Reality check

Lots of us seamsters have a stash. Lots of us have a stash so big that we must hide it for fear of being recruited for Hoarders. Surely, keeping it orderly prevents such dire interventions by friends/families/TV crews. But how to sort it?

I used to sort by colour.

Then, by fabric type.

Last night I spent a good few hours pulling it all down off the shelves and sorting by a few different systems. First I put all the dress-length pieces together. Then all the other garment-sized and garment-appropriate pieces. Next, cords and velvets in one pile, heavy cottons in another, and old sheeting in two piles. The result:

Here’s the reality check. That top left quarter of the picture – all four piles – comprises dress-length pieces. I counted, not including linings, nearly 70 pieces of fabric.

Let’s think about this a moment. 70 dresses. Is that not a lifetime’s supply? When would I have the time to wear them all, let alone make them?

I culled quite a bit (giveaway, anyone?) but probably not enough. The whole exercise was quite a pointed demonstration that I do not need to buy any more fabric.

How do you sort your fabric? And how do you know when you’ve got enough?

9 thoughts on “Reality check

  1. Well, my pathetic cull the other week only gleaned 10 or so lengths. Made me feel a bit virtuous though.

    Mine is in fabric types (cottons, knits, stretch wovens, lingereeee etc) in tubs under the cutting table. I think if it was all out I might get frightened when I saw it.

    Having said that, are you throwing out anything I might like? Hahahahaha. No, really…

  2. I’ve just been through the traumatic process of sorting my stash and getting rid of any bits of cloth too small to make something out of. I ended up with a single large chest of drawers crammed completely full of bits of fabric – too much fabric, but at the same time i was very proud of myself from reducing the volume from cupboards covering two walls down to one piece of furniture in a corner. Now, though, i have very little idea of what’s actually in those drawers and consequently I’ve bought more fabric since the sort out and haven’t used anything from stash. It’s a quandrary really. I suppose the only solution is to move into a larger house.

  3. Gosh. I both know what you mean and am completely jealous at the same time. I am a student so my stash is not super madly over flowing yet… But I do have 20 odd useable pieces plus so many scraps. Yet I can never find what I want for a particular project! Its maddening!
    So I definately feel your pain on the too many fabrics nothing to wear front.

  4. So funny, the thought of a fabric-obsessed collector on “Hoarders”! I would definitely have to record that episode! LOL 🙂 My stash isn’t overflowing, but it’s not small.. I feel like I have a lot of fabric, but not ENOUGH in each print. Like there are many dresses I want to make, but they require so many yards that I just don’t have enough in each piece. Glad I’m not the only one! I also save all of my scraps and stuff them into storage boxes. I have no idea what I’ll do with them. Eventually learn how to quilt? Make tiny clothes for a rat? I just can’t get rid of my scraps, it’s too painful!

    • I know what you mean. Perhaps there needs to be an assembly line… we feed our scraps to quilters and everyone wins. Surely this is what the internet was created for?!

  5. my stash is ginormous, I’m too afraid to count how many individual pieces I have. But I love it all and use it (slowly, eventually), so I’m not ashamed or guitly about it either!

    I sort my stash by colour – it’s not practical but it sure is pretty!

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