#bpsewvember has a “Stash Pride” prompt so I thought I would think about fabric shopping and ask – how much fabric is in your stash? When I really got into sewing, I stopped buying clothes and bought fabric instead.
For the past year I have averaged 3 full giant storage boxes (and the wardrobe only gets bigger). They are all nice things and I always have plans, but I massively overestimate my abilities to sew through it. By the time I work through the list, I have often moved on from what I wanted to make previously, and the fabric sits there, unloved, unused, sometimes for years. Does this sound familiar? Am I alone or is my stash unreasonably big?
How different is a big fabric stash to having a big clothing stash?
How different is fabric shopping to RTW clothing shopping?
Besides obviously being more fun, I don’t think fabric shopping is really that different. I have a sneaking suspicion that my environmental footprint is not really better from having made my own clothes. Instead I have probably done fast sewing – all that has happened is that the garment worker is out of the equation (but someone still had to make the fabric). Here’s my little analysis and why I have hit the slow button for now.
2016: I really believed I was running out of sewing time. Baby TimetoSew was being born late summer, so I went mad and made 4 winter coats, 1 bomber jacket, 1 fully tailored men’s jacket and some maternity / baby stuff. Because, you know, I had this fear that I would never have time to touch my sewing machine again.
Spring / summer 2017: The stocktake for the 5 months to this September is even more of a shocker – I made 12 dresses, 3 skirts, 10 tops, 1 jacket and some men’s and baby stuff. In around 152 days I have made more than 27 garments.
That is1 garment every 6 days on average.
Here’s the list:
- Dresses: Grainline Willow; SOI Alex Shirtdress; Stylish party dress book (x2 linen dresses); Named Kielo dress; Named Helmi Tunic; SOI Zoe dress x2; SOI Penny dress; Seamwork Mesa; Inari tee dress x2 (one for a friend)
- Skirts: SOI Ultimate skirt; Liesl and Co everyday skirt; Valentine & Stitch Margarita skirt
- Tops: SOI Susie blouse; SOI Ella blouse; SOI Kimono jacket x2 (one for a friend); Named Inari Tee; SOI Molly Top; Louis Antoinette Garance top x2; Louis Antoinette La Parisienne top; Tilly Buttons Agnes Top; Marilla Walker Maya Top (still never worn)
- Other stuff: Named Lourdes jacket; Liesl & Co Mens Metro Tee with matching baby tee; La Maison Victor Mens Swim Shorts with matching baby shorts; and too many baby clothes to mention for Mr Baby and gifts for other friends.
So why did I do this?
Because I had to sew through the stash, so I could justify buying more fabric and make more stuff.
Because sewing is my hobby and it made me happy to plan and make things.
… and the one thing I hate to admit, self imposed social media pressure. As well as feeling inspired by all Instagram makes, my 30 year old silly self felt like I couldn’t post old things or in progress things or it would be boring. I didn’t feel confident enough to be a part of the sewing community without working hard to make the latest indie patterns to keep up with everyone else.
Have you ever done a stocktake or think you shop too much? Has sewing ever had a negative effect on your mental health as well as being the positive creative outlet? Do you ever feel any self imposed pressure or am I just a teenage stresshead?
For those who are interested in the fabrics in the image by the way, here are the details from top to bottom
- Poly crepe from Paris – gifted. Possibly a SOI shift dress
- Viscose crepe – the endlessly popular dragonflies one that used to be stocked at Cotton Reel Studio. Possibly SOI Susie Blouse
- Art Gallery cotton from the Lagom collection. Orsola skirt
- Liberty silk – used for lining in a coat but too much left.
- Unknown polyester watercolour type – gifted. No idea yet on what to make, 2 years later
- Stretch cotton available from Fabric Godmother and Sew Over it. Camber dress? I made an SOI Ultimate Pencil Skirt already.
- Watermelons jersey by W Collection from Jersey Jollies. No idea, I only bought 1m because it was so expensive but I LOVED the print.
- Broderie Anglaise from a shop I can’t remember – possibly an A line raglan dress from a Japanese pattern book
- Grey wool from Crescent Trading in Shoreditch, London – a thick winter coat, probably SOI 1960’s one.