Curate 2015: Sewing My Stash

Each year I choose a focus word. One Little Word on which to build 365 days. One word to guide me, and help me find my better life. In 2015, that word is “Curate.”

For me, it’s all about the selective gathering – to curate memories, moments, and happiness. To cull the unnecessary, rework what I’ve already got, and add where the collection is lacking. To take it one step further I’m aiming to go from creating chaos to curating peace. It’s about getting everything in order to make the best possible 2015. I’m excited to see where this word takes me, and excited to share my progress throughout the year. 

SewMyStash2015

There’s a movement started by @projectleasa on Instagram called #SewMyStash2015 – and when I first read about it, I hate to admit, but I brushed it off. Why would I intentionally not buy fabric to sew with? What am I suppose to use? My stash is seriously lacking (all said to myself with very little factual basis). And then Curate became my 2015 One Little Word – and when viewed through that lens, using what I already had didn’t seem so crazy.

My fabric stash wasn’t lacking – far from it. When I took a step back, I realized that my stash was overflowing. I have three giant plastic tubs full of fabric and enough to fill a fourth sitting on top the others. I realized that I didn’t even know what was in some of those tubs, yet I was still buying more and more. If I could use fabric I already have, I could declutter my space and use the money I would have spent on other things – this was perfect – curate manifested in so many ways. Realizing that, I quickly found that step one needed to be a good sorting of my whole stash, from scraps and yardage to ribbon and buttons.

PileofFabric1

As I started to go through the bins (and create a huge mess of fabric), I realized I had some really great collections – collections that were begging to become finished projects. Which is perfect, because I’ve got several major items on my to-sew list that was just waiting for the right fabric. By the way, I’m hoping to share my 2015 to-sew list in the coming days, in case you’re interested. 🙂

I also realized I had some pieces that I would never use – pieces that were scraps from old projects or no longer my style. It was time to say buh-bye to those. So, after spending a few hours measuring and photographing all of the better scraps, I opened a second Instagram account specifically to destash my fabric (and likely clothes/accessories/home goods) over the next 12 months. If you’d like to join in on my de-stash, you can find my shop by searching @elephantgraceshops on instagram.

Within the first few hours I sold over $80 worth of fabric that had just been sitting in my storage. $80! Which is awesome – and was just the boost I needed to keep clearing out pieces. The shop still has several pieces, and I’m actually due to give it another boost of items soon, so if you’re looking for fabric or goods, keep an eye out – I’ll be decluttering all year long all in an effort to curate only the best pieces in the smallest, usable amounts (fabric or otherwise). Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll have a better sense of my own style and crafting needs.

Already I can tell that, with the exception of solids and backing material, I don’t really need to buy any more fabric for the projects I have planned. I can also tell that I need to sort through my scrap basket and cut usable pieces – 2.5″ squares, fat quarters, and fat eighths. If I can’t get at least a 2.5″ square out of it, it needs to go – I don’t have the room to keep it or the energy to make it into anything. I’m debating listing bags of color-coordinating smaller scraps in the destash shop.

My sewing area is still a huge mess from when I sorted through the bins, and I haven’t even tackled the ribbon/buttons/notions, but at least I know what fabric I have – and I have a plan for about 1/4 of it. As I work to put the area back together, I’m being ruthless in what goes where and how it’s stored. I’m looking into storage solutions that allow me to see my fabric and better pull pieces for projects. If I’m going to do this, it’s going to be done right. No one wants to have to go through the whole process again in a few weeks, months, or even years. This curating, it’s a pain – but so worth it.

Are you pairing down anything in 2015? I’ve got some other curating projects in the works – be on the lookout for them over the next few weeks.

 

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