The Sewing Place

(Mis) Managing the Stash


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2018, 12:47:34 PM »
I don't have a lot of stash.
I have a carrier bag of scrappy scraps.
I buy, usually, dressmaking fabrics with a plan, so don't stash it.
Colour coding is the way to go.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 12:51:45 PM »
This is my stash .... a small built in wardrobe in one of the smaller bedrooms.  This fabric is broken up into fabric types:  winter weight knits, patterned knits, plain knits, lightweight wovens, suitings, slinkys, and quilting fabric. I have a loose policy, that this is the boundary of my stash.  I do have a number of plastic tubs, but these are specialty fabrics .... bag making fabrics in one, baby fabric (very small amount), 90/10 CL and lace, for my knickers, and a mystery box that came from someone else, and I am not in total love with it yet.

Stash tamed. by Dani, on Flickr

The key though, is not how you spent so little on fabric, but rather whether or not it has a purpose in your sewing arena.  I find that un-purposed fabrics can drag you down, and stifle your creativity.  You find yourself digging over and over your stash, trying to encourage that "spark of inspiration" that will magically tell you what to make a particular fabric into.  I am not saying to avoid the remnants bin, but when you find a piece of fabric, hold it in your hand, and give yourself time to really think what you could make that fabric in to.  Then, figure out if you have enough in that piece, to achieve what you want.  1-2m for tops, 2.5-3m for tunics, jackets, slim dresses and pants, 3-5m for coats, big dresses and matching pieces eg PJ's/costumes.  If you can't make something substantial with the piece, then pop it back in the bin for someone else.

My mantra ..... you don't have to buy all the fabric, right now.  There will always be beautiful fabric.  :) 


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2018, 12:56:45 PM »
I have the P&Q stuff (FQs down to 4" x 4" in plastic boxes organised by colour.  Ligerie/swimsuit stuff is in a zip bag and the rest is in plastic crates stacked in a fitted wardrobe- theoretically by type, but if the appropriate crate is full it gets crammed in wherever it will go.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2018, 13:14:58 PM »
I started with a few plastic boxes with fabrics by type and plains/patterns separated. That was ok until more fabric mysteriously arrived in the popt, and there was no space in the appropriate box, but space in another. The end result is a mess. I really need to get it all out, and see exactly what is there. I think this time I might number the boxes, then photograph all the fabrics and note the box number. I can never find the exact piece of fabric that I want to use.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2018, 15:25:40 PM »
Mines shoved under the bed, in the sideboard and stashed in a large plastic bag in the conservatory.  No order whatsoever  :D


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2018, 16:21:39 PM »
I should really think about selling some of mine, but I can't imagine that anyone would want it.... :S


You'd be surprised.  Shift it here. or there's a useful Facebook destash group that's VERY busy.
C'est moi!


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2018, 19:26:38 PM »
Whilst rummaging through boxes to find something for my trouser toile I found 2 lengths of linen I don't even remember buying to add to the other 2 lengths I do remember buying :D

I too can't resist a remnant, there are fabrics that you need to take home and love, even if you have no plan for them
Desperately trying to alliterate in North Yorkshire


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2018, 21:01:09 PM »
I've got to be one of the worlds worse for organising my fabric or yarn stash.  Most of the yarn is in the loft, boxes and boxes of it :(, I don't want to knit though, I want to sew.  The fabric is in a huge plastic storage box, I large wicker chest, countless cupboards which I've gone through today trying to find a particular piece I know I've got but can't find  :'(.  Thread, haberdashery machine parts etc are all neatly stored in storage boxes which are all labelled, how can I manage to organise that but not my fabrics  :S.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2018, 09:03:59 AM »
I have too much :devil:  I have tried various forms of record keeping but finally found one that works for me. I bought a set of record cards and a box for them. I have card for each fabric with all the information about it and a little swatch stuck on. I like this rather than a list because the card is removed when it’s used and new ones can be inserted anywhere. Lists never worked for me. The actual fabric is in numbered boxes and the card tells me which box it’s in. Blimey, I sound like such a nerdy neat freak!

Holly Berry

Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2018, 09:18:44 AM »
I like the idea of record cards, as I can get more info on them and it frees up a binder. Great idea.

Procrastination get behind me


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2018, 09:32:44 AM »
Inspired I'd say.  <3
This from the woman who spent an hour yesterday looking for a pattern that had sat at her backside for weeks!!!  :angry:
Of course my trouser pattern was at the bottom of my 'latest patchwork project' box. FLAT on the bottom under the fabric scraps. Sure why wouldn't it be!?!?!?!?  :angry:
See what happens when you tidy? SEE?  :fish:
Fashion fades, style is forever!


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2018, 09:42:03 AM »
I've nearly finished the fabric tidy up at home - it was more like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!  It turned into a 'make space where you can' exercise.  :(  But at least it all looks a bit tidier - or will do tonight.

Then I can start on my patterns.  :o  So many of them, so many tracings......  :S

I've also decided to put my Bernina back in it's box. :( I use it very rarely, and as long as it's available that's OK.  I'll leave the Pfaff 1475 cd out, the Singer 611g (great for buttonholes + buttons), and the Pfaff O/Locker/Coverstitch.

Getting there....

Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2018, 10:57:42 AM »
I need to show my husband this thread because he really doesn't believe me when I say my stash is not that big!!

Mine is in bags, roughly sorted by size (scraps, medium, large XL). Most of it is in a storage chest but there is also a shelf in the 'cupboard of doom' which has the scraps bag, felt pieces bag, linings bag and some other odd pieces. My patterns are all in a big box.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2018, 16:06:00 PM »
I have pointed out I take fashion and sewing way to seriously before. Are you prepared for the OCD version of stash management?

I have plastic bins and comic boards I roll all my fabric on.  Each tote holds anywhere from 40-60 fabrics.  And I have a lot (21, I think, I'm not at the shop to count) that is stacked to create a "wall" between my space (aka "The Studio") and my SO's space (aka "The Garage").  Because it's so much fabric, to the tune of about 1000 pieces, I have to have a way to manage it all.  My head works, and I can tell you what I have in there, but placing my hands on it is a task.

So...I got professional printed swatch cards done (about $60 for 1000) in index size.  To these I can add where it's at, a swatch, fabric type, date, yardage, width, etc.  The cards also work for planning, since I don't HAVE to have the fabric, but just the card.

The cards are in a microfiche file cabinet I got used ($30) and hold 2 rows of cards.  I can flip through them all I want and not mess up the boxes and when I want it, I know where the fabric is (like one card I have here says it was in KT, which is box K, top row).

Then because I am crazy, I take this even further.  I bought pre printed barcodes ($10 for 1000) to use with a POS Maid system ($60) and got a bar code scanner for free. The program does inventory, one of the big draws to it before I actually open a shop (another topic, lol).  I can also take photos of the stash if I want to, and have everything digital.  However, yeah, no.  It might happen for fabric I buy once it's set up completely, but for now, I'm not taking photos.  (I am also not marking anything up to today's prices, or anything special, just bare bones what I have.  And taxes, but that has a reason.)

So...everything has a price, everything has a bar code and everything a place, electronically and physically.  By doing this, I have no need to sort it further.  I can just search my database, although that could be organized MUCH better on either computer I have.

But let me not stop here:  EVERYTHING I have is inventoried.  Thread, buttons, grommets, starch, sizing...I use it, and it costs anything: it is bar coded, priced and inventoried.  And where it's at is labeled as to what it is.

I spent about $500 all told on organizing.  But there is nothing I can't put my hands on at any time, so it was worth it to me.


Re: (Mis) Managing the Stash
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2018, 16:19:18 PM »
Phew @Kwaaked  I am hugely impressed with your organization and may just need to ship you over to the UK to do something similar for us. I was wondering why I hadn't contributed to this thread before. It might be because I'm trying not to look anyone in the eye over the stash. I am moderately well organised but have too much. Periodically I have a clear out and give to charity shops or schools. I love it when a  charity gets a good price for something I have donated. Anothe clear out is due this summer I think.
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde