One of the goals I seem to always have but never seem to stick to is that of stash-busting. I’m really good at coming up with excuses for why that pretty shiny new fabric just needs to come home with me. I’m also terrible at estimating yardage so even when I do use a fabric for its intended purpose I still end up with tons extra. Yikes.

In an attempt to remedy this situation, I went through most of my stash with my pattern collection sprawled out, made plans for each piece of fabric, and took a photo. Now I have a photo-catalogue on my phone of all my upcoming projects.

Here’s a tiny sliver of what I’ve been hoarding.

AniseI will make a successful Anise someday. Having the right fabric for Attempt #2 should help. 

AnnaOr do I want to find a different lining for my Anise and use this lovely floral piece for an Anna dress??

Simple skirt as a dressI’m envisioning using my simple skirt for the bottom, and then some kind of sleeveless (maybe strapless?) top. Haven’t quite figured out the strap situation here. Something like this

Heart cut-out sundressThis dress will happen someday. 

Darling RangesI bought waaay too much fabric for my Impossible Girl dress. I’m thinking of using the leftovers to make a Darling Ranges, this time with emphasis on the pink bits.

SkaterfrewHave you guys seen Tall Sarah’s Skaterfrew? It’s gorgeous. I’m totally copying her.

RenfrewThis fabric has been awaiting its destiny in my stash for ages. I’ve decided it’s going to be a Renfrew (view A).

LaurelI’m thinking something like this.

LaurelI have one more piece of this terrible poly gabardine and I’m thinking of making a Laurel out of it. 

I’m considering getting these printed so I can pin them on my bulletin board as a visual reminder. It’s hard to be inspired by things that are folded and hidden away.

How do you guys manage your stash-wrangling? Any and all advice is welcome.

15 thoughts on “Stash-busting”

  1. What a great idea to get them printed! I’m in the process of pre-washing all the fabrics I didn’t so the can go into my “shop” and I can use them right away. I challenged myself to only get new fabric after I used 3 from my stash. For now it’s working like charm but I still have 11 months to go 🙂

  2. Love the turquoise and white fabric plan for a skirt and top.

    I always have loads ideas and fabric, but then don’t always get around to things and get distracted by others. This weekend I made a skirt, instead of finishing off a load of other things I should have finished. I have half a black lace dress hanging on my mannequin and a pile of other things that need adjustments and sorting out, not to mention all the other project ideas and fabrics I have in the pipe line. My aim at the moment is to get projects finished that I have had hanging around for a while before starting something new, but it will be a challenge.


  3. I love your idea to photograph your project ideas AND hang the photos where you can see them and be inspired by them. (Plus you have some beautiful pieces of fabric in your stash!). I think you just vocalized something that’s always been a problem for me, but just couldn’t put my finger on it. As it is, I’ve been stacking up piles of fabrics and patterns to form a rough queue, but it’s extremely disorganized and messy… And then I don’t want to go anywhere near it! Please keep us posted on how this idea works out for you!

  4. Love the lining for the Anise. It sounds like you have a plan so even if you don’t stick to stash busting, you will at least make a dent in it!

  5. I photograph my stash purchases and put them on Flickr in my ‘stash’ set with notes about what I intend to make. Both to share the fabrics within other sewing friends but also to remind myself what I have in the stash without dragging it all out. I might start a new Flickr set with pics like yours (fabric with patterns) called ‘plans’!

  6. I love seeing your plans for stashbusting. I’m trying to do the same thing right now, but every time I go to the store, there’s always something pretty there! I was wondering if you could tell me where you got that floral fabric, if it’s a relatively recent addition to your stash. I’ve been looking for something similar for the last year, to replace a skirt that’s falling apart, and I can’t find the right fabric anywhere! I can’t wait to see how all your plans turn out! I’m sure they’ll be gorgeous.

  7. I’m pretty good with not buying fabric when I don’t have a project in mind. But if your stash ever gets too big for that floral fabric (anise), it’s welcome in my apartment. I’ll make a project for it!

  8. What a wonderful idea! I, on the other hand, never have enough remnants to make a full outfit. I have bits and pieces left over that can be no more accent pieces.

    I am envious of the some of the fabric you have. I envy the fact that you live in a place that has more fabric stores available than Joann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics. Ugh, I need to move to a bigger city….or visit my brother more often (the New Yorker he has become).

  9. cute ideas! I do the same thing with mine – buy the fabric then work out which pattern it can go with. though i usually do that once i get it home cause im way to excited! And then i make a little note in Evernote about the idea, inspiration images and notions ill need. Im quite ok with digital notes, but only because i havent got a pin board to do the same thing

    1. Oooh I’ve used Evernote before but I hadn’t thought to use it for fabric organization. I’ll have to try that!

  10. I am also really bad at using up my stash… The only time I manage, is when I decide I need to sew a certain garment last minute because ‘I need it’ right then, haha. I think I am going to do what you did here, spread out my stash and decide for each peace what I want to do with it (or maybe start with a few pieces first).

  11. I’m pretty good about looking first in my stash for things to make, since I usually want to start something OMGRIGHTNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW, but I’m also REALLY good at adding new things to my stash that I don’t have a plan for. :/ I think they pretty much even out and my stash seems to hover at the same size all the time.

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