#Earth Month Post #4: What About the Fabric Stash?

If fabrics had feelings, I’ve totally insulted my beloved fabric stash. So why do I seek to re-make already made clothing? There’s that annoying, niggling issue of why remake old clothing when there’s a substantial fabric stash waiting in all its unsewn glory?  Let’s move beyond the obvious talking points about ethical, economical, and other cliches for refashioning clothes. They are all valid points and I agree 100% with them; but there are some fun and selfish reasons I like to refashion/upcycle clothing.

  •  Let’s just say, I’ve only delayed the inevitable. The redone fashion will end up in a landfill some day; before that happens, I’m always thrilled to give it a better, prettier life so I can wear a pretty thing without a whole lot of sewing.

(I can hear the groans of my pretty rayon crepe in minty green/rust print aging in the stash. “She will never pull me out. Sob…”)

Rayon crepe


  •  I find it exciting to carry the original designer’s vision in a different direction. Yep, even cheap clothing is designed by someone. Frequently, that someone has done a lousy design job. I like to coax that “ugly” garment into my own design aesthetic. Its personal.

(The lovely floral cotton voile in spring colors whimpers. “I want  to go home to Mood Fabrics”).



  • Sometimes there’s that feeling of making something out of nothing; even though I’m creating out of something that already exists.  Because a crappy looking garment is “nothing” – there, I’ve said it.

(The periwinkle blue tweed-like wool is angry as hell).

Blue tweed

  • I cannot bear to throw away things I’ve made. Unless they’re in shreds, I like to re-fashion my self-made but outdated clothing; because I still love the fabric, and I loved wearing what I had made back in the year 2000.  Why would I want to throw away the gorgeous toile print linen bias dress?  Did you know that 16 years ago, long, long dresses were THE wardrobe item? The hem was just at or slightly above the ankle whereas the modern maxi touches the foot or puddles to the floor. Just those few inches makes my old linen dress outdated.

(The linen community in my unsewn stash are now complaining, and justifiably so. Especially this flowered Belgian linen).

Flowered linen

It does weigh on me a lot – the disconnect between the existence of my oversized fabric collection and my penchant for re-making existing clothing.  I am attached to my fabric so giving it away is not an option and I want to use up the fabric before I die.  What do you think should be done? Keep sewing and hope I live long enough to see empty fabric bins? Well, that’s the goal; excuse me while I go play with my fabric pieces.

Happy Belated Earth Day!


11 thoughts on “#Earth Month Post #4: What About the Fabric Stash?

  1. I love the idea of refashioning. My dream is to buy some thrift shop clothes and refashion those. My self imposed rule is: I have to sew some of my fabric stash before I bring any additional new projects into the house. With that darned rule in place, it might be a decade before I am able to buy thrift shop items! For the thrift shop clothes, I might take some apart and use the fabric or I might refashion a garment as you did in Post #3. I’ve bought vintage needlepoint and refashioned into pillows and totes….


    1. That’s the conundrum we die hard seamstresses deal with 🙂 . Refashioning is so much fun but then our fabric collections suffer.


  2. Oh, sad yardage!
    I do find it easier to coax a semi-failed piece of clothing into a successful one than build one from scratch these days. I can find pants in fabrics I like better than the bottomweights in my stash, so I continue to control some of the deeper holdings in vintage midweight solid twill rayons. If I play my cards right, I can be swaddled in them at the nursing home.
    (sorry, been that kind of a week). For every pattern I set to draft to use those lovelies in the cupboard, another “hey, Mom, if I rip the seams out, can you recut this marching band jacket into a vest?” offer comes to tempt me (that project is an hour old and half done, thanks). That kid has great ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do this, refashion, or sew from scraps when there are yards of good fabric unused. Is it the challenge, seeing what can be done with x or y to make it wearable?


  4. My fabric stash must have been in contact with your fabric stash. I dream up all kinds of new things I want to make with my beloved yardage but get so easily distracted by something new. Or some refashion. Or some shiny thing I see out of the corner of my eye… Oh no, it’s a SQUIREL!! Wait, what was the question? LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

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