Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One More Instant Replay...

I know, I know....I promised not to do any more instant replays or retread posts but after proudly displaying pictures of my fabric closet and reading the comments about it (I think I could sell tickets to come see my fabric closet! *LOL* And it really ain't that big y'all just dedicated!)

The following post which was written in March of 2006 just seemed an appropriate follow-up to Cidell & Trena's visit. Now I could try to restate the items I addressed in this post or I could just let the original speak for itself. I decided to let the original speak for itself... oh and before you click out thinking there she goes again retreading, there is a post script so stay tuned....

"Are You Ashamed of Your Fabric Collection?"

I need to ask this question because it seems no matter what sewing board I go to someone is discussing their stash and how overwhelming it is! I have to admit that I don't understand this position. I don't understand why you would feel a need to explain your fabric collection to others or even to yourself. I don't understand why you can't have a collection of fabric from which to create. I don't understand why someone would complain, worry or diss the collection that they have taken so much time, effort and money to compile. I don't understand?!

I love my fabric collection. I have taken the time to carefully store it and categorize it. I have lovingly purchased each piece. I have hopes and dreams of wonderful garments to be made from these pieces. And I get so much joy each time I open the door of my closet and stand inside it. I can actually hear it singing lovely songs to me. Am I crazy? Maybe...definitely crazy about fabric.

I love the color and feel of the textures. I love how it handles. I love sewing it and I love owning it. It is one of the best parts of sewing ~ turning a flat piece of fabric into an awesome three-dimensional garment.

Previously, I have likened owning fabric to the paintbrushes and paint that an artist uses to paint an amazing picture or portrait. Or the gardening tools that a gardener uses to till and grow a beautiful garden. Or even the pages and computer that an author uses to create an imaginery world that we all want to journey to. I mean we all create things, right?! So why wouldn't you have many different pieces of fabric, thread, notions and patterns to use to fashion your own wearable fantasies!

Okay, I admit that owning a lot of anything can be overwhelming. But how have you stored your precious treasures? Are they just out and laying about shouting to you and interrupting your creative flow? Are they stored in a dark and dingy place and treated like second class citizens? Or are they treated like the precious tools that they are? So are you ashamed of your collection? Or are you invigorated, challenged and deliriously happy about it?

And as a postscript, I truly don't like the word stash as applied to my fabric collection. A stash is something hidden away like a dirty little secret and a collection is something that has been assembled to reflect a taste, a value, things deliberately gathered.

If there was one word that I could change in a sewist's vocabulary it would be the word stash! Our fabric is one of the main tools that we work with and as such it should be appreciated and celebrated. Okay, I am climbing down off my soap box...*LOL*

Seriously, go pet your collection and for those of you who are only beginning to so with purpose and joy! Because a good collection will challenge you to grow as a sewist, it will help you out in the middle of the night when you need that one last piece of fabric to complete a garment, and when a good friend is it need it just might provide the answer!

So sewists go forth and collect! *LOL*


  1. Great post. I think those who feel bad are those who don't actually make anything out of their collection. Then it is just a reminder of another thing not being done.

    I love the new name "collection". And I love the idea that in the morning you can go and talk to the collection and then in the afternoon have something that was created out of that conversation.

    Perhaps I need MORE

  2. Amen, sister! My only limit is budget and even more so, space! But I cherish each and every fabric that I add to my collection!

  3. I'll not use the word s... anymore. Collection is even too me (not native English speaker) a much better word.

    Great post.

    And I loved your post about meeting Trena and Cidell, how nice you could all meet.

  4. you know what
    I completely understand where you are coming from.
    I do think different strokes for different folks
    you accept and glorify in the wealth of your collection,,, but some people have problems with excess even though they can't help collecting.
    I know,, but that is how it truly is
    another fabulous post Carolyn

  5. Hello: I agree with you. I owned a fabric collection that is probably five times larger than yours. I have been collecting fabrics for over 20 years and I am proud of it. I deserve every piece I have. Yes, just like you indicated I have taking the time to lovingly organize my collection so that I can easily visualize it. Trust me looking at my collection is like looking at a beautiful painting. I deserve all of it and more. I am very generous with my collection because what is the point of owning all of it and not sharing. Yes, i deserve my collection and i intend to continue adding to my collection as long as the fabrics speak to me

  6. I, too, like the word "collection" rather than "stash". Hmm . . that means I have a pretty good collection of beads and sequins and a collection of ribbon.

  7. Perhaps we should consider ourselves "curators" - I mean, after all, if the Victoria and Albert can have curated collections of fabrics, why can't we? I hereby call myself "the curator of the xxxx museum fabrics and textiles collection."

  8. Great post. I now have a collection, but when I first started out I had a stash. My stash was full of fabrics that I had purchased because -- it was on sale, I thought I might be able to use that color I hate in a skirt, and/or they were fabrics that were not of good quality. Mostly they met a need for buying something because I couldn't find it in RTW to fit and I couldn't afford or appreciate a collection. I also didn't understand the art of collecting something that I loved and was of quality. When I had to move the stash the third time, my revelation was that I should keep a collection of fabric that I loved and would make at anytime in the future. I weeded that stash out .... donations were made because I knew someone could use it. Now I truly have a collection that I love and I add to it when I find fabric that I truly love and am inspired by. But, I still have a large stash of notions........

  9. Why is it that men never have guilty consciences about their collections? Or what about people who collect things that can only be viewed and collect dust? Many of which are too ugly to even mention. We have fabric 'collections'; an elevating term I think. Since I organized and categorized my collection I can enjoy it and plan my future sewing with ease. I can fill in the gaps in my collection and I sew more because I know what I have. I don't have to waste time looking for the perfect fabric or notion, because I have it. I love my fabric, not just as future sewing, but as objects of beauty in and of themselves.
    I had not read this when you originally posted it so I really enjoyed reading it now. I never read the postings of women who are sewing down their 'stash'. Hungry Zomby Couture posted a similar exaltation of her fabric collection recently which I also enjoyed.

  10. I forgot to say how much I loved seeing your fabric closet. Wow! Just wonderful.

  11. Wanted to let you know what you've inspired. I love the pictures and the step by step you often share and frankly, I think your fabric collection and closet are decidedly lovely. I'm a new blogger and would love to have you stop by and see what I'm working on from my "collection." :)

  12. I enjoyed reading this. I think I'll be adding more to my collection!

  13. As always, great post, Carolyn.

  14. Amen, and Yet, as Toya says, there are different Points Of View about the collection/stash. Because for many the collection not only represents potential, but also represents a certain amount of obligation.
    Every piece of fabric in my extensive collection was purchased with a garment/ensemble in mind. And I feel the obligation to make that vision come to fruition.
    I don't want to give it away, I don't want to sell it, and I don't want to die with the most...I want to translate all that flat gorgeous yardage into 3D. So, thanks for the motivation. Time to sit down to the sewing machine again.

  15. Thank you! I love, love collecting fabric. I, too, share your passion.

  16. Budget and space are my limit! Amen!

  17. Carolyn, this post made me chuckle. You've given me a new way of thinking of me fabric collection. I was one of those ones who felt "guilty" about the amount of fabric I amassed over the months. I even gave some away, only because I was pretty positive I would never use it. Well, now I'm going to take a new look at my pattern collection.


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