Show Us Your Stash…. Anne!

Remember how we said we’d be bringing you interviews with bloggers, where they reveal their stash to us all? Anne and I thought we’d better bite the bullet and start it off, showing you all our stashes (which as it turns out is a rather scary thing to do!) since we’re the ones encouraging others to do the same.

And thus, I’m pleased to present to you the first Show Us Your Stash interview, with the lovely Anne from Mercury Handmade Fashion!

So, Anne, I’ve got a few questions for you. Here goes……

How long have you been sewing and stashing? How big is your stash?
I started sewing at 18 or 19, so that’s *whisper* 22 years of stash-building time.
My mother started me off – you should see her collection of wools and other
knitting paraphernalia! There’s no way I could count all the pieces of fabric in
my stash! Look at the photographs, the evidence of the problem is there, laid
bare for all to see!

the extent of the problem

The extent of the problem

where the fabric stash hides

Where the fabric stash hides

sewing table surrounded by stash

Sewing table surrounded by stash

Where do you keep your stash? How do you store it?
My stash has exploded out of the cupboard. There is a new box next to
my sewing table, and a couple of bags that have escaped too! Fabrics are
supposed to be neatly folded and kept in boxes in my fabric cupboard. But I
have too much! Because of the amount I have, I have 5 main categories for
the boxes; winter fabrics, summer fabrics, jerseys, linens and silks. The new
box has “make me now” fabrics. Daughter no2 and I filled that box in summer

does what it says on the box

Does what it says on the box!

What is the oldest piece in your stash? What was your original plan for this piece and why hasn’t it happened?
I had to go digging to find the oldest piece, and I was a little surprised at what
I found! It turns out the oldest piece is a dusky pink cotton corduroy, one
of 2 slightly different shades I bought to make coats for my daughters when
they were about 5 or so. I made the one, but the other colour didn’t appeal to
Daughter no1, so it never got used. It still has a little bag containing 2 reels
of thread & the buttons I was going to use! The lining has long since been
pilfered for another project.

oldest piece complete with notions

Oldest piece complete with notions

What’s your favourite piece in your stash? Where did you get it, what do you love about it, what do you think you might do with it?
I have two pieces. One would have to be 2m of embroidered, beaded white
silk dupion from James Hare. I got it as an end of roll for an absolute bargain!
No idea what I’ll do with it, it’s just gorgeous! The other is a 2m length of a
cotton and mixed fibre piece I bought from Linton Tweed at a Sewing For
Pleasure show at the NEC about 4 or 5 years ago. It is stunning, the colours
are beautiful, but I just don’t know if I want to make it up! It should be a jacket,
and would look fabulous with jeans. Maybe this year is the year I will do
something with it, you never know!

linton tweed fav piece

Linton tweed

Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding or do you wash it first?
New purchases are generally washed, dried and ironed straight away, always
depending on what the fibre content is! I like to be able to grab a piece out of
the cupboard and cut immediately, without having to wait to wash & dry first.

how long have these been waiting

How long have these been waiting?!

How do you add to your stash? Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?
Sometimes I buy with a project in mind. That doesn’t mean that that piece will
actually be used for that project. I also suffer terribly from fabric lust. I’ll see a
piece with a perfect colour, pattern or handle and just have to have it. Or I will
spot something I think is perfect for x person for x garment and buy it, then get
home and face a screwed up nose and a “really”?? Humphf, no accounting
for taste with some people. I have scored a few bargains in charity shops, and
last year got a parcel in the mail from a friend who has moved to the States.
She is addicted to bargain hunting & loves estate sales! She just had to share
some of her haul with me!

Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into? Why?
I have lots of beautiful fabric, and one particular piece that springs to mind is a
black and gold handblocked Indian silk. It was brought back from India for me
by a student who has since sadly lost a long fight with cancer. It has a double
border and the cutest elephant print. I don’t want to use it on just anything, so
it regularly comes out for a pat and then folded back up and put safely away.

cant bear to cut it

Can’t bear to cut it!

Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?
I stash ribbons, lace, buttons, vintage patterns & Burda magazines! I started
buying Burda magazines in 1993, and have every issue since then. The oldest
are in the loft, in waterproof boxes, others are boxed in my fabric cupboard,
and I keep the last 5 year’s worth in boxes next to my sewing table. I have one
big box for vintage patterns, which I snap up in the local charity shops. My one
big weakness is for ribbons. I just love them!

Boxes hide magazines and notions

Boxes hide magazines and notions

Have you decided to do a “stash-busting” resolution this year? If so, what have you decided to do?
My stash-busting resolution… I come up with one every January, and never
really stick to them terribly well! I think that’s because I have been too
draconian, like, no buying anything until the stash in gone! Yeah right, like
that’s ever going to happen! So this year I decided that for every 2 items of
stash fabric I use, I am allowed to buy one new piece. If I need it. Of course,
this limitation completely excludes the purchase of linings, interfacings and
notions. 😀 Now that this opportunity to swap some of the things I loved and
bought but possibly have no use for now has come up, I am looking forward to
getting new fabric!!

Thanks for the glimpse into your stash Anne! So many pretty, pretty things! I love how you have your future projects in bags with everything you need for them – brilliant idea. 🙂

18 responses to “Show Us Your Stash…. Anne!

  1. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Also, that Burda collection is awesome! Mine only goes back as far as the early two thousands. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow thanks for sharing! I think my boyfriend would leave me if my stash ever got this big, he’s already grumpy about my wool draws!

  3. Wow, what a stash! I hate to think what my house will look like if I keep sewing for twenty years! 🙂

  4. I love seeing other peoples stashes, it feels so naughty and voyeuristic but also fun and inspirational! Love that Indian silk, I’d be scared to cut it as well!

  5. Hehe, I have to admit, at first I thought it was really bad, all out in the open, but now I’ve seen some others, I’m actually pretty good! 😀 Love the new header, by the way. I did have to get rid of pretty much all of my fabric before leaving South Africa, so this is just what I have collected in the last 16 years of being in the UK. Trips back home are pretty good for adding to the stash too! 😀

    • By ‘others’ do you mean my stash, by any chance? 😀
      Oh yes, trips anywhere are good for adding to the stash, I find. After all, you might never be able to find that fabric/pattern/whatever again, so need to snap-it-up-fast-before-it-vanishes! 😉

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