Saturday, 9 March 2013

My Fabric Stash: The Whole Truth


Oh my goodness. I barely know where to start. Ok, no I do know where to start: by explaining what is happening in these pictures. This week Patty and I moved into a lovely bigger flat that has, wait for it..., a small sewing room! If I were the type to 'squee', I would be 'squee-ing' now. But because the new flat is also more expensive, I have sadly had to leave my lovely desk space at Super+Super HQ. Fear not, I'm still firmly up in their business, they can't shake me that easily. 

But what these things have led to, is the regrouping of all my sewing and pattern cutting equipment, including sewing patterns, notions and fabric all in one place for the first time since, umm, 2007 or something. Jeez there's a lot of it. AND I had a big clear out recently. Anyways. Whilst the rest of the room isn't quite sorted yet or ready for photos, my fabric stash has been collated and organised. Fancy a look? Firstly, for some reference, I must explain that this set of shelves is the same height as me. 


Starting from the bottom shelf (pictured above), on the left there we have all the double-knit, most of which is synthetic. The majority of it consists of solid shade pieces: navy, black, red and maroon. There's also some navy/white and black/white striped pieces. On the right there is a pile of garments which are lined up either for refashioning or for the fabric to be harvested. 


Second from the bottom (pictured above) is the jersey shelf! Oh my there's a lot there isn't there?! LOTS of lovely prints (including anchors, birds, floral and leopard), lots of stripes and a few bits of solid shades. There's quite a mixture of qualities too, from weighty pieces with heavy elastane content, to lighter more drapey pieces probably destined for batwing tops.


Next up is the most over-populated shelf (pictured above): wovens. There are a few pieces of trouser-weigth pieces on here, but most of it is lighter top and blouse weight pieces. Very few of them are big enough to get a dress out of, unfortunately, and as you can see there are SO. MANY. PRINTS. This shelf kind of gives me a headache to look at!


Last but not least is the 'top shelf material'! Hahahaha! I'm so funny. The above picture is my vintage fabric stash. This section has been curated pretty carefully, it's all thriller no filler. There are a few curtains plus some nice bits of cotton big enough for blouses, but also lots of smaller pieces that are perhaps destined to be bags or cushion covers. The lace on the right isn't vintage, but I ran out of space on the other shelves. 

'Very nice, Zoe', you may be thinking, 'Looks pretty neat and tidy, if a bit excessive'. But wait, I did promise the whole truth: 


This is what currently lurks round the corner behind the door! The bit of the lovely workroom that never gets on Pinterest! Yep, these bags contain more garments for refashioning, old knitwear for making into mittens, scraps of jersey only big enough for making pants, scraps of pretty woven stuff too small for garment projects, interfacing and Craftaganza supplies. AGH! Tell me everyone has a corner like this? Tell me this is the reality of craft!

It is frustrating that a lot of my fabric (having been sourced second hand) is in smaller pieces, thus limiting it's use. But seriously, I clearly have A LOT of it, in fact I have all the damn fabric I should ever need! Now I can see it all in one place together, I am more committed than ever to my Stash Bustin' pledge. How many years do you think it would take to sew through all this? And what about YOU? How does the size of your stash compare? 

25 comments:

Rosie Martin said...

Thanks for showing your FULL fabric stash Zoe - this makes me feel better about my looming, excessive pile! I vowed to myself that I wouldn't buy a single piece of new fabric until I had busted some of the pile but..... This very afternoon I broke my promise-to-self. Fabric is irresistible! Have fun working through your stash. Rosie xx

mideva said...

your stash ain't got nothin on mine,having worked at ba fabric store for five years or so,I have over 30 totes at last count(I shop my garage when I need fabric).About half is organised.Then theres the refashhion piles.I blame it on being born in the year of the rat.

Stevie said...

Congrats on the move lovely lady! After moving and getting a bigger sewing room, I am still in the process of working out my stash. I just ordered an Expedit from Ikea to curate it properly. I love my stash but it could be reduced a little this year. Damn fabric is just too damn pretty! Good luck! x

EmSewCrazy said...

Oh Zoe! We all have this problem! If you want to see my mess I blogged about it here: http://tumbleweedsinthewind.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-personal-stashbusting-plans.html
I also realized since then I have a couple small totes that are full of small fabric pieces as well that I had forgotten to photograph. My piles aren't even organized either.
If that doesn't work check out our flickr group. There are a bunch of stash pictures on there that will put your stash in perspective.
I don't know how long it will take to work through it all. I've had to tell myself to focus on the project at hand so I don't get drowned or sidetracked by the sheer amount of stuff.

badmomgoodmom said...

My stash is bigger, but I'm older and haven't moved in 15 yrs. Lately, it has overflowed my sewing room so I need to pare it down.

Catherine said...

Just so you don't feel so bad......mine is a much bigger stash than yours ... Let me think...
Box 1 - wovens
Box 2 & 3 - wool coatings
Box 4 - jersey stretch fabrics
Box 5 - zips elastic general detritus
Box 6 - lingerie supplies
Box 7 - fleece fabrics
Box 8 - random scraps of stuff
Box 9 - cant remember
Box 10 - white fabrics for dying (not nec for dressmaking)

Erm faintly worrying when I type it out ... Also makes me realise that i have too much coat fabric and really need to start sewing some coats rather than just thinking about it!!
Am busy churning through stash fabric for things though :)

Helen said...

Oh I am SOOO jealous that you have a sewing room! This is amazing!

I have to say, yours is bigger than mine, but mine is in similar disarray and yes I have carrier bags and more carrier bags full of wee "bits", primarily leftover after projects that I can't bear to throw out. It drives my husband insane!

Good luck working through it!

flossieft said...

I think everyone who loves fabric has the secret part of their stash that doesn't fit nicely on the shelves. Thanks for sharing yours. My stash has also over flowed its storage. I tried top re-sort it the other day but it just felt like I was moving chairs on the titanic...kind of pointless.

Donna said...

I have the crazy bag corner too, have no fear!

Jano said...

From the replies it looks as though we all have a secret pile of extras- mine are a combination of UFOs, small scraps and odds and sods. I'm trying not to buy anything else but am finding as I get smarter about what I sew (ie trying to fill gaps in my wardrobe rather than flight of fancy sewing) I don't have the fabric I need to make these items up (like wool for a jacket etc).

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

How exciting to finally have space!!!

Marie said...

Don't worry, my stash would give your stash a good run for its money Zo! I often marvel at the fact that I'll probably never get through it as there aren't enough hours in a day or years in a lifetime. But, it's something to aim for I guess ;o) It must be lovely having a dedicated sewing space in your new place...hurray!

Emily said...

My stash is pretty under control but the drawer of scraps is getting dangerously full. I'm a relatively new sewist and want to know how small does a scrap have to get before i can throw it away without feeling guilty?

Sarah said...

Fear not, I have a closet much like your corner, only mostly crammed in boxes instead of bags (or bags crammed inside of boxes). I like to hope that it is unavoidable when one is crafty :)

Minnado said...

Congrats on the new flat Zoe. And a sewing room!! How exciting. My stash is awful. I have one drawer in a chest of drawers in the living room, a set of small plastic drawers in the dining room with a wooden box of scraps on top, a storage box under the bed,notions are in boxes on some thrifted shelves in the dining room. More inherited reels of lace trims in the bottom of my wardrobe Then various bits shoved in with the bed linen. And in the past two months I have got rid of a bin bag sized bag of scraps and fabric I was given and would never use. Nearly all my stash is wovens, and it has grown as I am clearing my mum's stash slowly each time I visit her as she cannot sew anymore due to illness. She has a sewing room full and I seem to be transplanting it from her house to mine! I am trying to sew it up and still keep your stash bustin posts from a couple of years ago in mind. xx

J said...

Looks a lot like my yarn stash! You probably have a better chance of using all your fabric than I do knitting all of my yarn since knitting is way slower. And it doesn't really help that I've gotten into sewing again lately so I'm seeing a similar picture in the future for me... Good luck with the stash bustin'! Having a sewing room will help! :)

joellestlaurent said...

It is weird for me to be a bit jealous of your stash? I cant count on my fingers the number of pieces of fabric I own... but I'm working on it!

gingermakes said...

Oh gosh, my stash is the same way! I have everything neatly rolled up and tucked into drawers designated for each weight (top, dress, and bottom)... except for the 5 or so bags of stuff that don't fit in the dresser! :)

Happy new home! Hope you and Pat feel all nested in soon!

Mary Katherine Parker said...

I know why my stash exists. Does anyone else experience spasms of anxiety that the pattern and preparation are not worthy of the fabric? Just sayin'....

Stephanie said...

I think we're about the same! I'm really trying to whittle mine down. I have a tendency to buy crazy fabrics when I mostly wear neutrals.

At least you're organized!

Jo Campbell said...

Hi, my name is Jo and I'm an addict! I have 10 under bed storage boxes, 9 larger storage boxes, about 10 different fabrics on rolls (between 5m and 20m on each) and several bags full. Admittedly some of that is yarn and fibres plus some of the fabric is upholstery weight. I also have 4 sewing machines (3 vintage) and an overlocker. Worst of all, I don't have a sewing room. But I do now have a cupboard with a wheel out computer desk as my sewing table.

Veronica Darling said...

Oh babes, I might need to match you for the 'whole truth' of my sewing room. It's a freaking disaster! Congrats on the sewing room, and I bet you'll be making AMAZING things in there! x

Lovenicky said...

Thanks for showing us your stash.Oh my stash is twice yours and twice worse! Yours actually looked very neat and organized comparing to mine. I haven't bought fabric for a couple of years now and I haven't used up even 20% of what I had accumulated. And my stashes are all over the house in various closets, drawers and garbage bags. I just hope that I can continue to not buy any new fabrics for the next 5 years.

Karen said...

The corner that cannot be shown is the reality of every workroom I've ever seen, including mine. I have a 4X8 worktable with a quilt over part of it, and guess what's hiding underneath? More bags like that, scraps and bits and things to be taken apart. Don't worry, you're completely normal.

Hanne Dusterwald said...

11x 60L rolly bins + about another 4x 60L rolly bins worth in a cupboard. 2x 60L rolly bins with thread (given to me by an ex out worker machinist from whom I bought my industrial flatlock). 1x Shoe Box of buttons, 1x 10L box of zippers, 1x 35L box of precut bias tape in various chiffons that I will never be able to handle sewing.

Plus some totes and other bags of random bits and pieces.
And that's just sewing stuff, that doesn't even begin to cover the jewellery making, knitting and crocheting stuff...
I'll post a blog about it at some stage.

And instead of stash busting I always just end up going on buying trips to the nicer fabric stores in a city about 2 hours drive away, to "get some inspiration". I always come back with the best intentions and another 60L rolly bin worth of fabrics...

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