a better word than “reformed” or “recovering”

by Valerie

in fabric,inspiration

bolts of cotton prints at Mood in NYC

 

I’ve been sewing since 2003, and I have so much fabric.

There was a time when I tried to get on the bandwagon of de-stashing…when I subscribed to the notion that my (massive) collection of fabric was something to be ashamed of.

Thankfully I was never so delusional as to think myself completely “reformed,” but I confess there was a time when I optimistically fancied myself a “recovering” fabric hoarder (after all, reformed makes it sound like you’ve stopped completely, which has clearly never been the case).

printed "ponyhair" leather remnants

 

Yeah, those days are long gone. While I haven’t bought any fabric in a very long time (not since the metallic leather last October) I have recently acquired quite a bit of new goodies for my stash!

The studio where I teach gets donations all the time, from home sewers, professional designers, and even local theater departments. Much of it is stuff I would never think to buy if I came across it in a store, but that nevertheless intrigues me.

At first I tried to resist even looking at the fabrics when they came in, but these days I give in to temptation pretty much immediately.

upholstery remnants acquired from a local designer

 

I don’t say no anymore because exposure to all this completely new stuff has been incredibly inspiring! I see a certain type of fabric that I’ve never used before, but that feels or looks interesting, and then I want to make something I’ve never made before.

This is an incredibly seductive feeling, and I can’t say that I’d want to give it up ever. Truthfully, although I haven’t bought fabric in a long time, that does not mean I haven’t been to the fabric store. I’ve been many times in the last few months, and have not experienced the same inspiration. Crazy, right?

leftovers I will be upcycling into travel accessories

 

Perhaps it’s the notion of upcycling leftovers, remnants, and stuff forgotten in storage bins into something new and pretty that someone can use and love again!

Perhaps my recent urge to re-vamp my product line is part of it…I itch to make new stuff, and to use new stuff to make it as well.

Either way, I am doing the opposite of de-stashing. There will never be a time when anyone can use the term “minimalist” to describe my living or working space, trust me. I’d feel bad, but I’m very sure there are much worse habits to have! The konmari lady wouldn’t even disapprove, since I can guarantee every inch of fabric in my stash definitely brings me joy!

Instead of “reformed” or “recovering,” what I’m feeling is refreshed. My growing stash is making me motivated, excited, and inspired, and I’ll definitely be sharing the fruits of my labor, so stay tuned.

 

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia August 25, 2015 at 10:55 am

Oh my gosh, it’s like it was me who was writing!!!!!! That is exactly how I feel about my ever growing stash. The fabrics that are given to me from other people’s leftover projects are very inspiring. I wake up in the night with my mind going crazy with ideas of how to use everything. If I live to be 300 I will never get it all sewn. My son, who is an adult, has just had to come to terms with all my gorgeous fabrics (gorgeous to me!) and when I’m gone it will be his problem. haha I am so excited you will be coming out with new items soon. You are really an inspiration. To know there are others in the world who are so in tune with fabrics, have fabric on your mind all the time, and visualize all sorts of wonderful things to create is VERY comforting. I can sit and look at my fabric stashes and the feeling I always get is: happy Pretty colors, prints, solids and textures are great stimulators. Hmm, I feel better just announcing all this.

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Kamilah September 3, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Please do share your projects!

Until recently, I was able to declutter every room in my house except…..my sewing room! Each item was so precious and dear to me. Each had a memory attached to it – nothing like a great find! But alas I started a business and there was literally nowhere to work. You can’t cut fabrics that are laying on top of other fabrics. Well I suppose you can, but you may not get your desired outcome. So one fateful day, I decided it was time and I parted with what seemed like a truckload of supplies, fabrics, notions, inspirational photos and the like. I felt very anxious for a few days but things actually turned out ok. The sun even came up! After two months I can say that I haven’t actually missed anything (yet) and I can think more clearly, not to mention work without spending an hour rearranging all my treasures first.

Not trying to persuade you to let go of anything. Just sharing my story because I was where you are.

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