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Creative ways to de-stash fabric

seamssimple | Posted in Fabric Guidance on

Like many sewers, I have lots of fabric.  As I look to be creative, what ways have others used to de-stash fabric?  I am not particularly interested in giving to GoodWill or Disabled Veterans (those are great organizations) as I would like the fabric to be used to make clothing – homeless shelters – but no sewing machines or time to sew there? children’s homes -are there groups that teach there? groups that take fabric for these kinds of things? organizations that sew for others? women’s groups – most do quilting and not garment sewing that I know of?  I do know of one organization in Fort Worth, Texas (where I live) that makes clothes for elementary age children in a lower economic school.  They seemed to have plenty of fabric and a small army of sewers to accomplish this.  
Any help or ideas are very appreciated.  Thank you.


  1. Beth_from_nc | | #1

    In Charlotte, there's an organization that teaches refugee women sewing skills and helps them to purchase a sewing machine in order to lead them to economic independence. https://www.makewelcome.org/ Is there something like this in your community?

  2. user-7735938 | | #2

    My stash was my creative juice. During this pandemic I’ve made about 10 garments (coat, jackets & dresses) for family & myself using fabric from my stash. Nothing was purchased. I even had Plenty of thread. There was a lot of mix & match with color, texture& fabric content. That was the fun part deciding what complimented what.
    Also in the past I have donated yards of wool & silk to my university Fashion Design department for students projects. Keep busy during this ‘stay at home’ season. 😷

  3. Jonesey74 | | #3

    Here's another place that would be happy to have your unused fabric - and anything else sewing related - The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota -

    https://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/organizations/sewing-group/ the site
    gives the address to send materials to.

    I've seen Goodwill listed a place which accepts fabrics, but the ones near me do not. Some places just pack fabrics up in bulk and send them to jobbers for recycling ( it's what they do with a lot of unsalable clothing too) That might end up being sold in a foreign country. That's why it's nice to find a group that will actually use the fabrics. Local quilting groups are another place to get ideas about donating to specific projects. 4H clubs?

  4. user-7830285 | | #4

    Like Beth above, I donated some of my fabric. After I retired I realized that I would probably not be using that part of my stash that was business attire oriented. Our county has a series of technical high schools that offer training in a variety of work. I found they had a clothing design major and I called the teacher in charge and asked if she could use some fabric for her students. She said yes, and I brought two suitcases filled with woolens and linens. When the teacher saw the fabric, there were tears in her eyes. She caressed the fabric and said, "My students would never be able to afford fabric like this. This will give them the opportunity to work on fine fabric." I had had no idea when I searched for a home for the fabrics that it would be that big a deal. But apparently it was. I've decided that, when I'm no longer able to sew or to see, I am going to donate my entire library to the program.

  5. User avater
    [email protected] | | #5

    If there is a local chapter of the American Sewing Guild, they have sources for plenty of groups that can take fabric donations. I did this about 4 years ago when I was given several of those deep Rubbermaid storage containers packed full with fabric by someone who had cleaned out a home following a death. ASG was happy to take them for girls' workshops.

  6. simplypat | | #6

    In our area there is a recycle/upcycle website. I indicated that I had fabric in good condition. Many replied... quilters for homeless & shelters, sewing making dresses, shirts, toys for children in need. It felt great knowing the fabric would add joy to someone's life.

  7. dkbshirk54 | | #7

    Hi everyone, I don’t know if it’s acceptable to post this but there are usually different causes listed but it seems like there’s a lot of people with lots of different needs

  8. user-7815156 | | #8

    Check with your local hospice. When my father in law was in the hospice house during the last week of his life, he was gifted a quilt made by volunteers. They had multiple in house and tried to match a quilt to the patient. He got a red, white, and blue patriotic quilt after I told them he was a WWII vet.

    I don't know what the name of the organization that made the quilts was, but I'm sure your local hospice would know, if they participate in a program like this.

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