Saturday, 11 August 2012

Hi, I'm Amy and I'm an obsessive hoarder

I've been alluding to a blog post recently in which I reveal the extent of my fabric stash. I've been putting it off because it is quite ridiculous and I'm scared to admit the extent of the problem. But after watching a programme recently on real obsessive hoarders, I think the time has finally come.

Deep breath.

My stash is spread around my flat in various boxes and bags, under the bed, on shelves, in trunks. I dream of having a dedicated craft room with proper storage where I can see all my fabric but no time soon. I only really buy second hand fabric, from charity shops and car boot sales. A lot of my stash has been gifted to me by friends and family (so it's not really fully MY fault...)

Part of the problem is that I can't bear to waste things. Any things. Ever. This applies to fabric, food, wrapping paper, you name it. I'm getting better now, I used to keep all my old jeans with holes in the crotch with the intention of using the material but with the advent of Cash for Clothes, I've finally found somewhere I can recycle those things. I hate the idea of throwing things away, only for them to spend the next 600 years rotting down in a landfill site, leaching chemicals into the soil. So I can get rid of things, so long as I know they're going to be recycled. If I have to just put them in the bin, I'd rather keep them and try and reuse them. Or give them away on freecycle.

The other part of the problem is that I just love fabric. I love it when you get a piece of fabric for a bargain ("£2 for 3m of wool tweed? Yes please!"), bringing it home, thinking of all the lovely things you'll make with it ("Maybe some cushion covers for Frances' birthday", "Maybe a tablet case for my Etsy shop", "Maybe a bag for me!"). Unfortunately though, what invariably happens is I carefully store it away thinking I'll do something with it at the weekend, then find I'm too busy and it never gets sewn. Especially I find not having a proper sewing space means the effort involved in getting my machine out and the ironing board and my sewing box with all my pins etc, means I never get round to it. So, over the years I have accumulated a lot of fabric.

Let me show you around. First up, remember the box I rescued from the bin and make over (partly anyway!). Well, here it is again, it hides the first stop on our tour. There's no theme to this box, just decent sized pieces of fabric.



Next up, a trunk under the bed. It hides clothes waiting to be altered in some way and offcuts of felted wool from Andrew's Christmas present a few years back. Also a load of wool jumpers left over from my Etsy shop, waiting to be turned into a blanket. Scared yet?



Away from the bedroom and into my study, there hides 2 innocent looking black boxes on top of the bookshelf. The smaller one holds offcuts, I mainly use these for cards. The larger one holds small peices of fabric.


Large one:


Small one:


And now, for the piece de resistance. The trunk in the spare room. Awesome trunk right? See what it hides...



Oh, the shame.

I do like having a stash though. It's a satisfying feeling to be able to make something almost entirely from items you already own (see the recent tartan tablet case, knitted mobile socks, sorbetto top and baby presents for examples of stash busts!). It's also nice to be able to give things to people. In the past I've shared my stash with friends starting sewing and for Halloween costumes and with my Gran for theatre costumes. It's nice to be able to take advantage of cheap fabric as well, on top of the fact that buying it second hand is better for the environment. Am I justifying being a mildly obsessive hoarder? Yes. Do I care enough to stop? Not even slightly!


M-J said...

It's not *that* bad. I would be embarassed to show off my paper stash, which you kinda saw a glimpse of last night in my "study" where everything now gets dumped and it's got to the point where I can't face sorting it out. but I really must. You definitely need to try some more stash busting before you move if I'm going to help you lug it down all those stairs! x

Amy said...

Haha, you should definitely do a blog post about it, stash amnesty, reveal all! Don't worry, I'm not going to hold anyone to their promises to help house move, though I will be bribing folk with beer, wine and pizza! xx