Finally getting my fabric stash under control…

After last autumn’s stash diet, I promised I’d work on getting my fabric shopping habits under control in 2017.  I made three resolutions, which were:

  1. Not to buy fabric faster than I can use it – for me, that’s one piece a month.

  2. 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.

  3. To spend less time browsing fabrics online and use that time to actually sew things!

I’ve been really strict with myself on the first one, and only bought one length of fabric a month. To manage this, I used the Reminders app on my Mac/iPhone to enter a reminder to buy fabric each month after pay day, which made sure that I did buy 12 pieces this year. Weirdly, this reminder also helped prevent me from buying fabric at other times – perhaps because I knew I’d be allowing myself some each month. I’m useless at this kind of restraint when it comes to chocolate (!), but it seems to work on me for shopping.

I’ve definitely bought fewer patterns this year too. I haven’t binged on Black Friday sales, or half-price Big 4 patterns from Jaycotts or Weaver Dee. I think this must be linked to the first resolution – I knew I couldn’t buy tons of fabric, so there wasn’t much point buying tons of new patterns.

And I have definitely spent less time browsing fabric shops online – why bother, if I’m not allowing myself to buy anything?!

What’s been the effect on my stash?

Looking back through my blogged makes, I’ve used up 10 lengths of fabric this year on those, plus one on a finished garment that I haven’t blogged yet. I found it really satisfying to dig out things that had been in my stash for years and sew those up, as well as just the latest purchases.

I’ve still got one UFO to try to complete before the end of the year. And I had one disaster (the unloved shirt), which might become a wearable garment early next year.

If you add up all those, I’ve used 13 cuts of fabric, so a budget of 12 seems pretty reasonable for next year too!

Do you have a fabric budget, or do you grab what you want as soon as you see it?



  1. I really like your resolutions, and they pretty much work for me, too.

    One thing I did a couple of months ago was go through my entire wardrobe, weed out anything I wasn’t wearing, didn’t like, didn’t fit, etc. Then I took pictures of what I was wearing, making sure I had items that worked well together. Also, I made a list of some things that I needed to add, upgrade, replace, etc. Now getting dressed is SO easy.

    And I also know exactly what I need or want to sew – only things that will fit into my wardrobe scheme. I intend to do this twice a year – once for warm weather, once for cold weather. (I live in California, so the difference is not as huge as a really cold climate would be.)

    🙂 Chris


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