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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stash Busting: 2015 success, my 2016 approach

How many zippers are too many?
It's a rare apparel sewer who doesn't have at least a few projects lined up.  And stashes develop as we start rearranging the queue and the project from last Spring becomes waylaid to next spring, and eventually the toile shorts become so passe that the fabric gets packed up for "something someday".
I have been sewing (and lining up projects) since I was 16 -that's 25+ years of queue - jumping!  My fabric stash is a wonderful concoction of past intentions.   I once sewed scarves for my friends, and have a weird collection of fur fat quarters.  There's a strange collection of upholstery samples that I thought might make nice toiletry bags, and I have
upholstery samples
picked up plenty of thrift store zippers to accomplish this.
The wonder of our corner of the Internet is all the initiatives available to guide us through our sewing adventures, and I am especially comfortable with a group of sewists who are Stash Busting -all trying to put a halt to the accumulation of someday something fabrics, to reduce, reuse, recycle from our own fabric stashes.
While most of the team measures their piles of fabrics, I have a different approach to quantifying my stash busting commitment, I keep track of projects.  While my Facebook Friends in the Stash Busting Group are declaring intentions based on yardage, I have declared the following:
  • I will aim to bust my stash by committing to 48 projects that use fabric bought under a different intention. (This worked really well for me last year)
  • I hope to isolate my stash to the bins already in my sewing room, and to eliminate the queued fabric pile (the fabric that no longer has a committed project).  
  • I will sew each of the 2016 Bag of the Month and muslin 1 Seamwork pattern from each issue, or not renew my subscriptions. (Burda Style was not renewed for 2016 for exactly this reason)
  • I will enter at least 1 Pattern Review contest each month (I found this has pushed my sewing envelope, improved my stash busting success, and I enjoy the challenges) and participate in each month's theme.
  • I will prioritize my family mending and hemming.

The bins should be my stash limit
This is so just the tip of the iceberg

I'm not able to quantify my stash in a healthy way.  But I don't mind. It is organic - I accumulate through thrifting,  donations, and impulse purchasing and I  would like to work like a conservation authority: keep my stash in balance,  through healthy attrition and prudent addition.
I have improved in my impulse control as a result of the stash busting group, and the stash bust projects have been highly successful for me.  

Yay for my success in 2015, and "you go, girl!" for 2016.

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