stock-taking… gulp

After no longer being able to close my small walk-in closet door with fabrics spilling out into the living room, I decided to do something about it and tackle the problem!


the problem

To go back to how the mountain of fabrics came to be in the first place…

shopping therapy – after I started sewing I almost stopped shopping for clothes. However, the urge to shop did not miraculously go away, and I just started to purchase fabrics and sewing patterns instead. Since fabrics are mostly not so expensive and one feels less guilty shopping for fabric (it is a hobby and used to develop a new skill afterall!) one is less likely to exercise self-restraint when it comes to fabric-shopping – at least this is so in my case.

shipping charges – when shopping on the internet (since I am paying the shipping fee I might as well buy more to make that shipping charge worthwhile:)

unrealistic plans and goals (image of self as an efficient dependable seamstress for the family) and purchasing fabrics to get ready to make items for loved ones). While I am getting the hang of sewing, it still takes me at least 2 weeks to 1 month to make one item, and the to-sew list for myself and for loved ones just gets longer and longer!

souvenir shopping – this relates to the first one, but I find it hard to go to another country and not visit the local fabric store to pick up some fabric or a pattern as a souvenir (even if the fabric is not something I can only find in that country).

the sew-lution 🙂

Instead of storing fabric I purchased all over the place as I had been doing, I decided to put them all into two big plastic bins, and to cut out a small piece of each to make a booklet.  I stuck each piece on a small card and wrote the composition (luckily I was still able to remember them all) of the fabric as well as any other note I remember (what it was intended for etc.) in order to create a booklet which I can use as reference each time I plan a sewing project. It has only been less than a year since I started sewing but I now have over 60 pieces of fabric, not even including lining! This exercise was much needed because now I know I NEED to use up my stash and to stop buying fabrics! I also need to be less selfish and start working on those projects for loved ones (you see, those striped shirting fabrics were meant to be shirts for my husband, and the chambray fabric supposed to be dresses for my sister…) I also realise that I only have mostly cotton and linen (which is great as they are very comfortable and easy to care for) and wish I have more wool for the upcoming season!



I wonder if fellow hobby – seamstresses are in a similar situation – do you have any tricks you use to remember the fabrics in your stash?

にほんブログ村 ハンドメイドブログ ソーイング(縫い物)へ
にほんブログ村 ハンドメイドブログ 洋服(洋裁)へ


11 thoughts on “stock-taking… gulp

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of fabric! My own stash is getting a little large too, but I tend to only buy fabric with projects already in mind. I find the Fashion Sketchbook I blogged about really useful to plan out and match fabrics to patterns. I also use my cheaper fabrics and leftovers for making toiles(muslins) to check fit, which is a good way to use up bits and bobs without a plan.

    1. I just cut into one of the cheaper fabrics to make my first wearable muslin. It is a great idea! I hate making muslins, but if it is in a fabric I can wear out at least I will not dread it as much.
      I read your post on the Fashion Sketchbook and am quite tempted to get it, so cool that the figure outlines are already on the page (esp. since I can’t draw!)

  2. I also suffer from souvenir fabric shopping / sewing tourism… thankfully my at home and online fabric buying habits are well and truly under control (i.e. nothing till I’ve sewn the 4 items I can make without buying anything and the 6 items that I just need the patterns for).

  3. When reading your post, I felt you were describing my own sewing/buying experience! Your clean and systematic reference booklet is brilliant and I’ll steal the idea. Thank you so much for this post – it also makes me feel less guilty about my appetite for new fabrics and patterns!

  4. Love this! And yes, I stash fabric for all the same reasons! How funny. I did use a similar system as you have yeeeeeeeeeers ago, but the stash just got out of hand and and and, well…. Now I just pull out the bins, spread everything all over the family room and stare at them until a plan forms in my head. It’s fun to go shopping at home!

    1. haha, I have a feeling that in time that’s what I will be doing as well! first of all, the fabric diet takes quite a bit of discipline (I am already getting heart-eyed at some new fabric I saw on the internet), and secondly, it IS more inspiring to look at the fabrics “in real life” spread out on the floor:-)

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