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Monday, April 15, 2013

Fabric Stashing and Pattern Hoarding - Who's Guilty?


Lovely Aisha (www.sewcouture.blogspot.com) posted a blog yesterday called "The Plight of the Project Clingers". 

This post made me wonder how many of us suffer from this or related sewing syndromes.  I certainly do, and while I don't have Project Clinginess, I do suffer from Sewing Idea Itis - where I have a sort of inflamed idea mechanism in my brain, that generates far more in the way of ideas of clothes to make, than I could ever have time to sew (unless of course I became totally self absorbed and neglected everything else I have to do in life - which is tempting, but my disease is not quite that developed as yet).

So, I hoard ideas in the way of patterns.  Lots of them.  In magazines:




And as standard commercial patterns from Vogue, McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, New Look and Kwik Sew.  I haven't ventured further afield into independent pattern companies - although Marfy sorely tempts me (in magazine and pattern form).

I have my patterns neatly filed away, but slowly they come back out in the form of ideas again.  Eventually the basket gets full, the patterns get filed away, and then the process starts again.



Of course, every idea needs fabric, for the garment that you will quickly make between today and tomorrow.  And sometimes fabric begats ideas, so you just have to have it, less the idea and fabric never be seen again.



I always keep my stash in neat order - this is the surplus, for, you guessed it, the current crop of ideas, that may or may not come to fruition.  The rest is neatly stored in containers, unless it needs hanging - and the hanging stash goes in a wardrobe.

I even have my stash catalogued, or I would never know what is in it. 




I would love to be one of these people that has a limited stash, and unlimited sewing time, an easy to fit body, and have all the projects organised for a month actually started and completed by the deadline.

What sort of sewer are you ? Do you stash fabrics and hoard patterns?  How do you manage your ideas and do you manage to translate them to sewing reality?  And do you have any idea why you stash?

I also wonder if we should form a stashers anonymous association to support and encourage one another to actually use the stash.  Because I am sure it is an addiction - how many times have you said NO to the stash, only to give in to the impulse and buy more fabric for the stash?  (ditto patterns - the two addictions co-exist).

Do have a good week everyone, whether it be sewing or stashing!

Sarah Liz




29 comments:

  1. Your stash seems far more organized than mine! Mine frequently ends up unfolded on the floor as I toss around ideas. Like you, I have too many ideas, but not enough time.

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    1. Oh don't worry, I use the floor too! (It's really just a big table isn't it?).

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  2. Hands up, I am a stasher! Fabric, patterns, yarn, buttons, ribbon, 'stuff that might come in handy'! My only saving grace is I'm quite organised so I'm not knee deep in a mixture of bits and bobs - it is boxed and in categories. There is no way I have time for all the ideas that pop in my head so I do exactly as you do. You' re not alone - if you start a support group count me in! :)

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    1. Hi Jacq- I think you probably have all the qualifications for a foundation member :)

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  3. I'm a new sewer, but was completely blow away when I discovered $1 patterns by the Big 4! :) I have a lot of patterns, maybe 115. I think though, I'm already ready to start weeding some out. But I've got my mom and sister in law re-interested in sewing so I might gift some to them.

    I have a nice little fabric stash. Maybe a lot for a newbie, but not much compared to other stashers! Maybe 80-85 yards or so? Definitely more than I'll sew anytime soon! But I like having the options (I 'play' with my patters and fabrics all the time).

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    1. Hi, I quite understand your desire to play with patterns and fabrics - it's one of the great joys of life :)

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  4. I would call myself a mini-stasher, my husband may disagree. 1 box of fabric, 2 boxes of fabric scraps, and an ever growing basket of sewing patterns. I call it an organised chaos.I would love to use up my fabric box, but because there are not many places to buy fabric I tend to buy it when I see it.
    Like your little catalogue of fabrics, super organised.

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    1. Hi Louise, yes, I agree, it is hard to find fabric nowadays, so quite understand your stash rationale! My husband turns quite a blind eye when I bring another piece home to the stash!

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  5. What an excellent post.. you are so organized. I love your pattern storage system. It makes me want to work on mine.
    I am most definitely a fabric/pattern hoarder. I have a stash that is beyond reasonable. I have been "trying" to really use my stash and not do impulse buying.
    I think I need to work on "Judy's Logic of Hoarding".
    1- I see fabric on sale or at thrifts and of course, I need to buy it at that price.[just think what it would cost at regular price?]
    2- I see someone make a garment on a blog, fall in love with said garment.. and just have to have that pattern or fabric
    3-The fabric stores have sales.. of course I must go check it out, but promise myself, I am only going to look..[does that happen...rarely ever, ha]
    I have a closet with shelves built in [thank you to my sweet understanding my fabric/notions addiction hubby] So, I have my fabric folded on these shelves, I also have kitchen cabinets installed in my sewing room,[again thank you hubby] they store tons of fabric/notions/books. SO, I have a place for it all.
    But, with all this being said.. I totally enjoy sewing, dreaming of projects to come, and wishing for more sewing time.. And it is really nice to be able to go to the sewing/hoarding room and dream..
    Thank you for a fun post.

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    1. Hi - Ohh, there is nothing better than a stash that is beyond reasonable! And I think the logic you have laid out, is quite superb - I'm sure we stashers all follow it!

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  6. oh, I so relate to everyone here. One of the main concerns I have about my sewing is the amount of stuff it takes to have what I might need at any particular time. I have moved myself into the finished basement and now sew next to antlers and motorcycle gear!

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    1. Oh, so many of us are like that - there is nothing worse than contemplating a project only to find you haven't got the "whatever" you need. Your basement sounds superb!

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  7. Sarah, are you watching me. I've just finished checking the sale on a fabric website. Thanks for the help! Maybe, I'll vow to not look at fabric online for a month. Of course, I added the next view date to the calendar for next month.
    I have one notebook of patterns (a little over 100 patterns),one drawer in the file cabinet for patterns, three drawers for fabrics,and about 15 pieces of fabric hanging in the closet. I stash because of sales.
    I have a sewing section in a notebook with fabric receipts, fabric samples, blank sheets for ideas, and a calendar. On the calendar, I write on each date what is to be cut-out, what is to be sewn or repaired, ideas for blog postings etc. When each project is completed, I place a check mark on the date.
    It is a challenge trying to keep the stash under control. My goal is to keep stash items in the file cabinet.

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    1. Wow, Dorothy, I admire your dedication to stash organisation! I could learn one or two pointers from your approach :)

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  8. I also have too many ideas and not enough time to make them all. I should probably purge some patterns. i have 2 boxes full now that take up 1 bookcase shelf, but i figure as long as they all fit on that shelf it's alright. i should probably start a 1 in 1 out rule for fabric so i don't get overwhelmed. (for every 1 piece of stash fabric i use, i can buy 1 new piece)

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    1. Hi, yes, I am familiar with the 1/1 rule. Only I forgot to activate it myself! I like your stash storage logic :)

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  9. It actually surprises me just how quickly a stash can multiply! Just where did those 100's of spare unused buttons, zippers, reels of thread come from? What did I buy that fabric for originally? Questions for the Universe ...

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    1. Hi Judith, yes, I agree - I started with about 12 pieces less this year - so how did it grow???

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  10. We are all fabric/pattern/sewing book/notions ho's!

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    1. Hi Gwen, yes, I suspect you are correct!

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  11. I am definitely a hoarder of both patterns and fabric. I also am a bit of a computer geek so I organise my patterns and stash in Microsoft OneNote. This is also where I plan. OneNote syncs to my iPhone so that I can have my stash and patterns with me when shopping.

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    1. Oh BeaJay, I must follow your example - fancy a portable stash catalogue!

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  12. I am a collector. Yes, that's it...a collector of fabric and patterns. I have my very own Musee du Louvre.

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    1. Ahh, L, of course, that is what we do ---we collect, curate, preserve :)

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  13. Hi Sarah Liz! Thanks for visiting my blog. My name is Mary, aka Sewfast, and I am a fabric-aholic...I also hoard quite a few patterns as well. Nice to know there are more like me...

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    1. Hi Mary, it's a pleasure visiting your blog, looking forward to your next post. It seems we are in good company :)

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  14. Sarah Liz, If the patterns didn't go out of print so quickly, it would be easier to *not* buy them on first impulse! One of my autumn projects is to organize my fabric "resource center" -- because I just came across a few summer fabrics that I bought last summer, and now I won't sew them up til next summer! Thanks for this fun post.

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  15. That is very true Sandra - but then pattern companies are in the business of selling patterns, so we have to be aware of that and choose things that work for us - for many years :) I think we all are guilty of fabric stashing - there will be another summer though:0

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