Friday, August 22, 2008


I actually have some willpower. Every time I get an email announcing a fabric sale at, or Gorgeousfabrics or emmaonesock, I delete it! I'm sorry merchants, but as much as I would love to buy your fabric, help your bottom line, and boost the economy, I can't. So hooray for me for having some willpower. Finally. When one of those emails shows up in my inbox, I visualize the tower of plastic bins in sewing room #2 and hit the delete button and don't look back. These bins I am talking of contain relatively new fabric and I think it's finally my breaking point of fabric buying. If they were my only bins of fabric I'd have too much, but there are bins in the closets of sewing room #1 (also known as the computer room and the office), bins in sewing room #2 (which is supposed to be a guest room), and bins in the cargo trailer in the front driveway.

These are the ways I'm combatting the stash:
  1. Sew more. I find that when I'm not sewing, I shop. When I am sewing, I realize how long it takes to use up one piece of fabric and my sewing hasn't kept up with the buying.
  2. Don't buy. fabric in > fabric out = stash. It may be simple math but it's hard not to buy. To avoid buying, I delete the sale emails, avoid buying more patterns (another stash in itself) because once I'm in the store it's hard not to look, and I visualize how big my stash already is.
  3. Use from the stash. How do I know what's in my stash? I swatch the fabric. The swatches help me from buying duplicates and also help me shop from the stash. I recently re-organized them by color and fabric type, which makes shopping the stash much easier.
  4. Give it away. We have another BABES meeting tomorrow, where I get together with sewing friends I met through the internet and ASG. One highlight of our get together is to give away or trade fabric, patterns, books, and other sewing stuff we no longer like or want. The challenge is to not come home with anything or at least less than you brought.
  5. Recycle the scraps. It's hard not to "waste" fabric but in all honesty, I will probably not use them. I have good intentions of turning the scrap into doll clothes but those projects are low on my "to-sew" list. A challenge I have is what to do with the pieces that are 1 yard or larger. Those could be turned into a matching tank top, scarf, or trim for a coordinating piece.
  6. Live with it. There are worse things in life. I do not spend money I don't have on fabric, I can still get into sewing room #2, and the bins in the cargo trailer are not the only things stored in there. I like 98% of the fabric I've bought and my only regret is that I may not sew it all. I just don't want to add (unnecessarily) to it*.
*I will allow myself an out. Just as it's not a good idea for a dieter (who's dieting for weight loss purposes) to deny him or herself a treat now and then, I will leave room for travel fabric. Travel fabric keeps me from buying stupid souvenirs because I view the fabric as a reminder of the trip and it's fun to find the unique fabric stores in town.

1 comment:

  1. I had this much willpower earlier in the year - I joined the fabric fast on Patternreview and didn't buy anything except linings or notions to complete garments for 5 months. Then I went to Paris and, like you, travel fabric is allowable. However, coming home, I seem to have forgotten to get back on the wagon.

    I just have to remember your #1 - sew more, shop less, remember how long it takes to use the stuff up - I can sew for weeks on an afternoon of stress shopping, and that's saying that I want to use it right away.

    Keep up the good work.