Stash Diet: 2014

Stash-Diet-BadgeWhen I mentioned in my end-of-the-year roundup post that I wanted to stop amassing fabric, Andrea of Stitch Parade was kind enough to let me know that she and her friend Gail of Today’s Agenda were hosting a challenge called Stash Diet: 2014 whose aim is, as is pretty clear by the name, to buy less fabric and use fabric from your stash instead.

I immediately jumped at the chance and joined Stash Diet: 2014 as I felt sharing with more people in the same situation would be of great help in attaining my goal. Everyone has to lay down their own rules, so here are mine, well here is mine, which is pretty simple:

I am allowed to buy one piece of fabric every five projects that use fabric from my stash.

This excludes: lining, interfacing and other notions needed for the projects. If a project absolutely requires a contrast fabric of some sort, I can buy said contrast fabric, but only on a project-by-project basis. This means I can’t buy it unless I’m starting the project right away.

Of course, I don’t have to buy a piece of fabric every five projects. If I don’t buy a piece of fabric after five projects, this means I can buy two pieces after ten projects, three pieces after fifteen projects, and so on… (yeah, like I’m gonna be strong enough to wait for so long before getting my fix!).

By the way, you may have noticed I didn’t mention anything about patterns. I’m focussing on fabric, and not patterns, because I’m still in denial of my pattern addiction I don’t think my pattern stash is problematic (yet) as all of my patterns (excluding books and magazines of course) still fit in two shoeboxes. Though I must admit I haven’t used most of those patterns yet.

Now, regarding the fabric, it may seem like having to wait for five finished projects before being allowed to buy one piece of fabric is quite strict, but let me just tell you about the extent of the damage…

My friend Mimolette and I recently decided, in accordance with our resolution to use fabric from our stash, to organise our stash in a way that made it easier for us to know exactly which fabrics and how much fabric we owned. I personally stash my fabric in plastic boxes I store in this very weird 1,60 m deep / 0,75 m wide / 1,20 m high under-the-rafters cupboard, so it’s not easy checking how much yardage I own of a particular fabric, or how two pieces of fabric would match, and so on. So we thought it would be really neat to cut a swatch of each fabric and paste them in a notebook with information such as yardage, composition, place of purchase, planned project(s)… And so we went to work.


“It is a crag! … a peak! … a promontory! … A promontory, did I say? … It is a peninsula!”

I decided to use Bristol board cards and to place them in a photo album. Very soon I realised the pocket-sized album I had bought was way too small to contain all the cards I had already completed, so I bought a much bigger one, which allowed me to place all of my cards once I had completed them. Then I counted the cards. I’m kind of ashamed, to say the least. Do you want to know how much fabric I own? Okay, I’m just gonna say it: I own exactly 160 pieces of fabric. 160. One hundred and sixty.

I can’t believe it. How did I buy and not use 160 pieces of fabric? My name is Tassadit and I’m a fabricaholic. One piece of fabric every five projects doesn’t seem so strict anymore, does it? I should even stop buying fabric altogether, shouldn’t I?

More seriously, even though counting my fabric was scary, I’m really glad I did it because it not only truly helped me gain some perspective on the extent of my stash, but it also simply reminded me which fabrics I own, which will make it easier for me to reach for them instead of buying some more for my future projects. And with my fabric swatch album, I feel like I can browse the catalog of a shop that would sell only fabric I love, for free, with instant delivery! This will be the greatest tool in this challenge!


I haven’t filled in the pattern suggestions yet, but I did take the time to classify the swatches first by weight, then by colour and theme!

Are any of you participating in the Stash Diet: 2014 initiative or any other similar challenge? And, more importantly, does anyone own 160 pieces of fabric or, even better, more than 160 pieces of fabric?

39 thoughts on “Stash Diet: 2014

  1. This is a genius idea! I also store my fabric in giant bins but have been in denial thinking that I remember all of the fabric that I do own. I was *sorting* through it yesterday (what I was actually doing was making space for fabric that I bought with Andrea this weekend) and realized that there is so much awesome fabric in there that I completely forgot about! So I may just copy you in this regard. Anyway, I’ll be joining the Stash Diet as well this year (for fabric and yarn)! Good luck and happy stash shopping!

      • Oooh, I can understand you are scared to count, but at least you know there’s a good chance I have more! 😀
        I was also in denial both of the sheer number of pieces and of the fact that there were pieces I simply forgot I owned, so even though it took me a lot of time (the measuring part was the worst, ugh!), I can only recommend you make one too!
        Good luck and happy stash shopping to you too!

  2. Great idea, you made me join the challenge!
    Actually i don’t have as many fabric than you but i counted them today: 46
    but it sounds A LOT to me, i really have to calm down and sew on!

  3. 160 ??!! Eh ben, au moins tu ne risques pas de tomber à court de tissu. Donc pas de virée collective chez Gotex pour les soldes ? 😀

    • Eh ouais, 160. La honte de ma vie. Et non, a priori pas de Gotex pour moi pendant les soldes: autant je suis assez forte pour résister en temps normal (j’y suis passée dernièrement et je n’ai acheté AUCUN tissu!), autant pendant les soldes, je risquerais de perdre tout contrôle! 😀

  4. How much! Did you say 160!
    My stash isn’t that big as I only got back into sewing my own clothes last year. Maybe about 15 pieces and I have recently had the same idea to catalogue the meterage and width along with a swatch of each fabric so it’s easy to see what exactly what I have got. Well done on getting it all sorted out and good luck in busting it!

    • Oooh, 15 pieces, a baby stash, how cute! 😀
      I can only advise you to catalogue it while it’s small, it will be easier and you won’t risk amassing too much without realising it!
      Thank you for your comment!

    • Before the counting, I would have estimated my stash to 50/80 pieces, so you never know indeed! 😀
      And it’s better to catalogue everything BEFORE reaching 160 pieces: you wouldn’t believe how long it took to sort everything out!

  5. It’s OK, Tassadit – we’re fabricaholics too! Glad you joined us!

    I really like your album, and better yet, your description of it as a fabric shop with instant delivery!

  6. I also keep my fabric cataloged in a binder with a little swatch of each one a well as info on yardage, width, date purchased and fabric content. I love looking through that book… but I still bought so much more than I needed last year and that’s why I felt the need for a diet. If it makes you feel any better, I have 142 pieces of fabric, not counting linings. This equals 272 metres! Time to get dieting, don’t you think?

    • AHA! If I don’t count linings, I have “only” 145 pieces of fabric! Oops, still three more than you…
      I haven’t mustered up the courage yet to calculate the yardage (and to be honest, I don’t think I ever will!).

  7. This is a great idea – thanks for sharing! I’m going to join. Last summer I blogged about how much money I’ve spent on unused fabric and the total was terrifying!! I didn’t share the dollar amount though, much too embarrassing. 🙂

  8. This is an amazing idea! I already decided to use my stash and I’ve organized it in different transparent plastic boxes with the fabric folded “upward” so I can see all the content from the top. I used to have an inventory of my fabrics on my computer with pictures and all the information you entered there but I find the idea of the album and bristol cards much more fitting (^^) It’s more human and accurate concerning the colours and less trouble to update. I like that. I think I’m going to copy you right away (when I’m back from work). Have a great day! (and a great year by the way).

  9. HI Tass’
    Your stash of fabrics is just AMAZING!! crazy!! I can’t believe it !!! 160!! one … hundred … and sixty!! In secret you’ve decided to open a store!!! ah ah ah
    Keep calm! .. just go on your MAC and sew sew sew all the days, all the nights!!!
    I can say that I’m an extraterrestre because I don’t have any stash… none fabrics and none yarns accumulated…
    One project = one purchase not more.
    When I have more of 5 balls of yarn in my house… I’m feeling sad because I think about all of these projects that aren’t already realised…
    Whatever … I can say that your new organisation is fantastic and will be a perfect help if a day you would like to do a big destash!!!

    • Wow, I can’t believe you don’t have a stash! Only 160 pieces to destash and I’ll be like you!
      Though I do like having a stash, I find it convenient, just not such a gigantic one!

  10. oh my god!! qu’est-ce que j’ai ris en lisant ton post :))!! et en plus je crains que je suis un fabricalohic aussi , aie, aie :)) (le pire c’est que j’utilise mon stock, mais sans avoir m’impression qu’il diminue)… en tout cas chapeau pour le méga-travail d’organisation des tissus, j’adore ton bouquin, c’est une excellente idée!! que je devrais reprendre.. ahem ahem, si j’arrive à me motiver un jour…. le pire c’est que je pourrais faire cela, même pour les stocks infinis de laine…; misère :)…

    • Perso pour commencer à voir diminuer mon énorme stock, il va falloir m’armer de patience!
      N’hésite pas à te faire un petit inventaire comme le mien, ça demande un peu de boulot, mais ça m’a déjà été très utile!

  11. Reblogged this on The Imaginarium and commented:
    I have a been a “good steward” for about a year now! I have been utilizing my stash and if I needed something to add to project, my friends and I shopped from each other’s stash! I also thrifty shop and repurpose draperies, sheets, etc. Within the year, I have made maybe 2 fabric purchases, including a major New Year’s Day Sale at a local fabric shop! I think I will join in and continue my Stash Diet!

  12. I will continue my ‘stash diet’ for another year! I do love your cataloging! Years ago my husband purchased a china cabinet/hutch from a resale shop for my fabrics, so that I could see what I have and it works great!

  13. I have loads of fabric and loads of plastic boxes, plus a washing basket full of the stuff. There’s no way I’m gunna have time to detail it all like you, but it does look like a good idea. Not sure I could limit what I buy like that either, but I should only purchases things for what I am going to make soon and not just buy fabric because it is nice and I have no idea what I am going to do with it!!


  14. Pingback: 2014 – Starting with a stash busting pledge! | hamiltonchicklets

  15. Hey, Tassadit,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think this is really a great idea.
    My stash is considerably smaller, maybe not even 20 pieces, but some oh them are of 3 or 4 meters. Well… I don’t like to see all those beautiful fabrics just sittig there. So, I have decided that I wanted to sew all of it. And, to make things even better, my husband will give me a serger once I’m finished! I’m so glad. Having this prize at the end really motivates me.

    Bisous du Brésil


  16. Pingback: And a Cosy New Year! | Rue des Renards

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