Show Us Your Stash – Mrs C!

The Swap Your Stash month that Anne and I were hosting is now at an end. We hope you enjoyed swapping, and getting peeks into the stashes of fellow sewists/hoarders!

To round out the month, here’s one more stash reveal interview for your viewing pleasure. This time, I’d like you to give a warm welcome to that friendly fount of sewing and fitting knowledge, Mrs C!

Alright Mrs C, we’re all curious. Show us your stash!

How long have you been sewing and stashing? How big is your stash?
I’ve been sewing for 35 years. I’ve been stashing for most of that. If I hadn’t ruthlessly culled on several, ok many, occasions, I’d be buried in fabric! 🙂 I estimate I have around 1,000 metres of fabric.

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Where do you keep your stash? How do you store it?
I keep it in those tall two door cupboards you get flat pack from hardware stores. I fold it and stack it flat on the shelves. I’ve tried bins and drawers and all kinds of things but THIS works brilliantly. I just open the doors and there it all is, easy to see. The stuff at work is stacked folded in some lundia shelving in my office. Not so good but it adds colour to the space!

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What is the oldest piece in your stash? What was your original plan for this piece and why hasn’t it happened?
Hmm, can I cheat and tell a story about a piece I have already used? I bought a piece of dupion silk in 1983. It was old gold shot with purple and I fell for it. I also bought a piece of purple niedeck velvet to go with it. My intention was to make a gown for my graduation ball, in 1987! But, I graduated ad eundem in 1991 so no big ball for me. Over the years, I tried to sell it to various clients but it was never right. The velvet was used in a gorgeous dress I made for a redhead in 1991. In the end, I needed something to go with the deep purple silk/rayon velvet I bought for my wedding dress and realised this was what it was destined for. 20 years from when I bought it, it went into the most important dress I have ever made. Cool eh! Am I forgiven for subverting the question? 😉

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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?
No fair, that’s like asking which is my favourite child??!! But I would have to say it is a piece of embroidered silk I bought in Cirencester, England. It’s the colour of paper bags with red flowers scrolling over it. The design for my tattoo was taken directly off it. So I must love it! I love it because I am a sucker for red and gold, and I love viny patterns immensely. It was actually one of three similar fabrics I bought but it is my fave. I have absolutely not the first clue what to do with it – except to own it, which I feel is a thing in itself, no?

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Does the fabric you buy go straight into hiding or do you wash it first?
I wash all the washables first before putting them away. I learned this early on – nothing is more tedious than having a massive surge of productive energy and having to wait while the fabric washes and dries!

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How do you add to your stash? Do you buy with a purpose in mind, or is it fabric lust?
This has changed a lot over the years. As my disposable income increased, my fabric buying took off. I know for a fact that I spent over $5,000 on fabric, quilting and notions in 2011 because I added it all up. Horrifying! So a LOT went to Fabricabrac and now I tend to buy for two reasons – one is that a piece is such a signature fabric for me I want to invest in it. Hence all the embroidered silks. The other is because I have a specific pattern in mind, and that is why I bought the last 7 lengths of fabric, 3 of which are underway or completed.

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Do you have something in your stash that you cannot bear to cut into? Why?
I actually have been known to replace fabric in my stash when I’ve used it! Admittedly that is generally quilting cottons – some of those fabrics are incredibly useful! I am pretty fearless though – it comes from making wedding dresses out of $500m laces – you have to get over it. 🙂 Having said that I do have a few pieces I just love for their own sake and as so far I don’t know what to do with them, I’m really reluctant to cut them up.

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Do you just stash fabric, or does the problem include patterns and notions?
Problem? What problem? (de nile de nil de nile) Used to include patterns, as having sewn for others mostly, I needed a huge range *coughexcusecough* but as these days I don’t really sew for other people much except the husband and family, preferring to make people quilts, I’ve gotten rid of most of them and now I only have 80 or so. I used to collect buttons and ribbons and trims but hey, now it’s my JOB to buy that good stuff so I don’t feel the need!

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Have you decided to do a “stash-busting” resolution this year? If so, what have you decided to do?
Nope, sorry but it’s not me. I have over the years slowed my buying down – reinvesting the income from selling fabric into bits I really love and want to own. But as many of them still haven’t revealed their purpose, I’m in no hurry to force the issue. Hey, the 20 year silk, remember? I’m playing a long game here! 🙂 But you have to put this into the context that my stash is 50% quilting fabric, 20% soft furnishing type fabrics, 20% vintage laces and fabrics for wedding dresses and the last 10% only is apparel type fabric. So while I own a LOT of fabric, not so much for frocking up. Mind you even that 10% will keep me covered up for many years to come 🙂 Unless I fall out of love with it and it ends up at a fabric swap of course!

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Wow, that’s one impressive stash! Thanks so much for showing it to us (and that glimpse at your sewing machine, it looks like a beauty!).

Well folks, that rounds up our Show Us Your Stash interviews. Anne and I hope you enjoyed them! We certainly enjoyed “interviewing” the lovely ladies who participated (and I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling quite as bad about my stash now – it’s nice to know I’m not alone with fabric hoarding, haha!).

Want to make sure you haven’t missed any of the stash reveal posts? Here’s where you can find them all:

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9 responses to “Show Us Your Stash – Mrs C!

  1. Wow, all that fabric! *wiping the drool off the keyboard before it shorts on me* I have loved all the interviews & photos, it’s been fab to see what everyone else does with their stuff, and great to know we are not alone! 😀

    • Hasn’t it been fun?! I’m thinking we may have to do another series next January, to tie in with everyone’s sewing resolutions. 😉

  2. Fab series, thanks so much for sharing…it definitely makes me feel better about my ever growing stash!!!

  3. Thanks Kat – looking at this makes me realise the current state of my stash is one big unholy mess, which is really not usual, honest! 🙂 And you oughta see the other half of it 😉

  4. Very interesting! Great story about the 20 year silk 😀

  5. Keep forgetting to tell you Kat – I’ve passed on the Premio Award to you. It goes to blog commentors. All you have to do is hand it over to the last 9 people who have left comments on your blog. There is a badge, which you can lift off the side of my blog. Congratulations!

  6. Oh wow this all makes me feel so much better about the relatively small size of my stash. And I do really like the idea of having a shelving unit or two instead of all my boxes. I hall have to think about how to accommodate that idea – thanks MrsC.

    Thanks Kat too for hosting this, with Anne. Very interesting.

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