Monday, 16 May 2011

Fabric Fandango and pattern stash sums

Some weeks ago I put myself on a severely restricted fabric diet. Absolutely no more fabric purchases until I have substantially reduced the extensive yardage in my stash. I was doing well, really I was …… until last Saturday afternoon. But it wasn't my fault, they made me do it. Yes, you know who you are!

On Saturday I was part of the large crowd of enthusiastic and very wonderful sewing people who descended upon London's Goldhawk Road for a gentle afternoon of restrained fabric buying. No, let me be honest, it was a wild, abandoned fabric-fest. At such a thrilling event to have purchased nothing would have been completely impossible. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

This Fabric Fandango was organised by the very lovely and talented Karen, from Did You Make That (do visit her blog for the full story, pictures and a list of the participants). Three cheers for Karen - we all had a fabulous and fun time. There were about forty of us - I was thrilled to meet so many other wonderful sewists!

So, a glimpse of my purchases.

All cottons, all bright and beautiful - I was clearly in tropical vacation mode. All I need to do now is to plan a vacation and to sew them into something nice! In the meantime, they do look lovely sitting amongst the very large pile of fabrics that I own.

Perhaps at this point I should also mention my pattern stash which has now also become seriously overstocked. I am considering doing the following calculation. Total number of patterns I own but have not yet sewn divided by the number of garments that I usually sew per year. The total would be the number of years it will take to actually use all of the patterns that I have purchased (assuming, of course, that during that time I don't buy any more patterns and I don't sew a pattern twice - pretty unlikely, eh?)

I daren't do that calculation because a quick look at my pattern collection tells me that I'm going to have to be sewing for an awful long time. Have you ever done this calculation when looking at your own pattern collection? Were you happy with the answer, or did it alarm you?

Before I go, a big hello to everyone who aided and abetted my fabric purchases on Saturday. I loved spending time with you and I'm looking forward to the next time! Thanks Karen, you're a star xxx.


  1. Thanks for your help at the fabric fandango locating some ponte di roma! Much appreciated.

  2. I wouldn't dare do that calculation - particularly if I took into consideration the fact that styles and tastes change over the years! It would be way too scary.
    So sorry not to be able to join you all on Saturday! Hopefully next time.

  3. Oh my, no, I would never do that! I too had all the intention in the world to not purchase anything this month and fell off the wagon for some Liberty of London prints from They may go back ;-) I'm having buyers remorse. Love all your bright fabric choices!

  4. Glad you had a wonderful time meeting other sewists. Looks like you got some really beautiful pieces to add to your collection. And no, I'm not counting nuthin' - not fabric, not pattern, not notions...nuthin! *LOL*

  5. No way am I doing any such calculation!!! My rough guess it that I'd need to live to 105 as it is.... I am soooo jealous I don't live in London - have seen a bunch of blogs about the fabric meet-up and all of you looked like you had soooo much fun!!! Plus the fabrics are gorgeous!!!!

  6. Gosh! You did so well... Sorry I frightened you to death by blurbing... "Oh I loved your purple jeans!" at the tube station on saturday!
    I bought the pink and cream fabric in the middle too! Its so different to what I usually buy but when the guy got it out I just went oooohhhh...
    Stevie x

  7. Thanks E for sharing your adventures with us! Exciting, really. I too have ridiculous pattern (rather than huge fabric) stash - considering I only sew garments once or twice a month - it will take me years to get through them - and they are not "daily" items! I for one, can't wait to see what is up next in your arsenal - I guess you gotta speed up production:)

  8. Eugenia - it looks like you ladies had a lot of fun.

  9. I buy patterns just to learn how to make a detail or to draft a certain cut. Doesn't everyone buy patterns just to read them? ;-)

    On Saturday, I managed to buy 50+ yds, as much as I have sewn so far in 2011. The Santa Monica and South Bay Quilt Guilds held a joint garage sale and my husband thought that I would be getting rid of my stuff. Silly man; I came home with 3 bags of fabric, books and patterns to add to my collection.

    Then my daughter needed a school play costume and I went to a shop that sells leftovers from LA-region clothing factories by the pound. Another 2 bags of fabrics and trims came home with me.

  10. I like the prints you chose. They are perfect for all this warm, balmy weather we are having.

  11. What lovely cottons!

    I've tried to cull my pattern stash in the past, but it's happened that I regret throwing certain patterns away. I always seem to want all the new Vogues, and I really need to start differentiating (mentally) between what I will actually sew and what I just think is pretty.

  12. I was soooo pleased to meet you after following your blog for so long. Thank you for helping me choose the rose fabric, which my blog commentators have given a big thumbs up!

  13. All that fabric is gorgeous! I too have far too many patterns, but I love every single one of them and won't part with any until I become buried alive under a pile of them. since I bought over 100 new vintage ones this weekend I don't think my stash will ever be reduced.

  14. Stay away from the calculator! Instead, count up how many hours of fun you are having with sewing friends and with sewing projects. That's the only number that matters.

  15. I think many of us are trying to exercise some discipline. I also would have found it hard to resist these beauties.

  16. I LOVE the middle fabric.

    Fabric Stash Diet?
    Whatever it is, I hope I never catch it........

  17. Looks like you had a great time and bought some beautiful fabrics! I really can't wait to see what you do with them!

    As for the calculation, I don't have enough of a fabric stash to for the calculation to work!! Wish I did though!

  18. What beautiful fabrics! Set up for the summer .... I gave up the last time I decided not to buy more ... condition that only manages to step up my desire to buy, so I give up.
    I'm glad your time to share with friends, sewing fun and relaxation are very important.

  19. What lovely fabrics!

    Sadly, the fabulous fabric shops of Goldhawk road are at threat of demolition.
    You can read the full details on Melissa’s blog:

    Please spread the word,join the facebook group, write to the council and lend your support in any way you can. Otherwise fabric shopping trips to Goldhawk road may sadly become a thing of the past.


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