Sewing Dilemma: Which Remnants are Worth Holding On To?

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My fabric stash is divided into two sections, stored separately—the large pieces of fabric (approximately 0.5 metres and up), and the remnants left over from previous projects. Until recently, the two stashes were almost equal in size.

My natural inclination is to keep all remnants, but I’m also conscious that I live in a small house, and that I can’t hold on to everything. Finding moths in my yarn stash this year also reminded me that sometimes it’s good to be more selective about what you’re squirreling away (and how it’s stored).

I carried out a thorough tidy of our house at the start of social distancing here in the UK, and—in an unusually ruthless mood—reduced my remnants stash down to one plastic tub. The process of deciding which remnants got to stay behind made me wonder about which remnants are (most) worth holding on to:

Wovens or Knits?
My inclination was that woven remnants are more useful, but I’ve since needed knit remnants for inside masks, and they can be useful for underwear sewing, or perhaps a contrast cuff.

Lighter or Heaver Weight?
I find it hard to let go of remnants of coating or jacket fabrics, but I use these remnants much less than lighter weight remnants.

Fabric Type?
I tend to keep any natural fibres, but my cotton remnants always get used over my linen or silk remnants.

Is there a size at which a remnant becomes much more likely to be useful, and below which you could probably let it go? My partner (Phil) entirely fails to appreciate the value of a good remnant and would be rid of all of them if possible. He likes to classify my remnants by the size of the animal they could clothe and is very fond of grading my remnants as ‘ant jacket’ sized.

Do you have a system for deciding which remnants make it into your stash? Do share your advice in the comments below.

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