18/01/2020

Fabric No-Buy 2020



After amassing a large (to me) fabric stash over the last year or so with little (or less than usual) sewing output, I’ve reached a point where I really need to evaluate all the fabric I have before buying more.  I’ve been hemming-and-hawing over this for the last little while, and I think I’m ready to totally commit. [...]

I’m challenging myself to NOT BUY FABRIC for the entirety of 2020!!! 

Well... with some exceptions of course...

✂️  Notions, thread, and lining fabrics are all ok.
✂️  Fabric for gifts is ok, within reason, and I’ll try to use from my stash first.
✂️  I’m going to give myself FIVE (5) “ok but I really have to have it and I have nothing in my stash like it” excuses. I’ll have to use these wisely.
✂️  Swapping fabric is ok - I can trade fabric for fabric with friends, as long as no money is changing hands.

Now, there are a bunch of different reasons why I've been considering a fabric no-buy for a little while.  First off - MONEY.  Oh dang does fabric take up a large portion of my disposable income!  Key word there is disposable - I'm certainly not sewing myself out of house and home, but it eats up cash that I could otherwise put towards updates we want to make to the house, travel, etc.  We've got a few plans for the upcoming year that I want to save towards, so cutting fabric (almost) entirely out of my budget will help with those savings goals.  The Sewcialists recently posted about sewing budgets - definitely worth a read!

On top of money constraints, there is simply not enough room left in my sewing room to store more fabric!  I've filled up a handful of bins in my closet, and the shelving units are overflowing.  I dare not move into other spaces in the house, either!  We live in a tiny bungalow so space is truly at a premium.  

Then there is the environmental aspect of hoarding heaps and heaps of fabric that just sits there un-sewn.  What's the point of consuming more when I already have so much?!  I also tend to order a lot of my fabric from online shops, so there is the environmental impact of having the fabric shipped to me across the country.  I like to try and do what I can to reduce my impact on the environment as-is (beeswax food wraps!  reusable grocery bags!  growing our own food!) so using what I have is another step towards more sustainable living.

And last but not least, the emotional aspect of it.  I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this - often I would buy fabric to make myself feel better.  Who doesn't indulge in a little retail therapy?!  I had been having an emotionally difficult year for various reasons I won't get into on here, and then my Mom died very suddenly and unexpectedly in October.  So needless to say I've been having a rough go.  Buying pretty, new fabric helped numb some of that pain... but then said fabric sits there taunting me because I'm too sad to sew!  Repeat vicious cycle.  I saw a grief counsellor for a bit, and took a good 2 weeks of work over the holidays, so I'm feeling much better than I was.  On top of other things I'm doing to take better care of myself, not buying fabric and ending that vicious cycle is something I'm going to try.

So there we have it. I’m going to treat this is a fairly gentle challenge for myself, which is why I’ve included 5 fabric-buying passes. A year is a long time, and things can change which may disrupt this challenge altogether... but I figure, why not give it a shot?  I'm hoping to do regular updates with mr progress here on the blog and on my instagram.

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