As the hoard of boxes were unpacked into the sewing room, it became more and more apparent that I had much more fabric in reality than in my head.

Much, much more.

There are 3 x 80 litre boxes and a Harrods hamper.

That’s too much fabric for my comfort.  Quite a bit of it has been very kindly gifted to me, and there are some beautiful vintage wools that will force me soon to overcome my trepidation about coat making.

There are some bits and bobs for making things for the kids, which they’ve mostly grown out of as this stash has mouldered unloved, so will be used for cute pyjama bottoms for the winter.

But, lets be brutally honest here, most of it is stuff that I’ve bought on a whim over the past few years and has been scattered around the old loft and forgotten.

I was astonished at what I uncovered, so I took some time to catalogue and sort it all out.

I know there are several electronic options for curating your fabric collection, but I decided to go old skool.

A notebook and swatches.

I measured each piece of fabric and took a tiny snippet for the book.  I’ve recorded what width the fabric is and how much of it I have

The beauty of this “system” though, is that as I leaf through the notebook, there is the tactile swatch that I can feel to remind me of the thickness and hand.  Without the colour distortion that can occur with a screen.

At the back of the book is a total of the fabric I have at today’s date.  It doesn’t include the 3 metres that are in the post to me.  There’s currently 179.5m.  I am mortified.

I’m going to track what goes in and what goes out. There needs to be more going out than in, for sure.  I need to get the curtains and blinds sewn and then really dive into this stash and make some pretty things.

I’m off to sew curtains!

14 Responses to Stash

  1. Tialys says:

    That’s quite a stash. Mine is bad enough but as I use fabric more for quilts and other crafts than for dressmaking, I tend to have smaller pieces so my meterage is probably not quite so bad as yours. I won’t start measuring stuff to find out though – I might end up being mortified too.

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      It’s just embarrassing! I knew I had quite a bit of fabric but not this much. And I know some folk love a huge stash that they can just “shop” whenever the mood takes them, but I’m trying to be more thoughtful in what I buy for sewing and knitting but it obviously hasn’t been working. I have to say…it is now! 😉

  2. Kim says:

    I went old school too. It has really helped to have most of my stash listed. I’m afraid I haven’t even managed to log it all 😞

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      That makes me feel much better about it! Now I have the book of swatches I keep leafing wistfully through it and dreaming of what I want to make once I’ve finished curtains, blinds and exams.

  3. Sue Tay says:

    You are not alone! I have fourteen 35l boxes of yarn in my loft and various other bags stashed in my craft room. I keep vowing not to buy more yarn until I have made a noticeable dent in what I already have, but then I spot another lovely hand dyed ball of yarn…….
    I also plan to make a record of exactly what I have, but somehow never get round to it. But as you mentioned, I do like to just go and have a rummage and hope inspiration will strike when I spy a ball or two of yarn I forgot I had.
    This is another reason we need to move house! Lol

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Ah….but you actually make stuff with your stash. I’ve just been collecting. It’s a trend that needs to be reversed. Especially as it’s Woolfest in a couple of weeks………

  4. Ruth says:

    Hi, I decided to use the Cora app, which I like. It adds up the meterage, and tells me my proportion of knits and wovens. I’ve got 94 m . I keep telling myself not to buy any more, but usually buy at least once piece of fabric a month. I suppose so long as I use more than I buy that’s ok! Also I’ve got pieces of fabric that I’m not sure I’ll wear now, so am thinking of making pyjamas with. It will be interesting to see how you get on with reducing your fabric collection!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I did look at the Cora app, and it looks really good, but decided for the fabric i definitely wanted to be able to have a feel and be inspired by that too. Evernote, however, is my newest chum! Hubby is building me a pattern database in there. That will be massively useful as it will be searchable, and in my phone so I don’t get duplicates!

  5. This is great! I am currently on a fabric buying freeze as I have 3 large tubs and a cupboard full 🙂 To be fair, one of the tubs is full of clothes I plan on repurposing. However, I do have way too much just sitting around! I love, love, love your old school cataloging system! I may have to take an afternoon, or 20 to do the same! I’m a very tactile person and love that you can feel each piece of fabric when browsing!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Honestly, I nearly hit the “purchase button” today on some gorgeous linen/cotton that would make a perfect shirtdress. It’s an addiction! I stepped back from the brink and closed the browser, but it was close!
      I drive my hubby insane with the old school stuff. He’s a pure bred geek and early adopter of all things technological. I love paper and pens and notebooks as well as yarn and fabric. And I’m proud of it! 😉

  6. Seems like you have quite the stash!! I have always wanted to get into sewing but I am quite useless when it comes to things like that!!

    Sophie xx

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      It’s ridiculous! 😉
      I’m really looking forward to being the other side of the summer holidays so I can start sewing some of it up!

  7. Annie says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m going to hit my stash tomorrow. 🙂