So thinking about stash accumulation, I’ve done it for every hobby I have had. Buying tools and raw materials such as fabric makes you feel that you will suddenly become good at your chosen hobby, a short cut to becoming an expert, especially if you have seen that fabric or pattern used by someone else. It’s so easy to shop online, rather than start making something with what you already have.
It’s a balance though, I’ve realised that making mistakes in what you buy, is part of most creative hobbies. These are fabrics I have that I don’t like now, but I don’t want to give away yet, cause I might change my mind! Interestingly, since thinking about this, I have organised my patterns into groups, and I’ve realised some of these fabrics might make wonderful linings!
You also end up with scraps that might come in useful one day, so I have those as well. I also have other fabric designated for muslining! These scraps include bits from my union jack dress for a jubilee street party, and my Tour de France dress.
My aims are to use my stash, but be considered about it. Sometimes I have rushed into projects, just to use fabric up, and I end up wasting it. I do understand the concept of not saving fabric for best, and sometimes you just have to go for it. Last summer I made 6 Grainline scout tops, which all fitted slightly differently dependent on the fabric used. I wear them a lot, at home and at work.
I do like the fact that fabric can be made into something you love to wear. But your tastes change even in a short period of time. I still like most of my stash, but I don’t look at floral fabric that often anymore.
Another aim is to forget FOMO! I am managing to do that with my knitting. I am really tempted to buy two cardigan’s worth of Malabrigo worsted, because I could get a 25% saving! But I have two cardigans and scarves to knit anyway. I want to save the pleasure of purchasing for when I have nothing to knit. I also realise I might not want to knit by then! So my stash consists of two lots of wool, Malabrigo in apple green and two balls of lavender kid silk and mohair. I have started some projects that I have given up on. My guidelines for wool stash are going to be strict, just one lot of wool for a cardigan, and two lots for scarves/hats/gloves. Contemplating going to yarndale in September, so I might not stick to that rule!
Having a large fabric stash forces me to sew in the future, which I may not want to do.I don’t want a fully handmade wardrobe anyway, I actually want to spend a bit more on RTW and get better quality items. I don’t want to pressure myself into feeling I have to make everything because I can.
I would like a stash of about 25 metres, including 4 or 5 metres of vintage fabric. I want to be at peace with the fact that some projects won’t work, and you just have to bin them! I will also make what fits me now, I am not saving fabric for when I lose weight.
My purchasing rules are basically, no patterns for the next year! I have more than enough, and some are so similar it’s untrue! I am not going to count zips, buttons or threads ie items needed to finish a garment.
My budget is going to be £30 per month on stash for all hobbies, at least until the end of the year when I want to review what I have made and spent. This includes fabric, pens, paint,wool etc, which feels quite tight, but hopefully achievable. I want to buy less fabric each month than I sew up. I have failed that in February, with the yorkshire spoolettes visit to Dewsbury, and some other purchases. So another rule is not to tempt myself too often! I haven’t been to any vintage fairs yet this year, so that has probably saved me a bit. Who am I kidding…..
SWAP 2016 is good for me, it’s helping me to sew capsule wardrobes rather than just random items, and think about using my stash creatively. I probably won’t finish by April, but will use it as a focus for this year.
It will be interesting to see if I keep to my plans!