confessions of a fabric stasher: part three

In my last post in this series {which I shared with you approximately one million years ago!}, I discussed all of my bad habits related to fabric shopping.  Commenters also chimed in with great insight into theirs. In this post, I will write about things I try to consider  to help keep my personal consumerism under control.  In the next and final post, I will share ideas for things that I try to do to manage my shopping habits.  In a nutshell, this post is more about mind-set and the follow-up will share ideas for action items.

Things to consider:

-I try to examine my crafting habits and figure out how they relate to my shopping habits.  What type of crafter am I? How much time do I realistically have to sew? How much fabric do I use over the course of a year?  Does the fabric that I have coming into my house vastly outweigh the fabric that I am using in a month’s time?

-I do my best to stop making excuses and change my frame of mind.  Instead of justifying purchases, I ask myself some hard questions. Do I really need it?  Do I already have something in my stash that I could use? Do I absolutely love it? As Amy/Badskirt says in this very relevant post:  Does this fabric make my stash look fat?

-I make every effort to recognize marketing gimmicks for what they are and prepare myself to confront them.  When I am tempted by a sale or free shipping {or the two combined!}, I try to talk myself down.  I remind myself: 1) I don’t need it and–in the case of a sale that has a minimum one yard requirement–I certainly don’t need THAT MUCH! 2) Organizing new fabric {even though I love doing it!} takes time away from actual sewing time, and 3) Even though it’s a good deal, it still costs something. Would you rather have a ton of fabric that you like, or a smaller, more curated collection of prints that you absolutely love?  For me, having a smaller quantity of fabric that I truly adore — rather than a larger quantity of fabric that I bought because I like it well enough and it was a a good deal — is preferred.

-I try not to get caught up in the hard-to-find (HTF) or out-of-print (OOP) phenomenon.  I’ve stopped grumbling about the lightening-quick pace of the fabric market. Rather, I’m learning to embrace it and be glad that gorgeous new lines of fabric are being released all.the.time!  Because of the nature of the market, there will always be tons new lines of fabric that I will love. And who’s to say that a certain line of fabric that is becoming hard to find {at reasonable prices} won’t be re-released?

Alright!  More to come on this topic soon-ish….


10 thoughts on “confessions of a fabric stasher: part three

  1. Very good things to keep in mind! I’ve really enjoyed this series, M. I think the HTF/OOP thing is hardest for me, but I’m trying to let go of that.

  2. Very good suggestions!! What has helped me overcome my fabric buying habit is having no money…sad…so I must use what I have…which are some nice fabrics that I love!! I will be having fun this summer!

  3. Great little summary! I’m reasonably sensible when it comes to fabric, but I know people who become completely obsessive about getting full lines or OOPs. I sometimes get a bit caught up but before I’ve given in there’s normally another sambaing fabric line to admire. My stash is down to about three 18″ wide shelves now, and to be honest I could do with a little more choice, but at least I know and use everything that’s there.

  4. i am so glad you are addressing this! I am a compulsive fabric shopper and have no place to store it really, and we are quite poor at the moment which is another reason I should not waste money on it. I need to re-evaluate this prob like you are doing and get to the root of it. I think my prob is always too many ideas, not enough time, but if I buy the fabric I will get to it eventually…. yeah right! 😛

    I hope you master your fabric fetish! You can do it!

    ~A former New Englander

  5. these strategies work well whenever i’m shopping. whether it’s for fabric, craft supplies, clothing, even groceries. it’s taken some time to evolve, but i usually find that when i start to feel overwhelmed by stuff it’s time to step back and evaluate what impulsiveness i’ve gotten caught up in. great topic.
    having said that…..i’m going to be hand printing some fabric this week. if it turns out i might send you some. : ) but hey it will be free.

  6. i’ve evolved over the years and use these strategies often whether it applies to fabric, craft supplies, clothes, even groceries. i know when i start to get overwhelmed by stuff i’ve let my impulses get the better of me.
    having said that,….i’m going to be hand printing some fabric this week. if it turns out i might be mailing you some. : ) but hey at least it will be free.

  7. I dont have time for fabric shopping but i just saw a table runner for 160 dollars that was made from fabric I have in my stash and I know I paid 3.99 a yard. Man should I be stocking that store rather than treating critters!!! New house is coming along slowly. We have far outstayed our welcome with family but not safe to move in yet with the whole family. Miss you

  8. such a great series…i come back to your words time and time again. seriously.the lightening quick pace of the fabric market really irritates me too…

  9. Great series! I used to fall into that trap of *wanting to accumulate a large stash.* And how many times did I buy fabric because it was a deal? (And now don’t know what to do with it!)
    Since I’ve taken up knitting, I’m using what I’ve learned through sewing-stash-accumulating to keep my knitting supplies to a minimum. I’m not buying any needles or yarn or bits-n-bobs until I need them. And even then, I’m making sure they are exactly what I need and want. (No more, well, it’s pretty, I might use it…someday….)
    Can’t wait for the next post.

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