Goodness knows, we’ve all been there. You’re tired and deserve a reward for a hard week. Lying on the sofa, you browse online fabric stores and hit that Paypal button once too often.
Or you’re out physically shopping and the lure of those patterns and those prices is too much to resist. You carry ten metres of fabric home, wondering if you can stuff this under the bed before anyone notices.
Yup, we’ve all been there.
But I’ve noticed an increasing trend towards anxiety over these impulses and a desire to fabric shop more responsibly. People are starting to question whether or not a large stash is a good thing.
I think a stash can be a very good thing. If I spot a rare-to-find fabric, particularly in a solid colour, I’ll stock up on three metres. And I love holiday shopping – fabric as a reminder of places I’ve visited.
But in the meantime, here are my tips to manage your fabric splurges whilst still enjoying the creative inspiration of all those lovely bolts.
To Admire Does Not Mean To Own
I read this somewhere years ago and it really resonated with me. Just because you love the look of something, does that mean you actually need to own it? Or is it enough simply to admire? I often repeat this thought to myself when I’m out fabric shopping and make peace with walking away. Once you engage this mantra, it can be liberating. Try it!
Apply Realistic Self Discipline
Sounds counter-intuitive, but do allow yourself a treat every now and then. ‘I shall not buy ANY fabric for the next year, sewing only from my stash!’ Rigid statements such as these sound a bit miserable to my ears. Come on, we’re only human! We all need a treat sometimes.
Buy With Intent
Some people’s inspiration starts with a sewing pattern; others find their creative spurt buying fabric. Whichever way round works for you, it’s worth buying with intent. Having at least half a plan for what this fabric is going to make. Most of my random fabric purchases lurk in my stash cupboard for years and I never really quite know what they’re going to be. I didn’t know when I bought, and I still don’t know now. That tells me something, surely.
Behave Like The Person You Aspire To Become
There’s a tendency to laugh off splurge buying as a bit of a joke. Oh, look at me and my crazy fabric stash! But – and forgive me for being gender specific for a moment – women do have a great ability to laugh ourselves down. Do we need to? Maybe we’re not weak-willed or profligate. Maybe we’re clever and inspired – and have more than a little ability to manage our creativity. Well-managed creativity is one of the most powerful tools a person can own. That tool is in your hands.
So, goodness knows, I’m not perfect and there shall always be the odd spontaneous splurge. But I hope this has helped if you want to manage your own fabric buying. It probably is to my advantage that I have a rich resource on my doorstep – I can pick and choose as I need to.
If you live in different circumstances, far from fabric shops, how do you manage your shopping?