The murky depths of my fabric stash…

After last year’s stash diet, I’m pleased to say that my fabric collection is back under control. I’ve set myself a rule, which is that I must not buy more fabric than I can manage to sew! I make an average of just over one garment a month, so I’ve restricted myself to buying just one new length of fabric a month. That leaves me some slack to work through my stash, and to do a bit of scrapbusting on the side.

Yesterday, I got the whole pile out and and tried to work out what’s been in there the longest. I pulled out three pieces that I’m calling the lurkers – fabric from the murky depths I’ve had for more than two years, and that I haven’t yet decided what to do with. I’m hoping you can help me with some suggestions!

Lurker number one


This is my oldest piece – it’s from my Grannie’s stash, which I acquired in 2012, but she probably picked it up decades ago in a remnant sale at a woollen mill. It’s a heavy navy blue wool tweed, and astoundingly, it was even made in England. There’s not enough for a coat, so I’m wondering about a jacket of some kind?

Width: 140cm

Length: 1.46m

Lurker number two


I bought this embroidered border denim in a pile-it-high fabric shop in Cheltenham two years ago, and it’s been there ever since. It’s not the best quality denim, but the main worry is that I’ve never worked with a border print/embroidered border before – how do I deal with the grainline? And how do I stop a garment made from this looking too, ummm… cowgirl?

With 150cm

Length: 1.5m

Lurker number three


This one has definite possibilities. It’s a heavy-ish wool crepe (yup, I did the burn test) of some kind that I bought at the Worcester Resource Exchange. I’d originally planned to make a Hollyburn skirt, but I don’t think there’s quite enough for my favourite knee-length version. Can you recommend a less fabric-hungry skirt pattern?

Width 146cm

Length: 1.4m

So there they are. How would you use any of these? And what’s lurking in the Mariana Trench of your stash?


  1. I was completely intrigued by the idea that two years in the stash was a long time…(The oldest piece in mine was the leftover from some curtains and an apron my grandmother made just before the War (WWII) which I acquired about 15 years ago.
    On to your fabrics: What about a moto style jacket? Maybe streamlined without all the hardware?
    Piece 2: remember that there are two grainlines, the very stable lengthwise and the only a tiniest bit less but still very stable crosswise. Other than that, what about a fabulous messenger bag or overnighter?
    Piece 3: Would there be enough for your Hollyburn with a little pattern tetris and using a second fabric for facing the hem, pockets and inside waistband?
    Finally, from the looks of it, the scraps of all three would work together in some sort of color blocked garment.


    • Wow – those curtains must be fabulous – do you have plans for them? I’ve got a older bits and pieces leftover from other projects but it’s the completely unused lengths that make me feel the most guilty and which prompt the most indecision. I love the idea of a moto jacket for the blue wool – I’ve got Butterick B6169, but I think this might be too heavy for it, so I’ll scout around for something else. Thanks for the tips on the grainline, and I’ll have a closer look at the Hollyburn construction – I do really fancy trying that pattern 🙂


      • Just boring red and white kitchen curtains circa 1940 plus about a yard or so of unused extra. Too fragile for anything wearable.
        I have been piecing grandmother’s fan quilt blocks using bits and pieces of old projects from my grandmother, my mother and my old sewing projects plus current projects as things allow and will use the curtains and leftover material as the background. It’s a multiyear project.
        Shortly before my grandmother died, I had made her a quilt which was later gifted by my aunt who inherited my grandmother’s house and contents to my daughter who was born a few years later and named after her.


      • That’s an incredible labour of love. Your daughter must be so proud to have such a fantastic piece of family history to treasure.


  2. Oooo! Lovely fabrics! Off the top of my head I’d say
    1: a woodland cape (I’ll have to come back with who’s pattern it is. It’s the one that makes cute kids patterns as well as ladies. 🤔🤔
    2: How about vogue 9242 – I’ve recently used a border print for this.
    3: the Yasmin yoke (Maria Denmark)skirt can be made in about 1/2 metre for me, you’re taller than me but there should be loads.
    Hope that’s good for thought 😄


    • Oooh, I do love an A-line skirt – great suggestion. I know the cape you mean – I think it’s a Liesl & Co. pattern, and those are always such great patterns to work with. I’ll take a look at Vogue 9242 too.


    • Thanks Linda – I’m going to have a good scout around for patterns, using the suggestions everyone’s made. I really want to find something I can use to do the blue wool justice!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s