What if we only buy what we can sew?

There’s this super funny meme going around that says something to the effect, “Apparently buying fabric and sewing it up are two different hobbies”.   I died laughing and had to call my mom.  “YES!”, she replied loudly when I read her the meme.

When my parents moved houses in my early 20’s I watched my mom purge her fabric storage and it left an impression.  So many beautiful fabrics were given away because she realized that she just couldn’t sew it all.  There was a huge bolt of decorator that had once been purchased to recover her antique couch and chair.  Sadly, 10 years had passed and although it was a beautiful piece my mom had to admit it wasn’t what she’d choose today.

I follow a sewing room idea page on Facebook and have watched in awe as people post pictures of their fabric stashes.  Rooms full of fabric and I of course flash back to my mom realizing there was no way to sew it all, so she passed it on to others that could, and it reaffirms how I’m approaching my sewing hobby, carefully.

I rarely buy a fabric without a plan in mind.  I’m very determined to sew it all up and soon.  Styles and preferences change at such a fast pace, things I liked a year ago aren’t what I want to spend my time sewing today.

Now, I currently live somewhere where clothing fabric isn’t super easy to source so I understand the inclination of stocking up when you find something, but I think you get the spirit of what I’m saying.  Let’s be careful that we don’t acquire more than we can sew or if we have let’s pass it on to someone that will sew it.  My mom passes on a lot of her supplies that she knows she can’t get through to her sister-in-law and I think it’s a good habit to adopt.

What do you think?  Big storage of fabric or minimalist approach?  Where do you land on the spectrum?

This is pretty much my entire fabric storage.  I have a bin of scraps in the basement to pass on to my mom and aunt for American Girl doll clothes.  I currently have three pieces of fabric without a defined plan, I keep changing my mind about their purpose.  Otherwise, all of this has a plan and a intention.


  1. Very thoughtful post! There IS this idea of saving the planet by sewing only what you can use…and I hope I lean toward that side of the belief. I am a work in progress as I too have had to purge decades of lovely fabric to younger sewers who will use it. I am of the mind that projects need not just supplies, but a plan! So this year I did purchase a sewing planner and have kept myself honest to dates and sewing projects with a deadline. This has made a world of difference in my thinking, organization and even mental health. I feel better staying on target! Thanks for bring up this topic and being so kind about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My stash is getting very close to being all sewn up. My mom is bringing some of hers to me and I’m so excited to get going on it. I hope you can pass on some to someone that will be equally excited! Great Work!

      Liked by 1 person

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