Sunday, October 10, 2010

What will happen to your sewing stash?

notions and patterns
 I spent yesterday in Pennsylvania with long term and new sewing friends visiting an estate sale of a prolific sewing guild member.  She had passed away at 80 years old and several of her friends spent what looked like days organizing her supplies and fabric collection for a sale.  The ASG neighborhood group advertised it and five of us drove there for a few hours of shopping, talking and marveling.  I never met this woman but I knew as soon as I saw her patterns and fabrics that I would have greatly enjoyed her company.  Beautiful fabrics, wonderful color sense and a range of interests, from jewelry to embellishing.  Just like me, she had every garment sewing book ever printed and more ideas than time available.  Here are the pictures for what I came home with, some items for a sewing friend but most of it for me.
mostly silks, some kimono fabrics and some rayons along with silky polys
But let's face it, buying these items at an estate sale does make you ponder your own "collection"  as well as your own eventual demise.  Now I intend to carry on as long as possible but I also acknowledge that I will die with a "to-do" list still going strong...if I'm lucky.  I hope that my sewing guild friends do the same for me...sell and donate all my beloved machines, fabrics and supplies in both homes, in MD and FL.
The major disappointment I had yesterday was that so few young women would know about this amazing sale.   There's a topic on Patternreview right now among beginners and the lessons they would offer to other beginner sewers.  One repeating theme is that you should buy quality tools and fabrics.  That's hard advice to take in tough economic times.  It's also difficult advice to take when you a beginner and don't know if this "sewing thing" is going to really be enjoyable for you.  I spent many years buying junky cheap fabric because I doubted my abilities.  Turns out I didn't know how to fit myself and once I really understood that, my sewing took off....but I had wasted time and money until then.  A sale like this one could outfit MANY beginning sewers with the supplies and fabrics to really make a difference in their results.  What a shame that they either don't belong to ASG or don't take advantage of learning from the older generation around them.   This woman obviously was a wonderful seamstress and her sewing estate will continue to be a gift to the future.  I was cheered to hear that the unsold collection will most likely be donated to the vo-tech sewing program or the 4-H sewers.  I want the same to happen to my unused collection so that others can experience the creativity and friendships that fashion sewing provides me.  SO what will happen to your stash?


  1. Hi jane. thank yoy so much for leaving a comment on my blog. This post is very interesting. I have been known to say to my DH and DD that they can donate my stash to a local fashion and design school but I would really love something like this sale to take place and to knopw that a young sewer somewhere could take advantage of my many books ,notions and tools as well as fabrics.Thank you for sharing. Diana

  2. What an interesting post! I'm glad you were able to share some of this woman's passion and I believe you are so right about the young women on PR.

    As for my fabric, book and notions collection, the daughter that sews will inherit it. Luckily I have one that does...what she doesn't want will be donated to the local high school's drama department.

    I think any time we start collecting, we worry about what will become of our treasures. So it's good to have a plan!


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