Use Your Stash Challenge- the Weigh-in

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So… WOW. I have a lot of yardage, scraps and trim. Digging everything out and making a mess of my studio for the Use Your Stash challenge was quite a task. I had all kinds of stuff tucked away that I’d totally forgotten about. More that once I said aloud, “Why do I have this?”

This is my table full of fabric that I gave you a glimpse of the other day. There’s wool, cotton, rayon, felt, quilting cotton, muslin, tweed, satin… I could go on and on. Some of it I’ve had for about 7 years, and other things I picked up about three weeks ago.

This was probably my biggest Pile of Fabric Shame. This bin was full of weird fabrics that I don’t even really like, and massive handfuls of scraps. Need a piece of 2″ wide jersey from hemming a gown? GOT IT IT RIGHT HERE FOR YA. Oh, you wanted a scrap of hand-painted silk that’s not really big enough to do anything with? TA-DAH! I ended up cleaning this out and getting rid of most everything in it.

Here are a few pieces that I found after I thought I’d already piled up everything on my cutting table. A wool and cotton blend, lining, flannel, my own silk-screened design of vintage buttons, thin and kind of worthless bright yellow broadcloth, and some quilting cotton made to look like notebook paper.

I didn’t have that many exciting trims or zippers, so I didn’t bother taking a picture of them. We’ve all seen bias tape before. However, here is my little button stash.

All of those little baggies are from my favorite vintage fabric store here in PDX. They contain some metal buttons, but my favorites are these beautiful antique Czech glass buttons. I love the “diamond” green ones, and the little hearts with their hand painted flowers are adorable.

This is some of my collection of “Why do I still have this”. Included is a large assortment of bits and bobs for making roman shades, beaded tassles, ribbon from way back before I got married, a spool of silver sequins, metal hoops and some cheap black cording.

Oh yes, and also these varsity jacket numbers I bought at antique store IN HIGH SCHOOL. Good grief.

Quite a few things I drug out are going to S.C.R.A.P. here in Portland, or into the trash, which means I can already deduct from my total stash weight! YAAAY!

So after digging everything out, it was time to weigh it all. I wasn’t really sure what kind of number I’d come up with, but I didn’t think it would be very high. Oh, ignorance.

To weigh everything, I first got on the scale by myself, and wrote down my weight. I then got on the scale with piles of my fabric, holding as much of it as I could at a time. I wrote down the total weight the scale showed, and then deducted my actual weight to get the fabric weight. For example:

My (imaginary) weight: 135 lbs

My weight on the scale holding fabric: 143 lbs

Therefore, the fabric weighs 8 lbs (143 – 135 = 8). I did this over and over again until I’d weighed all of my fabric. I came up with a starting point of…..

94.5 lbs of fabric

I threw away 8.5 lbs of fabric, and I’m donating 10 lbs of fabric to S.C.R.A.P., so my new total is 76 lbs of fabric. Whew!

A few notes for weighing your fabric

  • Write the weight down to the closest decimal point you can. My scale only goes down to a half-pound ( 0.5 ), so I have to stick with that.
  • When you weigh yourself and your projects as you use up your stash, try to weigh yourself at the same time of day, and in the same clothes (or same weight of clothes).  If you can do this with a kitchen scale, you won’t even need to weigh yourself.
  • If you are standing on a scale with your fabric, try to hold it close to you. Holding it off to the side or leaning your body backwards or forwards could affect the scale’s reading.
  • If you’ve finished up a project and weighed it and you don’t see it registering on the scale, take your best guess at the weight. Generally, and lightweight project like a jersey shirt, can weigh 1/2 lb, and a dress can weigh about 1.5- 2 lbs (or more).

I’ll show you how I am weighing my projects on Friday Saturday (Rob’s a bit busy to help me take photos right this minute). Until then, happy stash digging, and Happy 4th of July to all US readers!

  • I had to convert your fabric weight to kilos, so I understood how much it was 🙂
    I’m so going to lose, I have 3 quite big chest of drawers with fabric & some storage boxes, not to mention supplies & yarn!
    Tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work, I’m going to dig everything out 😮

    • Ha- does it seem like a big amount in kilos? I can’t decide if 94 lbs is a little bit of fabric, or a lot of fabric. I guess I’ll just have to see how much everyone else has.

      It doesn’t mean you’ll lose! It’s all about losing the largest percentage of weight in fabric. You might be up against some crafters with smaller stashes, but no time to use it up! You should probably sew a lot anyways- just because it means we get to see more of what you can come up with! 😉 Good luck with the digging, Jennie!

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