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Conversational Threads

Do you have a fabric stash?

Deana | Posted in Talk With Us on

If so, how big is it? If you stash patterns, how many do you have?

Deana Tierney, Assistant Editor, Threads


  1. myca99 | | #1

    I have been sewing for a year and I've accumulated about 15 bundles of fabric that probably amount to about 50 yards. I have approximately 15 patterns.


  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Oh, my...quantifying my stash would be tough, even though I've gotten serious about using it up!

    For fabric, I use those boxes that printer copy paper comes in, and have about eight. Half of those are for scraps and remnants from four decades of sewing that I use for quilts, gifts & crafts, and the other half are lengths of new fabric for new projects, including garments and home decoration.

    Patterns...oh, my again! Organized in plastic drawer bins according to Women's, children/baby's, accessories/crafts, vintage, and costumes, I probably have at least 150 total. Plus a binder of patterns I copied from rtw with about 24.

    When I get home this evening, I'll do a quick check to see if these numbers are anywhere near the truth!

  3. Crazy K | | #3

    You really want to know???????  Well, I think I rival any small fabric shop.  Dear hubby teases but he often finds the bargains when he tags along to the fabric stores!!  When we moved 6 years ago I had 33 -15gal. tubs that the movers carried in for me.......and I have added much since then.  As for patterns, I have 5 of the boxes made especially for pattern storage and all but two are full.  I have one box for men, one for children, one for toddlers and two for ladies.  Most of my patterns are Kwik Sew because I can utilize more than one size.  With 22 grand kids and numerous kids and in-laws I need just about every size under the sun!

    Dear hubby just asked what I was writing and when I told him, he said "anyone who wishes to visit with a sewing machine is most welcome!!"  Actually, I have the machines.........it's time, manpower (or womanpower!) and expertise that I lack!!! LOL

    Now you understand my handle......... Crazy K


  4. tmorris1 | | #4

    I collect Vintage patterns, and probably have 1500 at least. I buy them by the box at garage sales, thrift stores, antique shops, etc. I do not think that I have paid more than 10 cents for any one of them. I keep them all in big white binders by category and decade. I have so many big white binders that my wall almost looks like modern art lol.

  5. solosmocker | | #5

    I am a reformed stashaholic. A little over a year ago we moved from our home of 21 years to a smaller home and it was time to give away as well as chuck. I never had the huge stash some of my cyber sewing friends have but it was a stockpile nonetheless. My patterns were easily over 400. Having worked in a fabric store at one time aggravated my addiction. But, as I said, I reformed. I probably have my patterns down to about 200 or less and all of my fabric fits in the equivalent of two of the hanging sweater organizers for the closet. I took a pledge to work on just one project at a time and to not buy more fabric till I finish a garment. Garment done, fabric in. Now does that mean I am perfect? Far from it. I slip now and then as I recently did when eyeing some exquisite ecru silk taffeta that would be wonderful in one of my heirloom christening gowns. Of course it had a killer price and very little left on the bolt, and it was a sample from the Garment District, yada, yada, yada. But thats the first slip in a while, and it did feel good. It also feels good to see my garments completed before I buy more fabric. I reward myself with a purchase when I complete a garment. Hiding fabric in the trunk of your car gets old. (Works, though!)

    Oh, did I mention my compulsion with notions, and threads, and magazines, and ribbons, and.........

    Edited 4/24/2007 10:28 pm ET by solosmocker

  6. SewFit | | #6

    Alas!  I am a stasher... I have 4 thirty gallon bins full plus overflow in drawers and on my cutting table.   One bin holds holiday fabrics from which I make gift bags and stockings each year.  Another is predominantly warm weather fabrics.

    In the past 15 years I moved 7 times and disposed of a lot of fabric and "stuff" but always moved my favorite woolen fabrics which  I accululated while working weekends at a woolen shop more than 15 years ago.  I moved from VA to NC 7 years ago and he climate here is a little milder and less conducive to wearing woolens....still I can't part with my stash. Stopped adding to the stash for a few years when I wasn't sewing much due to job and family circumstances.  However, since my husband's passing a little over a year ago, I have purchased a new machine and learned to use my serger.   I never PLAN  to stash,  I buy to sew and then time gets away from me......

    Probably have 150 or so patterns-some vintage, some new.   I did get rid of all the children's patterns (my babies are 33 and 35).   I also have a drawer of zippers (bought as closeouts)  and buttons....Ooops! Forgot to mention my sewing book collection--21 of them.....sigh!!!


    Edited 4/25/2007 2:57 pm ET by SewFit

    Edited 4/25/2007 3:00 pm ET by SewFit

    1. User avater
      Thimblefingers | | #7

      I have upwards of 48 large Rubbermaid bins (haven't counted since I surpassed 48) full af fabric.  Every couple years, I have a garage sale and get rid of fabric I realize I will never use; however, what remains seems to propagate to fill up and overflow the space of the disposed fabric (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).  I also have a pattern cabinet that I picked up from a store that was going out of business.  It is stuffed! full of patterns - I have no idea how many.  I regularly sell old ones at a garage sale, as well, but the same thing happens to the remaining patterns as happens to the fabric.

      I have shelves full of smaller bins of trims and jars full of buttons.  I have every Vogue Patterns Magazine since 1975 except one, and every Threads since I discovered the magazine a number of years ago, as well as a good number of Burda Mags.

      I started my collection when I was in Grade 9 and got my first job.  By then I was sewing most of my own clothing. 

      I don't smoke, drink, do drugs,  gamble, or do anything else that costs money and is unhealthy.  Fortunately, collecting fabric doesn't have any unhealthy side effects.  It's just getting harder to find friends to help me move!!!

      1. Shannon1 | | #32

        I can relate...my new pledge since moving to my new home is to start using my present stash before buying more. I saw that you have all the back issues of Threads. Do you perhaps have multiple copies of some? There are a few that I would like, but can't get. Any chance you might have some?

  7. rsew | | #8

    My fabric stash is gigantic! My fabric is stored in a spare bedroom on shelves,bins,antique pie safe,dressers ,two closets and my sewing studio cabinets.

    I have a sewing/alterations business in my home so of course I always look for unique fabrics and notions.  Sewing is my passion!





  8. Ckbklady | | #9

    As long as my husband is out, I guess I can tell you...

    For years I had bins of folded fabrics under all the beds in the house (6 beds that hubby never looked under...) and a full closet of fabric in the guest room. Yikes! Then in a fit of tidying I bagged up all but a small linen closet of fabrics and donated it all to a local school to help their home ec program.

    I have a bit more restraint with patterns - only 110, and mostly older ones like the out-of-print Miyakes Vogue has put out over the years. I have made only 43 of the patterns I have - thanks for the reminder!

    :) Mary

    PS - Oh, and I should add: I don't really feel that guilty - in this Taunton family, hubby has all the issues of Fine Woodworking and Homebuilding (heavy....), and he stashes HARDWOODS! They are stacked to the sky in the garage. Movers hate us.

    Edited 4/25/2007 7:45 pm by Ckbklady

    1. singer5150 | | #48

      Thanks for the laugh. I read your posting and couldn't help myself. I have a fabric addition, but my husband has an old muscle car problem. They don't run they just collect dust. I'm glad to see that someone has a similar situation.

      1. Ckbklady | | #49

        Yikes! At least fabric weighs less and folds up nice and small - a stash of MUSCLE CARS?? You must have a huge yard.

        Don't let him ever give you any grief about a wee bit of fabric! ;)

        :) Mary

  9. fabricholic | | #10

    I have my sewing room closet full, a big cabinet full and now, my floor is covered with bags of fabric. I don't want to count my patterns. I would not sleep tonight thinking of how gluttonous I am.


  10. spicegirl | | #11

    Do Bears sleep in the woods?  I cannot imagine any sewer without a stash.  I have my stash, a co-worker's stash (had to give up sewing due to arthritis) and my mother-in-law's stash (she is now in sewer's heaven). Half of my basement is fabric stash - have to watch that word around non-sewers!

    On top of that I have a "stash" (I prefer "collection") of Threads magazines from issue 1 through the current issue and always awaiting the next issue!

    Sew on!

  11. Teresa | | #12

    While my stash may not be as large as some of the ones I've read about, I like to think that my stash is quite varied.....I have a few drawers of fabric of my own, in the basment is fabric and leftovers of mine & my mother's.  I slo have a few fabrics given to me by a fried who was downsizing and going to live in a n adult community...she was 85 when she gave me some fabrics that had been her mother's!!!!!  There's a wool, a silk and a linen and they are the older fabrics.....all beautiful!!!  I'm just thinking about the projects for each!!!

    Edited 4/27/2007 4:07 pm ET by Teresa

  12. krichmond | | #13

    Dear Deana:

    I have a pattern cabinet (purchased from a fabric store during a move/renovation) absolutely full of patterns.  Actually, the top drawer is still only partially full, but I have additional patterns waiting to be housed.  The cabinet is organized into categories (e.g. Menswear, Costumes, Sportwear Pants,  Dressy Skirts, etc.), and incorporating the homeless patterns would require some shifting (okay, like every drawer).  I also have a pattern storage box that holds just patterns that I really, really want to sew next.

    As for the fabric.....  Well, I used to work at a fabric store (with a generous employee discount on bolt ends and remnants) and I have a good-sized dedicated sewing area in the basement.  One wall is pretty much dedicated to shelves loaded with large boxes of fabric. A few years ago, I re-folded and organized the fabric in the boxes according to type (e.g. Blouseweight Polys and Rayons, Flannel, Denim, Cotton Prints, etc.).  I have a Master Binder with pages (organized by box labels) containing a snippet of each fabric along with a notation of the length, width, fabric content and 'intent' (if I had one) of each piece.  I haven't kept up this system, but I've severely curtailed my purchasing habits over the last few years - nothing gets bought unless I have an immediate use for it -  so I can find most fabrics if I'm looking for a particular piece and know if there's enough for a project just by referring to the binder.  Even my scraps are organized (in sturdy plastic bags according to fabric type) within the scrap box.   I think if every piece of fabric has a good home and you can find its address, then you don't have too much.

  13. kiwianne | | #14

    Hi there

    I too am a fabriholic.  I caught the disease from my mother-in-law who when she died 30 years ago had 82 pieces of fabric stashed away as well as another 15 garments in various stages of construction.   Some of the fabric was still wrapped in brown paper with dockets dating back to 1954.  I gave away a lot and it got to the point where my friends would say "NO, Anne, I do NOT want any more fabric!" and then head for the hills.

    At the moment, I have fabric squirrelled away at the top and bottom of one wardrobe,  in eight drawers, 10 store bags of various sizes and in two large storage bins.  And of course when I took up silk dyeing, first I purchased white silk so then I ended up with yet more bits and pieces.  Arrrggghhh!!!

    Like krichmond, I tried to be disciplined about this and got a business card folder in which I placed snippets of each piece together with the details of length/width etc and which I kept in my purse.  It was supposed to stop me buying any more.  Yeah right!  All that happened was that I would see something, fish out my swatch folder and think "Ah, that would look great with this" and of course buy it.

    I sadly fear that I am going to run out of life before I run out of fabric!

  14. Elaray | | #15

    I might be one of the few sewers without a stash. I do have a "queue" of projects, though. The queue rarely gets above three or four projects. Each piece of fabric in the queue is matched with a pattern and, more likely than not, I've purchased the necessary notions also. By my definition, having assigned patterns and notions is what distinguishes a "stash" from a "queue". I don't stash patterns either, unless you count 2 - 3 years of Burda World of Fashion Magazine and about 130 envelope patterns. Lately I've sewn BWOF almost exclusively, so I haven't needed to buy any patterns.

  15. Sew Biz | | #16

    Yeah, I admit it. I am a recovering (never!) fabricaholic. Patterns too. I'll go through my collection and remember the days when I lived near the BEST fabric store ever.

    Fabric collection is several large boxes and more on hangers. Plus a number of vintage kimonos and obis. Patterns - just one filing box full; probably 50 or so?


    Edited 4/30/2007 3:16 pm ET by Sew Biz

  16. ineedaserger329 | | #17

    I have always had what I consider a large stash. My aunt devoted a room in her house to fabrics and calls it her "closet"....not to mention her sewing room is twice the size....(she is a professional in the upholstery world)....but she frequently cleans it out, so even as a child I had numerous bolts of fabric.
    Since I recently moved, I stored most of my fabrics at my mom's and it takes up a bedroom and she had to move some downstairs because she couldn't open the door. I have a closet in my place, but it is small and everything is cramped.....I am having a yard sale this weekend and making lots of room....I have everything from upholstery fabrics to lightweight cottons and silks. I want to try to get rid of some of it, but it will be hard to part, but I am starting a business in the coming months, I want to have more variety in the types of fabric I will use.
    As for notions, I am constantly running out, I want to even things out a bit.....

  17. Gloriasews | | #18

    I laughed out loud at some of the posts - but they make me feel so much better about my stash.  I thought mine was bad when I am to the limit of my hiding places (except under the bed), but I feel SO vindicated that I only have 6 big Rubbermaid bins full (taking up one whole closet), a few file boxes full, several big, fluffy bags of quilt batting squeezed into my closets, a large laundry basket full of cut-out garments ready to sew (I cut out stuff in batches while I'm in the mood), 2 garbage bags full of yarn in the basement, & 7 4' long shelves of sewing & quilting books, plus containers of couching threads, embroidery threads, beads, zippers & 2 120-spool thread racks full.  Aaagh!!!  I will have to move into a seniors apartment in the next year or so, so I definitely will have to either sew like mad or get rid of it.  I retired 1 1/2 years ago & that was to be my last year's project - yeah, right!  The days seems to be even shorter now than they were when I was working!

    1. LSC | | #19

      Maybe we should be apart of a 12 step program? Hi, my name is Linda and I am a fabriholic.I inherited the fact that I am a fabriholic from my mother. She will turn 89 next month and she still has a stash that I am sure she will pass on to me oneday.My problem is that I not only sew for my family, friends and home i the 21st century but also for the 19th century and 20th century. My grown children and I are what you call living historians and I sew all of our clothes for the Civil War era and WWII era as well. Add to that my daughter is a theatre major in college and I taught theatre and music and you might have a small idea of the racks of clothing and costumes from every imaginable time period.

      1. Elisabeth | | #20

        LOL, a 12 step program. But do we really need it? Collecting fabrics is such a harmless hobby compared to many bad habits and hobbies people indulge in.I don't have a very big stash. Maybe we should call them fabric collections every now and then to remind ourselves that we carefully choose and then cherish those fabrics! I have a basic tall IKEA cabinet that is almost full with my good fabrics that I am lookning forward to sewing and about 4 plastic storage bins, medium size, that contain odd fabrics and some improtant remnants.If I didn't have a stash it would be difficult to sew. It is hard to find good fabrics these days, ones that suit me, so I buy when I see them online and in stores. That way I will at least have something to work with.

        1. Ralphetta | | #21

          Yes, I do.

          I get enjoyment from just looking, touching and most of all dreaming of all the possible things I could create with my vast assortment of fabrics, trims and "stuff." Daydreaming about the possibilities gives me great pleasure. (Sometimes I even get productive and actually sew!)

        2. SewFit | | #22

          Hi Elisabeth

          Noted from your profile that you are in Virginia.  I'm a Virginia native who moved to NC 7 years ago.  Many pieces in my stash are woolens from a shop that was in Monterey (VA) a number of years ago.   You just can't find good woolen fabrics at an affordable price these days.

          Happy sewing.

          Darlene (SewFit)

  18. FABRADDICT | | #23


    1. goldensassy64 | | #30

      Me too! !  Me Too! !

      I love this craft  . . .all of it ! I sew, knit, crochet, quilt and I try to pass the skills on to my granddaughters and nieces. .  . as well as an occasional young man.  This is a wonderful satisfying way of life that goes on and on, as long as my hands, eyes, and back can stand up to the tasks. I've been doing this for 50 years. I hope I go to meet the Lord the way my great-aunt (and mentor) did . . that is sitting at my sewing machine making one more beautiful quilt creation to give to someone needy.

      Sharing with others is the best part of this skill !

  19. ConnieQ | | #24

    When I was a new sewer, back in my teens and young adult years, I teased my mom about her stash.  At that time I was fortunate enough to be able to sew as quickly as I purchased fabric.  Since children and reentering the work world, finding time to sew became a struggle.  Now my children are grown, I'm middle-aged,  and here I am with this huge amount of fabric that doesn't compare to many of yours, but is still overwhelming. 

    For the past few months I have been changing a bedroom over to a sewing room.  There are still boxes of fabric in the garage and laundry room, and bags of fabric in the new sewing room.  I've tried to stay away from fabric stores to curtail the growth of my stash.  This has not been successful.  I hope that once I get my sewing room set up and semi-organized, it will be conducive to using up some of that stash!  My mom has moved on to quilting, so now her stash is very small and all cotton.  She gave me the balance.

    1. jennyA | | #28

      Oh! I am so glad to read your post.....I thought i was the only one.  I grew up watching my mom sew and started sewing around the age of 7 years. Mom is 83 years now but she is now only doing quilting, dolls and doll clothes and crocheting. Yes, she still has her stash....I inherited part of it years ago.  

  20. KathleenJ | | #25

    Your pattern question made me chuckle.  One of our Fabricland franchise locations recently closed - to move to a larger location - and during the last two weeks in business they reduced ALL their patterns, regardless of manufacturer, to .50.  Who could refuse stocking up on Vogue patterns at that price?  Not me!  In addition to Vogue, there were Burda, Simplicity, McCalls and Butterick patterns - all for only 50 cents!  I think I bought about 65.  Then fabric went to $1.00 per metre.  THEN, I had to buy lots and lots and lots of plastic bins. LOL.

    1. Gloriasews | | #26

      You really hit the jackpot, Kathleen!!!  Glad it wasn't my Fabricland that closed or I'd have to do something drastic to my lifestyle.  As it is, every time I get a flyer from them, I have to talk myself out of going to their sale, as I have more than enough to keep me going now & absolutely MUST use it up!  But then, there was a nice bolt of fabric there last month that I didn't buy, but it's been calling my name loudly, so I might just have to go back & buy it.  Of course, by now, it's probably all sold out, eh? (That often happens to me, when I don't buy it when I first see it - then I regret it for ages). 

  21. jennyA | | #27

    Yes, partly  inherited and other half my creation. I currently have maybe half of my basement full of fabric....I still sew but not as much ... I've given a lot of fabric away. I don't how many patterns.....maybe 10 boxes.

    Edited 5/9/2007 4:57 pm ET by jennyA

  22. geriroyer | | #29

    Yes, I do have a fabric stash, pattern stash, button stash, thread stash.... just to name a few.

    My fabric is in the closet of my sewing room. My husband put shelves in the closet for me and they are filled - and I have more to put on them. ;-)

    I have been sewing clothing for historial reenactors mainly so my stash is mainly cottons, linens and wools. I have very little 'modern' fabrics.

    Most of the patterns that I have today are historical patterns. I just prefer them.

  23. sewlola | | #31

    My stash is so big I can open my own mini fabric store, and patterns well let me say this every time the patterns are on sale I'm there. I never reuse a pattern like I use to since I can get them from $1 to $2.  I have been sewing for over 40 yrs, and sewing is my therapy, if I am having a bad day, week or month, I just lock myself in my sewing room and go at it, never knowing what I'm goign to turn out.

  24. spicegirl | | #33

    I replied before, but after reading several post at this forum and others that I take part in,  I am getting a little concerned. 

    There seems to be a post almost weekly about fabric stores closing.  Those stashes may some day be the only thing some of us will have to rely on.

    Isn't there something we mere mortals can do to get the attention of the industries this will affect?

    Fewer and fewer stores will mean less need for new sewing machines, supplies, various media' etc.

    This may not be a concern for those who live in or near large cities.  I am an hour away from three cities that are lacking when it comes to the home sewer.

    Sewing machine dealers in my area (SW Ohio) carry a small supply of cotton fabric for quilters.

    How many quilts does a person need?  The competition is tough if you want to sell  these beauties, but that's another story.

    Many thanks to you and your associates for a great magazine and forum.

    1. marijke | | #34

      That's how my stash got started...  I live in a small town and the independent local fabric store closed, now I rely on stores which are 1 1/2 hours drive away, plus fabric shops in cities I visit on occasion. 

      Web sources are nice, but not a substitute for seeing and touching the fabric (or checking its drape).



    2. Ckbklady | | #38

      "There seems to be a post almost weekly about fabric stores closing.  Those stashes may some day be the only thing some of us will have to rely on."

      WOW - thank you, Spicegirl!!

      What a jaw-dropper! Your words stopped me in my tracks. I had never thought of it that way. For a long time I have not appreciated the quality of my stash of silks and linens and wools et cetera (albeit small). The way you put it makes me want to go out and stock up straight away!

      I must have gotten onto your wavelength at the end of last week. I am just back from a little weekend getaway to a coastal Pacific NW town. My dear hubby and I dined, bought books (I found Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje for $5 with small dampstain and creased wraps, but YAHOO anyway!) and ate a lot of ice cream while wandering around town. But I found a way to get some fabric home - the big general store had a teensy fabric section. It was a lovely souvenir of a slow-paced town and dreamy weekend to bring those bolts to the cutting table. I found two pretty cottons that will line tote bags, and a lively Madras plaid that will make great tea towels.

      So my stash grew this weekend, and thanks to your sage words in which I truly believe, I shall never again feel guilty for "impulse buying" quality fabrics.

      Thank you so much,

      :) Mary

    3. Ckbklady | | #41

      Well, if I didn't have much of a fabric stash I do now!

      Thanks to your sage words about the slow death of quality fabric stores, I have bought yardage in a couple of endangered local stores this week - a goodly pile of silk tweed remnants, loud Amy Butler prints and a wild martini glass print that will make great gift bags.

      I am telling myself that I am stocking up against future shortages, and that this is a noble and brave endeavor. Tee hee. I am also trying to convince hubby that I should put a "Fabric" category on my stock-up pantry list and allocate monthly funds to it. Hard sell, but worth a shot.

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      :) Mary, grinning

      1. Stillsewing | | #42

        I have not contributed very often to these discussions but I really enjoy reading the various posts on the different threads and it is so encouraging to meet up with so many other sewers even they are only "virtual".
        However this thread though has removed most of the guilt that I have about the material that I have in store. Admittedly I inherited some from my mother but now that I'm retired I don't seem to making any inroads on reducing the amount in those suitcases in the loft, in the garage and the spare bedroom. The problem now is that I seem to be stocking up on furnishing fabrics now as well.
        On the plus side I only have about 20 patterns and a really diminishing amount of thread. Nowadays when I start a project I have to buy it! and like the story elsewhere there are fewer and fewer shops than sell any notions like thread, and buttons, and so on, but at least I have enough buttons to last about two lifetimes. So once again thanks for making me feel good about my stash.

        1. pc3 | | #43

          Hi,I have 3 sisters and we all have a fabric stash. Have you ever heard the old saying "The one who dies with the most fabric wins." I have to say, it would take a lot to beat me. Like others I have read about, I could open a fabric store. Now my 24 year old daughter sews, and has added all of her fabric to the stash. But good buys are getting harder to find here in Florida. Most of the stores in my area, either don't carry fabric any more, or have cut it down to bear minimum. But I could stop buying fabric today, (not that I will) and still be working on the stash in 10 years. I live in Hurricane country, and we have often talked about what the neighborhood would look like if we had a storm hit here like the one that hit New Orleans. The trees would be covered with fabric. Hope that never happens.

          1. NovaSkills | | #61

            Me too, with the Hurricane Alley address...

            I use the excuse that my stash will provide FEMA with tarps for my whole neighborhood, if we South Floridians get another direct hit.

            I off-loaded some of the stash to the Wardrobe Dept. of our local theatre, knowing that dated fabrics are sometimes perfect for plays set in earlier eras.

            Then, the theatre hired me as Wardrobe Supvr, and I what do you think I found in the bins and boxes my predecessor left behind--right, MY former stash!

          2. Gloriasews | | #62

            I laughed at your comment!  So your former stash came back to haunt you - that must have been a real shock!  Now what are you going to do with it?  I haven't heard of that happening to anybody else yet - you must have just been in the right place at the right time (or not)!  Anyway, I hope you can use it this time around.


          3. NovaSkills | | #63

            I'm going to make some of it into flapper dresses for "Good News", and some into other costumes for "The Wiz." If I'm lucky, that will consume most of it.

            At this point, I have also given myself permission to use any of it as trial "muslin" for either a costume or my own experiments in design and fitting. I figure if it had two chances to be really useful and failed, it's fair game for anything.

            I just attended a fabric dying workshop, so some of it may end up in a dyepot!

          4. Gloriasews | | #64

            Those are all really good choices.  Hopefully, the dyed goods will give you new inspiration, as even prints can come out reborn & become something that you really like and can use.  Good luck!


  25. LindaZ | | #35

    I have just discovered Threads website and this discussion board. I have enjoyed reading many threads.

    Yes, I have a gigantic stash. Probably about 20 very large  plastic boxes  of fabric.  ( I know that is not the best way to store, but I have no other options)  All kinds divided into quilting, summer weight, bottom weight , winter fabric. I don't think one person could get this all sewn in a life time. I am going to go through it and give some to my art teacher friend. I now have a grand daughter to sew for. My last daughter is graduating from high school  in a couple of weeks. The fabric I bought for her and didn't get to will be used for my grand daughter.  I love fabric - that is why I have so much.

    1. dionna | | #36

      HI  Linda I also have a small stash I'm trying to use my stash before buying more I'm in a small condo that's been converted into a apartment I really don't have any more space for any more fabrics there are two Hancock fabrics that are closing in my area and I don't have any more space. I just had an idea I can store some under my sons beds I have a lot of denim theres a store in my area they only have sales 4times a year I they have great fabrics when they have a sale it's great fabrics from 1.00 a yard and up I found some desinger fabrics from 3.99 a yard I  forgot to name the store is called vogue.                                                                       


      Happy sewing GOD BLESS to all we learn something new here every day          Dionna         

      Edited 5/15/2007 8:22 pm by dionna

  26. Sewchicq | | #37

    Well, it's nice to know I am not alone out there.  My motto has always been "She who dies with the most fabric, wins!"  I may be in second or third place compared to some of you ladies!  I figure I could make an entire wardrobe for three months on what I have "stashed."

    Patterns - 3 lateral files, and two rolling plastic storage carts - not to mention the ones I have given to others or thrown away.  I buy them on sale and keep a wide variety in sizes and styles, as I sew for others for a living.

    Thread - my granddaughter is fond of counting my thread spools when she visits.  The last count was over 600, so I guess I have "some thread."

    Thanks for asking,




  27. sharpat | | #39

    I feel really great. This is my first time here and I have enjoyed reading about everyones pattern and fabric stash. I was red faced yesterday as I had my heating serviced and the service man had to climb over some of my stash. I told him I was stock-taking. I have a double wardrobefull, a downstairs pantry filled to the roof with fabric, a disused bathroom with standing room only. I have about 200 patterns and 3 large containers of laces, zips, ribbon, ect ect. I am resigning from my current job in 1 months time and I am looking forward to a few months (may be longer) of sewing therapy. I have 6 children and 9 grand children so I am not short of people to sew for. I have a 9 year old grand daughter who I am teaching to sew and at the rate she is going we will have another fabric stasher in a few years time. I don't know anyone around here that sews. I was beginning to think something is wrong with me having all this fabric but I now know I am pretty normal. Thanks ladies for making me feel good.

  28. Jeanette | | #40

    My fabric stash is dwindling fast as I haven't been looking for anything to buy for quite some time and I am wondering what I will do with myself when it dries up.  A sewer with no fabric stash - I think that it will be hard to cope with!  AT the most my stash was a large suitcase,  and a middle size box excluding the off cuts from the fabric of garments that I have finished making which are in another large suitcase awaiting for the day when I will make a quilt which will have a piece of all the garments that I made......Not sure when that will happen though.  For patterns I have about 30.  I tend to use the patterns I have and redesign/redraft patterns to meet my needs.  I haven't bought a pattern since I bought my wedding dress pattern over 3 years ago.  I can draft patterns so I tend to do that as I am in Japan and their patterns availabe (not that I have tried, due to sizing differences ...) are dismal, very few patterns are available, unless they are in books . For those of you living in the English speaking world you are spoilt for choice.   Japanese women would just love to be able to choose from hundreds of patterns but they don't have the choice.

    1. sewelegant | | #44

      I too have a stash, some yardage is decades old and sometimes when I revisit it I find it is not in the best condition (especially when I thought hanging it over a hanger in the closet would help me use it - I let it get dusty over the top edge)  It's now in clear plastic boxes, but not as visible.  I tried keeping a file with a swatch and info about fabric and it was an excellent tool, but I got lazy and didn't keep it up.  I now have a file on the computer with new fabric purchases (I also entered everything from my stash) and it's nice to refer to, but not as helpful as seeing the fabric.  Has anyone else done this.  Would taking a digital picture of the fabric and adding this to the computer file help?  If you've got time for this you are probably like me... at the end of your sewing days.  But one has to wear something, so it may as well be something you love and it fits!

      I think the reason my good stash doesn't get used is because I didn't want to ruin it!!!  Because of my inability to control my measurements, what fits today won't tomorrow.  As long as it's still there I can admire it, touch it and dream of what I can do with it.  I do use the so-so stuff to try out new patterns.  Another reason there is so much stash is because I bought yardage for a specific item:  e.g. 2 1/2 yds for a blouse and didn't make it.  Down the road I no longer want to make a blouse and it is not enough for a dress, so it goes back in the closet.   So, my advice to new sewers is:  If it's the fabric you fall in love with, go ahead and buy another yard or so, then you will have sufficient yardage for other ideas down the road.  I just love it when I find 4 yards of "stuff" just waiting to be made into something wonderful.

      1. Ralphetta | | #45

        I can understand what you mean when you say you don't want to ruin it.  When I was in high school and very, very skinny, it didn't take much fabric to make a straight skirt.  I would often buy remnants from a coat & suit manufacturer in town.  One time I found a longer length of fabric and wanted to make something special but my skills weren't good enough to make a tailored jacket.  It remained on the shelf and I debated for a couple of years.  Well,  one summer I went to a tournament out of town for a few days and when I came home....my mother had cut a big chunk out of the middle  and reupholstered  a chair seat with it!  She said that since it was there for so long she thought I didn't like it.  What was I supposed to do with what was left?  No way on earth was I going to make a skirt that matched a chair.  I hung onto that piece of fabric for about 25 years when the chair wore out. I think I finally made a skirt.

        I think my stash keeps accumulating partly because I place to much importance on not having "too" much left-over fabric.  My mother was the opposite and wouldn't hesitate to cut an 18" square out of the middle of a 3 yard piece.

        1. sewelegant | | #50

          Fortunately my mother was not around!  But, how sad.  I think I would have cried.  I think back now on some things I had stashed and my oldest son wanted me to make something for him out of a paisley knit I treasured.  Well, I selfishly didn't do it and now I wonder how much happier both he and I would be if I had done it!!!   Nothing ever did get made and it eventually went to Good Will 20 years later.

          1. Ralphetta | | #51

            If anyone who is reading this is just starting to worry about the amount of fabric they are accumulating, here is one thing I finally figured out..AFTER mine had gotten out of control.  I finally realized that the reason I was hesitating to cut into some of the fabrics was because I didn't want to waste such a "good" piece on something trivial, or I didn't want to make something that was going to only use a part of the fabric.  I finally realized that I was thinking in terms of how much the fabric was worth, rather than what I'd paid for it.  Almost all of the fabrics and trims that i have were bought when places went out of business, etc. Although they were great fabrics, I had gotten them at terrific bargains.  I would often go out and buy a cheaper quality fabric and save the "good" stuff.  Duh! I shouldn't have done that.  Of all the notes I've read on this site, I can't remember very many people who said they regretted using what they had rather than hoarding it.  I guess I'm saying, if you like it..use it!

          2. SewFit | | #52

            I think one reason I have not used up my "treasures" over the years is because I think that if I cut it and don't like it because of style, fit or whatever, then it's gone. Keeping it uncut keeps possibilities open.  How foolish we are sometimes....

          3. Crazy K | | #53

            And how about the excuse that you're waiting to wear a smaller size??????  that's me!!  I am very guilty of that.  Guess what..........I seem to not EVER get into a smaller size these days!  Maybe I should just quit procrastinating and cut it! huh?  Whaddya think?  Crazy, isn't it?


          4. sewingkmulkey | | #54

            I finally bit the bullet this spring and started making up some of my "treasured" fabrics and it's given my such joy!  I may never loose those 20 extra pounds but I'm enjoying my new wardrobe.  I just had to get over the hoarding issue!


          5. Ralphetta | | #55

            Was there something specific that motivated or propelled you?

          6. sewingkmulkey | | #59

            This may sound lame but I began thinking about New Year's resolutions and decided to make this years' list different.  Since I'm always thinking about fabric and sewing it seemed natural to challenge myself to sew from my stash alone and only buy findings that were absolutely necessary to complete garments.  It's been such fun!


          7. Ralphetta | | #60

            As my earlier note said, I've been making a serious effort to tame my addiction.  Like you, i made resolutions.  Unfortunately, the very best fabric store in town closed  a few months ago. They carried exquisite fabrics I can't usually buy.  Some people might not agree, but I thought I used restraint in what I bought.  I had definite projects in mind that I knew would be not only expensive to shop for, but that I knew I wouldn't be able to find at a place like Joann.  (And, hard to believe, but I didn't have appropriate things in my gigantic stash.)  The verdict won't be in until the end of the year.  If, by that time, I haven't sewn up these new fabrics, I'll have to admit I fell off the wagon.

            Oh, all you fabriholics out there...remember that those evil 4th of July sales are coming up!!  The problem is always, am I just stocking up with more stash stuff or am I really going to use all that interfacing, thread, and other notions that are 50% off? 


          8. sharpat | | #65

            I too have been sewing from my stash this year. My 9 grand children have enjoyed many new outfits this year. My stash is so big that you can hardly see the dent but it should show at some stage. I am also teaching one of my grand children and a daughter to sew and they are both enjying the fruits of my stash. My 9 year old grand daughter is making her name with alphabet cushions and my daughter has made her 4 year old son some track pants and a polar fleece top. I can see us fighting over the sewing machine she is so happy with her efforts. I did relent a couple on months ago and bought fabric to make myself 2 new skirts and guess what. They are still waiting to be made. I have also bought 20 meters of satin to make summer dressing gowns for my children and their partners for christmas. I couldn't resist it was only $2.50 a meter.


            Edited 6/30/2007 4:35 am ET by sharpat

          9. solosmocker | | #56

            I am a big fan of "What Not to Wear" and one of their big tennets is to dress for the person you are TODAY. I guess we can change that a bit to ""sew for the person we are today." Seems like a pretty liberating concept. Over the past two or so years I have begun cutting into fabrics that were "waiting". No looking back and no regrets. You can always buy more fabric if need be. Heaven knows we all love to do that.

          10. goldensassy64 | | #57

            I know and accept after many years of dieting, exercizing, etc. that I am who I am . . . or as the church song says, "I am who God wants me to be ".  I'm a 65 year old former sewing teacher, reading teacher, Mom, Grandma, Sister, ex-wife and a "favorite aunt" to many of my nieces and nephews. 

            I have started using up my stashes by sewing for all the little people in my life. And, also some of the fast growing big ones. I have taught several of the girls to sew, given them sewing machines and boxes of fabric to practice on.  I even taught the son of one of my friends ( a college student) how to sew and give him an old machine of mine.  He started by making flags for the flag team that he sponsors at a local high school. 

            So I say to all you horders of fabric out there, stop being so self-centered with your fabric and use it to bring our young people into the circle of joy that is based on knowing how to sew and then sewing for others and with others.

            Lastly remember its better to give the fabric to those you know will appreciate it then leave it to be given away or sold to people who you never knew. I hate the idea of people digging through my "stuff" after I'm gone ! ! ! !

          11. Crazy K | | #58

            I guess I'm nearly at that point as well that I am who I am...........I turn 60 next month so this body is 'well established'!

            As for sewing for others, I have 22 grands and I do sew for them quite regularly.  I just finished 4 little dresses and 4 t-shirts for one of the little granddaughters.  I shop my 'stash' when I sew for the little ones whenever I can.  I also sew for the homeless in our city and donate through the Salvation Army.  That is done almost exclusively with fleece for hats, scarves, blankets and then some of the scraps go to another group and two of those ladies made mittens.  I just covered some donated pillow forms with some of my stash and took them to S.A. just this week.  I am trying to use my stash in good ways.  For the  fleece hat and blanket projects I do buy fabric each fall when the stores here have their huge after Thanksgiving sales...........so my stash gets bigger for a while before getting smaller again!!

            I guess I'm not really hoarding.........I would just like to sew for ME some, too, but with all the other projects and the fact that I would love to lose just a few pounds has kept me stalling.  My stash is large enough to share with others and still have lots left for me.

            I think I'm getting ready after reading so many threads from this forum to just sew and not worry whether I lose ten pounds or not!!!!!!!


  29. debloves2sew | | #46

    I sew, therefore I am. I am a fabricholic/collector therefore I stash. My preschool days were spent in my Grandmothers dressmakers shop and I have loved fabric ever since.  My collection of fabric, notions and patterns is enough to open a small store.

    One of my sewing goals this year is to catalgue it and so far I've measured 450 yards - I will probably end up with a mile or two.  As I have been going through it I have organized it by color and fabric type/use. So far I have found enough to make 4 wonderful SWAPs (3 work and 1 casual) and If i would stay off the computer for long enough I'd have a wonderful wardrobe.

    For patterns I have more patterns than I care to think about. I used to max out the limit everytime the fabric stores would have a sale on the big 3 so many of these were purchase at less than $5.  Also when a fabric store closed a few years ago and was selling off patterns at 5 for a $1 I bought almost all I could find in my size. I was like a kid in a candy store.

    From reading everyones posts I know I'm not alone out here.

    I have put myself on a fabric buying moratorium since about October of last year and I am going through some serious withdrawal symptoms. Shopping the stash,  feeling the fabrics and realizing I can't fit any more in my storage areas is keeping me on track. I've also set a goal of 50 yards sewn this year before I buy any more - about 20 yards to go...

    Happy Sewing


    1. ceedee | | #47

      I am from New Zealand and I do enjoy your American term 'Stash' we dont have a term to call our fabric collection. We moved recently and I had to pack everything into boxes. I didnt think I had very much, but moving it into a smaller house, 3 chest of drawers, one under bed storage container 2 more boxes that wont fit anywhere, I have got more than I thought, so have become enthusiastic about sewing it up. Then my mother moved to a smaller house and at 84 decided she wouldnt be sewing anymore, so I came away from helping here with 3 more boxes. Now my son in law's mother has died and I am inheriting her fabric, my first ever dedicated sewing room is overflowing. (well the sewing room does contain the computer, but then its handy if I want to check techniques out on line). Never mind with 5 grandchildren and number 6 on the way, I am having a lovely time delving into my 'stash'. (My kiwi friends are intrigue with having a collective name for our fabric)

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