A few days ago, Roni left this comment on my post Enlisted:
I've been thinking a lot about stashing lately. Sometime in the past few months I've become "stash free". I did have some fabric left, mostly scraps and remnants, but no pieces that were big enough to be made into a garment (except for 2, that are still waiting for a pattern to be purchased). While it was liberating it was also demoralizing, because I could no longer take my mind off things by grabbing a piece of fabric and making something nice out of it at the end of a long day of... life. So I did some sewing for my boyfriend (3 pairs of pants and 2 cardigans, from Thread Theory) while taking the time to theoretically build my ideal wardrobe. Ever since, I've been going to the textile district every few weeks or so to buy the supplies I need to make 3 garments out of this idea wardrobe (garments that I need and want in my life) + 2 things that I don't really NEED but want to make. Making stuff I enjoy wearing mostly from patterns that had become my TNT patterns, also mean I can get rid of some of the clothes I don't like and don't fit me anymore (dropped some major kgs in the past few months). This change has increased my sewing productivity, and also changed my wardrobe for the better.
Perhaps this is a bit of kismet because I have recently come to exactly the same conclusion.
There's nothing more miserable than being blessed by the urge to sew (or knit, though I sense that knitting stuff is a bit easier to purchase on the fly) only to discover that you haven't got object X, right there to support the process.
Doesn't matter what you're missing - though, certainly, fabric is the deal breaker. If you don't have the interfacing, the lining, the zippers, the stabilizing tape, the thread, the tracing paper, the buttons, the snaps (and the list goes on), then you're bound to be distracted by shopping. And we all know, shopping days derail crafting days.
This is one of the ways in which I think the organized stasher has the edge.
Here's the thing: I use a variety of fabrics routinely. Denim (light, heavy, stretch, woven), charmeuse (woven and now stretch), jersey (rayon, wool, cotton, doubleknit), other knits (modal, tencel, cashmere) and woven suitings. Extremely occasionally I make use of a shirt-weight woven.
Why on earth wouldn't I aim to have a few pieces of all of these fabric-types, at my access, in yardage sufficient to make the sort of project each suggests?
I can assure you, having gone through at least 25 yards of denim over the past 4 years, that having 6 yards on hand isn't going to go to waste - esp. as I stash denim with different properties and shades. Really, you can make anything on the planet with knits, so is it stupid to keep 2 yards of each of the major weights and types in a cupboard for when I get the urge?
Now, where things get dicey for me, is when we speak of the shirt-weight wovens. Um, if I go through 5 yards of this in a year, I'd be shocked. So I'm not stashing it methodically. And, in fact, most of what I currently have of it has been gifted to me.
On a parallel point, I stick to the colours I know I'm going to use: deep blue or indigo denim (but never black), stripes, the occasional floral or jewel toned pop of colour. Everything else is neutral (navy, black, grey).
For your perusal, here's what's currently in my stash:
6.5 yards of denim of diff weights and colours
@15 yards of all the knits in the land
@8 yards lining and tailoring materials
1 yard of silk charmeuse
@4.5 yards of shirt-weight wovens (for pockets, trim, bags, tops etc.)
Additionally I keep a reasonable stash of interfacing, muslin and relevant notions - enough that I don't need to run to the store for buttons or zippers, for example.
Is this a ridiculous amount of stuff? I don't think so.
It's adequate so that, any day, I can choose from one of my 85 or so patterns (ok, that's a whole other stash - we can discuss this another time), and make a dozen garments. Sure, I'm not stash-free, but I'm mobilized!
So those are my 2 cents on this topic. But I'd love to know what you think. Thoughts or feelings?