memories (horrid food, loud snorer next to me in the bunk and aching joints kind of memories, the best kind to make me enjoy the supermarket shopping and my mattress!)

Looks like you did yourself proud at Global. I hope your merino sports knit (with poly backing) works out well - I've had mixed success in terms of quality on ones I have purchased in the past and the price point you mention makes me wonder... the others will be superb though and they are in colours that will surely flatter your warm complexion.

Still 3 cheers for more silk and more wool garments ! I am a little sad that Auckland's winter is too limp wristed to enable me to make a real wool coat. I didn't wear either of my ones at all this year...meep!

Still, I'm sure you'll come up with something very clever... and if not, I know that you don't let a little thing like climate get in the way (channelling leather jacket here)