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fabric stashing

melanie | Posted in Talk With Us on

I’ve been enjoying the discussion on all those “stashes” – “caches” on this side of the <!—-> <!—->Atlantic<!—-> but both meaning the same thing, hidden treasure!<!—-><!—-> <!—->

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Every time I open the drawer containing my cache I can hear my three, yes a mere three, yardages calling out, reproaching me for neglect and I have felt such guilt, but now on reading the experiences of the serious fabric hoarders I feel totally absolved – I have a long way to go before I catch up on the real professionals. I have enjoyed all those letters so much and continue to do so<!—-> <!—->


My problem though is much worse than hoarding uncut fabric. I buy the fabric, take it home, cut it out, make it up, perfect the fitting, mark the hems and buttonhole placement and then, I put the garment on a hanger and in it goes to the wardrobe – for a week? a month? a year? 5? ….don’t ask. .Inexplicable thing is that when I have to attend something at short notice I take down one of these nearly-finished garments and within the hour I have a perfectly finished outfit ready to wear. Now here’s the question – why couldn’t I finish them first time round? I’ve never been able to explain this. Am I alone in this? This practice works only because fortunately, I have stayed the same shape and favour Chanel type styles so the changing fashion doesn’t matter. Otherwise what on earth would I do with a cache of unfinished garments?<!—-> <!—->

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At least two of the contributors have admitted to collecting patterns as well so I am wondering if I can get help here. I’ve spent decades seeking a copy of Vogue 9324, published in the seventies – a straight skirt with a centre panel and a waistband that went around the body and tied in the front. It was a great design for avoiding zip insertion when I was a young stitcher and wanted to dodge the tricky bits. Now an old stitcher I would welcome dodging the tricky bits again. Arthritic fingers and zips are reluctant to work together. The pattern would be great in any size (I’m a 16-18) but a scanned print of the instruction sheet would be adequate I think – there’s just one part of the pattern I can’t remember which is what lets me down. Any help would be much appreciated. Needless to say any expense incurred in buying/sending a pattern would be fully re-embursed – gladly.

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So keep on stashing!


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Melanie, if you would like to have a spin on my couch, I will play pschycologist! I think you are just a great procrastinator. You know in your heart that you can finish these garments at any given moment so you put them aside to get going on the next exciting garment. That next garment gives you that creative high again. Truthfully, this is all meant with tongue in cheek and the best of intentions. You are just one of the ranks of us sewing folks with all our quirks and thats Ok, because you are in good company!LOL!

    As far as your pattern, it sounds very interesting. Have you tried ebay or any of the vintage pattern sites? Try googling vintage patterns. You may come across it. Good luck.

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    My first guess would be that you like challenge and that once you get the difficult part done, the excitement dies down.  Then, later when the last minute challenge arrives...your adrenalin starts pumping and it's fun again. I can  identify because although I do finish things, it's my least favorite part.


  3. tmorris1 | | #3


    Speaking as a world class member of the procrastinators club, I know exactly how you feel. There was a time when more of my wardrobe was unfinished than finished. When things were this bad, I challenged myself to finish just 2 garments a week, and eventually completed it all. So, I now finish all, or at least most of my sewing projects, but don't even start asking me about the knitting, crochet, cross stitch projects which have sat for months without even a glance LOL!!!

    I did a quick search on ebay for your vogue pattern, and there are a couple for sale. Just type "Vogue 9324" into your search engine, and you should get quite a few links for it. It is not, however, for sale on the vogue patterns website, so I guess it is out of print. Another alternative for you is looking at yard sales, and junk shops. They often sell boxes of vintage patterns for just pennies each.

    Happy Sewing


    1. Ralphetta | | #4

      Your note about unfinished knitting, etc. reminded me that about a year ago I was doing a play and the director wanted me to crochet or knit.  I found it very disturbing that I knew exactly where to find the unfinished turquoise hat that I started crocheting in 1979.  That's just plain creepy and embarrassing.

      (Oh, when the show closed...I put the unfinished hat back where I found it.)

      1. tmorris1 | | #5

        Oh Ralphetta, you make my sides hurt!!! A couple of years ago, I was moving and had all the linens packed when we received an unexpected house guest. I had to staple two unfinished afghans together to use as a blanket for them. Of course those weren't packed yet!!! I don't feel so bad now lol.

        1. Ralphetta | | #6

          I am going to bed laughing.  AND I now have another use for my staple gun!

          1. tmorris1 | | #7

            Ralphetta;Isn't it nice when you can adopt the hubby's tools, instead of finding your sewing shears being used to open the frozen peas??? I'll find a sewing-related use for a hammer drill yet, lol. Have a good sleep.T.

      2. Stillsewing | | #16

        While I do lots of sewing and enjoy it I have also tried to knit, mostly when economics forced me to! However even 35 years ago,my brother had the full measure of me, as when his wife became pregnant he suggested to me to start knitting something for a five year old! By then I had enough sense to leave the knitting needles safely aside. (Now I only use them for propping up my house plants). So I fully understand the piece of crochet lasting many years in storage!

    2. melanie | | #8

      Thanks for making me feel better - I think I'll take up your challenge but will aim for one completion a week. Seems like a great idea for us procrastinators with the motto - "don't do to-day what you can put off until to-morrow!" and thank you for taking the trouble to find my Vogue pattern. Stupidly I tried Ebay.ie and co.uk. with no luck but it occurs to me that of course you would have used .com. I will be indebted to you if I find it.

      Thanks again.

      1. tmorris1 | | #9

        Melanie;You are most welcome. I am sure that there are others out there who may know of a web site that sells vintage patterns. If there is no further response, and you have not been able to find the pattern, you may want to post a new message requesting help in finding the pattern.Good luck with finishing everything. I wish there was a procrastinators anonymous group. Maybe I'll start one...tomorrow!!!T.

      2. jatman | | #10

        Hi Melanie - if for some reason you can't find it on ebay you can find it here if they haven't sold out:


        Good luck!



        1. melanie | | #11

          Thank you, thank you, thank you! I opened Janetzline and there it was, my fantasy pattern, just as I remembered it and uncut and in my size as well, 30 then but changed to 16 in the 70s I think. I ordered it immediately - they seem very nice to deal with - and can't wait for its arrival. I'm amused by the remark at the end of the page saying this site is addictive - it is! the range of patterns available is vast and it was a trip down memory lane for me to see so many patterns I made in the past. 

          Your tip has given me so wuch pleasure, thank you again.

          1. jatman | | #12

            Hi Melanie!  I hadn't noticed the little blurb at the bottom of the page before.  That is too funny!  I'm glad they had your pattern.  Post a picture when you get around to making the skirt?



          2. melanie | | #13

            That was quick!! - your time 5.38 -  this side of the Atlantic it is 11.10, and a nice Sunday morning it is too, after a month of incessant rain. I think you will enjoy that site, there seems to be a lot in it that's fascinating - thanks once again for the introduction!

        2. jetembdotcom | | #14

          Hi! I'm new to the discussion forum, but just had to send a message to say how interesting the Vintage Patterns site is. Thanks for sharing this. There are so many patterns I would love to have!

          1. jatman | | #15

            Hi Jetembdotcom!  I just recently found that site myself.  I haven't ordered from them...yet!  But I think I will be in the near future!  Glad you are enjoying it, too!



          2. melanie | | #18

            Just can't wait to report. To-day, Monday the ninth of July my precious pattern arrived in the post here in Ireland - I ordered it on the third! So how is that for efficiency? Not only are they so professional but courteous as well - a small error that sneaked into the order form was graciously put right immediately with a smiley face. This site is a real find to which I will be reteurning - can't recommend it enough - thanks again for sterring me towards it!

          3. jatman | | #19

            Hi Melanie!  Thank you for letting me know!  I haven't ordered from them but I may need to do that soon!  Good to know that shipping is quick for international items because I'm on the same side of the Atlantic as you are.


  4. debloves2sew | | #17

    Hi Melanie,  You are not alone.  In addition to my stash of uncut fabrics. I also have a stash of UFO's - unfinished objects.  I tend to cut out projects in groups - I'll spend a whole day dedicated to just cutting out projects - 10 or 12 at a time.  Inevitably some of those projects don't get sewn up.   Some get partially sewn and because of fitting issues get put aside. In my attempt to organize my stash this year I grouped all of my UFO's together -  they now fill a 3'w x 2'h shelf in my sewing room.  I am determined to finish at least the ones that fit.   There are a number of blouses in there that just need buttonholes and buttons.  And jackets that if I finished them would match garments currently in my wardrobe or SWAP plans. 

    I am determined this year to sew up some of those UFO's and not create any new ones. My tendency to procrastinate however may win out.

    Happy sewing.



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