Thanks for Not Guffawing

Gentle Readers, when I flagged up my intention to sew through the not terribly special fabrics in my stash by the end of summer, you made generously supportive comments. Not a single scoff, knowing smirk or ROFL appeared in the inbox.

Turns out I am delusional. I’ve just done an almost complete inventory. It took the best part of three days. Funny how little space almost 300 metres takes up isn’t it?

Let’s try to translate this into projects. Some would need less than a metre, others might take four and a half. To get a ballpark figure, does 150 projects sound about right?

Translate those projects into hours. Also difficult. Cut out and sew a simple pair of trousers, skirt or top you’ve made before, and know fits – 3 or 4 hours on an average day? But, tailor a jacket, fiddle around with embellishments, I don’t get much change from a two week slog, do you?

For the sake of my brain, is 7 hours a project on average reasonable?

Ergo, I have enough fabric stashed for, say, 1,000 hours of sewing.

How about you, in or out of control?



About jay

I design and draft patterns
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27 Responses to Thanks for Not Guffawing

  1. Ruthie Critchley says:

    This is why I a) don’t measure the existing fabric stash, b) try to sew every day c) sew simple things. I do like the sewjourners staff shrinker a lot.


  2. jay says:

    I went with not measuring Ruthie, but couldn’t work out why all the projects flying off my machine didn’t seem to be eating into the amount of fabric lying about! Now I know. The sewjourners idea looks good, I like the idea of setting a rule of two sewn one bought, might adapt that to say eight sewn, one bought.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anne W says:

    I’m definitely not in control, and cannot even begin to think about counting. I just make little piles of fabric with patterns to match and work through them, eventually… But it looks like you’re going to be sewing for a while! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo says:

    I’m definitely in the out of control camp… fabric, patterns, tools, sewing machines and notions. I have this idea that sewing should be like baking – I want to be able to make ANYTHING on a whim and don’t want to have to go shopping when inspiration strikes… my pantry may also be out of control. Couldn’t even imagine counting up my metres of fabric to start that lovely sewjourners spreadsheet… oh dear. My current goal is to tidy up said stash (Ive been the beneficiary of other’s destashing) so I can more easily “shop the stash” when that inspiration strikes. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kim says:

    Totally out of control. I too am determined to sew up some existing fabric (no matter how horrifying) before indulging further. Well done with your progress so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. amcclure2014 says:

    10 hours a week. Reasonable? That’s 2 years. I don’t do 10 hours a week and my stash exceeds life expectancy – I can’t remember the acronym. I’m going to use fabric I have rather than buying more. That’s the theory.
    Week for for tackling and making some progress

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve got a spreadsheet with all the individual lengths in my stash but it never occurred to me to add them up. I made an effort to sew from stash while I was at home with my kid and I reduced it a bit, but since I’ve been working again it’s been pretty stable. I think I’m going to have to give some away – there is stuff I am never going to sew.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh that’s just painful when you do the math! I have half as much as you but am presently sewing with my scraps and remnants. Maybe we should just give up, sew what we want and admire the rest? 😂👍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If I technically find a way, can I share this post. It’s something we all think about! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is SO good to know I am not alone! I find the hardest fabrics to use these days are the nicest; there is so much potential in an uncut piece that I am loathe to narrow the possibilities but I also am trying to shop my stash, bit by bit. Thank you for sharing your journey, Jay.


    • jay says:

      I started with my not special fabrics, it wasn’t until it hit me that even fairly obsessive sewing didn’t seem to be placing a noticeable dent in the heap that I did the maths. I’m still in shock over how much there is.


  11. Reblogged this on Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! and commented:
    Quite often I find myself lurking around a blog or two reading post after post after post – entertaining myself! Lurking around Jay’s “Pattern Pandemonium” recently, I became quite impressed … She Did the Math! and the answer was a bit scary. Have a read for yourself …

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Out of control here for sure! It’s an addiction! Sew up your best, favorite, most expensive fabrics first, then when you get to the point of giving some up, or your descendants, after you are gone, start tossing it all into a dumpster, it won’t be the best stuff! I think I am going right now to pull out that nice silk my daughter brought back from the orient for me and sew up something nice! Then that bonded leather moto jacket may be next. The remnants I got for $3.00 a yard can wait.


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