How many of those have you actually used?
How many will you ever, realistically, sew?
Last week I tidied and re-organised my pattern stash. It now lives in 3 boxes and is divided into 3 categories: Dresses, Separates and 'Other' (nightwear, childrens, mens, household, coats and 'sets' ie. patterns with jackets, tops, trousers, skirts etc together).
Black box contains dress patterns, 'Other' on the left and Separates on the right
While tidying I counted the number of patterns I had and the number I had actually used. Here's how it worked out:
Dresses = 56 10
Separates = 31 12
Other = 37 3
Total = 124 25
So this means that :
- I have only sewn 20% of my stash
- Dresses form 45 % of my stash
- I have only sewn 18% of my dress patterns but I have sewn 39% of my separates patterns
- I have a lot of dress patterns that I've never used
- I make pretty good use of my separates
- I really don't need any more patterns, surely most types of garments are well covered by my selection?
- Don't buy any more dress patterns for f***'s sake. Or at the very least make a few that I already have first.
Box full of dress patterns
Of course this only takes into account paper patterns - I also have a few patterns as pdfs plus patterns in books like the Colette Sewing Handbook and Built by Wendy Dresses. It also doesn't account for making patterns more than once, as I have done with a handful of patterns. Still, it gives a pretty good idea of how my pattern stash stands.
My stash definitely reflects that like many seamstresses, I began my sewing by making dresses that didn't always fit the lifestyle I actually have. I do wear dresses but definitely have a need for separates, as the stats prove.
I don't think there's anything wrong with having stash, or with collecting patterns. I know a lot of people just love to look at their patterns or use them for inspiration. But for me, this was a good exercise in making me think about what I have and what I need. It seems silly for me to spend more money on patterns that are similar to ones I already own. Plus I have several books on making your own patterns - all unused!
What about you? How do your numbers stack up? I'd love to know if my stats are the same as anyone else's. I was going to do a poll in the sidebar but couldn't work out the best way to do it. Please add to the comments if you have numbers you want to share
p.s These are 2 patterns I'm not including in my stash count, which were bought as part of pattern lots on ebay. On the left - Vogue 6641 a blouse pattern with 23 pieces. I can't even bring myself to count if the pieces are all there. On the right, McCalls 6323, a loose fit 1980s blouse.
I think both of these patterns are so hideous I have never even tried to bring them to a swap. That being said,