Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stashing the Extras

Carolyn at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic recently posed some questions about notions and buttons stashing on her blog:

I'm pretty sure that if you are a stasher/collector of fabric, you probably stash the extra stuff too...and that if you purchase a piece or two at a time that you probably purchase all of your extra stuff that way too.  Now I'm wondering which way is more effective...

Which caused me to ponder on whether or not having such a large collection of buttons and trims helps or hinders my projects? 
Of course I responded, but it also got me to thinking that this was a pretty good topic for my own blog post. So I'm going to expand on my responses. Should be interesting, at least to me!

So the question of the day is, Do you collect/stash the extra stuff?  If you do, why do you?

I stash the extra stuff too! Here are my reasons why:
  • My local resources are limited, so I can't get whatever I want when I want it.
  • I'll buy for a specific project, and the project morphs. The items I bought at the beginning of the project then get stashed away. While I don't mind modifying projects as I go, it does result in a lot of extra stuff. 
  • I've acquired a lot of my stuff through other ASG members purging their sewing rooms, so I've gotten things like zippers, buttons, and fabrics at very low prices or sometimes even free.
  • Our chapter built a relationship with a couple of sewing factories several years ago, so I got bunches of stuff from them as well. That's where a lot of the buttons came from for my Holiday Giveaway. Sadly, those resources are mostly gone now since production has moved to Asia.
  • Other people know I sew and they give me things. For example, my sister bought a large ziploc baggie of vintage buttons when she was travelling in Kentucky that I later got as a Christmas gift. Great present!!
  • I also recycle interesting buttons from old garments. I'm talking about you, J. Jill!
  • Shows. I've been to a few ASG Conferences, and Albuquerque has its Fiber Arts Fiesta every other year. Both have had vendor booths with unusual things, so interesting buttons, trims, and notions always find their way home with me.
Does it help or speed along the sewing process?  Or does it hinder the process?

Like so much in sewing, the answer is "Sometimes." I have some great buttons and trims stashed--many of them are "go to" whenever I need something of that style. Others I haven't used yet but they'll be there for the right project.

On the other hand, sometimes I don't have exactly what I want--I've run into that problem several times lately. For instance, both of the Marcy Tilton jackets I made this month, and the Now Shirt I made in December. Obviously I need to stock up on matte black buttons! However, going shopping is no guarantee that I'll find what I want. And I'm not a bargain shopper, but have you priced buttons lately? Even I pause when I see a single (plastic) button priced at over $4!

I may be delusional but I do think a lot of the "other" stash will get used. I regularly pull items out when planning a project, so I do generally know what I have on hand. Eventually, those great items will make the cut, and provide just the right accent for a project.

I also gift supplies to other sewists and provide stuff for ASG door prizes and such. After all, how much faux suede fringe does one person need, even in New Mexico? It's fun to see what happens after those things have gone to somebody else.

1 comment:

Gorgeous Things said...

Gosh yes, I stash everything! I love the fact that in, say, a blizzard, I can just pull fabric, zippers, buttons, interfacing and whatever else I need from the drawers, and away I go!

You know what stymies me, though? My pattern stash. I have so many, sometimes they cause paralysis. I'm probably going to give a bunch more away over the next few months just so I can keep up my own productivity.