Winter is a season of sewing senescence at my place because my house is largely unheated and my sewing room is Siberian. I can’t face sitting at the machine in there, not to mention shedding my many layers to fit garments-in-progress.
But I do go in there and potter about, stroke the pretty things in the stash and whittle away at the junk. I found this ad in an old Sewcraft magazine last night and it tickled my fancy because I have a bunch of old Lightning zippers in their original packaging. A zip that is unfazed by strap-hanging! That’s my kind of fastener.
I pulled some ugly things out of the stash, too. I read a very sensible sewing blogger’s declaration that she never, ever sews with fabric she doesn’t love because otherwise when things go awry, she won’t bother rectifying the project. Wise words and I’m sorry I can’t properly attribute them because I forgot who wrote them. I’ll add this to it, too – sometimes leaving things you love in the stash for too long means your tastes change and you don’t like them anymore. To wit: this quilting cotton with reels of thread. It still sorta amuses me but I can’t imagine wearing it, yet several years ago I thought it was hilarious and I had all kinds of stunt frock plans. Now I think it’s best that I eBay it. Maybe that’s what winter is for – raking and pruning and composting while everything’s dormant.
Buuuuuut, I have actually been sewing a little bit – things that don’t need trying on, such as quilts to diminish the scraps pile. Here’s the latest in the series of quilts for babies. I’ll be delivering it to its new owner (and she’s very new, just 2 days old) as soon as her mother is up for visitors.
Me? Adding to the stash? Well, I never!
That wasn’t me buying mad mail-order maxi dress patterns from Etsy.
And ’twas not I in Hobart Spotlight last year making good the 30%-off-if-you-emptied-the-roll-deal on cotton sateen. Nor me in Bundaberg Spotlight on Boxing Day rummaging through the bargain table and finding hilarious folk-style poplin. That was some other unstoppable-hoarder-type entirely.
Incidentally, have you heard the terrible news that Brunswick Spotlight is closing down? Welcome news to those who didn’t like its disorder, long queues and occasional grottiness. But I liked it and will miss it.
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?