Embarrassment of (Fabric) Riches? Or Sewing Empowerment?

Readers, thank you for visiting!  Recently, I decided to pitch my sizable fabric stash against the seasonal Pantone color palette for Fall 2013. Here is what ensued. Each color in the Pantone release was found in my fabric stash. And more….

Pantone Fall 2013
Pantone Fall 2013

Fabric Stash Pantone

Is that embarrassing or sheer sewing empowerment? I’m on the fence with this issue, and want to consider both arguments. I would also love to see how you look at it. By the way, the photograph of my fabric may not show the true colors so you’ll have to take my word for it that these are very, very close to the Pantone palette. For example the second fabric on the lower right side appears red but is really “vivacious” pink as in the Pantone palette.  The green at the top left is already made into a cowl neck top.

Sewing Empowerment:

(Pro argument for a large fabric stash)

  • Some people collect stamps, coins, little porcelain things, or Star Trek paraphernalia.  I love fabric  and love turning a flat piece into an item to adorn the human body or human abode. Adding that one perfect piece in the pile is cause celebre.  What do the stamp collectors do with their rare stamps? Or their Star Trek items?
  • It is somehow empowering to find material just right for a planned project within said stash (and the thread and notions), and not have to hunt it down for purchase. I can shop my stash. Some may disagree since the hunt is half the fun. See what I mean when I say that I’m on the fence with this issue?
  • My dearest friends gift me with fabric out of pure friendly love. (see next bullet). The family, though, have their own reasons for not presenting me with fabric.
  • Not sure which argument this goes in: I’m emotionally attached to each piece and know exactly where it is located in the house.
  • I have given away a couple of boxes with fabulous material to sewers affected by natural disasters. I knew who they were and that they would do justice to these pieces.  I’m not sure what they did with it since I never heard from them again. But I feel a degree of empowerment….

Embarrassment of Riches:

(Cons for a large fabric stash)

  • The amount of money spent on the stash over the years – let’s not go there. A lot of my fabric is not cheap yardage. (Blocking the mental calculator in my mind as I type).
  • The space occupied in the house by the stash is an embarrassment. My apologies to houseguests who have had to take the living room couch or the inflatable mattress. I cannot accommodate guests in the sewing room (formerly the guest room).
  • Why did I buy a lot of wool? I have a LOT of it, even though it is the lightweight, “tropical” variety. And I live in Texas. It may have been due to a newly minted obsession with tailoring jackets at the time; even so the quantity does not justify the reason.
  • There are a lot of pieces in the “collection” which were purchased just for their looks, with no project in mind. It’s the I’ll-do-something-with-it syndrome.  I’m very attached to these beauties, and determined to find the perfect project for them. When? When??
  • The fabric was on sale and I thought I’d be the only one who was not getting the bargain. As if.
  • There are also a few pieces which have no reason to be in my fabric stash. The moment when you get into the must-have-fabric mode . Can you now see how the collection is building?

Readers, I’m sure you can add to these lists! I can already hear you defending your stash!! Feel free to say something in the comments section.


PS – I’ve made a pair of pants after a long time and will share the result next week. I apologize in advance for missing a post last Friday. It was a case of “life got in the way”.

11 thoughts on “Embarrassment of (Fabric) Riches? Or Sewing Empowerment?

  1. I can’t defend my large stash at all. I’m crazy attached to each pieces potential, and not necessarily what I can make with it. I’m always fearful that it will be the right fabric wrong pattern resulting in something never worn. I wish I had it down to a few pieces that I knew exactly what to make with it, but yet I’m always adding to it at least a couple of times a month. 🙂


  2. Bullet for Empowerment: A colourful quilt themed ‘Pantone – Fall of 2013’? 🙂 Will not put a dent in your stash! And I’m happy to sleep on the couch draped by Pantone colours…


  3. That’s pretty cool that you have all the fixins for the Pantone Fall 2013 colours. I think they are really pretty this year. I like to sew sometimes when I can’t sleep. So, we’re talking 2 AM, 4 AM, etc. And, obviously, the fabric shoppes are not open, so it’s nice to be able to have some fabric to chose from as well as patterns, so I can just go for it. Also, if something is on a drastic sale, then I often pick up a variety of it, since I know it will go to use. But, I try not to be too greedy, since I don’t want fabric to sit for months in the stash, but to actually get used.


  4. Another point for the large stash team: Fabric shopping in your own collection at 2 a.m.
    One of the reasons my stash took on these proportions was that I was, as you put it, “greedy”. 🙂


  5. 1) Compared to other hobbies, having a large fabric stash isn’t all that impudent. Think of target shooting. It costs thousands of dollars to stay proficient. Woodworking is rewarding but expensive. You think your Bernina is expensive? Try pricing a good 12 inch table saw. Ditto for the planner. Tools, ramps and pullers for automotive work cost thousands. Radio control airplanes and helicopters are not cheap either. I could on about boating golf but you get the idea.

    2) Murphys law applied to sewing: “If you pass up a great fabric, you’ll regret it.” Many a time I’ve passed on fabrics thinking I really don’t need that only to discover that on a return visit the whole bolt was bought by someone!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s