Stash-busting Sewalong 2014: The Sequel

I’ve managed to avoid doing a 2013 wrap-up. While I enjoyed reading everyone else’s top 5 lists, a la Gillian, I haven’t wanted to be that introspective. I can’t entirely avoid the introspection right now though, since I’m setting a new project goal for 2014. Why corresponding to the new year when I don’t do “New Years Resolutions?” Because it makes for tidy filing later, just like income taxes.

So my 2013 plan was to do 25 stash busting projects. I met my goal, but the counting was sometimes a little hap-hazard. Sometimes a length of fabric isn’t entirely used by a project. Do you count it as stash busting if there’s still a yard and a half left? What if you have a really big stash busting goal, so you want to really get those numbers up there? Do you only focus on projects that will reduce yardage quickly? What happens when you realize you will probably meet your goal of 25 projects so you start adding in other projects, and while you’re at it, you add 5 more to the queue (with an extra 15+ yards of fabric added to the stash, of course)? And when I say “you”, I absolutely mean me.

Last year I had the pictures of the fabric closet and a few totes posted on the Flickr group. It became apparent somewhere in the middle of the year that having more than one or two totes is a really bad way to store stashed fabric because it’s impossible for me to find anything when it’s on the bottom of a tote on the bottom of a stack, behind another stack. I finally sprung for a large shelf and created a wall of fabric.

Fabric stash 2


This shelf sits behind me in my office, so at least if I’m having a rough day at work I can turn around and dream of pretty things made of fabric. Or at least I could…I have to face it…The stash is again out of control, which, for me, is often more stressful than it is inspiring. I started off 2013 buying little or no fabric because I was focused on sewing the stash, but somewhere around mid-year, between James’s suit and my sudden illness/surgery, I fell off the fabric wagon and kept accumulating.

Remember last year’s fabric in a closet?
Fabric Stash 3

Some of it’s still there….

Fabric stash 4


My plan is to sew up enough fabric to get everything out of the closet and onto the shelf. I’d rather use the closet for things that don’t need to be accessed that often (like taxes, for instance).

I rather envy those people who have their fabric shelves all nicely stacked and orderly. I can’t even think about re-stacking and re-organizing until I reduce some of the volume.

Thankfully, the Stash-busting group started by Cindy and Em last year is continuing on into 2014 with new stashes, new goals and all new super-powers (I’m pretty sure fabric stashes take on super-powers after a while. They all have aspirations of becoming capes, right?) I will, of course, be joining up again. I’m going to have to increase my pledge, and bite the bullet, also pledging to reduce my fabric-acquiring tendencies. Last year I didn’t do that, and you can see where it got me. No, I won’t be entirely swearing off buying fabric, since sometimes, no matter how large the stash is, it doesn’t contain something vital (i.e. swimsuit fabric last year). I refuse to even consider avoiding pattern accumulation. I hear Cake Patterns are throwing another shrug-type pattern, besides the one’s that have been available for pre-order, into the mix soon, and I can’t wait. I will shamelessly accumulate this, and probably more than a few other patterns this year.

Just to remind myself that using what I have is a good thing, here’s a closer look at my shelves. Just look at that gorgeousness just waiting to be worn; basic suitings, stretch poplins, a variety of shirtings, pink faux fur, some ITY knit, gingham, and flocked tiger-taffeta.

Fabric Stash 5


With all this in mind, I’m going to head forward into stash-busting 2014.

I, Cari Homemaker, pledge to make at least 50 projects using stash fabric during 2014, and to limit my fabric yardage acquisitions to a maximum limit of 3 used :1 new.

This pledge means that I can’t acquire, for instance, another 5 yards of fabric unless I’ve used 15 already. I imagine that making up 50 projects using stash fabric should get me to using at least 30 entire pieces of fabric. I don’t want to limit myself to only counting projects that use up all the fabric in a piece, because sometimes a project doesn’t take the whole piece of fabric, especially if there is 5 yards of said fabric to start with. Always plan ahead for a puffy dress, even if that’s not what you end up making. I will add that I bought a bit of fabric on-line at the end of 2013 that hasn’t show up at my house yet. For counting ease, I’m going to count that as already in my stash, though, it hasn’t been washed and shelved (therefore not pictured) yet.

I didn’t even show you my cutting (and laundry) table, as usual attacked by the ADD thing. I think I’ll lay out my purple velveteen…no wait, I’ll leave those pieces pinned on there and fold it up  and start tracing some Ottobre patterns…what should I do with that stack of fabric next to me on the table…maybe I should trace something for those pieces…long underwear for the boys? Which Ottobre mag was the long underwear in?…orange leggings for me might be fun…I never wear orange…wait, why did I buy that????

Fabric stash 1

If you want to join in the stash busting (and you know you really, really do), you can find all the details on Em’s post here.





8 responses to “Stash-busting Sewalong 2014: The Sequel”

  1. EmSewCrazy` Avatar

    Ooh your very ambitious and it sounds like you have a pretty good plan. Spoiler alert, one of the Curating Challenges is going to be on ways to organize the stash so it is accessible and doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. I too am sick of feeling overwhelmed instead of overjoyed about my fabric.
    Good thoughts on leftover pieces. I still count it as a stash bust because you did get fabric out of there….Anyways, here’s to a fabulous year of fabric!

    1. Cari Homemaker Avatar

      Guess I’d better get some of the yardage out of there before the curating challenge then. Hooray for stash busting!

  2. Carolyn Avatar

    You have the most amazing stash! *bows down in awe*

  3. prttynpnk Avatar

    3! 3 total? You are amazing! Now- lets talk about that zebra print! whats going on with that? Can I suggest that one come out soon? hinthinthint

    1. Cari Homemaker Avatar

      That one definitely needs to come out this month.

  4. Lynn Avatar

    [sigh] I am in the habit of telling myself that my stash is not very big. It mostly fits in three smallish totes plus maybe half a dozen pieces still in the shipping bags they arrived in. But if I have to count my leftovers! Well, it’s just crazy. I guess I need to make a Sew Leftovers pledge but I don’t know if I have sufficient strength of character.

  5. Janine Avatar

    Amazing stash but not out of control. Good luck with your challenge. I will informally join in too.

  6. Aunty Laura Avatar
    Aunty Laura

    I just finished a post and realized that I have a ‘Coke in my hand.’ Quite literally. Like father, like daughter?

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