Teehee, did I scare you that I was going to get thin? Highly unlikely, I like dessert too much! What I was really alluding to is that my fabric collection is getting out of control and so I am, sort of, halfheartedly, going to participate in the Stash Diet organised by Gail and Andrea.

Stash Diet

Now I know most sewers get a bit obsessed at this time of year about tidying and cleaning up. My plan is not to become obsessed or OTT about it, just a concerted effort to use and not forget some of the fabrics I have.

So here goes, here is my stash:


Not too bad is it?  Just three little cubes of the Expedit cabinet. The cube on the top left has winter fabric, covered up so that the ends don’t fade. Three of the baskets underneath hold lining, scraps and some patterns I am contemplating getting rid of.

Alright, alright, there might be a little more:

Ok, and a bit under the ironing board:

So the idea is, all of it is supposed to fit in the three cubes of that cabinet.  Ideally in baskets as well to keep it from fading. So my goal is to make it fit into the allotted storage spot!!

Step 1 – take stock of what I have. My plan is to go through and work out exactly what I have, the yardage etc and catalogue it (I have a plan for this). I wonder if it is too scary to work out the total yardage??

Step 2 – donate to charity or give away what is not wanted

Step 3 – Sew!

My own (personally set) rules are as follows:

* I will do 80% of my sewing in 2014 from stashed fabrics, in the following way:  I will only be allowed to purchase one new piece of fabric after having used FOUR pieces from my stash.
* Certain exclusions apply:
** Fabrics for lining and underlining are not included in the diet
** Travel allowance:  while travelling, I may purchase as much as I like – who knows if I may see these fabrics again?!?
** Sale allowance: see travel caveat above
** The diet may stop at any time the participant feels she has reached or is close to goal (or has just had enough of rations)

I told you it was only a halfhearted attempt at dieting, plus it really doesn’t help that I live with an enabler!!

I also want to thin down my patterns a bit, and am trying to think of the best way to do this.  Perhaps a swap?  Anyone keen for this kind of idea?

Is anyone else on a fabric or pattern diet?

17 thoughts on “Dieting…

  1. How’re you going to catalogue your stash? I found attaching swatches to cards with a note of how much I have a good way to be able to refer to easily without pulling it all out. Oanh has done similar with a notebook. Please add up how much you have, it’ll make me feel better about my stash!

  2. I am definitely NOT on a stash diet. When I am making a dress, I just love pulling all kinds of different options together and a fairly large stash is helpful this way. Mind you, it is not supposed to grow larger either. It is stored in 7 see through plastic tubs of 31 l. , covered by a curtain to protect the fabrics from the light. That way, i can see what I have. It is heaven.

  3. I like the rules of your diet. Diets can’t be radical or they are too hard to stick too. I have just unpacked my sewing books and patterns and have some that need new homes. Happy to join a swap. Well actually, happily just to give them to good homes – I don’t need anymore patterns!

  4. You have really made me laugh Liz. I love your rules and I may try and apply them myself. So far I have not bought any fabric this year, but I may have bought some post Christmas!! Does the fabric in the remnant bin count??

  5. I….I just cant. I am a textile Mother Theresa- I run an orphanage for yardage. I know my stash gets lonely and longs to meet new faces- it would be wrong to deprive them!
    I like your plans, I am far too weak to ignore the lure of the sale email!

  6. Yay – so happy you are joining us. As for a swap we are planning on holding large quarterly swaps (patterns, fabric, Scythian really) through the flickr group so stay tuned for that. I like that your goal is driven by space. That’s sort of why I started thinking about it because I too have expanded above and beyond my initial self imposed shelving unit and when I did a tally of how many yards of fabric I actually have… well, I was a bit ashamed. Let’s get sewing!

  7. Sounds like a good plan, I like your travel en sales caveats 😉 My stash is slowly but surely getting out of control, it no longer fits the cabinet and taking over my entire sewing room – I literary have to tip-toe from the door to my chair.

    I didn’t use to have a large stash but since moving to another city with a great fabric store within five minutes walk from the office where I work… oh well!

    I’m looking forward to your post on your inventory system, sounds interesting!

  8. What a great idea! I don’t actually have much of a stash. I always buy with a specific project in mind. Frocktails was the biggest amount of buying I’ve ever done without a designated purpose. I will basically be on a diet this year though as I’m not working so i don’t have the budget for it.

  9. tee hee… i’m with Anne… I can’t ignore a ridiculous sale, and the idea of a conscious fabric diet frightens me, but then again my stash has not grown TOO out of hand (yet!); it’s still fitting in its relegated boxes, although admittedly some of those boxes are getting a little strained LOL. I definitely agree the stash should not GROW so in order for that to happen I may need to participate in the swap, or just sew more!! haha! ^__^ I like your plans – always good to give yourself room to be human ^__^

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