Stash evaluation and justifing purchases

I was lucky enough to receive a few money gifts this Christmas. Being a responsible mum, I feel that these should be put to necessary family uses. There are school shoes to buy, swim t-shirts needed, sunblock, groceries…. yawn… zzzzz.

Surely just a few dollars could be allocated to me?

Even though the husband doesn’t care what I do with the dollars, when you are me (I am known for being a bit of a tightwad), you need to be able to justify purchases before they are made. When I look at my stash, it always seems full, but there isn’t necessarily anything of interest to sew. So a quick evaluation, turned up this:

The Usable Stash.

The centre fabrics are dress length, some Liberty, some Spotlight, some Tessuti, some rayon, solids and stretch. None of these interest me right now. I have loose plans for some, but for others, I’m still waiting for that moment of inspiration.

The fabrics on the left are also dress length, but cheaper solids, mostly from Spotlight. Again, I need inspiration and most are suited to cooler weather.

The top left fabrics are skirt or pant length. The Missoni has been allocated to a friend, for once she has had her baby.

The bottom left are shirt or top length fabric. I actually found two more pieces to fit in this pile, which aren’t shown.

Clearly there are a number of projects which could be started, but none appeal to me right now. My stash seems quite modest when you look at it like this.

The key problem lies here:

The Dregs.

Once you add the good stuff, this cupboard is full, but not full of goodness. Most of the dregs are left over corduroy and drill from my days making kids clothes to sell and a few ‘what-was-I-thinking’ pieces of fabric. There’s also ‘too small to make anything, but too big to throw away’ remnants, gifted fabric, linings, a few quilt backing pieces, some home dec fabric, baby length pieces of fabric, random bits of denim, stuff for muslins and other crap. I’m sure I’m not the only one with a stash like this, right?

The problem is I don’t feel like I can get rid of this stuff, because I might need it one day. Well, maybe I could undertake a small cull…

Anyway, with the stash evaluation complete, it seems justifiable to add to it. I always remember one of Kbencos comments to the Slapdash Sewist as it really struck a chord with me:

“My theory is that if you don’t keep buying pretty fabric when you see it, the what-was-i-thinking fabric multiplies and takes over the stash.”

Clearly there’s a great imbalance between ‘the usable stash’ and ‘the dregs’.

So, to Tessuti I go!

Ahhhhh… I was quite restrained.

Actually, I should add here that I was spotted by one of my readers at Tessuti. This is the first time I’ve ever been recognised and had some one speak to me. (Hi Tanya!). Anyway, I was quite surprised and stumbled through a short conversation sounding like quite a twit, unable to string a comprehensible sentence together. It was funny and kind of weird, but nice. Please if you ever do see me in public, come up and say hi. I promise I’m a nice person and I normally speak like a normal person.

Back to the fabric. These are the plans:

 A 70’s style wrap skirt with this light, 70’s vibe denim.

A Rooibos with this viscose blend, piped with Liberty Emilia’s Flowers. I’m taking inspiration from Alana’s linen Rooibos with contrast piping. I’d love to make mine in linen, but worry about wrinkling and bagging from wear. This viscose fabric is so easy to wash – it came out perfect with no wrinkles. The down side is that it will be a warmer dress to wear.

This cotton was labelled ‘Italy’ and ‘A McQueen’. Does that mean it’s Alexander McQueen?? That’s rather posh if it is! I don’t have a pattern for this fabric, but would love to make a skirt like this one that Carolyn made for her daughter, from Burda 7370, but maybe I’ll play with how the pattern falls for a bit of contrast.

This last fabric was from Spotlight, which I had to go to on the way home to buy interfacing for bonnets and use my $10 voucher. I’ve been eyeing off this Japanese lawn for a while with Simplicity 6446 in mind. I’m planning on making the yellow version. I’d originally planned to make this with Liberty Mitsi in grey, but was worried about looking a little too grey. This voile has much more interest, and I think will look much nicer.
I’m feeling much more inspired with these new additions to the stash. Hopefully some of these plans will come together quickly.

I hope you all have a great New Year and I hope you too can justify some new fabric acquisitions for your stash!
  • Some lovely fabrics, and I understand about 'dregs' definitely. I'm trying to turn all of mine into craft stuff which I will sell at the next community centre craft fayre.

  • I have the same problem and I did the same thing with my christmas money, lol. I figured while Tessuti have their sale on it made sense to stock up right? I got that same denim and yes that is Alexander Mcqueen fabric 🙂

  • funny I just cleaned out my sewing room and stash/piles yesterday. I can't throw any out either! I sorted by color families and sizes all the way down to pieces too small for anything but appliques! I Love that floral liberty in the middle of your big stack. It would make a cute peasant dress for a little girl!

  • I LOVE the Alexander McQueen fabric!!! I can also assure your readers that you are very nice and friendly when they see you out in public. Looking forward to seeing what you make with your new stash.

  • oh i'm still loving that last simplicity pattern – i've got to find one of those for me! i love the fabric you've chosen too…..might have to make a trip to spotlight.

    i keep my fabric in 2 tubs and all the dregs have made their way down to the bottom…i still have stuff in there from highschool!

  • Joy

    I love the Butterick wrap skirt pattern and I just bought the Rooibos. I'll look forward to seeing your finished versions.

  • whoops, just realised that post above from 'the dirty earth' was from me! forgot to sign out of husband band site…

  • I recently went through my stash and ditched a lot of the dregs. It was a very satisfying thing to do! Of course I have supplemented it since. You've done a beautiful job of adding to your stash! The Spotty Japanese lawns have a lovely feel.

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