I’ve mentioned it a couple times but last month Beth from Sew DIY hosted a virtual “I Love My Fabric Party” on Instagram. Across the world people were invited to spend some time appreciating their fabrics. You could join in for as long or as little time as you wanted and what you did during the party was entirely up to you. You just posted photos on Instagram and shared along with others the experience of playing in your fabric stash and showing it some love.
For me it came at the perfect time. My dressmaking fabric had gotten a little out of control. I was running out of space for it. I knew I had fabrics I would never use so why was I keeping them? I have put myself on a self imposed fabric buying ban so it was a really good chance for me to sort my fabric in a way that I could easily find them and more importantly use them.
To keep track of what fabrics I had in my stash I decided to use a program called Trello. Trello is generally used in business as a management tool and I must admit when I looked it up to add the app on my mobile I thought ‘oh my god this is going to feel like work’ from my time doing project management but there are a few crafters out there using it to manage to their stashes and it is actually a great tool! If you want to read an example of how to use check of Helen’s blog post. At this point I haven’t gone into as much depth as Helen has but I have set it up so I have 2 boards Fabrics and Patterns. On my fabrics board I have several lists based on the fabric type. As I pulled out each fabric I measured it, snapped a photo on my mobile then uploaded it as a new card to my fabric board under whichever category with details such as length, perhaps where I brought it from, items I’ve made with it and potential pattern ideas. It sounds a lot of work for a lazy crafter like myself but it was quick and really simple to do. Best of all it didn’t feel like work!! I haven’t ventured into my patterns yet but I will.
Going through my stash I found it really easy to remove fabrics that I knew realistically I was never going to use. Perhaps my tastes have changed or the fabric had a feel that I just knew I’d never wear. I’ll take these to my next fabric swap with the Sydney Spoolettes. Full disclosure I may end up putting a couple of these fabrics back in my stash. Some fabrics I am rethinking that I could use them but that is only a couple.
I set up box for fabric scraps. The box contains mostly knit fabrics but it does have some wovens too. Smaller pieces that I can’t really make a skirt or top from but are perfect for project like undies (which I must really start making with the many patterns I have) As they were so small these pieces generally got pushed to the back as I tried to squeeze yet another fabric into my shelves. I wanted to access these fabrics easily plus it freed up space on my shelves. I have started using bits of my scraps. My infinity scarf came from finding a leftover piece of fabric and thinking how could I use this.
I sorted my shelves so all fabrics types were together. All my knits in one shelving unit, charity and gift making wovens on designated shelves, lightweight wovens on a shelf, heavy wovens another shelf. You should never compare your stash to another persons (size does not matter) but I felt like I had a lot. I actually have a little room on my shelves now which I didn’t have before.
I found the weekend very therapeutic going through my fabric. I had my music playing, a chair to sit on when I was uploading photos. If you love fabric you will understand how relaxing it is just touching it, looking at it, thinking about potential patterns I could make with it. Perhaps it sounds silly but reorganising my fabric made me feel like I actually had control over it. It was no longer falling from shelves when I opened the door or pulled back the covering I have. By seeing and knowing how much fabric I have I don’t feel like I am being deprived by my buying ban. I have all this wonderful fabric in my stash just waiting to be created into awesome me made clothing or in gifts.