Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stash, stash, stash

One of my plans for 2015 was to really try and use up my stash.
I have ALOT of fabric.... Some of it is really nice fabric and some of it has me scratching my head and wondering how it even ended up in my stash! Funny how that happens. 

I have done a fairly good job up to this point! I have used  77.25 yards and only have purchased 39.8 yards and the majority of that has been for linings, underlinings and interfacings.

However, I ran into the problem of searching for a fabric that I know I have.... But who the heck knew where it was 'stashed'??? I hate when that happens!
See.... Total mess!

My main focus is garment sewing. So there are yards upon yards of fashion fabric in this stash. I have the majority stored in a repurposed TV cabinet form the early 90's. You remember those big giant honking pieces of furniture with the doors that closed so you didn't have to look at that giant old TV? Well I had quite a nice one from Broyhill. Solidly built and well made. So last year it was repurposed into a fabric cupboard. My husband helped me to add shelves and lighting in the top part. 
This fabric cabinet is massive! Bonus that I was able to reuse an old piece of furniture.

It started out very nice and organized and not quite full.... 
Top shelf had silks, laces, rayons and other silky like fabrics
Middle shelf was all knits
Bottom shelf was wools, denims, corduroy and other wovens. 

Now these shelves are all mixed up and a bit overstuffed!... Hence why I m trying to use mostly stash fabrics for awhile. It's been working out pretty darn well for me. I have some nice fabrics in that cabinet!

One of the drawers hold lining fabrics and the other holds surplus sewing notions and expensive trims. 

The bottom cupboards have a mix of coatings, large fluffy fabrics, and specialty fabrics. Such as a small collection of silks a friend brought back from China. Shibbori type fabrics from Nepal and India. Some vintage textiles from my grandmothers stash that I inherited when she passed. At one point I literally had to put the fabric in with my foot so I could close the doors!!! So not an ideal situation. 

Now, I also have 2 big plastic bins. I with sweatshirt and polar fleece types and one full of various types of interfacings. Much of those interfacings are more for crafting and purse/bag making that I dabbled in several years back.

I am also sad to say that I have a cardboard shipping box from smugglers daughter that is full of more fabric. Eels!! It is kind of wedged sideways under my cutting table.

Then I have a rolling cart with 4 drawers. Top 2 drawers are full of sewing machine accessories. The bottom 2 house my collection of good interfacings. 1 with fusibles and 1 with non fusibles such as imperial batiste and silk organza.

And that's not it....
I have an entire cedar lined dresser full of cottons, mostly quilting cottons. Every once in a while I get the bug in my head to make a quilt as a gift for someone (mostly baby gifts or lap quilts). I don't really follow any patterns or rules just do what I want. It can be quite a creative process. I also use these high quality quilting cottons in my garment sewing. Usually as pocketing fabrics and facings and once I a while as a detail. 

What can I say!!! I really am a textile lover. 

This week I pulled out every yard of fashion fabric! 
I had some crazy notion that I was going to swatch and record every piece. You know, on one of those neat key rings with tags that show how much and what type... Ha! Like I'm ever going to be that organized. Besides it would have taken up way too much of my most precious resource, Time!

Knits: anything smaller than a yard went out. Any piece at around a yard I only kept if a, I really, realy like it or b, I like it and the previous garment I made has held up well. You know not all fabric is created equally and we all end up with some that just are very crappy. Stretching, snagging, pilling, etc..... All the crappy fabrics went into the trash bin.
I was able to fit all my knits on the center shelf of my cabinet.

Wovens: this was FUN to pull out and touch and play with. I have some extremely nice wools and it makes me happy to just touch it and dream of all the projects I want to make. I didn't have too many small pieces of my regular wovens and only got rid of a couple of things. These filled up the lower shelf.

Silks: (well mostly silks) another lovely group of fabrics to touch. This top shelf was a bit of a mess. There were also several polys or as one store calls them 'silkys'.  I wanted to make sure of exactly what I had so I took the time to burn test anything I was unsure of. This took a bit of time but was well worth it. 
I took all my slippery silks and folded them with tissue paper. I already had some stored this way and it keeps them crease free and keeps,them from being slippery and messy. 

In the plastic bins under the table I found a plethora of polar fleece. I took the majority of these out (mostly cheap ones from JoAnns) and repurposed them into new dog beds and blankets. The dogs were very happy!! This also freed up room in the bin to put my smaller cuts and free up some room in the cabinet so things were not so squashed. 

Tissue wrapped silks.

And now everything is so much neater and organized and less stressful when I open my magic stash cabinet! 

I'd love to hear how you manage your stash!

Happy Sewing
Happy grand baby snuggles :)


  1. My stash mainly hangs over my head and worries me, because I went through a phase of collecting fabrics thinking I would use them for something some day, and then I got into a situation where I rarely had the time to sew. I worry that my life will end before I can use all the fabric I bought. But I keep everything folded and sorted by color on a shelf, with remnants for crazy quilting shoved in a see-through bag. I also made a promise to myself not to buy any more fabric unless I have already started a project and need it to finish.

    1. I understand that feeling of worry that we give our selves! Although, i think you should give yourself a little break :) Between your horses, dogs and everything else going on you are more than a busy woman that does a remarkable job keeping it all going smoothly!! One day you will create something beautiful from your fabric stash.

  2. Brava! I love how you tackled this daunting project. It inspired me to do the same. And thanks for the tip about tissue paper for folding silks. I'm definitely going to use that. - Wendy

    1. YAY! It's so wonderful to have a community to inspire each other :)
      I really also wanted to examine my color choices more closely and how they fit in with my overall plan... that did not happen. Not yet anyway!

  3. Thanks for the post! It motivates me to clear up my own enormous stash. I guess I would need to invest in some proper storage furniture to get it as organized as yours!


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