Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creative Minds are Rarely Tidy

One of my favorite blogs to check in with is Sew, Mama, Sew. The February 4th posting was all about fabric stashes, and they asked readers to write about their own stashes by answering a set of questions that they posted. I am really enjoying looking at everyone's stashes and seeing how they like to organize them, so I thought I would write about my own stash.

And it just so happens that my sewing room is clean right now. (Trust me, it's usually a minor disaster area!) It is also used as the guest room, and since we have company coming in this evening, I had to get in there and pick up my mess.

This is where I like to hole up and hang out. My "Mom Cave." I even have a TV in here so I can sew and watch my favorite shows. And my "sewing table?" A heavy, wooden desk from a yard sale for $15 put back-to-back with a small shelving unit which I got free from my inlaws. Works for me!

My sewing room motto:

Now, onto the "stash" questions!

What do you usually sew?

I mostly sew children's clothing and I sew a lot of gifts for people. I also sew a lot of my own home decor items like bedding and curtains.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)

If I'm buying for a specific project, I'll just buy what I need. If it's something for my Etsy shop, and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it, I'll buy 1 to 2 yards. A lot of times I'll have a specific pattern in mind and I'll buy enough to make 2 or 3 of them in different sizes.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?

A little of both. But I rarely buy something that isn't on some kind of sale! Oh, and my mom is the Queen of Second Hand...she's always picking up fabric at yard sales and estate sales. Usually some of it ends up at my house!

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?
I am definitely a pre-washer, especially because I mostly sew clothing and I almost always use 100% cottons. I would hate to put something together, wash it, then it shrinks and doesn't look right. Plus, my Momma would die if she found out I didn't wash my fabrics!

Do you iron it?
Yep, as soon as it comes out of the dryer, before I fold it and put it on the shelf. That way when I pull it out to use it, it's ready to go!

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)

There is no real method to my madness. I do put all my Christmas fabrics together and keep most of my novelty or children's fabrics together. All my fleece is in a box, and all my heavier fabrics (like denims, bottom-weight twills, etc) are on the bottom shelf.

The shelf behind where I sit usually holds things I'm currently working on or things that are upcoming.

Do you have any special folding techniques?
Nope, just flat and as neatly as I can.

How do you store your fabric?
I used to have all of my fabric in bins. I hated it. I couldn't see everything, and I would forget what I had in there. Now that I have it all out on shelves, it is so much nicer. I can scan it and make a quick inventory of what I have and what I need to get. I do keep my small scraps in a box and my fleece in a box.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?

No real tips!

When do you say enough is enough?

Can you ever have enough?

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?

Nightgowns and skirts for my daughter. And anytime I'm making a gift for someone, I try to use out of my stash first.

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it!

I just picked these up at my local JoAnn Fabrics....I love them! They look like the kind of print my mom would have used in the 70's to make our clothes. I can't wait to make some spring outfits out of these.

What’s your definition of the perfect stash?

Something well-stocked and well-organized. I don't think mine is perfect, but it's working for me!