On “old as new” and not keeping a fabric stash

I’ve been recently having lots of ideas to sew new things. You know how it works: inspiration strikes, you want to go to the fabric store right that moment. Once at the fabric store, you don’t find what you need, and in a fit of despair you buy three-four other fabrics that:

  1. You might want to use someday when you are really going to work on that project you thought about two years ago. This is the perfect fabric for that project. It doesn’t seem important that the project doesn’t seem exciting anymore, this is the perfect fabric for that project. You buy it.
  2. Are simply so fun and cool and you don’t know what you’ll do with them but you love them! (They will stay in your stash for years either because you’ll never figure out what to do with this piece of fabric, or because you love it too much, or both!)
  3. This fabric would be so cute for a shirt (never wears shirts) etc.

You know what I’m talking about right?

So instead, I am trying to force myself to use up my fabric stash. What is the point of keeping all this fabric (and fabric takes space) if you don’t use it?

This is difficult, because sometimes I just don’t have the type of fabric I need for a project in my stash (like a thicker knit) or I don’t have enough. Or the fabric I have doesn’t make sense for the season. Other times I just don’t feel like sewing the project I want to use that specific fabric for. I have this beautiful chambray with tiny white flowers that was a gift from my partner’s mom and I’ve always wanted to make a shirt out of it. But a shirt is still a big investment of time and focus for me.

The second option is to repurpose/fix something I already own, which is not that exciting, unless you have a genius idea or you do a fix that changes your life completely (I might be exaggerating a bit here 🙂 ). The other day I fixed the waistband and took in the sides of a pair of lounge pairs I wear a lot but have always been just 85% comfortable. 10 minutes later they are the perfect lounge pants. Why did I wait six month to do this fix?

I’ve also turned a hoodie into a hoodie-less (?) sweatshirt and sewed in a new neckband. Went from “what’s strange with this hood? Why is it making me feel like I am a giraffe” to “oh, the freedom!” in another 10 or so minutes.

What are the advantages or using up my fabric stash and fixing/refashioning items I already own?

  • More space in an already small home
  • Less stuff without a purpose
  • Less trash (by repurposing/fixing and not throwing things away)
  • More creativity (by challenging yourself)
  • More thoughtfulness (less impulse fabric buying)

I am thinking to give myself some rules. Something like keep the stash to just one shelf or one pile. Or maybe make seasonal stashes? How do you manage your fabric stash and what’s your philosophy around it?