Seven Stash Essentials

On an earlier post where I got all ranty about stashes, I received some remarkably wise and insightful comments from a couple of readers who really got me thinking differently about the purpose of a stash.

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Well, of course! It makes sense to stockpile fabric and notions that you need over and over. I have no idea why that never occurred to me until it was gently pointed out, but I’m here to tell you, I am so on board with this idea. So, let’s talk about the top Seven Stash Essentials that I plan to collect this year (and by that, I mean between now and next summer. Isn’t it weird how I’ve suddenly switched to the “school year” mentality?).

(Note: I’m excluding thread because I feel that having things like white or navy thread–depending on what you sew the most–is a given. And needles. Any sewist worth her salt has at least a small collection of the needles she uses the most.)

1. Lightweight fusible cotton interfacing

I use this stuff for almost every single woven fabric project. I get tired of running to the store again and again searching for it. As soon as it is feasible for me, I’m buying this stuff in bulk. If you have a favorite cotton interfacing that comes in widths of 45″ or more, do let me know! The stuff at Jo-Ann’s is okay, but so narrow!

2. Fusible tricot interfacing

I love using this stuff for any kind of stretch fabric that needs a little more structure. I used it on my stretch denim Simplicity 2451, and it behaved perfectly. I also have a lot of ideas for knits that need interfacing, and I want to have it on hand when I start experimenting.

3. Muslin

Come fall, I will be in great need of muslin. I’m planning on perfecting at least one dress from my Magnificent 11, and I’m dedicating September entirely to pants. Since I got rid of all the fabric in my stash that I didn’t want, I find myself needing actual muslin to help with my fitting endeavors.

4. White cotton/lycra knit

Here’s the thing: I love white. It’s clean and versatile and universal and lovely. It also stains like the Dickens. I go through white tees and camis like you wouldn’t believe! Therefore, I want to buy a whole bolt of this stuff to have on hand for immediate replacements. What am I going to do with my army of retired white tops? I’m going to dye them and depending on how the dye bath works out, I’ll rotate them back into the wardrobe, wear them to bed, or turn them into underwear (or, as I’ve decided to call them from here on out, “lady pants.”)

5. Clear 1/4″ elastic

This is my knit seam stabilizer of choice. I also use it instead of regular elastic for waist seams. It works beautifully! I always hated clear elastic because I was using the terrible Dritz brand you find in chain fabric stores. Awful stuff! I eventually took a chance on a random internet shop and bought 50 yards of the loveliest, softest clear elastic for something like $12 (which included shipping!). I can tell you that after lots of wearing and washing and pressing, this elastic has not worn out on any of the knits I’ve applied it to.

6. Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite, 1/2″

I cannot hem knits without it. I can’t. I refuse. Sadly, however, Steam-a-Seam is temporarily out of production while they sort through some manufacturing issues. (The fact that I took the time to look up this information tells you a lot about my obsession.) Company reps assure us that the product will be back and better than ever very soon. They better be right because not only do I use SaS for knits, I also use it for zippers, patch pockets, and anything else that I don’t want to pin. Get on it, Warm Company!

7. White lining (rayon bemberg and cotton voile or batiste)

Okay–I’m totally cheating on this one by putting two different fabrics in one category. I typically line any cold weather clothes with rayon bemberg and warm weather clothes with cotton (if I line those at all). I’m thinking that if I have white, I can always dye the lining to match. Though, I kind of like the idea of all my clothes being lined in white. I might also consider stocking up on black or navy rayon bemberg for winter.

What do you think? Do you stock up on essentials? What would be in your top seven list (or even better, a Top Ten list!)?

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11 thoughts on “Seven Stash Essentials

  1. I do not stock up on essentials at all. I buy fabric if I like it and can afford it, but I am trying to keep it contained.

    I understand about the interfacing as I never have some when I need it. I think interfacings, linings and zips are my three. I never have them when I need them!

    • Zippers! I thought about adding those to my list, but for me they’re too project specific to be able to properly stock up, you know? Hmmm. . . I guess if you tend to use the same colors and types over and over you could get a collection going.

        • That’s actually a good idea. There have been times when I’ve been trying to reach that $35 free shipping mark and I come up just shy. Rather than searching for ages for more fabric, I could just add a zipper or two. Thanks for the tip!

    • I have a bunch of Grandmother buttons, too! They’re very mismatched, so I really can only use them when I just need one or two buttons. I do HATE having to buy buttons. Why are they so expensive??

  2. Good ideas! I don’t know why I never thought of stocking up on fabrics and notions that I need often. I generally use the “Ooooo! Want!” method of stash building. Stocking up on white cotton lawn ahead of time would have prevented a problem I mentioned in my blog post this morning.

    • It’s amazing how sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be major epiphanies. My own stash needs a lot of work before I have it where I want it.

  3. Pingback: Sewing space and stash essentials | dottie doodle

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