Back in September, I decided my fabric stash was beginning to get out of control, and that it was time to take action. I was accumulating fabric faster than I was sewing it up and it was making a very definite hole in my wallet.
So I began a stash diet, and I made myself a promise:
- I wouldn’t buy any more fashion fabric in 2016
- I would sew the garments for which I already had both the fabric and the pattern.
The first thing that happened after that was that I went to #sewbrum – a sewing meet up of over 100 fabric-hungry sewists, complete with a tour of Birmimgham’s best fabric shops. Nightmare. But I stood firm and (possibly for the first time ever) didn’t succumb to the delights of Guthrie & Ghani’s shelves.
What’s surprised me is that I’ve actually enjoyed it.
Working through my stash and completing some of the projects I’d had planned for a long time (Fifi pyjamas, Fairfield shirt, Christmas pudding pyjama bottoms) has been really satisfying. And because it’s so long since I bought some of these fabrics it feels a bit like getting free clothes.
It’s forced me to confront the stuff at the bottom of my stash and assess whether or not I’m ever going to use it. One or two pieces have made their way to charity shops, and I’ve spent time thinking about how I’m going to use the rest.
There’s been a psychological change too. It felt liberating to just delete all those emails that tried to tempt me with 20% off Liberty prints or 15% off wool coating. Once I’d said I wasn’t buying any more fabric , I no longer had an excuse to browse for it online. My fear of missing out began to lessen, and I stopped trying to examine and assess all the possibilities.
When you’re passionate about a particular hobby, it’s easy to fall into the trap of accumulating stuff related to that hobby rather than actually doing things within that hobby.
That hit home. I often say I’d like more time to sew. So why am I spending all this time buying fabric and browsing fabric rather than actually sewing?
So my 2017 stash resolutions are:
- Not to buy fabric faster than I can use it – for me, that’s one piece a month.
- To start thinking about my pattern purchases in the same way. Half price patterns, or the latest indie sensation is definitely not a bargain if I never get around to sewing it. Unless it’s a rare vintage pattern, it WILL be there in six months when I actually have time to sew it.
- To spend less time browsing fabrics online and use that time to actually sew things!
Have you resolved to sew your stash this year? What’s the best approach for you?