Ask The Sewcialists: How Long Does Fabric Stay in Your Stash (& Does It Change How You Feel About It)?

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The Sewcialists’ year-long challenge to #SewThePrecious (that special fabric you’re apprehensive about cutting into) got me thinking about the fabric in my stash and how my attitude to it changes over time.

I’ve been garment sewing in earnest for nine years, but my fabric stash started before that; the very first additions to my fabric stash were made while I was at university, when I would tackle the occasional sewing project.

The oldest fabric in my stash is a remnant of the fabric I used for my first garment sewing project outside of textiles class at school. It’s a grey spotted cotton which I bought from either the local market or fabric shop, and one of these days I will (probably) get around to using it.

More recent fabric purchases will often sit in my stash for a few years, even when I know exactly what I plan to sew with them. I find that fabric I purchase without a clear purpose is just as likely to sit in my stash as fabric I buy with a pattern in mind – as it will often take me years to get around to that particular pattern, and in the meantime I’ll be saving the fabric for that moment.

The fabrics I am most likely to defer cutting into are those that are already earmarked for a project I just haven’t gotten around to yet. The longer fabric stays in my stash, and the woollier my memory of how much it cost and what it was purchased to become gets, the more likely I am to stop deferring and to reach for it when it meets the bill as suitable fabric for my next project.

I’m sure there are lots of sewcialists with stashes with much greater pedigree. What’s the oldest fabric in your stash, and does length of time in your stash affect how you feel about your fabric?


Charlotte is a Sewcialists Guest Editor. She is based in the UK and blogs at English Girl at Home.