I hate calling it a “stash” – a word I absolutely associate with drugs. In fact I don’t use the S word. The fabrics I have bought and accumulated in my cupboard are my raw materials, my inspiration, my hobby and my future wardrobe. But while I have slimmed down my actual wardrobe considerably, my cupboard overfloweth.
I started on Kondoing my dressmaking area this weekend. It is an uphill task. I have much more fabric than I realised, despite returning to sewing for less than two years. You can buy a lot of fabric in two years. And patterns, lining, interfacing, zips, buttons, ribbon, elastic etc.
I started by pulling out all my fabric. I am ashamed to say there were several pieces I had entirely forgotten. Bought some time ago, perhaps with a garment in mind, I never got around to sewing it up.
I went through the each piece, refolding it and to some extent reclassifying. I have pulled out all the smaller pieces and those I have cut into. The rest I have arranged roughly by “wooly”/”cottony” and by colour. Everything fits now without falling out. I can see everything I own. But, OMG, I own far, far too much.
The only thing I can do is to stop buying fabric. I have more than enough here for a year or two of making my own clothes and the occasional item for family and friends. Yet I know if I go to a lovely fabric shop I will see material that I want to buy – because it is beautiful, because it is in my colour, because it is a bargain. Just like nearly everything I already own.
I did throw some fabric out, of course. Anything too small to be immediately useful (the local Oxfam said they like scraps and that they sell easily). A few bits I had bought but don’t really care for due to the inferiority of the fabric or the fact that the colour is not quite right. A few two metre pieces that will be ideal for someone else – I let these go easily. But there was not much that didn’t “spark joy” in me – the potential of fabric is almost the definition of what gives me joy (having said that Cinnabon is pretty close).
As I checked out every piece of fabric I cut off some of the rough edges to make good rectangles – my thriftiness knew no bounds. I folded everything as neatly as I could. The smaller pieces were relegated to a drawer where they can be seen, sitting upright. The larger pieces got shelves. I now have a little space should I need it, but it should become more spacious as I use up my fabric supply.
The upshot is that I have resolved not to buy any fabric for a while. I won’t say I will boycott Simply Fabric – it gives me enormous pleasure to look at cloth. But I am cutting right back, with a deliberate aim of always trying to use first what I have. There are some lovely summer fabrics in there, and summer is coming, so I know what I have to do. I don’t need much. A few things maybe – a nicer apron, a summer jacket and a shower cap that I would not be embarrassed by. All of these things I can make from what I already have.
BAG COUNT = 6.5 (Including half from non-participant husband)