Fabric Stash-Busting.

How do you buy fabric? Do you only buy with a specific project in mind? Or, like me, do you get seduced by texture and print and end up lugging bags of it home on the bus?

A combination of impulse purchases, sentimentality and not wanting to throw anything away means  I have loads of excess fabric. Far, far too much. Some from Australia, some from London. Some actually still IN Australia (sorry Mum!) but most of it lies idle and neglected in horrible, pink, plastic tubs in the corner of the living room. Oh, how I hate those plastic bins.  It’s difficult to see what I’ve got in there without tipping everything out and they are so very, very ugly. I just hate them.

I don’t know what possessed me but a couple of weeks ago I decided to go through all the fabric I had and take an inventory. It is very unlike me to be so organised so I imagine I must have been ill or something. It took me ages but I dutifully measured and folded and categorised and noted down the contents of those bins. Then I lost my notes.

I discovered that I have a lot of really lovely stuff from Australia.

And lots of lovely stuff from London.

And that’s not even half of it. I have large pieces that have been untouched since I brought them home, decent-sized scraps, small scraps, cheap fabric, expensive fabric, itchy fabric, satins, lining, sheers, sequins, stuff I hate, stuff I love but am too scared to start cutting.

The outcome of all this is that I’ve decided that this fabric needs to be used. As part of my “buy less” in 2013 project I plan to get through the fabric I have rather than buying it and set out a couple of rules for myself.

1 No more buying fabric unless there is a specific gift I’ve planned.

2 Buying notions (zips, elastic, interfacing) is OK as long as it is bought for a specific purpose.

3 Pre-wash everything (this weather better sort itself out before I start getting on with this!)

4 Get rid of all those small scraps if they haven’t been used by the end of the year.

5 When this challenge is over, buy smart. Nothing that wrinkles, no itchy stuff, no cheap-looking stuff.

6 Austerity times. Austerity colour blocking.

Now to ruin my day by watching the UK budget announcement.


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------> smittenness@gmail.com
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6 Responses to Fabric Stash-Busting.

  1. Great post – I get seduced by the fabric and buy about a metre – but then never have quite enough to make what I want!

    • smittenness says:

      I have a lot of those one metre wonders too. I just fall in love too easily. I always think I’ll be able to colour block them but it’s never as easy as it seems, trying to match the weight is fabrics is such a headache.

  2. Gjeometry says:

    Oh My!! These fabrics are gorgeous! I love the florals and the birds. I’m having a giveaway on my blog to celebrate the Equinoxes (vernal and autumnal, depending on your whereabouts) if you are interested. Let me know what you are going to make with that red and blue bird fabric, would love to see it transformed into something. Oh, I have a tip, too, when I wash fabric, I put a little sticker on it before I put it back in the stash. That way I don’t have to keep thinking and smelling it and wondering, did I wash it? I think so. No, did I?? Etc. Lol.

  3. sewexhausted says:

    You have some awesome fabrics in your stash! I can see you will be making many wonderful things! My stash is loaded in to green and blue plastic tubs- and half of it is up in the rafters where I can’t get to it. I am thinking to myself I sure would like to go through it! I too NEED to stash bust. Happy sewing! 🙂 ~Laurie

  4. smittenness says:

    I’m trying to work through some of it this week, getting there, but I keep getting distracted. I think i have about three or four things on the go now. My living room is in chaos! Pins everywhere, scissors. Just asked the bf “You don’t mind that it’s messy?” He said “What’s messy?”. Ah, bless.

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