Hey Everyone! How are you? If you follow me on Instagram and have been watching my stories, you’ll know what’s coming. A fabric buying ban!! My stash has been growing and growing, and it’s really getting out of hand. I mean, I’m running out of places to put it! I have had a fairly substantial stash for quite sometime. It kind of started because I was buying a lot of fabric when we were away on trips. I mean have you ever gone fabric shopping in London - that place is dangerous! When I first started out there wasn’t very many places to buy good dressmaking fabrics, so whenever we went somewhere where there was fabric, I bought some and brought it home. Then of course more and more online shops opened and my collection just spiraled from there! (I’m looking at you Blackbird Fabrics, and you Threadbare Fabrics. LOL) In fact, if you listen to the Love to Sew podcast, you might remember Helen and Caroline mentioning my “collection” in one of their early episodes (I went back and looked, it’s episode 3). They brought me up becuase they both know about my giant stash, but also I was coincedentally on a fabric buying ban at that time. LOL. I was so incredibly flattered to be mentioned, and I was all about not feeling guilty about my stash, so I even called in and left a voice message about it too (found it on episode 7).
But that was 2 years ago now, and while I still don’t want to feel shame or guilt about my fabric stash, I am starting to. I have noticed that having so much fabric is starting to feel overwhelming, and it’s really starting to zap me of my creative energy. And that is not good!! I do not like feeling this way, so I want to do something about it. Now in all honesty, I probably need to be on a fabric buying ban for a solid year or two, but I don’t think that’s doable for me. So I decided that I’ll start off small for now. I have made it a month before, so I figure I should be fine doing 2 months. And why not do it for the summer, July and August.
I have been thinking about this for quite some time, but have always frozen up at the thought of mentioning it publicly. I mean once you put it out there, this goal of not buying fabric, then people might expect you to actually do it. Ha ha ha!! So as I often do, I chatted with my husband about it, and he was like, “I think you know what you need to do Heather. There is no reason you need to buy more fabric. You have lots!”. And he is so right. So I decided to announce this idea on Instagram, and now here on my blog.
I have noticed in myself, that I tend to stick to these kinds of challenges a lot better, and for a lot longer, with some accountability. So the other reason, I decided to bring it up on Instagram, was to see if anyone was feeling like maybe they were in the same boat. I was so excited to find out that yes indeed, a number of people are feeling the same way as me. I had over 20 people message me and tell me that they were in. They want to do this with me! Hooray for accountability partners!
So here is my proposal - no buying fabric for July and August. That’s going to be my goal. I am very confident that I have enough fabric to make pretty much any project I would want to sew over these next two months, so for me I think the real challenge will just be resisting the urge to bring home more beautiful fabrics. I seem to always want to add to my collection. LOL. I’m a bit of a magpie. I am going to allow myself to buy things like notions, interfacing, bias tape, or any of those types of things I don’t have in my stash but need for a project I am working on. I will not be hitting up sales looking for those things, just to stash, but will allow myself to buy if need be.
Anyway, I recognize that 8 weeks can be a long time, so if you are thinking of joining in, but don’t want to do the full 2 months, please feel free to adjust as you see fit. I think that each individual sewist is different, so having a different pledge makes sense. We all have different stashes, different sewing times, and different needs, so I encourage you to come up with your own challenge. For example, perhaps you want to make a goal of making 80% of all your sewing come from your stash fabric, or maybe you want to stop buying fabric from July 1st to August 10th when your vacation starts. Or maybe you vow not to buy any fabric unless you absolutely don’t have something that will fit with the project you are making, or there is something out there that you just cannot resist and you know will not be available when your fabric fast is over. Really, I think there are lots of different parameters out there, and I want you to chose something that will work for you, and that seems manageable. I am envisioning it to be like MeMadeMay, you can come up with your own pledge within the challenge.
The purpose for me, of involving other people in this challenge, is to provide some accountability for myself, but also to support other sewists with the same goal, and to have some fun with it. I really think there is strength in numbers, and sometimes announcing your goal to the public, or someone you know, can really help you to accomplish it. Sometimes just saying it out loud makes it real. I want this challenge to be fun and have it be about supporting each other. So there will be no judgments or policing. And if you (or I) fall of the wagon. That’s okay. You are welcome to jump back on at any time, or readjust your pledge as you see fit.
I had thought of trying to make it into a contest with some sort of prize at the end, but then I dedided: a) that would be incredibly hard to track and make fair, but more importantly b) this challenge is about acquiring less, so getting a prize at the end kind of defeats the purpose.
Also, because this challenge is about community too, I came up with a couple of hashtags for us to use on social media. So the first one is #projectfabricfast, and the second one is #theseasonofthestash. I hope you guys will use them, and follow along with your progress. I’m shying away from calling this the summer of the stash, as I don’t want to exclude my friends living in the other hemisphere where it is winter, and I also like the hashtag using stash, because I figured, if you are another type of crafter, for example knitter, and you and to participate by whittling down your other craft supply stash, you can use this hashtag and join us too!
So, if you would like to join me in this challenge, and you want to make your intentions public, please feel free to comment here with your goal/pledge.
I’m so excited to be doing this with you!!
Also, stay tuned as I have another blog post planned with some tips for helping us get through this challenge. Ha ha!