This here is but a minuscule fraction of the fabric I have – my go-to linen and linen-blend stash. I wish it always looked this lovely…
I spent a good part of last weekend trying to re-organize them into categories like “My Fall clothes”, “K’s Fall clothes”, “Home Decor”, etc. I have cotton, linen, voile, velvet, fleece, rayon, knits (so much knits), canvas, denim, corduroy, wool, muslin, silk, and all manners of blends and mystery fabrics. My sewing room usually looks more like this:
It is a problem.
I did, however, briefly feel better when I saw this stash, because mine is slightly smaller. Only slightly.
Rather than stacking them onto shelves, I like to put all my fabric into these babies:
Probably not the best for breathability (I do put in those cedar things to prevent grossness), but since I keep almost all of my fabric in the basement because I have nowhere else to put them, and since we’ve had some unfortunate flooding incidents in the past, this is a necessity. To give you an idea of the size of this bin, it’s similar to this. And I have roughly thirty of these, all labeled nicely. I didn’t even try to get a visual of the craziness in the basement because, well, it’s out of control (in a weirdly organized way, but still). Plus the light is bad down there.
Thirty bins. I know.
To be fair, over half of my stash is from my mom. I’ve mentioned before that she has an entire ROOM dedicated to fabric filled to capacity – she could open a shop. Obviously hoarding fabrics is a genetic trait. I’ve been buying fabric off and on for almost six years now because I’m obsessed with textiles, but it wasn’t until last year that I started to sew regularly.
And even though I’ve been stitching up outfit after outfit consistently for the past year, and I’ve had very little qualms about cutting into beautiful fabrics for K’s clothes (pricey organic cotton! silk!), I haven’t felt entirely ready to dive into using the nice stuff for myself. I read an article about fabric stashing on a Fashionable Stitch last week, and it made me stop to reflect on why I hesitate to use the special fabrics for me. I can very well see myself becoming that grandmother who lets her life pass before using and savoring the carefully curated collection of fabrics. I have visions of me on my deathbed, wracked with pneumatic coughing as I tell K, “I leave you my fabric…I never got a chance to use the best of the best…”
Not that there’s anything wrong with admiring your collection and taking pleasure in lovingly gazing at it for hours (I definitely do that). But I was drawn to sewing because it’s utilitarian, creative and nourishing – I like to Make with a capital “M”, to have a tangible product at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure it’s beyond the fear of ruining the textiles that stops me, which admittedly is a big one, but it’s only fabric after all, and there is always more beautiful fabric to be had. In an unconscious way I’m probably waiting: waiting to be more fit and better somehow — maybe as someone with the kind of lifestyle that warrants a custom-tailored wardrobe made out of stunning fabric.
I’m done waiting though [cue soaring, uplifting music here]. The ginormousness of my stash is overwhelming, and I’m a firm believer in making mistakes to learn better. I will boldly chop up my treasured fabrics to make tops for myself; that soft-as-butter insanely expensive 100% linen is going to be something fabulous for me to strut about in. And if I mess up? I’ll just reuse it to sew something for K. Problem solved.
There you have it, my self-help nuggets and endless ruminating on a Tuesday — that’s how I roll.
As I tackle my hoard, a fabric fast is mandatory, don’t you think? The gorgeous and talented Morgan (my blog-friend-turned-in-real-life friend – love it when that happens!) just informed me of a cool place for stashaholics like myself here in Seattle, so it sounds like we’re going to check it out. I’ll let you know how it is! I’d love to use up all the fabric in the next year, but realistically, I might need to also explore other options to reduce my staggering stash.
How about you, do you keep a large stash, or are you a project-by-project kind of person?