Stash Therapy

To stash or not, that is the question, and here is how one of the newer and more productive “Material Girls” (if you read this blog, you are a material girl) dealt with it recently:

Hi Ladies,

I can only tell you this – no one else would appreciate it.
So, I think something finally clicked and I now know how to manage my stash a bit better. I’ve been feeling chained to my sewing room with all of this fabric I’ve accumulated – a stash stresses me out!

Today I didn’t want to sew so I decided to organize my sewing room. I threw out all my scraps and leftovers- whew – I felt so freed!
Then I noticed I have some real color stories going among my stash fabrics. So I started pulling color families and stories together.
I then arranged the color stories into seasons. (And I realized I really love all the fabrics I have in my stash.)
Then I went through my patterns and created a line for each season (did I mention I’ve also been watching Project Runway on Hulu? And I think the Christine Johnson article helped too)
I have a page for each season with my notes for what each fabric could be used to create.
Each season has 3-4 fabrics. Finally I put each season away with my notes and potential patterns for the outfits.

I feel like I actually accomplished something and my stash will hopefully no longer create stress in my life. I hope to really enjoy some benefits from this work.

1. Working on 3-4 outfits a season won’t make me feel as rushed. I’ll hopefully have the time to enjoy the fabrics I’m working on and not feel stressed about the other ones in the closet.
2. I’ll speed up my work- by working in the same color families – not having to re- thread with each new project, etc.
3. My line isn’t necessarily a complete wardrobe concept – too much pressure- it might just be a jacket and two tops.
But I think I’ll enjoy the finished product more because it will be seasonally appropriate and the jacket will work with the tops
if I choose to wear them together or as separate items (usually I’ve just been creating one off items).

I forgot to add that this will also help me shop more productively. After going through and grouping the fabric – I can now see where I have holes. So, as I shop I can buy fabric that has a home – and will fill a need, instead of just buying random fabric-which I may or may not ever use.

So, was this idea inspiration – or have I finally just been listening to what you guys have been trying to preach?

Best, Carrie

Oh, if we were all this organized! How do you deal with your stash and the little voices in your head (am I the only one that hears them?) Carrie, let us know how this works for you- maybe you should be the main speaker for Dress Your Best!

Please add your stash management strategies to the post-or are you one of those disciplinarians who has none…..

3 responses to “Stash Therapy

  1. Carrie, can you come to my house? 🙂

  2. My stash got so out of hand that it stiffled my creativity. I sorted it out leaving only color families I love and that look good on me. then I further sorted them out to only fabrics I really like. The rest went to a sewing program at one of our state women’s prisons. I included thread, notions, and patterns including most of my children’s patterns (no longer needed) The inmates learn to sew for themselves and their kids.

    Now my stash is manageable. Out of season stuff is stored in an antique trunk and inseason on shelves in my sewing room closet, stashed by color family. Everytime I think of my former stash getting recycled by these ladies I smile

    From here I am going to incorporate the ideas in the Stash Therapy blog post.

  3. Barbara inskeep

    Right now I just want to say thank you for such an inspiring helpful post . I will let you know if it materializes.