2011 Stash Stats

Yesterday I did a recap of my Best/Worst sewing projects from 2011.  Looking ahead to the new year, I thought it would be a good time to actually *gulp* catalog my stash.  Ok, well, I have been working on this for a while because it is so darned big.  Other than elastic, I don’t really store a lot of notions, but I do have quite a bit in terms of patterns and fabric, so I thought it might be good to start keeping track of it all.

As for my patterns, I have a LOT of Burda:

In order to make the scoring a little more fair, I only counted Burda patterns from the magazine if there was a reasonable chance I might ever make them up.  This removes patterns like ugly jumpsuits and crazy pants from the tally, while still including things like coat patterns that aren’t high on my priority list, but that I may eventually find a use for in the future.  As for the envelope patterns, each envelope was counted as one pattern, regardless of how many different styles or items it contained.  Using this system, I have 1525 patterns, which is a darned lot of patterns that I actually want to sew together at some point.  Although, if I go at the rate I am currently sewing, that would only take just over 42 years… so we won’t call it SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) just yet.

I also looked at my pattern stash by type:

For this I just counted entries in my computer pattern catalog, so some patterns are counted multiple times (for example, a wardrobe pattern would include a top, dress, skirt, pants, and jacket and so be counted in each category), but if an envelope had multiple styles of the same item (like 6 different shirt variations) it was only counted once.  This tally includes all womens patterns from my sewing magazines, regardless of my personal interest in actually sewing them or not.  By this count I have a grand total of 2504 patterns, which is just insane.  Oddly, my stash looks fairly well balanced, though I think that is all from the sewing magazines.  When I consider the patterns I actually want to sew up, it is skewed heavily towards coats, pants, and tops, and, as far and Big4 envelope patterns go, the costume category would also be much more prominent.

What is really sad is that most of these patterns were accumulated this year!  Last year at this time I barely knew what Burda was, and I had only just started my interest in sewing anything that wasn’t a costume.  While there are a few patterns I have had for quite some time, most of my pattern purchases happened in the last ten months or so.  I have noticed that my desire for Big4 envelope patterns has slowed, and I really only care about the sales when new patterns are released.  However, I still get quite excited at each Burda preview, so I am happy that I will be receiving the magazines with my subscription for at least the better part of the coming year.

Now, as for my fabric stash – that has been growing for quite a bit longer than my pattern stash.  At the moment, I am at a grand total of 476 yards.  Whoa!  And I may have one last great haul of 2011 from some year-end fabric sales coming in the mail as well… But, to my defense, in the two-ish years I have been sewing I have already used 127, which is also an awfully big number.  And most of that total was used this year… so it could probably all get used within 5 years or so… and that doesn’t seem too bad…

I have been collecting fabrics for skating costumes nearly as long as I have been skating.  Add to that a sister who has retired from the sport, and you get a whole lot of spandex.  Making skating costumes is why I started sewing in the first place, and these are the projects I can often sew entirely from my stash.  Well, maybe not for competition – I usually have to order rhinestones, but in general all the sewing can be done right away.  I always love sewing skating costumes, mostly because they are designs that I dream up and that I create the pattern alterations myself.  Not to mention working with all the glittery fabric is sort of fun.  And now that I have my serger I am even more excited to be sewing the stretchy stuff.

The rest of it looks pretty well balanced.  However, I would have to say the other pride of my collection are my outerwear fabrics.  I don’t know why, but I really love making coats and jackets.  They are a lot of work, but I always feel so happy when I have finished them.  Also, I think making them gives me much more appreciation for details, good construction, and trying new techniques.  I think living in the oversized hoodies for so long has really made me really notice a great jacket, and I really love being in control of the color, style, and fit.

As much as I love collecting all of these fabulous fabrics and great patterns, I think next year my goal is to spend less time collecting, and more time using!  While I am pleased with my sewing progress this year, I am thinking next year I want to try sewing with more of a plan.  While I like being able to make up whatever strikes my fancy, I think I am going to devise a plan for using up more of the stash in the coming year.  I will mull over the details, and post my plan of action tomorrow.

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