Sunday, January 27, 2013

The one and only resolution of a 40-year-old

Hello friends,

I have really enjoyed reading other people's New Year's resolutions here and there, and many of them resonate with me on one level or another. However, I have one and only one resolution this year. It is nothing huge or earth shattering, it is not trying to be a better person in any way at all, it is not to be healthier, or to be a better parent. No, now that I am freshly FORTY, yes 40, and once again I stress four decades old, I am going for one, tangible, practical goal, and that is....

...to appreciably diminish my fabric stash.

There it is. You heard it here first.

I know this is a rather modest resolution, but there is a degree of reasoning behind this middle-aged madness. Even though I like to sew, and I like fabric very much, especially vintage fabric, I do not like having a stash, because:
1. The stash takes up room in my house, which is tiny. We 40-year-olds need to make the most of whatever space we have.
2. I do not need a stash as part of my employment, since I never sell anything I make. This 40-year-old has a different job that does not rely on fabric in any way.
3. The stash inhibits me, rather than inspires me, because I always feel like I should use something from it instead of buying the fabric that excites me to do a particular project when I see it in the shop. Here is an example: I very much want to sew new duvet covers for the kids. But I cannot bring home new fabric until I use something from the stash. However, there is nothing in particular, at this moment, that I want to make from the stash. Outcome = I sew nothing, and we make do with ugly duvet covers. This situation is unacceptable for a 40-year old person.
4. By hanging onto the stash, I am actually depriving someone who would use that fabric if they got their hands on it. This is nothing short of selfish. Forty year olds are many things, but never selfish.

So, I outlined to myself three practical steps towards having less of a stash:

1. I must get rid of three pieces of fabric before I buy another piece. This can be via giving it away, throwing it away, selling it, or using it.
2. I must use the fabric I do buy in a timely manner, within 1 month. If I don't, the fabric must be disposed of via the methods listed above.
3. To be reasonable, I will allow myself one suitcase full of fabric as a modest stash that neither takes up too much room nor stifles my sewing mojo.


Funny how just having a plan is enough to get your enthusiasm back. No sooner had I thought this plan through than I felt like sewing something. This bag, from "Bend the rules sewing" by Amy Karol, is one I'd been meaning to make for an age. Big enough to hold your togs, towel, purse, magazine, and sunglasses. Not too plain, not too fancy. And...it used three pieces of fabric, denim and a contrast cotton drill on the outside, and a different cotton drill on the inside.

By using three pieces of fabric I have now enabled myself to bring home some new duvet cover fabric. How liberating sewing can be....

But to show I'm serious, SERIOUS, about diminishing the stash, I'm also giving a piece away. This vintage cotton is a bright white and chocolate brown floral print. It's only 87 cm wide, and I have a little over 2 m of it. It has been stored with mothballs at some point so it has that smell, but that washes out after a while, I promise you. If you want it, please leave a comment below. I'll check comments for one week and if you are the only one that wants it then, sweet!, its yours. If there's more than person after it then I'll do some random number thingie and alert the winner that they can have it. I'll even post it to you if you live in New Zealand for FREE, such is my commitment to my resolution. And Happy New Year to you!