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To stash or not to stash?

2013 May 27
by elizabeth_admin

I say stash.  Stash as if your life depended on it.  Really.  And I’m not just talking about fabric, folks, but notions too.  A deep stash is beautiful thing.  When you can shop your stash for a project without having to go to your local fabric store for this notion or that coordinating fabric, well then, you’ve reached Nirvana.

That’s how I felt yesterday when I found the perfect contrast fabric for my PJ project.  I needed something for the neck, sleeve and leg bindings for the baby pj’s.  Something soft and hopefully something that matched the Prussian blue of the polkadot fabric I purchased in NYC for this project.  I headed over to the fabric closet to see if I had something that would work.  And lo and behold there was the remnant from my very first batwing top.




It was a perfect match.  How lucky is that?  And the feather in the cap is that it’s so soft, perfect for baby clothes.



When I was sewing up the pj top, I realized it needed a little something-something.  It was all polka dots but no baby pizzazz.  Hmmm…  Maybe a little heart appliquéd on the top?  What do I need for that?  Some steam a seam, some embroidery floss and I’m good to go.  Did I have those in the stash?  Yep and yep!  And now the top has that je ne sais quoi it was missing.



My Nirvana feeling only lasted so long though.  When it came to constructing the pants, I realized that I was out of 3/8 inch elastic for the waist casing.  I did have 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 1 inch elastics though.  But no 3/8 inch elastic, so time to go to the fabric store.  Luckily for me, it’s only a 10 minute car ride away (which, if you live in CA, you realize that’s practically right next door to your house).   So in less than half an hour, I had my elastic for the project and more for the stash for next time.



So tell me…  Do you have a deep stash?  Can you finish a project without having to go to the fabric store to collect all the fabric and notions you need?  Do you find comfort in knowing you have everything you need on the spur of the moment?  I know I have loved having all the supplies to make Jack’s impromptu projects like his sleeping bags, the superhero cape, and the sword scabbard.  It makes creativity so much more spontaneous.  And it brings joy to both Jack and me.

Do you stash like your life creativity depended on it?

24 Responses leave one →
  1. May 27, 2013

    Stash, by all means STASH!

  2. May 27, 2013

    I definitely say STASH!

  3. Carol S permalink
    May 27, 2013

    Well living in NYC I have don’t have the room for stashing any more than what I’ve already got but the GD is one stop away on the subway. I do like to have the materials for a project or two ahead though,

  4. theresa in tucson permalink
    May 27, 2013

    Definitely stash but the tendency is to stash essentials that get used regularly. Notions such as zips, matching thread and some buttons get purchased as needed. The fabric closet is full so there’s no need to shop for additions so anything added gets carefully evaluated before I buy. Rummaging around in the leftovers box to create something new or to add something to an onging proeject is my kind of fun. That baby outfit is cute.

  5. May 27, 2013

    Absolutely stash. Not to the point that you can’t afford it or can’t store it, but having fabric on hand can really get the creative juices going.

  6. May 27, 2013

    Sing it, sister! I HATE it when I have to schlep out to get thread, zippers, hooks and eyes and all those little fiddly things that make a project happen.

  7. Elaray permalink
    May 27, 2013

    a few years ago, I would have said “not stash”. But, I’m beginning to appreciate always having fabric on hand. I’m still trying to accumulate a stash of notions, but I’ll get there.

  8. May 27, 2013

    I stash! I am trying to use up the fabric and be more selective with the patterns i keep. But I have to have a notions stash, if only because I cannot go to the fabric store for a zipper or some thread, and only leave with said zipper or thread. I will always end up buying a pattern or a piece of fabric too. So really, having a notions stash saves me from an expensive shopping trip!

  9. May 27, 2013

    My stash is on hoarder status.

  10. May 27, 2013

    I’m a stasher. Bordering on hoarder. I could make hundreds of projects without having to leave the comfort and convenience of my very own home.

    Unless, as I discovered this morning, I need muslin. Meaning I need to go to the fabric shop tomorrow. Which is 35 minutes away. Wish I had one a spit down the road like you do!

    P.S. the baby jammies are adorable. xos

  11. May 27, 2013

    I am almost done with my MIL’s notion stash. I have really appreciated having needles, thread, buttons, seam tape, lace, bias binding, blanket binding, rick rack (not!) etc. I am sewing down my fabric stash because I started forgetting WHY I bought certain fabrics, and losing some creative spark. Just sewing down a little bit…

  12. May 27, 2013

    I have a deep stash, but think it has reached counterproductive proportions. I prefer that it all fits neatly away in the closet or in the bins that fit in the shelving units and not spill out underfoot.

  13. Patricia permalink
    May 27, 2013

    Stash, absolutely. “She who dies with the biggest fabric stash wins”!! Actually it is a great feeling to be up at 5 am, and be inspired to start a new dress right then, and be able to!!

  14. May 28, 2013

    I am with Amy in hoarder mode. I think when you get to this point, the nirvana is fleeting because it takes sooo long to find the stash I know is in there somewhere.

  15. May 28, 2013

    Stash, baby, STASH! De-clutter everything else, but fabric stash is sacred stuff.

  16. May 28, 2013

    What precious pj’s! and I’m with you – STASH! I get anxious if I get even near low on notions, a thread color, basic linings, fusibles, tapes, snaps, pins, you name it! and I love have lots of fabric. Just makes me happy 🙂

  17. Amber permalink
    May 28, 2013

    Sooooooooo much stashing. I barely ever go to a store anymore, and if I do its never for anything I need. Ive piled up such a stash in fabric/notions/patterns (mostly vintage or retro) that its not only in my sewing room, I have in hidden in my kitchen hutch/bedroom closet/laundry…And I feel no shame!! I love collecting and I seem to always find massive bulk buys of elderly women selling their lifetimes sewing stashes, I have about four womens previous stashes now.

    • Amber permalink
      May 28, 2013

      I should mention I am only 24 too 😛

  18. May 28, 2013

    LOL – oh yes, I definitely have a stash. I can go months without going to the fabric store.

  19. Judi permalink
    May 28, 2013

    Cute jammies!!! Yes stash!!! I stash fabric and patterns…it’s what makes me happy.

  20. May 28, 2013

    How cute!! You know, up until this weekend, I thought I had a deep notions stash, and then I found myself without suitable hem tap/lace – the only thing standing between me and finishing some trousers. Totally annoying. I am going to re-stock today!

  21. May 28, 2013

    I totally stash! Especially elastic. Last time I was in LA I bought huge spools of elastic in 1/2″ and 3/8″ in black and white since I use both of those regularly. I think I have about 600 yards of elastic next to my sewing machine. The one thing I am bad about is zippers. So hard to know what size/color/style I will need until I need it. But elastic, snaps, hooks, thread… Oh man, so much stash. And fabric, of course. Always fabric.

  22. Shams permalink
    May 29, 2013

    Oh yes, I have a stash. 🙂 It helps if you stash in a color scheme – things are more likely to “go” with each other.

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