Once upon a time, my stash used to be on the smallish side. Back in 2007 before I had kids and my sewing room was in what is now Toby's bedroom, the closet in that bedroom used to house most of my stash, scraps and projects in progress:
Shamefully most of those projects hanging up in the right hand side of the top photo are still languishing in my UFO box.... And this photo was taken back when my sewing patterns fitted into only one chest of drawers - now I'm busting out of two of them! If you're interested, this post has the info on how I store my pattern collection.
And then in 2010 when we finished renovations and additions to our house I got my very own sewing room, by which time my stash had exploded thanks to inheriting my grandma's stash, lots of opshopping and garage sales, as well as a lot of fabric shopping in general. At that time it was very neatly organised on open Ikea shelves like this (originally posted here):
Don't worry, I did hang curtains on that window straight after setting up these shelves. But look how neat those piles are! And how much space there is on each shelf still!
Fast forward a few years to the present and I have added a little bit more to the stash, and it has become extremely messy from rummaging and pulling fabrics out of those piles for use (a good thing right?!):
To shield my eyes from such a mess, to reduce shock to non sewing visitors to my sewing room and to protect my stash from the sunlight I pulled some fabric out of the stash (how apt!) and using bulldog clips at the top of the shelf posts I hung the fabric across like a curtain:
Much prettier, except for those rolls of fabric standing upright in the corner and all the stuff on top of the shelves. This is just some Ikea fabric I bought a few years ago to make some bedroom curtains but my husband didn't like the pink skeleton bird print so it has sat in the stash until now.
I've also decided to go through my fabric stash, UFO box and refashioning pile, one shelf at a time to weed out fabrics that are lovely but not something I'll ever sew something from, or just plain awful and shouldn't be sewn into anything, not even muslins of which I make relatively few anyway. I decided to apply this philosophy of William Morris as a rule to judging fabrics in my stash, as well as to any future purchases:
|lovely print available to purchase from A Two Pipe Problem|
The purple shelf before:
The fabrics that are on their way out:
And the purple shelf after:
A small start I know, but a start nonetheless! I have also started to photograph, measure and catalogue the fabrics I'm going to keep so I know what I have when the stash goes into storage at my parents house later this year when we sell our house. This is taking ages but I just love fondling fabric so it's not an unpleasant task.
So for all of you that are overwhelmed by your stash, I hope this has eased your worries a little - I totally don't mind if you compare your stash to mine and feel better about yours. For those of you with a stash of a similar size (I'm thinking about you Carolyn and Katie in particular!) I'm sure you're nodding along in recognition of a fellow fabric tragic. And for anyone who is going to leave a snarky comment, which I have received in the past, I've been sewing for about 16 years so that's a long time to be collecting fabric, I've never spent money on fabric that I couldn't afford and my fabric stash makes me happy so that alone is worth it!
Is anyone else game enough to reveal their stash?