Fabric Stash and What I Have Discovered

So after publicly shaming myself a few posts back about the state of my fabric stash, I decided a few days later that it needed a tidy up. I pulled everything out and sorted them into a nice rainbow on the floor and then folded and shelved. It was a cathartic experience because I actually don’t feel I have as much fabric as I initially thought when it was a pile of mess. Needless to say I shouldn’t really visit the fabric store in a while and have lots of potential co-ordinating outfits.

I didn’t even attempt the “kiddy” pile as they kind of use it as a dress-up station at times and don’t want to keep repeating that process over and over.

fabric back row

fabric front row

Row 1                                                                                           Row 2

I was able to assess the colours I am drawn to which are blues and blacks. The funny thing is though I don’t wear much black probably because I am living in a rather warm climate at the moment and therefore don’t feel like sewing black items. I don’t have much orange, yellow, brown – the warmer colours of the spectrum, maybe subconsciously I’m making items in the cool colours to keep me cooler, who knows. I’m sure there is a psychology behind what we wear but that’s far beyond the scope of my own personal analysis. I have lots of patterned fabrics, again mostly in the cooler colours.

Now I’m excited to get the next batch of items cut, not sure which direction I’m heading yet but I think some maxi skirts and dresses are in order although the fabric is almost too pretty to disturb, who am I kidding! Thank goodness my fabric is all washed and ready to go.

I should really quit with the chit chat and get sewing!



Fabric Stash Peak and Sewing Journal

I’m a little nosy when it comes to looking at others’ sewing rooms, their equipment, set up, stash, etc. Some are rooms I could only dream of, while others make me feel adequate about my situation. I just wanted to write a quick post about how I “catalogue” my fabric and my sewing projects, nothing exciting but if I can provide any useful information to anyone out there then I’m happy to help and likewise if anyone has other suggestions I am willing to listen and perhaps adopt them.

This is what my current fabric stash looks like. I am a little embarrassed that it looks like that at the moment but I haven’t done a tidy up this month after pulling out some fabrics for projects. I can’t see all my fabric, as it is so densely packed and two rows deep but I have a system that works for me. The picture on the right are what I classify as “kiddy” fabrics or the ones the girls pick when shopping. Can you tell, there’s a lot of pink, pink and more pink.

Fabric stash

Kiddy fabricMy fabric isn’t catalogued as such into types or colours but I have a book where I cut out a corner of my fabric as soon as I purchase it and stick it in with double sided type along with any useful information. I have only recently become more particular about including fibre content, but I definitely like to know how much I purchased and how much it cost.

The advantage of this system is that because I can’t see all that I have at least I can look up how much I have and if it will be enough for a project. I tend to mostly make things by chosing the pattern first and then the fabric so this works well for me. If I have used all the fabric in a project I cross it out otherwise I leave it until the fabric is all gone.

As for the care instructions, I barely dry clean anything unless it’s a special outfit so most is washed in the machine and hung out to dry. I like a minimalistic lifestyle.

Fabric catalogue

Keeping track of my sewing projects is a bit more involved. I created a “sewing journal” for myself using inspiration from online and have been using this for the past couple of years. It mostly came about as I was always writing down the same information about a project.

Old project page

Here is my old way of documentation. I used to print out the pattern envelopes from online and stick them in. I still do this with my new version but have additional information now.

I initially really liked the idea of the “110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook” by 110 Creations, but felt it was missing some things for my needs. I like to have a start and completion date for each project, line and pattern cover images as mentioned above, swatches of fabric and the cost of the finished item as I feel these are the most important. I created a template, went to the copy shop, had it printed and spiral bound it so I can flip the pages over. I am really happy how this has worked for me and have used it to track changes to patterns and identify issues for future makes and also any UFO’s that may be lurking in a stash somewhere. I have also left some blank pages at the beginning and end for additional notes and included measurement diagrams for women, men and children.

Projec page

Now that I have also started the blog it’s great for note taking because I have ended up with a back log of finished projects that haven’t been blogged yet and if Unblogged projectsI relied on memory alone I would probably forget a lot of details, with my sewing journal I have all that information at hand.

When I look through my fabric book, it kind of scares me how much money I have spent over the years on fabric because I probably would never spend that frequently on RTW clothes and that’s why I like to keep track of the costs of a garment. People often say that it must be cheaper to sew your own clothes but I’m sure everyone that sews would think otherwise the majority of the time. Yes the initial outlay is less in most cases for me, unless purchasing really high quality fabrics, but when you include labor costs it is quite the opposite in fact, in my opinion. I tell people that it’s actually not cheaper but when I end up with a garment no-one else has, it fits me and my body, and is finished as I like, then it’s definitely worth it. And of course, it gives me an opportunity to play designer or use designer outfits as inspiration without the price tag.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win-win situation, I don’t have any other vices, it’s my outlet/therapy for daily life and I can avoid fitting rooms, pushy sales assistants and two restless children in a shopping trolley.